There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a blast of complex romance alongside some dark Hitchcockian twists. But filmmaker Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) was probably the wrong man for the directing job, as he overproduces every scene to within an inch of its life. Everything is so big and slick that the story begins to be swamped by the too-perfect costumes and scenery. Which makes it difficult for the audience to engage in what should really be a scrappy, dangerous little drama.
It all kicks off in 1942 Casablanca, where Canadian pilot Max (Brad Pitt) meets French resistance agent Marianne (Cotillard), and together they pose as a couple to infiltrate a party and assassinate a high-ranking Nazi. They also fall in love, and afterwards decide to move to London together and start a family. But a year later, as they are raising their young daughter in leafy Hampstead, Max is told by British officials (Jared Harris and Simon McBurney) that Marianne may have secretly been a German spy all along. And there's now a countdown, as a trap as been laid to prove her guilt unless Max can find evidence to the contrary.
What follows is a tense series of events that are drenched in suspicion and intrigue as Max scrambles around to find the truth while trying not to let Marianne know what he's up to. It's a clever set-up that's very nicely played by Pitt and Cotillard, both of whom bring contrasting layers of emotion and subterfuge to their roles, plus plenty of swooning romantic energy. Most intriguing is that both are able to remain likeable as things progress. So whatever the outcome, it won't change how we feel about them. The adept actors in the side roles are excellent, although they're little more than more scenery around the central couple.
Continue reading: Allied Review
It's 1942 and the world is in the middle of a war unlike any that have happened before. The Nazi Party not only have control of Germany but they've branched out into France and their grip is tightening on lands further afield. The allied forces only held relatively small areas in France and many operatives worked undercover.
Marianne Beausejour is one such operative, she's a beautiful woman who managed to infiltrate certain circles. She's deep undercover and is trusted by her enemies. Max Vatan is spy assassin who's sent to France to help the allied forces. The pair fall for one another and start a love affair. As their relationship deepens, their safety is compromised and they both must fight to protect the love they've built.
The story for Allied is written by Steven Knight (Burnt & Peaky Blinders) and is said to be based on a true story.
Riley proposed to the ‘Masters of Sex’ star in May.
Mean Girls actress Lizzy Caplan is engaged to her actor boyfriend Tom Riley. The pair made their debut at the Prague Opera Ball back in February, but they’ve been keeping their romance private and actually became engaged two months ago.
Lizzy Caplan and boyfriend Tom Riley are engaged.
A rep for the actress confirmed the engagment to US Weekly, revealing the Riley had popped the question during a trip to New York in May. Caplan and Riley met in in January 2015, while Caplan was filming in London.
Continue reading: Actress Lizzy Caplan Is Engaged To Boyfriend Tom Riley
In the sequel Now You See Me 2, Lizzy Caplan joins the ensemble as the only female magician in the bunch, this time helping to save the world from an evil tech genius.
There were a lot of reasons why she was drawn to the role alongside Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco and Daniel Radcliffe, plus Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine. "I admired all of these actors," she says. "And being offered the opportunity to go shoot a film of this calibre in London and China with people I respect so much was a dream come true. I've never made a movie like this!"
She particularly enjoyed the fact that the thrilling elements are continuously undermined by humour, so the film is very funny without being "a straight-up comedy," she says. "And they gave me so much free reign to improvise and make the character as strange and odd as I wanted, and not the two-dimensional token female role. I felt more freedom on this than I have with a lot of comedies I've done."
Continue reading: Lizzy Caplan Takes A Stand For Women In Now You See Me 2
This blending of the stoner bromance with the Christmas comedy works surprisingly well, layering gross-out humour with holiday sentimentality. So it's a bit of a shame that the script is thin and ultimately rather pointless. There are observations about the nature of friendship and maturity, but nothing very deep. But along the way, the cast and crew pack in a riotous sense of humour that mainly centres on drugs and genitalia, plus a whiff of Christmas magic.
The movie centres on three best buddies in New York: Ethan, Isaac and Chris (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie). Over the past several years, they've celebrated Christmas together with a series of traditions including karaoke, Chinese food and loudly festive sweaters. But now Isaac's wife Betsy (Jillian Bell) is about to give birth to their first child, and Chris' pro-football career is beginning to take off. So this will be their last Christmas Eve together, and they plan to make it an epic one. Ethan has secured tickets to New York's most exclusive secret holiday party, which he learns that his not-quite-ex girlfriend Diana (Lizzy Caplan) is attending. Meanwhile, Betsy has given Isaac a box of drugs for a last blow-out, and Chris scores a stash of weed from a mythical dealer (Michael Shannon).
The premise is certainly packed with possibility, and the filmmakers have a ball with the druggy excesses as the night unfolds, including wildly anarchic set-pieces that throw these likeable characters into all kinds of messy situations. The three lead actors make the most of their roles, adding layers of complexity that aren't in the script while indulging in rampant silliness at every turn. And the supporting cast are up for it as well, fully committing to the movie's crazed atmosphere. There are also hilarious extended cameos from James Franco and Miley Cyrus.
Continue reading: The Night Before Review
Ever since Chris, Ethan and Isaac were young, the trio of friends have always spent the run-up to Christmas together, as the years have gone by their Christmas eve reunion has become harder to manage and this year is no exception, with Chris living the highlife as a celebrity and Isaac soon to become a father, the trio decide that this year they're going to have a huge blowout.
The three guys might be approaching middle age but that's not going to stop them from having fun, this year they're convinced that they're going to find the Nutcracka Ball - piece de resistance in Christmas Parties.
The Night Before was written and directed by Jonathan Levine who also directed 50/50 and Warm Bodies starring Nicoholas Hoult. The film also sees the one and only Miley Cyrus making a cameo appearance.
Filming for the upcoming sequel 'Now You See Me: The Second Act' was seen taking place in London. In the scene that was filmed, one member of the cast was seen performing street magic in the rain, with one of his final tricks being to stop the rain entirely.
There's half of a great satire here, as Seth Rogen, James Franco and Evan Goldberg combine that freewheeling mayhem from This Is the End with some more pointed political comedy. But in its second half, the script begins to repeat its less-funny jokes, wallowing in smutty gags and excessive violence. These things may please the chuckleheads in the audience, but they wear everyone else out. And they make us work to see the film's much more enjoyable brom-com plot and sharp social commentary.
The story is centred around swaggering TV personality Dave Skylark (Franco), whose chat show majors in shocking celebrity revelations like Eminem's homosexuality or Rob Lowe's baldness. Dave's producer Aaron (Rogen) is feeling like a second-class newsmaker when he discovers that North Korean despot Kim Jong-un (Randall Park) is a fan of Dave's show and is willing to be interviewed live on camera. Then before they can head off, two CIA operatives (Lizzy Caplan and Reese Alexander) convince Dave and Aaron to assassinate Kim with a deadly drug. And when they arrive in Pongyang their mission is complicated when Aaron falls for Kim's media director Sook (Diana Bang) and Dave falls for Kim himself.
Yes, the film has a fairly standard romantic-comedy structure, as Dave and Aaron's close friendship is strained to the breaking point by the arrival of another man. Virtually all of the dialogue is infused with gay innuendo, double entendres and full-on sex jokes. Some of this is genuinely hilarious, such as the first time Dave and Kim discover their mutual love of Katy Perry's Firework. Then that joke is brought back four or five times, so by the end it's not even mildly amusing. Pretty much every gag in the film is beaten to death, even the ones that weren't funny to begin with. Thankfully, the actors' energy never flags.
Continue reading: The Interview Review
James Franco and Seth Rogen are Skylark and Aaron in 'The Interview', with hilarious results.
'The Interview' has already become arguably the most controversial comedy of the moment, with its less than sensitive approach to the crisis in North Korea. Nonetheless, it's another tremendously funny venture from a comedy duo we just can't get enough of.
Franco and Rogen are the comedy duo of the moment
James Franco and Seth Rogen appear to be simply inseparable at the moment; having been best buddies since meeting on the set of late nineties show 'Freaks and Geeks', the pair have collaborated on numerous projects such as 2008's Golden Globe nominated 'Pineapple Express', Evan Goldberg's memorable 'This Is the End' (in which they play themselves) and Franco's own film adaptation of William Faulkner's 'The Sound and the Fury' (yeah, we couldn't imagine them doing 'serious' either).
David Skylark (James Franco) is a worldwide celebrity. His talk show is watched everyone, including the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un. Skylark's producer Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogan), is beginning to doubt the direction of the show and Skylark's sell-out nature. But everything changes when they organise an interview with Kim Jong-un. Suddenly, they are approached by the CIA, offering them a mission to assassinate the world leader. From there, they engage in a ridiculous secret mission, trying to arrange the interview with Skylark being alone in a room with Jong-un and allowing for the assassination.
Continue: The Interview - Trailer & Featurettes
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