When Dr. Emmett Brown gets trapped in a Western world in 1885, it's up to Marty to rescue him when he learns of his untimely death. It isn't long before he runs into Biff's ancestor Buford, however, who doesn't exactly make it easy for the pair to get home. Plus, the DeLorean is out of gas which means they can't accelerate to the required speed anyway to travel forward in time. They have an idea, though, involving the use of a rail spur and a train to push them to the right speed, but before they can implement the plan Buford attempts to force Marty into a duel. And after Doc has fallen in love with a beautiful 19th century lady named Clara and been subsequently dumped after revealing his true origin, he's not in the best of moods to help them finally get home either.
Echoing his witty writing style, Bill Bryson's memoir of his trek up the Appalachian Trail is adapted as a gently amusing comedy that combines big landscapes with sharp observational humour. Even though it centres on two old men, the film's message is almost identical to Reese Witherspoon's Wild, except that this movie never preaches at all. Instead, it meanders along with a wry smile and an ear for a snappy punchline.
Bill (Robert Redford) has moved back to America with his English wife Catherine (Emma Thompson) after living in Britain for 20 years. And now he feels the need to reconnect with his homeland. So he decides to hike the 2,100-mile mountain path from Georgia to Maine. Catherine insists that he takes someone with him, but the only volunteer is Katz (Nick Nolte), a wheezing ex-alcoholic with whom Bill deliberately lost touch. Even so, they set off on their walk, having a series of small adventures as they meet other hikers (including the hilariously too-perky Kristen Schaal), flirt with a hotel owner (Mary Steenburgen) and get into a bit of trouble when Katz has a romp with a married woman (Susan McPhail). They also encounter a couple of grizzly bears and find themselves trapped overnight on a narrow mountain ledge.
The question obviously isn't whether or not they complete the epic trek. No, this is a film about how self-discovery continues into old age, and so does the ability to discover new things in the world. Director Ken Kwapis makes the most of the picturesque landscapes, while including superb details that make the journey come to life. Although there are several sequences that were obviously shot in a studio with a fake backdrop and green-screen vistas. And some of the events along the way are badly contrived, dipping into silly slapstick. On the other hand, the running conversation between these two long-time friends is priceless.
Continue reading: A Walk In The Woods Review
Bill Bryson has been living in the UK with his English wife for a long time but now feels his retirement is wasted on the luxury of home comforts. Now after moving back to the US, he wants adventure, and what better way to get it than by hiking the 2,200 mile long Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. It's a glorious woodland walk for anyone, but it's rarely finished by even the most experienced hikers and the thought of this ageing man taking on the dangers of the trail frightens his kids and his wife. It seems Bill is deadset on this challenge, and while his wife can't stop him doing it, she can at least insist he be accompanied by a friend. Unfortunately, the only person crazy enough to join him is his fat, former alcoholic buddy Katz, whose probably going to be more of a hindrance than a help, but will at least be exposed to some much needed reflection... and a few hungry bears.
Continue: A Walk in The Woods Trailer
Like The Wind Rises, this Oscar-nominated Studio Ghibli animation is a proper cinematic epic, telling a sprawling story with artistry, invention and vivid characters that leave most Hollywood animated movies in the dust. It's based on a 10th century Japanese folktale that's packed with resonant themes, and it's been animated in a way that makes it look like a childhood storybook come to life. So even if it feels rather long at 2 hours 17 minutes, the visual minimalism is relentlessly beautiful.
The story begins in the countryside, where farmer Okina (James Caan in the English-language version) finds a tiny girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) in a bamboo stalk. Believing her to be a princess, he raises her with his wife Ouna (Mary Steenburgen). When he finds silk and gold in his bamboo grove, Okina decides that the gods want them to raise the now-teen girl in a more regal setting, so they all move to the capital, where she's officially named Princess Kaguya and becomes the most eligible girl in the kingdom, attracting offers from five wealthy men, plus His Majesty (Dean Cain) himself. But Kaguya is longing for the quieter life in the country, and misses her childhood pal Sutemaru (Darren Criss).
As it develops, the story becomes deeper and richer, offering hints as to where the events are headed, although nothing prepares us for the final-act sequence, which feels almost anachronistic in its surreally eclectic splendour. But by then, we have become completely engulfed in Kaguya's story, identifying with her longing to reconnect with the friends who used to call her "L'il Bamboo" because she grew up much more quickly than they did. This tension between sophisticated high society and rural simplicity adds an extra layer of meaning to the entire film, as does the running commentary about Japan's gender politics. And the hint of romance between Kaguya and Sutemaru offers further subversion of the social order.
Continue reading: The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya Review
Once upon a time in Japan, a bamboo cutter discovered a miniature girl inside the body of a glowing stalk of bamboo. When he took the girl home, he adopted her as his daughter, and decided that she must be a princess. The princess began to grow at an alarming rate, soon becoming a young woman. One day, the bamboo cutter discovered another glowing stalk and once again, decided to chop it down. Inside was enough gold for him to build a palace for his princess. But a princess with a palace needs a prince, and the little princess wanted only to return to her friends. The punishment for dishonouring the prince's request would be death, so the princess was forced to embark on a journey through love, life, and Japan, in search of her heart's desire.
Continue: The Tale of The Princess Kaguya Trailer
Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen - Photographs of a variety of stars as they arrived for the Premiere of the biographical drama 'Wild' at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater at AMPAS in Beverly Hills, California, United States - Thursday 20th November 2014
Director and Charlie McDowell - New York screening of 'The One I Love' at the Crosby Street Theater - New York City, New York, United States - Tuesday 5th August 2014
An almost ridiculously strong cast and a witty script by the writer of Crazy Stupid Love make this silly film a lot more entertaining than it should be. As it playfully explores long friendships and the struggles of ageing, it turns into a four-sided bromance. So even if the film feels a little under-powered, it's still thoroughly charming.
At the centre are four lifelong buddies who are determined not to grow old. Paddy (De Niro) is trying to recover from grief over his wife's death, while Archie (Freeman) is tired of being fussed over by his son (Ealy) and Sam (Kline) hates living in a retirement community with his spirited wife (Gleason). So they jump on the chance to travel to Vegas for a stag weekend for their pal Billy (Douglas), who is marrying a woman (Blair) in her 30s. And getting together sparks their youthful sense of mischief as they plan a lavish party. Especially when two of them begin to fall for lounge singer Diana (Steenburgen).
Having five Oscar winners in the lead roles gives considerable oomph to the whole project, as these seasoned veterans bring out engaging details of their characters. Douglas has the safest role as a hapless lover-boy, while De Niro does the emotional heavy lifting and Kline endures the cheapest jokes (because his wife has given him a "free pass" for the weekend). Meanwhile, Freeman is clearly having the most fun: cool and relaxed with a naughty glint in his eye. And Steenburgen provides some badly needed female feistiness.
Continue reading: Last Vegas Review
Co-stars Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro and Michael Douglas reunite on the red carpet at the New York premiere of 'Last Vegas'. The trio were three of four of the Oscar winning acting veterans selected for the lead roles in the comedy which sees them hit Las Vegas for a last night of youthful excitement.
Star power hasn't rubbed off here.
What a risk this was: Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline sharing a screen as four old friends travelling to Las Vegas to fulfill some sort of nostalgic dream of a bachelor party in the debauched city.
Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Mary Steenburgen and Robert De Niro
All four actors have made brilliant films, and are all screen legends in their own right. Apart from maybe Kline, who recently starred as 'Wounded Soldier' in 2012’s Oscar-winning Lincoln – one of his best films.
Billy, Paddy, Archie and Sam may well be getting on in years physically but, on the inside, they haven't changed in 40 years, so when Billy announces his engagement to a woman half his age, it's only right that they should celebrate with one hell of a party trip. They take to Vegas in what they hope is a wild weekend on the Strip; they were kids once, they understand how it's done, right? Well, things have changed a lot since 1959 and they're about to be outdone for the first time in their lives by a new, younger generation of party animals - or are they? This bunch of retirees may yet surprise you!
'Last Vegas' is like a wonderful reversed coming of age story that really hammers in a great message that young people and older people have a lot more in common than they think. It has been directed by Jon Turteltaub ('National Treasure', 'While You Were Sleeping', 'The Kid'), written by Adam Brooks ('Practical Magic', 'Definitely, Maybe', 'French Kiss') and Dan Fogelman ('Crazy, Stupid, Love', 'Cars', 'Tangled') and features an Oscar winning main cast of veteran stars. It is set to hit UK cinema screens on November 8th 2013.