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Murder On The Orient Express Trailer


It's the 1930s and a group of strangers from different walks of life board a crowded luxury train called the Orient Express in Istanbul, preparing for a long overnight journey to their destination. Among them is the world famous detective Hercule Poirot who certainly isn't expecting to be working in such circumstances, but when a passenger named Edward Ratchett is found havng been brutally murdered in his sleep on the second night, it's up to him to gather all available evidence and wheedle out all of the suspects. So who are they? He soon deduces that the potential killer could be one of eleven including Professor Gerhard Hardman, Edward Masterman the Butler, Count Andrenyi, Hector MacQueen the Assistant, Mary Debenham the Governess, Pilar Estravados the Missionary, Mrs. Hubbard the Widow, Marquez the Salesman, Hildegarde Schmidt the Maid, Doctor Arbuthnot or Princess Dragomiroff. 

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Justice League Teaser Trailer


In the wake of his friend Clark Kent's monumental sacrifice, Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince are determined to recruit the most powerful superheroes on the planet to help them fight a new menace that Lex Luthor predicted was coming to the Earth. They are the intrepid Arthur Curry or Aquaman, king of the sea; the young but lightning-fast Barry Allen, also known as The Flash; and the half-man half-machine known as Victor Stone or Cyborg. Together they must fight an army of parademons that have descended upon them, apparently in search of the Mother Box that transformed Victor Stone into the biomechanical creature he is. They are serving the villainous extra-terrestrial Steppenwolf, who will stop at nothing to get what he wants and take over the world. But as you can probably work out, these heroes have an advantage in that Superman is far from dead as they initially suspected.

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Dog Eat Dog Review

Good

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul Schrader, who wrote classics like Taxi Driver before turning director with American Gigolo. This movie has a kitsch tone as it spirals through a violently absurd story with a bunch of idiots who shoot first and then realise they can't ask any questions now. There are some intriguing issues gurgling under the surface, although they're kind of swamped by the mayhem.

It's set in Cleveland, where Troy (Cage) has just been released from prison and rejoins his buddies Mad Dog and Diesel (Willem Dafoe and Christopher Matthew Cook). Unable to get real jobs because they're ex-cons, they have no choice but to turn back to crime to make a living. So they contact mob boss El Greco (Schrader himself) for some freelance work. Their first job is ruthlessly convincing a gangsta-rapper (Omar J. Dorsey) to give them his drugs and cash. And then they move on to an even bigger target, the Latino kingpin Chepe (Reynaldo Gallegos). To get to him, they decide to kidnap the infant child of Brennan (Louis Perez), who is heavily in Chepe's debt. The problem is that Troy, Mad Dog and Diesel have no clue what they're doing, so the plan spirals out of control immediately.

The film looks almost swampy with its deep shadows and lurid colours, complete with visual flourishes that include wacky visual effects and clips shot in murky black and white. In other words, it's all very cool and nasty, with violence that's both unexpected and very grisly. People die horribly in almost every scene, but this seems to be rather run-of-the-mill for both the cops and criminals in this strata of society. No one has even a hint of a moral compass here; their goal is just to grab whatever they can. Cage gives another of his enjoyably deranged performances as Troy, bouncing hilariously off of Dafoe and Cook's carelessly murderous goons.

Continue reading: Dog Eat Dog Review

The Great Wall Trailer


William Garin and Pero Tovar journey it far and distant lands in a bid to find weapons to help them prevail in fierce battles. Their travels take them to China where they approach the heads of one of their most feared armies. William tells the men that they wish to trade but their request falls on deaf ears and the two foreigners are locked up in a cell.

When Garin learns that the soldiers stationed at The Great Wall of China are protecting their land from something much worse than any human army, he decides that he must earn the soldiers trust and join to fight with their cause.

The Great Wall is acting as a barrier between human civilisation and a continually growing number of wild monsters that crawl the land like humongous dragon lizards. Their main aim is to procreate and feed on any other living being that they come across. The army who protect humanity have spent their entire life training in a bid to defeat the monsters but as the four legged creatures grow stronger their mission becomes harder and harder. The fighters and their warriors must use all their force to try overcome the onslaught once and for all. 

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Willem Dafoe, Giada Colagr and e - 64th Berlin International Film Festival - 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' Premiere - Berlin, Germany - Thursday 6th February 2014

Willem Dafoe, Giada Colagr and E

Willem Dafoe - Premiere of The Grand Budapest Hotel, the opening film of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival, (Berlinale), at the Berlinale Palast. - Berlin, Germany - Thursday 6th February 2014

Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe - Opening ceremony and premiere of 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' at 64th Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) at Berlinale Palast at Potsdamer Platz square. - Berlin, Germany - Thursday 6th February 2014

Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe - 64th Berlin International Film Festival - 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' - Photocall - Berlin, Germany - Thursday 6th February 2014

Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe

Out Of The Furnace Review


Very Good

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

A Most Wanted Man - Clip


Gunther Bachmann is a German spy who has been enlisted by both German and American Secret Services to track down a Chechen-Russian immigrant named Issa in Hamburg who claims to be the heir to an enormous fortune in a private bank account. Gunther's colleagues believe Issa is an Islamic terrorist and request that he is rounded up and questioned immediately, however when Gunther discovers a suspicious relationship between him and his lawyer Annabel Richter, he holds back in order to find out what's going on in their heads. When he finds out that an Islamic charity boss is strongly linked to a terrorist organisation, he has to work out if Issa is in on it too - but could he be the biggest victim?

Continue: A Most Wanted Man - Clip

The Grand Budapest Hotel - Clips


Charismatic but somewhat aloof concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel, Gustave H, is less than impressed when a seemingly inexperienced new lobby boy named Zero Moustafa is hired for a trial period without his knowledge. However, the pair become thick as thieves when Gustave finds himself wanted by the authorities after the murder of his elderly one night stand Madame D. He does what any honourable hotelier would do under pressure. and runs. When it is discovered that the woman had left a priceless painting behind for Gustave in her will named Boy With Apple, her family is furious and Zero helps to the keep the painting hidden with the help of a charming young girl named Agatha as Gustave attempts to protest his innocence. With enough people despising Gustave for his often inappropriate professional conduct, it becomes harder than expected to clear his name and find out the truth about the death of Madame D.

Continue: The Grand Budapest Hotel - Clips

The Grand Budapest Hotel - Character Promo Trailer


Gustave H is a charismatic and over-friendly concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel whose conduct has been far from professional over the course of his career, regularly engaging in one night stands with his deeply charmed guests including the elderly Madame D. So enamoured was Madame D about Gustave's interest in her, that she leaves him a priceless painting behind in her will named Boy With Apple. However, following her suspicious death, her maddened son Dmitri accuses Gustave of her murder and attempts to frame him for it, angered by his illicit involvement with her. Meanwhile, Gustave is attempting to train up an enthusiastic young lobby boy named Zero Moustafa who warms to him easily and helps to defend him as Gustave makes a break for it. Moustafa is also becoming very fond of a girl named Agatha, who he enlists to help hide the painting from Madame D's furious family.

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'Nymphomaniac' Trailer Accidentally Played To Kids Before Disney Film


Charlotte Gainsbourg Lars Von Trier Uma Thurman Willem Dafoe Jamie Bell Stellan Skarsgard

Shocked Floridian parents have been left fearing for the innocence of their young children after the trailer for Lars Von Trier's provocative new movie Nymphomaniac was screened during what should have been the child-friendly advert reel in the cinema.

Nymphomaniac Poster
Promotional Posters For 'Nymphomaniac' Show The Cast's Sex Faces.

Excited children waiting to see the sweet and festive Oscar-tipped Disney movie Frozen with their parents had hands held over their eyes as someone in the projection room slipped up in a monumental goof.

Continue reading: 'Nymphomaniac' Trailer Accidentally Played To Kids Before Disney Film

Full-Length 'Nymphomaniac' Trailer: Sex, Fire, Whips, Guns, Confessions And Rammstein [Trailer]


Charlotte Gainsbourg Shia LaBeouf Uma Thurman Willem Dafoe Lars Von Trier Stacy Martin

The full-length trailer has finally been released for the Lars Von Trier two-part erotic drama, Nymphomaniac. The Danish director has teased for months with promotional posters for the movie showing cast members' faces in the throes of sexual pleasure.

Nymphomaniac Poster
Charlotte Gainsbourg, Shia LaBeouf, Stacy Martin & Jamie Bell Star In 'Nymphomaniac.'

Written and directed by the somewhat infamously controversial Von Trier ('Antichrist,' 'Melancholia'), the film stars Charlotte Gainsbourg as Joe, a woman found beaten in an alley by Stellan Skarsgard's Seligman. Joe attends group therapy sessions after self-diagnosing as a nymphomaniac; a sex addict. Seligman looks after Joe and she tells him her life story, including her sexual experiences.

Continue reading: Full-Length 'Nymphomaniac' Trailer: Sex, Fire, Whips, Guns, Confessions And Rammstein [Trailer]

'The Grand Budapest Hotel' - Meet Wes Anderson's Gang [Trailer + Pictures]


Owen Wilson Adrien Brody Wes Anderson Ralph Fiennes Jeff Goldblum Tilda Swinton Willem Dafoe Harvey Keitel Jason Schwartzman Edward Norton

Wes Anderson’s brand of frenetic, witty energy is bursting from the seams in the new trailer for The Grand Budapest Hotel. The comedy drama centres on a hotel concierge’s unlikely friendship with a lobby boy, and, as you’ve come to expect with an Anderson film, features an array of brilliant talent in its ranks.

The trailer for the film, which is due for release on March 7th in the U.S; February 28th in the U.K, is reminiscent of every film in Anderson’s showreel, but most notably, The Darjeeling Limited.

Some might see similarities to the hotel in The Royal TenenbaumsThe Grand Budapest Hotel - Some might see similarities to the hotel in The Royal Tenenbaums

Continue reading: 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' - Meet Wes Anderson's Gang [Trailer + Pictures]

The Grand Budapest Hotel Trailer


Gustave H is a flamboyant and largely charismatic concierge at the Grand Budapest Hotel whose habit of getting a little too close to his guests and keeping them entertained at all hours has earned him legendary status among many of his peers. When he meets enthusiastic young lobby boy Zero Moustafa, Gustave trains him to be the best hotel worker he can and the pair become thick as thieves as they try and defend each other at all costs. When one of his more 'special' guests is found murdered, police accuse Gustave who does what any upstanding gentleman would do - runs. To the anger of the guest's son, he is bequeathed a valuable painting known as 'Boy With Apple' and now he finds himself on a cat and mouse chase with the victim's family and the police. Meanwhile, Zero meets the charming Agatha, who he's also desperate to protect as best he can.

'The Grand Budapest Hotel' is a heartwarming comedy about a very unusual friendship, directed and written by Wes Anderson ('Fantastic Mr. Fox', 'Rushmore', 'The Royal Tenenbaums'). It is based in 1920s Europe and truly reflects the glamour of the privileged in that decade. The movie is due to be released in the UK on February 28th 2014.

Click here to read - The Grand Budapest Hotel Movie Review

Willem Dafoe - Photocall for Playstation's new game 'Beyond: Two Souls' at the Callao Cinema - Madrid, Spain - Monday 30th September 2013

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Willem Dafoe
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Willem Dafoe

Out Of The Furnace Trailer


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.

Click Here To Read - Out of the Furnace Movie Review

Is Cannes Really Cannes Without Lars Von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac'?


Lars Von Trier Charlotte Gainsbourg Kirsten Dunst Willem Dafoe Shia LaBeouf

Lars Von TrierA Still From Lars Von Trier's Controversial New Movie 'Nymphomaniac'

In 2011, Lars Von Trier was the undisputed headline maker at the Cannes Film Festival, though for all the reasons. "What can I say, I understand Hitler. I think he did his wrong things ... but I understand the man," the Danish filmmaker said at a press conference for his movie Melancholia, as Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg looked for the nearest hole to swallow them up. On the occasion, Von Trier was regarded persona non grata and was essentially banished from the festival.

Now, two years later, he has another controversial movie to promote - Nymphomaniac with Gainsbourg, Jamie Bell, Shia LaBeouf and Willem Dafoe - though there is no room for the movie at Cannes. Instead it premieres four days after the festival ends, in Denmark. According to Fox, Von Trier is not banned from the Cannes and simply missed the cut-off submission date for his movie to screen there. The Guardian's critic Xan Brooks argued that Cannes without the filmmaker is simply not the same - and the blustery Riviera weather has done little to make stars, critics and filmmakers feel at home. "He transgressed and was punished and the scars, it seems, have yet to fully heal," Brooks wrote. "But Cannes and Von Trier need each other."

Relive Lars Von Trier's Nazi Comments:

Continue reading: Is Cannes Really Cannes Without Lars Von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac'?

Finding Nemo 3D Trailer


Marlin is a clown fish with deep anxiety issues who lives alone with his sheltered son Nemo who has just started school. His over-protectiveness coupled with peer pressure soon drives Nemo to become a little more daring, however, and he ends up being captured and taken all the way to Sydney. Determined not to lose his beloved son, Marlin sets out on a death-defying adventure with a Blue Tang fish called Dory who suffers from short term memory loss. With danger at every turn, Marlin braves the open ocean and discovers a sense of courage and self-worth he never knew he had. 

'Finding Nemo' was directed by Oscar winners Andrew Stanton ('WALL-E', 'John Carter') and Lee Unkrich ('Monsters, Inc. ', 'Toy Story 2') and written by Bob Peterson ('Up') and David Reynolds (additional writer for 'A Bug's Life'). It became both a commercial and critical success on its release through Pixar in 2003 grossing $921,743,261 worldwide and was nominated for two BAFTAs and a Golden Globe and won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It was this major appeal that has prompted a re-release in stunning 3D almost ten years later. 'Finding Nemo 3D' will hit cinemas on March 29th 2013.

Director: Andrew Stanton

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Giada Colagrande and Willem Dafoe - Giada Colagrande, Willem Dafoe, Monday 26th November 2012 at The Independent Film Project's 22nd Annual Gotham Independenent Film Awards at Cipriani

Giada Colagrande and Willem Dafoe
Giada Colagrande, Willem Dafoe and Gotham Independenent Film Awards
Giada Colagrande, Willem Dafoe and Gotham Independenent Film Awards

The Hunter Review


Excellent
Shot in the breathtaking wilds of Tasmania, this evocative dramatic thriller puts us into the head of a troubled man forced to confront uncomfortable truths about himself and the work he does. It's a riveting, unsettling, involving film made with skill and artistry.

Mercenary hunter Martin (Dafoe) is a loner hired by a mysterious client (Koman) to track down the last remaining Tasmanian tiger, a breed thought to be extinct. Shunned as a "greenie", he's given a room in a country home where Lucy (O'Connor) lives in isolation with her two kids (Davies and Woodlock), waiting for the return of her missing zoologist husband. With Jack (Neill) as a guide, Martin sets out to find the elusive tiger, but his efforts to avoid bonding with the family are much trickier.

Continue reading: The Hunter Review

Willem Dafoe Tuesday 3rd July 2012 leaves the BBC Radio 2 studios

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Willem Dafoe

John Carter Review


Excellent
While trailers make this look like an effects-heavy sci-fi mess, the film is actually a rollicking adventure firmly centred on characters rather than the creatures or action. It's an involving, strikingly well-made action drama.

At the end of the American Civil War, John Carter (Kitsch) is in Arizona looking for gold when a strange artefact in a cave transports him to Mars, known locally as Barsoom. Getting used to the lower gravity is one thing, but he's soon captured by green, 15-foot-tall Tharks, who have four limbs plus tusks on the sides of their faces. He earns the respect of leader Tars Tarkas (Dafoe), but when he rescues Helium's Princess Dejah (Collins), he ends up in the middle of the war between red human kingdoms Helium and Zodanga.

Continue reading: John Carter Review

Willem Dafoe Thursday 1st March 2012 John Carter film premiere held at the BFI Southbank - Arrivals.

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Willem Dafoe and Independent Spirit Awards - Giada Colagrande and Willem Dafoe Saturday 25th February 2012 27th Annual Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach - Arrivals

Willem Dafoe and Independent Spirit Awards
Willem Dafoe and Independent Spirit Awards
Willem Dafoe and Independent Spirit Awards

Willem Dafoe - Actor Willem Dafoe (R) and wife director Giada Colagrande Wednesday 22nd February 2012 Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' 'John Carter' at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live

Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe, Golden Globe Awards and Beverly Hilton Hotel Sunday 15th January 2012 The 69th Annual Golden Globe Awards (Golden Globes 2012) held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel - Outside Arrivals

Willem Dafoe, Golden Globe Awards and Beverly Hilton Hotel

Fireflies In The Garden Trailer


As a child, Michael and his father Charles have had a tense relationship. Charles would lash out at Michael for breaking the rules; once even attempting to hit him with a baseball bat when he intervened in a fight between Charles and his wife Lisa. Another time, Charles was made to walk home in the rain after claiming to have lost his glasses.

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Willem Dafoe - Wednesday 7th September 2011 at Venice Film Festival Venice, Italy

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Willem Dafoe and Bjork Thursday 30th June 2011 Hollywood actor, Willem Dafoe and wife Giada Colagrande, out and about in Manchester after watching Bjork in concert Manchester, England

Willem Dafoe and Bjork
Willem Dafoe and Bjork
Willem Dafoe and Bjork
Willem Dafoe and Bjork
Willem Dafoe and Bjork
Willem Dafoe and Bjork

Willem Dafoe Thursday 3rd February 2011 Opening night of the Broadway production of 'Good People' at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre - Outside Arrivals New York City, USA

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Willem Dafoe
Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe and AFI Saturday 11th December 2010 The 2010

Willem Dafoe and Afi
Willem Dafoe and Afi
Willem Dafoe and Afi
Willem Dafoe and Afi
Willem Dafoe and Afi
Willem Dafoe and Afi

The Boondock Saints Review


Good
Already an insanely overrated cult classic, The Boondock Saints has Irish (and super-religious) brothers (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus) taking Boston by storm as vigilantes ridding the town of evildoers. Meanwhile, a gay FBI agent (Willem Dafoe, who steals the show completely) is hot on the trail, while the boys also get hunted by kooky crime lord (Billy Connolly).

Stylish and fun in a cheeseball sort of way (think Tarantino without the retro hipness), these Saints are amusing enough -- until the endless gunplay, blood-splattering, and monotonous SCREAMING MATCHES wear you down. I'd had enough within 45 minutes, but you'll have to make it through 110... and then there's the sequel that's on the way.

Continue reading: The Boondock Saints Review

Born On The Fourth Of July Review


OK
Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July is not an adaptation of the memoir by Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, though that's what the credits indicate. It's an indulgent style showcase for Stone, who, with his longtime cinematographer Robert Richardson, employs every act of film trickery imaginable that doesn't involve CGI effects.

Tom Cruise, in a role that was a brave departure for him in 1989, plays Kovic in his adult years. Kovic grows up as a child of the American dream in 1950s Long Island. He's a God-fearing, baseball-hitting, patriotic lad who lives in an environment full of parades and malt shops. As a high school senior, young Ron doesn't think twice about signing up for the Marines, believing that he's doing the right thing for his country.

Continue reading: Born On The Fourth Of July Review

Bullfighter Review


Bad
And here I was, expecting a movie about bullfighting.

This cryptic little indie starts out with the story of a Frenchman (Olivier Martinez) in Mexico, fascinated with bullfighting, indeed. When his cute little girlfriend unleashes a bull on him for some unknown reason, she ends up getting gored. That's bad enough, but her dad turns out to be a major crime boss, and he proceeds to go on a rampage against our poor Frenchman.

Continue reading: Bullfighter Review

Wild At Heart Review


OK
Was there any film so anxiously awaited in the late 1980s and early 1990s as Wild at Heart? The picture was released to a cult that had just been born: that of its director, David Lynch, whose Blue Velvet, in 1986, had reaped an enthusiastic following among the mainstream hipsters who had missed Eraserhead in 1977, and whose budding appetite for Lynch's singular brand of the macabre had been whetted by the prime-time ghoulishness of 1990's Twin Peaks. Wild at Heart's Palme d'Or win at Cannes just before its 1990 release only tantalized more; and after what seemed for Lynch's starving fans a nearly eternal wait, the film opened at last to high expectations, but decidedly mixed reviews.

Wild at Heart was puzzling, because it was screwed up and it was hard to figure out why. Time - and, 14 years later, the DVD release - helps to clear up that central enigma. Based very loosely on Barry Gifford's novel, this manic, Southern Gothic road movie now seems too deliberately weird. And in retrospect the cause seems to be that its creator, a strange man if the available evidence of his films is to be believed, and one who then was only recently revered as a certain type of genius, was trying so hard just to be himself.

Continue reading: Wild At Heart Review

Spider-Man Review


Excellent
If you aren't already sick to death of unyielding Spider-Man promotions for burgers, cellular phone plans, and the movie itself, you might just find the film a good time. Really good, in fact.

After a dozen or so years of fantastically bitter legal wrangling, Spider-Man has finally crawled to the big screen. For the uninitiated (and even for those of us who grew up with the comics but can't remember all the details), Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is the whipping boy of his New York high school. He's got a crush on the girl next door, Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst), and his best friend Harry (James Franco) is the son of the local millionaire/scientist Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe).

Continue reading: Spider-Man Review

The Boondock Saints Review


Good
Already a cult classic, The Boondock Saints has Irish (and super-religious) brothers (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus) taking Boston by storm as vigilantes ridding the town of evildoers. Meanwhile, a gay FBI agent (Willem Dafoe, who steals the show completely) is hot on the trail, while the boys also get hunted by kooky crime lord (Billy Connolly).

Continue reading: The Boondock Saints Review

Manderlay Review


Very Good
You should be very suspicious of anyone who owns Dogville and no other Lars Von Trier film. It's a ruse, a hoax, and a ploy, a way for that pretentious NYU philosophy major with the vintage Members Only jacket to impress that really cool, semi-punk girl with the cool Husker Du pin and prove to her that his brain is much more worthy than anyone else's. To like Dogville alone is to like the idea of Von Trier and to think you're special for picking up all the philosophical ideas behind it, along with name-checking Brecht. You're not, and Breaking the Waves, Dancer in the Dark, and The Element of Crime are much better films. Expect a copy of his latest film, Manderlay, Dogville's sequel, to be placed on that NYU kid's DVD shelf right next to Dogville, allowing for more philosophical meandering but this time, on racism and white, liberal guilt.

Picking up after the violent ending of Dogville, we catch up with Grace Mulligan (Bryce Dallas Howard, replacing Nicole Kidman) as her and her father (Willem Dafoe, replacing James Caan) end up at a small southern plantation named Manderlay. A young, black woman runs up to the car, yelling and crying about how they are going to whip Timothy (Isaach De Bankole). Stopping the car immediately and running onto the plantation, against her father's wishes, she finds that Manderlay is a plantation that still employs slavery. Seeing this as a grave injustice, Grace takes a few of her father's goons and starts running the plantation more like a business, making the white owners work while the slaves are given freedom to go about as they please, receiving shares in the crop's revenue. The slaves are led by Willhelm (Danny Glover), an older man who used to serve Mam (Lauren Bacall), the head of the plantation. As things progress, a dust storm, a child's death, the execution of an elder and Grace's slowly unraveling lust for Timothy start raising the issue that maybe things were better as they were.

Continue reading: Manderlay Review

XXX: State Of The Union Review


Terrible
If it weren't for IceCube's charismatic bad attitude, "XXX:State of the Union" would be downright unwatchable.

A paper-doll sequel with paper-thin performances and avideo-game plot -- a ridiculously implausible presidential coup plannedby an arch-conservative Secretary of Defense (teeth-gritting Willem Dafoe)-- this is nothing but a sorry attempt to ride the explosion-shredded coattailsof 2002's "XXX"without bringing back its star. Vin Diesel apparently got a big head fromhaving the first picture custom-tailored for him, and was booted afterasking for $25 million to reprise his role as an extreme-sports-jock spy.

So instead, Cube plays a Navy SEAL imprisoned for insubordinationwho is busted out by loose-cannon National Security Agency honcho SamuelL. Jackson (tough-guying his way to an easy paycheck) and deputized asthe new Agent Triple-X after Jackson's underground headquarters is raidedby gadget-laden baddies in black body armor. Who these thugs are and whatthey were doing there is barely explained, and no reason is offered forwhy, with all its agents, intelligence and firepower, the NSA must relyon a lone prison escapee to investigate and thwart a takeover of the U.S.government.

But director Lee Tamahori (who helped dumb down the lastJames Bond movie) doesn't really care as long as the next 5,000-round shoot-out,five-story fireball or $500,000 sports-car chase is just around the corner.This is the kind of brain-dead action movie in which window-rattling, wind-generatinghelicopters inexplicably sneak up on people, characters "lie low"by squealing around street corners in Washington D.C. while driving tricked-out,iridescent pimp-mobiles, and federal agents have to be certifiable moronsin order for the plot to advance.

Continue reading: XXX: State Of The Union Review

THE CLEARING Review


Weak

One simple thing a filmmaker can do to make a picture better is to clearly establish time and place. You'd think that such a thing would be a given, but it's surprising how many filmmakers disregard this simple concept.

For the new film "The Clearing," writer Justin Haythe and writer/director Pieter Jan Brugge (a producer on "Bulworth," The Insider" and other films, making his directorial debut) probably intended to play with time, to bend it and stretch it to serve their purposes. But in the end, they only serve to alienate us by deliberately confusing us.

The film begins like a standard-issue kidnapping story, similar to 2000's "Proof of Life" and a dozen others. The filmmakers cut back and forth between the kidnap victim and his fretting wife, trying to build an equal amount of suspense within each storyline.

Continue reading: THE CLEARING Review

Shadow Of The Vampire Review


Good

Part homage to one of cinema's best-known silent films, part winkingly nebulous black comedy, and part old-school horror flick, "Shadow of the Vampire" is a crafty "what if" fictionalization of the making of "Nosferatu," the world's first vampire movie.

The film stars John Malkovich as F.W. Murnau, the classic picture's legendarily obsessive director who is willing to go to any lengths to capture genuine terror from his cast -- even if it means hiring a real vampire to play the lead, promising the undead "actor" the neck of his leading lady when the picture wraps.

Enter Willem Dafoe in a performance of a lifetime as Max Schreck -- the method actor who never appeared to the cast and crew out of character (or out of make-up, or during daylight) the whole time "Nosferatu" was being made on location at a foreboding castle in Bavaria, circa 1922.

Continue reading: Shadow Of The Vampire Review

Once Upon A Time In Mexico Review


Weak

"Desperado," the second eye-poppingly stylish and unabashedly outlandish B-movie in Robert Rodriguez's "El Mariachi" shoot-'em-up trilogy, is one of my all-time favorite action movies, in part because it has its priorities straight: The plot was simple -- a nameless mariachi avenges his girlfriend's murder with a guitar case full of semi-automatic weapons and an endless supply of ammunition -- and the action was non-stop and over-the-top.

Antonio Banderas cut an imposing, mysterious, hell-bent, dangerous and dead sexy figure in his long hair, implacable glower and black suede bandito get-up -- complete with jangling spurs -- as he performed a limber slow-motion ballet of body-twisting, two-fisted gunfire while dodging hails of bullets from evil drug-runners. And all this was set to a steamy, dynamic south-of-the-border score by the great guitaristas of Los Lobos.

But in the new installment, "Once Upon a Time in Mexico," writer-director-editor-composer Rodriguez pollutes the action -- which is uncharacteristically erratic, incongruous and over-edited -- with a needlessly convoluted plot involving 1) a thorny coup attempt against the Mexican president backed by a cartel kingpin (Willem Dafoe) and his turncoat henchman (Mickey Rourke), 2) a crooked and borderline-loco CIA agent (Johnny Depp) playing both sides against the middle, 3) a former FBI agent (Ruben Blades) frustrated with not nailing the kingpin before his retirement, 4) a curvaceous, gung-ho greenhorn federale (Eva Mendez) with ulterior motives, and 5) yet another murder, played out in fantasized-action flashbacks, that the mariachi is out to avenge.

Continue reading: Once Upon A Time In Mexico Review

Pavilion Of Women Review


Bad

Within moments of the opening credits of the weepy, self-important, World War II-era Chinese soap opera "Pavilion of Women" a question arises that plagues the whole movie: Why is this in English?

Everything about this film screams "import" except the dialogue, which screams "translated too literally." A good half of the language coming out of people's mouths sounds so absurdly formalized that any emotion it might have contained is lost under the burden of unnecessary syllables. This is especially odd since the movie was adapted from a Pearl S. Buck novel and written in English to begin with.

The problem (with the dialogue that is, for there are many problems) may also be that the delivery is always either bloodless or histrionic. This could be another byproduct of the picture being a hybrid of Chinese culture and English language. It is Hong Kong director Yim Ho's first project not shot in his native tongue and most of the actors (all Chinese except a missionary played by Willem Dafoe) seem to have learned their lines phonetically and have no idea what they're saying.

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Willem Dafoe

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Willem Dafoe

Date of birth

22nd July, 1955

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Male

Height

1.78


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