Michael Mann doesn't make standard frantic-pace thrillers (see Heat and Public Enemies); he prefers to work at a more controlled stride, so while this hacking adventure-mystery is intriguing it also feels a bit plodding. Yes, the film erupts now and then into a viscerally exhilarating action sequence, including a couple of astonishing shootouts, but over the course of two and a quarter hours it barely builds up a head of steam. And it's further frustrating that the intriguing characters never quite emerge as real people.
It opens with a cyberattack on a Chinese nuclear power plant, after which Captain Chen (Wang Leehom) heads to America to consult with FBI Agent Barrett (Viola Davis), urging her to get the one man who can solve this case: Chen's former MIT roommate Nick (Chris Hemsworth), now serving 13 years in prison for hacking. On supervised release, Nick heads to Hong Kong with Chen and Barrett, plus a minder (Holt McCallany) and Chen's computer-whiz sister Lien (Tang Wei), who immediately catches Nick's eye. As they secretly begin falling for each other, Nick indulges in a lot of illicit computer work to trace the attack to ruthless thug Kassar (Ritchie Coster) and his shadowy boss Sadak (Yorick van Wageningen). But they're based in Jakarta, and the FBI has no jurisdiction there.
Aside from some cheesy inside-the-computer animation, Mann makes the film look sleek and stylish, dropping clues into each scene to fill in the bigger picture about what is happening. And when an action set-piece breaks out, the film becomes urgent and gritty, with handheld camerawork and a breathless sense of peril that suggests that no one is safe. On the other hand, the script asks us to believe that Hemsworth's imprisoned computer geek can suddenly become a full-on action man, with astonishing gun-handling skills, the muscly precision of a Hollywood stunt man and the ability to out-strategise both spies and super-villains in a massive climactic showdown in a crowded city square.
Continue reading: Blackhat Review
Yorick van Wageningen and Guest - Shots from the World premiere of Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures 'Blackhat' as a host of stars took to the red carpet at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Hollywood, California, United States - Thursday 8th January 2015
For the production of 'Blackhat', writer/director Michael Mann had to brush up on his knowledge of hacking in order to put together a film on the subject. Actor Chris Hemsworth had to undergo a master class on hacking and the use of computers. Mann also discusses how terrifying the idea of a cyber-criminal being able steal whatever they please from anywhere in the world at any time.
'Blackhat' follows the story of a hacker that can target anywhere in the world, stealing money and amassing wealth before causing a string of terrorist attacks upon the world. The US and China form a specialist taskforce to discover the identity of the hacker and find him before he is able to strike again. When they find themselves unable to trace the source, they turn to Nicholas Hathaway (Hemsworth), a convicted hacker serving jail time for hacking. If Hathaway is able to find and expose the mysterious hacker before it's too late, he will be free to live his life. 'Blackhat' is due to be released in the US on 16th January 2015, with a UK theatrical release following on 20th January in the same year.
When an unnamed hacker begins to steal money from wherever he wants, he turns his attention on acts of terror. After the destruction of a Chinese power plant, a collaboration of American and Chinese agencies begin trying to find just who this person is. They finally hit on the idea of bringing convicted hacker Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) out of his 15-year-jail time, in order to help them track down the illusive boogieman. But as he is always one step ahead of them, it seems that even Hathaway's help will not result in them catching their crook.
Continue: Blackhat Trailer
When an anonymous hacker is able to disrupt the files for three major banks around the world, it the US government find themselves unable to stop the mysterious cybercriminal. After beginning a joint operation with China, they turn to Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth), a hacker serving a fifteen year sentence for his crimes. In exchange for his freedom, Hathaway agrees to help the combined force track down and stop the hacker. But when his cyber-attacks turn into acts of terrorism, Hathaway discovers that he is facing an enemy not motivated by money or politics. An enemy that exists everywhere at every time, and can strike out against whoever he pleases.
Continue: Blackhat Trailer
Kai is a half-English and half-Japanese outsider who was exiled from his homeland, beaten within an inch of his life and enslaved for his heritage. Now he is stronger; an accomplished fighter with an ability to triumph over even the most formidable of adversaries. He is enlisted by a group of samurai warriors to help them regain their land which has been overrun by an infinite army of demons, witches, monsters and giants who have enslaved their people following the dishonourable death of their leader. The forty-seven ronin vow to avenge their master, sacrificing their own lives to attempt to free their compatriots; though as the land becomes more and more sated with savage beasts and ruthless mystics, Kai is left wondering if this is one battle he can't win.
Continue: 47 Ronin - International Trailer
Kai is an outsider, banished from his home, beaten and forced into slavery for being half-English and half-Japanese. He was among a small group of samurais exiled after the dishonourable death of their leader, and now his suffering has turned him into one of the land's most formidable warriors, able to defeat even the largest of beasts. He is enlisted to be part of an army of forty-seven ronin who vow to seek revenge against the infinite army that has taken over their home and killed their master. However, their plan looks almost impossible as the nation is rapidly becoming overrun with a myriad of colossal shape-shifting monsters with the ability to wipe out the ronin all at once.
'47 Ronin' is a fictional interpretation of the real events that happened in Japan in the 18th century, when a small group of samurais sought to avenge their leader. There have been many variations of the story and it has been described as Japan's National Legend. First time director Carl Rinsch is at the helm of this gripping fantasy war film and it has been written by Chris Morgan ('Fast & Furious', 'Cellular', 'Wanted'), Hossein Amini ('Snow White and the Huntsman', 'The Wings of the Dove', 'Drive') and Walter Hamada in his screenplay debut. It will hit the UK on December 26th 2013.
Disgraced journalist Mikael (Craig) takes a job on an isolated island looking into the 40-years-earlier disappearance of the teenage niece of millionaire industrialist Vanger (Plummer). But the deeper Mikael digs, the messier things get. He discovers all kinds of nastiness in Henrik's dysfunctional family. Then he teams up with gifted hacker Lisbeth (Mara) to unravel the knots in the story. But as a ward of the state, Lisbeth is also dealing with her own rather intense situation.
Continue reading: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Review
Mikael Blomkvist is a journalist for Sweden's 'Millenium' magazine, a monthly publication that has a decent amount of readers. After publishing a shocking expos' on a billionaire businessman, he is sued for libel but loses the highly publicised case and is sentenced to three months in prison.
Continue: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trailer
As a story of self-discovery, it may seem a little simplistic, but the themes it grapples with along the way are genuinely challenging.
Tom (Sheen) is a California ophthalmologist whose only son Daniel (Estevez) dropped out of society in his late 30s to travel the world. Then Tom gets a call: Daniel has died on the Camino de Santiago (The Way of St James) in northern Spain. In France to collect the body, Tom suddenly decides to take the two-month pilgrimage himself, partly to understand his son better. Along the way he collects three companions who just won't leave him alone: a jaded Canadian (Unger), a too-cheerful Dutchman (van Wageningen) and a jagged Irishman (Nesbitt).
Continue reading: The Way Review
Writer-director David Twohy creates an uncommonly vivid and comprehensive science-fiction universe in "The Chronicles of Riddick," complete with genuinely otherworldly planets and detailed cultural mythologies. But he spends so much time and energy on such minutiae that the film fails to live up to the promise of it all. His manifold details serve a standard action-star-against-an-army plot with substandard catch-phrase dialogue.
The title character and reluctant hero -- a ruthlessly efficient, prison-buffed mass-murderer with night-vision eyes played by thunder-voiced, chrome-domed Vin Diesel -- was first seen in Twohy's "Pitch Black," a seat-gripping, even more vivid and otherworldly alien-swarm horror flick from 2000 that helped launch the actor's tough-guy career.
Riddick saved a few crash-landed space-transport passengers from being eaten alive by spectacular CGI monsters in that movie, but when "Chronicles" picks up five years later, bounty hunters are still hot on the trail of the coldblooded escapee. The biggest reward isn't being offered for his capture, however. One of the "Pitch Black's" survivors (Keith David) is seeking Riddick's vicious muscle to help save his homeworld from an unstoppable evil.
Continue reading: The Chronicles Of Riddick Review
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