For a biopic of a real-life person, this feels like an oddly standard mob thriller. It's the true story of Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger, and it's told with gritty filmmaking and robust performances. But there's very little about the movie that sets it apart, leaving it as yet another depiction of violent criminal ambition and betrayal. And by the end, it's difficult to escape the feeling that we've seen it all before.
It opens in 1975 South Boston, where Jimmy Bulger (Johnny Depp) runs the Irish mafia, while his brother Billy (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a senator. Their childhood friend John Connolly (Joel Edgerton) is an FBI agent who has asked for their help in taking down the rival Angiulo family, which Jimmy sees as a win-win situation: he'll get rid of the competition while avoiding jail himself. Over the next 10 years, Jimmy expands his operation dramatically, and he's not afraid to get his own hands dirty as he sorts out problems that are created by his sidekicks (including Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons and W. Earl Brown), all of whom are increasingly annoyed at his control-freak ways. But as Jimmy becomes even more notorious, the FBI boss (Kevin Bacon) pressures John to take him down.
The actors dive into their roles. Depp transforms himself physically into a prowling thug with terrifyingly piercing eyes. He may be a heartless killer, but he's also a caring family man. Opposite him, Edgerton has a trickier role as a federal agent who operates more like the gangster he'd rather be, casually ignoring the law to push his own agenda. In the sprawling supporting cast, only a few characters emerge memorably: Cumberbatch has a sparky presence, Cochrane offers some thoughtfulness, and Bacon gets to chomp on the scenery. Other roles are much briefer, especially the sidelined female characters.
Continue reading: Black Mass Review
The upcoming show stars Olivia Wilde and Bobby Cannavale.
Finally, the premiere date for forthcoming HBO drama 'Vinyl' has been announced, with a feature length pilot episode to kick it all off. Exploring music in the 1970s, the series has been produced by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese and The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger.
Bobby Cannavale stars as Richie Finestra in 'Vinyl'
Created by the Oscar nominated Terence Winter, best known for his work on such shows as 'Boardwalk Empire' and 'The Sopranos' as well as movies like 'The Wolf Of Wall Street', the show has been in production since 2011 but after much waiting, we'll see the finished result for the first time in 2016. 'Vinyl' follows the story of a fictional New York record label called American Century Records and its founder Richie Finestra, tracing music through the decades from punk, through disco, to rock 'n' roll.
Continue reading: HBO To Show Scorsese And Jagger's Music Drama 'Vinyl' On Valentine's Day
Whitey Bulger has had the FBI under his thumb for too long, and now people are starting to notice. How can a criminal mastermind responsible for every major offence in the city pass by seemingly unnoticed for an entire lifetime? It's true he landed in Alcatrez at a young age, but the older the more dangerous he becomes; a kingpin of the South Boston criminal underworld who escaped justice by informing authorities of all movements of the rival gang, the Italian Mafia, as suggested by his most useful contact and friend John Connolly. But the Irish Winter Hill Gang is growing ever more powerful, and Bulger's feelings of invincibility lead to more and more murders and destruction. It's time he was stopped, but finding him is not going to be easy.
Continue: Black Mass Trailer
Irish-American criminal mastermind Whitey Bulger was arguably one of the most dangerous men in America before his arrest in 2011 at the age of 81. He'd already spent time in Alcatrez as a much younger man, having spent a lot of time on the streets of South Boston. However, by the 70s he proved to be the FBI's best tool in controlling organised crime within the country, and he was eventually persuaded by his friend John Connolly to be their informant in all workings of the rival Italian Mafia. However, it's not safe business being both a highly respected gangster and a police informant, and while much of his activity is being largely ignored as he rises to become top of the Irish Winter Hill Gang, it seems he is gaining too many killings and dodgy dealings under his belt to go unnoticed.
Continue: Black Mass - Teaser Trailer
This new take on the Thomas Hardy classic vividly captures the story's modern themes through complex performances from a sharp cast. Hardy's story is twisty and surprising, a romance that certainly doesn't take the usual route to a happy ending. But even as it travels to some very dark places, we never give up hope that things will turn out right in the end. And the nuanced acting and filmmaking make it a fascinating, involving journey.
The story opens in the 1870s Dorset countryside, where Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) has gone to stay with her aunt. She can't help but notice the hunky farmer Gabriel Oak (Matthias Shoenaerts) next door, and he notices her too, proposing marriage. But she wants to live an independent life, so she turns him down. Some time later in another place they meet by chance, after she has inherited a farm that he helps save from a fire. She hires him to manage the farm, but he now has a love rival in the form of wealthy older neighbour William Boldwood (Michael Sheen). Then swashbuckling young soldier Francis Troy (Tom Sturridge) turns up, catching Bathsheba's eye. With three suitors to choose from, she still refuses to let a man define her. But she also knows that she can't hold out forever.
Yes, these are essentially the three types of man: good, safe and sexy. So Bathsheba's decision won't be easy. Or at least it shouldn't be. The problem here is that Schoenaerts has such a stunning, beefy on screen presence that the choice is a no-brainer (frankly, he's even more beautiful than the women in the film). This actually makes us yell at the screen as we watch Bathsheba give in to the swaggering Sturridge's far more outrageous flirtation. And the soulful Sheen's presence inspires a wave of sympathy. In other words, we get sucked straight into the melodrama, which plays out with Hardy's usual collections of coincidences, as fate seems to conspire to push people one way or another.
Continue reading: Far From The Madding Crowd Review
Sometimes, the greatest hiding place is in plain sight. For twelve years from the mid-1990s, he was the FBI's second most wanted fugitive, behind Osama Bin Laden. Throughout the 1970s, he was an FBI informant, revealing information to bring down an Italian American crime family, and he was the brother of a US senator. But really, his informant years were to stop another family from invading his own turf. Whitey Bulger (Johnny Depp) was one of the most brutal and violent criminals in Boston, being the secret puppet master behind one of the most dangerous crime families in history.
Continue: Black Mass - First Look Trailer
He's finally won his Best Actor Oscar, but we've seen it coming for years.
Eddie Redmayne caused no surprise when he landed the award for Best Actor at the 2015 Oscars, following his role as a young Stephen Hawking in his epic biopic 'The Theory Of Everything' which had already won him a BAFTA and a Golden Globe.
Eddie Redmayne wins Best Actor
It was a foreseeable win, and one that Hawking himself has admitted he's very proud of for Redmayne. We were, of course, already aware of his extraordinary talents before he was cast in the movie, following appearances in 'Les Miserables' and 'My Week With Marilyn', but even before then he was gluing people to screens with his early performances. These are four movies starring Eddie Redmayne that you probably haven't seen, but definitely should:
Continue reading: 4 Early Eddie Redmayne Films You Definitely Need To See
Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) is a beautiful young, yet poor woman. After saving the life of a young farmer, he falls utterly in love with her, yet she moves away after realising that she did not love him. When a fire destroys his farm, he goes in search of a new job - finding one as a farm hand, working for Everdene. But as she begins to earn the interest of a further two suitors, Everdene is caught up in a whirlwind of intrigue and controversy. Will Everdene discover true love? Or will she bring destruction to all those who fall under her spell?
'Horns' has the potential to become an iconic Halloween costume idea, and actor 'Daniel Radcliffe' has an inkling that's not such a bad idea.
Following the Halloween release of 'Horns', it seems like the film might have arrived a little too late to inspire elaborate trick-or-treat costume ideas, although star Daniel Radcliffe has his hopes set on next year, and with good reason. "I loved them. I had a great time" he explained, "they were very very quick to put on, they were like twenty minutes".
Daniel Radcliffe stars as 'Ignatius "Ig" Perrish' in 'Horns'.
In an age when special effects can take days to set up, Daniel Radcliffe was amazed at how fast the fake horns were applied. In a recent interview promoting the movie, Radcliffe explained that two hours is no time at all where prosthetics are concerned. "The big stuff at the end where I had even bigger make-up still only took two hours which is crazy for the amount of stuff they did."
Continue reading: Could 'Horns' Inspire Next Year's Halloween Costumes?
Aja's unique horror-comedy marks yet another new tone for Daniel Radcliffe.
As Daniel Radcliffe continues to experiment with movie genres, he has frequently mentioned that he is happiest about his role in the new thriller 'Horns', directed by maverick filmmaker Alexandre Aja. The 36-year-old writer-director has been playing with the horror genre since his 1999 feature debut 'Furia', a post-apocalyptic romp starring a little-known Marion Cotillard.
Daniel Radcliffe and Juno Temple are star-crossed lovers in 'Horns'
After the vicious 'High Tension' (2003) and a pair of remakes ('The Hills Have Eyes' and 'Mirrors'), Aja took a sharp left turn into comedy with the hit 'Piranha 3D'. And now he's combined humour with terror for 'Horns', in which Daniel Radcliffe plays a hapless guy who is suspected of killing his girlfriend (Juno Temple), but discovers that the horns growing out of his head might help him find the real murderer.
Continue reading: Alexandre Aja's Horns Sends Daniel Radcliffe In A New Direction
For a biopic of a real-life person, this feels like an oddly standard mob thriller....
Irish-American criminal mastermind Whitey Bulger was arguably one of the most dangerous men in America...
This new take on the Thomas Hardy classic vividly captures the story's modern themes through...
Sometimes, the greatest hiding place is in plain sight. For twelve years from the mid-1990s,...
Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan) is a beautiful young, yet poor woman. After saving the life...
With his most stylish film yet, horror specialist Alexandre Aja takes a wildly irreverent approach,...
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Following the vicious rape and murder of his girlfriend Merrin Williams, Ig Perrish goes on...
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