Even if the premise is tired, this grim thriller holds the attention by focussing on the raw intensity of the characters' personal lives. It's also grisly enough to work as a bone-dry black comedy about a hapless guy who will do whatever it takes to protect his loved ones. But just a little more complexity in the story and characters would have helped a lot.
The film opens as nice guy Elliot (Mark Webber) is sacked from his New Orleans job at exactly the wrong time. Not only is he planning his wedding with his pregnant fiancee Shelby (Rutina Wesley), but he also helps support his retirement-age dad (Tom Bower) and mentally disabled brother (Graye). So when a stranger phones to offer him a place in a cash-bonanza game, he doesn't mind that the 13 tasks are increasingly deranged. It starts with killing a fly, but soon escalates to making a child cry, starting a fire in a church and desecrating a dead body. But if he wins, his worries will be over. Then he realises that he's not the only contestant.
Without a hint of subtlety in the script, we never have any questions about what is happening, what the moral implications are and where the story's going next. So there's no way to join in with Elliot's disorienting dilemma. Instead, there's nothing to do but sit back and watch. In another actor's hands, Elliot might have come across as an idiot who deserves whatever's coming, but Webber has a vulnerability that makes us care what happens, even as he does one stupid thing after another. His family seem eerily oblivious, but Ron Perlman adds some deadpan humour as a detective following Elliot's trail. And Pruitt Taylor Vince is on hand as his usual bug-eyed, shifty nerd who knows more than anyone else.
Continue reading: 13 Sins Review
Coarse and not exactly subtle, this dark drama might disappoint viewers expecting a more traditional revenge thriller, but there's something more interesting going on here. And even though it starts at full volume and only gets more intense, the film is actually remarkably thoughtful and measured in its approach.
It's set in the Rust Belt, industrial Pennsylvania, where Russell (Bale) works in a steel mill and worries about his little brother Rodney (Affleck), who's deep in debt to a local bookie (Dafoe). Then a late-night car crash lands Russell in prison, and when he's released everything has changed. He has no job, his girlfriend (Saldana) is now dating the local sheriff (Whitaker), and Rodney is paying off his debts by fighting in bare-knuckle boxing matches. Even more perilous is the fact that all of this puts the brothers on a collision course with vicious local redneck Harlan (Harrelson), who has no intention of making their lives easier.
The film opens with a particularly brutal display of Harlan's menace, so we know what's coming. And as everything goes from bad to worse for our two heroes, the film feels almost aggressively harsh. Of course, Bale and Affleck are terrific as these damaged men whose fierce bond both helps and puts them into danger. And both actors let us see beneath the surface as their lives fall apart. In what could be the thankless ex-girlfriend role, Saldana has some surprisingly powerful moments. And Harrelson is a deeply terrifying force to reckon with.
Continue reading: Out Of The Furnace Review
Russell Baze lives in a rundown, underprivileged neighbourhood where he works full-time at a steelworks while also trying to support his wife and take care of his dying father. His spirits lift, however, at the arrival of his brother Rodney, a soldier, who has finally come home after serving in Iraq. Unfortunately, he brings will him a burden - he's in need of money and has approached a ruthless crime boss in order to get it. They arrange for him to take part in a bare-knuckle boxing match, but when he fails to comply with the winning/losing arrangements he made with his new boss, he suddenly disappears without a trace. Russell goes to the police who are less than helpful and have been unable to find his brother and so he decides to go after the gang himself, determined to seek justice.
This gripping crime thriller has an all-star cast and has been directed by Scott Cooper ('Crazy Heart') who also wrote the screenplay alongside Brad Ingelsby ('The Dynamiter'). It's a story of desperation, justice and loyalty and just how far people would go to save their loved ones. 'Out Of The Furnace' is set to appear on UK cinema screens on November 29th 2013.
One Direction may still be teenagers but they are worth a fortune, after less than two years in existence. One Direction shot to fame after appearing on the UK version of X Factor in 2010; the irony of their subsequent fortune, of course, is that they didn’t even win the contest: they came third behind Rebecca Ferguson and Matt Cardle. The revelations about the band’s fortune have come from Tom Bower’s new book about Simon Cowell, The Mirror have reported.
According to today’s report (September 20, 2012), the five young lads known as One Direction are now officially one of the UK’s most successful music groups ever. And it’s thought that the band have raked in around £200 million for Simon Cowell and Sony, on top of the vast sum of money that they have earned for themselves, too. It’s a pretty impressive story for a band that are barely out of their teens. Their eldest member, Louis Tomlinson is 21 and Harry Styles, the youngest member of the band, is still only 18. In his book, Bowen writes “One Direction were Cowell’s new Westlife – a revival of his mastery of the music business. Nothing had been left to chance by Sony Music, with the band’s hit album Up All Night selling over five million copies.”
In addition to sales of One Direction’s songs, Simon Cowell and his colleagues have managed to strike up some lucrative endorsements for the band. These include partnerships with Nokia, Hasbro toys and Pokemon games. Apparently, the boys like to splash their cash, now that they have plenty of it. Louis splashed out £2.5 million on a five bedroom pad in London and Harry’s got his own bachelor pad, as well as a number of pricey sports cars. Nice work if you can get it, eh lads?
Dannii Minogue has finally broken her silence on the book which details her fling with Simon Cowell.
The love affair was first revealed in Tom Bower's biography 'Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell' and although the book was officially unauthorised, Simon did speak to the author for it.
She told the British edition of Glamour magazine: ''I haven't read the book, but I've been told about the excerpts that relate to me and the speculation about my private life.
Continue reading: Dannii Minogue Finally Addresses Simon Cowell Book
'Timebomb' singer wants to parade her bottom in from of Duchess of Cambridge's sister.
The 'Timebomb' singer who famously showed off her bottom in tiny gold hot pants in her 'Spinning Around' video released in 2000, admitted she wanted the duel at the forthcoming Jubilee concert.
The 44-year-old performer says she plans on parading her derriere in front of Kate Middleton's sister - who received ample attention at her wedding to Prince William last year because of her shapely buttocks.
Continue reading: Kylie Minogue Wants 'Bum-off' With Pippa Middleton
Simon Cowell's lavish lifestyle has been revealed in a new unauthorised biography, claiming he has Botox twice a year and regular colonic irrigation.
Simon Cowell's lavish lifestyle has been revealed in a new unauthorised biography.
According to the book 'Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life Of Simon Cowell', which has been serialised by The Sun, the music mogul has Botox twice a year, intravenous vitamin injections and regularly has colonic irrigation.
Simon is also said to refuse to have regular white toilet rolls in his luxury Beverly Hills mansion, and insists on using black toilet paper.
Continue reading: Simon Cowell's Lavish Lifestyle Revealed In New Book
Simon Cowell insists on having back toilet roll in his Beverly Hills mansion, and also has a feature that makes it look like he is walking on water, according to the latest revelations from his unauthorised autobiography.
Simon Cowell insists on having only black toilet paper in his house.
The 52-year-old 'x factor' creator - who earns an estimated £45million-a-year - refuses to have regular white toilet rolls in his luxury Beverly Hills mansion, and also splurges £3,000 a week on flowers.
Simon's quirky lifestyle habits have been revealed in a new unauthorised biography titled Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life of Simon Cowell, as excepted in The Sun newspaper, which also claims he has had a special feature installed at his £20million home which makes it look like he is walking on water.
Continue reading: Simon Cowell Insist On Black Toilet Paper
Music mogul Simon Cowell has reportedly revealed that he and fellow X Factor judge Dannii Minogue enjoyed a passionate fling with one another, according to a new biography on Cowell by journalist Tom Bower.
The unauthorised account of Cowell's life, entitled Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life Of Simon Cowell, claims that Simon and Dannii enjoyed a number of passionate nights together during their time as X Factor judges, The Metro reports. The book quotes Cowell saying; "I had a crush on her. It was Dannii's hair, the sexy clothes, and the tits." He is also quoted as saying that he "was like a schoolboy" and that "it was genuine love." Referring to his ex-girlfriend Terri Seymour, he goes on to say that he wasn't ready for another relationship and he and Dannii only shared a fling. Bower also cites Cowell's on-air appraisal of Minogue, referring to her as a "sex symbol," and the fall out between Dannii and former judge Sharon Osbourne as further evidence of a fling between the two.
Continue reading: Simon Colwell Had 'Affair' With Dannii Minogue
Jonathan; Ron; Richard and Tim met at college 25 years ago and have been friends ever since. Jonathan is a doctor; Ron is a banker and Richard is a English teacher at a high school. This year is no different from any other year: the four men leave their families and careers to rent a beach house in California for a week, which is spent partying with college girls and an extortionate amount of booze and drugs.
Continue: I Melt With You Trailer