Truly enjoyable British romantic-comedies come along so rarely (Four Weddings and a Funeral was more than 20 years ago) that there's cause to celebrate this smart, likeable romp. Director Ben Palmer and writer Tess Morris never try to obscure the predictable plot, but they pack every scene with sharp characters, snappy dialogue and riotous set-pieces. As a result, we're laughing so much that we barely notice that we're also being reeled in emotionally.
The story centres on Nancy (Lake Bell), who is feeling particularly alone while travelling to London and a 40th anniversary party for her parents (Ken Stott and Harriet Walter). Whinging to her sister (Sharon Horgan) on the phone, she is challenged to be more spontaneous. So when she arrives at Waterloo Station and meets Jack (Simon Pegg), who mistakes her for his blind date, she decides to go along with it, assuming the identity of 24-year-old triathlete Jessica (Ophelia Lovibond). As the afternoon and evening roll out, Nancy and Jack get along surprisingly well until they run into both his bitter ex (Olivia Williams) and one of her old school friends (Kinnear), who sees this as his chance to win her over.
While there are plenty of farcical moments on this drunken night out, the filmmakers never play up the slapstick, acknowledging every over-the-top moment with an eye-roll and a pithy comment. Pegg and Bell are simply perfect for these roles: smart, witty, likeable people with questionable social skills. Both characters are a bit beaten down, but they're also open to what life throws at them, so the rather messy journey they take is thoroughly engaging. They also leave much of the crazier comedy to expert supporting players like Williams and especially Kinnear, whose character very nearly steals the movie with his goofy stalker-like antics.
Continue reading: Man Up Review
A simple train journey can have incredibly far-reaching consequences. When Nancy (Lake Bell) meets Jessica (Ophelia Lovibond) on a train, she notices the book she is reading is designed to help with relationship success. Jessica tells her that the book itself is not to be leant, as she is using it to meet up with her blind date. Nancy steals the book, believing that it will work as a serious self-help guide, however she ends up running into Jack (Simon Pegg), who was Jessica's blind date. When Nancy chooses to pose as Jessica, she has the perfect date - only he doesn't know she's lying.
Continue: Man Up Trailer
Rich Cline looks back over 2014 and shares some of the biggest let downs of the year.
Most of these movies feature actors, actresses and filmmakers who really should know better...
10) Dumb And Dumber To - After 20 years we had finally forgotten the resolutely unfunny first movie. And now they're back. Sadly, they haven't learned anything about comedy in the interim. Watch the trailer for Dumb and Dumber To here.
Continue reading: Contactmusic.com's 10 Worst Films Of 2014
As it explores Hollywood's inbred underbelly, this film becomes increasingly deranged and also rather dark and creepy, but it's so fiercely entertaining that it's impossible to look away from the screen. With razor-sharp performances, a brutally witty script by Bruce Wagner and snaky direction from David Cronenberg, the film is perhaps too knowing as it explores a group of fiercely ambitious people who will stop at nothing to get what they want.
Things kick off as Agatha (Mia Wasikowska) arrives in Los Angeles and is collected by chauffeur Jerome (Robert Pattinson), who is also of course an aspiring screenwriter and actor. Focussed and determined, Agatha visits the ruins of a Hollywood Hills home before using a friendship with Carrie Fisher to get a job as an assistant to acclaimed actress Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore). Facing middle age, Havana is desperate for a comeback role in a remake of the movie that made her mother a star. Meanwhile, 13-year-old teen pin-up Benjie (Evan Bird) has completed rehab and is ready to act again, encouraged by his manager mother (Olivia Williams) and self-help guru dad (John Cusack), who are unnerved when they hear that Agatha is back in town. Clearly everyone has a secret that can jeopardise their career paths. And they're connected in ways no one wants to acknowledge.
The knotted mess of the plot is carefully unpicked over the course of the film, which only makes everything that much more intense and nasty. While it's blackly funny, the movie's overall tone is extremely grim, as these wealthy stars are crippled by emptiness and desperation. They're also willing to do just about anything to get ahead, from celebrating someone else's misfortune to blatantly lying about their pasts.
Continue reading: Maps To The Stars Review
Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore) is an actress struggling with her insecurities and desperate to reprise her late mother Clarice's star role in the remake of the latter's 60s film. Constantly haunted by her mother's image and feeling like a less attractive version of her, she seeks comfort from her psychotherapist Dr Stafford Weiss (John Cusack). Weiss is struggling in his own life, with his wife managing his child star son's comeback acting career after a stint in rehab - and he's only 13-years-old. His other child, daughter Agatha (Mia Wasikowska), has been discharged from a mental hospital unbeknownst to them, and lands a job as a PA for none other than Havana. Stafford starts to become suspicious when Havana talks of her unnamed PA having a scarred face from a fire and warns his wife and son that their daughter may have returned. Meanwhile, Agatha becomes close to a limo driver named Jerome who has his own Hollywood dreams.
Continue: Maps To The Stars Trailer
David Cronenberg's new film could have a strong shot at the Palme D'Or if critics are on the money.
Maps to the Stars has finally received its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival and will compete in competition with nearly 20 other films for the top prize. Julianne Moore, John Cusack, Mia Wasikowska and Robert Pattinson lead the way in the movie, which is a scathing satire of Beverly Hills and certain roach-like denizens.
Robert Pattinson Plays Limo Driver Jerome Fantana In 'Maps To The Stars.'
Moore plays Havana Segrand, a famous but struggling star who is battling for another shot at fame playing the lead in a movie about her legendary movie star mother's life. Wasikowska plays Agatha Weiss, a badly scarred pyromaniac whose brother is a Bieber-esque child star with a similar attitude.
Arnold Schwarzenegger gets one of his most complex roles yet in this messy, violent thriller, another trip to the dark side for filmmaker David Ayer. As in Training Day and End of Watch, Ayer is exploring that moral tipping point where the people charged with protecting society become a danger. But the formula sags badly in this sloppily written script, which relies on grotesque violence instead of a coherent plot.
Schwarzenegger plays Breacher, the head of an elite DEA squad that has just stolen $10m in drug-bust cash. But someone takes it from them, after which the team members start turning up murdered in increasingly vicious ways. So Breacher and his colleagues - hothead Monster (Sam Worthington), prickly Lizzy (Mireille Enos), beefy Grinder (Joe Manganiello), hotshot Next (Josh Holloway) and smoothie Sugar (Terrence Howard) - band together to find the killer. Meanwhile, two local Atlanta cops (Olivia Williams and Harold Perrineau) are also on the case, clashing with Breacher at every turn. And shadowy goons hired by a drug cartel are lying in wait.
For about two-thirds of the running time, this is actually an intriguing whodunit, complete with clues and red herrings, suspicions and surprises. There's also a sense of urgency, as we never know who's going to get it next. Although the escalating grisliness is hard to stomach (it even reduces seasoned cops to retching wrecks), as is a hint of unnecessary romance. Then when the truth is revealed, the whole movie collapses into utter nonsense, desperately straining for moral resonance but undermining its own point with gratuitous brutality.
Continue reading: Sabotage Review
John 'Breacher' Wharton is the head of a DEA Special Operations Team, well-known by authorities for their formidable skill at hunting down gang members, confiscating drugs and using firearms. However, despite their crime-stopping work, they don't always play by the rules themselves. After arresting a drug lord and retrieving large stashes of money, meth and cocaine, they reward themselves by stealing some of the confiscated drugs for a party. Unfortunately for them, someone has also decided to make off with $10 million and now their bosses have found out. Breacher, feeling guilty about the drug theft already, is forced to plead his innocence when he is the number one person suspected; although he didn't do it, he knows that he is probably working with the person that did. When two of his agents are killed following the theft, and his wife and child are kidnapped, he becomes fiercely determined to uncover the culprit.
Continue: Sabotage - Clips
John 'Breacher' Wharton is the leader of a DEA Special Operations Team who, although happen to be the most skilled in their field, don't exactly always play by the rules. In perhaps one of the biggest busts of their careers, they arrest a major cartel leader and uncover a hoard of meth, cocaine and a stack of millions of dollars, and subsequently wind up celebrating by sneaking away some of the drugs they confiscated. However, when the folks above them discover that $10 million has been stolen from the money they seized, John is forced to plead his innocence, though with the unnerving feeling that someone on his not-so-straight team is absolutely capable of doing just that. The theft leads to the brutal murder of two DEA agents and John must find out where the money has gone before another dies - however, the time he has is drastically shortened when the cartel kidnap his beloved wife and child.
'Sabotage' is the latest action-packed crime drama from director David Ayer ('End of Watch', 'The Fast and the Furious', 'Training Day') who co-wrote the screenplay with Skip Woods ('A Good Day to Die Hard', 'Swordfish', 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'). It is set to hit movie theaters in the US on April 11th 2014.
Justin and the Knights of Valour will attempt to break a challenging and competitive animation market for 2013.
It’s been a pretty solid year for animated features so far; Wreck it Ralph, Despicable Me 2 and Monsters University all performed solidly with the critics and in the box office. But it hasn’t been all plain sailing – films like Turbo and Escape From Planet Earth haven’t gone down too well.
Can Justin, voiced by Highmore, learn the ways of the Knight?
There was a time when all animated films were basically the best films ever: Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, Toy Story(s), Up – but now there seems to be room for some pretty average efforts. Striking up some cute characters with big eyes, pitting them against a baddie and creating a weird little fella for comic relief just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Truly enjoyable British romantic-comedies come along so rarely (Four Weddings and a Funeral was more...
A simple train journey can have incredibly far-reaching consequences. When Nancy (Lake Bell) meets Jessica...
As it explores Hollywood's inbred underbelly, this film becomes increasingly deranged and also rather dark...
Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore) is an actress struggling with her insecurities and desperate to reprise...
Arnold Schwarzenegger gets one of his most complex roles yet in this messy, violent thriller,...
John 'Breacher' Wharton is the head of a DEA Special Operations Team, well-known by authorities...
John 'Breacher' Wharton is the leader of a DEA Special Operations Team who, although happen...
Justin is an average boy with big dreams living in a Kingdom where the Queen...
John Gregory is a Spook charged with ridding the country of witches, beasts and malevolent...