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The Dark Knight Rises DVD Hits Stores: But Can The Movie Win An Oscar?


Michael Caine Christopher Nolan Christian Bale Gary Oldman Tom Hardy Anne Hathaway Morgan Freeman

The wait is over. The Dark Knight Rises is finally available on DVD, and it's already flying off the shelves. The Ultraviolet Digital Copy is currently No.1 on Amazon.com's bestseller list, while The Dark Knight Trilogy (Batman Begins/The Dark Knight/The Dark Knight Rises) sits at No.2.

Christopher Nolan's final Batman movie grossed over $1.08 billion worldwide, while receiving a slew of positive reviews. It's currently the seventh highest grossing film of all time and the second highest grossing film of 2012. The film boasted an all-star cast including Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Morgan Freeman and British star Michael Caine, who recently spoke to the Huffington Post about his Oscars chances. The actor - who plays Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred - already has two Best Supporting Actor gongs, though could he get a nomination in 2013? "You don't think about getting nominated. They either do it or you don't. There's nothing you could do. I'm looking for people I could pay off, but I can't find any. [Laughs] So you just wait," he joked. It's unlikely the movie itself will compete for Best Picture, though the likes of Caine could land a nomination. He added, "You just leave it in the lap of the members. I'm one of the members, so I'm voting for me. I'll tell you that."

Caine recently completed shooting the forthcoming thriller Now You See Me, about FBI agents who track down a team of illusionists who pull off bank heists during their performances. The film hits cinemas in the U.S. on June 7, 2012.

Continue reading: The Dark Knight Rises DVD Hits Stores: But Can The Movie Win An Oscar?

Kenneth Branagh? That's Sir Kenneth Branagh To You!


Kenneth Branagh Michael Caine Patrick Stewart Ben Kingsley Laurence Olivier Marilyn Monroe

Kenneth Branagh has received his knighthood from the Queen at Buckingham Palace for services to drama and the community of Northern Ireland. The Oscar-nominated actor, director and screenwriter, is best known for his Shakespearean works though most recently played Swedish detective Wallander in the BBC series of the same name.

Sir Kenneth joins the likes of Sir Michael Caine, Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ben Kingsley and Sir Laurence Olivier in becoming a thespian knight. Branagh - who recently starred in the Marilyn Monroe movie My Week With Marilyn - told Sky News that he felt "humble, elated and incredibly lucky," to have received the award, adding, "When I was a kid I dreamed of pulling on a shirt for the Northern Ireland football team. I could only imagine how proud you might feel. Today it feels like they just gave me the shirt and my heart's fit to burst." Branagh spent his early years in Northern Ireland though moved to Reading with his family at the age of nine. 

In today's ceremony, two British servicemen were awarded the Military Cross for bravery. Corporal Carl Taylor from Birmingham ran 80 feet across open ground under Taliban fire to rescue three young Afghan children. Bombardier Mark Carpenter of the Royal Artillery was also honoured, as were four fire-fighters from Nottinghamshire who received the Queen's Gallantry Medal for acts of bravery. 

Continue reading: Kenneth Branagh? That's Sir Kenneth Branagh To You!

Vidal Sassoon Remembered By Michael Caine, Nicky Clarke And John Frieda


Vidal Sassoon Michael Caine Nicky Clarke

Vidal Sassoon, the legendary hairstylist who died in May aged 84, was remembered in a memorial service at St Paul's Cathedral on Friday (October 12, 2012). Sassoon's friends and family, including Michael Caine, Nicky Clarke, John Frieda and artist Anish Kapoor gathered at the event to celebrate his extraordinary life.

Born in London in 1928, Sassoon's mother Betty was forced to put him and his brother in an orphanage, visiting them once a month. However, it was Betty who introduced a young Vidal to Adolph Cohen, the owner of a local hair salon, where he impressed as a shampoo boy. The rest, as they say, is history and Sassoon became the world's most famous and influential hairdresser. After fighting for the Israeli army in 1948, he returned to London and recreated the classic bob, which encapsulated the spirit of the Swinging Sixties. He also created Mia Farrow's classic pixie-cut for the movie Rosemary's Baby - a style since favoured by the likes of Emma Watson, Natalie Portman and Annie Lennox. Sassoon's son Elan gave a touching but funny speech at the memorial ceremony, insisting, "Dad wouldn't want me to be too serious."

A new photography exhibition titled 'Vidal Sassoon: How One Man Changed The World With A Pair Of Scissors' by Michael Gordon runs at Somerset House until October 28, 2012.

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Video - Michael Caine: 'Any Good Actor Can Play A Butler'


Veteran actor Sir Michael Caine is quizzed by photographers as he leaves a medical building in Los Angeles. On being asked why Brits are often cast as butlers in Hollywood movies referring to his reprising role as Alfred Pennyworth in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, Caine replies simply: 'We invented them'. He also adds that any good actor can play the part and it's not based on nationality.

Caine will asume the same role yet again in the final instalment of the trilogy 'The Dark Knight Rises' to be released very soon in UK cinemas. Acting alongside him is a star-studded cast of Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman and Anne Hathaway

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island Trailer


Sean Anderson has moved back in with his mother, after embarking on the adventure of a lifetime with his uncle, in which they discovered a lost world at the centre of the earth. Now, his mum has a new boyfriend, called Hank.

After Sean's grandfather goes missing, Sean tries to track him down but to no avail. The teen suspects that his grandfather is on the hunt again for a mysterious island and a few days later, his suspicions are confirmed when he gets a strange fax that repeats the same words over and over, as well as strange radio signals. Wishing to uncover the truth Sean shares these findings with his uncle who dismisses them as the work of a lunatic but Sean is adamant that it is his grandfather, who has finally found the island after years of searching.

Sean decides to go after his grandfather and persuades Hank to join him, which he does with great reluctance. After looking up the coordinates of the island, they travel to a nearby port, where they persuade a local man and his pretty daughter to fly them to the island. Despite their protests that there is no island, they agree to help Sean and Hank.

Tragedy soon strikes when Sean, Hank and the pretty girl Kailani are stuck on the mysterious island, which is filled with all sorts of exotic and dangerous animals. And there appears to be no way off...

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is the sequel to the 2008 film, Journey To The Center Of The Earth, which starred Brendan Fraser and Josh Hutcherson, who reprises his role in this film.

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens, Luis Guzman, Michael Caine, Kristin Davis and Michael Beasley

Cars 2 Review


Good
There's an astounding level of detail in the animation of this sequel to Pixar's iffy 2006 hit Cars. It's good fun but, with so many characters and plot strands, it also feels cluttered and rather chaotic.

Global daredevil Axelrod (Izzard) has challenged the world's fastest cars to a three-part grand prix, so rally champ McQueen (Wilson) heads to Tokyo with his pal Mater (Larry) to take on rival F1 racer Francesco (Turturro). But Mater obliviously stumbles into a sinister international espionage operation, mistaken for a spy by British agents Finn and Holly (Caine and Mortimer). As the competition continues to the Italian Riviera and London, McQueen frets that he has insulted Mater. But he's actually entangled in a mission to stop a mysterious villain from blowing up the racers.

Continue reading: Cars 2 Review

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer


The teaser trailer for The Dark Knight Rises shows an injured James Gordon, one of the few police officers in Gotham who is not corrupt, lying in a hospital bed, asking for Batman's help.

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Gnomeo & Juliet Review


Very Good
With its Toy Story meets Shrek approach, this animated romp feels somewhat derivative. It's all snarky dialog and whizzy action. But it's also silly enough to keep both adults and children chuckling.

Gnomeo (voiced by McAvoy), son of Lady Bluebury (Smith), is the leader of the blue Montague garden. Accompanied by his sidekick Benny (Lucas), Gnomeo engages in tit-for-tat warfare with the red Capulets next door. Then he meets Juliet (Blunt), daughter of Lord Redbrick (Caine), and it's love at first sight. Which sends red warrior Tybalt (Statham) into a rage. As they plot a secret life together, Gnomeo and Juliet are assisted by Juliet's frog friend Nanette (Jensen) and the garden flamingo Featherstone (Cummings). But can these star-crossed lovers find happiness?

Continue reading: Gnomeo & Juliet Review

Cars 2 Trailer


Lightning McQueen knows he's the best and fastest race car in the world and when he hears about the first-ever World Grand Prix he decides he must enter. Along with his best friend Mater the tow truck they start their journey overseas.

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Gnomeo & Juliet Trailer


Some gardens just wouldn't be complete without the addition of a garden gnome or two. The gardens on Verona Drive are no exception; the owners of the houses are extremely fond of their little hat wearing friends. What the human residents don't realise is that when all's quiet and there are no humans around, their garden comes to life!

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Michael Caine Thursday 30th September 2010 Michael Caine signs copies of his book 'The Elephant to Hollywood' at Waterstone's London, England

Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Michael Caine
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Michael Caine

Michael Caine - Sir Michael Caine London, England - World premiere of 'Inception' at the Odeon cinema - Arrivals Thursday 8th July 2010

Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Michael Caine
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Inception Feature Trailer


We have an excellent featurette about Chris Nolan's (The Dark Knight, Batman Begins, Momento) latest movie Inception. In the video both Chris Nolan, the director, and Leonardo Dicaprio (Shutter Island, The Departed, Gangs of New York), plays Dom Cobb the lead role, are interviewed about making the film, it's many locations in different countries around the world, the challenges of transferring the dreams of a human mind to the cinema screen and how it was working with each other.

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Michael Caine and David Letterman Tuesday 27th April 2010 outside the Ed Sullivan Theater for the 'Late Show With David Letterman' New York City, USA

Michael Caine and David Letterman
Michael Caine and David Letterman

Michael Caine Wednesday 10th March 2010 Michael Caine leaving Cipriani restaurant London, England

Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Michael Caine

Michael Caine Tuesday 9th March 2010 World premiere of 'Love Never Dies' at the Adelphi Theatre London, England

Michael Caine
Michael Caine

Michael Caine and Shakira - Sir Michael Caine and Shakira Caine Monday 1st March 2010 at Odeon Leicester Square London, England

Michael Caine and Shakira
Michael Caine and Shakira
Michael Caine and Shakira
Michael Caine and Shakira
Michael Caine
Michael Caine

Michael Caine - Sir Michael Caine London, England - The British Independent Film awards Sunday 6th December 2009

Michael Caine
Michael Caine

Michael Caine - Thursday 3rd December 2009 at Scott's Restaurant London, England

Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Michael Caine

Michael Caine Thursday 3rd December 2009 leaving the BBC Radio 2 studios London, England

Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Michael Caine

Michael Caine Thursday 12th November 2009 outside the BBC Radio 2 studios London, England

Michael Caine

Harry Brown Review


Excellent
Gritty and almost unbearably intense, this British drama not only offers yet another terrific performance from Michael Caine, but it also marks the feature debut of a filmmaker to watch.

Harry Brown (Caine) lives on a grim London estate where his quiet life is constantly interrupted by a gang of violent teens. As his wife lies dying in hospital, his best pal (Bradley) is the target of these thugs' abuse. And the detectives (Mortimer and Creed-Miles) looking into the situation don't seem to be doing anything about it. Pushed into a corner, Harry defends himself with his long-suppressed military training, then becomes more aggressive about cleaning up the streets himself.

Continue reading: Harry Brown Review

Harry Brown Trailer


Watch the trailer for Harry Brown

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Inception Trailer


Watch the trailer for Inception

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Is Anybody There? Review


Weak
In John Crowley's Is Anybody There? Michael Caine is Clarence -- a bitter, retired magician slipping into senility and consigned to a family-run old age home. Upon arrival he surveys the landscape of human decrepitude sitting and twitching in the downstairs parlor and mutters, "A lot of jabbering simpletons... You live alone all your life and then they think it's a great idea to shove you in with a bunch of strangers." Clarence, once a popular touring magician with his beloved wife Annie, is now an angry and hateful widower raging at the world.

But there is another lost soul at the old folks home, ten-year-old Edward (Bill Milner), angry at having to give up his room to the dying tenants. His Mum (Anne-Marie Duff) and Dad (David Morrissey) run the facility out of their home in an English seaside town. The recent resident of Edward's room has just died and Clarence has now arrived to take the dead man's place. Edward is obsessed with death and ghosts. When asked why he is so morbid, Edward shouts back, "Because I live here!"

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Is Anybody There? Trailer


Watch the trailer for Is Anybody There?

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The Hand Review


OK
Yeah, Michael Caine made horror. In fact, it's hard to imagine anything more terrifying from the early '80s than that creepy, lopped-off hand crawling around and strangling people as Caine's ex-comic book artist (who lost his hand in a gruesome car accident) takes his aggressions out on the world around him. The rest of the movie (directed by Oliver Stone, no less) is a bit of a throwaway, just scene after scene of people getting murdered by an armless hand and then Caine obliviously wondering what the hell's going on. In the end, we're left to believe that there is no "hand," just Caine's traumatized self-slash-alter ego doing the killing... or is it? Stone offers a commentary track on the DVD if you decide you care enough to try to figure it out.

Sleuth (2007) Review


Weak
Postmodern, sadomasochist, Darth Vader furniture and artwork adorn the house and main setting of Kenneth Branagh's update of Sleuth like the aftermath of a smart bomb. Yet, author Andrew Wyke (Michael Caine) walks around it as if all its missing is the crocheted picture of "Home Sweet Home" over the fireplace. His wife's wardrobe and his self-immortalizing library of books are revealed like secret passages that hide mangled corpses and the man seems to drink expensive, straight vodka exclusively. By all means, Wyke could buy and sell a good portion of the English back country that he inhabits; the man takes an elevator to his bedroom for Chrissakes.

When an honest-to-goodness scallywag named Milo Tindle (Jude Law), an Italian hairdresser with designs on acting, comes to Wyke's estate announcing his plans to marry Wyke's estranged wife, the author seems pleased to have an opponent than enraged by the open deceit. And that in a nutshell is how this cat-and-mouse whirligig operates: two men more excited about the idea of a nemesis than their money or their beautiful mistress respectively.

Continue reading: Sleuth (2007) Review

Sleuth (1972) Review


Excellent
It's not often that you see 2-hour dramas with only two real characters in them. Sleuth is a great example of how you can take the barest of essentials -- two great actors, one great script, one great set -- and make magic happen. A young Michael Caine matches wits with Laurence Olivier over jewels, a girl, and life & death in what turns out to be a very convoluted plot of cat, mouse, dog, tadpole, and cheese... who has the upper hand on whom? You'll have to wait until the final scene. Highly recommended.

The Prestige Review


Essential
That's four swings and four home runs for Christopher Nolan, who remains perfect having helmed an amnesic identity crisis (Memento), an atmospheric Northwestern noir (Insomnia), and the rebirth of a cherished superhero (Batman Begins). If the writer-director answers every nagging question that's raised - and the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that he does - then The Prestige is the wunderkind director's latest in a growing line of masterpieces.

Prestige refers to the third act of a magic trick, the point when the performer reveals a sleight of hand before a baffled crowd. Finding the perfect prestige is what drives turn-of-the-century magicians Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale).

Continue reading: The Prestige Review

Children Of Men Review


Excellent
Perhaps because of its bleak outlook, its lushly dark tones, or its often blunt criticism of the current world state, Alfonso Cuaron's fourth major film will have to fight just as hard as his two Spanish films to find an audience. The bearer of one the worst marketing and public relations campaigns in years, Children of Men could have been the wriggling stepson that Universal has made it out to be, but it turns out to be anything but.

It's 2027, and the youngest person in Britain (and the world), Baby Diego, has just been killed by a rabid fan; he was 18. Somewhere between 2006 and 2016, women started becoming infertile, causing mass miscarriages and major panics. Theo (Clive Owen) doesn't seem that concerned when we meet him, narrowly averting an explosion near a local café. He spends his time with his friend Jasper (a wily Michael Caine) who makes cannabis mixed with strawberry and tries to forget the family he once had. Julian (Julianne Moore), his ex-wife, has taken up with a pack of refugees that fight against the military state that has been active since London began understanding its grave future. When Julian stumbles upon a girl who miraculously is with child, she immediately kidnaps Theo and puts him in charge of getting the girl, Kee (Claire-Hope Ashitey), to a specialized group of the world's smartest people known as the Human Project.

Continue reading: Children Of Men Review

Zulu Review


Good
Faced with 4,000 Zulu soldiers, 139 British troops managed to fend off the natives, holed up in a small thatched-roof hut with a little fence. It helps that they were armed to the teeth while most of the Zulu just had spears and shields -- and that the Zulus didn't even do much with those spears, preferring instead to run up to the fence, wave their weapons, yell, then retreat. Whether you find this racist and jingoistic or a dead-on accurate portrayal of a real battle that occurred in 1879 (in many ways, the British version of the Alamo) probably depends on your heritage and your opinion of British imperialism. As for the movie, though, there's an awful lot of lounging around in the hut and a lot of buildup to the battle itself, which doesn't get underway for more than half the film.

A Bridge Too Far Review


Good
There are star-studded projects, and then there's A Bridge Too Far, a World War II movie the likes of which would cost upwards of $300 million to make today. There are lots of bridges in the film, actually: The Allies aim to capture a series of them in German-occupied Holland as part of Operation Market-Garden, a byzantine plot that would theoretically cripple the German war machine in western Europe, where Germany is already on the run. However, Allied mistakes and an unexpected amount of German firepower nip the plan in the bud. The film is more a showcase for some searing acting -- and at three hours long, there's plenty of it -- than it is a classic war film. The battle scenes just don't come across as impressively as in other films of the era -- the fact that VW Beetles with plastic tank shells on them were used in lieu of some of the Panzers is just one sign that all the budget went to that exhaustive cast list.

The Muppet Christmas Carol Review


OK
Well, the Muppets have taken their turn at just about every other story known to man, why not Dickens' A Christmas Carol, too? Unfortunately, talking animal puppets and a largely cold drama don't really mix, and this strange melange of kiddie flick and Christmas fable never quite comes together.

Case in point: Charles Dickens, who narrates this film himself, is played by -- get this -- Gonzo. He's not a writer, he's a lamplighter who takes a break from his work to tell the story of Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine), the famous miser who (in this version) wants to give Bob Crachit (played by Kermit the Frog) a mere half-hour off for Christmas and is the subject of jokes at local gatherings. People and puppets mix at random here. Unlike in films like The Muppet Movie, where the puppets are on a crusade to reach Hollywood and the humans encompass only characters they encounter on the way, The Muppet Christmas Carol blends both together. It's a little freaky to see them all sitting together -- in British period dress, too -- around the Christmas dinner table.

Continue reading: The Muppet Christmas Carol Review

Austin Powers In Goldmember Review


OK
Goldmember finds Mike Myers returning to his most successful franchise, but desperately running out of steam and resorting to yet another stab at jokes that hit-and-missed the first two times around.

And guess what: They haven't improved with age.

Continue reading: Austin Powers In Goldmember Review

The Weather Man Review


Excellent
The immediate forecast for Gore Verbinski's profound adult drama The Weather Man calls for intense downpours of self-loathing and perpetually overcast feelings of inadequacy. Luckily, that initial dreary period should give way to a bright and sunny future once positive word of mouth spreads on this intensely moving film.

The title refers to Dave Spritz (Nicolas Cage), chief weather forecaster for Chicago's most popular morning news program. Despite his high-profile position - and self-described light work week - life tends to maneuver against Spritz when he's away from the office. He's divorced, and all attempts to reconcile with his spouse (Hope Davis) are hitting dead ends. His listless and overweight daughter Shelly (Gemmenne de la Peña) earns a cruel nickname at school because her clothes are too tight. His son Mike (Nicholas Hoult) abuses marijuana, then fends off advances from his drug counselor, a sexual predator.

Continue reading: The Weather Man Review

The Whistle Blower Review


OK
If you're going to build a Cold War thriller an implicate a massive government conspiracy along the way, try not to set your movie entirely in police stations and hotel rooms. This tepid Michael Caine drama doesn't get much past the excitement level of your usual county fair (Caine doesn't believe his son committed suicide! It's a cover-up!). Still, some fine performances from Caine, James Fox, John Gielgud, and others make this less painful than a poke to the eye.

Batman Begins Review


Very Good
1997: Batman is last seen in the guise of George Clooney, chasing down an all-blue Arnold Schwarzenegger, with two gutter punks (Robin and Batgirl) on his tail, and shepherded by the one director that all film critics love to hate: Joel Schumacher.

The franchise was left for dead, revived only by speculation of an absurd Batman vs. Superman movie in 2002. Most moviegoers seem to have bid good riddance to the series, which in its later years was notable only for generating more discussion about the nipples on the batsuit than anything else.

Continue reading: Batman Begins Review

The Italian Job (1969) Review


Very Good
Only the British and Steven Soderbergh seem to be able to make funny caper movies. The Italian Job -- the original one, that is -- is a quite funny, minor classic of the genre, elevated from midnight movie fare thanks to the presence of a spot-on Michael Caine.

The film's setup is pretty staid: Caine's Charlie Croker is straight outta prison, and he's right back at the crime game the moment he's released. Thanks to guidance from boss Bridger (Noel Coward, appearing primarily in films given to Caine), the job is meticulously planned and staffed: Ultimately the gig is to cause a giant traffic jam in the city of Turin, steal $4 million in gold from an armored car, and escape using clever non-roadway surfaces so the cops can't follow them.

Continue reading: The Italian Job (1969) Review

Noises Off! Review


Very Good
Loads of fun, and not just because Nicollette Sheridan is in her underwear for the entire movie. Noises Off! is an uneven but very entertaining adaptation of the play, which in turn is about a play being staged with various degrees of failure, thanks to inappropriate relationships, drunkeness, and various mishaps on set. They don't make balls-out slapstick movies like this any more -- not for adults, anyway -- and you really don't think of them being directed by Peter Bogdanovich.

Continue reading: Noises Off! Review

Sleuth Review


Excellent
It's not often that you see 2-hour dramas with only two real characters in them. Sleuth is a great example of how you can take the barest of essentials -- two great actors, one great script, one great set -- and make magic happen. A young Michael Caine matches wits with Laurence Olivier over jewels, a girl, and life & death in what turns out to be a very convoluted plot of cat, mouse, dog, tadpole, and cheese... who has the upper hand on whom? You'll have to wait until the final scene. Highly recommended.

Get Carter (1971) Review


OK
Michael Caine plays Jack Carter, a hired gun who is out to avenge the death of his brother, Payback style, by beating up and killing off the guys who ordered his brother's killing. Filled with low-budget action and low-budget eroticism, Michael Caine unfortunately does not make much of an impression as a rough-and-tumble gangster. The picture has its moments, the most memorable of which is when Carter addresses an envelope of evidence to be mailed to "The Vice Squad." Not awful, but hardly a classic.

The Cider House Rules Review


OK
I went into The Cider House Rules with a blank slate, knowing nothing about the movie at all.

I didn't even know how to pronounce the title. It could've been "The cider house-rules," meaning "This is the cider house, and these are the rules." Or it could've been "The cider house rules!" meaning "That cider house is damn cool!"

Continue reading: The Cider House Rules Review

Quills Review


Excellent
Come frolic with the Marquis de Sade deep in the bowels of the Charenton Asylum, where he'll tickle your fancy with lavish descriptions of bestiality, flatulence and the dimples of a fat mademoiselle's bottom.

As portrayed in Quills, based on the Obie Award-winning play by Doug Wright, the Marquis is an earthy, dirty, jolly old soul with the unquenchable desire to write his perverse dreams on paper. He's the unflinching id in the face of mediocrity and tolerance, the middle finger held like a candle to the powerful hypocrites, and the loud fart in the house of God, an affront to restrictive dogma.

Continue reading: Quills Review

Hannah And Her Sisters Review


Essential
It's not his best, but Hannah and Her Sisters is definitely Woody Allen's second best. The film does everything a Woody film should -- it deals with complex issues in a hilarious way. Up this time, as the title suggests, is the notion of family, as Allen skewers a dysfunctional clan led by three sisters (Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, and Barbara Hershey) and the rotten men the come in and out of their lives.

Allen plays his neurotic self to perfection, this time a hypochondriac TV executive and ex-husband of Hannah (Farrow). Michael Caine, though, steals the show as Hannah's current husband who falls in love with sister Lee (Hershey), herself living with an aging, pedantic shut-in (Max von Sydow).

Continue reading: Hannah And Her Sisters Review

Funeral In Berlin Review


Good
Michael Caine starred as British spy Harry Palmer in five movies (three in the 1960s and two in 1995 -- try figuring that one out), most of which were based on Len Deighton's novels. Funeral in Berlin is the follow-up to The Ipcress File, a well-received spy thriller and the only one of the series anyone has ever seen.

Palmer is a reluctant agent, serving as a spy in lieu of spending time behind bars for some unknown crime. This time out, he's sent to East Berlin (remember when there was an East Berlin?) to retrieve a defecting Russian general, by devising a phony funeral. As a former crook, Palmer is unconventional. He talks back to his bosses, he doublecrosses his partners, and he drinks Lowenbrau instead of martinis.

Continue reading: Funeral In Berlin Review

Last Orders Review


Very Good
It's a shame there are so few films out that realistically portray male bonding, possibly for fear of assuming an underlying current of latent homosexuality. The oft-neglected theme is pleasantly explored in Last Orders, a journey of three old pals who must bury the fourth of their circle. Unfortunately, while admirable in intent, it also follows several predictable plot patterns that are only saved by the talented cast.

Jack (Michael Caine) has recently died, leaving in his wake a widow, two children, and three close friends. His last wish is that lifelong companions Vic (Tom Courtenay), Lenny (David Hemmings), and Ray (Bob Hoskins) throw him out to sea at the honeymoon spot he shared with wife Amy (Helen Mirren). His son, Vince (Ray Winstone), joins them.

Continue reading: Last Orders Review

Dressed To Kill Review


Very Good
Angie Dickenson isn't the one that's dressed to kill -- she's dressed to get killed. When she gets butchered by a razor-wielding mystery woman in an elevator, it's up to a cop (Dennis Franz) and her shrink (Michael Caine) to figure out who offed the nymphomaniacal Angie. Oh, and Angie's son teams up with the hooker who witnessed the murder to do an investigation of their own.

Continue reading: Dressed To Kill Review

California Suite Review


Very Good
This Neil Simon tragicomedy features four groups of people who converge on a L.A. hotel on the eve of the Oscars. Three stories are pretty funny -- especially Walter Matthau's unfaithful husband to Elaine May, but it's the Fonda-Alda weep-fest that opens the movie that almost ruins the show completely. Still, it's salvagable, something of a Four Rooms... still not done quite right.

Miss Congeniality Review


OK
It takes some doing to make a beauty pageant flick that features an intellectually vapid caper plot while being a slap in the face to feminism. When asked (within the movie, I mean) to defend pageantry from this accusation, Sandra Bullock simply shrugs it off and says, "Well, they're not all airheads, and I've made some friends." Forget the fact that nine out of ten women in the film act like vicious bitches to Sandra's character -- a New Jersey FBI agent named Gracie Hart -- and shrug off the fact that each of the contestants is painted to have all of the intelligence of a Pokemon character on a good day. Never mind all that. Sandra has learned that beauty pageants are really scholarship contests and really aren't harmful to feminism.

Miss Congeniality starts out with Gracie as a New Jersey kid kicking ass on the playground and getting the obligatory "ugly duckling" bit when she slugs a guy to protect a potential boyfriend -- only to be shunned because she was too tomboyish. Of course, the ugly duckling grows up to be an adult tomboy (though a dead sexy one at that). The portrayal is stereotypical: frumpy hair, two dates to her name, a punching bag, and a penchant for pints of Ben and Jerry's. To her credit, Sandra Bullock pulls off the deal pretty well, but how she can live with herself after playing such an odious role is beyond me. (She gets paid a lot of money, that's how. -Ed.)

Continue reading: Miss Congeniality Review

The Ipcress File Review


Good
Harry Palmer (Michael Caine), disgraced army sergeant and reluctant spy, heads off on his most renowned adventure in The Ipcress File, wherein a bunch of scientists are kidnapped, then summarily returned -- brainwashed. Harry fights the baddies and his own internal bureaucracy as he gets to the bottom of the matter, ignoring authority and cooking up a fine meal or two along the way -- and then he gets himself brainwashed, too! Goofy fun, but hardly a classic. James Bond, you ain't got nothin'!

Around The Bend Review


Bad
The kind of thing that would be playing nonstop if there were a Lifetime Network for Men, Around the Bend is a getting back in touch with your family drama that would be mawkishly entertaining if it weren't so utterly hackneyed and false. Ostensibly a labor of love for first-time writer/director Jordan Roberts, the film gives us four generations of men stuffed together in one slovenly kept house - with a foreign blonde off to the sidelines to provide some tasteful eye candy - who have to come to grips with their atrophied relationships when the patriarch kicks the bucket.

Films of this nature usually need a gruff, salt-of-the-earth type to provide hard-earned wisdom, and here it's the Lair family's elder statesman, Henry (Michael Caine), an ailing archaeologist who despairs at how little fun that his grandson, Jason (Josh Lucas) is letting his own boy, Zach (Jonah Bobo), have in life. Jason is an uptight banker type who's basically raising Zach alone after his wife absconded to Nepal (women, right?), leaving the business of taking care of Henry to the live-in Danish nurse, Katrina (Glenne Headly). On the eve of Henry's impending death - which he's able to foretell with preternatural accuracy - the bombshell dropped in their laps is the arrival of the family's missing link, Turner (Christopher Walken), Henry's son and Jason's father (never mind that Walken is only 10 years younger than Caine and looks even closer to him in age), who wants to make up for his wasted decades of crime, addiction and familial neglect.

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The Quiet American Review


Excellent
Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg did it again this year. So did Steven Soderbergh, who seems to do it all the time. I'm talking about releasing two movies in the same year, a practice that can result in walloping one-two punches like 1993's Jurassic Park and Schindler's List, or swings-and-misses like Full Frontal and Solaris.

Joining their ranks is director Phillip Noyce, another director who has released two films in the same year, though he's the only one, in my opinion, who might find himself competing against his own film come awards season.

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Quicksand Review


Bad
From the exciting and rapdily growing genre of accounting thrillers comes Quicksand, a direct to video dud that belies the muddy careers of Michaels Keaton and Caine.

The eye-rolling setup gives us a banker (Keaton), who is sent off to Europe to check up on a film production his bank is backing. (Caine is the star of this film within a film.) Barely a day passes before a government official gets shot, and wouldn't you know it, Keaton is holding the rifle like a patsy. He goes on the run, with the crooks and the corrupt cops all after him. Keaton goes to outrageous lengths -- we're talking costumes, we're talking hiding in a vat of grease -- to evade capture, and eventually he hooks up with Caine and another film employee (Judith Godrèche, the requisite no-name femme fatale) to prove his innocence and out the real killers.

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Bewitched Review


Weak
Campy-revamp remakes and Nicole Kidman just don't mix.

But the problem is not the actress's performances. Sheadded bite and ironic melodiousness to last year's slapdash, self-destructing"TheStepford Wives," and she keeps the newself-aware, big-screen version of "Bewitched" afloat with herdelightful spark of perky naivete as a witch trying to live a mortal life.She has a deftly silly sense of comedic balance and timing.

The problem is, when she's just looking to have some funbetween dramatic roles, the girl can't pick a script.

Like "The Stepford Wives," this new comedy isa mess at the screenplay level. It changes mood, direction and (like "Wives")the rules of its own reality in every other scene. The plot is sloppy andstructurally unsound. Fictional characters from the original "Bewitched"come to life in single scenes for no explored reason ("The Daily Show's"Steve Carell is bloody awful as queeny Uncle Arthur) -- and this happenseven though the bulk of the meta-cinema plot takes place in real-worldHollywood. You see, Kidman plays an actual witch who becomes an actressand gets cast as TV sorceress Samantha Stevens in a network remake of thetitular 1960s sitcom.

Continue reading: Bewitched Review

Batman Begins Review


OK
Taking a cue from Sam Raimi's wildly successful "Spider-Man"movies, writer David S. Goyer ("Blade"and its sequels) and co-writer/director ("Memento,""Insomnia")delve deeply into Bruce Wayne's psyche in "Batman Begins," afresh reboot for the fallen superhero franchise.

Returning to the dark roots of the character, half themovie takes place before the stoic young billionaire even dons the now-bulletproofBatsuit, which Wayne eventually fashions from experimental body-armor builtby Wayne Industries, the war-profiteering conglomerate once owned by hismore altruistic late father.

Played with portentous, anguished magnetism by ChristianBale ("TheMachinist," "AmericanPsycho"), and still haunted by his parents'murder when he was a child, Wayne begins the film the last place Batmanfans would expect -- lost to the world in a Chinese prison after disappearingfrom a crime-gripped Gotham City. But he is sprung from this hoosegow bya shadowy ninja organization with a noble yet unrelenting master (LiamNeeson), who trains Wayne to channel his anger and defeat opponents withsilent deftness and dexterity in beautifully photographed scenes (thinkswordfights on Tibetan glaciers) that pay homage to traditions of the samuraigenre.

Then a staggering betrayal puts Wayne on a path back toGotham -- a vast industrial metropolis in the throes of a modern Depressionand in the grips of the mafia -- with a determination to "turn fearon those who prey on the fearful." Bale and Nolan make their Batmanalmost like a slasher-movie stalker in the eyes of the city's villains,and you feel their panic as he attacks from the shadows or strings a thugupside-down off the edge of a building to interrogate him for informationin a chillingly gravelly voice.

Continue reading: Batman Begins Review

Last Orders Review


Good

"Last Orders" is a humorous and human, intelligent and emotional movie about the ups and downs of lifelong friendship and about living long-term with decisions, mistakes and regrets of youth. It's exactly the kind of movie adults are wishing for when they complain nobody makes movies for adults anymore -- and it's a simple but wonderful example of how good grown-up movies can be.

Based on a Booker Prize-winning novel by Graham Swift, half the film stars Bob Hoskins, Tom Courtenay and David Hemmings as three old pub pals on an afternoon's road trip to take a fourth buddy's ashes to the sea at a low-end English resort. The other half takes place in flashbacks that establish the history of this foursome who saw each other through 50 years of workaday trials, including war, love, parenthood, financial woes, marital woes and more.

Michael Caine takes center stage in these flashbacks as the fourth friend who passed away before the film began -- a butcher named Jack who always tried to remain jolly in the face of life's petty and not-so-petty adversities. Married too young due to a pregnancy (in an even further-back flashback) -- but to a girl he absolutely loved (played in her graying years by the wonderful Helen Mirren) -- Jack always kept his chin up, even as his butcher shop struggled and his son Vince grew resentful over family secrets that made him feel like an outsider.

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Quills Review


Good

Director Philip Kaufman establishes the nebulously erotic atmosphere of "Quills," a fictional film about the Marquis de Sade, with an opening scene in which a pretty aristocrat, shown on screen in some kind of ecstasy, is described by Sade (in a voice-over) as a woman with a sexual appetite for torture.

His voice slithers as he relates how she one day "found herself in the arms of a man whose skill in pain exceeded even her own" as the camera focuses on two giant, dirty hands coarsely roaming her neck and shoulders while she shivers in fear. The camera pulls back to reveal that the woman is standing before the gallows, about to become the eighth or ninth severed head to roll into a basket below as a crowd of rowdy peasants cheers on. (This is 18th Century France, after all.)

The Marquis' narration drips (like blood from the blade of the gallows) with a kind of odious sensuality and pricks at the viewer's darker side with a twisted sense of humor that carries throughout this engrossing, seductive, and at times unsavory film.

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The Quiet American Review


Very Good

Emotionally and politically complex beyond what most filmmakers would dare attempt -- and transporting in a way that vividly recreates the tastes, the smells, the very character of 1950s Vietnam -- "The Quiet American" is a pungent, powerful, psychologically spellbinding film about a aged British reporter caught up in a love triangle and in the multifaceted intrigue that led the country into two decades of war.

Michael Caine, in what is arguably the most potent, unforgettable and instinctive performance of his busy career, stars as Thomas Fowler, a disillusioned London Times reporter whose only remaining passions are his attachment to life in Vietnam and his love for his beautiful, fragile young mistress named Phuong (Hai Yen), a former taxi dancer at a Saigon nightclub.

After years of skating by on occasional submissions to his newspaper, Fowler is trying to avoid being recalled to England, by returning to the front lines of the communist uprising, when he meets Alden Pyle (Brendan Fraser), an idealistic aid worker fresh from America who befriends Fowler but falls in love with Phuong.

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The Statement Review


Weak

Michael Caine is in the midst of a career Renaissance, giving some of his all-time best performances in the last few years ("Little Voice," "Quills," "The Quiet American"). But while he continues this streak in "The Statement," the movie doesn't rise to his level.

A dramatic thriller that follows prosecutors and assassins hot on the trail of an aging Vichy war criminal played by Caine, it's a film with scads of potential for tension and chills that seems to go wrong in dozens of little ways from the casting to the camera work to the conclusion.

While historical films set in other countries usually work when characters speak English, the entirely British cast of this comparatively modern-day film (set in 1992) seems out of place in its story of a French prosecutor (Tilda Swinton) and a French army colonel (Jeremy Northam) hunting a French World War II officer who is wanted for crimes against humanity. And it doesn't help that, despite being played by talented actors, the pursuers are dry, uninteresting characters with a single distinguishing personality trait between them -- Swinton's tendency to come off like a little dog snapping at the heels of those conspiring to hide her quarry.

Continue reading: The Statement Review

Michael Caine

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Michael Caine

Date of birth

14th March, 1933

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Male

Height

1.84




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