Has humanity been left to defend itself against the ruthless Decepticons now that Optimus Prime has vacated the planet? It may seem that way, but the Autobot leader is still relatively close by, seeking his own mission to uncover the secrets of his origins. Father and daughter Cade (Mark Wahlberg) and Tessa Yeager are surviving as best they can under the protection of the few Autobots that remain, but Megatron is on the warpath reducing the planet to rubble and wiping out every human that stands in the way of his domination. There's a hopeless, apocalyptic mood running through this new story, because the war between man and machine will no doubt continue to wage until one of both races are extinct. However, there may be, at least, another hero who can save Earth from total ruin.
Marvel can't help itself: these movies have to get bigger and crazier. And this one leaves us wondering where they can possibly go next, as it spirals into a madly funny-scary thriller that threatens the existence of the whole universe. But it also feels like a story children would make up as they go along. Still, the sparky characters and wildly cataclysmic approach are hugely entertaining.
The action picks up right after the Battle of New York (see 2012's The Avengers), and scientist Jane (Portman) is miffed that Thor (Hemsworth) didn't call when he was back on Earth. She has just started dating a nebbish Londoner (O'Dowd) when her assistant Darcy (Dennings) stumbles into a spatial anomaly that draws Jane right into the middle of a 5,000-year-old struggle between Thor's home-realm Asgard and the dark elf Malekith (Eccleston), who wants to use a swirling goo called the Aether to plunge all of existence into blackness just as the universe aligns itself. As this convergence approaches, Thor defies his father Odin (Hopkins) and turns to his disgraced, malicious brother Loki (Hiddleston) for help.
The film is overcrowded with small but pivotal characters, including stern but helpful gatekeeper Heimdall (Elba), mad-doctor Erik (Skarsgard) and Odin's wise wife Frigga (Russo). All of them help distract us from the movie's wildly shifting tone as it darts from sardonic comedy to Lord of the Rings-style battles to silly romance to dark emotion. But the best thing is the tense, unpredictable relationship between Thor and Loki, an enjoyable mixture of sibling rivalry and brotherly love that's well-played by Hemsworth and especially Hiddleston. None of the other characters really has a chance to develop around them. But at least the actors have fun with their roles, including a number of hilarious cameos along the way (there are also two post-credit stings).
Continue reading: Thor: The Dark World Review
So, is Bryan Cranston the best?
Anthony Hopkins' gushing letter of admiration to Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston flagged up an interesting geeky question this week: could the man who stunned as meth cook Walter White be the greatest actor on the planet? With television now the breeding ground for the highest quality drama, the tag shouldn't be limited to the movie world, even though Cranston has impressed in the likes of Argo and Drive in recent years.
Aaron Paul [L] as Jesse Pinkman and Bryan Cranston [R] as Walter White
In case you hadn't heard: Hopkins - a man who was easily the greatest actor in the world at one stage in his career - binged on all five seasons of Breaking Bad in under two weeks before sending a gushing note to Cranston on his performance.
Continue reading: The Hopkins Approval: Is Bryan Cranston The Greatest Actor In The World?
The screen legend wrote a letter of appraisal to the star of the hit series in which he praised his acting ability
Breaking Bad has no shortage of famous fans, but Sir Anthony Hopkins might just be the biggest name to go on the record and declare out loud just how much of a boss Bryan Cranston is. The Oscar-winner recently went on a binge-watching session and got through all five seasons of the show, after which he was so impressed that he just had to write to Cranston and tell him how much he enjoyed his portrayal as Walter White/Heisenberg.
If he though Cranston's Walter White was good, he should see the roller skating scene from Malcolm in the Middle
This wasn't just some loved-up, 'OMG i fink u so hot' letter from the Welsh thespian, this was a serious appraisal from the Silence of the Lambs actor, who declared Cranston performance throughout the five seasons as the best acting he had ever seen!
Anthony Hopkins wrote a letter to Bryan Cranston highly praising his performance in 'Breaking Bad'.
Anthony Hopkins, as well as what seems to be the rest of the world, is mourning the loss of Breaking Bad. Hopkins wrote a letter to Bryan Cranston in which he praised the actor for his performance in the hit AMC series.
Anthony Hopkins described Breaking Bad as "addictive".
The email first appeared over the weekend, according to Gawker, on Steven Michael Quezada's Facebook page (according to The Hollywood Reporter). Hopkin's representative has confirmed the letter is authentic.
Continue reading: Anthony Hopkins: Bryan Cranston Is A "Truly Great Actor"
Marvel's Thunder God, Thor returns in the latest superhero blockbuster, Thor: The Dark World (sequel to self titled film: Thor) where he must face his greatest battle to save Earth and all nine realms 'from a Darkness known only to one' lead by the feared Malekith. Thor must risk everything by reuniting with his brother and Avengers Villian: Loki in order to protect his beloved Jane Foster in what promises to be the most thrilling Thor adventure yet.
The film see's the Return of stars: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Tom Hiddleston with the introduction of acclaimed actor Christopher Eccleston as Malekith and Alan Taylor replacing Kenneth Branagh as director. Stan Lee remains Executive Producer alongside Alan Fine, Nigel Gostelow, Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso and Craig Kyle.
That A-list cast of "retired, extremely dangerous" spies is back, coasting through another amiable but uninspired action-comedy. It may be occasionally funny, but the script is so lazy that it never does anything with the characters or situations. So there's never even a hint of suspense.
In the years since the events of 2010's RED, Frank (Willis) has been trying to live quietly with Sarah (Parker). But trouble seeks them out when their pal Marvin (Malkovich) is the target of a car bomb, and Frank discovers that MI6 and the CIA have sent assassins to kill him: his ruthless former colleague Victoria (Mirren) and the fiendishly unstoppable Han (Lee), respectively. So Frank, Sarah and Marvin head to Paris to solve the mess, crossing paths with Frank's ex, the seductive Katya (Zeta-Jones). Sarah isn't happy about this, but tags along to London, where they locate a nutty scientist (Hopkins) who has the key to all the chaos: namely that they need to get to Moscow to stop a rogue nuke.
As in the first film, the plot bounces along merrily without bothering with either logic or subtext. This is just a silly story about goofy old killers, and the film's main joke is seeing Mirren in camouflage firing a machine-gun. At least the cast shows that they're still feisty, taking on each other with gusto as they try to steal every scene. Malkovich's surreal humour, Mirren's snappy punchlines, Zeta-Jones' purring sexuality and Hopkins' scatter-brained genius are pretty funny, while Willis and Parker get the most thankless roles as a couple still working out their relationship.
Continue reading: RED 2 Review
The film's stellar cast narrowly avoids sequel fatigue.
The Bruce Willis starring action comedy Red 2 is going into opening weekend with lukewarm reviews – more of a gentle maroon, if we’re going with the color metaphor. The film chronicles the events of Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) life three years after the original, when the former CIA agent has settled into a comfortable life with his damsel in distress from the first movie Sarah Ross (Mary-Louise Parker), but the couple are forced to come out of retirement by the murder of a friend and their own framing for a Cold War era mission by one of those pesky government agencies. As far as plots go, this one definitely suffers from sequel fatigue, which seems to be what most reviews hold against the film. However, various reviewers find various redeeming aspects of the action, driven by gun-toting pensioners.
Bruce Willis Stars In 'Red 2'
The L.A. Times focuses on the commercial side of things, noting that both audiences and the studio already know that the “Red” concept works and it gets a specific audience into theatres. The question now is, with the novelty wearing off and sequel fatigue beginning to set in, can Summit repeat the hole in one?
Continue reading: The Reviews Are In: A Narrow Pass For 'RED 2'
Red 2, released in US cinemas today (Friday 19th July), has failed to impress the critics.
Red 2 is released in US cinemas today (Friday 19th July). Critics have not received the Red sequel favourably, describing it as "passable" and simply "adequate".
Bruce Willis at the premiere of Red 2, L.A.
According to USA Today, before you head off to the cinema, it is worthwhile seeing the first film. Red 2 appears to be a difficult film to follow without having prior knowledge of the characters.
Continue reading: Red 2's US Release: Critics Are Unimpressed By "Tired" Sequel
Anthony Hopkins and Bruce Willis are interviewed about their new comedy action film 'Red 2' in which they talk about their excitement about working with each other and their enjoyment in going to work every day.
Following the dramatic events of 'Thor' and 'The Avengers' which saw Thor battling not only his double-crossing adoptive brother Loki but a series of other nemeses, the hammer wielding hero returns to Earth to reunite with his beloved Jane Foster and whisk her away to his home in Asgard. Unfortunately, he ends up bringing her towards terrible danger that he himself could not fathom. A dark race that predates even the oldest corners of the universe; a race of elves led by the ruthless Malekith who plans to plunge the entire universe back into oblivion in a vengeful pursuit that will destroy everything that Thor and Odin have fought to protect. In desperation, Thor confronts his imprisoned brother and asks for help in exchange for his freedom with the promise that he will destroy Loki if he dares betray him again. Can Thor and the rest of Asgard defeat the latest dark force that threatens them? Or will such a primitive power prove impossible to overcome?
Here is the new sequel to Kenneth Branagh's 2011 movie 'Thor' that is set some time after the events of Joss Whedon's 'The Avengers'. 'Thor: The Dark World' is based on the comic books by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby and sees a new director, Alan Taylor ('Game Of Thrones', 'Mad Men', 'The Emperor's New Clothes'), with the return of screenwriter Don Payne ('Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer') alongside Christopher Yost ('The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes') and Stephen McFeely ('The Chronicles of Narnia', 'Captain America: The First Avenger'). It is set to hit the UK on October 30th 2013.
What could have been an intriguing look at how Alfred Hitchcock created one of his most iconic masterpieces is instead turned into a gently entertaining romp. We may enjoy watching the twists and turns as this troubled project takes shape, but the script simply never breaks the surface or gives its stars any real depth to play with. So in the end, the most engaging thing about the film ends up being the portrayal of Hitchcock's marriage.
The story starts with the 1959 premiere of North by Northwest, a hit that critics dismissed as more of the same from a master resting on his laurels. So Hitchcock (Hopkins) decides to give them something unexpected, and takes his first foray into horror based on the little-known novel Psycho, a fictionalised story about a real serial killer. Working closely with his wife Alma (Mirren) on every aspect of the film, he is in constant conflict with the studio chief (Portnow) and the chief censor (Smith), who both believe the material is too strong. Meanwhile, Alma is tired of him flirting with his leading ladies (Johansson and Biel), so she takes a side job with a writer (Huston) who wants to be more than friends.
Oddly, neither director Gervasi (Anvil) nor writer McLaughlin (Black Swan) seems interested in getting beneath the surface of their central character, so Hitchcock is little more than the jovial caricature we saw in his TV anthology series. Hiding under layers of prosthetic face and body fat, Hopkins is good but never seems to break a sweat in the role. Which leaves Mirren to steal the film as Alma, mainly by departing from reality to create a more intriguing movie character instead. And Collette adds some spice as Hitchcock's assistant. But as the cast of Psycho, Johansson (as Janet Leigh), Biel (Vera Miles) and D'Arcy (Anthony Perkins) are only given small details to define them, which leaves them lurking uninterestingly around the edges.
Continue reading: Hitchcock Review
Following the perilous events of the first movie, former CIA agent Frank Moses tries yet again to retire quietly with his young partner Sarah. However, he is soon chased down by his paranoid buddy Marvin Boggs who isn't taking to retirement as well as Frank is and is determined to set out on a new mission; to find a nuclear device that is being hunted by a group government officials, terrorists and brutal assassins. Meanwhile, the aging MI6 agent Victoria is mildly curious to learn that she has been contracted to hunt and kill Frank despite the pair being friends. 'Red 2' is set to be full of more death-defying adventures, dry humour and nigh on impossible missions as the Retired, Extremely Dangerous crew get together once more.
'Red 2' is the follow up from the 2010 movie directed by Robert Schwentke ('The Time Traveller's Wife') and based on the graphic novel mini-series created by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner on DC Comics' Homage. This time we have an all new director, Oscar winner Dean Parisot ('Galaxy Quest', 'Fun with Dick and Jane'), and two returns from screenwriters Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber ('Battleship', 'Whiteout'). It's an action comedy due for release in the UK on August 2nd 2013.
Director: Dean Parisot
Continue: Red 2 Trailer
Regardless of being dead for over thirty years, Alfred Hitchcock is still one of Hollywood's biggest names and with a host of biopics set to be released about the late director's life on both the silver and the small screen, then it is more than likely that his fame will only increase in the coming months.
Helen Mirren, who stars as Hitchcock's wife Alma Reville in the upcoming biopic Hitchcock, has spoken of her brief encounter with the Hollywood legend, and it sounds as though the meeting could have gone a little better.
One of the stars of the new movie, which follows the making of Hitchcock's most controversial film Psycho, Mirren detailed her experience in a recent interview with The Huffington Post. According to the Oscar-winner, who detailed her experience of auditioning for Hitchcock's film Frenzy in the early 1970s in the interview, revealed, "I don't think he would have auditioned me; I think he either thought you looked right or you didn't."
Continue reading: Helen Mirren Reveals Her Forgettable Meeting With Alfred Hitchcock
The race to the Academy Awards is beginning to hot up with movie executives beginning to hobnob with various industry people and drum up support for their respective films. Sir Anthony Hopkins recently explained how he refused to travel to New York just for the sake of speaking to the right people about his movie Hitchcock, and we all know what Joaquin Phoenix thinks of the whole charade.
Though some people really want to win an Oscar. The people behind Denzel Washington's Flight have released a special trailer targeted at Academy voters, and the people over at Team Cloud Atlas would probably kill to just spend five minutes with one of the statuettes, any of them. One actress who would love to get her hands on the Best Actress gong for a second time (though she'd never admit it) is Marion Cotillard, whose turn in Rust and Bone has been winning quiet praise in the lead up to awards' season. The movie focuses on a man's bond with a killer whale trainer, which grows deeper after she suffers a horrible accident. Sounds pretty grisly huh? But the critics loved it, and lauded Cotillard's performance in particular. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wrote, "As an orca trainer who loses her legs, Cotillard is astonishing, as is Schoenaerts as a boxer who helps restore her sexual identity. Audiard's hypnotic film means to shake you, and does." Tim Robey of The Telegraph said, "Cotillard, who's been waiting since La vie en rose for a role this substantial, is at her damaged, devastating best".
For punters, Cotillard represents one of the best value for money bets of awards' season. She's currently available at 8/1 to win Best Actress at the Oscars - seen as a wide open race. Pretty much everyone knew Meryl Streep was going to win last year, though in 2013, Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables) Emannuelle Riva (Amour), Ouvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Helen Mirren (Hitchcock) or Cotillard could all scoop the prize.
Continue reading: Could Marion Cotillard Win An Oscar For Rust And Bone?
It was always going to be a tough order to pull off an homage to the great Alfred Hitchcock, but Sacha Gervasi has largely gained kudos from the reviewers for having a going at it, though his biopic Hitchcock has by no means found unanimous approval from the grizzled hacks of the critical world.
Director Gervasi certainly can’t be faulted for the cast he assembled for the film; Sir Anthony Hopkins plays Hitchcock himself, with other characters played by the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Dame Helen Mirren, Jessica Biel and Toni Collette. Certainly the reviewers found the cast to be their usual excellent selves. “Hopkins catches the essence of Hitchcock as artist and con man. And Mirren is stellar as his wife and secret weapon. The pleasure of their company adds sparkle to this unexpectedly poignant look at a career and a marriage” wrote Rolling Stone. The Chicago Sun Times was a little more guarded but wrote “Anthony Hopkins, superb actor although he is, would not seem to be an obvious choice to play Hitchcock, but I accepted him. His makeup job is transformative.”
However, as to the film itself – which is far more of an interpretation than a factual account of the film director’s life – it found a mixed response, with Variety frustrated by its deviation: “Hitchcock offers almost zero insight into the peculiar workings of creative genius, or into the rich, taboo-shattering legacy of the film whose making it documents” it wrote. That said, if we’re to believe the New York Observer it’s “one of the best movies of 2012”, suggesting that the jury still remains somewhat out on this one.
Bram Stoker, the Irish novelist who created Dracula, was born 165 years ago today (November 8, 2012). Google's latest doodle celebrates the author, who wrote 19 books in total though will always be best known for his vampire creation.
Dracula was actually Stoker's fifth book, published in 1897 after he'd spent several years studying mythological stories and folklore. He took most of his inspiration after staying in the North Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby, where he was trying to establish if the location would be suitable for a family holiday. Though not an initial bestseller, Dracula has since become a key text in vampire literature and the horror fiction canon and has spawned numerous television series and movie adaptations. Overblown in the most positive sense of the word, Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula (1992) put the horror back into Dracula, after decades of camp interpretations. Starring Gary Oldman as the Count himself, the film boasted a stellar cast that also included Sir Anthony Hopkins, Winona Ryder, Richard E. Grant and Keanu Reeves. Writing for the New York Times, Vincent Canby said, "With Dracula it's apparent that Mr. Coppola's talent and exuberance survive," while Todd McCarthy of Variety wrote, "Overall, this Dracula could have been less heavy and more deliciously evil than it is, but it does offer a sumptuous engorgement of the senses."
The movie won a flurry of technical awards, including the Oscar for Best Costume Design, Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Makeup. Coppola and Oldman also won the Saturn Awards for Best Director and Best Actor respectively.
Continue reading: Bram Stoker Turns 165: In Praise Of Francis Ford Coppola's Dracula
Alfred Hitchcock was in his sixties and struggling to come up with a fresh idea for a new movie; that was until the notoriously terrifying story of 'Psycho' by Robert Bloch came along in 1959. Arguably one of his best ideas for a movie to date, the Oscar nominated Hitchcock set to work pulling it together despite the extreme scepticism of his wife Alma Reville and Paramount Pictures who disapproved of the degree of horror the movie maker was planning to utilise. In fact, he was so confident that he was willing to pour in thousands of dollars for the film to be made when he was refused his usual budget from the studio; an action that Alma found irresponsible and rather worrying.
'Hitchcock' is drama biopic strongly focused on Alfred's often strained though very loving relationship with his wife and has been based on the book 'Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho' by Stephen Rebello. Directed by Sacha Gervasi ('Anvil: The Story of Anvil' documentary) and written by BAFTA nominee John J. McLaughlin ('Man of the House', 'Black Swan'), this is story of how 'Psycho', one of the greatest films of all time, was made including its inspiration from real-life Winconsin murderer and grave robber Ed Gein. It is set for release on February 8th 2013 in the UK.
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Hopkins, James D'Arcy, Jessica Biel, Michael Stuhlbarg, Ralph Macchio, Toni Collette, Judith Hoag, Danny Huston, Michael Wincott, Kurtwood Smith, Richard Portnow, John Rothman, Tara Summers, Helen Mirren.
Continue: Hitchcock Trailer
HBO’s The Girl tells the tale of Alfred Hitchcock’s relationship with the screen star Tippi Hedren - played by Sienna Miller. The story itself seems to be the real winner here; the TV movie explores the theory that Hitchcock (played by Toby Jones) “behaved like a psychotic lout” towards Tippi Hedren during the two films that they made together (The Birds and Marnie).
When Hedren spurns Hitchcock’s sexual advances, he uses his directorial power to torture her. When filming The Birds, he insists that she films take after take of the scenes in which she is attacked by birds. He does his best to break her spirit but ultimately, she remains strong and ultimately retains the upper hand.
New York Daily News have praised the feature, saying that Miller and Jones’ performances “keep the story alive and moving,” though Jones’ Hitchcock has but one dimension: “an arrogant egomaniac who was unpleasant to everyone around him.” Imelda Staunton is landed with the role of his unenviable wife, portrayed here as an “enabler” of his torrid behavior. The power of this disturbing story, according to chron.com is so fierce that you will be left feeling like you need to take a shower afterwards. According to their report though, Toby Jones’ performance is caricatured and lacking in authenticity.
Alfred Hitchcock biopic ‘Hitchcock’ is set to be in line for an Oscar this year as Fox Searchlight reveals the 2012 release date.
Fox Searchlight Pictures are known for producing and distributing independent, mainly British films many of which have been successful Oscar winners or nominees including ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, ‘Black Swan’, ‘The Full Monty’, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ and ‘Juno’. ‘Hitchcock’ could be set to be their latest jewel as the previously expected 2013 release date has been moved to November 23rd 2012 making it a serious contender for an Academy Award this year.
Unlike the actual Alfred Hitchcock movies, which were largely suspense-driven thrillers, the film is comedy drama based on the making of Alfred Hitchcock’s hit 1960 blockbuster ‘Psycho’ and the relationship the director had with his wife Alma Reville. It focuses on the major controversy surrounding the film’s sexual and violent content and Hitchcock’s battle with financing and censorship. It has been adapted by screenwriter John McLaughlin (‘Black Swan’) from Stephen Rebello’s biography ‘Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho’ with Sacha Gervasi (‘Anvil: The Story of Anvil’) in his feature film directorial debut. If this wasn’t enough to make a big impression at The Oscars, then the flick’s all-star cast is bound to be a winner. With Academy Award sensations Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren playing Hitchcock and Alma, Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Biel playing ‘Psycho’ stars Janet Leigh and Vera Miles, the spectacular mix of both American and British actors is sure to appeal to most culturally singular film lovers.
In Vienna, British businessman Michael (Law) has arranged to meet Slovakian prostitute Blanka (Siposova) on her first night on the job. But the situation shifts, and Michael ends up thinking about his wife (Weisz) in London.
Meanwhile, she's having a fling with a Brazilian (Cazarre) whose girlfriend (Flor) is fed up with his infidelity. On her flight home, she meets a troubled British man (Hopkins) and a recovering sex-offender (Foster). Meanwhile, an Algerian dentist (Debbouze) in Paris is in love with his Russian employee (Drukarova), whose husband (Vdovichenkov) works for a hotheaded gangster (Ivanir).
Continue reading: 360 Review
After years of marriage, Alfie and Helena are getting divorced, this is mainly due to Alfie's midlife crisis and lust for a much younger woman called Charmaine. Whilst Helena seeks guidance from a fortune teller her daughter is also facing troubles of her own. Sally works in an art gallery work whilst her husband stays at home hoping to write a novel that repeats the success of his first.
Using animation, home movies and archive footage, we follow Izzard through his birth in 1962 to British parents who were working in Yemen, his early childhood in Northern Ireland and his youth in Wales and England. After being kicked out of university, he started performing comedy on the street, finally getting his big break in the 1990s, touring the world as a comic and becoming more famous in America as an actor. Along the way he discovers that past tragedies have inspired him to believe that he can be a stand-up, an actor or anything he wants to be.
Continue reading: Believe: The Eddie Izzard Story Review
Michael Kovak is a young man who's studying to become a priest, his faith is strong but he's not convinced in demonic possession, instead he believes people who claim to be possessed should be treated for psychosis by a doctor. Still unable to truly believe in what the he's being taught, Kovak attends an exorcism school at the Vatican.
Continue: The Rite Trailer
Fracture has no excuse to be so lazy, given the actors at its disposal and a setup that should have made this an easy slam-dunk. Hopkins plays Ted Crawford, an aeronautics engineer who's found out that his wife Jennifer (Embeth Davidtz) is having an affair with police detective Rob Nunally (Billy Burke). Confronting her at home, Crawford shoots her in the head and calmly waits for the cops to arrive. When they do, it's with none other than Nunally at the lead, who's shocked and enraged at finding Jennifer in a pool of blood and Crawford standing there as though nothing had happened. After a quickly-interrupted beating from Nunally, Crawford later confesses and even waives his right to a lawyer. When it's all dropped in the lap of assistant district attorney Willy Beachum (Gosling), the case couldn't seem more airtight, which is good since Beachum can't wait to slip the bonds of lowly civil employment for a well-paying private sector job.
Continue reading: Fracture Review
In fact, Oliver Stone's overblown biopic detailing the global conquests of Alexander the Great (Colin Farrell) would make a nice bookend to Wolfgang Petersen's lopsided sword-and-sandal epic. One day you'll be able to tap Netflix for the two titles and combine them for a battle-worthy double feature. You'll only need an entire weekend to wrap it up.
Continue reading: Alexander Review
You won't find any sort of rabblerousing or sense of time in Emilio Estevez's Bobby, his account of the people that were in attendance when Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel. Estevez tosses together close to two dozen major characters and storylines along with footage of RFK campaigning against racism, America's poverty, and unlawful McCarthy tactics. The stories run the gamut from a young couple (Elijah Wood and Lindsay Lohan) getting hitched to keep the groom out of the war to an alcoholic diva (Demi Moore) and her forgotten husband (Estevez himself) to a philandering hotel manager (William H. Macy) who must keep his affair with a switchboard operator (Heather Graham) from his wife (Sharon Stone) and from an infuriated ex-employee (Christian Slater). There's also a pack of poll campaigners (Nick Cannon, Joshua Jackson, Shia Labeouf, and Brian Geraghty) who must deal with an acid freak out facilitated by a hippie (Ashton Kutcher), a pushy Czech journalist (Svetlana Metkina), and a flirty waitress at the hotel restaurant (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Sounds like the makings of an ensemble comedy, no?
Continue reading: Bobby Review
Anthony Hopkins Q & A For The World's Fastest Indian
Q: You described this film as the best experience you have ever had?
A: Yeah it was one of the most wonderful, most enjoyable movies I have made. I enjoyed it because it was such an outdoor, open air movie and he is a character with a sunny disposition and I liked his philosophy of life. It was fun being on a motorbike.
Q: Had you had your own motorbikes?
A: No I never had one but I rode one when I was in the Army years ago when I did National Service. So when I got on to this one I had to do a little bit of riding....did the basics like how to get on it and how to start it. It was a very uncomfortable bike to ride. It was a really tough one. I wore some padding underneath my stomach because I was lying flat on it. But Burt Munro didn't have anything like that. He rode it with no protection at all and that must have been tough.
Q: Burt is a bit of an unknown hero isn't he?
A: Yeah no-one knew much about him except in Invercargill and then Roger Donaldson, the director, got to know him years ago because Roger is a motorbike fiend and a car fanatic. He got to know him and did a documentary film on him back in 1970 and then he made this movie. It is kind of an unlikely feature film to make but Roger put it together. That's what his dream was and it has taken off. In New Zealand it is the biggest hit that they have ever had, apparently.
Q: Apart from the bike you had the accent to master?
A: The Southland. It was easier than I expected because the New Zealand accent is different from the Australian accent and it can be a tough one to get. But the Southland one was easier because it sounded a little Irish or Cornish. It is not as twisted as the Northern part of New Zealand. That is such a strange sounding accent. It was also easier to do Burt Munro's accent because I listened to the documentary film a lot. I got the patterns of his voice. The trick, I guess, is not to get too fanatical about getting the accent too accurate because then that becomes a mask. What I tried to do was just painting and sketching some of the sounds that he would use without obliterating my own voice.
Q: Apart from watching the documentary film was there any other research that you felt was necessary?
A: No that was it. I'm not good at research. But I went with Roger Donaldson to the Los Angeles Motor Museum and we saw lots of cars and a replica of Burt's bike there and some of the great record breaking bikes and some of the old record breaking cars. It is a very interesting museum. Bonnie And Clyde's car is there as well.
Q: Has Burt got any family left who saw the movie?
A: Yeah they are all in the seventies and it is a big family. The wife is about 90 I believe. There is a son, John Munro is his seventies and two daughters. I couldn't go down to New Zealand for the premiere but Roger went and he said that about 50 of the family turned up. They were all crying and it was a great gala day because Invercargill has now been put on the map by Burt Munro. It's a nice place Invercargill but it rains non-stop. I went to Burt's grave. He is buried near the motel where I was living. So on the last day of filming I went down there and put some flowers on his grave.
Q: It's almost 20 years since you played another high speed hero, Donald Campbell in Across The Lake?
A: That was 1987. I had a great time on that. I really got very close to Donald Campbell because I watched a lot of documentary films on him and he was a really feisty, angry guy. I loved his attitude to the Press. On the last day before he was killed, I think it was Benson from the Times said...'Have you had breakfast, Donald?' He said yes. So Benson asked...'What are you having?' and he said...'Brandy and cornflakes.' He was a great character, like a kind of Battle Of Britain pilot.
Q: And Burt was also a pioneer, wasn't he?
A: Oh yes. He had tremendous courage. Also the thing about Campbell was when he was asked if he ever got scared he replied...'Of course I am, bloody scared to death. But courage is overcoming your fear and driving through fear.' I think that Burt was scared but he just thought...to Hell with it, we are going to die one day so I might as well take my chances. I think that spirit is just great.
Q: As an actor who has made almost 100 films are you scared - especially on the first day on set?
A: No, never. There is nothing to be scared of in movies. It's a bit scarier going on stage. But I had a great time when I did Pravda on stage. The only thing was that David Hare and I thought we might be lynched because he was such an outrageous character. But I was not scared, I just went on like a Centurion tank, punching through any doubts I might have had about things.
Q: You have a lot of new movies on the way, like All The King's Men with Sean Penn?
A: Yeah, I have not seen that yet. Then I did Beowulf with Ray Winstone, what a great guy he is. And I finished the movie about Bobby Kennedy about 10 days ago. I am John Casey in that, a real character. He was the doorman at the Ambassador. He retired quite wealthy because of the tips he got from people. Apparently he was also a very good chess player but I am terrible at the game. My chess partner in the film is Harry Belafonte.
Q: Was there a film you made that was life changing for you?
A: I hate the word career but I suppose a career changing film was The Silence Of The Lambs. When The Silence Of The Lambs came along it put me in a new category I guess. From then on I have enjoyed more doing what I do. I loved The Remains Of The Day, Shadowlands and Nixon. They were all my favourites...and The Bounty was one. You know that David Lean was originally going to direct that film? Years ago - I think it was 1977 - I was living out in California when I got a call, from Katharine Hepburn of all people, because I had worked with her on The Lion In Winter, and she asked if David Lean could have my number. I said sure he can! Anyway, Lean phone me. He was staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel and I went over to meet him and he said that he wanted me to play Bligh. So we had dinner and it was all going ahead. David Lean went out to Bora Bora with Robert Bolt and then Bolt had a stroke and Lean phoned me from Bora Bora to say that he thought there was going to be a delay. At that time the script was going to be four or five hours long and was going to be divided into two films. But I don't think that that would have stood up, I think it would have been too big. Then that film vanished but later I was called up about The Bounty again and Dino De Laurentiis was going to produce it any way for David Lean but they were supposed to have had a quarrel - I don't know what the truth is, it was all so long ago. I asked who was going to direct it and they replied that they didn't know and, of course, they got Roger Donaldson, and that's how we met.
Q: How did you get on with Roger because there were stories of rows?
A: We fought, we had arguments, but we have become the best of friends. It is funny the way that life changes. We get on so well together and had such a good time making The World's Fastest Indian. We had a laugh.
Q: It has been suggested that you are fed up playing psychopaths?
A: Yeah that's right. I have had a good time playing weird guys like Hannibal Lecter and all the others. I enjoyed those but after a while you want to get away from that type.
Q: What about the film Magic?
A: That was with Richard Attenborough whom I saw about two weeks ago when he was out here in California. He came out here for lunch, I hadn't seen him for years. For the role of the ventriloquist in Magic I got some training from a guy called Denis Allwood. He let me work with his dummy which I would practice with. I also met a bank manager who happened to be a great magician so I used to go into this guy's bank and he would teach me magic tricks. That's how I put it together, it wasn't that complicated, I didn't have to become a magician but I did a lot of my ventriloquism.
Q: Despite saying you aren't into research it seems you do it in a very thorough way?
A: Well yeah I do what's necessary. I don't like people to know that I do research. I watched a lot of documentary films on Nixon for example. I watched every speech he made for his physical mannerisms. When you watch mannerisms - without being a psycho analyst - you can get a pretty good idea of what's going on inside. So with Nixon I began to feel what it must have been like for him. It's a very physical thing.
Familiarity with Auburn's stage presentation may breed contempt for this version, which feels distinctly off-kilter from its first frames. Mysteries that held water longer in the theater instead land like Doc Marten's on a flimsy piece of plywood here. Director John Madden samples a chatty, analytical approach to his literal translation but gets swept up in stagy, awkward, and all-too-deliberate line readings. Much like last year's ill-conceived Phantom of the Opera, this movie has few cinematic qualities that elevate it above a tedious and emotionless play rehearsal shot on location.
Continue reading: Proof (2005) Review
Date of birth
31st December, 1937
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