Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this retelling of the notorious attack on an American compound in Libya on the anniversary of 9/11 in 2012. As always, Bay stages the action on a big scale in a way that looks amazing, but he neglects both the story and the characters. As a result, the film feels epic and beefy, but is impossible to engage with.
It opens as a team of hired soldiers assembles at a secret CIA base in Benghazi. Jack (John Krasinski) is the newest arrival, joining his old pal Rone (James Badge Dale) and four more tough guys (Pablo Schreiber, David Denman, Dominic Fumusa and Max Martini). Meanwhile just up the road, the American Ambassador (Matt Letscher) is staying in a rather unsecure compound with not quite enough security, despite stern warnings from Washington that trouble is brewing. Sure enough, as night falls a local jihadist militia launches a violent, fiery assault. The CIA base chief (David Costabile) tells his men not to join the fight, but of course they can't resist the chance to charge in and save the day.
Over a long and bludgeoning two and a half hours, Bay carefully recreates this long, vicious night of fighting, as the situation continually twists out of control. The best thing about the film is the way it depicts how difficult it was to know which locals were on which side, but even this is simplified in Chuck Hogan's script. Everyone on-screen is interchangeable as either a bewildered nerd or a fierce warrior, and the only one in between is by far the film's strongest character: Peyman Moaadi's translator, who gets pushed right into the middle of the nightmare. In the few quiet moments, there are clumsy attempts to give these manly men some back-story, but it's the same for everyone: former black ops soldier with a wife and kids back home.
Continue reading: 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi Review
Benghazi, Libya has become out-of-control, with Islamic extremists terrorising the state with multiple bomb attacks. As such, the CIA operatives that have been stationed there to covertly observe the terrorism are in more danger than ever before, and so an elite team of former military weapons and manouvre experts are brought on for ultimate security. Jack Da Silva is the team's newest recruit, having previously trained SEALs at the Coronado Navy base. Led by the sharp and formidable Rone, the six-man group face their first major attack when Islamic radicalists storm the US embassy. With the death of an American Ambassador occurring not long after, it's clear that these men have something close to a suicide mission to undertake. But they're willing to risk everything to save the rest of their country's civilians.
After all the hype, it's impossible not to expect steam from this adaptation of E.L. James' mommy-porn bestseller, but the average episode of Red Shoe Diaries is friskier than this movie. Still, it's a well written and played drama, building an unusual romance with a series of scenes that are sometimes sexy but never actually transgressive. And the nicest surprise is that in the hands of director Sam Taylor-Johnson it becomes a witty tale of female empowerment.
It's set in the American Northwest, where Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is finishing her studies as an English literature major when she's asked by her journalist roommate Kate (Eloise Mumford) to interview Seattle's most eligible bachelor, billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). Ana's awkwardly confident approach immediately gets under his skin, and he pursues her as if she's a corporate acquisition, complete with non-disclosure agreements and a contract that would make her submissive to his dominant. But she isn't so sure about all of this, and as she falls for him, she begins to make him break his own rules. Of course he thinks she should be punished for that.
Essentially, this film is mere foreplay, as the push and pull between Ana and Christian cycles through various set-pieces on the way to an ending that is clearly designed to get fans in a lather for films based on the second and third novels in the trilogy. And the studio would be wise to keep Taylor-Johnson and screenwriter Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr Banks, another story of male-female control) on board, as they have clearly beefed up James' novel with a strong dose of wry humour, bringing out the deeper themes rather than focussing on the under-developed plot and characters.
Continue reading: Fifty Shades Of Grey Review
When reserved college girl Anastasia Steele meets mysterious businessman Christian Grey for an interview, she ends up feeling rather foolish, fearing that she's messed up the opportunity. Mr. Grey doesn't see it that way however; on the contrary, he develops a strong romantic fixation with her. Anastasia is flattered, but soon realises that this guy isn't the sort to take her to take her out for romantic meals or shower her with gifts. Nonetheless, he is an enigmatic presence in her life that she cannot hope to resist, and she soon finds herself treading deeper and deeper into this man's life. As their relationship progresses, he reveals his unusual sexual desires which involves Anastasia signing a written document in order to give him permission to do whatever he likes with her. Enchanted and seduced by the sense of unknown that lies ahead, she agrees.
Sometimes, a single favour to a friend can end up changing you entirely. When a young literature student, Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) attends an interview on behalf of her sick friend, she is totally unaware of the consequences. Steele meets with the illusive, enigmatic and intimidating young billionaire businessman, Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), and almost immediately finds herself wildly attracted to him. Grey is insistent on controlling every aspect of his life, business and personal feelings, yet Steele represents a problem for him: he, too, is attracted to her, yet it is because of her free nature. As the couple clash, their futures are thrown into jeopardy with the revelation that neither of their lives will ever be the same again.
Budding journalist and college student Anastasia Steele has never been the adventurous type in any respect, so when she is faced with the prospect of interviewing the handsome and frighteningly mysterious young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she is more than a little nervous. The interview doesn't go quite as well as she'd hoped, but it seems Christian has other interests in her. While he doesn't pander to the usual expectations of romance in a relationship, there's something utterly captivating and addictive about him that Anastasia just can't resist - even when he reveals to her his innermost unusual sexual desires. Thriving on the feeling of being in control, all he wants to do is tie Anastasia up and introduce her to a whole new world of sensual experiences. But is she curious enough to sign away her body to a stranger?
Continue: Fifty Shades Of Grey - Extended Trailer
Anastasia Steele is a shy college student who is forced to interview an enigmatic entrepreneur named Christian Grey. Their first meeting doesn't go as well as planned and subsequently she is shocked when it appears that he has a seemingly romantic interest in her. He's not the sort to go out on drunken nights or make any of the usual romantic gestures, but Anastasia remains captivated by the intense sense of mystery surrounding him. Some of that mystery is unveiled, however, when he reveals his sexual desires to her, but it seems even then his wishes are not of the usual kind. Christian asks Anastasia to sign a document in order for them to be intimate, and that coupled with the rope and tape he recently purchased starts to make her realise just what sort of sensual adventure she's about to experience.
Continue: Fifty Shades Of Grey Trailer
When young college student Anastasia Steele meets a mysterious wealthy businessman named Christian Grey, she had no idea she'd be embarking on the sexual adventure of her lifetime. While he makes it clear that he's not the type for wild nights of drunken laughs or even for a bunch of flowers and chocolates, Ana can't help but feel irresistably intrigued by the beguiling sense of unknown surrounding her new obsession. Soon though, all is revealed when Christian insists she sign a document before they enter into any kind of intimacy, and putting that together with the bunch of rope and masking tape she saw him purchase at the hardware store, she starts to realise that she's about to enter into a relationship that is more out of the ordinary than she could ever have possibly imagined.
Continue: Fifty Shades Of Grey Trailer
John 'Breacher' Wharton is the head of a DEA Special Operations Team, well-known by authorities for their formidable skill at hunting down gang members, confiscating drugs and using firearms. However, despite their crime-stopping work, they don't always play by the rules themselves. After arresting a drug lord and retrieving large stashes of money, meth and cocaine, they reward themselves by stealing some of the confiscated drugs for a party. Unfortunately for them, someone has also decided to make off with $10 million and now their bosses have found out. Breacher, feeling guilty about the drug theft already, is forced to plead his innocence when he is the number one person suspected; although he didn't do it, he knows that he is probably working with the person that did. When two of his agents are killed following the theft, and his wife and child are kidnapped, he becomes fiercely determined to uncover the culprit.
Continue: Sabotage - Clips
Fifty Shades of Grey, due to be released on Valentine's Day 2015, has released its first promotional image. With almost a year to go until the first instalment of the franchise reaches the cinema, here's a reminder of the characters and the actors who will play them.
E.L. James' bestselling trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey has become a cultural phenomenon since the publication of the first instalment in 2011. The trilogy is being adapted into a series of films which, despite the first tame poster released yesterday by Universal, promise to be as risqué as the books.
E.L. James wrote the Fifty Shades trilogy, the first of which was published in 2011.
Although the trilogy has sold in their millions, for those of you who need a refresher or simply haven't read the books, here's a quick outline of the characters involved and the actors who will play them in the upcoming film.
Continue reading: Who's Who In Fifty Shades Of Grey [Pictures]
When Ana and Christian had their first fateful meeting, neither party knew much about the...
Not the subtlest director working in Hollywood, Michael Bay brings his surging machismo to this...
Being a security contractor stationed in Benghazi is a job that most people would not...
Benghazi, Libya has become out-of-control, with Islamic extremists terrorising the state with multiple bomb attacks....
After all the hype, it's impossible not to expect steam from this adaptation of E.L....
When reserved college girl Anastasia Steele meets mysterious businessman Christian Grey for an interview, she...
Sometimes, a single favour to a friend can end up changing you entirely. When a...
Budding journalist and college student Anastasia Steele has never been the adventurous type in any...
Anastasia Steele is a shy college student who is forced to interview an enigmatic entrepreneur...
When young college student Anastasia Steele meets a mysterious wealthy businessman named Christian Grey, she...
John 'Breacher' Wharton is the head of a DEA Special Operations Team, well-known by authorities...