Michael Gambon Page 3

Michael Gambon

Michael Gambon Quick Links

News Pictures Video Film Quotes RSS

Viceroy's House Trailer


'Viceroy's House' follows the life of the last Viceroy of India who was the figurehead of relinquishing British rule on the Indian subcontinent in 1947. Lord Mountbatten and his wife Lady Edwina Mountbatten were charged with overseeing India's newfound independence, wanting the nation to stay united as one. However, India was already divided by religion, with Muslim leader Muhammed Ali Jinnah wishing to establish a separate country in the form of Pakistan. The Partition of India was not a desirable option for the British rule, but as the civil unrest grew amongst the people and people began to divide themselves anyway, it became the only option for minimal damage to all nations.

Continue: Viceroy's House Trailer

Catherine Zeta-Jones Brings Glamour To The London Premiere Of 'Dad's Army' [Photos]


Catherine Zeta Jones Toby Jones Michael Gambon

Stars arrived in droves yesterday for the UK premiere of British comedy 'Dad's Army'; the big screen movie re-boot of the 70s series of the same name which sees the World War II Home Guard embarking on some home soil adventures of their own while the conflict remains constant overseas.

Catherine Zeta-JonesCatherine Zeta-Jones plays the glamorous Rose Winters in 'Dad's Army'

The premiere came to the Odeon Leicester Square, London last night (January 26th 2016), and while director Oliver Parker ('St. Trinian's') was one of the many people involved in the movie who were snapped on the red carpet, we also saw the creator of the original TV series Jimmy Perry. He appeared alongside some of the other still living 'Dad's Army' veterans, such as Ian Lavender, who returned in the film as Brigadier Pritchard, and Frank Williams who reprised his role as the Reverend Timothy Farthing.

Continue reading: Catherine Zeta-Jones Brings Glamour To The London Premiere Of 'Dad's Army' [Photos]

BBC Treat 'Dad's Army' Fans To Animated Lost Episode 'A Stripe For Frazer'


Toby Jones Michael Gambon

Ahead of the release of the big screen adaptation of 'Dad's Army', the BBC will unveil a special animated episode of a missing story entitled 'A Stripe for Frazer', following the discovery of an audio recording that was thought to be lost with various other 60s shows.

Dad's Army cast'Dad's Army' comes alongside original lost episode

The original episode aired one time only in 1969 but, along with a variety of other recordings, it disappeared; it was thought to have been scrapped or taped over. However, the audio recently resurfaced, with the quality so good that the BBC decided to recreate it as an animation to be made available to viewers in the BBC online store.

Continue reading: BBC Treat 'Dad's Army' Fans To Animated Lost Episode 'A Stripe For Frazer'

Tragedy, Rivalry And Mystery: JK Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy' Finally Hits The Small Screen [Spoilers]


Jk Rowling Michael Gambon Rory Kinnear Keeley Hawes Simon McBurney

The BBC adaptation of Jk Rowling's first grown-up novel 'The Casual Vacancy' aired on Sunday night (February 15th 2015) following much anticipation from fans of the book, and it certainly wasn't a disappointment.

Rory Kinnear as Barry Fairbrother in 'The Casual Vacancy'
 Rory Kinnear plays friendly neighbour Barry Fairbrother in 'The Casual Vacancy'

Starring Michael Gambon and Rory Kinnear as political rivals, the first episode of the 3-part BBC miniseries saw a mixture of respectful adherence to the novel coupled with some artistic nuances that turned up the suspense tenfold. Screenwriter Sarah Phelps ('Great Expectations', 'The Crimson Field') was seamless in her translation from book to small-screen and director Jonny Campbell ('Alien Autopsy', 'Phoenix Nights') will no doubt draw in a lot more recognition with this nail-biting series.

Continue reading: Tragedy, Rivalry And Mystery: JK Rowling's 'The Casual Vacancy' Finally Hits The Small Screen [Spoilers]

'Fortitude' Starts Tonight - But Is It Just 'The Killing' MK 2?


Sofie Grabol Michael Gambon Stanley Tucci

Fortitude, Sky Atlantic's big-budget crime drama  set in the Arctic Circle, begins tonight after a heavy marketing campaign playing on its key stars, Sofie Grabol, Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston and Stanley Tucci. It's a rich and hugely talented line-up - but will Fortitude push the envelope or retire into the clichés seen so often in murder-investigation-in-frosty-setting.

Sofie GrabolSofie Grabol leads the cast in Sky Altantic's Fortitude

Of course Grabol is best known as Sarah Lund from The Killing - the pioneering Nordic drama that has inspired countless terrible imitations since. She plays Governor Odegard, who's busy opening an ice hotel carved out of the side of a glacier in Svalbard. However, when the crimeless community is rocked by a grisly murder, detective DCI Morton (Tucci) is flown in to restore calm and solve the mystery.

Continue reading: 'Fortitude' Starts Tonight - But Is It Just 'The Killing' MK 2?

Michael Gambon and Alan Rickman - Roger Lloyd-Pack as Barty Crouch, Michael Gambon as Professor Albus Dumbledore and Alan Rickman as Professor Severus Snape in 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' directed by Mike Newell (2005) - Thursday 16th January 2014

Michael Gambon and Alan Rickman

Sir Michael Gambon - London Evening Standard British Film Awards 2013 London United Kingdom Monday 4th February 2013

Sir Michael Gambon
Sir Michael Gambon
Sir Michael Gambon
Sir Michael Gambon
Sir Michael Gambon

Michael Gambon Given BIFA's 'Richard Harris Award', Which Seems Made For Harry Potter


Michael Gambon

Congratulations to Michael Gambon who, it has been announced, will be awarded with the BIFA (British Independent Film Awards) Richard Harris Award for contributions to British cinema during the course of his career, reports the Telegraph. 

Of course, Gambon more than deserves this accolade. At the age of 72, he has a career spanning 50 years, has won countless awards for his roles on stage and on screen and, most importantly, he has a track corner named after him on Top Gear. However, despite the innumerable honours that he has amassed over the years, it seems his role as Dumbledore in the final six of the eight Harry Potter movies is what has set him up for the Richard Harris Award.

Richard Harris was the original Dumbledore, and after his death in 2002, the Richard Harris Award was set up in his name. Since 2003 when the first award was given to John Hurt, 6 of the 10 recipients have been cast members in the Harry Potter films. John Hurt played wand maker Mr Ollivander, 2006's winner Jim Broadbent appeared as Horace Slughorn, in 2008 David Thewlis won who played the werewolf Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Remus Lupin, in 2010 Bellatrix Lestrange's actress Helena Bonham Carter received the award, and last year Voldemort himself, Ralph Fiennes accepted the prize. Framing the last ten years by two Dumbledores are the award's namesake, and of course this year's winner Michael Gambon. 

Continue reading: Michael Gambon Given BIFA's 'Richard Harris Award', Which Seems Made For Harry Potter

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Review


Excellent

The eight-part saga comes to a close with an action-packed finale that neatly ties up the strands of the whole series and also manages to give its actors some meaty scenes to play with. While it's hugely satisfying, there's also a letdown as we reach the end.

With Voldemort (Fiennes) in possession of the mythical Elder Wand, and four Horcruxes still at large, Harry (Radcliffe) and pals Hermione and Ron (Watson and Grint) know that they have work to do. Breaking into a Gringotts vault is tough enough, but when they sneak back into Hogwarts, they find themselves in all-out war against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. So with the help of adults (Smith, Walters and more) and fellow students (including Lewis, Wright and Lynch), they make their final stand.

After a sort of "Previously on Harry Potter" prologue and a quietly intense opening, the film plunges into the Gringotts heist and barely pauses for breath. Director Yates adeptly juggles action and drama, keeping images razor sharp and making sure the effects work is seamlessly eye-catching (they're also the most consistently high-quality effects in the series). But of course Lord of the Rings-scale spectacle is nothing without great characters, and this film pushes everyone into new territory.

Radcliffe takes on the challenge extremely well, bringing Harry's self-doubt and crippling guilt together with a potent sense of destiny and sacrifice. Of the supporting cast, Rickman, Smith and Gambon get the weightiest scenes, while Lewis and Walters finally have superb moments in the spotlight. And Bonham Carter clearly has a ball with a terrific scene as a shape-shifted Hermione.
Meanwhile, that outrageously starry ensemble fills out each scene, including many who barely utter a word.

As the story propels to the climactic moments, there are a few fits and starts while events recoil and wait to burst forth again. Even though this is the shortest of all eight movies, it feels a little long due to its intensely focussed plot. This means every moment on screen is vitally important, and most are given the chance to play out without feeling rushed. But it also means that, as the ending (and epilogue) get closer, we simply don't want it to end.

Michael Gambon - Thursday 7th July 2011 at Old Billingsgate London, England

Michael Gambon

Michael Gambon - Michael Gambon, Thursday 7th July 2011 at Trafalgar Square London, England

Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon

Michael Gambon and Jeremy Clarkson - Sir Michael Gambon and Jeremy Clarkson London, England - The Taste of London Launch Party at Regents Park Wednesday 15th June 2011

Michael Gambon and Jeremy Clarkson
Michael Gambon and Jeremy Clarkson

Michael Colgan and Michael Gambon - Michael Colgan, Sir Michael Gambon Dublin, Ireland - Sir Michael Gambon is presented with the Gold Medal for Honorary Patronage at Trinity College Wednesday 23rd February 2011

Michael Colgan and Michael Gambon
Michael Colgan and Michael Gambon

The King's Speech Review


Extraordinary

Momentous historical events add a remarkable kick to this fascinating personal drama, which is based on journal entries and firsthand accounts. besides being hugely entertaining, the film also gives Colin Firth yet another meaty role to dive into.

In 1925, Bertie (Firth), the Duke of York, is paralysed with fear when required to speak in public. After unsuccessful treatment for his stammer, his wife Elizabeth (Bonham Carter) locates unorthodox speech therapist Lionel Logue (Rush), an Australian who insists on familiarity even with the royals. But as Bertie begins to make progress, his life takes a dramatic turn when his brother Edward VIII (Pearce) abdicates the throne, leaving Bertie in place as George VI just as war breaks out with Germany. Now the nation really needs to hear his voice.

The sharp, often very witty script has the ring of truth to it, refusing to overplay big events or to create some miracle cinematic cure that sees Bertie rising to inspiring orator status. Even though it's still extremely crowd-pleasing, it's a much more complex story centring on the man behind the stutter, exploring the intimate, difficult journey Bertie must have taken before he was so suddenly thrust into the limelight.

As with last year's A Single Man, Firth invests the role with layered subtext that gives Bertie a fully fledged inner life far beyond the astute screenplay.
It's a beautiful performance that tells us as much with a quiet sigh as it does with a razor-sharp line of dialog. His banter with the excellent Rush is also full of substance, while Bonham Carter not only uncannily captures the Queen Mother's physical presence but also the strength of the woman who, together with her husband, would so bravely lead Britain through the Blitz.

Visually, the film transcends the usual costume-drama approach, with expert direction from Hooper that beautifully plays with perspectives and textures.
Also notable is the way the camera quietly captures expansive backdrops that continually remind us (and Bertie) that there's a whole nation out there waiting for his next word. And along the way, we strongly identify with Bertie, which makes his journey takes both stirring and thrillingly inspiring.

The Book Of Eli Review


OK
Although it feels like a parallel story taking place at the same time as The Road, this post-apocalyptic thriller has the opposite effect, actually getting less complex and interesting as it goes along. At least it starts out well.

Eli (Washington) is a loner walking through a decimated American landscape some 30 years after "the war" brought about "the flash". His most precious possession is an old book, and he's willing to fight to the death to protect it as he heads west. Then he stumbles into a roughneck town run by the greedy Carnegie (Oldman), who's searching for the legendary book with his brutal henchman (Stevenson). And when the daughter (Kunis) of Carnegie's blind girlfriend (Beals) runs off after Eli, things get messy.

Continue reading: The Book Of Eli Review

Fantastic Mr Fox Review


Very Good
This is much more of a Wes Anderson film than the Roald Dahl classic on which it's based. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it could cause problems with fans of the book. The central themes are still there, but this is essentially a quirky dysfunctional family romp.

Mr Fox (voiced by Clooney) has a pretty fantastic life as a newspaper columnist living in his den with his wife (Streep), surly teen son Ash (Schwartzman) and visiting nephew Kristofferson (Anderson). After Fox convinces his wife to move aboveground to a tree, he becomes tempted to go back to his bird-stealing ways.

And with his possum pal Kylie (Wolodarsky), he goes on a spree that enrages the local farmers, led by the furious Bean (Gambon), who vows revenge. But this puts the entire local animal population in danger.

Continue reading: Fantastic Mr Fox Review

Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Review


Very Good
Darker and a whole lot drearier, this sixth Harry Potter adventure centres on a slow-developing mystery, and the filmmakers clearly struggle to give it much pace. It's well-made and watchable, but feels like an intake of breath before the frantic finale.

After the horrific conclusion of their fifth year at Hogwarts, Harry (Radcliffe) has a solitary summer before being drafted by headmaster Dumbledore (Gambon) into the ongoing war between the wizarding forces of light and darkness. And as year six starts, Dumbledore assigns Harry to get some important information from new potions professor Slughorn (Broadbent) about the Dark Lord's background. He of course does this with the help of pals Ron and Hermione (Grint and Watson), who with Harry are also caught up in conflict more typical for 17-year-olds: raging hormones.

Continue reading: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince Review

Michael Gambon, Harry Potter and Ziegfeld Theatre Thursday 9th July 2009 New York Premiere of 'Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince' at the Ziegfeld Theatre New York City, USA

Michael Gambon, Harry Potter and Ziegfeld Theatre
Michael Gambon, Harry Potter and Ziegfeld Theatre
Michael Gambon, Harry Potter and Ziegfeld Theatre

Michael Gambon, Harry Potter and Empire Leicester Square Tuesday 7th July 2009 World Premiere of Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince at the Empire Leicester Square cinema - arrivals London, England

Michael Gambon, Harry Potter and Empire Leicester Square
Michael Gambon, Harry Potter and Empire Leicester Square
Michael Gambon, Harry Potter and Empire Leicester Square
Michael Gambon, Harry Potter and Empire Leicester Square

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Trailer & Featurette


Watch the trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Continue: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Trailer & Featurette

Michael Gambon Monday 6th July 2009 smoking a cigarette outside Claridge's London, England

Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon
Michael Gambon

Brideshead Revisited Review


Excellent
The palatial estate sits languid against the landscape, the massive family home looking as much like a museum as a manor. Within its walls are secrets kept silent for far too many years, a lineage forged in lies, deception, and an unflappable faith in God. For the Flytes, Brideshead reflects their own insular existence -- self contained, complete with its own ornate chapel and religious iconography. But for anyone outside the clan, such opulence shields wealth of a different, disturbing kind. And should one revisit the famed locale, they too will find themselves lost in its amoral allure.

When we first meet middle class student Charles Ryder (Matthew Goode), he is leaving his distant father for Oxford. Instantly, he is thrust into a world of privilege, and the seedy sphere of influence surrounding fey fop Sebastian Flyte (Ben Whishaw). Over the course of the school year, they become inseparable in ways that suggest something other than simple companionship. Fate finds the pair spending the summer at Sebastian's family home, known as Brideshead. There, Charles meets two women who will figure prominently in his future -- the staunchly Catholic matriarch Lady Marchmain (Emma Thompson) and Sebastian's glamorous sister Julia (Hayley Atwell). Over the next few years, everything about Brideshead, from the people to the place itself, will haunt Charles' attempt to forge an identity for himself, as well as guide what he really wants out of life.

Continue reading: Brideshead Revisited Review

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix Review


Good

It's gotten to the point where the quality of the films don't really matter: Now I feel like I'm committed to the whole Harry Potter series. I've reviewed the first five now, so by golly, I'm going to stick it out and finish the lot... even though I still can't bring myself to read any of the books. As always, consider yourself warned that I don't know the intricate backstory developed over thousands of pages in J.K. Rowling's writing. And really, I'm happy to keep it that way.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix continues in the tradition of following another year at the Hogwarts School of Wizardry, where Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) has faced nothing but grueling struggle after grueling struggle. His most recent year (Goblet of Fire) saw a friend get killed by his nemesis, the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), who's gaining more power every day and giving Harry severe nightmares. With few exceptions, his friends have largely abandoned him, and the new term comes with even more headaches in the form of Dolores Umbridge (the perfect Imelda Staunton), sent from the Ministry of Magic to teach the defense from the dark arts class and eventually taking over the school as an iron-fisted, fun-crushing bureaucrat.

After much pottering about (ha ha!), the film finally finds its groove as Umbridge goes too far, refusing to teach magic in the classroom, instead preferring to rely on theoretical knowledge so the students can pass their year-end standardized tests. With Voldemort approaching (this guy is always just around the corner), Harry becomes more nervous that he will be unable to defend himself, finally recruiting a handful of students to his cause to teach them what he knows about magical combat. Together they prepare for the day when they know they'll have to use those skills. (In case you haven't seen any of the first four movies, rest assured it isn't far off: This end-of-movie showdown between Harry and the forces of evil has almost become a cliché that pans out every single time.)

Continue reading: Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix Review

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Trailer


Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Trailer

Continue: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Trailer

Amazing Grace Review


Very Good
For a film with all the stylistic panache of a BBC period yawner and all the moral ambiguity of an after-school special, Amazing Grace is a surprisingly entertaining political drama. It tells the story of famed British abolitionist William Wilberforce's struggle to end the slave trade in England. Its high-minded earnestness and longsuffering main character will remind movie buffs of another cinematic treatment of British history, A Man for All Seasons, but it's another similarity shared by these two films that sets Amazing Grace apart from all but a few mainstream movies being made today. Amazing Grace, like A Man for All Seasons, is a serious film about religious conviction and the power of individual believers to effect change in a world in need of redemption.

Make no mistake: Amazing Grace is not a complex movie. The good guys are good and the bad guys aren't so much bad as they are yet to become good. Such a simple and optimistic moral vision may seem antiquated to some, but Amazing Grace doesn't apologize for its old-fashioned piety. As the action starts, Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd) undergoes a religious conversion. His long-abandoned childhood faith has once again stirred his heart and moved him to commit to doing whatever he can to improve the world. Already a member of Parliament, he asks several of his friends -- including the clergyman John Newton (Albert Finney), who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace" -- if he should continue his political career or move on to a more spiritual pursuit. At all of his friends' urging, Wilberforce chooses politics and not long after takes an unpopular stand on the issue that will dominate his political career thereafter: the slave trade.

Continue reading: Amazing Grace Review

The Good Shepherd Review


Excellent
Starting in the hot mess of the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, reaching back to the 1930s and then hopscotching back and forth between those dates whenever the mood strikes it, the pleasingly complex espionage epic The Good Shepherd tries to tell the story of the birth, rise, and (in a sense) death of the Central Intelligence Agency through the fictional composite character Edward Wilson (Matt Damon). It's a monumental piece of history to bite off, but Eric Roth's ambitious, multilayered script certainly makes a good attempt at digesting it for us.

While the CIA's roots in the WWII-era OSS (Office of Strategic Services) are well established, very few films have rooted the American spy service as firmly as this one does in its starched, prim and proper WASP world. Wilson, played by Damon as a tight-lipped, practically invisible cipher, comes from one of that world's better families, and so is a shoo-in for Yale's secret Skull & Bones society once he does a little snooping for the FBI on his pro-Nazi poetry professor (Michael Gambon). Smart and stoic, Wilson shoots up the OSS ranks and soon is masterminding the CIA's global subterfuge against the Soviets.

Continue reading: The Good Shepherd Review

The Omen (2006) Review


Very Good
My favorite character in John Moore's remake of The Omen is the Pope. I am not entirely sure which Pope it is, and it is more of a cameo role really, but every time the pontiff graced the screen, I knew why I liked this film so much. He first features in a brief conference scene. His cardinals (I presume) are concerned that a recent meteor shower is the final sign of the birth of the Anti-Christ, as predicted by the book of Revelations. These concerns are presented to the Pope in a multimedia display, with numerous screens airing a student film depicting scenes from the destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia to September 11. In his second appearance, after hearing some disturbing news, the Pope drops his glass of red on the floor, while still in bed. I have never been to Vatican City, but I doubt this is how things go down. Yet, the film's disconnectedness from the laws of reality, personified here by its treatment of the leader of the Catholic Church, got me. Richard Donner's original Omen was a pig in a cocktail dress, a silly story treated with undeserving earnestness. Here, John Moore tells it like it should be told.Turns out the cardinals were on to something and the Anti-Christ is born. The unfortunate Anti-Joseph and Anti-Mary are Robert and Katherine Thorn (Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles), the deputy to the U.S. ambassador to Italy and his young wife. When Katherine gives birth to a boy who dies just outside the hospital room, Robert accepts the offer of a priest at the hospital, taking in the child's place a baby boy whose mother died during labor and letting Katherine believe it is theirs. They name him Damien (cue choirs). After a bizarre explosion (so massive in scale it proves the devil doesn't pay for petrol) in which the U.S. ambassador dies, Robert takes the position and a promotion to the U.K. The family lives in British manor house bliss until, at a very public birthday for Damien (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick), his nanny hangs herself, shrieking, "It's all for you!" From that moment forward the dangers of raising the Anti-Christ begin to become obvious. The black dogs begin to bark, monkeys screech, priests prophesize and a very un-Doubtfire-like nanny, Mrs Baylock (Mia Farrow), shows up to keep an eye on things.Moore doesn't stray widely from the path of the original's narrative and most changes made are welcome. I liked seeing a bit of determination in Damien's face. I liked that Katherine was young and seemed to be suffering post-partum depression. A lot of the dialogue is admittedly laughable, and Pete Postlethwaite and Michael Gambon as over-caffeinated priests add to a sense of the ludicrous. However, this only compounds its The Omen's minor brilliance. Everything is overdone: Damien sleeps on red silk sheets; people at the party start running and knocking over tables when the nanny kills herself; an interview with an old crippled man is conducted outside in the snow. The horror scenes are equally flamboyant; Marco Beltrami's score may lack the original's Latinized theme, but it kicks in to stunning and loud effect practically every time the lights go out.Schreiber is good as the politician and after a shaky start Stiles communicates her anguish very well. But it is Farrow (next to the Pope, of course) who steals the show. Her Mary Poppins performance oozes subtle menace in every sweet grin and glittery eye. When she unleashes eventually, it provides for the film's most exciting sequence - if you have dreamed for the day Rosemary would take on the Manchurian Candidate, dream no more. Though some critics might begrudge the film its directness, its loudness, perhaps its lack of class or cinematic restraint, I reveled in it. The story of Damien has always seemed a little stupid to me, and here Moore has matched the story with its telling. The result is fun, in a scary/jokey kind of way. I am not sure if John Moore is in on the joke he's telling in his remake of The Omen, but he tells it very well.If only she could do one pull-up.

Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire Review


Excellent

For the uninitiated, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was the book where author J.K. Rowling finally went off her rocker, turning out a 734-page monster of a book (vs. 309 pages for #1) that made everyone wonder if any child could possibly have that kind of attention span.

Turns out they did: Book four is also where Rowling went from Big Hit to Mega Worldwide Sensation, and the Harry Potter series became a cultural touchstone. (This is also about the time that ultra-right wing groups started denouncing the series as demonic.)

And so, everything that is past is prologue: The first three films now feel like nothing more than window dressing for this one, a rich movie with expert plotting, clever humor, and a sophistication lacking in the earlier pictures. At the same time, it's fine for (older) kids, who'll root for Harry and Co. through his many scrapes in this edition.

Goblet of Fire finds Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) back for his fourth year at Hogwarts Academy. Things are getting heavier for the lad: He's having vivid dreams about Lord Voldemort being revived in the flesh. On top of that, the school is hosting the legendary Tri-Wizard Tournament, in which three aspiring magicians will compete to win a fancy blue cup (plus bragging rights), which brings two foreign schools -- one a collection of brutish Russian guys, another a group of breathless French fairy queens -- into Hogwarts for the term. While the tournament is meant for older kids, naturally the undersized Potter will find his way into the mix. On top of that, Harry's got some raging hormones, which has him swooning for fellow student Cho (Katie Leung), while Ron (Rupert Grint) tries in vain to suppress his budding love for Hermione (Emma Watson). This comes to a head of sorts during a formal dance, one of the film's most memorable scenes. And all the while, Voldemort inches closer to Harry.

Overall, the story is obviously and dramatically pared down from the book. Even I, a non-reader, could tell that there were huge gaps in the plot. Strangely, it doesn't really matter. All but the bare essentials have been stripped away, and even though it tops 2 1/2 hours, Goblet is a lean, mean, storytelling machine. There's rarely a dull moment (a stark contrast to some of the overblown earlier installments in the series), and it's amazingly easy to follow the serpentine plot. Partly this is because we've had three movies to get up to speed on the myriad characters of Potter, and even though Goblet introduces a good number of new faces, keeping track of them is a snap. The downside of this is that, aside from a little romance for the main three characters, there's not much time to develop our heroes further. But really, it isn't needed. They're fleshy enough as it is, and the film does give them a bit more structure to set up #5.

Speculation has been rampant about how director Mike Newell -- of Four Weddings and a Funeral fame -- would work out as the helmer of an action-oriented kid flick. Turns out, he's better than those who came before him. Not only does Newell have a good handle over the film's action showpieces, he knows how to deal with awkward romances and growing pains of the teen years. Maybe it's because he's the first British director to try his hand at this very British series?

Speaking of the action: The special effects in this installment are hands-down better than ever. There's probably not a single scene in Goblet of Fire that isn't manipulated with CGI in some way -- but you'll never notice. The effects are so good and so seamless that you seriously can't tell the difference (reality-wise) between Radcliffe and the giant, fire-breathing dragon staring him down.

And speaking of dragons: The film is scary, more so than the other three. As a case in point, the woman sitting in front of me, with two kids aged about six to eight, had to leave the theater after the first two minutes because the little ones were so frightened.

Altogether the film is just about right for what a Harry Potter movie ought to be. The story is consistently interesting but not too confusing, the dialogue is spot-on, and the film blends action and quiet moments perfectly. (Frankly, the film should win an Oscar for editing.)

But overall Goblet of Fire has succeeded in doing one big thing that the first three movies completely failed at: For the first time, I'm actually looking forward to the next in the series.

A little magic ought to fix that arm right up, no?

The Browning Version (1994) Review


Excellent
Smitten with the original Browning Version, and rightly so, Mike Figgis remade the lovely little film in 1994. It's quite a faithful remake, updating it to the present day but leaving virtually all of the story and much of the dialogue intact. In many ways it's unneccesary as a remake -- the original still stands up well -- though Albert Finney is perfectly cast in the role of a hated prep school teacher on his last day on the job... and how that might change, however slightly, before the day is out. Watch both versions together if you can to catch the little nuances that Figgis tweaks and fiddles with, though for God's sake watch a comedy after the double feature is over.

Being Julia Review


Very Good
When you have a performance as fresh and audacious as this one from a movie star who doesn't average a film a year, it makes you wonder why we see so little of her. But here she is, Annette Bening (Open Range, The Grifters), wowing us with her patented delicious verve in the form of stage naughtiness -- a portrayal that should go on more than one Best Actress list for the year 2004.

As the great Julia Lambert, the toast of the London stage in the early '30s, she's struck by a premonition of fading vitality at the grand age of forty. Worries of it bring her close to a breakdown as she begins to desperately search for other stimuli to give her life meaning. She carries on a dialogue with her muse, Jimmy Langton (Michael Gambon), her dead drama coach that she summons up as an imagined presence to tell her when she's going well or going astray.

Continue reading: Being Julia Review

Charlotte Gray Review


Very Good
Ever go to a movie solely for the stars? It may not be anything particularly inventive, but watching some of your favorites onscreen can be worth the price of admission. Charlotte Gray, unfortunately following in the plotline footsteps of this year's Divided We Fall, holds this kind of talent appeal through stars Cate Blanchett and Billy Crudup.

Charlotte Gray (Blanchett), a Londoner, joins the French Resistance after her pilot boyfriend gets shot down over France. When a fellow female spy is caught on her first drop-off assignment, Charlotte stays with local rebellion leader Julien (Crudup) and takes care of two Jewish boys whose parents have been captured. Meanwhile, she continues to meet with her contact to find ambush points for Julien.

Continue reading: Charlotte Gray Review

Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow Review


Extraordinary
Good science fiction is so hard to come by. Usually reserved for big Memorial Day and Independence Day releases, what are the odds that a film snuck into the middle of September is going to be a great one? Pretty good, as it turns out: Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow isn't just the best sci-fi flick since Minority Report, it's also one of the best films of the year, making wannabe event movies like Spider-Man 2 look like chump change.

Drawing from pulp, noir, and classic comics for his inspiration, director Kerry Conran - in his film debut - creates an entire new universe for us to soak up, based right here on earth. Ostensibly set in an alternate version of the late 1930s/early 1940s (and notably pre-WWII), the film is filled with the technological promises of many a World's Fair. Planes can turn into submarines. Entire cities can float in the sky. Robots 100 feet tall can parade through the streets. And everyone wears a hat. (As an aside, Conran really wants to disorient you with the setting; look closely at the newspaper in the beginning and you'll see it's clearly dated sometime in the 2000s.)

Continue reading: Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow Review

Layer Cake Review


Excellent
Matthew Vaughan, producer behind the entire Guy Ritchie oeuvre (Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, and... er... Swept Away), makes his directorial debut with Layer Cake, another tale from the British criminal underworld that thankfully avoids any association with aging pop icons. Instead, Vaughan opts to take some of the elements of Ritchie's earlier work - colorful deviants, dark humor, Seinfeld-esque coincidence - and give them his own, slightly more somber spin. The result is an engaging 104 minutes that stakes its own claim on the genre.

Daniel Craig is credited as "XXXX" (oh, if only he were the new "XXX"), a "businessman," as he puts it, whose name we never learn. His business just happens to be cocaine. He plays by a strict set of rules - pay connections on time; keep a low profile, etc. And, like every other lowlife with whom we're supposed to sympathize in a gangster film, he's just about to retire. Until his boss, Jimmy Price (Kenneth Cranham) throws him two curveballs that shoot his plans all to hell.

Continue reading: Layer Cake Review

The Last September Review


Weak
I really wanted to like The Last September. Sunday afternoon, really in the mood for a period piece, I sat down with the promising flick... and got a tired old romantic triangle flick set in 1920s Ireland that plodded along with little regard for the audience. The setting here is elusive: The title refers obliquely to Ireland's last September before its revolution, but the backdrop of war barely registers above the genteel performances and sleepy script.

Open Range Review


Weak
During a summer in which TV remakes, romantic comedies, sequels, and comic book movies overcrowd at the multiplexes, Open Range is the only Western scheduled for release. While I give kudos to Dances with Wolves auteur Kevin Costner -- who directs, produces, and acts in the film -- for broadening the range of this season's genres, I only wish that I could welcome the film's drastic change of pace. Frankly, I'd rather watch another stupid superhero flick.

It's 1882, and best friends Charley (Costner) and Boss (Robert Duvall) are cowboys who have lived on the open range for ten years, driving cattle in a world where nature makes the only laws. Roaming the West with them are rambunctious young cowboys Button (Diego Luna), Mose (Abraham Benrubi), and Charley's faithful dog. When a rainstorm strands their wagon, Charley and Boss send Mose to the nearest frontier town to gather additional supplies. When he doesn't return, they decide to take a visit to the town -- with their revolvers at hand -- to search for him.

Continue reading: Open Range Review

Plunkett & Macleane Review


Good
In 18th century Britain, they sure did have a lot of fireworks and loud rock 'n' roll music...

Continue reading: Plunkett & Macleane Review

Sleepy Hollow Review


Good
I'll be the first to admit I don't really remember the details of Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. But what I do remember, well, it didn't go like this.

In typical Tim Burton fashion, a fairy tale gets an update (and the film's color gets drained out in the process). The guts of Legend are still there: In 1799, evil headless horseman marauds a tiny village in upstate New York. Ichabod Crane (Depp) is sent to investigate.

Continue reading: Sleepy Hollow Review

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban Review


Very Good

Harry Potter is growing up, and so is his movie franchise.Under the tutelage of a new director -- Alfonso Cuarón, known for both children's fare (the 1995 remake of "A Little Princess") and an edgy, insightfully soulful, sex-charged teen road-trip flick ("Y Tu Mama, Tambien") -- the boy wizard has graduated from the world of kiddie movie spectacles with tie-in toys.

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" is a film in which depth of character, cunning humor and hair-raising chills come shining through the visual blitzkrieg of special effects -- which are also magnificently improved over the series first two installments. Case in point: a half-horse, half-eagle creature called a Hippogriff that gives "Lord of the Rings'" Gollum a run for his money as the most life-like CGI creation in cinema history.

Beyond just its detailed feathers (which fluff when it shakes) or its golden eyes (which bore holes in the screen with obstinate personality), this winged equine's every movement, from its canter to its peck, is a studied yet natural, amazingly fluid amalgam of the two beasts that were combined to create it.

Continue reading: Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban Review

Plunkett & MacLeane Review


OK

A swashbuckling, bodice-ripping, 18th Century romp with a dance club pulse, "Plunkett and Macleane" is a slick, modern, action-comedy dropped daringly into the ambiance of a costume drama.

Based very, very loosely on the criminal career of two English highwaymen who became notorious hijacking the wealthy in London's Hyde park, the film stars hip, hot, "Trainspotting" alumni Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle as the pair of gentlemen thieves, something akin to Butch and Sundance fused with Tom Stoppard's Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.

Miller plays James Macleane, a scam artist and aspiring blue blood, determined to buy his way into 1700s high society. He finds his ticket in an unlikely place -- in the company of Will Plunkett, a former apothecary who turned to street-level petty crime after going bankrupt. Their scheme: Put the polish on Macleane and send him into the most posh parties, where he'll scope out who's worth robbing on their way home. The duo then don masks and stage hold-ups, Macleane being so seductively polite to his prey (especially the ladies) that he's dubbed "the Gentleman Highwayman."

Continue reading: Plunkett & MacLeane Review

Michael Gambon

Michael Gambon Quick Links

News Pictures Video Film Quotes RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Actor


Michael Gambon Movies

Victoria And Abdul Trailer

Victoria And Abdul Trailer

Queen Victoria was one of the United Kingdom's most loved monarchs. She ruled over her...

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Trailer

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Trailer

For those who knew him, Gary Unwin (better known as Eggsy to his friends), was...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Viceroy's House Trailer

Viceroy's House Trailer

'Viceroy's House' follows the life of the last Viceroy of India who was the figurehead...

Advertisement
Dad's Army Movie Review

Dad's Army Movie Review

The beloved 1970s British sit-com gets the big screen treatment, although there's been very little...

Dad's Army Trailer

Dad's Army Trailer

Everybody's favourite British regiment is back in the new version of Dad's Army. Director Oliver...

Dad's Army Trailer

Dad's Army Trailer

And they're back! The hilarious band of men that put their lives on the line...

Paddington Movie Review

Paddington Movie Review

It's difficult not to go into a movie like this with a sense of dread,...

Quartet Movie Review

Quartet Movie Review

For his directing debut, Dustin Hoffman takes no chances, filling the screen with gifted actors...

Advertisement
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Movie Review

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Movie Review

The eight-part saga comes to a close with an action-packed finale that neatly ties up...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 Trailer

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 Trailer

Harry Potter and his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, continue their search for Voldemort's...

The King's Speech Movie Review

The King's Speech Movie Review

Momentous historical events add a remarkable kick to this fascinating personal drama, which is based...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) Trailer

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) Trailer

The final instalment of the Harry Potter series is almost upon us! Harry Potter and...

The Book of Eli Movie Review

The Book of Eli Movie Review

Although it feels like a parallel story taking place at the same time as The...

Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.