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Stoker Review


Excellent

You could argue that this film is all lurid style over substance, but there's actually a lot going on behind the stunningly gorgeous imagery. Korean director Park (Oldboy) beings his lavish visual approach to this Hitchcockian story about a family infiltrated by a predator. Packed with references to iconic movies and books, the film is heightened and deranged, and its intense moodiness gets under the skin.

It centres on 18-year-old India Stoker (Wasikowska), distraught after the death of her beloved father (Mulroney). Without him to soften her, she's also even angrier than usual at her needy mother Evie (Kidman). Then the charming, handsome Uncle Charlie (Goode) turns up at the funeral and moves in to help them grieve. Actually he seems to be trying to seduce Evie, who is flattered by his attention. But the housekeeper (Somerville) and an auntie (Weaver) don't stick around long enough to see what's really going on, and it becomes clear that Charlie actually has his sights set on India.

Both the script and the direction continually echo familiar literary and cinematic icons, from the family's name to the Shakespearean family plot to the prowling interloper (see Robert Mitchum in the 1950s classic The Night of the Hunter). Director Park's camera prowls through the house like a ghost, catching tiny details in every lushly designed scene while finding all kinds of shadings in the performances. Wasikowska is terrific as the sensitive, rather cruel young woman at the centre of the storm, while Kidman steals her scenes with a haunted, conflicted performance. Between them, Goode is almost painfully seductive. And clearly dangerous.

Continue reading: Stoker Review

Does Killing Lincoln Capitalise on Lincoln Mania? Review Roundup


Tom Hanks Tony Scott Ridley Scott

The Killing Lincoln reviews are in, and it’s time to find out if the TV movie, which tells the story of John Wilkes Booth and the conspiracy that led to the 16th president's murder, adds anything to a story well told.

Given Steven Spielberg’s Oscar nominated Lincon, featuring Daniel Day Lewis as the man himself has done so well, there was perhaps no better time than now to portray Wilkes Booth’s story, but if the reviews are anything to go by, it hasn’t been done particularly well. “Fastidiously researched down to the arrangement of household items in certain scenes, "Killing Lincoln" wears its historical accuracy like a ball and chain, clunking where it should inspire, dragging where it should pulse with dread,” read The L.A Times’ review. “It grows quickly tedious, which is, in itself, an achievement considering the subject matter.” Produced by Ridley and the late Tony Scott, Killing Lincoln is based on bestselling book by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard and is narrated by Tom Hanks.

Slant Magazine’s Chuck Bown unflinchingly states, “Ultimately, Saving Lincoln is a bad film that's somewhat exciting for suggesting, however fleetingly, what a true visionary might do with this expressionistic lo-fi form of world-building.” And Kansas City Entertainment suggest that the the project could have been handled better, especially considering the recent focus. “During a surge in all things Lincoln, thanks to Steven Spielberg and Daniel Day-Lewis, National Geographic could have taken the time to do the job right.”

Excitement Builds For 'Killing Lincoln' As Trailer is Released


Tony Scott Ridley Scott Tom Hanks Billy Campbell

National Geographic aren't dipping their toes into the scripted drama, rather plunging themselves in with 'Killing Lincoln', an adaptation of Fox News host Bill O'Reilly's bestselling book of the same.

Tony Scott was working on adapting the book when he committed suicide on August 19th, 2012. Production had already begun in Richmond, Virginia, and Ridley Scott also exec produces. "This is really the Lincoln story you've never seen before. Booth wanted to make his mark," Scott said in a statement. Actor Billy Campbell, who co-stars with Jesse Johnson, called the documentary, "amazingly detailed, accurate, exciting and immensely tragic."

The trailer - considering there are no real spoilers in this story - doesn't reveal much, other impeccably stylised depiction of the murder, with a Tarantino-esque cut away from the scenes crescendo. "Lincoln is so adored, so universally revered today that it's easy to forget he was a controversial president -- one with many enemies -- in fact he repeatedly dreamt of his own assassination," said Billy Campbell, who plays America's 16th president. "We felt it important to convey this hidden side of Lincoln, this sense of his almost wasting away with premonitions of death, even as he was outwardly so poised and steadfast through the closing of the war."

Continue reading: Excitement Builds For 'Killing Lincoln' As Trailer is Released

Top Gun Sequel Falls Apart, But 3-D Version Headed For Cinemas


Tony Scott Tom Cruise Jerry Bruckheimer

The Top Gun Sequel - which was set to star Tom Cruise - has fallen apart in the wake of director Tony Scott's death. The filmmaker committed suicide on August 19, 2012, leaving Paramount Pictures executives with no choice but to scrap the sequel and focus attention on a 3-D version of the original movie.

According to the New York Times, the 3-D version was completed earlier this year by Legend3D, who specialize in converting conventional movies into three-dimensional films. It had been scheduled as a way to whet the appetite for the sequel that was being planned by Scott, Cruise and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. Now, with the second movie no longer in pre-production, Paramount are left with a 3-D movie that could be perceived as a tribute to the director's death. It could still be a box-office success, though only if it's not perceived to be exploitative of opportunistic. In its 3-D format, Titanic took over $342 million worldwide, with a conversion cost of just $18 million. Top Gun - with its aerial action and motorcycle stunts - would probably lend itself well to the format and seems a natural candidate, though Scott's death makes things a little more complex.

The director had responded enthusiastically to the conversion in the weeks before his death, though his attention was solely focused on the fresh new sequel. 

Continue reading: Top Gun Sequel Falls Apart, But 3-D Version Headed For Cinemas

Top Gun Sequel: Is It Ever Going To Happen?


Tony Scott Tom Cruise

The Top Gun sequel was purportedly thrown around the table at Paramount before the tragic death of the film's creator, Tony Scott, who surprised and shocked Hollywood by committing suicide.

"I said to Tony I want to make another movie with him. He and I haven't made a film since 'Days of Thunder'. Tony and I and Jerry, we never thought that we would do it again. Then they started to come to us with these ideas of where it is now. I thought, 'Wow, that would be ... what we could do now.' " That's what Tom Cruise told MTV in last year, which first got 80's film fanatics excited about a possible sequel to their much-loved aviation action classic. Now, though, according to The New York Times, the sequel has fallen apart in the wake of Scott's suicide, and all that's left is a possible rehash of the film; a 3D remake, that will offer nothing new to the viewers, apart from a third dimension of course, and perhaps some HD touch ups. But what fans really want is another dimension to the story; another plot line, more conflict, more planes. Alas, it looks like the suicide of one of Hollywood's greats also heralded the death of one of his finest creations.

The medical truths are now known about Scott's death; he didn't have inoperable cancer, and had a comfortable level of medication his body - nothing that would worry a doctor - but the psychological reasoning behind his suicide have left many in Limbo. 

Tony Scott's Death Remains A Mystery


Tony Scott Mark Bomback

Despite the release of the coroner's report, confirming that Tony Scott committed suicide, there are still so many questions yet to have been answered, and his death still seems shrouded in mystery.

The report said that he died of multiple blunt force injuries, following jumping off the Vincent St Thomas Bridge in the USA. Scott, who directed some excellent thrillers including True Romance and Man on Fire, was also found to have 'therapeutic' levels of anti-depressants in his system, as well as another drug to help the director sleep. 

Whether or not Scott was suffering from other, more physical ailments than depression remains unclear. At the time of his death ABC falsely reported that he had been suffering with cancer. Coroner's office official, Craig Harvey saw no evidence of illness, "There was no evidence of neoplasia -- cancer - identified," he said, reported by the LA Times. Plus, while some sources claim that he had mentioned back and hip pains, Mark Bomback who wrote Scott's movie 'Unstoppable' saw none of that "In a million years, this isn't something I'd have thought he'd do," Mark explained. "I never had an inkling he had any health problems.... You'd think he was making his first film from his level of energy and enthusiasm." At the time of death, Scott still had numerous projects in the pipeline, he also leaves behind a young family, his wife and two sons. 

Continue reading: Tony Scott's Death Remains A Mystery

Tony Scott Death Explained By Report


Tony Scott Tom Cruise

True Romance Director Tony Scott died from multiple blunt force injuries and drowning after jumping from Vincent Thomas Bridge into Los Angeles Harbor, ABC News reports. 

Preliminary autopsy results showed the Top Gun director had "therapeutic levels" of the anti-depressant Mirtazapine and the prescription sleep-aid Lunesta in his system. It had been revealed previously that the director left notes behind in his car including messages to friends and loved ones, but did not explain his suicide, which has now been confirmed. ABC News had previously reported that director Tony Scott had inoperable brain cancer and cited it as a possible reason for his suicide, but considering The Los Angeles County coroner's report on Mr. Scott's death listed no evidence of brain cancer, ABC News retracted that Aug. 20 story and extended a formal apology to Mr. Scott's family and friends on their website. 

A coroner's spokesman said the final report would be ready in two weeks, so more news will be available. Scott directed Enemy of the State, Beverly Hills Cop II and Crimson Tide. At the time of his death, he was reported to be involved in a number of film projects including a sequel to Top Gun, where Tom Cruise was expected to reprise his role as fighter pilot Maverick.

Continue reading: Tony Scott Death Explained By Report

Autopsy Report: Tony Scott Committed Suicid, But We Still Don't Know Why


Tony Scott Ridley Scott

Tony Scott’s autopsy has been made public. Although the cause of death has been confirmed as suicide, the coroner’s report provides few other insights into why the film director chose to take his own life.

Scott - whose brother is fellow movie director Ridley Scott - died on August 19, 2012 when he jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in Los Angeles harbour. The cause of death was listed as “multiple blunt force injuries,” according to a report from the Daily Mail and added the he also drowned by jumping into the harbour. It was widely assumed that Scott had intended to commit suicide; he left several notes, including a list of contact numbers in his car so that the police would be able to contact his wife. However, what was not clear was why he chose to take his life. The notes gave no indication as to a reasoning.

Rumors that he had been diagnosed with brain cancer proved to be untrue; the autopsy found no evidence to support this. What the investigation did reveal was that he had been taking anti-depressants and sleeping pills prior to his death. The level of Remeron (an anti-depressant) and Lunesta (a sleeping pill) in his system is described as “therapeutic.”

Continue reading: Autopsy Report: Tony Scott Committed Suicid, But We Still Don't Know Why

Picture - Tony Scott and family Westwood, California, Tuesday 26th October 2010

Tony Scott - Tony Scott and family Westwood, California - Los Angeles Premiere Of 'Unstoppable' held at Regency Village Theatre Tuesday 26th October 2010

Picture - Tony Scott (R) and family Westwood, California, Tuesday 26th October 2010

Tony Scott - Tony Scott (R) and family Westwood, California - Los Angeles Premiere Of Unstoppable Tuesday 26th October 2010

Tony Scott