Frankly, if you put Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin in your movie, you don't really need to worry about the script: we'd happily watch them do just about anything on-screen. And here they sieze every hint of humour, drama and action to keep us entertained and make us care about their characters. Indeed, they maintain their dignity by refusing to give in to the screenplay's lazy old-age jokes and convoluted plot.
The story kicks off when Val (Pacino) gets out of prison after 28 years behind bars. His only remaining friend is Doc (Walken), who lets him stay in his humble apartment. But Val wants to get back in the game, and tries to get Doc to abandon his austere retirement. Then Val learns that Doc is only alive because gangster Claphands (Margolis) is forcing him to kill Val on his release - an act of vengeance against both of them. With nothing to lose, they liberate their dying buddy Hirsch (Arkin) from hospital and decide to go out with a bang.
Screenwriter Haidle seems to want this to be a geriatric Apatow-style comedy, as these men continually talk frankly about their sex lives (including of course a tired Viagra joke). But this is more squirm-inducing than amusing. And director Stevens lets the action set-pieces drag on too long, trying to crank up the energy by giving every scene a madcap spin. But none of this was necessary with these actors: they are geniuses at adding zing to even the most weakly written and directed scenes, keeping us engaged by constantly upstaging each other. They may be past their prime, but they prove that there's plenty of life still in them.
Continue reading: Stand Up Guys Review
Ready yourself for tonight's premiere of brand new gritty TV drama, Graceland. Visually slick Graceland rewards viewers who persevere.
Graceland is created by Jeff Eastin (NBC's Hawaii, USA's White Collar), and follows members of separate law enforcement branches who are required to work - and live - together undercover in a Californian beach house in an hour long show. '
Described as "grittier" and "more complex" than White Collar by The Washington Post, the story and setting are said to be based on real-life events where a beach house, that was seized in the 90s by the feds, is used as a base for undercover agents. The name 'Graceland' comes from the name of the house - after its previous drug dealing owner's obsession with Elvis.
The first episode focuses on Mike: a Virginian played by Aaron Tveit, who you may recognise from Les Misérables and Gossip Girl. The move, and subsequent culture-shock Mike experiences, from Virginia to sunny Santa Monica is explored in the pilot episode as he adapts to his new surroundings and unconventional housemates. Mike joins a band of other undercover agents in the mansion, lead by "menacingly ambivalent" senior FBI agent Paul Briggs; who is played by Daniel Sunjata - best known from FX's firefighter drama Rescue Me.
Continue reading: Brand New 'Gritty' Cop-Drama 'Graceland' Starts Tonight
Doc is lifelong criminal who goes to meet his best friend Val when he leaves prison following a long sentence, but little does Val know that his crime companion has been forced to kill him by his crook boss Hirsch. It doesn't take him long to realise, however, with Doc's sheepish presence constantly giving him away. The pair decide to enjoy themselves in the only ways they know how; theft, drugs and alcohol, before the time comes when Doc has to do the deed to save his own life. As the time draws nearer, he pleads with Hirsch for mercy, unwilling to shoot dead his best and only friend while Val repents for his sins in confession for the first time in 60 years in a bid to make his peace with God before he dies.
This crime comedy highlights friendship, unbreakable promises and sin as the main themes played out by a star-studded main cast. It has been directed by the Oscar winning actor Fisher Stevens in his second feature film after his 'Just a Kiss', and written by Noah Haidle in his first full length feature film and Dave Weasel his first ever feature film. It is set for release in the US on January 11th 2013.
Starring: Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin, Julianna Margulies, Mark Margolis, Katheryn Winnick, Vanessa Ferlito, Addison Timlin, Bill Burr, Rick Gomez, Weronika Rosati, Eric Etebari, Courtney Galiano, Yorgo Constantine & Brandon Scott.
Continue: Stand Up Guys - Trailer Trailer
23 years after Gordon Gekko's incarceration for insider trading, he finds himself being released into the outside world. He may have no family to meet him but he's ready to once again take his place in the business world. His soon to be son-in-law Jacob contacts Gordon in the hope that together they will reunite father and daughter. Winnie has always been wary of her father, especially his business dealings to which she warns her fiancé but when Jacob finds himself taken under the wing of Gordon, the offer is too good to turn down.
Continue: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Trailer
In a recent TV interview, Tarantino said he and Rodriguez had always wished those low-budget flicks were as good as their posters -- and they set out to achieve that, decades after the movies' heyday. With an obvious passion for the genre, the pair has recreated the experience of being at some cheap Texas drive-in with two features, fake coming attractions, missing reels, local ads, and announcements from theater management. Even if you don't catch on to everything, just watching the package is a complete thrill.
Continue reading: Grindhouse Review
The premise: Tommy Lee Jones plays a Texas Ranger who goes undercover in a girls' sorority house to protect five cheerleaders who have witnessed a murder -- is about as bad a concept as has ever been approved by a studio (at least until the Deuce Bigalow sequel comes out). But a funny thing about this film (about the only funny thing) is that the actors seem to be enjoying themselves -- especially Jones, whose droll, dry persona makes this film, if not a hoot, at least not a total travesty.
Continue reading: Man Of The House Review
If you're looking for a review of "Cursed" or "Man of the House" in your newspaper this morning, you're not going to find one -- in any newspaper anywhere. Opening in theaters nationwide today, these two movies have been kept hidden from critics because, to be blunt, the studios think they're garbage and want to rake in as much money as they can before word gets out.
Of course, nobody will admit to this at Dimension Films or Columbia Pictures, which are releasing the junkers. But it's no coincidence that every movie Hollywood doesn't screen in advance -- either by not holding previews until the night before opening or not holding them at all -- is largely lambasted once critics and audiences have caught up with it.
Continue reading: Man Of The House Review
Here's why Toby Maguire's Spider-Man is the greatest superhero in movie history:
Maguire so completely embodies the character's unique yinand yang -- the joyous, daredevil confidence of Spidey and the sweet, self-doubtingyoung chump that is Peter Parker -- that the exhilarating action in "Spider-Man2" is less interesting than his inner turmoil at being torn betweendoing what he's compelled to do and having the life he wants.
Continue reading: Spider-Man 2 Review
A smart, melancholy subculture slice-of-life and an unromantic roundelay between half a dozen denizens of the internet underground, the stylish low-budget indie "On_Line" has serious art-house sleeper-hit potential.
Taking place in large part over the internet (through webcams, QuickTime windows and creative split-screen effects), the interwoven stories revolve around a cybersex web site called Intercon-X, operated out of the sparse Manhattan apartment of two recent college grads.
Harmless, insecure, broken-hearted, cynical John (unshaven, sad-eyed Josh Hamilton, "The House of Yes") and charismatic downtown lothario Moe (Harold Perrineau, "The Matrix Reloaded," HBO's "Oz") don't seem to be making a fortune, but the site has become the primary source of human interaction for most of the film's damaged and cautious characters.
Continue reading: On_line Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.
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