Lawrence Bender

Lawrence Bender

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Lawrence Bender - BAFTA Los Angeles Awards Season Tea at The Four Season Los Angeles - Arrivals at The Four Season Los Angeles at Beverly Hills - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 9th January 2016

Lawrence Bender
Lawrence Bender
Lawrence Bender

Lawrence Bender - Celebrities attend The Hateful Eight premiere at ArcLight Hollywood Cinerama Dome. at ArcLight Hollywood Cinerama Dome - Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 7th December 2015

Lawrence Bender
Lawrence Bender
Lawrence Bender
Lawrence Bender

Kevin Brown, Moira Walley-Beckett, Lawrence Bender , John Melfi - Premiere screening of STARZ Original Limited Series Flesh and Bone at Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York - NYC, New York, United States - Monday 2nd November 2015

Kevin Brown, Moira Walley-beckett, Lawrence Bender and John Melfi
Creator, Ep, Flesh, Bone and Moira Walley-beckett
Creator, Ep, Flesh, Bone and Moira Walley-beckett
Kevin Brown, Moira Walley-beckett, Tovah Feldshuh, Irina Dvorovenko, Raychel Weiner and Damon Herriman

Lawrence Bender and Mischa Bender - Premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures' 'Max' at the Egyptian Theatre - Arrivals at Egyptian Theater - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 23rd June 2015

Lawrence Bender and Mischa Bender

Lawrence Bender and Guest - LACMA 50th Anniversary Gala sponsored by Christies - Arrivals at LACMA - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 18th April 2015

Lawrence Bender and Guest
Lawrence Bender and Guest
Lawrence Bender and Guest
Lawrence Bender and Guest
Lawrence Bender and Michelle Box
Lawrence Bender and Michelle Box

Safe Review


Weak
Like a bullet to the head, this movie has no time for subtlety, charging through a series of violent shootouts that are strung together into one cacophonous, chaotic chase. It finally finds some humour in the final act, but by then it's too late to save us.

Ex-cop Luke (Statham) is working as a cage fighter when he runs afoul of the Russian mafia, because they lose millions stupidly betting against him.

Brutally hunted by the boss' son (Sikora), Luke is contemplating suicide when he spots little Mei (Chan) being chased by the Chinese mob. Suddenly kicking into gear, he rescues her and discovers that she's a numerical prodigy who has memorised an important sequence of numbers. But now the Russians, Chinese and a gang of rogue cops led by a New York police captain (Burke) are all after them.

Continue reading: Safe Review

Countdown To Zero Review


Very Good
This riveting documentary about nuclear weapons becomes deeply worrying as it outlines a seriously unstable global situation, carefully exposing how easy it would be for a terrorist to set off a nuclear bomb.

The hypothesis comes from John F Kennedy: "Every man, woman and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles, hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or by madness." And gifted filmmaker Walker kicks off with images of horrific terrorist attacks all over the world, noting that if terrorists get hold of nuclear weapons they won't hesitate to use them. Especially since al-Qaeda's stated goal is to kill 4 million people, as many as they say the West has killed in the Arab world.

Continue reading: Countdown To Zero Review

Inglourious Basterds Review


Extraordinary
Finally turning his hand to the war-movie genre, Tarantino unsurprisingly pays homage to classic B-movies. And even though it's long and indulgent, this is a deeply entertaining romp, crafted to perfection by Tarantino and his amazing cast.

German Col Landa (Waltz) is notorious in Nazi-occupied France as a "Jew hunter", but the young Shosanna (Laurent) has slipped through his fingers.

Years later, she's running a Paris cinema and planning outrageous revenge against the Nazi high command who will be attending a premiere starring a famed war hero (Bruhl). Meanwhile, American Lt Aldo Raine (Pitt) has challenged his team of Jewish commandos to bring home 100 Nazi scalps each. And their operation is about to converge on Shosanna's cinema, thanks to a German actress double-agent (Kruger) and a British spy (Fassbender).

Continue reading: Inglourious Basterds Review

Killshot Review


Good
An exceptionally difficult gestation period that spanned many years, many casts, and many studios destined Killshot to the DVD bin, and it's an unfair fate. While there may not be much innovation in this good vs. evil showdown between a crazed killer for hire and a divorcing couple hiding in the witness protection program, the quality of the A-list cast's performances do deserve a tip of the hat.

Based on an Elmore Leonard novel, the story sets half-Indian contract killer Armand "Blackbird" Degas (Mickey Rourke) loose in Detroit, where he puts a bullet into the skull of Hal Holbrook, of all people. When he meets equally dangerous and trigger-happy career criminal Richie Nix (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) in a bar, the two decide to team up to finish off an extortion job Richie has set into motion at a real estate agency. Pay me $20,000, he has told the broker, or I'll burn down your inventory.

Continue reading: Killshot Review

Reservoir Dogs Review


Extraordinary
Now here's a stellar directorial debut from some guy named Quentin Tarantino.

Before he became a household name, Tarantino stunned us all with this low-budget tale analyzing the before-and-after (and remarkably very little of the "during") of a diamond heist. Set largely within the confines of one warehouse, the movie is so chock full of witty and quotable dialogue ("Mr. Brown? That sounds too much like Mr. Shit. ") and eye-popping scenes (when, say, the suspected cop is doused in gasoline and has his ear cut off) that it has become an instant classic. Not incidentally, it also remade both the heist movie and the gangster flick, spawning countless imitations, just like later Tarantino works would do.

Continue reading: Reservoir Dogs Review

Fresh Review


Weak
Acclaimed, but why? Fresh is the nickname of the prototypical urban street punk (Sean Nelson), who runs drugs for the local hoods when he isn't busy attending dogfights, witnessing murders, visiting his prostitute sister, or playing chess with his homeless father in the park. Presumably, we are meant to sympathize with Fresh because he's a chess player, and hence an intellectual, but when he launches his plan to turn the tables on his drug bosses, it's hard to rally behind him. Extremely disturbing and unnecessarily violent, Fresh plays like Spike Lee for Dummies.

The Great Raid Review


OK
Sometimes you can have the best story a filmmaker could ask for, a giant pile of money and all the best intentions, only to end up with what is ultimately a sub-par piece of work. Such is the dilemma of John Dahl's much-delayed The Great Raid, a gorgeous-looking film about an impossibly dramatic and yet mostly-forgotten real-life World War II rescue mission, which has everything going for it and yet never quite makes it to the finish line.

The facts are these: In 1945, as the American army is pushing back the Japanese in the Philippines, Tokyo has issued an order to exterminate every prisoner of war, an order enthusiastically carried out in the beginning of the film, which recreates an episode in which 150 U.S. POWs were covered in gasoline and set on fire. The Americans know that as they advance, the Japanese will do the same thing at every camp they get close to, and that the American Sixth Army is only days away from the camp at Cabanatuan, with over 500 prisoners - a starving and miserable bunch who survived the Bataan Death March and three years of privation only to face murder just as their fellow soldiers approach. So a team of 121 soldiers, mostly inexperienced Rangers, are ordered to sneak 30 miles behind Japanese lines and liberate Cabanatuan. It's a jury-rigged, rag-tag sort of mission, with the soldiers knowing it's a suicide detail, but also knowing they couldn't stand not to try.

Continue reading: The Great Raid Review

Good Will Hunting Review


OK
Hype? Sheesh, like no other. This side of Titanic, Good Will Hunting has enjoyed some of the most baffling, gushing praise of the year. Does either film deserve it? Not really.

Let's look at the facts: You have Matt Damon as Will Hunting -- apparently the smartest man on the face of the earth who can also kick anyone's ass over breakfast, and has a history of run-ins with the law. Oh no! Affleck is his down-to-earth best bud. Driver, the hoity-toity love interest. Williams and Skarsgård as Hunting's mentors, the guys that rescue him from a prison sentence for assaulting a police officer. And it is made abundantly clear that the film is also about the class stuggle in Boston.

Continue reading: Good Will Hunting Review

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights Review


Bad
In the middle of the lousy Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, Patrick Swayze makes an appearance as a hotel dance instructor. At first, I laughed like mad over this kitschy connection: Swayze! This was tremendous. Were more Dirty Dancing alumni going to appear? Was Cynthia Rhodes going to pop up as a chorus girl? Jennifer Grey as a lifeguard?

However, as a still agile Swayze danced with the new movie's star, Romola Garai, it dawned on me: The new movie needed Swayze, or rather his hunky heir. Part of what made the original Dirty Dancing so appealing was Swayze's presence. Physically, you couldn't take your eyes off him, and he had a cool, aloof sex appeal that set up good girl Grey to fall madly in love with him. And Grey did a masterful job falling for his charms, slowly and assuredly.

Continue reading: Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights Review

White Man's Burden Review


Excellent
What would happen if race roles in America were reversed? What if blacks had all the power, and whites had to fight prejudice and racism at every turn? Such is the setting of writer/director Desmond Nakano's brilliant new film, White Man's Burden.

The movie is a tightly constructed drama about Louis Pinnock (John Travolta), a reliable blue collar man who works in a factory owned by high-society elitist Thaddeus Thomas (Harry Belafonte). At home, Louis has to deal with a rough neighborhood, gang violence, and trying to provide for his wife (Kelly Lynch) and two kids.

Continue reading: White Man's Burden Review

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Lawrence Bender Movies

Safe Movie Review

Safe Movie Review

Like a bullet to the head, this movie has no time for subtlety, charging through...

Countdown To Zero Movie Review

Countdown To Zero Movie Review

This riveting documentary about nuclear weapons becomes deeply worrying as it outlines a seriously unstable...

Inglourious Basterds Movie Review

Inglourious Basterds Movie Review

Finally turning his hand to the war-movie genre, Tarantino unsurprisingly pays homage to classic B-movies....

Reservoir Dogs Movie Review

Reservoir Dogs Movie Review

Now here's a stellar directorial debut from some guy named Quentin Tarantino. Before he...

The Chumscrubber Movie Review

The Chumscrubber Movie Review

The starry-eyed cross-breed of American Beauty and Donnie Darko, here comes The Chumscrubber, another self-righteous...

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Kill Bill: Volume 2 Movie Review

Kill Bill: Volume 2 Movie Review

Editor's Note: Last year I let Sean O'Connell and Jeremiah Kipp go at it --...

Four Rooms Movie Review

Four Rooms Movie Review

I wish I could say I was let down by Four Rooms, but given the...

Kill Bill: Volume 1 Movie Review

Kill Bill: Volume 1 Movie Review

Editor's Note: Once in a while a film comes along that's so popular the critics...

Jackie Brown Movie Review

Jackie Brown Movie Review

In many ways, this is the anti-Tarantino movie.Jackie Brown is a potboiler, and a fairly...

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