Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the ring, but there's also some real emotional depth in the script by actor Johnny Harris and the direction by Thomas Napper (who was second unit director on Beauty and the Beast). So even if the film's plot feels somewhat contrived, the movie has strong resonance in its characters and situations. And it's shot and acted in a remarkably realistic way.
Harris stars as a has-been boxer named Jimmy, who has been evicted from his flat because his building is due to be demolished. With nowhere to go, he turns to his old gym, assuring his former trainer Bill (Ray Winstone) that he has stopped drinking and participating in unlicensed fights. But as Bill's pal Eddie (Michael Smiley) begins to coach him back into shape, Jimmy secretly turns to local gangster Joe (Ian McShane) for help to make some extra cash in an underground boxing match against a notoriously ferocious opponent (Luke J.I. Smith). Then it turns out that Bill and Eddie are hiding something from Jimmy as well. And that they know all about his upcoming fight.
Napper directs the film almost like a documentary, never indulging in melodramatic flourishes as these tough men carefully guard their emotions. He also avoids all rah-rah sports movie cliches. There are no soaring training montages, and the fight scenes are shot without any slow-motion dramatics or rousing music. They feel fiercely true to life, and very painful too. Harris is terrific in the raw central role, a likeable guy whose fiery temper continually gets him in trouble. He may cause his own problems, but he genuinely wants to be a better man. His scenes with Winstone and McShane are terrific, but it's his more prickly connection with Smiley's Eddie that gives the film its soul. Smiley provides Eddie with a wonderful inner life that connects with the audience in surprising ways.
Continue reading: Jawbone Review
He's worked for the same company for years, and one day he is asked to work late. What his wife doesn't know, however, is that Jim Terrier (Sean Penn), is actually a hired assassin. When his late-night hit goes wrong, he is faced with a sense of morality over what he has done over the year, and how his future is going to be affected by the mistake. After facing his employers, he finds himself unable to leave the mess he created, and when he tries to expose his organisation, they kidnap his wife. Now, Terrier must fight against his employers for the safety of his family - let alone his own life.
Continue: The Gunman Trailer
Noah is a normal family man faced with major responsibility when his dark visions lead him to see God's plan to wipe out the corrupt humanity that has plagued his Earth. When he realises that a great flood will be the disaster that will destroy all life, he subsequently sees that a new life will come after it that he must help to re-create. He and his family decide to build a colossal ark to keep them safe from the oncoming catastrophe, and thus use it to save the planet's animals as well. However, the fact that they have been blessed to live has angered their fellow neighbours, who band together in an attempt to seize the ark and save themselves. In an extraordinary turnaround, Noah and his family find themselves facing the bigger threat of their own people, rather than the deadly wrath of the Lord himself.
Continue: Noah - Extended Trailer
Our list of the top five biggest box office flops.
You know that old saying ‘Money can’t buy you happiness’? Well it can’t buy a box office hit, either! You can pump millions of dollars into a movie, but it doesn’t guarantee it will be a success, take these box office flops for example.
Remember 'Mars Needs Moms'
2011’s Mars Needs Moms had a production budget of $150,000,000, but only took $38,992,758 at the international box office giving it an estimated loss of $130,503,621. That would buy you around 7,676 Hermes Birkin bags or 652 Lamborghinis. So, essentially, it’s quite a substantial loss and we can't imagine that Walt Disney, who produced the movie, were too pleased.
Continue reading: Mars Needs Mom, R.I.P.D, 13th Warrior: The Forgotton Box Office Flops
When Noah is faced with a dark message from God thanks to his gift of envisioning the future, he realises he is the only person who can save the world. The Lord is angry with the entirety of humanity for their increasingly violent behaviour, and is thus forced to oversee an enormous flood deadly enough to wipe out all people and animals on the planet. Noah and his family are the only humans on the planet who God is willing to save, and so they build an ark big enough to home two of every animal as well as themselves as God attempts to start over again. However, when word gets around that Noah is given the gift of survival while everybody else is doomed to die, naturally a siege ensues and Noah must protect himself and his family against more than one great threat.
This Biblical dystopian tale is based on the Genesis story 'Noah's Ark' which depicts an apocalyptic flood destroying mankind. It has been directed by Darren Aronofsky ('Black Swan', 'The Wrestler', 'Requiem for a Dream ') who co-wrote the screenplay alongside his previous collaborator Ari Handel ('The Fountain'). 'Noah' will be released next year on March 28th 2014.
They're back, and this time it's on the big screen.
Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave formed an unlikely partnership in the 1980s – he was the badass rebel while she was struggling to rid herself of the pop princess title. The expertly crafted track, Where The Wild Roses Grow, combined Cave’s gruff deliverance with Minogue’s perfect pitch, and represented a shocking but most-welcome pop bite.
Now, in 20,000 Days on Earth, which will be directed by Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard, the Australian compatriots will combine once more.
Cave and Minogue in what looks like a moody scene from 20,000 Days on Earth
After the gorgeous Ravenna (Theron) marries and then murders a benevolent widower king, she locks his beautiful daughter Snow White (Stewart) in a tower.
All the better to continue draining the youth from the entire kingdom. But just as she prepares to take the now of-age Snow's heart, Snow escapes into the woods, and Ravenna hires huntsman Eric (Hemsworth) to find her. Of course, Eric switches sides when he finds her, joining with Snow's childhood sweetheart William (Claflin) and a gang of dwarves to end the evil queen's reign.
Continue reading: Snow White And The Huntsman Review
Cockney geezers of the world rejoice as the big screen remake of the seventies police drama The Sweeney is in post-production and will be released in cinemas in mid-September. Ray Winstone stars as Detective Jack Regan whilst Ben Drew, alias rapper Plan B, stars as Detective Sergeant George Carter, the part initially made famous by Dennis Waterman. Despite being parodied numerous times for his tendency to write/perform the theme tunes of may of his shows, Waterman actually didn't write the theme tune to the Sweeney, however no word has been made on whether Shaw (or Waterman) will be making a special appearance on the film's soundtrack.
Continue: The Sweeney Trailer
The Evil Queen, Ravenna, is very beautiful but very deadly. Early in her reign, she despaired over 'battles fought and lives lost' but now, she draws strength from the cries of war. Each day, she looks in her magic mirror and asks 'who is the fairest of them all?' The answer is always her.
Continue: Snow White and the Huntsman Trailer
Based on the Brian Selznick novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Scorsese's first family movie combines a young boy's adventure with a cinematic history lesson. It's a celebration of wide-eyed wonder that's a joy to watch, although the title isn't the only thing that's dumbed-down.
In early 1930s Paris, the orphaned Hugo (Butterfield) lives in Montparnasse station, where he scurries through forgotten passageways maintaining the clocks. He learned this skill from his late father (Law), but an automaton they were fixing is his only reminder of his happier childhood. Dodging the tenacious station inspector (Baron Cohen), Hugo worms his way into the life of grouchy shopkeeper Georges (Kingsley), and has a series of adventures with his goddaughter Isabelle (Moretz). When they learn that Georges is forgotten pioneer filmmaker Georges Melies, they decide to help bring him back to life.
Scorsese tells this story with bravura moviemaking trickery, from whooshing tracking shots to wonderfully inventive uses of 3D. He also peppers the screen with witty references to film history from Modern Times to Vertigo, clips from early cinema and flashbacks to the Lumiere brothers' exhibition and Melies' busy studio. Meanwhile, the main plot unfolds with a warmly inviting glow, sharply telling details and a colourful cast of memorable side characters.
Intriguingly, everyone is a bit opaque; like the automaton, the gears turn but we never really understand them.
Butterfield's Hugo may be consumed by an inner yearning, but he's always on guard, providing a watchful pair of eyes through which we see the drama, romance and slapstick of the station. And it's in these details that Scorsese and his cast draw us in. Standouts are Baron Cohen, who adds layers of comedy and pathos to every scene, and McCrory (as Mrs Melies), with her barely suppressed enthusiasm. As usual, Kingsley never lets his guard down: he invests this broken man with a bit too much dignity.
As the film progresses, the passion for the movies is infectious. Scorsese's gorgeous visual approach and writer Logan's controlled cleverness never overwhelm the human story. And even if Melies' life and Paris' geography are adjusted for no real reason, the film's warm drama and delightful imagery really get under the skin, making us fall in love with the movies all over again.
Vince Ferro is badly in need of money to support his family. His only source of income comes from working low paying construction jobs. One day, Vince overhears a conversation about a recently deceased man, who was about to start a well paid job around the time of his accident. The company the man was about to start working for have apparently not heard the tragic news.
Continue: 13 Trailer
Disabled by polio at age 10, Ian Dury (Serkis) grew up with a fierce determination to be himself, and against the odds became an iconic leader of Britain's punk scene in the 1970s. But his unruly lifestyle takes a toll on his personal relationships, and he barely knows his son Baxter (Milner) from his first wife Betty (Williams). So Baxter comes to stay with him and his current girlfriend Denise (Harris), and both father and son need to figure out how to relate to each other. And to realise how much they need each other.
Continue reading: Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll Review
Watch the trailer for Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
This helps explain McConaughey's presence in Fool's Gold. The adventure-comedy is as pretty as it is dumb, but seeing as how it's set in the Caribbean, it does allow McConaughey ample opportunity to flex his pecs and sun his shoulders. Too bad for us it offers little else.
Continue reading: Fool's Gold Review
The Departed is based on the Hong Kong blockbuster Infernal Affairs, in which a cop goes undercover in the mob while the mob places one of their own as a mole in the police force. In Scorsese's version, the scene shifts to Boston, where mob boss Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson) puts loyal-from-boyhood employee Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) through police training. As Sullivan rises through the ranks, Special Investigations Unit chiefs Queenan (Martin Sheen) and Dignam (Mark Wahlberg) recruit rookie Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) to get "kicked off" the force and do time to gain Costello's confidence.
Continue reading: The Departed Review
Gal (Ray Winstone), an old time ex convict, is now retired. All he does is sweat by the pool, enjoy his form porn star wife Deedee (Amanda Redman), and share drinks with a couple of good friends. The setting is Spain, the sun is hot, and life is free of trouble... until, of course, one day when the peace must be disturbed -- and it is, by a guy named Don Logan. Presumably the titular sexy beast, Don (Ben Kingsley) appears on the scene and hell breaks loose as Gal gets back into his life of crime.
Continue reading: Sexy Beast Review
Set in the year 1967, the film follows the struggles of Agnes Brown, (Anjelica Huston) a recent widow battling to keep her irregularly large family intact (six boys and a girl, ranging in age from 2 to 14). In order to give her husband the funeral he deserves, Agnes must borrow money from the menacing loan shark Mr. Billy (Ray Winstone). As she attempts to pay him back in weekly installments, he terrorizes her and her small children at every street corner. To make ends meet, Agnes sells fruit and vegetables on the street along with her best friend Marion Monks (Marion O'Dwyer). The two are inseparable and Marion is, ironically enough, Anjelica's guardian angel, as she brightens Agnes life and helps her in times of desperate need. When Pierre (Arno Chevrier, a Gerard Depardieu look-alike) comes along in the form of a neighborhood French baker and takes an interest in Agnes, sparks fly as she tries to forge a personal life of her own with the possibility of newfound love, all while dealing with the nuisance of seven hellion children.
Continue reading: Agnes Browne Review
According to the studio advertising campaign, the 2004 mega-budget version of "King Arthur" is "the untold true story that inspired the legend" -- you know, the factual version in which Arthur is a brooding bore, Lancelot has hip, runway-model facial hair and Guinevere is a half-naked post-feminist warrior hottie.
Borrowing superficially from recent theories about Camelot's origins only as a jumping off point -- producer Jerry "Armageddon" Bruckheimer cares about cool explosions and box office receipts, not historical accuracy -- this commercialized concoction draws its regal hero (played by rising star Clive Owen) as an idealistic, half-Anglo high commander in the Roman army, which is in the midst of abandoning Britannia as a protectorate.
Arthur and his knights (Sarmatian soldiers reluctantly bound to imperial service) take it upon themselves to defend the now unguarded territory against invading hoards of barbarian Saxons from the north. But first they're sent on one last suicidal mission into Saxon territory to rescue a rich Roman family living there for no explored reason.
Continue reading: King Arthur Review
In its opening scene "The War Zone," a stormy, explosive drama of terrible family secrets, seems almost tranquil as a deeply sullen teenager named Tom (Freddie Cunliffe) rides his bicycle home through the green and gray, rain-swept and muddy Devonshire countryside.
This is intentional on the part of actor-turned-director Tim Roth, who invites his audience into Tom's modest, desolate home and introduces his outwardly ordinary -- if struggling and melancholy -- family. But the sense of pacific normality is tentative at best.
There is an underlying tension that rolls through this darkened house like a fog. Furtive glances are exchanged. Emotions are often swallowed, except by the father (Ray Winstone, "Nil By Mouth"), a quick-to-anger, quick-to-forgive, blue-collar bruiser. It feels unsettling to be in there. Not just for Tom, but for the audience.
Continue reading: The War Zone Review
A foul-mouthed fairy tale version of every Irish Catholic hardship movie you might have ever seen, "Agnes Browne" is an honest effort at mixing familiar misfortune with barby comedy. But director and star Anjelica Huston bungles it so badly that the finished picture feels like a random series of moments in a lamentable widow's life, with no foundation or organic flow whatsoever.
Supporting her unruly brood of angels-with-dirty-faces offspring on nothing more than a few coppers from her farmer's market produce cart, Huston sports a shaky brogue and a cheeky spirit in the face of her family's hackneyed struggles.
Ostensibly a story of Irish tenement-class perseverance (a pub sing-along anyone?), the picture bounces around between disconnected scenes of generic adversity (sleeping several kids to a bed), trite trials of character (will the malevolent local loan shark addict one son to back alley card games?) and brief intervals of highly-scripted, life-affirming joy.
Continue reading: Agnes Browne Review
Date of birth
19th February, 1957
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