Writer-director Shane Black returns to the comedy-noir vibe of his 2005 hit Kiss Kiss Bang Bang with this riotously funny thriller set in late-1970s Los Angeles. It's an entertaining mix of hilarious action mayhem, slapstick and violence anchored by Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe, who unexpectedly prove to be a superb comedy double-act.
It's 1977, and private detective Holland (Gosling) is searching for a porn star who was spotted alive after dying in a car crash. His investigation leads him to Amelia (Margaret Qualley), who has hired the thug Jackson (Crowe) to keep people off her tail. After beating up Holland, Jackson realises that maybe they should be working together, as other cases seem to be dovetailing around Amelia's politically powerful mother (Kim Basinger). But now Holland and Jackson are being chased by the legendary assassin John Boy (Matt Bomer). And Holland is having a terrible time keeping his bright 13-year-old daughter Holly (Angourie Rice) from getting involved in this dangerous case.
Gosling and Crowe play Holland and Jackson as a classic comedy duo along the lines of Abbott and Costello or Hope and Crosby: bumbling idiots who somehow manage to save the day due to dumb luck and someone smart looking out for them. In this case, their guardian angel is Holly, and young Aussie actress Rice more than holds her own against these A-list stars. Holly is the only person on-screen who has a clue what's actually going on, and Rice effortlessly walks off with the film, giving a knowing performance that's hugely engaging. The other scene-stealer is Bomer, whose slick, overconfident killer is simply screaming to be taken down a peg or two.
Continue reading: The Nice Guys Review
If you're on the wrong side of the law and looking for someone to send a special kind of 'message', Jackson Healey might just be the man you call. One day his work takes him to the door of Holland March where he leaves his own particular type of message for Holland, a private detective who's currently a little down on his luck.
When an employee of the Department Of Justice finds that her daughter has gone missing, she employs Healey to find her by any means necessary. Out of his depth, Healey calls on the best private eye he knows. Initially very hesitant to work with the guy who only recently sucker punched him, Holland agrees to help find the girl.
As clues are revealed, it looks like Amelia (The missing girl) has somehow become intertwined with the mob who are trying to branch out in LA. As the amateurs hunt down Amelia, the case takes them down dangerous paths they never thought they'd venture down.
An energetic sense of the absurd helps make this animated romp entertaining, even though the script is almost painfully stupid. But the pace is so brisk, and the stream of deranged jokes so continual, that kids will find it hilarious and grown-ups won't be able to stop smiling. So who cares if the story makes no sense at all?
Our hero is a scrawny turkey named Reggie (voiced by Wilson), who's an outcast on his farm because he's both smart and naive. When he's accidentally pardoned by the US President on Thanksgiving, he's living the high life until the meathead turkey Jake (Harrelson) kidnaps him, ranting about a mission to travel back in time to stop the pilgrims from starting the Thanksgiving turkey tradition to begin with. Sure enough, they find a time machine and off they go to 1621, where they team up with a colony of native American turkeys led by Broadbeak (David) and his feisty daughter Jenny (Poehler). But they're also being pursued by a relentless human hunter (Meaney).
The screenwriters conveniently ignore the fact that more turkeys are eaten globally at Christmas than at America's Thanksgiving, but never mind. They also pack the script with a continuous stream of riotously warped gags, random movie references and crazed action sequences. Although even a 5-year-old will be confused that 17th century pilgrims are rendered more like 19th century cowboys. This continual sense of incoherence gets even more annoying later, when the plot abandons even its own tenuous sense of logic. But by then we have realised that it's pointless to resist.
Continue reading: Free Birds Review
'Free Birds' could follow 'Despicable Me 2' and 'Monster's University' as big animated movies in 2013.
The trailer for Free Birds, Jimmy Hayward's animated adventure movie, rolled out online this week. It stars Reggie the Thanksgiving turkey (Owen Wilson) who fails to convince his dumb feathered friends that they're being fattened up for the approaching festival feast, alienating himself from the group.
However, things begin to look up when he is rescued by the President and begins a new life of eating pizza at his cool new pad. When militant turkey Jake (Woody Harrelson) shows up, Reggie's new life of peace is put on the backburner in favour of a death-defying mission to go back in time and scratch out the traditional festive dinner from history. It sounds mental. It kind of is a bit mental, but it's sure to be plenty of fun for kids and families this Christmas.
Continue reading: Is 'Free Birds' The New Chicken Run? [Trailer]
When Reggie the Thanksgiving turkey fails to convince his incredibly stupid feathered friends that they are being fattened up for an approaching feast, he is soon alienated from them. However, things are looking up when he is rescued by the President and even enjoys nibbling on pizza late at night in his luxurious new home. But when militant turkey Jake shows up, it's clear that he's not destined for a life of peace as he is enlisted on a death-defying mission to go back in time to the first thanksgiving and scratch out the traditional festive dinner and save the lives of thousands of their kind.
Directed by Jimmy Hayward ('Horton Hears a Who!', 'Jonah Hex'), this hilarious animated adventure has a star-studded cast that will keep everyone - both adult and child - in rib-cracking hysterics long after it hits screens. It has been written by Hayward, Scott Mosier ('Clerks: The Animated Series'), David I. Stern ('Open Season 2') and John J. Strauss ('There's Something About Mary', 'The Santa Clause 2') and will arrive just in time for thanksgiving to perhaps persuade you to go vegetarian this holiday season. Watch it as it hits theatres in the UK on November 29th 2013.
'The Bible' sequel, written by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, will be called 'A.D. Beyond The Bible'. NBC will air the programme.
Mark Burnett's miniseries The Bible will have a sequel. A.D. Beyond The Bible will be set in the days following Jesus' death.
The Bible aired over Easter on the History Channel and attracted around 13.1 million viewers for its premiere. The finale on Easter Sunday attracted 11.7 million. It has gone on to become, on DVD, the top selling miniseries of all time, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Mark Burnett at The Kaleidoscope Ball, L.A. in April 2013.
Continue reading: 'The Bible' Sequel Confirmed: NBC Will Air 'A.D. Beyond The Bible'
Mad geniuses Tom Tykwer (Perfume) and the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix) boldly take on David Mitchell's layered epic novel, which connects six generations through the power of storytelling. The film takes so many huge risks that it's breathtaking to watch even when it stumbles. And as each tale is passed on to the next generation, the swirling themes get under the skin.
The six stories are interlinked in a variety of ways, transcending time to find common themes. On a ship in 1849, a seriously ill American lawyer (Sturgess) shows kindness to a stowaway ex-slave (Gyasi). In 1936 Edinburgh, a great composer (Broadbent) hires a musician (Whishaw) to transcribe his work, then tries to steal the young man's magnificent Cloud Atlas symphony. In 1973 San Francisco, a Latina journalist (Berry) gets a tip about dodgy goings on in a local nuclear power plant. In present-day London, a publisher (Broadbent) is trapped in a nursing home by his brother (Grant) and plots a daring escape. In 2144 Neo Soul, an official (D'Arcy) interrogates a replicant (Bae) who started a rebellion alongside a notorious rebel (Sturgess). And in a distant stone-age future, an island goatherd (Hanks) teams up with an off-worlder (Berry) when they're attacked by a warlord (Grant).
While the themes in this film are eerily involving, what makes this film unmissable is the way the entire cast turns up in each of the six story strands, changing age, race and gender along the way. Even so, they're essential variations on each other. Weaving is always a nemesis, whether he's a hitman, a demon or a nasty nurse. Hanks' characters are always strong-willed and often badly misguided. Grant goes against type to play sinister baddies. And D'Arcy is the only actor who plays the same character in two segments, as Whishaw's 1930s young lover and Berry's 1970s elderly informant. Meanwhile, each segment plays with a different genre: seafaring epic, twisted drama, political mystery, action comedy, sci-fi thriller and gritty adventure.
Continue reading: Cloud Atlas Review
'Cloud Atlas' is the story of how the separate lives of individuals and their actions affect each other through time. It explores a variety of different themes making it difficult to be pigeon-holed into a particular genre; action, romance and drama create the twists and turns that can change a human being from being a violent killer to being a compassionate hero. This tale explores how one act of basic humanity can influence a revolution centuries into the future.
Continue: Cloud Atlas Trailer
Winning the lottery is something most can only dream of. Kevin Carson has spent his entire life in the projects living with his grandma and they've always played the lottery, just waiting for the day when their numbers could be drawn. On one evening in early July, their luck appears to be in as one by one Kevin's numbers are called.
Continue: Lottery Ticket Trailer
At the start of the film, Riddick is being chased on a remote, frozen planet by some bounty hunters, whom he promptly dispatches and steals their ship to ride back to the planet of Helios Prime, where their employer was from. Once there, he finds out the bounty was put on him by one of Pitch Black's other survivors, Imam (Keith David, resplendent in flowing robes and a sharp goatee). Apparently, Imam and Aereon (Judi Dench), an ambassador from a ghost-like race called the Elementals, think that Riddick, being a member of the Furion race, will be able to help the galaxy fight off an onslaught of planet-destroying religious fanatics called Necromongers. The Necromongers are on a galactic jihad to bring about something called "the Underverse" and will convert or kill anybody in their path. But, before any of this can really be figured out, the Necromongers' gigantic armada crashes down on Helios Prime and things get really complicated. There's about ten minutes' worth of action that takes place later in a prison which, even now, after much contemplation, still makes absolutely no sense.
Continue reading: The Chronicles Of Riddick Review
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