With studios afraid of anything new or original, it's not surprising that the dinosaurs are back on-screen nearly 15 years after the rather disappointing Jurassic Park III. The good news is that this film has a clever script and solid characters to go along with the first-rate digital work. So even if the effects kind of take over the movie in the final act, it's still a great ride.
The massive island resort Jurassic World has been running safely for a decade off the Costa Rica coast, so it needs ever-scarier attractions to bring in visitors. The owner Masrani (Irrfan Khan) has been instructing his top scientist (BD Wong) to genetically engineer a bigger, scarier species, and he's come up with a beast called Indominus rex. Park manager Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) has her doubts, but her velociraptor trainer Owen (Chris Pratt) is downright furious when he finds out. Sure enough, just as Claire's nephews (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson) arrive for a visit, the I-rex escapes and threatens the 20,000 visitors on the island.
The screenplay sets everything up in fine disaster movie style, with quickly explained back-stories to add some emotional undercurrents to the big-scale chaos. There's also, of course, a requisite villain in the form of the meathead Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio), who thinks dinosaurs could be used by the military and welcomes this catastrophe as a chance to prove his point. Thankfully, the cast dives in with gusto, adding hilarious personality touches to every scene. Pratt is terrific as the swashbuckling action-man, nicely set against the feisty Howard, who trumps him by doing all her action scenes in heels. Simpkins and Robinson have a lively adventure all their own that adds to the film's overall appeal. And there are superb side roles for the talented likes of Omar Sy, Judy Greer and Jake Johnson that add both humour and emotion.
Continue reading: Jurassic World Review
When John Hammond first created InGen and prepared Jurassic Park, it was a colossal failure. When Jurassic World was later opened for the public, a lot had been learnt from Hammond's mistakes, and the new amusement park opened without any problems. But when visitors began to dwindle, something drastic had to be done. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), the park operations manager has organised to have a hybrid dinosaur created, and needs the dependable and knowledgeable Velociraptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to ensure the enclosure is safe for the new dinosaur. But when it eats its twin, and Grady arrives to inspect it, the Indominus rex breaks free, bringing havoc and destruction in its wake.
Continue: Jurassic World - Clips
Chris Pratt raved about his wife, Anna Faris, in a recent Reddit AMA. Pratt described his wife as "great", "patient and understanding" and "kind and genuine".
Chris Pratt couldn't help but tell the world how wonderful his relationship with his wife, actress Anna Faris, is and said they "are meant to be together". The couple have been together since 2007 and married two years later. Pratt was being questioned by fans on Reddit when he was asked how he met Faris and what she is like as a wife and mother - the couple have a son together, Jack, born in 2012.
Chris Pratt raved about his wife, Anna Faris, in a recent AMA.
The park is officially open! Twenty two years after the disastrous attempt to bread dinosaurs for an amusement park, another attempt was made and saw great success. The problem is, due to dwindling visitors, the management have had to try something new with the exhibits. Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), the park operations manager, heads out to speak to Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), the velociraptor trainer. Due to his successful handling of the animals, she believes that he is the perfect person to check the new enclosure, and ensure that it is up to standard. But when someone has dedicated their life to earning the respect of the raptors, they have no idea what needs to be done with the Indominus rex. No one does.
Continue: Jurassic World - Clip And Trailer
On the board between Mexico and the United States, something big is brewing. A war between the police force and Cartel drug-runners is ready to explode into something cataclysmic. When concert violinist Jacob (Anton Yelchin) returns to his family's home with his fiancé to see his brother, Buddy (Chris Marquette), spirits are high. Buddy is unable to attend the upcoming wedding, but has invited his brother down to see the new ranch he has built. Things don't add up, however, as there is no way that Buddy would ever have been able to afford to pay for all of the work that has been done. Slowly, the plot begins to unravel, and it turns out that Buddy isn't all that he seems.
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With a script by Brad Ingelsby (Out of the Furnace), this thriller has more substance than most, although it's also been compromised by the inclusion of a lot of contrived action mayhem. At its centre, there's a nice exploration of two retirement-age men looking at the world they have created, and how things have changed since they made key decisions as younger men. But director Jaume Collet-Serra (Non-Stop) seems uninterested in these serious themes, and would clearly rather stage another shoot-out or chase instead.
Liam Neeson stars as Jimmy, a lifelong criminal who's now a wheezy husk of his former thrusting self. But he maintains his childhood friendship with Shawn (Ed Harris), who turned his crime empire legit but is having problems keeping his son Danny (Boyd Holbrook) out of trouble. Now Danny has made a dodgy deal with some Albanians, and when that goes predictably wrong, it accidentally puts Jimmy's estranged good-guy son Mike (Joel Kinnaman), his wife (Genesis Rodriguez) and kids in danger. So Jimmy sets out to set things right, although this means that he ends up on opposite sides of the conflict from Shawn. And he and Mike also have to outrun his detective nemesis (Vincent D'Onofrio) and a ruthless assassin (Common).
There's a nice sense of respect and inevitability to the relationship between Jimmy and Shawn that goes a long way in making this overlong movie watchable. Neeson and Harris are terrific at playing men who are too old to be running around with guns. Their quietly tense conversations are by far the most riveting scenes in the film. By comparison, the action sequences feel rather routine: brutal and fast, with flashy editing, outrageous stunts and more firepower than is strictly necessary. And for a man who can barely stand when the film opens, Jimmy is suspiciously able to run, jump, drive and shoot like a trained professional a third his age.
Continue reading: Run All Night Review
Vincent D'Onofrio - A variety of stars were snapped as they arrived for Comedy Central's 'Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs' The event was held at the Beacon Theater in New York City, New York, United States - Sunday 1st March 2015
A single accident or act of violence can change more than just a single person, but an entire city. Blinded as a child, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) has worked hard to become a respected lawyer, yet it is his out-of-hours job that is having more of an impact on the world around him. Living in the Hell's Kitchen neighbourhood in New York City, Murdock faces crime on a day-to-day basis. Left without the use of his eyes, he must navigate the world around him using his almost sonar levels of hearing, battling criminals during the day as a lawyer, and at night, as the masked vigilante Daredevil.
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The park is officially open! After several years and multiple (disastrous) attempts, Jurassic Park as finally opened for the public. Now named Jurassic World, thousands of people flock to the park every day to see prehistoric creatures in a safe and sanctioned environment. But, as with all things, people have steadily lost interest. Pioneering science at the park has led to the creation of the first hybrid dinosaur being created, designed to entice and scare the visitors, yet unfortunately, it gets lose. Now, a brand new dinosaur is hunting the previously known creatures on the island for sport, and 20,000 people are trapped in its new hunting ground.
Continue: Jurassic World - Super Bowl TV Spot
Jimmy Conlon is a former hit man for the mob whose life of crime have left many mental scars. His best friend is the mob boss Shawn Maguire, but things get complicated for their relationship when Conlon's son Mike finds himself being hunted down by Maguire's own boy Danny. In a bid to defend his son, Jimmy arrives on the scene and shoots Danny dead. Jimmy knows the drill and after a meeting with Shawn realises he must do everything within his power to keep Mike from being killed by the rest of the gang, as he and his family are targeted once again. Jimmy is forced to kill old friends as he takes on the most dangerous task of his life, in taking care of the family he has led to death. Meanwhile, he's on the run from a police officer desperate to put him behind bars for his past crimes.
Continue: Run All Night Trailer
Taking into account the lessons learnt on the islands Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna, the creators of Jurassic Park have created a new dinosaur amusement park named Jurassic Park. Millions flock to the island resort to see the prehistoric animals in their enclosures, but to keep up with demand for new and interesting attractions, the scientists behind the park have created their first hybrid - a unique dinosaur which never originally existed. But after creating a fantastic creature from the best parts of other dinosaurs, the highly intelligent creature escapes - jeopardising the lives of every person on the island.
Continue: Jurassic World - Teaser Trailer
Shia LaBeouf is well-cast in this freewheeling combination of comedy, romance and action. He plays a scruffy guy with no plans and nothing to lose, lost in a strange culture while falling in love with the wrong woman. It's not a particularly original premise, and much of what happens feels wildly improbable, but the characters and situations are so entertaining that we can't help but hold on for the ride.
It opens in Chicago, where Charlie (LaBeouf) watches helplessly as his mother (Melissa Leo) dies in hospital, asking her what he should do next. Then there she is appearing to him, telling him to visit Bucharest. "That's weirdly specific," he replies, but he follows her advice, and on the flight over has another encounter with a dead person. This one asks him to look up his daughter Gabi (Evan Rachel Wood) and give her a message. Of course, Charlie is instantly smitten, but tries to ignore the fact that Gabi's psychopathic husband Nigel (Mads Mikkelsen) looks easily capable of murder. As does the mobster club owner Darko (Til Schweiger) Charlie has a run in with while out on the town with his youth hostel roommates, two chucklehead Brits (Rupert Grint and James Buckley).
As the title suggests, Charlie feels like death is inevitable for him, especially now that he seems to have caught whatever that kid from The Sixth Sense had. LaBeouf gives Charlie just the right mix of hapless loser and quick-thinking resourcefulness, and his chemistry with Wood is tetchy and fun to watch. Meanwhile, the scene-stealing supporting stars Mikkelsen, Schweiger, Grint and Buckley add a terrific mixture of comedy silliness and dark peril. This seems to be director Fredrik Bond's main goal here: to blend genres from grim drama to sweet romance to goofy slapstick to Taken-style action violence.
Continue reading: The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman Review
This generational drama strains so hard to be serious that it's almost laughable. Its big themes are only superficially addressed, while the bloated nearly two and a half hour running time could easily have been cut down simply by eliminating all of the emotive close-ups of actors with tears welling in their eyes. In other words, while there are the bare bones of a decent movie in here, it's been badly compromised to turn it into Oscar bait.
At least it starts well, with a sequence centred on Hank (Robert Downey Jr), a slick Chicago lawyer with a precocious daughter (Emma Tremblay) and an angry trophy wife (Sarah Lancaster) who has had enough. Hank's cold-hearted ways are a legacy of his estranged relationship with his father Joseph (Robert Duvall), the no-nonsense judge in a small-town Indiana town. Then Hank is called home when his mother dies, comforting his brothers Glen (Vincent D'Onofrio), whose injured hand ended his baseball career, and Dale (Jeremy Strong), who is mentally challenged. He also rekindles his youthful romance with waitress Sam (Vera Farmiga). Then Joseph is arrested for murder, and Hank steps in to help inexperienced lawyer CP (Dax Shepard) defend him against the shark-like prosecutor (Billy Bob Thornton).
There isn't a single subtle element in this film, as the script is carefully constructed to pull our sympathies back and forth even though both Hank and Joseph are deeply unlikeable grumps. Downey and Duvall are good enough actors to make them watchable, but director David Dobkin (The Change-up) hammers every sentimental scene home with far too much force. And the script is so simplistic that it chickens out before anything interesting happens. Even the court case lacks something compelling to draw the audience in. It certainly doesn't help that the characters are all deeply contrived. Just one example: there's a disability for each of the three brothers: physical, emotional and mental.
Continue reading: The Judge Review