John Wells

John Wells

John Wells Quick Links

News Pictures Video Film RSS

Love & Mercy Review

Extraordinary

An unusually inventive approach brings this story to life, as the filmmakers get into the mind of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson to reveal how he created those unforgettable songs. Even more impressive is the depiction of Wilson's troubled personal life, which plays out with an unnerving resonance rarely matched by rock-star biopics. This is due to artful direction and writing plus committed performances from Paul Dano and John Cusack, who play Wilson at two key points in his life.

As a young man in the 1960s, Brian Wilson (Dano) is a prodigious genius, preferring to stay in the studio while his brothers Dennis and Carl (Kenny Wormald and Brett Davern) and their bandmate Mike Love (Jake Abel) head out to meet girls on tour. They don't understand Brian's obsession with oddball sounds, but let him do his thing until it becomes clear that he's mentally unstable. Years later, in the late 1980s, Brian (now Cusack) falls for Cadillac saleswoman Melinda (Elizabeth Banks), who realises that he is being over-medicated and possibly abused by his controlling psychiatrist guardian Eugene (Paul Giamatti). And instead of leaving, as Eugene orders her to do, she fights for Brian.

These two time periods are interwoven together in a strikingly seamless way, shifting back and forth to build a potent dramatic and emotional momentum. By seeing everything from Wilson's perspective, the filmmakers are able to take the audience on a remarkable journey through his life, avoiding the usual predictable formula. Wilson's life may follow the usual trajectory of success followed by drug abuse, but his mental illness adds an involving angle that's depicted with sensitivity by Dano and Cusack, as well as director Bill Pohlad and writers Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner. Even more impressive is Banks' performance, which is the key that takes us right into the story. It's a beautifully textured turn that reminds us that she can do a lot more than steal movies in comical roles (see Pitch Perfect, Magic Mike and The Hunger Games).

Continue reading: Love & Mercy Review

19th Critics' Choice Movie Awards - Arrivals

Guest and John Wells - Celebrities attend the 19th Critics' Choice Movie Awards Ceremony LIVE on The CW Network at The Barker Hangar. - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 16th January 2014

Guest and John Wells

The Weinstein Company Presents The LA Premiere Of "August: Osage County"

John Wells and Family - The Weinstein Company Presents The LA Premiere Of "August: Osage County" - Los Angles, California, United States - Monday 16th December 2013

John Wells and Family
John Wells and Family

NY Premiere of August: Osage County - Arrivals

John Wells - The New York premiere of August: Osage County held at the Ziegfeld Theatre - Arrivals. - New York, New York, United States - Thursday 12th December 2013

John Wells
Marilyn Wells and John Wells

The Weinstein Company's "August Osage County" Screening Benefiting Children Mending Hearts & The Episcopal School Of Los Angeles

John Wells, Marilyn Wells, Lysa Heslov and Grant Heslov - The Weinstein Company's "August Osage County" Screening Benefiting Children Mending Hearts & The Episcopal School Of Los Angeles At the Landmark Theater - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 5th December 2013

Marilyn Wells and John Wells
John Wells, Emma Kenney and Emmy Rossum
John Wells, Emma Kenney and Emmy Rossum
Marilyn Wells and John Wells
John Wells, Marilyn Wells, Lysa Heslov and Grant Heslov

AFI FEST 2013 Presented By Audi - "August Osage County" Premiere

John Wells and Guest - AFI FEST 2013 Presented By Audi - "August Osage County" Premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre - Hollywood, California, United States - Saturday 9th November 2013

John Wells and Guest
John Wells
John Wells and Guest

August: Osage County Trailer


The Weston family know they are probably one of the most dysfunctional families around, but they do understand that sometimes it's best to stick together. Violet Weston is the family matriarch suffering from mouth cancer and heavily addicted to prescription drugs which only gets worse after the apparent suicide of her husband Beverly. As the funeral approaches, Violet's three daughters Barbara, Ivy and Karen and their families arrive at the house they grew up in, along with some other estranged relatives, hoping to get the whole ordeal over and done with fairly quickly. However, things don't go as smoothly as they, perhaps naively, hoped as they discover a whole load of closet skeletons they'd rather have not known about.

'August: Osage County' is a remarkable dark comedy directed by multi-Emmy winning John Wells ('The Company Men') and based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play of the same name by Tracy Letts ('Bug', 'Killer Joe'). It has been produced by George Clooney and Harvey Weinstein and is a warts-and-all story about the trials and tribulations of family affairs, uncovering both the heartwarming and the heartbreaking secrets that underline all families. It is set to be released in the UK on January 3rd 2014.

Click Here To Read: August: Osage County Movie Review

The Company Men Review


Excellent
Strangely sidelined during awards season, this downsizing drama might be a bit downbeat, but it's sharply observant and extremely well-played by an impressive cast. It also says some very important things about the effects of capitalism.

Bobby Walker (Affleck) is a high-flying shipping executive stunned when he's fired after 12 years on the job. Company founder Gene (Jones) is furious at the CEO (Nelson) for sacrificing thousands of employees to guarantee bigger profits for stockholders and executives. And his 30-year-veteran colleague Phil (Cooper) is worried that he might get the chop in the next wave of cuts. While Bobby struggles to accept his unemployment, his wife (DeWitt) is more realistic, suggesting that Bobby take a job with her builder brother (Costner) to tide them over.

Continue reading: The Company Men Review

The West Wing: Season Six Review


OK
The death of veteran actor John Spencer -- who played Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, the coolest head among the cast of The West Wing -- was sad news, and it was the final death knell for the once-popular NBC series, now finishing its seventh and final season. That's a shame, because in some ways the show is still getting better.

When creator Aaron Sorkin left The West Wing abruptly in 2003, many people wrote the show off. Sorkin imbued the show with his naïve left-liberal bias and scripted much of its glib dialogue, and his leaving seemed to guarantee an identity crisis. In fact, The West Wing was really nothing more than Sorkin's personal wish fulfillment: What if we elected a strongly moral liberal Democrat as president? Or to put it a different way, what if President Clinton (who was still president when the show started, in 1999) had been even more liberal, and not horny all the time? Sorkin's answer was Jed Bartlet, the imaginary president played by Martin Sheen. Bartlet is sort of a Ted Kennedy with gravitas -- a sententious, northeastern liberal Catholic who, because this is TV, is always right. (With John Kerry we actually had a chance to elect someone like Bartlet, minus the intellectual rigor, and not too surprisingly, the electorate didn't go nuts over him. Of course, Kerry was not as telegenic as Martin Sheen.)

Continue reading: The West Wing: Season Six Review

Duma Review


Good
The phrase "man's best friend" couldn't be more accurate when it comes to me and my dog. Not only does he greet me at the door when I come home drunk, he also is quite effective at warding off the bratty neighborhood kids when they come close to my house. Nobody I know has this kind of kinship with their pet, but plenty of movies depict it with enough charm to convince me that everyone has this relationship. Of the recent films about the relationship between man and beast, Carroll Ballard's Duma has its head quite a bit above the rest.

In the wilds of Australia, a mother cheetah is mauled and eaten by two lions, leaving her three cubs to fend for themselves. One of these cubs is picked up by a young Australian boy, Xan (Alexander Michaletos), and his father, Peter (Cambell Scott). On their way home, father and son decide to keep the cub and raise it as their pet, giving him the name Duma. It is obvious that the father and son have a strong connection, and it's made especially clear when they arrive home and the mother (Hope Davis) is hardly seen. Well, little Duma grows up and gets too big for farm life, so Peter tells Xan that they will take Duma back where they found him. Tragically, Peter loses his long battle with cancer and dies right before the trip is to take place. Xan finds it hard to get used to his new city home and, needless to say, so does Duma. After a panic breaks out at his school, Xan decides he needs to take Duma home himself. They take Peter's motorbike and head out to find Duma's home, running into a lost tribesman and several kinds of wildlife on the way.

Continue reading: Duma Review

The West Wing: Sixth Season Review


OK
The death of veteran actor John Spencer -- who played Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, the coolest head among the cast of The West Wing -- was sad news, and it was the final death knell for the once-popular NBC series, now finishing its seventh and final season. That's a shame, because in some ways the show is still getting better.

When creator Aaron Sorkin left The West Wing abruptly in 2003, many people wrote the show off. Sorkin imbued the show with his naïve left-liberal bias and scripted much of its glib dialogue, and his leaving seemed to guarantee an identity crisis. In fact, The West Wing was really nothing more than Sorkin's personal wish fulfillment: What if we elected a strongly moral liberal Democrat as president? Or to put it a different way, what if President Clinton (who was still president when the show started, in 1999) had been even more liberal, and not horny all the time? Sorkin's answer was Jed Bartlet, the imaginary president played by Martin Sheen. Bartlet is sort of a Ted Kennedy with gravitas -- a sententious, northeastern liberal Catholic who, because this is TV, is always right. (With John Kerry we actually had a chance to elect someone like Bartlet, minus the intellectual rigor, and not too surprisingly, the electorate didn't go nuts over him. Of course, Kerry was not as telegenic as Martin Sheen.)

Continue reading: The West Wing: Sixth Season Review

Duma Review


Good
The phrase "man's best friend" couldn't be more accurate when it comes to me and my dog. Not only does he greet me at the door when I come home drunk, he also is quite effective at warding off the bratty neighborhood kids when they come close to my house. Nobody I know has this kind of kinship with their pet, but plenty of movies depict it with enough charm to convince me that everyone has this relationship. Of the recent films about the relationship between man and beast, Carroll Ballard's Duma has its head quite a bit above the rest.

In the wilds of Australia, a mother cheetah is mauled and eaten by two lions, leaving her three cubs to fend for themselves. One of these cubs is picked up by a young Australian boy, Xan (Alexander Michaletos), and his father, Peter (Cambell Scott). On their way home, father and son decide to keep the cub and raise it as their pet, giving him the name Duma. It is obvious that the father and son have a strong connection, and it's made especially clear when they arrive home and the mother (Hope Davis) is hardly seen. Well, little Duma grows up and gets too big for farm life, so Peter tells Xan that they will take Duma back where they found him. Tragically, Peter loses his long battle with cancer and dies right before the trip is to take place. Xan finds it hard to get used to his new city home and, needless to say, so does Duma. After a panic breaks out at his school, Xan decides he needs to take Duma home himself. They take Peter's motorbike and head out to find Duma's home, running into a lost tribesman and several kinds of wildlife on the way.

Continue reading: Duma Review

A Home At The End Of The World Review


Grim
An initially touching story that wilts under its own insignificance, A Home at the End of the World is the second film to be adapted from a Michael Cunningham novel, following the footsteps of The Hours, a work that, for all its flaws, A Home can't even come close to. In an opening that veers wildly, and not unpleasantly, between adolescent melodrama and wildly unintended farce, we are given the suburban Cleveland childhood of two buddies, Bobby Morrow and Jonathan Glover. Bobby's eyes were opened to the world at age nine in the late 1960s, when his older brother Carlton introduced him to the joys of acid and hanging out in graveyards.

A few years later, after the deaths of both Carlton and his mother, Bobby is a puppy-eyed teenager who inherited Carlton's magnetic personality and utter lack of guile, which is what attracts another teen, the gawkier Jonathan, to him. After his dad dies, Bobby moves permanently into the Glover household as a sort of unofficial adopted brother to Jonathan - except that they're brothers who occasionally make out and smoke joints with Mrs. Glover (Sissy Spacek). The rather uptight Jonathan (he wears glasses and has braces, you see) can't handle Bobby's openness and is more than a little jealous of how eagerly her mother has embraced him into their family, and their romantic relationship stalls.

Continue reading: A Home At The End Of The World Review

Doom Review


Unbearable
However low your expectations are for the movie take on the videogame Doom, lower them more. It's pretty obvious that this adaptation was never going to be a film of any serious artistic or social value, but those of us who are either fans of the game itself, video games in general, or even of its star, The Rock, were at least hoping for a good time. Instead, the big-screen Doom is low on both monsters and action, heavy on a dull, inaccurate, and a somewhat preachy story.

The game storyline for Doom is a classic one-man army tale: a lone, tough, nameless Marine is sent to Mars in order to restore peace after scientists working for mega-corporation UAC stationed there open a portal to Hell, and the demons are coming through in droves. While most gamers were mainly concerned with the then-groundbreaking first-person-shooter (FPS) gameplay (it was 1993, after all), the story was just creepy and supernatural enough to make shooting these imps and zombies a brainless blast.

Continue reading: Doom Review

White Oleander Review


Good
White Oleander is one girl's dramatic coming-of-age story -- emphasis on the word "dramatic." A bright teen bounces around some dreadful foster homes, gets street-tough while in a facility for abandoned kids, and witnesses more tragedy in three years than any person should see in a lifetime. With such relentlessly morose subject matter, you'd think director Peter Kosminsky's adaptation of Janet Fitch's bestseller would lean toward TV melodrama -- and while the script may do so, Kosminsky's deft direction and fine editorial choices make White Oleander an effective and well-paced story of self-realization and determination.

The novel White Oleander was a 1999 selection of the ubiquitous Oprah Winfrey Book Club and you can tell why: There are so many brutally dysfunctional people in the story that Dr. Phil could produce months of television delving into their sorry lives. Astrid (Alison Lohman) is an only child, growing up in the Hollywood Hills with Ingrid (Michelle Pfeiffer), her eccentric, urban-arty mother. After a series of events that Kosminsky smartly keeps off-camera, Ingrid kills her boyfriend. Or does she? And how? Regardless, the beautiful, hopeful, young Astrid is picked up by state services and sent to live in a double-wide with a foster family.

Continue reading: White Oleander Review

John Wells

John Wells Quick Links

News Pictures Video Film RSS