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What Would 'Harry Potter' Have Been Like With This Alternative Cast?


Ian McKellen Daniel Radcliffe Tilda Swinton Emma Thompson Hugh Grant Liam Aiken

There’s a generation out there who have been practically weened on Harry Potter. The books and the films have become a religion for devout fans of the series, but would it have been the same if different actors had been cast in the leading roles? You may be surprised to hear that before the perfect cast was set in stone, there were some strange alternate actors vying for the parts!

ian mckellen harry potter Ian McKellen turned down the role of Dumbledore

Sir. Ian McKellen was once thought in the running to play Hogwarts’ headmaster, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore. He was, in fact, offered the role after original Dumbledore actor, Richard Harris, passed away just after filming the first Harry Potter film. However, Sir. Ian turned down the role, citing the reason that Richard Harris had once publicly declared what a dreadful actor he thought McKellen was! Eventually, Michael Gambon took on the role and the rest is Harry Potter history.

Continue reading: What Would 'Harry Potter' Have Been Like With This Alternative Cast?

Electrick Children Review


Good
Slow and introspective, this involving drama wobbles slightly as its plot takes a few contrived turns. But the performances are excellent, and the filmmaking is mesmerising. And it's exploring some themes that are rarely addressed so boldly on-screen.

Raised in an cloistered religious community in Utah, Rachel (Garner) has just turned 15 and believes that she's pregnant because she listened to some illicit pop music. Her parents (Watros and Zane) think otherwise, blaming her brother Will (Aiken) for this "immaculate" conception. But instead of face an arranged marriage to a stranger, Rachel runs off with Will to Las Vegas. There they meet Clyde (Culkin), a young rocker who challenges everything they've been taught and changes the way they see the world.

Continue reading: Electrick Children Review

The Killer Inside Me Trailer


Lou Ford leads -what looks to be a pretty unremarkable existence, he's the deputy Sheriff of a small town but has two girlfriends one who works as a schoolteacher and the other a prostitute. When murders start happening in the sleepy West Texas town, no one is quite sure who's committing the murders. As investigators lean toward Lou as their prime suspect, he finds himself in a spiral of death as he struggles to clear his name. Things are never as they seem, the unassuming person the townsfolk thought they knew in Lou soon unravels and it becomes clear that all they were seeing was a facade.

Continue: The Killer Inside Me Trailer

Liam Aiken Tuesday 27th April 2010 The Tribecca Film Festival 2010 premiere of 'The Killer Inside Me' held at the School of Visual Arts Theater New York City, USA

Liam Aiken
Liam Aiken

Liam Aiken Saturday 13th September 2008 'Igor' premiere at Grauman's Chinese Theater - arrivals Los Angeles, California

Liam Aiken
Liam Aiken
Liam Aiken

Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events Review


Good
This film lives up entirely to its title. The events are as follows: Death of parents by fire, three siblings turned into victims of their closest relative, deception, escapes, disguises, greed, murder attempted and accomplished, evil genius, egomania, abduction, forced marriage, and more wickedness than we might want to witness.

It also has the genius of a multi-disguised Jim Carrey, the narrative voice (and silhouetted presence) of a finely articulated Jude Law, and a basis in a best-selling series of books, 18 million copies of which have been sold since 1999. The movie has seamless effects, inspired inventiveness, and a serious dramatic "problem." More on that below.

Continue reading: Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events Review

Fay Grim Review


Weak
Roughly ten years after cementing his place as an offbeat indie favorite, Hal Hartley revisits the characters that put him there. His 1997 Henry Fool, a screenplay-award winner at Cannes, introduced us to lonely garbage man Simon Grim, his horny sister Fay, and the titular character that drastically changes their lives. Hartley brings them back with Fay Grim, but the "where are they now?" fun wears thin quickly.

Part of the problem is Hartley's distinct style, which, if you're a fan, you already know well. Characters often speak slowly, pausing pensively for dramatic or comedic effect. Conversations -- and camera angles -- are unexpectedly funny and skewed, dabbling in established genres. When this approach has purpose or emotion (as in Henry Fool), it works. When it runs in circles, as in the second-half of Fay Grim, it exists only for the "art" and can be annoying as hell.

Continue reading: Fay Grim Review

I Dreamed Of Africa Review


Weak
Kim Basinger has gone off to Africa on safari, in search of a follow-up Oscar to the one she landed for L.A. Confidential. Looks like she'll be coming home empty-handed, I'm sad to say.

Drawing comparisons to such Man vs. Nature films as Out of Africa, A Far Off Place, and The Ghost and the Darkness, I Dreamed of Africa tells the true story of Kuki Gallmann (Basinger), an Italian divorcee who upends her life to move to Kenya with her second husband Paolo (Vincent Gallo), who, ahem, dreams of buying a 100,000 acre cattle ranch in the middle of nowhere.

Continue reading: I Dreamed Of Africa Review

Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events Review


Good
This film lives up entirely to its title. The events are as follows: Death of parents by fire, three siblings turned into victims of their closest relative, deception, escapes, disguises, greed, murder attempted and accomplished, evil genius, egomania, abduction, forced marriage, and more wickedness than we might want to witness.

It also has the genius of a multi-disguised Jim Carrey, the narrative voice (and silhouetted presence) of a finely articulated Jude Law, and a basis in a best-selling series of books, 18 million copies of which have been sold since 1999. The movie has seamless effects, inspired inventiveness, and a serious dramatic "problem." More on that below.

Continue reading: Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events Review

The Rising Place Review


OK
If you're a fan of movies like The Notebook or Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, The Rising Place is for you. Despite the vaguely naughty name, this is actually an earnest and heartfelt period piece set in the Old South, involving pregnancy out of wedlock, civil rights, and lots and lots of headstrong women. Laurel Holloman -- a cross between Mary Louise Parker and Mary McCormack -- owns this show the best she can, but my if it isn't staid and predictable.

Good Boy! Review


Good
Man's best friend: an expression used for ages to describe the relationship between people and their dogs. Rarely has there been a need to question a canine's faith, but after watching Good Boy!, it makes me wonder if what we've been saying for years is right.

Twelve year-old Owen Baker (Liam Aiken) has spent his summer break walking the neighborhood dogs to prove to his parents (Molly Shannon and Kevin Nealon) that he is responsible enough to have a dog of his own. The dog Owen eventually adopts, which he names Hubble, proves to be much smarter than the ordinary canine; Hubble instantly knows how to sit, stay, roll over, and even play dead. Based on his previous training experience, Owen finds this degree of intelligence extremely odd. In search of answers, late one night Owen follows Hubble into the woods near their home; there he sees his new dog communicating with a bright light in the sky.

Continue reading: Good Boy! Review

Good Boy! Review


Weak

As talking-dog movies go, "Good Boy!" could have been worse. The story of a outcast boy named Owen (Liam Aiken) who is empowered with the ability to communicate with canines when he adopts a cute, crash-landed border terrier from outer space, it's a kiddie picture that starts strong with some freshly funny twists on obvious jokes ("Hey, I drank out of that bowl!" the dog barks after seeing the kid use the toilet).

But after a likable first act of awkward bonding as the kid tries to help the critter he's named "Hubble" repair a distress beacon (apparently the mutt isn't familiar with his own technology) and adjust to life on Earth, the plot goes to the dogs. It seems that man's best friends were sent to our planet eons ago to take over, but they got lazy. Now The Greater Dane is coming for an inspection, and it's up to Hubble (provided a listless, low-key voice by Matthew Broderick), Owen, and an eclectic foursome of neighborhood hounds (voiced by Brittany Murphy, Donald Faison, Delta Burke and Carl Reiner) to make it look like dogs rule the Earth.

"Good Boy!" never rises above its gimmick again. Writer-director John Hoffman adopts a lackadaisical, it's-just-a-kids'-movie approach to conceptual plot holes, stereotyped bullies, oblivious parents (ham-fisted "Saturday Night Live" alums Kevin Nealon and Molly Shannon), disingenuous tear-jerking and rudimentary, pat-on-the-head life lessons ("Home isn't where you are, it's who you're with.").

Continue reading: Good Boy! Review

Liam Aiken

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Liam Aiken Movies

Electrick Children Movie Review

Electrick Children Movie Review

Slow and introspective, this involving drama wobbles slightly as its plot takes a few contrived...

The Killer Inside Me Trailer

The Killer Inside Me Trailer

Lou Ford leads -what looks to be a pretty unremarkable existence, he's the deputy Sheriff...

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Movie Review

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Movie Review

This film lives up entirely to its title. The events are as follows: Death of...

Fay Grim Movie Review

Fay Grim Movie Review

Roughly ten years after cementing his place as an offbeat indie favorite, Hal Hartley revisits...

I Dreamed of Africa Movie Review

I Dreamed of Africa Movie Review

Kim Basinger has gone off to Africa on safari, in search of a follow-up Oscar...

Good Boy! Movie Review

Good Boy! Movie Review

Man's best friend: an expression used for ages to describe the relationship between people and...

Sweet November Movie Review

Sweet November Movie Review

While Sweet November is actually a remake of a 1968 film, it plays more like...

Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events Movie Review

Lemony Snicket's A Series Of Unfortunate Events Movie Review

(Proofread pending)Jim Carrey makes a four-course meal of the Tim-Burtonesque surreal scenery in "Lemony Snicket's...

Good Boy! Movie Review

Good Boy! Movie Review

As talking-dog movies go, "Good Boy!" could have been worse. The story of a outcast...

Road To Perdition Movie Review

Road To Perdition Movie Review

Let's dispel right now any claims of "Road to Perdition" being an extraordinary, Oscar-worthy film,...

I Dreamed Of Africa Movie Review

I Dreamed Of Africa Movie Review

Almost entirely scenery and labored melodrama, "I Dreamed of Africa" is a terribly earnest effort...

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