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30th Annual ASCAP Film And Television Awards

Elliot Goldenthal and Michael Mann - A host of star were snapped upon arrival at the 30th Annual ASCAP Film and Television Awards which were held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, United States - Monday 9th March 2015

Elliot Goldenthal and Michael Mann
Elliot Goldenthal and Michael Mann

Blackhat Review


Good

Michael Mann doesn't make standard frantic-pace thrillers (see Heat and Public Enemies); he prefers to work at a more controlled stride, so while this hacking adventure-mystery is intriguing it also feels a bit plodding. Yes, the film erupts now and then into a viscerally exhilarating action sequence, including a couple of astonishing shootouts, but over the course of two and a quarter hours it barely builds up a head of steam. And it's further frustrating that the intriguing characters never quite emerge as real people.

It opens with a cyberattack on a Chinese nuclear power plant, after which Captain Chen (Wang Leehom) heads to America to consult with FBI Agent Barrett (Viola Davis), urging her to get the one man who can solve this case: Chen's former MIT roommate Nick (Chris Hemsworth), now serving 13 years in prison for hacking. On supervised release, Nick heads to Hong Kong with Chen and Barrett, plus a minder (Holt McCallany) and Chen's computer-whiz sister Lien (Tang Wei), who immediately catches Nick's eye. As they secretly begin falling for each other, Nick indulges in a lot of illicit computer work to trace the attack to ruthless thug Kassar (Ritchie Coster) and his shadowy boss Sadak (Yorick van Wageningen). But they're based in Jakarta, and the FBI has no jurisdiction there.

Aside from some cheesy inside-the-computer animation, Mann makes the film look sleek and stylish, dropping clues into each scene to fill in the bigger picture about what is happening. And when an action set-piece breaks out, the film becomes urgent and gritty, with handheld camerawork and a breathless sense of peril that suggests that no one is safe. On the other hand, the script asks us to believe that Hemsworth's imprisoned computer geek can suddenly become a full-on action man, with astonishing gun-handling skills, the muscly precision of a Hollywood stunt man and the ability to out-strategise both spies and super-villains in a massive climactic showdown in a crowded city square.

Continue reading: Blackhat Review

67th Annual DGA Awards Press Room

Alejandro González Iñárritu and Michael Mann - Celebrities attend 67th Annual DGA Awards - Press Room at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. at Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, DGA Awards - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 7th February 2015

Alejandro González Iñárritu and Michael Mann
Alejandro González Iñárritu and Steven Spielberg
Alejandro González Iñárritu and Steven Spielberg
Alejandro González Iñárritu and Steven Spielberg
Alejandro González Iñárritu
Alejandro González Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuaron

67th Annual DGA Awards - Arrivals

Michael Mann - A variety of stars were photographed as they arrived at the 67th Annual Directors Guild Of America Awards which were held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 7th February 2015

Michael Mann
Michael Mann and Summer Mann
Michael Mann and Summer Mann
Michael Mann and Summer Mann

World Premiere Of Legendary Pictures And Universal Pictures 'Blackhat'

Michael Mann - Shots from the World premiere of Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures 'Blackhat' as a host of stars took to the red carpet at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Hollywood, California, United States - Thursday 8th January 2015

Michael Mann
Michael Mann
Michael Mann
Michael Mann

Blackhat - Cyber Hacking Featurette


For the production of 'Blackhat', writer/director Michael Mann had to brush up on his knowledge of hacking in order to put together a film on the subject. Actor Chris Hemsworth had to undergo a master class on hacking and the use of computers. Mann also discusses how terrifying the idea of a cyber-criminal being able steal whatever they please from anywhere in the world at any time. 

'Blackhat' follows the story of a hacker that can target anywhere in the world, stealing money and amassing wealth before causing a string of terrorist attacks upon the world. The US and China form a specialist taskforce to discover the identity of the hacker and find him before he is able to strike again. When they find themselves unable to trace the source, they turn to Nicholas Hathaway (Hemsworth), a convicted hacker serving jail time for hacking. If Hathaway is able to find and expose the mysterious hacker before it's too late, he will be free to live his life. 'Blackhat' is due to be released in the US on 16th January 2015, with a UK theatrical release following on 20th January in the same year. 

 

Blackhat Trailer


When an unnamed hacker begins to steal money from wherever he wants, he turns his attention on acts of terror. After the destruction of a Chinese power plant, a collaboration of American and Chinese agencies begin trying to find just who this person is. They finally hit on the idea of bringing convicted hacker Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) out of his 15-year-jail time, in order to help them track down the illusive boogieman. But as he is always one step ahead of them, it seems that even Hathaway's help will not result in them catching their crook. 

Continue: Blackhat Trailer

Blackhat Trailer


When an anonymous hacker is able to disrupt the files for three major banks around the world, it the US government find themselves unable to stop the mysterious cybercriminal. After beginning a joint operation with China, they turn to Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth), a hacker serving a fifteen year sentence for his crimes. In exchange for his freedom, Hathaway agrees to help the combined force track down and stop the hacker. But when his cyber-attacks turn into acts of terrorism, Hathaway discovers that he is facing an enemy not motivated by money or politics. An enemy that exists everywhere at every time, and can strike out against whoever he pleases. 

Continue: Blackhat Trailer

Legendary Pictures Panel Press Conference At San Diego Comic Con 2014

Chris Hemsworth and Michael Mann - Legendary Pictures panel press conference at San Diego Comic Con 2014 - San Diego, California, United States - Saturday 26th July 2014

Chris Hemsworth and Michael Mann
Chris Hemsworth and Michael Mann
Chris Hemsworth and Michael Mann

Dennis Farina Passes Away Aged 69


Dennis Farina Michael Mann

Dennis Farina, the tough guy actor who became one of TV's most well-known detectives on Law & Order after years of working as an actual policeman, has passed away aged 69. A publicist for the actor confirmed the news on Monday (July 22) that he had died, revealing that the actor passed away in Scottsdale, Arizona after developing a fatal blood clot in his lung.

Dennis Farina
Dennis Farina passed away on Monday

After serving in the army, Farina went on to spend 18 years in the Chicago Police Department's burglary division, from 1967 to 1985. Farina first gained work as an actor in Michael Mann's 1981 film Thief and began to moonlight as an actor before handing in his badge in 1985. He worked with Mann on a number of occasions, including his television shows Crime Story and Miami Vice, and the movie Manhunter.

Continue reading: Dennis Farina Passes Away Aged 69

Public Enemies Review


Excellent
Combining artful filmmaking with a true story, this internalised thriller keeps us thoroughly involved in the experiences of a notorious anti-hero. And superb acting makes sure that we care what happens to him.

In 1933, John Dillinger (Depp) is America's public enemy No 1, the top target for FBI chief Hoover (Crudup) and his top agent Purvis (Bale). And the brazen nature of his bank-robbing spree makes the Feds even more irate. But as Dillinger falls for the exotic Billie (Cotillard), his colleagues are being captured or killed. Dillinger may be able to slip out of prison, but without his trusted friends, he's forced to work with unpredictable gangsters like Baby Face Nelson (Graham) and Alvin Karpis (Ribisi). And the agents are closing in.

Continue reading: Public Enemies Review

Public Enemies Trailer


Watch the trailer for Public Enemies.

Continue: Public Enemies Trailer

Hancock Review


OK
It doesn't happen in many movies, but there's something I like to call the "drop-off point" to describe when a movie turns bad very suddenly. The drop-off point of Hancock occurs at the beginning of the third act, and I can't describe it fully without spoiling the ending, but I will say the movie gets bad precisely when the ghetto superhero Hancock (Will Smith) gets thrown out of a window onto a car. From thereon, as fast as Hancock can dive off a building, the movie plunges deeper and deeper into the depths of stupidity and failure.

That's disappointing, because before the drop-off point, Hancock is surprisingly good. The movie's best as a comedy and worst when it tries to get serious. Hancock is a tragically misunderstood, alcoholic super human of sorts; he's what would have happened to Superman if the Kents were unstable parents. Bulletproof, capable of flying, and strong as an ox, Hancock possesses all the physical traits to be a superhero but lacks any of the heroic characteristics. Everybody in Los Angeles hates this guy, because the damage he causes while nabbing criminals costs the city more to repair than the criminal acts themselves.

Continue reading: Hancock Review

Miami Vice Review


Bad
You can learn a lot about Michael Mann's updated Miami Vice by listening to Glenn Frey. It's true. Many questions surrounding this remake are answered using the lyrics to Frey's prophetic "Smuggler's Blues," a song made famous by the seminal 1980s buddy-cop drama that sold sex and sidearms on South Beach.For instance, why would Mann - a respected filmmaker riding a decade-long creative hot streak - blow the dust off a hopelessly dated property he last executive-produced almost 20 years ago? As Frey sings, "It's the lure of easy money. It's got a very strong appeal." And why would a studio support Mann's impulsive let's-get-the-band-back-together decision after projects from Bewitched to The Dukes of Hazzard demonstrate that audiences don't care to relive the past? Frey confesses, "It's a losing proposition. But one you can't refuse."In its prime, the television-sized Vice influenced the fashion industry, peddled synthesizer-laden soundtracks, and made Don Johnson a household name. This realistically superficial recycling, however, will cure insomnia, set the advancement of digital cinematography back a few years, and unsuccessfully argue in favor of the mullet as an acceptable coif style.The story lost me almost immediately, but looked cool doing it. Undercover detectives James "Sonny" Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Ricardo Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) are deep into one case when a former informant contacts them claiming that a deal he was working went bad. To clean up the mess, Crockett and Tubbs must infiltrate a sprawling drug cartel lorded over by menacing Jose Yero (John Ortiz, mimicking Al Pacino's Tony Montana character) and sultry Isabella (Gong Li, her broken English disrupting half of her lines).Vice marks a return for Mann in multiple ways. He's back on the beach with Crockett and Tubbs, characters he last manipulated in 1989. More importantly, it's the director's first mature cops-and-robbers thriller since 1995's Heat, a modern classic which also presented an in-depth analysis of individuals operating on opposite sides of the law. Part of Heat's allure, though, was the intimate knowledge we collected about Pacino's bulldog detective and Robert De Niro's elusive thief. Watching the former sacrifice his marriage and family life for the sake of the job added juicy drama to his otherwise routine investigation.Vice lacks that human touch, those insights into the men away from their beats. Mann ladles on ample attitude, while his chiseled leading men provide plenty of posturing. Mannequin Vice might have made for a better title. Foxx and Farrell buy into the shout-and-scowl method, with an emphasis on the latter. But the script neglects to fill in details about Sonny and Ricardo beyond quick peeks into their active bedrooms. It's a fault built into the premise. These men exist deep undercover, so the lives they lead are smokescreens - which makes it difficult to care whether they continue to blow smoke or not.As a whole, the stiff and procedural Vice moves too slowly to hold our interests. It's a thinking-man's summer picture, code for "no action, plenty of conversation." Normally that's fine, but Mann pens lines that would have been too cheesy even for the '80s program. Crockett repeatedly claims, "No one has ever treaded where we are now." We just don't believe him. One villain barks, "He wants to promise them silver, but pay them in lead!" James Bond's foes made more effective threats.Oscar-winning cinematographer Dion Beebe continues to experiment with digital technology at Mann's request. It works when the action shifts to the open seas, but his night shoots produce muddy visuals that - while realistic - are ugly and drab. I guess when compared to the original Vice's pastel color scheme, it's an improvement.Frey once again gets the last words. I'm paraphrasing a few of his somber lyrics so that they properly sum up how I felt leaving my screening. I'm sorry it went down like this, and the audience had to lose. It's the nature of this business. It's the critic's blues.Watch that wake!

Collateral Review


Very Good
There are two kinds of roller coasters. The most modern kind uses maglev technology to take you from 0 to 100mph in a matter of seconds. The old-school kind slowly creeps you up an incline before letting gravity pull you down at sickening speeds. Collateral is definitely the latter, and actually delivers more in the build-up than the plummet.

Cab driver Max (Jamie Foxx) is having an ordinary night until he picks up Annie (Jada Pinkett Smith). They have a pleasant, interesting conversation, which director Michael Mann lets unfold at a natural, almost seductive pace. When they finally part ways, you feel as if you've watched a short romantic comedy. Enter Vincent (Tom Cruise).

Continue reading: Collateral Review

Michael Mann

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Michael Mann Movies

Blackhat Movie Review

Blackhat Movie Review

Michael Mann doesn't make standard frantic-pace thrillers (see Heat and Public Enemies); he prefers to...

Blackhat - Cyber Hacking Featurette Trailer

Blackhat - Cyber Hacking Featurette Trailer

For the production of 'Blackhat', writer/director Michael Mann had to brush up on his knowledge...

Blackhat Trailer

Blackhat Trailer

When an unnamed hacker begins to steal money from wherever he wants, he turns his...

Blackhat Trailer

Blackhat Trailer

When an anonymous hacker is able to disrupt the files for three major banks around...

Public Enemies Movie Review

Public Enemies Movie Review

Combining artful filmmaking with a true story, this internalised thriller keeps us thoroughly involved in...

Public Enemies Trailer

Public Enemies Trailer

Watch the trailer for Public Enemies.Public Enemies was a name given to bank robbers and...

Hancock Movie Review

Hancock Movie Review

It doesn't happen in many movies, but there's something I like to call the "drop-off...

The Kingdom (2007) Movie Review

The Kingdom (2007) Movie Review

Peter Berg's The Kingdom will either rally those in the theater or piss off every...

Miami Vice Movie Review

Miami Vice Movie Review

You can learn a lot about Michael Mann's updated Miami Vice by listening to Glenn...

The Aviator Movie Review

The Aviator Movie Review

The mythology of Howard Hughes is quite possibly bigger than the man could ever live...

Collateral Movie Review

Collateral Movie Review

There are two kinds of roller coasters. The most modern kind uses maglev technology to...

The Insider Movie Review

The Insider Movie Review

Listen up! A movie adapted from a magazine article about the making of a...

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