Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on videogames. There may have been some hits (like Tomb Raider or the Resident Evil franchise), but none has ever been critically acclaimed. So perhaps reuniting the cast and director of 2015's Macbeth might finally break the cycle. But while there's plenty of whizzy stuntwork, this film never finds a story or characters to grab hold of the audience.
In present-day Texas, death row prisoner Cal (Michael Fassbender) is executed by lethal injection and wakes up in a gloomy fortress towering over Madrid. He's been saved by shady businessman Rikkin (Jeremy Irons), whose daughter Sofia (Marion Cotillard) is a scientist experimenting with DNA memory. Rikkin needs Cal to travel back into his own history using a mechanical contraption called an Animus to find out where his 15th century ancestor Aguilar (also Fassbender) hid the Apple of Eden, which holds the key to controlling human will. But Cal discovers that he is the last in a long line of Assassins who have sworn to protect the apple from Knights Templar like Rikkin or his imperious supreme leader Ellen (the fabulously gloomy Charlotte Rampling).
The idea is a clever one, and director Justin Kurzel keeps the visuals grounded with action that feels earthy and real rather than digitally manipulated. Indeed, the combination of sleek sci-fi thrills with medieval fantasy horror is very cool. But there's one huge problem with the premise: all of the big fight sequences and eye-catching parkour acrobatics take place in distant history. Cal can experience these things, but he can't actually do anything, so there's no peril involved. Instead, we get endless explanations of the technology and historical inter-connections, which never quite make sense regardless of how much the characters talk about them.
Continue reading: Assassin's Creed Review
Callum Lynch is a criminal facing the death sentence but is given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to escape his fate by joining the mysterious Animus Project set up by Abstergo Industries. Abstergo is to its time essentially what the Knights Templar was in the 12th and 13th century, and want to hook Lynch up to an experimental piece of technology that will allow him to experience and explore the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha who lived as an Assassin in 15th century Spain. He's returning to the age of the Spanish Inquisition which means he must absorb the warrior skills of his long-dead relative - but that only means that he's developing the tools to take down the organisation that pose a threat to him in the modern day.
Continue: Assassin's Creed Trailer
Michael Fassbender seen with Marion Cotillard, Michael K. Williams, Jeremy Irons and Essie Davis at the New York premiere of 'Assassin's Creed' held at AMC Empire, New York City, United States - Tuesday 13th December 2016
Ghostbusters is a new film for 2016 and is based on the 1984 film of the same name and is directed by Paul Feig. The film features four women on their quest to save New York City when various ghosts take over and exercise control over the humans.
Two authors Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates write a novel about the existence of ghosts and the revelation that they believe they do exist. However this novel is not taken seriously and when it becomes apparent that Gilbert wrote this book, she becomes the centre of a joke in her professional career as a teacher at Columbia University, even her students don't take her seriously.
This film quickly becomes the tell - tale narrative of who's laughing now, when Gilbert teams up with Yates and two other women to fight the ghosts that have decided to inhabit the city. A mission is deployed and the quartet set out to save the world from the evil ghost Rowan, providing the audience with lots of laughs along the way.
Assassin's Creed sees Michael Fassbender cast as the protagonist Callum Lynch, in this action adventure film that is based on the video game franchise of the same name. Lynch's identity no longer exists and he is forced by revolutionary technology to hear, see and feel the memories of his ancestor Aguilar de Nerha, who was an assassin during the Spanish Inquisition.
Continue: Assassin's Creed Trailer
Erin Gilbert is a brilliant quantum physicist and holds a high ranking lecturing position at Columbia University, that is until a past novel she's written comes to light. The novel was written by Erin and her friend Abby and claims that ghosts are real. When strange occurrences start to happen in Manhattan, Erin and Abby are reunited in a bid to put a stop to the ghostly apparitions.
They set up a small business to help being who are being haunted by the ghosts, the old friends are joined by Jillian Holtzmann, a nuclear engineering mastermind who's just as geeky as the other two girls, the team then recruit Patty Tolan, a lady whose knowledge of New York and its underground is almost unrivalled.
Together the four women for The Ghostbusters.
James Purefoy, Christina Hendricks , Michael K. Williams - Sundance TV Celebrates the Launch of Original Scripted Series "HAP AND LEONARD" held at Hill Country NYC - Hill Country BBQ - New York, New York, United States - Friday 26th February 2016
Arnold Rothstein's Pocket Watch, Al Capone's Courthouse Suit and Richard Harrow's Mask - you can actually own these 'Boardwalk Empire' props and costumes!
Ever wanted to own the iconic mask worn by Jack Huston's Richard Harrow in 'Boardwalk Empire'? What about the suit worn by Steve Buscemi's Nucky Thompson in the series' opening title sequence? Well, due to an auction currently run by Screenbid, you can own these very items as well as hundreds more like them.
'Boardwalk Empire' ran for five seasons between 2010 and 2014.
'Boardwalk Empire' concluded its fifth and final series late last year, leaving HBO with a tone of props and costumes knocking around. Lucking, Screenbid was able to come to the rescue, offering to sell off the props and costumes from some of your favourite prohibition gangsters and bootleggers at an auction, running from 20th to 29th January 2015.
Continue reading: You Can Now Own Awesome Props From HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire'!
Brie Larson, Mark Wahlberg, Michael K. Williams and Rupert Wyatt - Press conference for 'The Gambler' held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel at Mandarin Oriental Hotel - New York City, New York, United States - Sunday 14th December 2014
Jim Bennett is an English professor at a college and he's also always been one for taking risks. By day he is the sensible, bookish type but by night his life is a dangerous spiral of gambling huge amounts of money to dire consequences. As the gambler he is, he takes a chance in asking his bank to loan him a quarter of a million dollars in order for him to pay back a gangster so that he may stay alive, but when that fails he is forced to take on the services of a loan shark named Frank. Meanwhile, his relationship with his mother is getting tenser and tenser by the day as she wishes more than anything for her little boy to be safe. Also, it seems a student of his named Amy Phillips has discovered his secret life, but wants more than anything for him to take her out to dinner even if it will wreck his school reputation.
Continue: The Gambler Trailer
The Guantanamo Bay-set drama is the talk of Sundance, but Stewart has admitted that she was worried it could be a career-ruiner
Kristen Stewart will look to cast off the shackles of her Twilight past once more in the new film Camp X Ray. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this week and has so far received relatively positive reviews (it currently holds an 8.1 rating on IMdb), yet Kristen has admitted that it is a film that she thought may bomb thanks to her unconvincing performance.
Kristen's performance has been singled out for praise by some critics
The actress spoke to MTV News this week about her concerns about the film, concerns that she was not a worthy enough actress to play the conflicted young soldier stationed at Guantanamo Bay who goes on to befriend an inmate of eight years. The young actress has admitted that during film and before the film premiered at the festival this week that she was worried people would struggle to buy into her character and that they were likely to write her off straight away.
Continue reading: Kristen Stewart Thought People Would Find 'Camp X-Ray' Role Unbelievable
Director Steve McQueen joins the stars of '12 Years A Slave' to praise the immense level of acting skill that went into creating the movie. Among those actors were main star Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Michael Fassbender and Lupita Nyong'o.
Continue: 12 Years A Slave - Featurettes
Alex Murphy is a hard-working police officer who lives an ordinary life with his beautiful wife Clara and young son David. However, his life is swiftly turned upside down when a bomb in his car explodes leaving him with 70% burns all over his body. Meanwhile, the multinational corporation OmniCorp who have been sending out robot technology abroad for warfare purposes are now coming up with other ideas; namely to deal with the increased crime rate of Detroit. They create a robot with the intention of programming it to target major wanted criminals, but on discovering Murphy's predicament and seeing how he has lost two limbs from his accident, they decide to kill two birds with one stone by fixing him into the suit so that he's able to continue working as a cop, but with more power than he could ever have imagined. The suit has been created to give him the illusion of free will while being externally controlled, however that changes when Murphy begins to use the suit for his own means.
'Robocop' is the upcoming remake of the 1987 sci-fi action flick of the same name directed by Paul Verhoeven. This adaptation has been helmed by Jose Padilha ('Elite Squad', 'Bus 174') and written by Nick Schenk ('Gran Torino'), James Vanderbilt ('The Amazing Spider-Man') and Joshua Zetumer. It will be reaching UK cinemas on February 7th 2014.
What can we expect the new season? Minor spoilers ahead.
It’s a great Fall for TV lovers, isn’t it? We’re half way through the return of Breaking Bad, with season five moving towards a dramatic crescendo and The Walking Dead is back in October. Bookended by these two great shows is Boardwalk Empire, HBO’s prohibition gangster drama that returns with season four on September 8th.
“First episode, I kill everybody, and I can’t really say more than that,” explained Steve Buscemi to CBS. “He’s not a politician any more, so you don’t see that side of him. And he’s not living in the Ritz anymore, so yeah, he’s keeping a little more of a low profile. But he’s still running things, basically.”
The slavery epic is due for limited release on October 18th 2013.
Solomon Northup was a regular New York resident who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841. He was rescued 12 years later. 172 years on, and Chiwetel Ejiofor is an early Oscar contender for his turn as Northup in Steve McQueen’s 12 Days a Slave, which has a new trailer.
Chiwetel Ejiofor looks excellent as Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave
British actor Ejiofor is joined by an impressive cast, featuring Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Michael K. Williams, Quvenzhane Wallis, Alfre Woodard, Scoot McNairy, Taran Killam and Brad Pitt, while John Ridley adapted the script from Northup’s biography.
Solomon Northup was a well-educated man from a successful family living in upstate New York with his wife and three children. He was categorised as a free black man and made money through various jobs including as an entertainer playing the violin. In 1841, he was tricked into going to Washington DC with two white men for work where he was instead kidnapped and sold to slavery despite there being laws to protect free African-Americans. He spent twelve years on a plantation in Louisiana serving the brutal and abusive owner Edwin Epps. Determined to live his life again as a free man, he befriended a Canadian carpenter working for Epps by the name of Samuel Bass, whose high-morals turned Solomon's life around forever.
This poignant historical biopic is based on the 1853 autobiography 'Twelve Years a Slave' by the real Solomon Northup. It has been adapted to screen by writer John Ridley ('U Turn', 'Red Tails') and the BAFTA nominated director Steve McQueen ('Hunger', 'Shame'). With themes of freedom, racial inequality and the cruelty of mankind, '12 Years A Slave' could be one of the more heart-wrenching movies to kick of the year on its UK cinematic release on January 24th 2014.
This could be McQueen's finest work yet.
Films - or should we say writers and directors - that dare to tackle the issue of slavery come rarely, and when they due, they face an increased level of scrutiny due to the sensitive subject matter. They are necessary though; teaching the world of the horrors it has faced will ensure they never happen again, or so they say.
Chiwetel Ejiofor could be in for the biggest role of his life
Django Unchained came and went, as Quentin Tarantino’s ability to satirize and trivialize some of history’s most controversial times slowly turns into a trilogy of movies. Mixed reviews and a cavalier use of the ‘N’ word meant people saw it as less of a history lesson and more of a taboo comedy, which is exactly what it was.
Continue reading: 12 Years A Slave: The Slavery Movie We've All Been Waiting For
'12 Years a Slave' appears to be far more hard-hitting than many expected.
Also featuring Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Paul Giamatti, the movie appears to be a far more hard-hitting than many were expecting with some writers suggesting it tells the real story of the pre-civil war period in the United States of America, as opposed to, say, Quentin Taratino's Django Unchained.
Ejiofor plays a free black New Yorker who is sold into slavery after being lured to Washington DC with the promise of a well-paid job playing fiddle in a circus.
Continue reading: Is '12 Years A Slave' The Movie Django Should Have Been? [Trailer]
Dwayne Johnson tries to flex his acting muscles in this smarter-than-usual action movie, based on a true story that gets under our skin. He's never played someone as fragile as this, which is fascinating even if the film ultimately can't resist cranking up the action while turning rather preachy.
Johnson plays John, a construction company owner whose bright 18-year-old son Jason (Gavron) is caught in a drugs sting by an undercover agent (Pepper). Jason is facing 10 years in prison, and offered a way out if he can finger another drug dealer. But he doesn't know any, since he was set up himself. So John makes a deal with a federal prosecutor (Sarandon) to find a big dealer himself. He convinces reluctant ex-con employee Daniel (Bernthal) to work with him, contacting a local dealer (Williams) before going after the kingpin (Bratt). But of course things get increasingly dangerous the deeper they go.
While Johnson's acting chops aren't terribly subtle, he's such a charismatic screen presence that we are fully engaged with him from the start. The tender scenes between him and Gavron add weight to the whole story, while the tetchy connection between him and Bernthal keeps the film on a knife edge. By contrast, Sarandon and Pepper are pretty much just scene-stealing sharks using innocent people to do their dirty work.
Continue reading: Snitch Review
'The Great Gatsby' premiered at the Lincoln Center in New York. Arrivals included one of the movie's stars Joel Edgerton, director Baz Luhrmann with his wife Catherine Martin and Florence + The Machine's Florence Welch who is snapped signing autographs for a crowd of fans.
We take a look at the Django Unchained cast that could have been
Django Unchained caused controversy even before it came out, with people questioning whether Quentin Tarantino should be making a film about slavery, especially considering it was a comedy drama, and was very, very gory.
Tarantino does what Tarantino does, though. And he does whatever he wants. Having made people laugh about Nazi-occupied France and slavery in the southern belt of America, the legendary director will helm a third historical film, completing a trilogy of sorts. But with with all the gun violence and racial tension surrounding the film – a film that won multiple awards – the casting secrets were never revealed.
Quentin Tarantino talks to The Texas Film Hall of Fame
Continue reading: Django Unchained: The Alternative Cast That Never Was
When a young man named Jason accidentally and unwittingly gets caught up in drug dealing with a gang, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of up to 10 years after being wrongly arrested for the crime. His father is a strong believer of his innocence and will do everything in his power to have his son let off. He visits a lawyer who says that he can be granted his liberty if he acts as an informant in the gang and help the police make arrests. However, Jason is too frightened after his ordeal and his father asks instead if he can be the one to go undercover. He does so and uses his construction business to find a manual labourer who may have contacts to the criminal world and be able to offer him an introduction. With the offer of help, he is soon ranked highly in the mob which increases his chances of collecting information, but puts his own life and the lives of his wife and young child at immense risk. Just how far will he go to protect his son from wrongful imprisonment?
'Snitch' is based on the PBS Frontline documentary of the same name which details the increase in the use of informants to reduce prison sentences. It has been directed by Ric Roman Waugh ('In the Shadows', 'Felon') who co-wrote it with Justin Haythe ('The Clearing', 'Revolutionary Road') and is set for release on February 22nd 2013.
Director: Ric Roman Waugh
Continue: Snitch Trailer
Woody Watson is an 11-year-old boy with a broken family and an unpredictable future. His father is absent and his mother is in rehab leaving him to be cared for by his grandmother and recently out of prison uncle Vincent in their Baltimore home. His aspirations are questionable, admiring Vincent for his life of crime. One day, while Vincent is supposed to be taking Woody to school, he instead takes him out to the bank where he expected to be granted a loan for his food business. However, he is flatly refused based on his criminal past and he is forced to engage in one more drug dealing job for his ruthless boss Mr. Fish with young Woody looking on. When he witnesses his uncle falling into his violent past, he must choose what sort of life he wants to lead for what was meant to be a lesson in how to be man, has turned into a lesson in how to screw up your life like the rest of your family. Will Woody pick the right path?
'Luv' is the gritty drama based on how a broken family can force a child to admire the wrong sort of people and end up making them make life changing decisions at a very young age. It has been directed by Sheldon Candis ('Young Cesar') who also co-wrote the screenplay with Justin Wilson in his full length feature debut and is set to be released on November 9th 2012.
Directed by Sheldon Candis
Continue: Luv Trailer
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