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'Power' Season Two Series Premiere At Best Buy Theater

Cast of Power, Joseph Sikora, Carmi Zlotnik, Mark Canton, Lela Loren, Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson, Chris Albrecht, Courtney Kemp Agboh, Naturi Naughton, Omari Hardwick and and David Knoller - Celebrities attend 'Power' Season Two Series Premiere at Best Buy Theater - Arrivals - New York City, United States - Tuesday 2nd June 2015

Cast of Power, Joseph Sikora, Carmi Zlotnik, Mark Canton, Lela Loren, Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson, Chris Albrecht, Courtney Kemp Agboh, Naturi Naughton, Omari Hardwick and and David Knoller

Cake Review


Jennifer Aniston delivers an Oscar-calibre performance in this rather over-worked drama, which tries to emphasise heavy-handed metaphors more than the characters themselves. But it's an involving personal odyssey thanks to Aniston's honest acting, and Daniel Barnz's sensitive direction manages to dodge most of the script's more glaring pitfalls.

Aniston plays Claire, a woman who has been in continual pain, both emotional and physical, following the car accident that claimed the life of her young son. Revelling in her bitter sarcasm, she has alienated her husband (Chris Messina), driven her physiotherapist (Mamie Gummer) to despair and so enraged her therapy leader (Felicity Huffman) that she's been thrown out of the group. The only person who patiently sticks by her side is her maid/assistant Silvana (Adriana Barazza), and she's beginning to waver. Then Nina (Anna Kendrick), a therapy-group member, commits suicide, making Claire question why she's still bothering to be alive. There has to be a spark of hope there, and she decides to stalk Nina's single-dad widower Roy (Sam Worthington) for answers.

While the premise seems to set up the usual story about two damaged souls healing each other, the story thankfully doesn't go down that tired route. Instead, Patrick Tobin's script keeps the interaction prickly and unexpected, even as it layers in so much symbolism that it becomes rather exhausting. Claire's physical scarring is clearly indicative of something deeper, as is her array of cruel defence mechanisms. Thankfully, Aniston plays these scenes with a mixture of black comedy and aching sadness that makes the character thoroughly involving and only slightly likeable. Her interaction with Barraza is the heart of the film, beautifully played because their connection remains mainly unspoken. By contrast, Worthington feels almost superfluous; he sharply matches Aniston's cynicism, but is too nice to register very strongly.

Continue reading: Cake Review

300: Rise Of An Empire Review


Fans of the 2007 Spartan war romp 300 probably won't care that this spin-off is even more chaotic and much murkier to look at. It still features armies of scantily clad muscle men grunting idiotic declamatory dialogue as they charge into cartoon-style battles against all odds. No, this isn't particularly subtle filmmaking: it's loud and brutal. And good for an unintentional laugh.

At the same time as Spartan King Leonidas (a briefly glimpsed Gerard Butler) is leading his 300 men to battle against Xerses (Santoro), Greek General Themistocles (Stapleton) approaches Leonidas' wife Gorgo (Headey) for help facing Xerses vengeful military commander Artemisia (Green) on another front at sea. Themistocles' main officers are Aesyklos (Matheson) and Scyllias (Mulvey), whose son Calisto (O'Connell) secretly joins the army as they set sail for an epic ship-based battle against Artemisia's fearsome forces. And there are two more watery conflicts to come, each more outrageous than the one before, as Artemisia taunts Themistocles seductively while dispensing fiery death and destruction at every turn.

The addition of two strong women adds a bit of interest here, but the focus is still on the bare-chested men, even if only three or for of them actually emerge into proper characters. Headey's chief contribution is a rambling voiceover narration explaining everything for us, while Green's wry smirk and momentous glower let her steal every scene. By contrast, the men seem rather feeble. Stapleton is manly and commanding, but not hugely charismatic. Rising-star O'Connell barely gets two decent scenes. Santoro is hilariously grouchy eye candy. And everyone else is clearly expendable.

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Premiere Of '300: Rise Of An Empire'

Mark Canton - Premiere of '300: Rise of an Empire' held at at TCL Chinese Theatre - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United Kingdom - Wednesday 5th March 2014

Mark Canton

300: Rise Of An Empire Hollywood Premiere

Mark Canton and Gianni Nunnari - 300: Rise of an Empire Hollywood Premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre - Hollywood, California, United States - Wednesday 5th March 2014

Mark Canton and Gianni Nunnari

Premiere Of Warner Bros. Pictures And Legendary Pictures' "300: Rise Of An Empire" - Red Carpet

Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton - Celebrities attend premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures' "300: Rise Of An Empire" at TCL Chinese Theatre. - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 4th March 2014

Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton
Gianni Nunnari and Mark Canton
Gianni Nunnari, Noam Murro and Mark Canton

Escape Plan Review


You know not to expect something deep and meaningful when a movie stars Stallone and Schwarzenegger, and indeed this is pretty much what we expect: a slick thriller that's utterly preposterous but not quite stupid. But the premise has a certain idiotic charm to it, and there are just enough clever touches to keep our brains engaged.

Stallone plays brilliant security expert Breslin, whose job entails being thrown into maximum-security prisons so he can find the weakness in the system. Clearly unbothered by being beaten and brutalised by guards and inmates, Breslin is backed up by a support crew (Ryan and Jackson) and his business partner (D'Onofrio) back in the office. But now the CIA wants Breslin to check out its new top-secret enemy combatant lock-down. To do this, Breslin must go off the grid. And when he realises that the evil warden Hobbes (Caviezel) isn't playing ball, he teams up with brilliant scientist inmate Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) to, yes, plan an escape.

As the story develops we get the feeling that the screenwriters sat around thinking of ways they could make this prison increasingly impossible to believe. Indeed, one mid-film twist is so incredible that it actually makes us admire the writers' audacity. Arthouse director Halstrom gleefully indulges in all of this silliness, keeping the imagery sharp and cool while name-checking pretty much every cliche of both prison and heist movies. There's even a bit of political context in the way a private contractor is abusing the system to profit from the War on Terror.

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Piranha 3DD Review

After the guilty-pleasure success of 2010's Piranha 3D, the quickly slapped-together trailer for this sequel looked like just as much fun. Sadly, more time and creativity was put into that teaser than the finished movie, which is a choppy, unfunny mess.

Maddy (Panabaker) is back home in Arizona from grad school, working in the water park she owns with her breast-obsessed stepdad Chet (Koechner). But after the Lake Victoria disaster, prehistoric piranhas have migrated here, drawn to the park's chlorine. After consulting with wild-haired expert Goodman (Lloyd), Maddy tries to avert disaster with the help of deputy Kyle (Zylka) and nice-guy Barry (Bush), who are rivals for her affections. But as the summer launch party nears, Chet refuses to close the park.

Continue reading: Piranha 3DD Review

Immortals Review

Like 300 on acid, this outrageously violent Greek mythology epic bludgeons us into submission as we become increasingly frustrated by the flaky plot, thin characters and incoherent craziness. But it's so amazingly designed that we can't look away.

Theseus (Cavill) is a peasant being groomed for greatness by the god Zeus (Evans, or Hurt in human guise). And Greece needs him, because the mad King Hyperion (Rourke) is on the rampage looking for the all-powerful Epirus Bow so he can release the imprisoned titans and kill the gods. But Theseus will need the help of virginal seer Phaedra (Pinto) and slave sidekick Stavros (Dorff), because the gods are forbidden from intervening.

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'Immortals 3D' Los Angeles Premiere At Nokia Theatre L.A. Live

Boo Boo Stewart and Mark Canton - BooBoo Stewart Los Angeles, California - 'Immortals 3D' Los Angeles premiere at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live Monday 7th November 2011

Boo Boo Stewart and Mark Canton

Piranha 3D Review

A blast of black humour, much of it referring to other films, makes this riotously violent remake rather a lot of fun. And apart from the gleefully grisly 3D effects, the casting alone is a stroke of genius.

Arizona's Lake Victoria is being invaded by virtually naked young people during spring break, but teen Jake (McQueen) has to babysit his young siblings (Brooklynn Proulx and Sage Ryan) because his mother Julie (Shue) is especially busy as the town sheriff. As a sleazy filmmaker (O'Connell) hires Jake to show him the lake, Julie is investigating evidence that an underwater rift has released a school of voracious prehistoric piranhas. So not only must she get all of these drunken revellers out of the water, but she needs to make sure her kids are safe.

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A Perfect Getaway Review

Scruffy and twisty, this honeymoon-from-hell thriller kind of unravels as it goes along. But before it succumbs to the formula, the actors manage to catch our attention, so we have to see it through to what'll surely be an outrageous finale.Cliff and Cydney (Zahn and Jovovich) are honeymooning in Kauai, where they decide to go on a two-day hike to an idyllic isolated beach, leaving just before hearing the news that there's a murderous couple on the loose. Soon they meet, and ditch, the rather shifty hitchhikers Cleo and Kale (Shelton and Hemsworth), then they decide to join another couple, Nick and Gina (Olyphant and Sanchez) for the hike. But Cleo and Kale catch up with them. And strange things start going snap in the jungle.From the beginning, we know writer-director Twohy intends on taking us for a ride, because of his purringly seductive filmmaking style and red herrings galore. Everyone looks suspicious, they all have secrets, and we quickly realise we can't trust anyone. Then Twohy starts layering in flashbacks to fill in the back-stories, up to an extended black and white sequence that sorts out the loose ends and sets things up for the frantic, action-charged climax.The first half of the film builds the atmosphere perfectly, establishing the characters with economy thanks to a clever script and an especially strong cast. Zahn and Jovovich are play against type effectively, and are terrific as the hapless lovebirds, while Olyplant and Sanchez are superb as their edgy new buddies. So by the time things start going nuts, everyone can generate jolts and humour at exactly the right moments.And boy do things get nuts. Not in any inventively unhinged way, but in the standard movie style of building to impossibly big action set pieces and then twisting them slightly, pausing for half a breath and then carrying on full speed. The gruesome, frenetic last act is utterly over-the-top, but still manages to be entertaining simply because it's so preposterous, and because we've come to like being around these characters who are now in a battle for their lives. And by the end, we've completely forgotten to care about all the gaping plot holes.

Land Of The Dead Review

George Romero inhabits a peculiar realm in American cinema. He is both a political provocateur, championing the cause of the common man, and the king of zombie gore, the lowbrow art of human disembowelment, decapitation, and so on.

Land of the Dead is Romero's fourth zombie picture, a sequel of sorts to his last "...of the Dead" picture, Day of the Dead. It all began, of course, with the infamous '60s shocker Night of the Living Dead - now a denizen of the public domain and released by every fly-by-night DVD company around - which combined social commentary and, at the time, shocking gore. It was a combo that inspired a whole genre, the zombie-athon, and countless imitators, very few of which are as inspired as any of Romero's. (The engaging and referential Shaun of the Dead comes closest.)

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Get Carter (2000) Review

Forget Get Carter. Instead... get me a cup of coffee.

What the hell has happened to all good American action movies? Did I unknowingly miss a meeting somewhere? When did all of the bad-ass, kicking butt and taking names, gun-toting, crazed, vengeful characters of the 1980s -- from such films as Commando, Cobra, Predator, Raw Deal, First Blood -- suddenly turn into innocent, compassionate, sensitive, teary-eyed knuckleheads. The only place to turn these days for an honest action film is towards the East -- and I don't mean New York City.

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Jack Frost Review

Not to be confused with the horror film of the same name, this Jack Frost is still so frightening I'd hesitate to put it before any child who ever plans to see a snowman. In this bizarre and god-awful tale, a conveniently-named Colorado blues singer (Colorado blues singer???) called Jack Frost (Keaton) gets his big break on Christmas Day and has to abandon his family to sign the record deal. Naturally, storm hits, car goes off road, Jack dies, and naturally he comes back to life as a snowman. He eats frozen vegetables and tries not to melt, while getting in some quality time with son Charlie (Cross), including hockey lessons with a tree branch. Hideous effects and a just-plain-bad premise make this one to stay away from.
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