Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's complete lack of originality keeps it from being something memorable. Centring on a committed performance from Jake Gyllenhaal, it's always watchable, but it's rather annoying that every time an interesting theme is raised the script sidesteps into yet another boxing-movie cliche.
Gyllenhaal plays Billy Hope, an orphan raised in the system who rose to become the world light heavyweight champion. He has savvy wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) at his side, smart young daughter Leila (Oona Laurence) cheering him on and the fiercest manager (Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson) in the business. But personal failures, unexpected tragedies and financial crises suddenly bring an end to his millionaire lifestyle, leaving him alone and wandering the New York streets in search of a place to live. He seeks help from grizzled gym owner Tick (Forest Whitaker), who helps Billy rebuild himself so he can take on his nemesis (Miguel Gomez).
Billy is such a hot-head that he's not easy to like, continually blowing his top to make everything much worse for himself and his family. Gyllenhaal is an astonishing mass of muscles, scars and tattoos, with a burning inner rage that's startlingly believable. He also works hard to earn the audience's sympathies, despite the blunt superficiality of Kurt Sutter's script. Whitaker's role is even less nuanced; he's little more than the formulaic gruff trainer who's always played by an ageing Oscar winner. McAdams injects some snappy energy in her too-brief role, and it's actually Laurence who emerges as the film's most resonant character, effortlessly stealing her scenes right out from under Gyllenhaal's smashed-in nose.
Continue reading: Southpaw Review
It seems James Bond's flighty career has all boiled down to this moment. He's in deep trouble when MI5 boss M finds out that he has set up his own secret mission to Mexico City, but it was a trip he couldn't afford to miss after discovering a message in regards to a top secret criminal organisation. With a new car and a new lover, now he just needs every trace of his existence erased as he sets out to Rome to uncover this sinister mystery, while on the way meeting the only person with inside knowledge of this group; Lucia Sciarra, the widow of a notorious crime boss who informs Bond about SPECTRE. It soon becomes clear that Bond has a new enemy to face off against, though with every member of SPECTRE having some sort of link to 007, maybe this time the enemy's not such a new face after all.
Continue: Spectre Trailer
The life of a boxer has never been easy, but for heavyweight champion, Billy Hope (Jake Gyllenhaal), he is able to make by. With the love of his wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams) and daughter Leila (Oona Laurence), Billy can take any beating and dish out worse. But when an altercation takes place that leads to his wife's murder, Billy loses himself, and is deemed to be unable to look after his daughter. Now, with no career, no friends, and almost no hope, Billy must do what he can to regain his title and win the chance to look after his daughter once again.
Continue: Southpaw Trailer
Picking up after the climactic battle at his childhood home of Skyfall Lodge and the villainous attacks on MI6 headquarters, James Bond (Daniel Craig) is ready to face his greatest adversary. With MI6 discovering that he has a secret from his childhood, he is sent to on a mission to track down an old friend, now a high-ranking official in the villainous organisation. Suspecting the involvement of Mr. White (Jesper Christensen), a prominent member of the once-powerful Quantum, Bond soon discovers that he is about to go head-to-head with a more powerful, more dangerous group: SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion), and its illusive and mysterious leader (Christoph Waltz).
Continue: Spectre - Teaser Trailer
And the winner of the most dedicated method actor award goes to... Jake Gyllenhaal!
Jake Gyllenhaal is a shape shifter. There is no other explanation. We barely recognised him whilst he was filming 'Nightcrawler', with his sunken cheeks and generally gaunt demeanour, but now he's transformed yet again into a sinewy muscle-man for his forthcoming boxing drama 'Southpaw'.
Gyllenhaal looks completely different to usual
He's never exactly been a typecast actor, but it seems Jake Gyllenhaal can literally perform in any role. He can be unnerving ('Donnie Darko'), not to mention dedicated ('Brokeback Mountain') and now it seems he can manipulate his body in a matter of months. He lost thirty pounds to play the creepy, morally corrupt crime journalist Lou Bloom in Dan Gilroy's latest movie 'Nightcrawler', and now he's picked up his calorie intake and bulked up immensely to play a middle weight boxer in Antoine Fuqua's 'Southpaw'. We only wish we had that much self-discipline!
Continue reading: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Ripped For Southpaw: Is There Anything He Can't Do?
Get ready, folks, this next one might be the end of an era.
The end is nigh for Daniel Craig as 007. In fact, it might be coming in 2015 with Spectre, the fourth instalment in Craigs’ Bond tenure. The action flick was announced in a Buckinghamshire, England press event on Thursday, Dec. 4.
Will this be the last time Craig and Mendes team up for queen and country?
The new title sees a familiar cast with Skyfall director Sam Mendes and alums Rory Kinnear, Naomie Harris, Ralph Fiennes, and Ben Whishaw all returning for one last hurrah. How do we know it’s the last hurrah? Well, here’s what Mendes said in a special interview with BBC Radio 1: "I felt an attachment to the characters that we created in Skyfall. I felt like there was unfinished business, and that there was a lot more I could do with them once I'd kind of stepped aside and had some time off."
Continue reading: Daniel Craig Will Take On "007" Again - For The Last Time?
Lea Seydoux will allegedly be the next woman James Bond falls for in the upcoming 'Bond 24'.
Lea Seydoux has reportedly been cast in the next James Bond movie. Filming for the currently untitled 24th Bond movie is set to begin in six weeks and Bond 24, as it is known, will be in cinemas next year.
Lea Seydoux at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Continue reading: Lea Seydoux Reportedly Cast In Upcoming 'Bond 24' Movie
Chiwetel Ejiofor the new James Bond villain?
The Oscar-nominated star of 12 Years A Slave, Chiwetel Ejiofor, is likely to become the next James Bond villain, according to Variety. The trade magazine says the British star is the top name on producers' wish list for the 24th official James Bond movie, which will once again be directed by Sam Mendes as well as starring Daniel Craig.
Chiwetel Ejiofor Could Be The Next Bond Villain
Continue reading: '12 Years A Slave' Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor Set For Bond Villain Role
Film contenders jostle for position after the holiday break, while the internet buzzes with casting rumours for Batman vs Superman and 4 vs X. And trailers stir up anticipation for Stallone action, Costner drama and Rogen comedy...
Things always go quiet in the film industry over the holidays as everyone takes one last break before the full onslaught of awards season campaigning. Nominations for both Oscars and Baftas come in the next two weeks, and there's also action for the influential writers, directors, producers and actors guilds.
Awards-worthy movies expanding into cinemas this weekend include Mark Wahlberg's Lone Survivor, Spike Jonze's Her, the biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and the Cambodia documentary The Missing Picture. All have picked up attention from critics groups over the past month and are looking to catch the eye of Oscar voters. Read our review of 'Lone Survivor', watch the trailer for Spike Jonze's 'Her', read our review of 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' or our review of 'The Missing Picture'.
Based on his autobiography, this film is clearly designed to be the definitive film about Nelson Mandela. And it tells his remarkable story with skill, tracing his life from 25 to 75 while touching on why he's perhaps the most important figure of the past century. So it's no wonder that the film feels far too constructed and polished.
It starts in his Xhosa village birthplace, then follows Nelson (Elba) to Johannesburg in the 1940s as a sparky young lawyer with a loving wife (Pheto) and children. But the vicious injustice of Apartheid gets under his skin, and as he starts speaking out and taking action, his marriage falls apart. South Africa's government responds to protests by cracking down even further, so Nelson's African National Congress turns to violence. As a result, its leaders are sentenced to hard labour on Robben Island. Now married to the outspoken Winnie (Harris) with two more daughters, Nelson is sent away for life. But he refuses to let bitterness gain a foothold, and devises a way for the nation to peacefully transition into democracy.
Mandela's legacy lies in his wisdom and open-mindedness, avoiding a bloodbath by seeking reconciliation rather than revenge. And these themes play an important role in Nicholson's script, which of course has to condense the events drastically, even for a two-and-a-half hour movie. But all of the key moments are here, and even if the film sometimes feels like it's racing through them, there's plenty of subtext for the actors to grab hold of.
Continue reading: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom Review
Date of birth
6th September, 1976