A whooshing pace and snappy dialogue help bring this true story to life, tracing the triumphant and scandalous career of cyclist Lance Armstrong. And the energetic approach helps bring out several layers in Armstrong's perspective, exploring why a top sportsman would cheat to win. It also features a steely performance from Ben Foster that captures Armstrong's physicality and personality, but not in the usual ways.
When he was 25, Armstrong (Foster) was already a star, but his career was cut short in 1996 by advanced testicular cancer. After recovering, he retrained himself as a long-distance cyclist and launched a global cancer charity, then went on to win seven Tour de France titles. His friend, Irish journalist David Walsh (Chris O'Dowd) noticed that his improvement was too good to be true, and continually challenged him to be honest about his work with controversial doctor Michele Ferari (Guillaume Canet). Armstrong defended his name in court, but years later the truth came out that throughout his career he had been systematically cheating with banned drugs and blood-cleansing processes. The truth came out in 2010, but he didn't admit the deception until an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2013.
Since this was so thoroughly reported in the media, and finely detailed in Alex Gibney's acclaimed documentary The Armstrong Lie, there aren't any surprises in this movie. And despite being based on Walsh's book Seven Deadly Sins, the film takes Armstrong's perspective, trying to get under his skin to reveal his motivation. John Hodge's screenplay is insightful, building some strong dramatic suspense along the way, and the film is sharply well-directed by Stephen Frears, a filmmaker better known for softer movies (like Philomena and The Queen). But he guides Foster to a strikingly physical performance that's sweaty and aggressive, and also darkly internalised. Stand-outs in the supporting cast include Jesse Plemons as a fellow cyclist haunted by his conscience and Denis Menochet as Armstrong's team manager.
Continue reading: The Program Review
Lance Armstrong was an athlete the entire world loved to support. Having beaten testicular cancer the cyclist went on to win numerous titles around the world including seven gold consecutive gold medals for the Tour De France, which has become known as the hardest bike rice in the world. He had few doubters, everyone loved the superman that he'd become and wanted to believe in the story surrounding his success.
One of those few doubters was David Walsh, a sports reporter with The Sunday Times newspaper. After digging into Lance and his team mates, Walsh began to build a case with more and more information backing his thoughts on Lance. One such piece of evidence was Armstrong's connection to an Italian doctor named Michele Ferrari. What followed was years of Walsh digging and uncovering the real truth behind Armstrong.
The Program is based on David Walsh's 2012 book 'Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong'.
Lance Armstrong is a cycling legend, with seven Tour De France wins under his belt among other accolades, feats that were made all the more impressive following his battle and subsequent recovery from testicular cancer. Despite his illness, he seemed better than ever before on the road on his return and by 2004, he had attracted the attention of reporter David Walsh, who grew suspicious that the athlete was using performance enhancing drugs, along with many of his cyclist friends. Armstrong used a genius combination of loopholes and convincing acting to make people believe otherwise but he was ultimately exposed and shamed for his tactics by a determined journalist.
Continue: The Program - First Look Trailer
Peter Jackson's expanded take on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit comes to a conclusion in a battle epic packed with enormous action sequences that oddly distract attention from the much more engaging central plotline. By the time it thunders to its satisfying conclusion after nearly two and a half hours, there's a sense of balance restored, providing some powerfully emotional moments along with the thrills. But there's a lot of chaotic mayhem to get through first.
The action picks up immediately, as the dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch) roars into Laketown causing further desolation before being stopped by the heroic Bard (Luke Evans), who then leads the survivors back to their long-abandoned city in the mountains. Meanwhile, dwarf king Thorin (Richard Armitage) has reclaimed his throne and Smaug's enormous stash of gold, which consumes his soul with greed. But he abandons his promises to Bard and the elf leader Thranduil (Lee Pace), who assembles the elf army against him. So Thorin calls in a dwarf battalion to take them on. Meanwhile, the hobbit Bilbo (Martin Freeman) is trying to diffuse the situation and snap Thorin out of his avaricious funk. And wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) discovers that two waves of ruthless orcs are descending on Thorin.
All of this strategising and squaring-off feels fragmented and uneven, as Jackson cuts back and forth between the sprawling ensemble cast while trying to build momentum toward the earth-rattling collision of these five armies. Thankfully, there's also a lot of interpersonal stuff going on to hold the interest. Elf warrior Legolas (Orlando Bloom) is still caught up in a romantic triangle with his intended Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly) and her forbidden love, the unusually hot dwarf Kili (Aidan Turner). And there's some comic relief from Alfrid (Ryan Gage), a weaselly human who worms his way into Bard's inner circle for some inexplicable reason. Best of all is the push and pull between Bilbo and Thorin, which is very nicely played by Freeman and Armitage.
Continue reading: The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Review
Ahead of the release of 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies', Lee Pace, Evangeline Lilly and Orlando Bloom discussed a bit about their characters: Thranduil, Tauriel and Legolas, respectively. In the interview, the three Mirkwood Elves discuss the process of filming the new trilogy, as well as some of their favourite moments from the production. They then answer questions about items and props that they either kept or wanted to keep, as well as what went into the rigorous stunt training for the fight scenes before the filming began.
Evangeline Lilly and Lee Pace - Photographs from the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere of the third movie in the Hobbit trilogy "The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies" which was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, United States - Wednesday 10th December 2014
Evangeline Lilly and Lee Pace - Shots of the stars of the third in the Hobbit trilogy 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies'as they arrive at the Los Angeles premiere which was held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 9th December 2014
Andy Serkis, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Peter Jackson, Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood and Lee Pace - Director Peter Jackson honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME - Hollywood, California, United States - Monday 8th December 2014
Lee Pace - Shots from the World Premiere of 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' the final film in the trilogy as stars arrived at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom - Monday 1st December 2014
The Lonely Mountain has been reclaimed from the dragon Smaug. The dwarves of Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) have won; although they soon discover that the price of their victory was steep. Smaug has laid waste to Lake Town, leaving the residents homeless after Thorin promised them riches. The elves of Mirkwood seek the dwarves that escaped their dungeons, while an army of orcs seek to end the line of Durin. And behind the scenes, a dark lord of shadow, long since defeated, is preparing to make a return to Middle Earth - the secret to his power lies in a small, golden ring. A ring that has chosen a new owner; The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman).
'The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies' serves as the final chapter in Academy Award winning director Peter Jackson's Middle Earth saga. The film serves as the sixth film by Jackson to be based on the works of writer J. R. R. Tolkien, and the final part of 'The Hobbit' trilogy. When Tolkien released 'The Hobbit' in 1937, it was a single book. Jackson released the final part of his adaptation of 'Lord of the Rings' in 2003, and stated that he would not work on a 'Hobbit' movie. However, he eventually signed on to direct a two part adaptation of 'The Hobbit', which later turned into a trilogy in 2012.
The film is due to be released on 12th December, 2014 in the UK, with a US release date of 17th December.
Who wants 'Halt and Catch Fire' season 2? Anyone? Hello?
So, season one of AMC's 'Halt and Catch Fire' came to an end Sunday night (August 3, 2014), leaving fans of the technology drama asking, "So, what's next?". In truth, nobody really knows. AMC has been usually silent on the show and producers must be panicking given this is a network that renewed Better Call Saul before the show was even finished. 'Halt and Catch Fire' could only muster average reviews though did have a small cult following.
Can 'Halt and Catch Fire' survive for a second season?
Creators Christopher Cantwell and Christopher C. Rodgers spoke with TV Guide about their hopes for a second season.
Continue reading: Is It Worth Making 'Halt And Catch Fire' Season 2?
Celebrities from all corners of the showbiz world were seen arriving at the star-studded event that was the 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' New York premiere. Among them was Lee Pace, who stars as primary antagonist Ronan the Accuser in the new Marvel flick.
By refusing to follow the usual formula, filmmaker James Gunn has made Marvel's best-yet movie, a summer action-adventure that provides more cinematic fun than the rest of the year's blockbusters rolled into one. It's shamelessly entertaining, keeping the focus on sparky characters even as the action spirals into exhilarating set-pieces around them. And the best thing is that the film isn't actually about the big plot: it's about a group of people who should hate each other but instead come together as a team.
In a pre-logo sequence set in 1988 America, a young boy is kidnapped by aliens. Some 25 years later, Peter (Chris Pratt) has become an ace thief who roams the galaxy in search of cash. Curious and charming, he can get himself out of most scrapes, but when he collects a mysterious orb for a client he ends up as the target of two bounty hunters, the raccoon-like Rocket and tree-like Groot (voiced by Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel). And the villainously destructive Ronan (Lee Pace) sends his best fighter Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to get the orb for his own nefarious plan. Rounded up and thrown into prison, Peter, Gamora, Rocket and Groot stage a daring escape with the help of literal-minded muscleman Drax (Dave Bautista), then must work together to deal with this troublesome orb. So they contact Peter's mentor/nemesis Yondu (Michael Rooker) before taking on Ronan and his second-best fighter, Gamora's half-cyborg sister Nebula (Karen Gillan).
Gunn gives the film a look and tone unlike anything in the Marvel universe, with colourful ships, sassy humour and freewheeling action that propels the story and deepens the character at the same time. It also makes the most of the well-worn 1980s mixtape Peter uses as his own personal soundtrack. It's the kind of riotously thrill ride that makes us hold on for dear life, loving every twist and turn. And since it's so tightly focused on the characters, the action plot involving the orb merely adds texture around the edges. As do terrific actors like Glenn Close and John C. Reilly in small but pivotal roles.
Continue reading: Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the mini-army of dwarves led by Thorin are facing an evermore deadly path in their pursuit of the Lonely Mountain and its mound of treasure which was stolen from the dwarves some time ago by the fiercesome dragon Smaug. Their attempt to slay him has failed, instead unleashing further horrors upon themselves. Angering the dragon has only made things worse with him now determined to murder every creature that lies in its path, demolishing a neighbouring village with little more than a breath. Gandalf remains captured and tensions are ever rising between not only friends, but elves, dwarves, orcs and goblins and it's clear that the deadliest, brutalist war for thousands of years is well on its way.
A whooshing pace and snappy dialogue help bring this true story to life, tracing the...
Lance Armstrong was an athlete the entire world loved to support. Having beaten testicular cancer...
Lance Armstrong is a cycling legend, with seven Tour De France wins under his belt...
Peter Jackson's expanded take on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit comes to a conclusion in a...
The Lonely Mountain has been reclaimed from the dragon Smaug. The dwarves of Thorin Oakenshield...
By refusing to follow the usual formula, filmmaker James Gunn has made Marvel's best-yet movie,...
Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the mini-army of dwarves led by Thorin are facing an evermore...
The cast of forthcoming Marvel movie 'Guardians of the Galaxy'; Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Chris...
Peter Quill runs into some trouble when he discovers an unusual looking orb that happens...
Peter Quill is a fearless Earthling pilot who rather proudly proclaims himself to be an...
Peter Quill is a tenacious pilot who was taken away from his home planet Earth...
With wittier action and a few more sharply defined characters, this second episode in Peter...
Bilbo Baggins has narrowly escaped several deadly confrontations with the likes of trolls, stone giants...