Scott Eastwood hits the red carpet in Los Angeles, Ryan Gosling meets his fans in London, and Paul Reubens gets back into Pee-Wee gear for his new movie. Trailers this week offer glimpses at a comedy from Jack Black, action with Pierce Brosnan, both comedy and action with Zach Galifianakis, and a moving documentary about Amy Winehouse...
Rising-star hunk Scott Eastwood hit the red carpet in Los Angeles this week for the premiere of his new movie The Longest Ride, a romantic drama based on the Nicholas Sparks novel. Sparks was on-hand as well, along with costars Oona Chaplin, Britt Robertson, Melissa Benoist and director George Tillman Jr.
Sophia Danko is a young student unwittingly about to enter into a world of whirlwind young love when she meets a dashing cowboy named Luke Collins at her first rodeo. Handsome, charming and impossibly daring with a passion for bull-riding, he captures Sophia's heart and the two become inseparable. As they ponder their happily ever after, they come across a severe car crash, rescuing an elderly man named Ira from the wreckage. While visiting him in hospital, Ira shows her some old letters that he wrote to the love of his life Ruth during the war and she reads them to him, learning more and more about this man's life and also that no relationship is as perfect as it seems. Sophia's connection with Luke starts to strain when he suffers a near miss at another rodeo event, and she begins to resent his disregard for his own life.
Continue: The Longest Ride Trailer
With his first romantic-comedy, Daniel Radcliffe proves adept at delivering snappy dialogue and generating strong chemistry with his costars, so it's frustrating that the film is never remotely believable. Director Michael Dowse and writer Elan Mastai find some cleverly original angles on the genre, but never seem sure whether this is silly slapstick or darker black comedy. They also indulge in several appallingly corny plot points that would only happen like this if they were written by a screenwriter.
Radcliffe plays Wallace, a British guy living in Toronto. After a bad break-up he has dropped out of med school and let his life drift aimlessly, but now his best pal Allan (Adam Driver) is tired of his moping around. So he introduces Wallace to his cousin Chantry (Zoe Kazan), and the two hit it off. The problem is that Chantry has a lovely boyfriend, Ben (Rafe Spall), so just wants to be friends. Wallace is smitten but pretends that this is fine. And this causes a serious problem as they get to know each other over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, Allan has his own fast-moving relationship with Nicole (Mackenzie Davis), and he urges Wallace to make a move when Ben is transferred to Dublin for six months. The question is whether Chantry feels the same way about him.
Dowse has always been good at finding the sharper edges of humour in any scene (see Fubar or Goon), but this film has a squishy sentimental centre that threatens to undo it at every turn. There are also several goofy moments that strain credibility, such as when Wallace and Chantry are forced to share a sleeping bag naked. Meanwhile, the characters are so perky that they're somewhat exhausting. The actors seem to be trying desperately to make us like them in every scene, and sometimes this works simply because they are genuinely engaging. But the best moments are when Radcliffe hesitates awkwardly or explores the darker side of his longing, or when Kazan reveals the doubt behind her super-cute eyes.
Continue reading: What If Review
Wallace has just about giving up on finding love and relationships. He's dropped out of medical school and seems quite happy to spend all of his time at home, barely venturing out of the apartment he shares with his promiscuous roommate Allen. When he is persuaded to attend a party, however, he meets Chantry; a girl determined to be friends with Wallace. While Wallace is rather taken by her initially, he is disappointed that she has a boyfriend but willing to make their special friendship work. Everyone around them is sceptical about their platonic relationship despite their insistence that men and women can indeed be just friends. Though the more they try and insist they are not falling in love, the less convinced they are making themselves. Feeling confused and guilty, Wallace and Chantry must look deep within themselves to puzzle out the meaning of their chemistry.
'What If' was originally named ‘The F Word’ and is a rom-com based on the T.J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi play 'Toothpaste and Cigars'. It has been directed by Michael Dowse ('Goon', 'Take Me Home Tonight', 'It's All Gone Pete Tong') and written by Elan Mastai ('Alone in the Dark', 'Fury', 'Sk8 Life'), and it has already won two awards with a further four nominations.
While women in the audience may find resonance in the comical prickliness, this film remains more of a stage play than an actual movie. Indeed, playwright Hirons has adapted the script from her play When Women Wee, but it's such a broad farce that we never quite believe any of it on-screen. Although two of the actresses nicely underplay their characters for the cameras.
The story takes place almost entirely in the ladies' room at a British nightclub, where the disorganised Sam (Smith) is having a night out with her friends: shameless maneater Chanel (Winstone), trashy Saskia (Hoare) and the too-nice Paige (Steele). Then Sam runs into the posh Michelle (Nash) and her gorgeous French friend Jess (Chaplin), and decides to ditch her pals. But the club isn't big enough to avoid them for long, and things get increasingly messy for everyone as the night progresses. Meanwhile, the restroom attendant (Fiori) just laughs at their melodrama.
With Sam at the centre, every other woman is essentially a stereotype carefully written to convey some aspect of femininity. By contrast, the men are barely defined at all, so only two register, both of them unusually nice: Sam's ex (Warren) and a guy (Balfour) she chats to in the smoking area. But in this large ensemble, only Sheridan and Winstone manage to give their characters three dimensions, mainly because they create properly cinematic performances that rely on understated details rather than histrionics.
Continue reading: Powder Room Review
Sam is living an entirely uninteresting life full of hardships and love life troubles. However, during one night out to what she reckons is a 'posh' nightclub, she is forced to reassess her life and think about who she really wants to be as she is reunited with her glamorous old friend Michelle, who is now engaged and leads a glitzy lifestyle in Paris with her equally trendy friend Jess. To her, the club is a distinctly cheap and tacky and Sam becomes so consumed with jealousy that she finds herself carving out a whole new identity that she is forced to keep up the rest of the night. But with friends like Chanel, Saskie and Paige who spend the evening downing shots and shamelessly seducing men, it becomes a harder feat than she realised.
Continue: Powder Room Trailer
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.
Sophia Danko is a young student unwittingly about to enter into a world of whirlwind...
With his first romantic-comedy, Daniel Radcliffe proves adept at delivering snappy dialogue and generating strong...
Wallace has just about giving up on finding love and relationships. He's dropped out of...
While women in the audience may find resonance in the comical prickliness, this film remains...
Sam is living an entirely uninteresting life full of hardships and love life troubles. However,...