This blending of the stoner bromance with the Christmas comedy works surprisingly well, layering gross-out humour with holiday sentimentality. So it's a bit of a shame that the script is thin and ultimately rather pointless. There are observations about the nature of friendship and maturity, but nothing very deep. But along the way, the cast and crew pack in a riotous sense of humour that mainly centres on drugs and genitalia, plus a whiff of Christmas magic.
The movie centres on three best buddies in New York: Ethan, Isaac and Chris (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie). Over the past several years, they've celebrated Christmas together with a series of traditions including karaoke, Chinese food and loudly festive sweaters. But now Isaac's wife Betsy (Jillian Bell) is about to give birth to their first child, and Chris' pro-football career is beginning to take off. So this will be their last Christmas Eve together, and they plan to make it an epic one. Ethan has secured tickets to New York's most exclusive secret holiday party, which he learns that his not-quite-ex girlfriend Diana (Lizzy Caplan) is attending. Meanwhile, Betsy has given Isaac a box of drugs for a last blow-out, and Chris scores a stash of weed from a mythical dealer (Michael Shannon).
The premise is certainly packed with possibility, and the filmmakers have a ball with the druggy excesses as the night unfolds, including wildly anarchic set-pieces that throw these likeable characters into all kinds of messy situations. The three lead actors make the most of their roles, adding layers of complexity that aren't in the script while indulging in rampant silliness at every turn. And the supporting cast are up for it as well, fully committing to the movie's crazed atmosphere. There are also hilarious extended cameos from James Franco and Miley Cyrus.
Continue reading: The Night Before Review
What happens when two superheroes with vastly differing opinions come head to head? Well, not very well if Lex Luthor has anything to do with it. Superman believes Batman is a vigilante and the civil liberties of the people of Gotham are 'being trampled on' whilst Batman feels Superman's abilities are blown out of proportion by the media and is far from a fan of his superhero outfit.
Lex Luthor has enough power to manipulate this situation to his benefit and pitches both heroes against one another - Son of Krypton versus Bat of Gotham however, when his plan doesn't go exactly to plan he creates a monster to destroy both men - on the verge of destruction, Batman and Superman are joined by Wonder Woman, Aquaman and other superheroes on their quest to save their city from destruction.
Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice is directed by Zack Snyder and it's a precursor to The Justice League films - which are also written and directed by Snyder.
Alton is a very special young boy who has been given a unique gift. When his father, Roy, finds out that Alton is in trouble with his freedom - and life - in jeopardy, Roy takes matters in his own hands and kidnaps his son. On the run and being hunted by religious extremists and special agents, Roy takes to the road with his close friend in order to protect his son.
Continue: Midnight Special Trailer
Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon appear at the premiere for their new drama '99 Homes' held at the 71st Venice Film Festival. They are joined by director Ramin Bahrani, fashion designer Gaia Trussardi and beauty blogger Victoria Bonya.
Screenwriter David S. Goyer and Amy Adams, who plays Superman's love interest Lois Lane, with her fiancé Darren Le Gallo were snapped on attending the world premiere of 'Man of Steel' in New York at Alice Tully Hall in the Lincoln Center. Michael Shannon, who plays the villainous General Zod, was also there with his partner Kate Arrington.
Michael Shannon - The cast of the new Superman film 'Man of Steel' arrive at Heathrow airport ahead of the UK premiere in the capital this evening (12Jun13) - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 12th June 2013
The latest Superman film is out this week, but should you bother going to see it, or should you even care?
The Man of Steel is quite possibly one of the most eagerly anticipated summer blockbusters to be released in 2013, with critics and audiences alike readying themselves for the long-awaited return of Superman on the cinema screen. With an all-star cast and some of Hollywood's best comic book adaptors working behind the scenes, the film should be one of the hits of the year, but incase you don't feel as though the film will live up to expectations here's a quick list of why you shoudl give it a try.
Continue reading: Superman Is Back! - 5 Reasons To Go See Man Of Steel This Summer
The Boardwalk Empire star opens up on his Man of Steel character
We’ve heard a great deal about Henry Cavill playing Superman, but, until now, Michael Shannon has remained remarkably quiet about his turn as General Zod, the ‘baddie’ in Man of Steel, due for release next week.
Shannon is best known, recently at least, for his role in Boardwalk Empire. He plays the religious prohibition agent turn criminal on the lam, Nelson Van Alden, and has done so to critical acclaim. Like Van Alden, Shannon doesn’t consider Zod to be intrinsically bad, just a guy getting on with things. “I don't consider him a bad guy. He's a general just trying to do his job. Ask any general what their purpose in life is and it's to defend whatever people they happened to be aligned with. He's aligned with Krypton. It's his mission, plain and simple.” Shannon recently flipped out, perhaps ironically, at Adam Buxton at a recent Q&A event at an Apple store in London. "Richard Kuklinski is the first hitman I've ever played," he snapped when BBC 6Music DJ Adam Buxton asked him why all his character seem to ‘snap’. "All my characters are different. I've been asked that question a bazillion times and I've answered it a bazillion times."
Continue reading: Man Of Steel Update - Michael Shannon On General Zod
Clark Kent is a mysterious young journalist who as adopted as a child by Martha and Jonathan Kent in a small, rural town in Kansas. However, he is an outcast on the planet Earth who possesses extraordinary alien powers because he was born on the planet Krypton; a planet that was destroyed when he was a baby. While he has tried his best all his life to fit in, his super-abilities inevitably come out when he prevents a tragic disaster as a teenager. As an adult, his new home is confronted by his own race who wish to destroy it and the time for hiding his powers away is over. He must use his gift to be the world's ultimate ally and defend it from forces human beings never dared wish existed.
'Man of Steel' is the brand new reboot of the 80s 'Superman' film series. It has been directed by Zack Snyder ('300', 'Watchmen', 'Sucker Punch') with production from his wife and frequent collaborator Deborah Snyder alongside 'The Dark Knight' trilogy producers Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas and Charles Roven. This epic new super-flick is based on the DC comic book characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and written by David S. Goyer. It will hit the UK this summer on June 14th 2013.
Clark Kent is a young reporter for the Daily Planet newspaper. He was adopted when he was a child after planetary disaster caused him to be sent down to Earth when his home planet Krypton was destroyed. His adoptive parents, Martha and Jonathan Kent, brought him up in the rural town of Smallville in Kansas. Throughout his life, his super-abilities isolated him from the rest of the population; he had to make a choice about what kind of man he wanted to become equipped with these powers. Naturally, he transforms himself into the Superman, a new found alter-ego, and uses his astonishing faculties to defend the planet when it comes under attack from an evil force that could prove to be a match for his abilities.
Continue: Man Of Steel - TV Spot Trailer
Austin Pendleton, Michael Shannon, Tom Wirtshafter, Scott Morfee, Jean Doumanian, Eric Hoff, Ike Holter, Tracy Letts, Mare Winningham, David Cromer and Josh Schmidt - The premiere of 'Hit The Wall', held at the Barrow Street Theatre - New York City, United States - Sunday 10th March 2013
Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence battle over Best Actress, Denzel Washington and Daniel Day-Lewis meet over Best Actor And Anne Hathaway favorite for Best Supporting Actress. While Iceman (James Franco, Winona Ryder) and Mud (Matthew McConnaughey and Reese Witherspoon) Trailers Hit The Web.
It's awards season for the film industry, so it's no coincidence that most stories this week centre on actors and filmmakers who are up for a variety of statuettes. Last Sunday's Golden Globes are increasingly seen as a little more than a promotional opportunity for hopeful Oscar nominees, and since they have winners in both drama and musical/comedy categories, they can spread the love around more than other groups. Unlike most years, there is no movie poised to sweep the Oscars this year.
Although Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark Thirty is gaining on her, Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook is the front-runner for Best Actress. Facing a huge crowd of fans, she stopped to sign autographs and pose for photos on her way to David Letterman's show this week.
What's not to like? "Four celebrity teams clash in a fearsome and hilarious speed charades competition," it sounds amazing. Bobby Cannavale, Josh Charles, Sasha Cohen, Tom Colicchio, Billy Crudup, America Fererra, Eddie George, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Kind, Padma Lakshmi, Zosia Mamet, Jesse L. Martin, Chris Rock, Sam Rockwell, Cynthia Rowley, Yul Vazquez, Daphne Rubin-Vega and David Zayas (phew!) were all in attendance.
The New York 'Killing Them Softly' premiere was Hollywood star central with numerous movie stars taking to the red carpet including 'Star Trek' star Patrick Stewart with his partner Sunny Ozell, 'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter, Maggie Grace from 'Taken', 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' actress Taraji P. Henson and one of the premiering movie's stars Scoot McNairy.
Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington, Paul Rudd and Edward Asner - Michael Shannon, Kate Arrington, Paul Rudd and Edward Asner Thursday 4th October 2012 Broadway opening night of 'Grace' held at the Cort Theatre - Curtain Call
Ray Liotta, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon and Winona Ryder - Ray Liotta, Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ariel Vromen, and Johanna Schneller Monday 10th September 2012 2012 Toronto International Film Festival - 'The Iceman' Photo Call.
Ed Asner, Michael Shannon and Paul Rudd - Ed Asner, Michael Shannon, Paul Rudd, Kate Arrington, Dexter Bullard and Heather Hitchens Tuesday 21st August 2012 Press Conference for the Broadway play 'Grace', held at the Grace Hotel.
Jessica Chastain, Michael Shannon and Independent Spirit Awards - Jeff Nichols, Jessica Chastain and Michael Shannon Saturday 25th February 2012 27th Annual Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach - Arrivals
Curtis (Shannon) lives in small-town America with his wife Samantha (Chastain) and their young daughter Hannah (Stewart). He has a good job in a quarry, which provides insurance so Hannah can get an operation to restore her hearing. But Curtis begins to suspect that his mind is slipping, rather like his schizophrenic mother (Baker). As his nightmares become increasingly horrific and vivid, he starts to become paranoid about a coming storm. And no one understands why he insists on building an underground shelter next to the house.
Continue reading: Take Shelter Review
In San Diego, two detectives (Dafoe and Pena) converge on a suburban stand-off where a killer, Brad (Shannon), claims to be holding hostages. As the tension builds, Brad's girlfriend Ingrid (Sevigny) and his theatre-director friend Lee (Kier) arrive to help the cops, explaining Brad's somewhat strained relationship with his mother (Zabriskie) and his eccentric Uncle Ted (Dourif).
They also talk about how he has never quite been himself after a mind-opening trip to Peru.
Continue reading: My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done Review
Detective Terence McDonagh (Cage) has been promoted to lieutenant in the wake of his heroic actions during Hurricane Katrina. Even though he's a coke-snorting, evidence-tampering, gambling-addict rapist with a hooker (Mendes) for a girlfriend. Now he's investigating the grisly murder of a family. He knows that local gangster Big Fate (Joiner) is to blame, but he has no proof beyond a nervous 15-year-old witness (Whitaker). As his entire world squeezes in on him, he merely turns to more drugs, violence and sex to worm his way out.
Continue reading: The Bad Lieutenant - Port Of Call: New Orleans Review
Terrence McDonagh is a cop who's not really known for his courageous acts but when he sees a man drowning in a cell, he jumps to save him. His act of bravery might have won him a promotion to lieutenant but it's also left him with a bad back injury.
As his back becomes more of a problem McDonagh develops a serious drug problem, turning to any dark alley to find relief. Bribery and stealing drugs put into evidence become part of the norm for him, the most stability in his life comes from a relationship he has with a prostitute called Frankie but when he finds her beaten by a client, he takes matters into his own hands. Working in a drug induced state becomes more of an issue for McDonagh. Whilst trying to solve the murders of six Senegal immigrants it appears his personal life and current case will cross paths.
Directed by: Werner Herzog
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Xzibit, Brad Dourif, Fairuza Balk, Shawn Hatosy, Jennifer Coolidge, Tom Bower, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Denzel Whitaker, Michael Shannon
Welcome to Revolutionary Road, the feel-miserable movie of 2008. For their post-Titanic reunion, Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio have teamed with American Beauty director Sam Mendes (also Winslet's husband) on a dour, shrill adaptation of Richard Yates' respected novel about an unhappy couple steadily sinking in the quicksand of their discontent.
Continue reading: Revolutionary Road Review
The man in question is Andy (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a pudgy volcano of a corporate hustler with a trophy wife. Gina (Marisa Tomei) fits that role to a T as she spends Andy's money and enjoys mid-day quickies with Andy's brother Hank (Ethan Hawke). Hank's money goes towards his ex-wife (a great Amy Ryan) and daughter while Andy's cash, when not with Gina, is spent on heroin in the très chic twentieth-floor apartment of his dealer in Manhattan. The boys need dough and their bourgeois office jobs aren't keeping it coming in. That's when Andy gets the idea.
Continue reading: Before The Devil Knows You're Dead Review
Simply put, Walter (Kevin Bacon) is back in town after serving a 12-year stretch for molesting young girls. He gets a job at a lumberyard where the manager (David Alan Grier, in a rare yet welcome stab at dramatic acting) makes it clear that he only hired Walter due to a family favor. Antisocial to a fault, Walter goes about his work with sullen determination, retreating to his depressing apartment to share the occasional beer with his brother-in-law, Carlos (Benjamin Bratt), the only family member who will even speak to him. Walter goes to a therapist who tries, without much success, to get him to dig a little deeper and to deal with his problem. In the meantime, Walter tries not to stare at the pre-teen schoolgirls who ride the bus he takes to work, and stares sullenly out his window at the schoolyard across the street ("the only landlord in town who'll take my money" he remarks to Carlos's bafflement at his suspicious choice of living quarters).
Continue reading: The Woodsman Review
It's not my place to pass judgment on the burial rights of musicians (just on the movies made about the incident), but Grand Theft Parsons has one of the most sitcom like plots I've seen in an impendent movie in a long time. While a studio flick have might have taken such a shtick for slapstick and made it dumbly funny, Grand Theft Parsons goes down the road of the metaphysical, using a corpse in a car as an excuse for a surreal waxing philosophical on hicks, bodies, and rock and roll.
Continue reading: Grand Theft Parsons Review
Comparisons to "Mystic River" are obvious as Kevin Bacon shifts from the role of a Boston cop entangled in a murder case involving child molesters to the much deeper role of an actual child molester in "The Woodsman."
Released from prison after 12 years, Walter (Bacon) lands a job in a Philadelphia lumberyard, moves into a shabby apartment across from a schoolyard, and waits through the long, aching hours for his healing to begin. His brother-in-law Carlos (Benjamin Bratt) makes a vague attempt to reach out, but he is reluctant to let Walter meet his 12 year-old niece. Co-worker Vicki (Bacon's wife Kyra Sedgwick) becomes friendly with him, and a cop (Mos Def) is personally invested in bringing Walter down.
Everyone spends every minute waiting for Walter to slip, none more so than Walter himself. When he gets off his bus and follows a young girl (Hannah Pilkes) into the park, we understand that he can't help himself.
Continue reading: THE WOODSMAN Review
With an early, inappropriately crude and extremely long-running joke about infected genitals, the down-under comedy "Kangaroo Jack" blows its chance for a shoulder-shrugging, it's-good-enough-for-kids recommendation. But since the rest of the movie is too flimsy for adults to enjoy on their own, there doesn't seem much point in explaining that it does have its moments.
The plot finds a Brooklyn mobster's stepson (Jerry O'Connell) and his bad-luck buddy (Anthony Anderson) flying to Australia to make a $50,000 delivery in a "mission of absolution" after accidentally blowing the cover on a big mafia operation.
While traveling through the Outback, they dress up a road-kill kangaroo in sunglasses and Anderson's "lucky jacket" for a few laughs and a few silly snapshots to send back home. But the not-really-dead 'roo springs to life, scaring the bejezus out of the guys, then hopping off into the wilderness, still wearing the jacket -- which holds the 50 large in its pockets.
Continue reading: Kangaroo Jack Review
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