That generic title obscures a surprisingly complex exploration of the real-life events surrounding the fall of iconic American newscaster Dan Rather in 2004. And while the film's script is rather talky (it's like Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom crossed with George Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck), it's strongly made point is too important to ignore. And it features yet another storming, intelligent performance from Cate Blanchett.
She plays Mary Mapes, a producer at the classic CBS news programme 60 Minutes, who just a few months before the 2004 presidential election is working on a story about incumbent George W. Bush's shady National Guard service during the Vietnam War. She has an ace team of investigators (including Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid and Elisabeth Moss), plus the nation's top news anchor Rather (Robert Redford). But after the story airs, Mary is attacked with questions about the authenticity of a series of memos that trace irregularities in Bush's service record. Her boss (Bruce Greenwood) applies plenty of pressure as the controversy gains more traction than the story itself. And the media storm that follows catches everyone by surprise.
This account is based on Mapes' own memoir about these events, which gives the film a personal, as opposed to journalistic, tone. It hints heavily at both government and corporate efforts to discredit the story, putting Mapes and her entire team in an impossible situation. The film also makes it clear that those memos were indeed real, and that the controversy was actually just misdirection. What brings this to life is the revelatory acting from the ensemble cast, led beautifully by Blanchett, who gives Mary a passion for the truth that's fuelled by her inner demons. And the entire supporting cast adds layers of wit and insight, although Redford kind of relaxes on his easy charm as the engaged, engaging Rather.
Continue reading: Truth Review
Stacy Keach - Celebrities attend 2016 NBCUniversal Press Tour at The Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa. at Langham Huntington Hotel & Spa - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 13th January 2016
Mary Mapes is the producer of CBS' '60 Minutes' and, in the run up to the 2004 presidential election, she's looking for a story for her and her team - including anchor Dan Rather - to chase. The team discovers evidence that President George W. Bush failed to complete the required amount of military service during his time in the Texas Air National Guard during the 70s. It's a story that could truly bring down the right wing government if only they can get hold of some solid documents to support the story. That's when Bill Burkett comes in; he's the former Lieutenant Colonel of the Texas Air National Guard and he claims to be in possession of some papers criticising Bush's lack of attendance for his military service, written by his commander at the time Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B. Killian. Unfortunately, in their haste to air the controversial information, the '60 Minutes' team fail to have the documents authenticated - and when several experts out the papers as forgeries, it seems the tables quickly turn on these newscasters in the most devastating way.
Continue: Truth Trailer
Late Tony Winner Roger Rees Is Set To Be Honoured As One Of This Year's (15) Inductees For The Theater Hall Of Fame.
The Wales-born actor lost his battle with cancer in July (15), and the Broadway community came out to pay tribute to the 71 year old during a ceremony at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York on Monday (21Sep15).
Early in the memorial, Dana Ivey, who was one of five actors that read letters from friends and colleagues who couldn't attend the event, revealed that Rees had been chosen by officials at the Theater Hall of Fame to receive the special recognition of Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater.
Continue reading: Roger Rees To Be Posthumously Inducted To Theater Hall Of Fame
Based on the Gayle Forman novel, this teen weepie is wrenchingly emotional and packed with girly fantasies. But the characters and situations have a lot more earthy honesty to them than this summer's other big adolescent tearjerker The Fault in Our Stars. It may be just as relentlessly sentimentalised, but the issues involved are faced with a lot more grit and realism, so the film earns its sob-inducing emotions.
Set in Portland, Oregon, the story centres on the Hall family. Parents Kat and Denny (Mireille Enos and Joshua Leonard) are former rockers who have mildly toned down their wild ways as they have raised their children: 17-year-old Mia (Chloe Grace Moretz) and the younger Teddy (Jakob Davies) to be independent and artistic. Although Kat and Denny are rather taken aback by Mia's obsessive love of classical music and prodigious gift with the cello. Then Mia is shocked to discover that the cool rock-god Adam (Jamie Blackley) at her high school is interested in her. As their relationship develops over the next year, it hits a few bumps along the way. And it's during one of these bad patches that Mia is in a life-threatening car crash with her family. In an out-of-body experience, she watches everyone react to her life-and-death situation, wondering, "Should I stay or should I go?"
Which of course would be a much better title for a rock-n-roll movie than this one. Never mind, since the film is structured as a peeling-onion of flashbacks and out-of-sequence revelations, Mia's conundrum is genuinely complicated, in a movie sort of way. But then everything about this film exists only in the movies, most notably Adam, the most perfect boyfriend in the history of cinema: a bad boy musician with a deep soul, open emotions and thoughtful reactions. He has so clearly been devised to appeal to the teen-girl audience that it's occasionally a bit ridiculous.
Continue reading: If I Stay Review
Despite the fact that this too-soon spin-off feels like a mere cash-in on the Disney Cars/Planes marketing machine, this sequel is actually a lot more fun than expected. Not only is the animation witty and sometimes even exhilarating, but there are some solid messages in the story. On the other hand, there's also the continuing problem of making movies in which the central characters are inanimate objects with cute faces drawn on them. But never mind: see the movies, buy the toys, keep the kids happy!
After the globe-hopping race in 2013's Planes, the new champ Dusty (voiced by Dane Cook) sees his new celebrity career grounded when he develops a problem in his gearbox. He can still fly, but the torque required for racing stunts could do him in. So he decides to retrain as an aerial firefighter to help his local airfield maintain its certification in time for the annual Corn Festival. In training, he is mentored by veteran chopper Blade (Ed Harris), working alongside his starstruck fan Dipper (Julie Bowen), the noble Windlifter (Wes Studi), the sassy Dynamite (Regina King) and the genius mechanic Maru (Curtis Armstrong). But a raging wildfire is threatening the nearby Fusel Lodge, and the local park superintendent (John Michael Higgins) doesn't want to shut it down with so many stars as guests.
The best touch here is to make Dusty utterly full of himself, never listening to any advice before charging in unprepared for the next challenge. It's predictable and underdeveloped, but it makes this chirpy crop-duster far more interesting, and adds some unexpected diversions in a plot that otherwise heads exactly where it has to go. Meanwhile, the screenwriters pack the dialog with witty puns and some snappy verbal and visual gags that allow the actors to give their vehicles a bit of personality, even if some of this is merely ethnic stereotyping or simplistic hero/villain morality.
Continue reading: Planes: Fire & Rescue Review
It's all about revenge in Sin City now as the wounded (both physically and mentally) set out on a trail of death and destruction in a bid to make sure justice is served in their town. Dwight McCarthy is on another rescue mission to save an abused wife as Ava Lord claims she is a prisoner at the hands of her wealthy husband Damien. Unfortunately, it seems her intentions are of the dishonest kind. Thought to be have been executed, Marv wakes up among several corpses with little memory of his alleged crimes, but a strong desire for vengeance. Nancy is heartbroken to the point of insanity following police officer John Hartigan's suicide, and there's no stopping her when she decides to sentence the father of child-killer Roark Junior, Senator Roark, to death. Notorious gambler Johnny is a newbie in the town with his own scores to settle, but it isn't long before he realises he's messing with criminals much bigger than him.
The second instalment of the 'Sin City' film franchise 'Sin City: A Dame To Kill For' is due for release nearly ten years following the 2005 original. Author of the original graphic novel Frank Miller ('300', 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns', 'Daredevil: Born Again') has adapted the screenplay and co-directs the movie with Robert Rodriguez ('Machete', 'Once Upon a Time in Mexico', 'From Dusk Till Dawn'). 'Sin City 2' is set to hit UK screens on August 25th 2014.
The everlasting trail of violence, death and deceit continues with the return of several characters from the original ‘Sin City’ movie. Dwight McCarthy is back, this time running to the rescue of his ex-girlfriend Ava Lord who claims she is being abused by her wealthy husband Damien; he has his own reasons for wanting to help her, but he could be in for a nasty surprise. The framed and punished Marv wakes up after supposed execution by electric chair only to find that he is lying amongst several dead bodies and can’t remember how he ended up there. Following, her near miss at the hands of serial child-killer Roark Junior, Nancy struggles to deal with the painful death of her rescuer, police officer John Hartigan. Plus, a new face shows up in Sin City, a gambler named Johnny who lands himself in mortal danger when he tries to take on the town’s most formidable villain.
Continue: Sin City: A Dame To Kill For Trailer
After travelling to Hawaii with George Clooney for The Descendants, Payne returns to middle America for this gentle, enjoyable exploration of family connections. Featuring an award-winning performance from Bruce Dern, the film harks back to Payne's About Schmidt as well as David Lynch's The Straight Story in the way it tracks straightforward characters across a rural landscape.
Dern plays Woody, a ramshackle drunk who lives in Montana and is convinced by a marketing mail-out that he has won a million dollars. His wife Kate (Squibb) has given up trying to talk to him, and son Ross (Odenkirk) is distracted by his new anchorman career. But younger son David (Forte) tries to explain the scam before giving in and agreeing to drive Woody to Nebraska to claim his prize. After all, this gives him a rare chance to bond with his rascally dad. Along the way, their journey takes some unexpected sideroads as they visit Woody's hometown, meeting friends and relatives from his past.
The film has a timeless quality thanks to Payne's strikingly astute direction and the elegant black and white photography by Phedon Papamichael. It also has a rhythmic pace, boosted by Mark Orton's tuneful score, infused with both spiky wit and understated sentiment. The key here is David's discovery of who his father really is: an unusually generous man who can't quite balance the reality of how his family and friends have treated him over the years.
Continue reading: Nebraska Review
Actor Stacy Keach insists his 1984 drug smuggling arrest in Britain was a good thing - because it forced him to realise his cocaine abuse had spiralled out of control.
The Tv veteran, 72, has opened up about the extent of his past drug troubles in a new autobiography, titled All in All: An Actor's Life On & Off the Stage, and he reveals he became a coke fiend as her tried to keep up with the strenuous filming schedule on his hit drama series Mike Hammer.
Keach tells the Globe, "I felt euphoric and alert. I had no idea about the drug's potential for damage and destruction... (but) my work grew erratic, sloppy. I couldn't see it.
Continue reading: Stacy Keach: 'Drug Arrest Came At The Right Time'
Disney takes over Pixar's "World of Cars" with this spin-off that no-one really asked for (Cars 2 wasn't exactly a mega-hit). Indeed, this is an essentially disposable adventure, smiley and formulaic with a few minor thrills and a gentle sense of humour. Fortunately, the animation has some charm, as well as the occasional exhilarating moment. So kids are likely to enjoy it.
The protagonist is Dusty (voiced by Cook), a cropduster in rural America who dreams of racing against world champion Ripslinger (Smith) in the Wings Around the Globe race. So he gathers forklift Dottie (Hatcher) and fuel truck Chug (Garrett) as his pit crew, and convinces war veteran Skipper (Keach) to coach him. Despite being afraid of heights, he makes it into the final against Britain's Bulldog (Cleese), Mexico's Chupacabra (Alazraqui) and French-Canadian Rochelle (Louis-Deryfus). But as the race gets underway, Ripslinger and his henchmen continually sabotage the increasingly plucky Dusty.
The plot is so simple that this feels like one of Disney's straight-to-DVD sequels, complete with the deeply bland hero and ruthlessly evil villain. Fortunately, it's livened up by snappy dialog and a cast of offbeat characters that continually add deranged touches adult viewers will enjoy (such as a German forklift in lederhosen or a group of chanting Himalayan-monk tuktuks). There's not much else the strong voice cast can do with these characters. But the animators have a lot of fun with the settings as the race zooms to Europe, India, Nepal, China and Mexico, with whizzy race action that makes the 3D worthwhile for a change.
Continue reading: Planes Review
That generic title obscures a surprisingly complex exploration of the real-life events surrounding the fall...
Based on the Gayle Forman novel, this teen weepie is wrenchingly emotional and packed with...
Despite the fact that this too-soon spin-off feels like a mere cash-in on the Disney...
It's all about revenge in Sin City now as the wounded (both physically and mentally)...
The everlasting trail of violence, death and deceit continues with the return of several characters...
After travelling to Hawaii with George Clooney for The Descendants, Payne returns to middle America...
Disney takes over Pixar's "World of Cars" with this spin-off that no-one really asked for...
Dusty is a super swift cropduster whose horsepower would be a force to be reckoned...
Dusty may be a super speedy cropdusting aircraft but there's a reason why he spends...
Writer Gilroy adds directing to his Bourne chores, shifting the franchise into a cerebral thriller...
The CIA is confronted with the consequences of previous events that have taken place involving...