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'West Wing' and 'Cheers' Actor Roger Rees Dies Aged 71


Roger Rees

Welsh-born actor Roger Rees has died aged 71. The actor, who is best known for his roles in ‘The West Wing’ and ‘Cheers’, passed away on Friday after suffering a brief illness, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed. Rees had been appearing in Broadway musical ‘The Visit ‘ but was forced to withdraw in late May due to illness.

Roger ReesActor Roger Rees has died aged 71.

Born in Aberystwyth, Wales, Rees was raised in South London and studied to be a painter at the Camberwell College of Arts and Slade School of Fine Art. His acting career began in the 1960s when, after taking a job painting scenery at the Wimbledon Theatre, he was asked to fill in for a missing actor.

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Survivor Review


OK

Unusually gritty and grounded, this terrorism thriller avoids the pitfalls of most overwrought action movies by creating characters and action situations that are unusually believable, even if the plot itself feels badly undercooked. The problem is that there isn't a clear sense of what's at stake here, because screenwriter Philip Shelby insists on continually blurring the mystery by withholding key details until he's ready to reveal them. So the cleverly played old-style suspense never quite pays off.

It opens at the US Embassy in London, where new security chief Kate (Milla Jovovich) has been alerted to the fact that terrorists are trying to get visas to enter America. Working with the ambassador (Angela Bassett) her team leaders (Dylan McDermott and Robert Forster), Kate narrows in on a suspicious doctor (Roger Rees) who's an expert in explosive gasses. But a shocking bombing stops her short, framing her as the villain. Now she's being chased not only by the Americans, but also a British inspector (James D'Arcy) and a ruthless assassin known as The Watchmaker (Pierce Brosnan). And Kate knows that she's the only one who can stop the nefarious plot, whatever it might be.

This is one of those films that enjoyably pushes its central character over the brink, so we can't help but root for Kate to get out of this seriously messy situation and save the day. Jovovich plays her in a plausible way as a capable woman who has no choice but to fight back and try to survive, because she's the only one who knows that she's not the real threat here. Everyone else is extremely shadowy, although McDermott gets to show a heroic side, as does the terrific Frances de la Tour as the only embassy staff member who believes that Kate is the good guy. Meanwhile, Brosnan gives a remarkably effective performance as a cold-blooded killer.

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The 81st Annual Drama League Awards - Arrivals

Roger Rees and Chita Rivera - The 81st Annual Drama League Awards and Luncheon at the New York Marriott Marquis at Marriot Marquis Times Square, Drama League Awards, New York Marriott Marquis - New York City, New York, United States - Friday 15th May 2015

Roger Rees and Chita Rivera

The Visit Opening Night Party - Arrivals

Roger Rees and Chita Rivera - Opening night after party for Broadway musical The Visit at the Lyceum Theatre - Arrivals. at Lyceum Theatre,, Lyceum Theatre - New York City, New York, United States - Thursday 23rd April 2015

John Riddle, Michelle Veintimilla, Chita Rivera and Roger Rees
John Riddle, Michelle Veintimilla, Chita Rivera and Roger Rees
cast, Chita Rivera and Roger Rees
Roger Rees and Chita Rivera
Roger Rees and Chita Rivera

The Visit Opening Night Curtain Call

Roger Rees and Chita Rivera - Opening night for Broadway musical The Visit at the Lyceum Theatre - Curtain Call. at Lyceum Theatre,, Lyceum Theatre - New York City, New York, United States - Thursday 23rd April 2015

Roger Rees, David Garrison, Mary Beth Peil, Chita Rivera, George Abud and John Doyle
John Kander, Terrence McNally, Chita Rivera and Roger Rees
John Kander, Terrence McNally, Elena Shaddow, Chita Rivera and Roger Rees
John Kander, Terrence McNally, Elena Shaddow, Chita Rivera and Roger Rees
John Kander, Terrence McNally, Elena Shaddow, Chita Rivera and Roger Rees

Survivor Trailer


The world of counter-intelligence has gotten an awful lot more dangerous. When a visa security officer (Milla Jovovich) is posted in the US Embassy in the United Kingdom, she is tasked with ensuring that known or suspected terrorists are unable to make their way to the United States. But when she come under fire from a deadly assassin known only as "The Watchmaker" (Pierce Brosnan), she ends up framed for various crimes she didn't commit and is forced on the run. Now, she must do her best to keep doing her job while being hunted and tracked by not only The Watchmaker, but US Security Services and Marines. 

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'The Visit' photocall

Roger Rees - 'The Visit' photocall at the Lyceum Theatre at Lyceum Theatre,, Lyceum Theatre - New York, United States - Wednesday 25th March 2015

Roger Rees
Roger Rees

Manhattan Theatre Club Fall Benefit - Arrivals

Roger Rees - Photographs of a variety of stars as they arrived at the Manhattan Theatre Club Fall benefit which was held in The Appel Room at Jazz in the Lincoln Center's Fredrick P. Rose Hall in New York, New York, United States - Tuesday 11th November 2014

Roger Rees

The Invasion Review


Grim
Many will look at Oliver Hirschbiegel's The Invasion, the fourth film treatment of the '50s novel The Body Snatchers, with an eye towards what came from the director of Downfall and what was added later by a series of studio-mandated reshoots, supervised by the Wachowski Brothers and their V for Vendetta surrogate James McTeague. They'll have to look hard, and then hopefully write detailed analyses on the internet. If McTeague and the Wachowskis ran major interference for the studio, they did so with mafia-level efficiency and brutality; hardly a trace of European art-movie evidence remains.

The finished product doesn't even particularly resemble V for Vendetta, which at least gave plenty of screen time over to stylish allegory; frankly, I'm not sure if there was much left to ruin here. McTeague and company may have called a redo on over half the film, as some reports claim, but that figure doesn't match with my own informal statistical data: well over 80 percent of The Invasion is pure (if slick) boilerplate. If Hirschbiegel was up to something smart or thought-provoking, Warner Brothers should have a whole other movie on its cutting-room floor.

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Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties Review


Terrible
Some movies don't require a review. Watch a commercial for Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties and you know what to expect: An obese, lasagna-loving cat with a ton of attitude, many bad jokes, and Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt (now, sadly, in the Mom haircut phase of her career) generating the sparks of two ice cubes rubbing together. The movie is what you expect, meaning it's a hoot for the slackjawed fans of the comic strip cat and a colossal waste of time for everyone else.

The sequel to the abysmal Garfield: The Movie picks up with Garfield's owner Jon Arbuckle (Meyer) on the verge of proposing to veterinarian Liz (Hewitt). Garfield doesn't like this plan one bit, so he sabotages the special night. Regardless, there's not much to undo, as Liz bolts after announcing she has to travel to London for business. Jon, bummed that he missed his chance, flies to London so he can pop the question, while Garfield, with canine nemesis Odie in tow, sneaks aboard the plane.

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Robin Hood: Men in Tights Review


OK
Mediocre parody movies are Newton's second law as applied to cinema. For every hit over-the-top drama that paints characters by numbers there's at least one end to end parody that makes the cookie cutters look like Central Park caricatures.

So for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, we have Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Kevin Costner's Hood is aped by Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman's Azeem has turned in Dave Chappelle's Ahchoo. And Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio's ice queen Maid Marion is replaced with Amy Yasbeck's mild, cute, and chaste dolt.

Continue reading: Robin Hood: Men in Tights Review

Robin Hood: Men in Tights Review


OK
Mediocre parody movies are Newton's second law as applied to cinema. For every hit over-the-top drama that paints characters by numbers there's at least one end to end parody that makes the cookie cutters look like Central Park caricatures.

So for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, we have Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Kevin Costner's Hood is aped by Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman's Azeem has turned in Dave Chappelle's Ahchoo. And Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio's ice queen Maid Marion is replaced with Amy Yasbeck's mild, cute, and chaste dolt.

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The Bumblebee Flies Anyway Review


Grim
Is it a thriller disguised as a weepy drama or a weepy drama disguised as a thriller?

An amnesiac teen (Wood) struggles to regain his memory... or does he??? By the time the deep dark secret is revealed, you may not care any more. And Janeane Garofalo as an experimental medical researcher is just about as inexplicable as the film's title.

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Sudden Manhattan Review


OK
Hal Hartley darling Adrienne Shelly took a stab at writing and directing her own movie with 1997's Sudden Manhattan, an obvious homage to Woody Allen, about a kooky gal (Shelly) in a certain big city who feels her life coming apart after witnessing two murders. The film has its moments, but Shelly's quirky acting (and painful voice-overs) don't quite work here. She works better when a genius is telling her what to do, not so much when she's directing herself. And the last half hour makes no sense. None.

The Substance of Fire Review


OK
"The substance of fire," apparently, is the printed word, in this play-adapted work about a man who is slowly ripping apart his publishing house, and his family to boot. Ron Rifkin appears in a rare -- perhaps unprecedented -- starring role, while Tony Goldwyn, Timothy Hutton, and Sarah Jessica Parker play the kiddies. Be warned this one's largely a melancholy exercise for drama students, but some nice performances help cut through the gooey histrionics to make the film somewhat worthwhile.
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