Zeljko Ivanek

Zeljko Ivanek

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2015 Vineyard Theatre Gala - Arrivals

Zeljko Ivanek and Greg Pierce - The 2015 Vineyard Theatre Gala at the Edison Hotel Ballroom - Arrivals. at Edison Hotel Ballroom, - New York City, New York, United States - Monday 30th March 2015

'The Oldest Boy' opening night after party

Zeljko Ivanek and Greg Pierce - Opening night after party for 'The Oldest Boy' at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater - Arrivals at Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, - New York, New York, United States - Tuesday 4th November 2014

Billy and Ray Opening Night - Arrivals

Greg Pierce and Zeljko Ivanek - A host of celebrities took to the red carpet as they attended the Opening night for Billy and Ray at the Vineyard Theatre, New York City, New York, United States - Monday 20th October 2014

Zeljko Ivanek

Seven Psychopaths Review


Excellent

Martin McDonagh gleefully plays with both the gang thriller genre and the moviemaking process with this enjoyably absurd action comedy. It's a little self-indulgent, acknowledging how difficult he found it to follow up his acclaimed film In Bruges. But a continual stream of hilariously clever gags make it thoroughly entertaining, and the seriously great actors are so playful that it's infectious.

At the centre, naturally, is an Irish writer named Marty (Farrell), living in Hollywood and struggling to write his next screenplay. He settles on the title Seven Psychopaths, and decides that his lead character will be a nonviolent Buddhist killer. Otherwise he's stuck. Then he discovers that his hyperactive pal Billy (Rockwell) is running a scam with Hans (Walken), kidnapping dogs and claiming the rewards from their owners. This all goes terribly wrong when they grab the beloved shitzu of the mercurial thug Charlie (Harrelson), sending him into a murderous rampage. And as Marty finds himself in the middle of it, his script starts to take shape.

McDonagh is adept at combining freewheeling wackiness with more astute observational comedy. This film isn't as emotionally resonant as In Bruges, but it crackles with the same sharp dialog and offhanded violent silliness. Most of this plays up the amusing shock value of sudden death, although there are moments that are surprisingly touching, mainly due to a wonderfully textured turn from Walken. Rockwell is the other standout as the manic, unpredictable Billy, an enthusiastic mischief-maker. And Harrelson has a great presence as the funny-terrifying Charlie.

Continue reading: Seven Psychopaths Review

The Bourne Legacy Review


OK
Writer Gilroy adds directing to his Bourne chores, shifting the franchise into a cerebral thriller punctuated by plodding action sequences. It's watchable, but doesn't have enough sense of character or purpose to make us care about anything that happens.

Genetically altered government agent Aaron Cross (Renner) is part of Outcome, a parallel programme to Treadstone, which created Jason Bourne. Since Bourne's antics have lifted the lid on Treadstone, Outcome director Eric (Norton) decides to terminate his programme by brutally killing everyone involved. But Aaron slips through the net, as does geneticist Marta (Weisz), whom Aaron needs for the meds that keep him going. As Eric's team hunts them down, they head to Manila to find a solution.

Continue reading: The Bourne Legacy Review

Picture - Zeljko Ivanek New York City, USA, Thursday 27th October 2011

Zeljko Ivanek Thursday 27th October 2011 Opening night of the Broadway production of 'Chinglish' at the Longacre Theatre - Arrivals New York City, USA

Zeljko Ivanek
Zeljko Ivanek

In Bruges Review


Excellent
The Bruges Chamber of Commerce should be delighted with at least part of Martin McDonagh's film In Bruges, as it provides an unprecedented and absolutely ravishing look at the architecture of this gorgeous Belgian town that appears to have been dropped into the 21st century from a pristine, fairy-tale version of the Middle Ages. They should be happy as a good number of people, after seeing the film, will be tempted to hop on the next flight to the little jewel box of a medieval village, all canals and pristinely preserved Gothic architecture. Such town boosters will be less delighted with other aspects of this dark-as-night comedy, in which a pair of hitmen hiding out in the town spend their time arguing over whether or not the town is, in fact, "a shithole." Later on, the guns come out, large quantities of blood are spilled, and a story that had been weaving a fairy-tale ambience up until that point turns into an entirely different kind of fairy tale -- one that doesn't exactly cater to tourists.

Writer/director McDonagh has dabbled in fairy tales before, in his grimly funny and ultraviolent stage plays like the Tarantino-esque The Lieutenant of Inishmore and, particularly, The Pillowman, which knocked Broadway audiences for a loop back in 2005 with its mix of bloody, Grimm-like Germanic storytelling and anonymous, Kafkaesque modernity. With his feature directorial debut (his short film, Six Shooter, won an Oscar in 2006), McDonagh takes his particular theatrical affinity for finding cockeyed laughs in horrendous situations and creates a precisely structured and knock-you-down hilarious comedy of violence with a film that (hopefully) announces a great new cinematic talent.

Continue reading: In Bruges Review

The Hoax Review


Good
Everybody loves a good con artist, a guy who can bluff his way into or out of anything. He's isn't violent, not a gangster, but a smooth-talking charmer whose poker face doesn't flinch no matter how dangerous or delicate the situation gets. Lasse Hallström's latest, The Hoax, offers a portrait of such a con artist, a real-life fabulist who makes James Frey (the disgraced "non-fiction" writer behind 2003's A Million Little Pieces) and his shenanigans look like chump change.

Richard Gere, perfectly cast, plays Clifford Irving, a down-and-out writer who in 1971 wrote (and nearly got published) a fake biography of Howard Hughes. Desperate to jump-start his career, Irving duped his editor Andrea Tate (Hope Davis) and the top dogs at McGraw-Hill into believing he was not only a friend of Hughes, the notorious recluse, but that the billionaire had tapped Irving to write his life story. Smelling a publishing sensation, McGraw-Hill offered Irving a then-record publishing deal, and the writer suddenly found himself the crown prince of the publishing world.

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Dancer In The Dark Review


Excellent
Early on in Dancer in the Dark, Peter Stormare confesses to Björk that he doesn't understand movie musicals, because all the characters suddenly start singing and dancing for no reason. He doesn't start singing and dancing for no reason, he says.

Selma, as played to perfection by the almost childlike Björk, does her share of singing and dancing, but she's got a reason: It's all in her head. And with that said, get ready for the creepiest, most depressing, and certainly the most unique movie musical ever put on film.

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The Manchurian Candidate Review


Weak

Director Jonathan Demme's remake of "The Manchurian Candidate" is eerily effective in bringing the 1962 masterpiece of chilling dark satire and dangerous political corruption up to date for a world in which corporations seemingly pocket candidates, terrorists threaten freedom and fear-mongering has virtually become a campaign platform.

In this new film, the original's stiff, communist-brainwashed war hero and would-be presidential assassin Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) has become an unstable war-hero vice-presidential candidate (Liev Schreiber) made very susceptible to suggestion by a defense-contracting conglomerate (modeled on the Carlyle Group and Halliburton). And his controlling, calculating, daunting and devious behind-the-scenes mother (the brilliantly ominous Angela Lansbury in '62) has become a bulldozing, hawkish senior senator in her own right (played slightly more shrill by Meryl Streep).

An obligatory girlfriend role filled by Janet Leigh 42 years ago is refashioned into someone altogether more pivotal to the plot (a seeming good Samaritan played by Kimberly Elise). And Maj. Bennett Marco, the nightmare-haunted central character (then Frank Sinatra, now Denzel Washington) who pieces together a startling conspiracy, has become a victim of Gulf War Syndrome and at times hangs onto his own sanity by a very thin thread.

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Dogville Review


Grim

Lars von Trier's peculiar compulsion to humiliate his heroines (and by extension the actresses who play them) has finally crescendoed to a deafening din of indiscriminate, exasperating martyrdom in "Dogville," a daring experiment in heightened performance and minimalist filmmaking that is fatally undermined by the Danish writer-director's conceit as a narrator.

His last four movies ("Breaking the Waves," "The Idiots," "Dancer in the Dark" and now "Dogville") have all dealt largely with the psychological (and sometimes physical) torture of vulnerable female protagonists. While his storytelling and cinematic style are almost always compelling, he's never seemed so arbitrary in his sadism than in this allegory of a beautiful, 1930s flapper fugitive hiding from the mob in a ragged, remote, austere Colorado mountain hamlet, where the tiny populace goes from distrustful to accepting to maliciously cruel on little more than von Trier's say-so.

Played with discernible dedication by Nicole Kidman, Grace is a porcelain enigma of self-flagellation so determined to escape some kind of shadowy past that, in exchange for the skeptical township's shelter, she agrees to indentured servitude -- doing handy work, favors and manual labor one hour a day in each of the seven households. She gradually comes earn the friendship of all -- even those most reluctant to accept her.

Continue reading: Dogville Review

Hannibal Review


Weak

The "Silence of the Lambs" sequel is finally here, and while it is certainly unsettling and appropriately ghastly (don't take a date to dinner before or after!), the film is more about the showmanship of director Ridley Scott than it is about the odious appetite of Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter.

Punctuated with some amped-up action scenes (like an early FBI shootout) and camera work that blurs and shakes like a music video almost every time Dr. Lecter has his ravenous way with one of his victims, "Hannibal" seems to lose sight of its high-IQ, psychological terror foundation whenever something hair-raising happens.

But unruffled through it all is the inimitable Anthony Hopkins, reprising with relish his chillingly calm, urbane and playfully intellectual, lip-licking portrayal of the cinema's most endearing icon of upscale fright flicks. Hopkins sashays through the picture like a cat on the prowl -- even though he's the one being hunted this time -- his eyes full of composed calculation and his mouth cleaved just enough to see his tongue running absent-mindedly over his teeth as he contemplates tasting the flesh of just about every person he encounters. (A kiss on the hand has never been creepier.)

Continue reading: Hannibal Review

Dancer In The Dark Review


Good

For years filmmakers have been trying to reinvent the musical. "Evita" went big, "My Best Friend's Wedding" sneaked musical numbers into its semi-standard romantic comedy, the "South Park" movie mocked the cartoon musical while besting it with genuinely catchy tunes, "Love's Labour's Lost" was an homage to the Fred and Ginger sing-songs of the 1930s.

But no one has succeeded in making a truly modern movie musical, one that employs emerging filmmaking techniques instead of reaching back 50 years for inspiration. In fact, no one has ever even attempted something like "Dancer In the Dark."

Writer and director Lars von Trier -- the reclusive Dane behind the minimalist Dogme95 movement that espouses natural lighting, no props and handheld cameras -- discovers a way to marry his trademark sparseness with the unfettered showmanship of song and dance numbers in this daring retooling of the musical genre.

Continue reading: Dancer In The Dark Review

Zeljko Ivanek

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