Delious Kennedy, Diane Warren, Robert Englund, Mena Suvari, Lucas Till , Ron Truppa - Catalina Film Festival Saturday September 26 2015 at Avalon Theater - Avalon, California, United States - Saturday 26th September 2015
Continuing to be the most original and resonant of the Marvel superhero franchises, the X-men return in the capable hands of director Bryan Singer, who again stirs plenty of meaty subtext beneath the thrilling action. He also has one of the best casts imaginable, including Oscar winners, cinema royalty, rising stars and matinee idols.
Best of all, Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) returns to the fold after two less-than-thrilling solo adventures. He's at the centre of everything here, as Professor X and Magneto (Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen) ask Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) to send Wolverine's consciousness back 50 years to 1973. His mission is to prevent Dr Trask (Peter Dinklage) from inventing mutant-hunting robots, because they will go out of control and cause a present-day dystopia in which mutants and anyone who sympathises with them are killed. But Wolverine's biggest task will be to get the then-feuding Professor X and Magneto (James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender) to work together to keep renegade mutant Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) from making everything worse.
Thankfully, Simon Kinberg's script doesn't worry too much about the whole time-travel thing, shrugging off dubious logic by keeping the focus on the characters. And there are a lot of people to keep an eye on, which makes the film sometimes feel a bit crowded and leaves some characters barely on-screen at all (blink and you'll miss Anna Paquin's Rogue). The best newbie is Evan Peters' Quicksilver, who gets the film's most entertaining sequence as he races around tweaking an action sequence frame by frame. Other set-pieces are grippingly darker, and some don't quite make sense (why does Magneto feel the need to levitate an entire stadium?).
Continue reading: X-men: Days Of Future Past Review
The mutants of the world are quickly dwindling in their numbers, tearing each other apart until they are almost wiped out. Two of the wisest X-Men of the universe, Charles Xavier and Magneto, must now join forces despite their hostile relationship to go back in time and fix the world so that their kind can survive the horrors of their ravaged future. The duo enlist Wolverine to help them on their mission; a mutant whose healing powers make him the only one strong enough to travel in time. He must find the impulsive fools that are Xavier and Magneto as much younger mutants and warn them of what their actions will do for their future, while on the way attempt to save the life of an important political figure. Will the X-Men succeed in changing their future? Or are there some things in the past that can never be changed?
'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' is the latest instalment of the Marvel film franchise following on from 2006's 'X-Men: The Last Stand' and 2011's 'X-Men: First Class'. Director Bryan Singer ('The Usual Suspects', 'Superman Returns', 'Valkyrie') returns alongside screenwriter Simon Kinberg ('Mr. & Mrs. Smith', 'Sherlock Holmes', 'Jumper'). The movie is set for release in the UK on May 22nd 2014.
With a strong cast and striking production values, this thriller is sleek enough to hold our interest even if corporate espionage isn't a very exciting topic for the movies. As the title suggests, the film is trying to tap into the fear that our lives are being controlled by technology. But the script never goes anywhere with this idea, instead drifting through the usual plot involving shady bad guys, dark conspiracies and plucky heroics. All of which we've seen far too many times before.
It centres on young technical genius Adam (Hemsworth), who needs cash to pay the medical bills for his ill father (Dreyfuss). Working with his pal Kevin (Till), he goes for a big promotion but is instead sacked by his boss Wyatt (Oldman). The next morning, Wyatt makes Adam an offer he can't refuse: a chance to earn a fortune by spying on chief competitor Goddard (Ford). But this new undercover job brings all kinds of worries as Adam sees shadowy nastiness lurking around every corner. He's also suspicious that a recent one-night stand, Emma (Heard), works for Goddard. And that there's a strange man (Holloway) following his every move.
Rather than explore corrupt corporate culture or the idea that technology has eroded our privacy, the filmmakers create a fairly pedestrian thriller that tries to blind us with fake techno-speak and corny emotions. The plot continually hints that it will get darker and more momentous, but it never does. All of the stakes feel oddly small, the chain of events doesn't quite hang together and the characters never feel like more than rough outlines.
Continue reading: Paranoia Review
In a post-apocalyptic world where mutants are now scarce, Charles Xavier must convince Wolverine to travel back in time to warn Xavier's younger self about their impending disaster-struck world. Magneto is also united with his fellow mutants, as now all their kind must stick together if they want to survive a world that they are no longer welcome in. Previously, the battle between humankind and X-Men caused the attempted assassination of an important political figure, something that Wolverine must control as he goes back to instil some knowledge into the much more reckless X-Men of the 1980s.
Adam Cassidy is a technology whizz who wants nothing more than to take care of his ailing father who is struggling to live in poverty-stricken retirement despite working all his life. He has a low-paid job at a massive technology corporation but is presented with the chance of a lifetime by his boss Nicholas Wyatt who tells him he can make him rich. However, this involves infiltrating the firm's biggest rival business led by Wyatt's old mentor Jock Goddard in a plot of dangerous espionage to uncover their biggest secret. He finally succeeds in obtaining a revolutionary piece of equipment and presenting it to Wyatt, but he finds himself trapped as his boss refuses to let him leave the company as he now knows too much. Realising that he and his beloved father are in danger not only from Wyatt but from Goddard as well after discovering their ploy, he sets out to use what they taught him to destroy what they built.
Based on the 2004 novel of the same name by Joseph Finder, 'Paranoia' has been directed by Robert Luketic ('Legally Blonde', 'Monster-in-Law', 'Killers') with a screenplay by Jason Dean Hall ('Spread') and Barry Levy ('Vantage Point'). This corporate action thriller is set to hit the US on August 16th 2013.
You could argue that this film is all lurid style over substance, but there's actually a lot going on behind the stunningly gorgeous imagery. Korean director Park (Oldboy) beings his lavish visual approach to this Hitchcockian story about a family infiltrated by a predator. Packed with references to iconic movies and books, the film is heightened and deranged, and its intense moodiness gets under the skin.
It centres on 18-year-old India Stoker (Wasikowska), distraught after the death of her beloved father (Mulroney). Without him to soften her, she's also even angrier than usual at her needy mother Evie (Kidman). Then the charming, handsome Uncle Charlie (Goode) turns up at the funeral and moves in to help them grieve. Actually he seems to be trying to seduce Evie, who is flattered by his attention. But the housekeeper (Somerville) and an auntie (Weaver) don't stick around long enough to see what's really going on, and it becomes clear that Charlie actually has his sights set on India.
Both the script and the direction continually echo familiar literary and cinematic icons, from the family's name to the Shakespearean family plot to the prowling interloper (see Robert Mitchum in the 1950s classic The Night of the Hunter). Director Park's camera prowls through the house like a ghost, catching tiny details in every lushly designed scene while finding all kinds of shadings in the performances. Wasikowska is terrific as the sensitive, rather cruel young woman at the centre of the storm, while Kidman steals her scenes with a haunted, conflicted performance. Between them, Goode is almost painfully seductive. And clearly dangerous.
Continue reading: Stoker Review
India Stoker is a reclusive young artist with no friends at school due to her many peculiarities and idiosyncrasies. Her only friend is her father, and when he dies in a unexplained car accident she finds herself even more isolated as she is forced to stay with her unhinged mother Evie who shows her nothing but contempt. It isn't long before the mother and daughter are joined by India's uncle Charlie; a man whom India has never been told about before despite him being the brother of her beloved father. He is handsome, charming and mysterious and Evie wastes no time in falling in love with him - seeing him as a blessing since the death of her husband. Her contempt for her daughter increases, however, when she finds that Charlie has become much more interested in India and, although she initially suspects him of having dubious intentions, the interest is soon reciprocated when she becomes infatuated with his sinister games.
'Stoker' is a psychological thriller with a star studded cast directed by Chan-wook Park ('Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance', 'Oldboy') and written by first-time screenwriter Wentworth with additions from Erin Cressida Wilson ('Secretary', 'Chloe'). It is set for release in the UK on March 1st 2013.
Director: Park Chan-wook
Continue: Stoker Trailer
India Stoker is a plain young artist whose peculiarities isolate her from others in high school leaving her friendless. When her loving father dies in unknown circumstances after a car accident, she is forced to remain with her cold, unloving and unhinged mother Evelyn. Soon, however, India is introduced to her handsome and charming Uncle Charlie - someone who she has never before been told existed. Evelyn falls for him and attempts to have him fill the place of her deceased husband, however he seems less interested in her and more interested in India. India suspects him of having a dark motive for coming to live to them but instead of fearing him, she begins an increasing obsession for him that he in turn reciprocates.
This psychological thriller features stunning acting performances from an award-winning star studded cast that is bound to pull you to edge of your seat next Spring. Directed by Chan-wook Park ('Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance', 'Oldboy') and written by first-time screenwriter Wentworth with contributions from Erin Cressida Wilson ('Secretary', 'Chloe'), 'Stoker' is a story of corruption, vengeance and bloodlust with a hint of illicit romance. It will be released in across the UK from March 1st 2013 by Fox Searchlight UK.
Continue: Stoker Trailer
It's 1962 and the world is on the brink of starting a new world war. As far as the general public are aware, mutants do not exist. Two of those very mutants still discovering their abilities are Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr (Professor X and Magneto), two equally intelligent men who share a secret; they both hold incredible powers.
Continue: X-Men First Class Trailer
It's 1962, and Charles Xavier (McAvoy) is recruited by US Agent MacTaggart (Byrne) to explore how the CIA can benefit from mutant humans. The telepathic Charles grew up with shapeshifting Raven (Lawrence), and they start assembling a team. A key partner is metal-manipulator Erik Lehnsherr (Fassbender), who's set on revenge against energy-absorbing Shaw (Bacon), who killed his mother in a Nazi war camp and has powers of his own. And now Shaw has his own mutant team (Jones, Flemyng and Gonzalez) and is sparking a nuclear war between the USA and the USSR.
Continue reading: X-men: First Class Review