First-time director Owen Harris boldly attempts a comedy even blacker than American Psycho or Filth with this 1990s Britpop satire, but he never quite gets the tone right. Based on the bestselling novel by John Niven (who also wrote the screenplay), the film lacks a single character the audience can identify with or root for. And since it's impossible to care about the slimy anti-hero, the movie ends up merely feeling mean-spirited.
The slimeball at the centre is Steven (Nicholas Hoult), an A&R man at Unigram Records at the peak of Britpop in 1997. He's had a run of hot new artists, and doesn't let his loathing of pop music slow him down, tormenting his assistant Rebecca (Georgia King), his faithful scout Darren (Craig Roberts) and his matey colleague Roger (James Corden). He's also so determined to get a promotion that he takes things to violent extremes, then becomes even more annoyed when the job goes to his hated rival Antony (Tom Riley). So now all he has left is the search for another vile musician he can turn into the next big thing.
The film has a sleek, snaky energy to it that nicely recreates the cut-throat atmosphere of the period. And Niven has a lot to say about how the music business abuses truly talented artists while promoting inept stars like Steven's aspiring girl band Songbirds. Essentially, this film is a full-on assault on a British society where self-absorbed jerks climb the corporate ladder because they're ambitious, not because they're actually good at anything. The one sense of balance in the story comes from a cop (Edward Hogg), who's investigating a murder but really wants Steven to help him launch his own musical career. In other words, the film is shouting its themes at the top of its voice, rather than letting them hit the target with quiet precision.
Continue reading: Kill Your Friends Review
Prepare to have your mind blown by the list of actors who might have taken the places of some of the 1994 movie's iconic performances.
Pulp Fiction has long since passed into the annals of movie history, confirming its director Quentin Tarantino as one of the modern greats of cinema and becoming arguably the biggest cult film of the 1990s. But, according to leaked documents, it could have looked very different indeed, as it turns out that many of its stars may not have been Tarantino’s first choices for their respective roles.
His wishlist – which has not yet been officially confirmed as genuine by Tarantino’s reps – was leaked via Reddit on Tuesday (September 15th) and makes for extremely interesting reading. Consisting of two sheets of hand-typed paper, the biggest revelation is that John Travolta, who received an Oscar nomination for his role as gangster Vincent Vega, was not Tarantino’s first choice. Rather, he originally wanted Michael Madsen – who of course did star in his first movie Reservoir Dogs just two years before – to play the part.
Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction' might have looked very different, according to leaked documents
It's the mid 90's and the music scene in the UK is booming. Excess is the word of the decade and the music industry runs on a steady supply of drugs, booze and huge amounts of money. Steven Stelfox is a young A&R manager at one of London's biggest labels but in reality it's quite by chance that he's made it. It's a dog-eat-dog industry and when your ideas run out there's a good chance you'll be cast aside. Not wishing to be the next for the chopping block, Stelfox takes his career ambitions to a whole new level. How well would you survive when even your friends are your enemies?
Since its release in 2008, John Niven's book 'Kill Your Friends' has become a cult classic. Niven himself had worked at many record labels and inspired some of the themes behind the story. Whilst the story is fiction and no one was actually killed, many people in the industry draw many parallels to what actually happened during those years.
Rosanna Arquette - Celebrities attend 2014 LACMA Art + Film Gala honoring Barbara Kruger and Quentin Tarantino presented by Gucci at LACMA. at LACMA - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 1st November 2014
Essentially this year's Moneyball, but set in American football rather than baseball, this fast-paced drama is brightly made with an especially strong cast. But only die-hard fans will be able to drum up much interest in the plot, which is played as if it's the most important thing on earth. This insular approach is seriously alienating for audience members with even the slightest sense of perspective about life. Thankfully, the actors are likeable and entertaining.
It's set over the 12 hours leading up to the NFL draft, when teams select the top players from university teams. In Cleveland, manager Sonny (Kevin Costner) is struggling to hang on to his job, arguing with Coach Penn (Denis Leary) about who should be the first pick. And when he swaps with another team for the top selection, the team owner (Frank Langella) pressures Sonny to take the most highly desired player in the field (Josh Pence). But Sonny has his doubts, and amid backroom dealings and frantic last-minute swaps, he also looks at another promising player (Chadwick Boseman) while making sure the team's current quarterback (Tom Welling) is up to his job. Meanwhile, Sonny and the team's financial manager Ali (Jennifer Garner) are in a secret relationship and have just found out that they're pregnant.
Most of this takes place during phone calls, but director Ivan Reitman manages to make this visually intriguing using whizzy split-screen trickery. And while Garner's character feels utterly irrelevant, like a distraction to the main football plot , she adds the badly needed human interest element, as do two other actresses in smaller roles: Ellen Burstyn and Rosanna Arquette as Sonny's mother and ex-wife, respectively. There are also strong cameos from the likes of Sean Combs as a high-powered agent and Sam Elliot as a sporting veteran. And it's all anchored effortlessly by Costner's affable charm, providing resonance in Sonny's attempt to play a long game while being pushed to make the flashier decisions.
Continue reading: Draft Day Review
Sonny Weaver, Jr. is the general manager of National Football League team the Cleveland Browns who is faced with immediate dismissal if he does not put together an unbeatable draft pick for his team. With pressure from his associates and from Browns fans, he wants to make a spectacular impact on the football world on draft day but, with his ideas being very different from everyone else's, he's in for a big struggle to bring everyone round to his way of thinking and after making what seems like a professionally suicidal trade, even his mother starts to lose faith in him. Excitement builds as draft day nears, with everyone baffled by what could possibly be in store for the Cleveland Browns; but will Sonny pull through with the number one pick of the year?
Continue: Draft Day Trailer
As missiles rain down on New York City, nine people take refuge in their building's basement. After the dust settles, contamination-suited goons burst in and grab a young girl (Thickson) from her hysterical mother (Arquette), then clearly intend to kill the adults. After a rebellion, they are instead sealed in the basement. Soon a hierarchy develops around building repairman Mickey (Biehn) and his stash of supplies. Then the increasingly menacing Josh (Ventimiglia) and his mercurial friend Bobby (Eklund) take control. Meanwhile, Eva (German) is carefully treading the middle ground.
Continue reading: The Divide Review
Set in New York in the not too distant future, a sudden nuclear explosion happens in the city. In an apartment block near the explosion, the residents are hurrying down to the basement, which was converted from a fallout shelter. Only eight manage to make it inside - the rest are left to die in the blast.
Continue: The Divide Trailer
When his family's finances hit the skids, Colby (Mathew Botuchis, who doesn't even get his name on the DVD cover) decides to install webcams throughout his house and turn his family's life into an online web show. Dad (Beau Bridges) is a gross weirdo. Mom (Rosanna Arquette) is a sex-obsessed cougar with a penchant for betting big on the stock market. And the main attraction is sis Audrey (Baelyn Neff), a teen hottie with a plethora of sexual gadgetry and lots of free time on her hands.
Continue reading: I-See-You.Com Review
Sadly, producer, director, and "experiencer" Arquette did exactly one thing well: the title. All We Are Saying is appropriately a dull, bloated gab marathon. And since she didn't clear the featured artists' music for the movie, it's all talk, no song, not even a few bars from a stage performance. Imagine The Aristocrats without the joke, stretched out over 105 minutes.
Continue reading: All We Are Saying Review
First-time director Owen Harris boldly attempts a comedy even blacker than American Psycho or Filth...
It's the mid 90's and the music scene in the UK is booming. Excess is...
Essentially this year's Moneyball, but set in American football rather than baseball, this fast-paced drama...
Sonny Weaver, Jr. is the general manager of National Football League team the Cleveland Browns...
High-energy production values and kinetic physicality draw us into this scrappy end-of-the-world thriller. But it...
Set in New York in the not too distant future, a sudden nuclear explosion happens...
As scary as it sounds, I was actually looking forward to seeing the new David...
Let the record state that I expected the worst from The Whole Nine Yards....
Kinky sex? Intentional car wrecks? Extreme underground perversion? A year and a...