Charlize Theron, AFI and Stuart Townsend - Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend Los Angeles, California - 2009 AFI Fest screening of 'The Road' held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre - Arrivals Wednesday 4th November 2009
Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend - Charlize Theron and Stuart Townsend Beverly Hills, California USA - attends the special screening of 'Battle in Seattle' held at Clarity Theater. Monday 22nd September 2008
Battle in Seattle is a high-octane depiction of the World Trade Organization riots in Seattle, Washington in late November 1999, where motives and duties are contradictory, confused, and unsettled. The non-violent protest groups end up embroiled in the very violence they abhor. Seattle Mayor Tobin (Ray Liotta) wants to appeal to the law-and-order police and to the protestors. (The night before the demonstrations he shows up both at a rally for the WTO and a rally against the WTO.) The law enforcement officials attempt to maintain the peaceful protest while at the same time chafing at the bit and waiting to crack heads. When violence erupts at the WTO protests, all the groups scatter and run blindly in all directions, and the National Guard appears to mop it all up.
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In sharp contrast to this rule, Chaos Theory's first ten minutes are painful, followed by a moving journey that follows one couples' path to forgiveness after the realization of infidelity. The last few minutes mirror the beginning in their annoyingly simplistic banality, but the middle hour of the film is completely engaging. Even more impressive is that, though it is mainly Frank's (Ryan Reynolds) story, the separate actions of both he and his wife (Emily Mortimer) are treated as equally important in terms of how they impact their family unit. The chemistry between parents and child feel lived-in.
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Kate Hudson (sporting a weird English accent as the only major non-Brit/Irish in the cast) is the first to fall for Adam, a naïve waitress and lounge singer who'd be a California girl in any other country (hmmmm). Within minutes they are engaged to be married -- and, Rashomon-style, we rewind history to learn how Adam hooked up with her two sisters along the way. One is France O'Connor's angst-ridden, Bell Jarrish vixen (and the only character much worth rooting for). The other (Charlotte Bradley) is married and essentially just looking for a cheap shag. So will Adam's affairs impede his marriage to our precious Kate? They're practically common knowledge after all.... The ending is as predictable as it is insulting in the degree to which it disappoints.
Continue reading: About Adam Review
At the center are three sisters lookin' for a little love and compassion. Perky Soho waitress Nadia (Gina McKee, Croupier), her hair punked out in cute rabbit ears, indulges in the lonely hearts club of personal ads for Mr. Right, or at least a decent lay. Abrasive, no-nonsense hairdresser Debbie (Shirley Henderson, Topsy-Turvy) settles into a tract of not taking shit from anyone, especially her irresponsible ex, Dan (Ian Hart, Spring Forward). He can barely be counted on for weekend visits to their teenage son (Peter Marfleet). Molly (Molly Parker, Waking the Dead) is very pregnant and needs a little support from her friends, especially when her husband (John Simm) goes through a mid-life career meltdown.
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The daughter of a French aristocrat raised by an American mother, Cambridge University student Gilda has garnered a reputation for campus scandal. Irish born Guy (Stuart Townsend, Theron's real life squeeze), on the other hand, is a struggling student on scholarship and is of a more serious nature. So, when his Cambridge dorm door flies open one rainy night in 1933, and the notorious Gilda herself asks for shelter, his world is rocked. He sensibly makes no moves on her when she stays the night, giving her attraction to him a basis of credibility when the sex sparks fly later.
Continue reading: Head In The Clouds Review
The Queen of the Damned stars Stuart Townsend as the vampire Lestat, a character first made popular in film by Tom Cruise in the engaging Interview With the Vampire. This time around, Lestat has risen from his slumber again, intent on making his mark. Tired of hiding in shadows, he starts a career as a rock star, much to the ire of his maker Marius (Vincent Perez). But the anger of the world's vampire covens is the least of his problems when his music awakens the mother of all Vampires, the all-powerful Queen Akasha (Aaliyah).
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In LXG the film, a madman named "The Phantom" is bent on turning the nations of the world against each other in one gigantic World War. It's up to the British government to thwart his plan, and they have assembled a handsome crew to get the job done. Leading the group is aging adventure seeker Allan Quatermain (Sean Connery) with underlings The Invisible Man (Tony Curran), vampiress Mina Harker (Peta Wilson), Dr. Jekyll and alter ego Hyde (Jason Flemyng), Captain Nemo (Naseeruddin Shah), and Tom Sawyer (Shane West). Once all the introductions are done, the group heads to Venice to protect the world's leaders from the Phantom's attack during a peace conference.
Continue reading: The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen Review
In Trapped, the latest in this tiresome genre, the kidnappers' true motive is not greed, despite the fact that they request a ransom for good measure. Will Jennings (Stuart Townsend) is a successful anesthesiologist with a beautiful lakeshore home he shares with his gorgeous wife Karen (Charlize Theron) and their adorable little daughter Abby (Dakota Fanning). While Will is away at a medical conference, kidnappers Joe Hickey (Kevin Bacon) and Marvin Pool (Pruitt Taylor Vince) quietly break into the Jennings' home and take Abby. Marvin leaves with Abby and Joe stays behind with the irate Karen to guide her through his plan. Meanwhile, at the conference, Will meets up with a third accomplice in the kidnapping, Cheryl Hickey (Courtney Love) who holds him hostage in his hotel room.
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Apparently not wanting to call attention to the fact that it's releasing a emotionally exploitive child abduction B-movie thriller at a time when AMBER Alerts are being issued almost weekly, Warner Bros. sneaked "Trapped" into theaters this weekend without holding any advance screenings.
This practice is usually reserved for pictures the studios are embarrassed to have made at all ("Pluto Nash," anyone?). "Trapped" isn't as bad as all that, but it is a film that has to get stupid -- really stupid -- in order to resolve its plot.
A rehash of Mel Gibson's "Ransom" with younger, prettier parents fighting back against their child's kidnappers, the film stars the luscious Charlize Theron ("Sweet November") and darkly charming Stuart Townsend ("Queen of the Damned") as a rich, happy young couple with a lakefront, Architectural Digest home but without much credibility as parents to a pretty 6-year-old daughter (Dakota Fanning, "I Am Sam").
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A handsome misfire of romanticized misfortune and decadence, war and idealism, tragedy and melodrama, "Head in the Clouds" aspires to be a sweetly risqué twist on the spirit of "Casablanca." But miscast leads and ersatz emotions leave the film's soundstagey period ambiance as its most comparable asset.
Underwhelming, accent-wavering Stuart Townsend ("Queen of the Damned") stars as Guy, an aspiring young writer and political idealist who comes under the spell of Gilda (Charlize Theron), a magnetically reckless woman who lives for the moment and for pleasure, believing she's doomed to die at 34 (as per an opening-scene palm reading). Passionate but uncommitted lovers at Cambridge in the early 1930s, they meet again in Paris just before the German occupation, where their disparate values in sex and life lead their renewed affair into tumultuous territory.
Townsend and Theron (a couple in real life) are wrong for their parts, both of which call for actors who can wear their intellects on their sleeves for confrontations that are at once lusty, emotionally raw and political in nature. More appropriately cast is Penelope Cruz as Mia, another of Gilda's lovers and a sexy Spanish dancer who became crippled, then turned to nursing in the hopes of returning to her country to serve in its republican revolution.
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