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Premiere of 'ANT-MAN' - Arrivals

Martin Donovan - Walt Disney presents the premiere of 'ANT-MAN' - Arrivals at Hollywood, Disney - Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 29th June 2015

Martin Donovan
Martin Donovan

Ant-Man Trailer


When you need someone to break into a place and steal something, a career cat burglar is your best bet. Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) is in jail, which isn't the best start, but when Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) needs a thief, Lang is still his man. Pym was once a miniature superhero known as Ant-Man, yet when Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) takes over his company and tries to mass-market the powerful Ant-Man suits, Pym hires Lang to break in and steal the suit back. From there, he must become the Ant-Man - no matter how much he hates the name.

Continue: Ant-Man Trailer

30th Film Independent Spirit Awards

Martin Donovan - 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards - Arrivals at Tent on the beach, Independent Spirit Awards - Santa Monica, California, United States - Saturday 21st February 2015

2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Press Room

Hong Chau, Yvette Yates, Eric Roberts, actor Jordan Christian Hearn, Cassandra Kulukundis, Martin Donovan and Shannon Collis - 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Press Room at Santa Monica Beach, Independent Spirit Awards - Santa Monica, California, United States - Sunday 22nd February 2015

2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Arrivals

Martin Donovan - 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Arrivals at Santa Monica Beach, Independent Spirit Awards - Santa Monica, California, United States - Saturday 21st February 2015

Martin Donovan
Martin Donovan
Martin Donovan

Ant-Man Trailer


An awful lot has happened in the world - A Second World War super soldier has risen from the dead, a billionaire playboy has revealed himself as a costumed superhero, and the Norse God of thunder himself has come to earth on four occasions. So for Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a petty criminal entrusted with the secret of his mentor's super-secret substance designed to shrink a person, it should be seen as just another day in the life for a person of planet Earth. Now, with the ability to shrink his down to a minuscule size while increasing his strength, Ant-Man is born.

ConTInue: Ant-Man Trailer

Sabotage Review


Grim

Arnold Schwarzenegger gets one of his most complex roles yet in this messy, violent thriller, another trip to the dark side for filmmaker David Ayer. As in Training Day and End of Watch, Ayer is exploring that moral tipping point where the people charged with protecting society become a danger. But the formula sags badly in this sloppily written script, which relies on grotesque violence instead of a coherent plot.

Schwarzenegger plays Breacher, the head of an elite DEA squad that has just stolen $10m in drug-bust cash. But someone takes it from them, after which the team members start turning up murdered in increasingly vicious ways. So Breacher and his colleagues - hothead Monster (Sam Worthington), prickly Lizzy (Mireille Enos), beefy Grinder (Joe Manganiello), hotshot Next (Josh Holloway) and smoothie Sugar (Terrence Howard) - band together to find the killer. Meanwhile, two local Atlanta cops (Olivia Williams and Harold Perrineau) are also on the case, clashing with Breacher at every turn. And shadowy goons hired by a drug cartel are lying in wait.

For about two-thirds of the running time, this is actually an intriguing whodunit, complete with clues and red herrings, suspicions and surprises. There's also a sense of urgency, as we never know who's going to get it next. Although the escalating grisliness is hard to stomach (it even reduces seasoned cops to retching wrecks), as is a hint of unnecessary romance. Then when the truth is revealed, the whole movie collapses into utter nonsense, desperately straining for moral resonance but undermining its own point with gratuitous brutality.

Continue reading: Sabotage Review

The Reluctant Fundamentalist Review


OK

A terrific story is compromised by the demands of commercial filmmaking, adding action-thriller scenes to what should be an introspective drama while distractingly beefing up side-roles for American stars. But at the centre is another superb performance from Riz Ahmed (Four Lions), who again takes a complex, challenging approach to the subject of terrorism.

The narrative is fragmented into flashbacks as Changez (Ahmed) tells his story to an American journalist (Schreiber) in Pakistan while a tense hostage situation swirls all around them. Years earlier, Changez was a high-flying Pakistani student, graduating from Princeton and landing a prestigious job on Wall Street when an executive (Sutherland) recognises his talent. He also has a sexy artist girlfriend (Hudson). But all of this is shaken after the 9/11 attacks, when he is harassed by police and immigration officials. Fundamentally changed, he returns to Lahore to become a lecturer in violent uprisings. But this makes the CIA think that he's become a terrorist himself. Perhaps he has.

The various strands of the story are intriguing, and the actors are all watchable as they add layers to Changez's overall story. But the jumbled structure of the film reduces the narrative to a series of seemingly unrelated scenes. Hudson and Sutherland are solid but add little beyond their characters' stereotypical American reactions to Changez's decisions. The always superb Schreiber is better used as a more shady figure. But other characters vanish just when they get interesting, such as Changez's parents, played by acting legends Puri and Azmi.

Continue reading: The Reluctant Fundamentalist Review

The Haunting in Connecticut Review


Grim
For those of us growing up in the '70s, there was one seminal, supposedly true, scary story. No, it wasn't Helter Skelter or the trumped-up Texas Chainsaw Massacre. No, in high school cafeterias everywhere, we teens were talking about George and Kathy Lutz and their 1977 journey into red-eyed demonic pig terror, The Amityville Horror. The novel was a post-modern masterwork, a complete con passing itself off as irrefutable "fictional" reality. Now comes The Haunting in Connecticut, a similarly-styled exercise culled from a novel, plus an episode of the always trustworthy TV show from the Discovery Channel. Oddly enough, it's another network -- Lifetime -- that sets the tone for this tepid terror tale.

Ever since he was diagnosed with cancer, life has been a struggle for Matt Campbell (Kyle Gallner). While his recovering alcoholic Dad (Martin Donovan) tries to maintain house and home, well-meaning Mom (Virginia Madsen) drives several hours to Connecticut to try an experimental technique which offers some hope. The toll on the teen is too great, however, so Mom eventually moves the family to an old dilapidated house so he can be closer to his doctors. Almost immediately, weird things start happening. The building creaks and odd ethereal noises are heard. Soon, Matt is seeing spirits and discovering the facilities for a funeral home in the basement. As dark forces torment him and the rest of the Campbell clan, Reverend Nicholas Popescu (Elias Koteas) tries to save them from the evil forces festering in this psychically charged dwelling with a terrifying, telling history.

Continue reading: The Haunting in Connecticut Review

The Sentinel (2006) Review


Grim
The Sentinel is one of those movies made for commercials and trailers full of shots of well-dressed Secret Service agents running and impassioned scenes where actors bark out lines like, "He's looking for an ally and the First Lady is a fine one to have." Rarely do these movies translate well into a longer format, and The Sentinel is far from the exception.

Directed by Clark Johnson (he of the awful S.W.A.T.), The Sentinel stars Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland as former friends forced to become allies after a plot reveals an unknown mole inside the Secret Service. Pete Garrison (Douglas) is a veteran agent drawn deeper into the plot after his affair with the President's wife (Kim Basinger, playing the curviest First Lady ever) is revealed, leading investigator David Breckinridge (Sutherland) to turn his attentions to Garrison. Meanwhile, TV's babe of the moment Eva Longoria co-stars as Breckinridge's sexy new partner and Garrison's protégé.

Continue reading: The Sentinel (2006) Review

The Quiet Review


Terrible
A film that does its best to make the horrendous palatable, and the unthinkable titillating, The Quiet can be either (depending on your taste) a wrenching experience, or merely worth a giggle. It is, after all, a film about a deaf-mute teenaged girl named Dot (Camilla Belle), sent to live with her weird godparents and their popular cheerleader Nina (Elisha Cuthbert) after her father dies -- so really one can only take it so seriously. Clichés are the order of the day, with bitchy cheerleaders ruling the high school cafeteria and deep, nasty secrets discovered by people who just happen to be walking down darkened hallways in the depths of night. And if one has to ask whether this seemingly placid suburban environment is about to be torn asunder by scandal, one really hasn't watched enough television.

Director Jamie Babbit hardly showed much promise with her debut film, the stiff, one-note 1999 comedy But I'm a Cheerleader, but one would have thought that the intervening years spent directing episodes of such sharp TV comedies as Malcolm in the Middle and Gilmore Girls would have honed her talent somewhat. No such luck. The Quiet is so tone-deaf that when it should be eliciting sympathy or empathy, it comes off as simply amateur comedy -- Pretty Persuasion without the guts. She's put together a good enough cast here, with Edie Falco and Martin Donovan playing Nina's parents (the former a prescription-medication-zonked stereotype and the latter a creepy and controlling menace), though they're mostly marooned amidst the cartoonish plot of adolescent brooding and familial dysfunction. As Dot, Belle is stuck with providing her dialogue via maudlin voiceover ("I am invisible") while Cuthbert has to do what she can with a script that sends her character ping-ponging between damaged, vulnerable victim and Heathers-esque school-dominating bitch.

Continue reading: The Quiet Review

Apartment Zero Review


Excellent
The psycho-roommate thriller done the right way, with Firth's Felix Unger playing off Bochner's mysterious American... who may or may not be slaughtering the residents of Buenos Aires, where the film takes place. Creepy and original, Apartment Zero got a crummy update later with Single White Female and a good one with Shallow Grave. Donovan's direction recalls Polanski and his and Koepp's script exudes Hitchcock. A better combo I couldn't give you.

The Quiet Review


Terrible
A film that does its best to make the horrendous palatable, and the unthinkable titillating, The Quiet can be either (depending on your taste) a wrenching experience, or merely worth a giggle. It is, after all, a film about a deaf-mute teenaged girl named Dot (Camilla Belle), sent to live with her weird godparents and their popular cheerleader Nina (Elisha Cuthbert) after her father dies -- so really one can only take it so seriously. Clichés are the order of the day, with bitchy cheerleaders ruling the high school cafeteria and deep, nasty secrets discovered by people who just happen to be walking down darkened hallways in the depths of night. And if one has to ask whether this seemingly placid suburban environment is about to be torn asunder by scandal, one really hasn't watched enough television.Director Jamie Babbit hardly showed much promise with her debut film, the stiff, one-note 1999 comedy But I'm a Cheerleader, but one would have thought that the intervening years spent directing episodes of such sharp TV comedies as Malcolm in the Middle and Gilmore Girls would have honed her talent somewhat. No such luck. The Quiet is so tone-deaf that when it should be eliciting sympathy or empathy, it comes off as simply amateur comedy -- Pretty Persuasion without the guts. She's put together a good enough cast here, with Edie Falco and Martin Donovan playing Nina's parents (the former a prescription-medication-zonked stereotype and the latter a creepy and controlling menace), though they're mostly marooned amidst the cartoonish plot of adolescent brooding and familial dysfunction. As Dot, Belle is stuck with providing her dialogue via maudlin voiceover ("I am invisible") while Cuthbert has to do what she can with a script that sends her character ping-ponging between damaged, vulnerable victim and Heathers-esque school-dominating bitch.And what to make of this script by Abdi Nazemian and Micah Schraft? Undoubtedly they believed they were crafting a dark little drama about suburbia's seamy underbelly, with a symbolism-laden deaf-mute protagonist to act as a bid for arthouse cred. Instead they've put together a crude mash-up of teenage cruelty -- Nina tries so hard to make life hell for her new sister that you can almost see the sweat beads on her brow -- and stock representations of parental hypocrisy, with a persistent undertone of sexual perversity that veers more than once into leering exploitation. Nina's best friend, the ultra-slutty Michelle (Katy Mixon), has a porn fixation, while the object of her X-rated lunchtime conversation, the star basketball player, Connor (Shawn Ashmore), appears sexually attracted to Dot simply because of her passivity.Although the balance of The Quiet pivots around the revelation of two shock twists, they're both so predictable that even Desperate Housewives wouldn't stoop to using them. Director Babbit's handling of the fallout from these twists, which should have been heavily emotional material, careens instead quite quickly into high camp of a sort that's quite impossible to enjoy without a stiff drink -- or three.

The Sentinel Review


Grim

The Sentinel is one of those movies made for commercials and trailers full of shots of well-dressed Secret Service agents running and impassioned scenes where actors bark out lines like, "He's looking for an ally and the First Lady is a fine one to have." Rarely do these movies translate well into a longer format, and The Sentinel is far from the exception.

Directed by Clark Johnson (he of the awful S.W.A.T.), The Sentinel stars Michael Douglas and Kiefer Sutherland as former friends forced to become allies after a plot reveals an unknown mole inside the Secret Service. Pete Garrison (Douglas) is a veteran agent drawn deeper into the plot after his affair with the President's wife (Kim Basinger, playing the curviest First Lady ever) is revealed, leading investigator David Breckinridge (Sutherland) to turn his attentions to Garrison. Meanwhile, TV's babe of the moment Eva Longoria co-stars as Breckinridge's sexy new partner and Garrison's protégé.

Continue reading: The Sentinel Review

Insomnia (2002) Review


Weak
Director Christopher Nolan, the auteur behind the masterful Memento, has made an odd choice for a follow-up, choosing to remake the Norwegian film Insomnia, which starred Stellan Skarsgård as a troubled cop investigating a murder north of the Arctic Circle, where the sun never sets. Nolan has kept the story intact, moving it 'round the Circle from Norway to Alaska, putting monster stars Al Pacino and Robin Williams in the lead roles... and telling the whole story backwards!

Okay, I'm joking about the backwards part, but to tell you the truth, this retread could have used it. It certainly needs a lot more than Pacino's overacting and cinematographer Wally Pfister's mood lighting to be watchable.

Continue reading: Insomnia (2002) Review

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