Michael London

Michael London

Michael London Quick Links

News Pictures Film RSS

Premiere Of HBO Films' 'Confirmation' - Arrivals

Janice Williams, Kerry Washington, Rick Famiyiwa , Michael London - Premiere of HBO Films' 'Confirmation' at Paramount Theater - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Thursday 31st March 2016

Janice Williams, Kerry Washington, Rick Famiyiwa and Michael London
Gabrielle Union and Kerry Washington
Gabrielle Union and Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington
Kerry Washington

Trumbo Review

Excellent

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who defied McCarthy's communist witch-hunt hearings in the late-1940s and was blacklisted by Hollywood for more than a decade. As written by John McNamara and directed by Jay Roach, the film is bright, funny and emotionally resonant, clearly simplified to make it more involving. And with such a terrific cast on board, it's both revealing and a lot of fun.

In 1947, Dalton (Bryan Cranston) is the film industry's top-paid screenwriter, so of course Senator McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Commission goes after him about his rumoured links to the communist party during the war. But he and nine fellow writers refuse to testify, so they're imprisoned for contempt, denied work by the Hollywood studios and targeted personally by the powerful gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Helen Mirren). To survive, Dalton begins writing under a series of pseudonyms for the B-movie producer Frank King (John Goodman), creating a script factory in his home with the help of his wife Cleo (Diane Lane) and daughter Niki (Elle Fanning). Two of these screenplays win Oscars, and it isn't until Dalton begins writing Spartacus in 1960 that actor Kirk Douglas (Dean O'Gorman) breaks the studio blacklist.

Roach directs this story in a sunny, snappy way that includes lots of smart wordplay and a clear sense of the us-or-them mentality that has defined America since the Cold War. People need a villain to hiss at, so anyone with even a passing connection to communism will do. And Mirren hisses better than most. Her performance is riotously funny and relentlessly nasty at the same time. More textured characters include Louis C.K. as a fellow writer and Michael Stuhlbarg as conflicted actor Edward G. Robinson. All of the actors are excellent, anchored by Cranston's wonderfully prickly Oscar-nominated turn as a bullheaded man who hilariously seizes every opportunity to make an inspiring speech.

Continue reading: Trumbo Review

Love The Coopers (aka Christmas With The Coopers) Review

Very Good

This may look like it's going to be a zany Christmas romp, but it's really a warm exploration of family connections, essentially an American take on Love Actually's multi-strand comedy-drama. At least it has an unusually strong cast and moments of hilarity scattered throughout the story. And while it's never very deep, the themes are strongly resonant.

The Cooper family is gathering for what Charlotte (Diane Keaton) hopes will be one last perfect Christmas together. She knows that her 40-year marriage to Sam (John Goodman) is on the brink, but is ignoring that to plan a massive dinner. Their son Hank (Ed Helms) is stinging from divorce and unemployment, while daughter Eleanor (Olivia Wilde) has picked up a hunky soldier (Jake Lacy) in the airport and asks him to pose as her boyfriend so her family will stop asking about her love life. Meanwhile, Charlotte's father Bucky (Alan Arkin) is trying to cheer up his favourite waitress (Amanda Seyfried), and Charlotte's sister Emma (Marisa Tomei) is delayed when a cop (Anthony Mackie) arrests her for shoplifting.

Narrated with wry joviality by Steve Martin, the interwoven stories are fairly simplistic, but each touches a raw nerve. And the above-average cast brings out the underlying themes without overplaying their scenes. Keaton and Goodman add subtle shades to the slightly undemanding central roles, while Arkin finds a couple of new textures to his usual twinkly grandad persona. Helms and Wilde strike the right balance in their intriguingly unlikeable roles, while Tomei gets the most complex character as a woman who feels like she's merely watched her life drift along. By contrast, the outsiders played by Seyfried, Lacy and Mackie are much less defined, but each actor brings just enough magnetic energy. The most wasted performer is June Squibb, as a ditzy old aunt who's little more than the requisite gross-out relative.

Continue reading: Love The Coopers (aka Christmas With The Coopers) Review

U.S. Premiere Of TRUMBO

Michael London , Guest - Celebrities attend the U.S. Premiere of TRUMBO at Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. at Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences - Los Angeles, California, United States - Tuesday 27th October 2015

Michael London and Guest

Win Win Review


Excellent
As with The Station Agent and The Visitor, McCarthy creates a series of encounters for some astonishingly vivid characters, and the result is an entertaining film that challenges prejudice. It's also both funny and moving.

Mike (Giamatti) is a New Jersey lawyer struggling to make ends meet when he discovers he can earn a bit extra as the guardian of senile client Leo (Young).

But his wife Jackie (Ryan) only finds out when Leo's 16-year-old grandson Kyle (Shaffer) turns up needing a place to stay while his mother (Lynskey) goes through rehab. To keep him busy, Mike invites Kyle along to the wrestling practice he coaches with his friends (Tambor and Cannavale). Surprise: Kyle's a gifted wrestler who may help the team win for a change.

Continue reading: Win Win Review

Milk Review


Good
Thirty years before Sen. Barack Obama broke through a significant political color barrier, Harvey Milk tore down a similar wall that was obstructing America's gay community from holding political office.

Milk finds experimental auteur Gus Van Sant taking cautious steps back toward the mainstream to celebrate Harvey's accomplishments. Van Sant's tender human-interest story, which showcases Sean Penn's considerable talents, is a closer relative to earlier efforts such as Finding Forrester or Good Will Hunting than to recent, abstruse features like Elephant, the spare Gerry, or the haunting Last Days.

Continue reading: Milk Review

The World Premiere Of Milk - Arrivals And Inside

Michael London and Lynn London - Michael London, Lynn London, at The Castro Theater San Francisco, California - The world premiere of Milk - arrivals and inside Tuesday 28th October 2008

Michael London and Lynn London

Appaloosa Review


Good
Unlike its immediate predecessors, which have retooled (Unforgiven), remade (3:10 To Yuma), revered (Open Range), and re-imagined (The Proposition) the genre, Ed Harris' Appaloosa is simply content being a good Western. It's unapologetic of its formula, unwilling to waver in its characterizations, and unhurried in its pace. It tells a story you've heard before -- more than once -- but it handles its business with rugged aplomb. That ought to be enough. But for some reason, it isn't.

It's 1882, and the intimidating landowner Randall Bragg (Jeremy Irons) casts a long shadow over the New Mexico town of Appaloosa. With three booming gun blasts, the film establishes Bragg's cold-blooded disdain for authority and utter lack of morals. Man, how I wish Appaloosa gave this character more time to breathe, develop, and wreck proper havoc.

Continue reading: Appaloosa Review

The Visitor Review


Very Good
The post-9/11 U.S. has always seemed like a grieving widow waiting for the other fatalistic shoe to drop. Part of this comes from a government selling fear as the foundation for its continued power. The other stems from the media's mindless grind of less-than-soothing imagery. Yet what many citizens fail to understand is that people more than politics are affected by our nervous kneejerk reactions. Such a sentiment forms the basis of Thomas McCarthy's intriguing new film, The Visitor.

For Walter Vale (Richard Jenkins), existence is a stifled sleepwalk of commitments and complaints. He hates teaching. He hates faculty politics. He especially hates the lonely life he leads as a widower. His wife long dead, Vale just can't find a purpose. Forced to travel from his new home in Connecticut to his old apartment in New York City to present a paper, he discovers two strangers living there. As illegals, Arab Tarek (Haaz Sleiman) and African Zainab (Danai Jekesai Gurira) have no real place to go, so Vale reluctantly lets them stay. When the Syrian Tarek is wrongfully arrested and detained, our quiet professor becomes his champion. The arrival of Tarek's mother (Hiam Abbass) from Michigan makes matters more complicated.

Continue reading: The Visitor Review

Smart People Review


OK
In acting, chameleon-like versatility can be overrated. In Smart People, the principle actors are assigned roles right in their natural strike zones, and it's a pleasure to watch them swing away with ease. Dennis Quaid capitalizes on his natural late-career crankiness to play Lawrence Wetherhold, a widowed English professor with a perpetual sour look. His daughter Vanessa is a mouthy overachiever, which is the established domain of Ellen Page, whether her gift is configured through superhuman quippiness (Juno), insane manipulation (Hard Candy), or the ability to walk through walls (X-Men: The Last Stand).

Entering into the Wetherhold house, ostensibly to chauffer the belligerent prof after a seizure suspends his driver's license, is Lawrence's laid-back, semi-transient adopted brother Chuck. Chuck is played by Thomas Haden Church in a clear and mostly successful post-Sideways bid to establish future laid-back semi-transients as "the Thomas Haden Church part." Church and Page are especially fun to watch and, especially, listen to: Church's sort of deadpan surfer growl and Page's nasal precociousness in a vocal duel. That they recall their previous roles only hastens our desire to spend time with them.

Continue reading: Smart People Review

King Of California Review


Bad
It's easy to see what attracted Michael Douglas to the role of Charlie in writer-director Mike Cahill's whimsical comedy King of California. Charlie is a cuddly, middle-age loony, the kind of screwtop crackpot that Academy voters love. And Douglas wades into the role with all of his might, his grizzly charm coming off like a New Age cross between Henry Travers and David Crosby. Unfortunately, Douglas is hurling all of his oddball ticks and psychotic charms into a vacuum.

King of California is cute, innocent, and precocious, just like the little 10-year-old niece you want to kill. Cahill's film aims to be quirky and quizzical and it has the feel of the kind of anti-establishment films made in the '60s and '70s along the lines of They Might Be Giants or Daddy Douglas' The Lonely Are the Brave. But there is no ballast for the whimsy, and the whole concept wisps away like a leaky balloon full of hot air.

Continue reading: King Of California Review

The Illusionist Review


Weak
There's something in Paul Giamatti that was just made for the 19th century. With those slightly bulbous but penetrating eyes and stolid weariness, one can imagine him looking out of an old daguerreotype with hat in hand, an emblem of a less superficial age. So it's nice to see Giamatti (so often made to play the whiny comic relief) cast in the otherwise dismissible film The Illusionist as a gruff policeman in fin de siècle Vienna, dropping his voice into a lower register than usual and assuming an impressive stature; honorable but shaded with a tiny bit of incipient corruption. If only everything else in the film worked this well.

Based on a short story by Steven Millhauser, a Pulitzer winner given to tidy exposition and nostalgic settings, The Illusionist concerns a stage magician who was separated from the love of his love due to his peasant roots and her aristocratic family, only to meet her years later on stage, when she is betrothed to a villainous crown prince. The magician, Eisenheim, is played stiffly by Edward Norton, without a shred of humor or self-awareness. Somewhat in keeping with his performance is that by Jessica Biel as his beloved, Sophie von Teschen -- whose beauty helps brighten these lamp-lit rooms, but who is never close to believable as a Viennese noblewoman. Rather more in keeping with the spirit of the rather melodramatic story is Rufus Sewell, as the evil Crown Prince Leopold, who swans through the film with cigarette holder perched lightly in one hand, his face a deliciously, maliciously bored mask.

Continue reading: The Illusionist Review

The Family Stone Review


Weak
The Family Stone wants to be many things. It wants to be funny and touching and warm-hearted, like any good holiday film, but aspiration is not achievement and The Family Stone proves it.

Written and directed by Thomas Bezucha, the story starts with Everett Stone (Dermot Mulroney) bringing his uptight girlfriend, Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker), home for Christmas to meet his family. The Stones take an immediate disliking to Meredith -- she's corporate, they're earthy -- forcing her into a downward spiral where she tries ever harder to win their approval. Sort of like Meet the Parents... at Christmastime... without the laughs.

Continue reading: The Family Stone Review

Michael London

Michael London Quick Links

News Pictures Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Filmmaker


Suggested

'Lost' BBC Session By Led Zeppelin Recovered And Restored

'Lost' BBC Session By Led Zeppelin Recovered And Restored

The 1969 session, including the only known recording of 'Sunshine Woman' by the band, will be included on a re-issue of 'The Complete BBC Sessions'...

Michael J. Fox Joins Coldplay On Stage To Perform 'Back To The Future' Songs

Michael J. Fox Joins Coldplay On Stage To Perform 'Back To The Future' Songs

The 55 year old actor joined Chris Martin and co. on stage in New Jersey to perform 'Earth Angel' and 'Johnny B. Goode'.

Bjork Announces Virtual Reality Exhibition In London, Plus Single Live Show

Bjork Announces Virtual Reality Exhibition In London, Plus Single Live Show

Bjork Digital comes to London's Somerset House in September, along with a single live show at the Royal Albert Hall.

Advertisement
Has Kanye West Broken The Law Over Taylor Swift Phone Call?

Has Kanye West Broken The Law Over Taylor Swift Phone Call?

Kim Kardashian released an audio excerpt from a phone call between Kanye and Taylor Swift over the lyrics of 'Famous' - but if it was recorded...

DJ Shadow - The Mountain Will Fall Album Review

DJ Shadow - The Mountain Will Fall Album Review

There's very much a strength of conviction in remaining what you were, but arguably more so in becoming what you want to be.

'Poldark' And 'X Factor' Set For TV Clash In September

'Poldark' And 'X Factor' Set For TV Clash In September

The BBC drama starring Aidan Turner returns to BBC One on September 4th.

Guns N' Roses detained for gun possession

Guns N' Roses detained for gun possession

Guns N' Roses were detained at the Canadian border last week for gun possession but they're adamant the weapon didn't belong to them.

Advertisement

Michael London Movies

Trumbo Movie Review

Trumbo Movie Review

An entertaining film about sobering true events, this is the story of notorious screenwriter Dalton...

Love the Coopers (aka Christmas With the Coopers) Movie Review

Love the Coopers (aka Christmas With the Coopers) Movie Review

This may look like it's going to be a zany Christmas romp, but it's really...

Win Win Movie Review

Win Win Movie Review

As with The Station Agent and The Visitor, McCarthy creates a series of encounters for...

Appaloosa Movie Review

Appaloosa Movie Review

Unlike its immediate predecessors, which have retooled (Unforgiven), remade (3:10 To Yuma), revered (Open Range),...

Advertisement
King of California Movie Review

King of California Movie Review

It's easy to see what attracted Michael Douglas to the role of Charlie in writer-director...

The Illusionist Movie Review

The Illusionist Movie Review

There's something in Paul Giamatti that was just made for the 19th century. With those...

The Family Stone Movie Review

The Family Stone Movie Review

The Family Stone wants to be many things. It wants to be funny and touching...

40 Days And 40 Nights Movie Review

40 Days And 40 Nights Movie Review

For many Christians, the time of Lent is dedicated to 40 days of prayer and...

The Guru Movie Review

The Guru Movie Review

Heather Graham was meant for adult films. Gorgeous, sleek, and undeniably sexy, she can't...

Sideways Movie Review

Sideways Movie Review

Miles (Paul Giamatti) is the most self-aware lead character yet in an Alexander Payne film,...

House of Sand and Fog Movie Review

House of Sand and Fog Movie Review

Real estate brokers would call Vadim Perelman's solemn House of Sand and Fog a fixer-upper....

Advertisement
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.