With Ned's execution, two major battles, and the still-painful Red Wedding rounding off the penultimate episode of each 'Game of Thrones' series, "episode nine" has always been the one to watch out for. This year, the show took a darker, more personal twist.
HBO's 'Game Of Thrones' has been getting a lot of criticism this year for it's massively dramatic departures from the book series 'A Song of Ice and Fire', upon which the show is based. While series creator George R. R. Martin stated on his official blog "there has seldom been any TV series as faithful to its source material" and reiterated how the show and the books are entirely separate stories, albeit with the same intended ending.
Shireen Baratheon (Kerry Ingram) falls victim to the ninth episode
That still doesn't excuse the sudden, unexpected (and rather brutal execution) of a young girl, in Sunday night's infamous Episode Nine 'The Dance of Dragons'. Written by show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the episode saw Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) hounded by Ramsey Bolton's (Iwan Rheon) guerrilla tactics, and offering his daughter Shireen (Kerry Ingram) to the priestess Melisandre (Carice Van Houten) as a sacrifice. Said sacrifice involved burning her alive to appease the Red God, with the hopes of turning their luck and winning him the Iron Throne once and for all.
Continue reading: 'Game Of Thrones' Stuns Audiences With Season 5's Episode 9 [Spoilers]
Shots of a variety of stars as they arrived to the World premiere of the fifth season of 'Game of Thrones' which was held at the Tower of London in London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 18th March 2015
Some meaty themes and complex performances add badly needed weight to this somewhat simplistic British comedy-drama. So even if it feels a bit awkward and draggy, there's life in the characters that makes it surprisingly engaging. And the somewhat corny approach is so gentle and nice that we can't help but smile.
It's set in the wake of the economic crash, as Greek entrepreneur Harry (Stephen Dillane) finds himself in trouble after expanding his food empire into property development. A single dad, he relies on nanny Mrs Parrington (Cadell) to help care for his three kids: law student James (Frank Dillane) would rather be a gardener, 18-year-old Katie (Groome) only thinks about shopping and boys, and youngest son Theo (Underhill) thinks he's already a tycoon. So when administrators (Stoppard and Shaw) arrive to enforce some downsizing, it's a big shock. And for Harry, it becomes unbearable when his estranged black-sheep brother Spiros (Corraface) refuses to sell the family's defunct fish and chips cafe and insists that they re-open it together.
Yes, this is one of those plucky little films where, once the premise gets everything lined up, we know exactly where it's heading. Fortunately, Dillane's Harry has a sharp-edged cynicism that combines intriguingly with his desperation, so we root for him to swallow his pride and stop behaving like an idiot just long enough to learn the obvious important lesson. And the events play out in a nicely low-key way that never quite tips over into farce. Yes, it's all a tug-of-war between "sensible" Harry and "crazy" Spiros who represent ruthless modern-day business practices and old-world community values.
Continue reading: Papadopoulos And Sons Review
Blistering writing, directing and acting hold us firmly in our seats as this procedural drama snakes its way to a riveting action finale. Although it's sometimes not easy to know whether director Bigelow and writer Boal are celebrating or criticising the way America has conducted itself on the world stage in its war on terrorism. Clearly the characters believe that these dodgy methods are essential tools in their job. But the film cleverly respects and challenges our own views on the issues.
The story begins with the events of 9/11, after which the CIA is determined to track down Osama bin Laden. Spearheading the search is tenacious analyst Maya (Chastain), who works with her colleague Dan (Clarke) to interrogate prisoners and mobilise their team (including Ehle and Perrineau) to action. Their bosses (Chandler and Strong), the CIA director (Gandolfini) and the national security advisor (Dillane) offer support and challenges. And eventually they get approval to illegally send a black-op team into bin Laden's suspected hide-out in Pakistan.
It's astonishing that Boal and Bigelow have managed to tell this true story without taking sides. They have been criticised for possibly using classified details or for depicting torture as an interrogation tool, but the facts can't be denied just because we don't like them. And your attitude going in will probably colour how you feel about the movie: some will find this a story of triumph while others will be troubled by the methods it depicts. Either way, it's impossible to ignore the film's urgency as it pulls us into a fascinating story.
Continue reading: Zero Dark Thirty Review
Following the tragic events of the twin towers bombing on September 11th 2001 in New York City, Islamic extremist group Al Qaeda's leader Osama Bin Laden was the most wanted man in the entire world. He had managed to evade capture and certain execution for nearly ten years when, in the year of the 10th anniversary of the tragedy, he was found by the extraordinary Navy SEAL Team 6 and shot dead at his residence in Abbottabad, Pakistan on May 2nd. The event, however tarnished with conspiracy theories and speculation, marked a moment in history and was seen as a giant step in the current war on terror.
'Zero Dark Thirty' is the gritty historical drama telling the story of when Bin Laden was successfully captured and assassinated by a remarkable group of CIA operatives whose covert operations and well-kept secrets gave America their biggest victory in many years. With director Kathryn Bigelow ('Point Break', 'Strange Days') and writer Mark Boal ('In the Valley of Elah') who have previously worked alongside one another on the six time Academy Award winning war flick 'The Hurt Locker', it is set to be a seminal movie that may itself become an important part of history. It is set to be released on January 25th 2013.
Starring: Jessica Chastain, Scott Adkins, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pratt, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong, Taylor Kinney, James Gandolfini, Mark Duplass, Harold Perrineau, Jennifer Ehle, Kyle Chandler, Frank Grillo, Stephen Dillane & Edgar Ramirez.
Continue: Zero Dark Thirty Trailer
Burdened with the most optimistic title since Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, Goal! The Dream Begins is indeed the first part of a trilogy that will eventually take a soccer-mad kid from Los Angeles to the World Cup. But first, he's gotta get out of the barrio; good thing there's a cliché-ridden story arc to get him there.
This chapter brings young Santiago Munez (Mexican telenovela hunk Kuno Becker) to grubby Tyneside, U.K., a destination most sun-addicted Angelinos would only consider a Dream if they were going to play Premiership soccer. Fortunately, after a scout from Newcastle United observes his ball skills, this is exactly Santiago's fate. Soon he's saying adios to his undocumented immigrant family, including Dad, who'd rather his son pursue the American dream of mowing other people's grass. Somehow Santiago gets a passport, and off he goes.
Continue reading: Goal! The Dream Begins Review
And so we go back to 1991, where haggard spy Nathan Muir (Redford) is retiring from The Agency, but wouldn't ya know it -- that very day, his old protégé Tom Bishop (Brad Pitt) has gotten captured on a mission in Eastern China. And Tom is going to be executed -- when? In 24 hours, of course. And the CIA isn't going to save him. In fact, they're trying to paint him as a crazy renegade unaffiliated with the U.S.
Continue reading: Spy Game 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
Perhaps it's not fair to begin a movie review by comparing a remake to its original, but since director Jonathan Demme has been proudly trumpeting "The Truth About Charlie" as a reimagining of Stanley Doden's 1963 romantic thriller "Charade," he's practically asking for it.
What the films have in common is a plot centering on a beautiful young woman named Regina (Audrey Hepburn then, Thandie Newton now) who returns to Paris from vacation to discover her husband has stripped their stylish apartment bare, disappeared with a fortune she didn't know he had, and subsequently turned up dead. With the money still missing, dangerous strangers start coming out of the woodwork, convinced she knows where it is.
In "Charade," Hepburn's sprightly Regina meets the suave and cunning -- perhaps a little too cunning -- Peter Joshua, played by Cary Grant, and falls for him as he tries to keep her safe and help her solve the mystery of the absconded riches. In "Charlie," Newton's clever but ingenuous Regina meets gym-buffed paramour Joshua Peters, played by Mark Wahlberg, who may look classy in a '60s-homage pokepie hat, but as a character he's dry, dry, dry.
Continue reading: The Truth About Charlie Review
"The Hours" is an Oscar voter's nightmare. An adaptation of Michael Cunningham's novel about three women in three different time periods whose lives are profoundly affected by Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway," the film features equally magnificent performances of nearly equal screen time from three of the best actresses working in film today.
Meryl Streep submerges herself in the self-sacrificing soul of Clarissa Vaughan, a modern Manhattan book editor whose longtime dear friend -- and volatile ex-lover -- Richard (Ed Harris) likes to ruffle her feathers by comparing her to the heroine of Woolf's book. Both women are externally serene, perfectionist party-throwers hiding deep reservoirs of regret over missed opportunities while living lives as mother-hen caretakers to others.
Julianne Moore plays Laura Brown, a fragile, pregnant 1950s housewife in the midst of reading "Mrs. Dalloway," whose deep depression (like Woolf's) and suicidal musings (like Dalloway's) go all but unnoticed by everyone except her young son (Jack Rovello), who clings to her apron strings with worry.
Continue reading: The Hours Review
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