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Independence Day: Resurgence Review

Good

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much of the original cast. (The record may go to the 32 years between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens.) But clearly filmmakers Roland Emmerich and Dean Devlin have long wanted to follow up their 1996 blockbuster hit Independence Day. The result is a big, fast sci-fi action thriller that lacks both the original movie's enjoyably raucous tone and its break-out star Will Smith.

After the events of 20 years ago, America has taken alien technology to heart, improving transportation and military defence, including creating a base on the moon to keep an eye out for returning tentacled baddies. Then an orb-shape ship appears, followed by a new mothership so large that it spans the entire Atlantic Ocean. President Lanford (Sela Ward) turns to the surviving heroes of the previous invasion for help: scientific expert David (Jeff Goldblum), former president Whitmore (Bill Pullman) and mad genius Brakish (Brent Spiner). Meanwhile, a young team of next-generation pilots dives into the fray, including Dylan (Jesse T. Usher playing Will Smith's now-grown son), Jake (Liam Hemsworth), Patricia (Maika Monroe as Whitmore's daughter and Jake's fiancee) and Charlie (Travis Tope).

The film is assembled in standard disaster movie style, quickly introducing characters and their personal little melodramas before throwing them into the mad chaos of this new invasion. Emmerich is an expert at this structure, using it to hugely entertaining effect from Independence Day to Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow, 2014 and White House Down. So it's odd that this film feels so lifeless by comparison. The story rushes past at a breathless pace that never allows the characters or events to gain any real traction with the audience. The only sharp wit on hand this time comes from throwaway one-liners apparently improvised by Goldblum. And the action feels eerily derivative, rehashed from Emmerich's filmography with added elements from Star Wars and Apocalypse Now.

Continue reading: Independence Day: Resurgence Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out Of The Shadows Trailer


Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael are back in full force and ready to protect their beloved home town of Manhattan, this time the brothers are equipped with their fully loaded Tartaruga wagon and nothing will stop them from fighting the bad guys they face, in their own words: "We're just four brothers who hate bullies and love this city."

Once again the team is joined by the feisty April O'Neil and this time the Turtles mission is bigger than ever. When a mad scientist by the name of Dr. Baxter Stockman, creates a new form of mutagen, chaos is released all over the city in part due Shredder's two new henchmen, Bebop & Rocksteady and a much bigger mechanical Alien invasion which will see the turtles step out of the shadows and take the spotlight to save their city.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows will be released 16 June 2016 and was once again directed by Dave Green.

Independence Day: Resurgence - Teaser Trailer


Everyone knows the tale of David Levinson and Captain Steven Hiller, the two men at the forefront of the last Alien invasion. Since that last fateful day, Levinson has worked tirelessly to protect the world and strengthen it from alien attacks, even using the technology they discovered on board the alien spaceship to counter their possible attack methods.

When the people of Earth learn that Aliens are on their way back to our planet, there's automatic hysteria and a hope that the newly installed space defences will help counter the attack. Whatever stringent plans David develops he, more than anyone, realises that it will probably not be enough to protect us.

Independence Day: Resurgence takes place twenty years after the original movie and sees many of the cast taking up the same role again. The film is directed by Roland Emmerich (known for The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla and the first Independence Day movie.)

A Week In News: 'Divergent' Dominates, A "Conscious Uncoupling," And Teenage Turtles Suit Up


Shailene Woodley Gwyneth Paltrow Chris Martin Kate Bush Fleetwood Mac Wu Tang Clan William Fichtner Michael Bay Megan Fox Joan Rivers Lena Dunham Howard Stern L'Wren Scott Mick Jagger Michael Fassbender Maggie Gyllenhaal Domhnall Gleeson

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow & Chris Martin Split: Actress Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin announced this week that they were splitting up. Well, instead they described their split as a "conscious uncoupling," a phrase that drew scorn and mockery from the internet. The pair had reportedly been testing their separation for a year and finally decided to go public. In an entry on the Iron Man star's website, the couple explained that being parents to their two children was the priority for them right now.

L'Wren Scott's Will: The last will and testament of the late fashion designer L'Wren Scott has been made public. The former model was found hanged in her Manhattan apartment on Monday 17th March whilst her boyfriend, Mick Jagger, was on tour with the Rolling Stones. Jagger is the only named beneficiary in L'Wren's will, with her adoptive siblings explicitly denied any of her $9 million estate. Scott's sister, Jan Shane, has lashed out at the Jagger's for turning the designer's death into a "media circus" - read about what else she had to say.

Continue reading: A Week In News: 'Divergent' Dominates, A "Conscious Uncoupling," And Teenage Turtles Suit Up

First 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Trailer Released: Take A Look


Megan Fox William Fichtner

The brand new trailer has been released for the upcoming action reboot, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which will be headed to cinemas throughout late summer and fall. Fans who may have treated the news that Transformers director Michael Bay was turning his hand to a new classic franchise with trepidation will have had their fears appeased after checking out the truly kickass glimpse into the TMNT world.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Filming New York
Top Secret Turtle: Filming 'TMNT' In New York.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire actor Alan Ritchson will lead the film's cast as ninja turtle Raphael, while Pete Ploszek will play Leonardo, Jeremy Howard will play Donatello and Noel Fisher will play Michelangelo. William Fichtner will take on the role of villain Shredder in the movie and the trailer hints that the antagonist's relationship with the pizza-loving crime fighters goes back a long way.

Continue reading: First 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Trailer Released: Take A Look

William Fichtner and Kymberly Kalil - Aug 08 2013 - Regency Village Theatre - Westwood - Hollywood, California, United States - Thursday 8th August 2013

William Fichtner and Kymberly Kalil
William Fichtner
William Fichtner

William Fichtner and Kymberly Kalil - Premiere of TriStar Pictures' 'Elysium' at Regency Village Theatre in Westwood - Los Angeles, CA, United States - Wednesday 7th August 2013

William Fichtner and Kymberly Kalil
William Fichtner and Kymberly Kalil
William Fichtner
William Fichtner
William Fichtner
William Fichtner

William Fichtner - New York screening of 'Elysium' held at Landmark Sunshine Cinema - New York City, NY, United States - Tuesday 30th July 2013

William Fichtner
William Fichtner
William Fichtner
William Fichtner

William Fichtner - The Lone Ranger Video Interview


Video Interview With William Fichtner

William Fichtner talks about stunts and playing with guns in an interview for his new movie 'The Lone Ranger' in which he plays the villainous outlaw Butch Cavendish.

Continue reading: William Fichtner - The Lone Ranger Video Interview

Video - William Fichtner Dubs 'The Lone Ranger' 'As Good As It Gets' At World Premiere


William Fichtner reveals that working on 'The Lone Ranger' was one of the highlights of his life and praises producer Jerry Bruckheimer (with whom he has previously worked with) for his world-class expertise in a red carpet interview at the world premiere. Williams plays the role of ruthless outlaw leader Butch Cavendish in the movie.

Continue: Video - William Fichtner Dubs 'The Lone Ranger' 'As Good As It Gets' At World Premiere

William Fichtner - The World Premiere of Disney/Jerry Bruckheimer Films' 'The Lone Ranger' at Disney California Adventure Park - Outside Arrivals - Hollywood, California, United States - Saturday 22nd June 2013

William Fichtner

William Fichtner - Celebrities outside their hotels in New York City - New York City, NY, United States - Wednesday 15th May 2013

William Fichtner
William Fichtner

The Lone Ranger Trailer


John Reid is the Lone Ranger; a law-abiding man of justice from Texas who resolutely wears his mask and disguise at all times and vows to fight crime and keep the peace in his town. Battling alongside him is his trusted Native American companion Tonto, a painted spirit warrior and the complete opposite of Reid but, nonetheless, they make the perfect crime-fighting duo as they set out to conquer the theft and corruption that threaten the harmony of the people.

'The Lone Ranger' is the Walt Disney Pictures adaption of the legendary Western tales that started out on the radio in the 1930s before hitting TV screens in the 50s. It's a stunning modern take on the stories combining serious action with hilarity, with wonderful character development and the heart-warming partnership of Tonto and his 'kemosabe'. It was only right that Oscar winning big budget director Gore Verbinski returned to Walt Disney to work on the movie, having previously worked on Disney's popular film series 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. The screenwriters included those who wrote the modern story of another masked hero on 'The Mask of Zorro' Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, along with Justin Haythe ('The Clearing', 'Revolutionary Road'). The movie will hit cinemas in the UK on August 9th 2013.

Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Ruth Wilson, James Badge Dale, Tom Wilkinson, Barry Pepper, Helena Bonham Carter, Mason Cook, James Frain, Harry Treadaway, Matt O'Leary, W. Earl Brown, Leon Rippy, Timothy V. Murphy, Joaquin Cosio, Damon Herriman and Robert Baker

William Fichtner and Sundance Film Festival Sunday 22nd January 2012 Celebrities attending the 2011 Sundance Film Festival - Day 4

William Fichtner and Sundance Film Festival
William Fichtner and Sundance Film Festival

William Fichtner Saturday 16th April 2011 The 2011

William Fichtner
William Fichtner
William Fichtner and Kim Coates
William Fichtner and Kim Coates
William Fichtner and Kim Coates

William Fichtner Tuesday 1st March 2011 outside Katsuya restaurant in Hollywood Los Angeles, California, USA

William Fichtner
William Fichtner
William Fichtner
William Fichtner

William Fichtner Tuesday 22nd February 2011 Los Angeles Screening of Drive Angry held at the ArcLight Hollywood Theatre Los Angeles, California

William Fichtner
William Fichtner
William Fichtner
William Fichtner
William Fichtner
William Fichtner

Drive Angry Trailer


Escaping the deepest and darkest realms of hell, Milton returns to Earth in a bid to save his baby grand daughter from death. Milton's daughter was murdered by a cult days earlier and now Milton has three days before the cult leader sacrifices the baby in an attempt to unleash hell on earth.

Continue: Drive Angry Trailer

William Fichtner Friday 23rd July 2010 Comic Con 2010 held at the San Diego Convention Center - Day 2 - 'Drive Angry 3D' press conference San Diego, California

Kim Coates and William Fichtner - Kim Coates and William Fichtner Los Angeles, California - Premiere of 'Sinners & Saints' held at Arclight Hollywood at the Cinerama Dome Wednesday 30th June 2010

Kim Coates and William Fichtner
Kim Coates and William Fichtner
Kim Coates
Kim Coates
Kim Coates
Kim Coates

Date Night Review


Excellent
The presence of Carell and Fey lifts this comedy far beyond what it could have been. Their sharp improvisational skills give us a terrific look at a slightly tired marriage, even as the plot gets increasingly trite.

Phil and Claire (Carell and Fey) are a typically frazzled New Jersey suburban couple with two lively kids and no real time to connect with each other. Even their regular date nights seem to get easily derailed. Then they plan an evening in the city, which takes a surprise twist when they're mistakenly cornered by a couple of gun-pointing thugs (Simpson and Common) who are working for a notorious mob boss (Liotta). Now on the run, they seek help from a well-connected old contact (Wahlberg), while a cop (Henson) is tenaciously on their tails.

Continue reading: Date Night Review

The Amateurs Review


Very Good
Andy (Jeff Bridges) is, as they say, an idea man. He mopes and mopes until a brainstorm hits him and launches him out of the bar: Say, getting everyone in his small town to sell vitamins in a pyramid scheme, only to find that, if everyone's selling, no one's buying.

An idea man, you see.

Continue reading: The Amateurs Review

William Fichtner - Monday 14th July 2008 at Santa Monica Pier Santa Monica, California

William Fichtner
William Fichtner

William Fichtner Friday 18th April 2008 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach 32 Annual Pro/Celebrity Race Qualifier Long Beach, California

William Fichtner
William Fichtner

William Fichtner Tuesday 8th April 2008 32nd Anniversary Toyota Grand Prix Pro Celeb Press Day 2008 Long Beach, California

William Fichtner

William Fichtner and Kymberly Kalil - William Fichtner and Kymberly Kalil Los Angeles, California - 'Corteo' Premiere held at the Cirque Du Soleil - Arrivals Thursday 23rd August 2007

William Fichtner and Kymberly Kalil

Blades Of Glory Review


Very Good
Somewhere along the line, it was theorized that Will Ferrell as an athlete is inherently funny. Fortunately for Blades of Glory, which continues the sports farce oeuvre he began with Kicking and Screaming and Talladega Nights (and will extend with the upcoming Semi-Pro), that assumption appears to be correct.

Blades begins with the backstory of figure skating prodigy Jimmy MacElroy (Jon Heder). Plucked from an orphanage and given his last name by creepy entrepreneur Darren MacElroy (William Fichtner), Jimmy is groomed to become a champion. His only competition is the exquisitely named Chazz Michael Michaels (Ferrell) who brings the swagger only a self-proclaimed sex addict can to the sport.

Continue reading: Blades Of Glory Review

First Snow Review


OK
What is it about Guy Pearce that makes him so attractively insular, even when he's playing an obnoxious halfwit who sells bargain basement linoleum? Last year, he started strong with his brooding performance in John Hillcoat's brutal The Proposition and ended as the only graceful note as Andy Warhol in the otherwise abysmal Factory Girl. Though it premiered at last year's Tribeca Film Festival, it's taken close to a year for someone to pick up First Snow, along with both Lonely Hearts and Comedy of Power, which also premiered at Tribeca last year. With the 2007 edition of the festival a paltry month away, a look at one of its more well-attended and well-received pieces is apt.

Pearce plays Jimmy Starks, a walking grease bucket of a salesman who is waiting for his car to get fixed when we first meet him (as if the name left any room for ethical clarity). Jimmy is trying to sell everyone: He attempts to sell a jukebox to a bar owner (he already has one), tries to sell his intellectual cynicism to a fortune teller (J.K. Simmons, playing it surprisingly low key), and tries to sell his respect to his colleagues and coworkers (William Fichtner and Rick Gonzalez, respectively). When the fortune teller tells him that he will go tits-up when the first snow hits, Starks responds with impervious flaunting and jittery paranoia. Self-aware and gaunt with confusion and doubt, Starks begins to take action to ensure he won't die. Not an easy charge with a vexed ex-partner (Shea Whigham), sneering and prodding through late night phone calls.

Continue reading: First Snow Review

Equilibrium Review


Weak
I'll be the first to admit that dismissing any film as a Matrix clone feels like a cop-out. The pioneering thriller powered through theaters three years ago, yet films continue to beg, borrow, and steal their stunt techniques and sleek visual styling from the Wachowski brothers' remarkably innovative work.

While not quite a Matrix replica, writer/director Kurt Wimmer's Equilibrium duplicates too many elements from its sci-fi predecessor to ignore the comparison. The film inhabits a Huxley-inspired fascist future society where emotions are chemically suppressed. World leaders believe it helps prevent global warfare. If love and happiness are sacrificed in the process, so be it.

Continue reading: Equilibrium Review

Ultraviolet Review


Weak
The look is called super-saturation or over-saturation. It's when the colors are all bled out, or excessively sharpened, and it's normally done to connote flashbacks or sentimentality. In Kurt Wimmer's Ultraviolet it is everything, every single sequence, every frame. It looks incredible, but unfortunately, it means absolutely nothing.

Believe me, I wanted - at times frantically - to like Ultraviolet. While the plot is entirely reductive, the acting painfully amateurish, most of the special effects uniformly crummy, Ultraviolet is breathtaking to watch. At times it looks like a 3rd generation bootleg of some ultra-obscure New Wave music video (perhaps, Experimental Projects' "Glowing in the Dark" - try tracking that one down), at others like goofy outtakes from Kill BillKill Bill: Volume 1. The film rampages wildly through neon infused colors and minimal THX 1138 styled sets, Matrix stunts, and gaudily shot sentimental close-ups. The entire film is an uncanny buffet of cult culture - we've got everything from Grant Morrison to Max Headroom, Tron to the Wachowski's Doc Frankenstein comic book, Iggy Pop's abs to Cassavetes' Gloria, all stuffed into a weirdly affected plot.

Continue reading: Ultraviolet Review

Go Review


Essential
Believe it or not, this is a Christmas movie! And here it is, the middle of April, and there's nothing else I'd rather see.

Let me put it this way: Go is the best movie I've seen since Fargo. Doug Liman, the man behind the brilliant Swingers, (which, I realized, came out much too long ago, in 1996), has concocted such a film that I'm almost compelled to pay the whopping $8.50 to see it again.

Continue reading: Go Review

Contact Review


Very Good
Apparently, we are not alone. And we're beaming The Spice Girls into space.

But seriously, Carl Sagan's ode to the superior intelligence of aliens (and how us darned humans mess everything up) is consistently beautiful and interesting, but it never makes a point (except for that bit about the darned humans). The plot, which gives Jodie Foster schematics from space and focuses on the technical and bureaucratic minutiae that go into the construction of an extradimensional travelling device, is rather on the nose -- and the only real surprises in the film come from its obsession with God (in which the late Sagan did not believe) and the complete and utter disappointment received with the aliens are finally revealed.

Continue reading: Contact Review

Black Hawk Down Review


Terrible
"It's about the facelessness of war!" exclaimed a colleague. "The compositions are stunning, with action going on in the foreground and background. It's a dynamic and apocalyptic visual experience!" This, to me, is madness. Black Hawk Down has been mistaken, in its bloated self-importance, for being cinematically and politically relevant. Take away its timely guise of patriotism, and it's a real horror show, more about murder than military prowess. Without the morally repellant "kill 'em all" subtext (young white boys mowing down the savages), you're left with something merely incoherent.

Two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters go down in the mazelike streets of Mogadishu during a routine search-and-capture mission, leaving 100 G.I.'s stumbling around enemy territory with limited resources until the rescue Rangers show up. It's been oft-compared to having almost two full hours of Steven Spielberg's masterful 30-minute Omaha Beach sequence in Saving Private Ryan, which sounds good on paper only because Ryan suffered by following up its amazing visual prologue with a glut of character-driven monologues to invest personality within each soldier before he get killed. But Spielberg understood the basic precepts of documentary filmmaking: no matter how chaotic things got, we always understood where the soldiers were, and where they were going. Black Hawk Down, by removing exposition and cohesion, couldn't care less.

Continue reading: Black Hawk Down Review

What's The Worst That Could Happen? Review


Bad
Martin Lawrence is not funny. For the proof just turn to his newest film, What's The Worst That Could Happen? -- the answer to its own question if ever there has been one.

I don't know how Martin Lawrence -- the former 1987 Star Search winner with an arrest record that would make Tommy Lee envious -- has been able to survive with all of the bad, bad films he has starred in during the past 6 years. [Two words: Bad Boys. -Ed.] Big Momma's House, Blue Streak, Life, and A Thin Line Between Love and Hate are all forgettable movies which can be found in quantity on the clearance table at your local video store. But survive he has, and in Worst, Lawrence is a mediocre Eddie Murphy stuck playing another jewel thief in another run-of-the-mill studio comedy.

Continue reading: What's The Worst That Could Happen? Review

The Longest Yard (2005) Review


Weak
Sports and sponsorships go together better than Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

AutoTrader.com dumps millions into a deal with ABC for Monday Night Football rights. Olympic highlights are now known as "Chevy Moments." The currency flooding the pro sports market is getting out of hand. Independent filmmakers could make 71 different Blair Witch projects for the amount of money Anheuser-Busch spent on one 30-second Super Bowl commercial.

Continue reading: The Longest Yard (2005) Review

Nine Lives Review


Weak
A well-cast compilation film suffocating on its own self-importance, Nine Lives aims to tie together nine vastly different stories, but ends up telling hardly any of them well. The conceit of writer/director Rodrigo Garcia is to take nine vignettes, each centered around a different woman (usually in desperate circumstances), and give us a brief glimpse into her life before cutting away to the next one, while stringing a few connecting threads between them all. To ensure that he's not playing favorites, each piece is done in one single Steadicam shot and kept to only nine or ten minutes in length. A minor character from one vignette becomes a major player later on, or vice versa. As in literature, anthology works like this are a hit-and-miss affair, and in this case the misses far outnumber the ones that connect.

Nine Lives opens strong on Sandra (Elpidia Carrillo), an imprisoned mother. Mopping up a floor, she's threatened by fellow prisoners, and harassed by a guard (Miguel Sandoval) who's convinced she can give him information. Everyone tells Sandra she's not going to make it, but you think she just might be able to, hunkering down turtle-like and just plowing through the rest of her sentence. But then her daughter visits, and the phone doesn't work, sending Sandra into a stunning explosion of rage, like a mother bear kept from her cub. It's a short, unrelentingly powerful story, and done by itself it would stand as a sublime little tragedy. The same goes for the final piece, in which Glenn Close and Dakota Fanning (hardly a better match could be imagined) visit a cemetery and talk with sublime ease about not much at all. But then comes the rest of the film in between.

Continue reading: Nine Lives Review

Passion Of Mind Review


Weak
French director Alain Berliner stepped briefly into the limelight a couple of years ago with the impressive Ma Vie en Rose, a colorful look at a young boy who thinks he's a girl. Just as the poor boy's uncertainty tears at his family, Demi Moore's confusion rips her life in half in Berliner's follow-up, Passion of Mind. Her angst and desperation are actually right in step with the audience's feelings, in this aimless, underachieving film.

Moore's character has two lives: Marty lives in hard, bleak New York as a single, nervy, literary agent; Marie is a widowed mother of two in lush, romantic Provence. When she sleeps in one life, she dreams of the other, and yet cannot determine which is real. As Berliner introduces Marty/Marie and her dilemma, it's obvious that Passion of Mind will follow in the thematic footsteps of other similar, bland movies like Sliding Doors. A woman has two parallel lives - what if both are just too flat-out boring to be a movie?

Continue reading: Passion Of Mind Review

Albino Alligator Review


Very Good
One of a growing list of recent directorial debuts by actors, Albino Alligator is Kevin Spacey's (Best Supporting Actor winner from The Usual Suspects) baby, and his film is probably the best of the lot. Because with this movie, Spacey proves that he can work just as well on either side of the camera.

A "box drama" of classic design, Albino Alligator is a psychological thriller set largely inside a New Orleans Prohibition-era bar still open in the 1990s. Dova (Matt Dillon), Milo (Gary Sinise), and Law (William Fichtner) are criminals on the run. After killing three cops with their car, the trio holes up in Dino's Last Chance Bar until things cool over, but the cops catch up with them soon enough. A game of cat-and-mouse hostage negotiation ensues, with Faye Dunaway, Viggo Mortensen, Skeet Ulrich, John Spencer, & M. Emmet Walsh as the victims, and Joe Mantegna as the head cop on the case.

Continue reading: Albino Alligator Review

The Perfect Storm Review


Weak
I do not like boats. I get seasick. I hate being on the water.

As it turns out, I'm starting to dislike movies about boats, too. They also make me seasick.

Continue reading: The Perfect Storm Review

The Healer Review


Good
Looking to go to bed depressed, moping, and on the verge of suicidal? Look no farther than The Healer, a pedigreed movie with such a dark core than it's no mystery it never merited a theatrical release of any consequence. (The original title, Julie Walking Home, couldn't have helped either.)

Canadian Julie (Miranda Otto) returns home from a trip with her two twin children, only to find husband Henry (William Fichtner) in bed with another woman. Like that, her marriage is ruined. Days later, she discovers her son (Ryan Smith) has cancer. Soon after that, we learn he's allergic to the chemotherapy. Julie just can't catch a break. Julie hears about a faith healer in Poland and decides to take her son there to get some healin'. (Why Poland? Could have something to do with writer/director Agnieszka Holland (Oscar nominated for Europa Europa in 1992), who hails from the country.)

Continue reading: The Healer Review

Drowning Mona Review


Terrible
If you've ever found yourself in a theater watching a movie like Throw Momma from the Train or Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead, then you'll understand my experience with Drowning Mona. Drowning Mona is one of those films that you might hear about and shrug it off as a bad idea. Then you'll see a trailer and realize that your first instinct was right. There is no logical reason for you to ever see this movie. It looks unfunny, moronic, and you have already crossed it off the list of all the movies you are potentially interested in ever investing your time in. But despite all of that, you somehow end up forking over eight bucks for the privilege to see it. And your worst fears are realized.

Suffice it to say that Drowning Mona is a bad film. It is a very bad film. Let us count the ways.

Continue reading: Drowning Mona Review

The Underneath Review


Very Good
The Underneath opens with a surreally bizarre, green-tinted shot of Michael (Peter Gallagher), driving along the Austin, Texas backroads in an armored car. The coloration and the look of dread on his face are enough to make you sick to your stomach. These are also the perfect introduction to a film noir where you just know nothing is going to turn out right.

Michael is an ex-compulsive gambler, returned to his Austin hometown ostensibly to turn his life around and get a real job, but in reality having some less savory motives. His ex-wife, Rachel (Alison Elliott), is in town and attached to a local, small-time hood. When Michael tries to patch things up with Rachel, a plot suddenly (and quite inexplicably) develops between the three to rob the armored car that Michael drives. The plan is hatched, and the fun begins.

Continue reading: The Underneath Review

Mr. & Mrs. Smith Review


OK
Palpable sexual electricity between Brad Pitt and AngelinaJolie provides "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" with all the power it needsto overcome a very silly plot about suburbanites whose waning marriageis revitalized by discovering the hard way that they're both undercoverassassins.

Arguably the two sexiest movie stars in America, and bothunderappreciated for their considerable talents as a result, the pair maketrying to kill your spouse seem entertaining and almost erotic.

Directed by Doug Liman ("TheBourne Identity") with tongue-in-cheekpanache, and an eye for metaphorical conflicts of real marriage, the filmopens with John and Jane Smith (Pitt and Jolie) in couples therapy.

"How often do you have sex?" ask the off-screenshrink. "I don't understand the question," Pitt deadpans in response.

Continue reading: Mr. & Mrs. Smith Review

The Longest Yard Review


Weak
When Adam Sandler isn't interesting enough to hold yourattention in an Adam Sandler movie, something is certainly amiss. In "TheLongest Yard" -- an off-balance remake of Burt Reynolds' 1974 prison-footballcomedy -- the star's underwritten character loses all sense of personalityafter the opening scene, in which his washed-up, alcoholic loser, ex-NFLquarterback leads police on a drunken high-speed chase.

Thus imprisoned in a dusty desert lock-up where the abusive,steroid-pumped guards (all played by wrestlers or former pro football linemen)have their own pigskin league, Sandler is compelled by the nasty warden(James Cromwell) to coach a scabby team of inmates for his boys to beatup on in practice. But for some reason known only to the screenwriter,these practices never happen. Instead, the movie follows the standard BigGame plot, and Sandler (who doesn't have the body mass to be credible asa former football player) recruits and trains the biggest, meanest prisonershe can find, then leads them onto the field himself (with Reynolds' helpas another ex-NFL inmate) for a full-contact finale picked up by ESPN2for a novelty national broadcast.

Unfortunately, once he's in the hoosegow and sobered up,all the bite goes out of Sandler's QB and he is severely upstaged by thecast of crazies (Cloris Leachman is the warden's aged, sex-mad secretary,Tracey Morgan leads the transvestite cheerleading squad) and muscle-boundtoughs (Brian Bosworth, Michael Irvin, Bill Romanowski, Steve Austin, BillGoldberg, etc.). Most of these guys can barely act, but at least directorPeter Segal ("50First Dates") figures out how to use themfor laughs.

What Segal can't seem to do is get a handle on the movie'sbalance of comedy and drama, on one hand relying heavily on race-basedone-liners (ChrisRock plays the joint's resident wisecracker),while on the other trying for moments of poignancy that fall awkwardlyflat. Because "The Longest Yard" takes itself seriously at times,it's harder to forgive the occasional gigantic plot hole -- like the factthat the inmates seem to have access to any room they want in the penalcomplex, even getting into the guards' locker room and personnel files.

Continue reading: The Longest Yard Review

Crash Review


Good
A meditation on the often unacknowledged undercurrentsof racism in everyday American city life, "Crash" has the kindof broad appeal that can draw large audiences and the kind of lingeringemotional potency that can lead to serious soul-searching.

An impressive ensemble cast lends strong character to acultural cross-section of Los Angeles denizens who are connected to eachother through crime, corruption, obligation, indignation and chance overa two-day period. The most powerful storyline features Matt Dillon andRyan Phillippe as beat cops -- one jaded and abusive, the other fresh andidealistic -- who pull over and harass (much to Phillippe's dismay) a blackyuppie couple (Terrence Howard and Thandie Newton) because the SUV they'redriving vaguely fits the description of a carjacked vehicle.

Within 24 hours, these characters all cross paths againin separate incidents of incredibly high tension that challenge both theprejudices that have formed between them and the conclusions we've beenled to as an audience.

Although they do not meet again, similarly potent table-turningand judgment-testing events occur in the lives of the actual carjackers(Larenz Tate and rapper Ludacris, whose character is ironically obsessedwith being stereotyped) and their victims, an ambitious district attorneyand his uptight wife (played with depth and conviction by Brendan Fraserand Sandra Bullock).

Continue reading: Crash Review

William Fichtner

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William Fichtner Movies

12 Strong Trailer

12 Strong Trailer

On September 11th 2001, the America was hit by one of the worst tragedies imaginable;...

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Independence Day: Resurgence Movie Review

Two decades is a long time to wait for a sequel, especially one starring much...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out Of The Shadows Trailer

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out Of The Shadows Trailer

Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo and Raphael are back in full force and ready to protect their...

Independence Day: Resurgence - Teaser Trailer

Independence Day: Resurgence - Teaser Trailer

Everyone knows the tale of David Levinson and Captain Steven Hiller, the two men at...

The Homesman Trailer

The Homesman Trailer

George Briggs is a claim jumper who has only ever known a dishonest life. When...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer

Some years ago, four baby turtles were discovered in a puddle of radioactive ooze in...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer

April O’Neil is a fearless news reporter whose job to land stories is all the...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trailer

In a city rife with crime and destruction, there's danger at every turn and suffering...

Elysium Movie Review

Elysium Movie Review

As he did with District 9, South African filmmaker Blomkamp grounds this sci-fi thriller in...

The Lone Ranger Movie Review

The Lone Ranger Movie Review

Everything about this film screams excess, from the ludicrous two-and-a-half hour running time to the...

The Lone Ranger Trailer

The Lone Ranger Trailer

John Reid is a Texas ranger; law-abiding and glad to ride alongside his brother, following...

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