Jason Statham may be playing essentially the same character he always plays, but this noir-style thriller has a somewhat groovier tone thanks to the Las Vegas setting and a scruffy William Goldman script. It's also directed with wit and energy by Simon West, who keeps everything moving very briskly. Although not fast enough for us to miss the fact that it's all rather thin and pointless.
As always, Statham is a former black-ops agent whose jaded, frazzled exterior obscures his fighting-fit action moves. His name this time is Nick Wild, and he works as a bodyguard for wealthy clients like Cyrus (Michael Angarano), who needs protection as he visits Vegas casinos with vast sums of money. He also has a lot to learn from Nick about gambling and wants to learn some of those action moves too. Meanwhile, Nick's ex-girlfriend Holly (Dominik Garcia-Lorido) asks him to help her get revenge against the swaggering gangster Donny (Milo Vengimiglia), who kidnapped and viciously terrorised her. Nick knows that getting even with Donny will put him on a collision course with mob kingpin Baby (Stanley Tucci), but he can't resist a challenge.
Nick is one of those characters who can't resist much. He's addicted to high-stakes blackjack, life-threatening confrontations and his own seedy poverty. So clearly the goal of the screenplay is to find some sort of uneasy redemption. Statham has played this role before in his sleep, so he looks almost bored here, which makes him vaguely intriguing. His gimmick this time is an ability to turn everyday objects into lethal weapons, including a seriously nasty moment with a pair of hedge clippers. It also helps that the film is packed with colourful scene-stealers who add plenty of badly needed spark, including a ripped Ventimiglia and the reliably wonderful Tucci, plus lively cameos from the likes of Sofia Vergara and Anne Heche.
Continue reading: Wild Card Review
Some of our favourite quotes from The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride 25th anniversary has arrived and with it, a Blu-ray special edition featuring loads of brand new extras including interviews, behind the scenes action and much more.
This cult classic fairytale movie arrived on our screens in 1988 featuring a hilarious ensemble cast that has kept us gripped for a quarter of a century of watching. It is the story of how a beautiful young woman named Buttercup (Robin Wright) is forced into almost marrying the deceitful Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon), before being captured by a group of not so bright but not so evil crooks; a Spanish fencer named Inigo (Mandy Patinkin), a Turkish giant named Fezzik (André the Giant) and their Sicilian boos Vizzini (Wallace Shawn). However, along the way she is reunited with her former love Westley (Cary Elwes) who she believed to be dead until then, and they all go about attempting to bring down Buttercup's fiancé, the future King of Florin.
Although it was never a major success at the box office, this classic Oscar nominated film was well-received by critics on its release and it has remained a family favourite ever since, being especially regarded as one of the most quotable films of all time. Some of the best The Princess Bride quotes are worth bringing up again:
Continue reading: The Princess Bride Quotes Remembered (Pictures)
Twenty five years later, the cast and crew of 'The Princess Bride' reunited at the New York Film Festival this week to promote the Blu-ray release of the classic romantic-comedy. They were all there - Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, Rob Reiner, William Goldman, Mandy Patinkin, Cary Elwes - but the gathered press pack were only concerned with one thing: would there be a sequel?
Goldman, 81, who wrote the 1973 novel and the screenplay for the movie confessed that developing a sequel had been on his mind for years, telling the Los Angeles Times, "I'm desperate to make it and write it and I don't know how.I would love to make it, more than anything else I've not written." In a humorous Q&A session at the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, the cast and crew quoted key scenes from the movie, and director Reiner spoke of how he got involved in the project in the first place, revealing that Goldman had approached him after Robert Redford, Francois Truffaut and Norman Jewison had tried and failed to make the movie. "He looked at me with the eyes of, 'What are you gonna do to it?" said the filmmaker, revealing that it was his knack for comedy (This Is Spinal Tap) that helped win over Goldman. A classic fairy tale, 'The Princess Bride' has everything, swordplay, an evil prince, giants, and of course a beautiful princess. So would a sequel be realistic?
Reiner has been relatively active as a filmmaker in recent years, though Goldman hasn't written anything of note since 2003's 'Dreamcatcher,' starring Morgan Freeman. We're sure Crystal, Wright and the gang would be up for another movie, so watch this space!
As actors go, Charlie Chaplin is at least a worthy candidate for a biopic. His impact on the acting profession and especially physical comedy is hard to overstate, and the man remains an icon whose face (or silhouette) embodies cinema. In the hands of Richard Attenborough, Chaplin's life is digested into the highlights -- from vaudevillian youth to his arrival in Hollywood to his amazingly fast rise to fame. Attenborough even dabbles in Chaplin's investigation by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. Naturally, the running series of Chaplin's famous romantic entanglements are carefully tallied, the actresses playing the various Mrs. Chaplins (and near misses) making up a who's who of early-'90s starlets.
Continue reading: Chaplin Review
Ostensibly a children's fairy tale about a farmer's daughter (Robin Wright), her poor lover Westley (Cary Elwes), the prince (Chris Sarandon) who catches her eye, and the battle that develops among them all. Filled with memorable supporting characters -- Wallace Shawn's Vizzini ("Inconceivable!!!"), Mandy Patinkin's Inigo, Andre the Giant's Fezzik, and Christopher Guest's six-fingered man, The Princess Bride is as much fun as you can have in a film. Even the fringe characters (Peter Cook's priest, Carol Kane's nagging wife, Mel Smith's albino torturer) are hilarious and unforgettable. And director Rob Reiner has imbued this film with so much pure joy that you can't help but want to watch it over and over.
Continue reading: The Princess Bride Review
Butch and Sundance is more than a Western: It's an iconic, American experience, a classic adventure tale, and a singular slice of late-'60s moviemaking that has never really been repeated. The story is a surprisingly, "mostly" accurate tale of two of history's best-known outlaws. The film comprises two major sequences: First, the duo robs a series of trains on the frontier, then spends a lengthy amount of time on the run from the hired guns the railroad is paying to hunt them down. The heat gets so severe that it leads them to the second sequence: Self-imposed exile to dingy Bolivia, where they rob banks instead, only to have the federales try to hunt them down. The final moments of the film are unforgettable.
Continue reading: Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid Review
One common recurring narrative in many of King's better-known novel-to-screen adaptations -- such as Stand by Me, The Green Mile, and The Shawshank Redemption -- incorporates an older gentleman recalling his youth or a life-changing incident of his life. Hearts in Atlantis follows this to a tee. After learning of a childhood friend's death, a middle-aged photographer Robert Garfield (David Morse) ventures back to his hometown for the funeral. Upon arrival, Robert recalls memories of youth and of one innocent, fateful summer when a mysterious man named Ted Brautigan (Hopkins) entered his life and changed it forever.
Continue reading: Hearts in Atlantis Review
That's The Ghost And the Darkness in a nutshell. And while it may be, as the press materials say, "one of the most thrilling true stories ever told," it has somehow turned into one of the most boring movies of the year, owing to a downright dull directorial job by Stephen Hopkins and a surprisingly flat script by double Oscar-winner William Goldman.
Continue reading: The Ghost And the Darkness Review