For a low-budget kids' movie, this British science-fiction adventure has an unusually sharp cast, decent effects and an energetic pace that helps to distract from the rather flimsy premise. So even if the story never quite builds a solid head of momentum, it holds the attention due to a dark-edged tone and some entertaining action sequences that give the terrific young actors a chance to shine.
It's set three years after robots invaded Earth, won the war in 11 days and locked all humans in their homes, using human collaborators to enforce this rule. In a seaside English town, the head collaborator is Smythe (Ben Kingsley), who spends much of his time pursuing hot single mother Kate (Gillian Anderson) and tormenting her teenage son Sean (Callan McAuliffe). Kate has taken in three orphaned kids: teen siblings Alexandra and Nathan (Ella Hunt and James Tarpey) and 10-year-old Connor (Milo Parker). And together these four young people figure out a way to short circuit their monitoring implants so they can leave their home. Sean is sure that his father (Steven Mackintosh) didn't die in the war, so he enlists the other three to help find him. And their search gets a boost when they stumble across a group of anarchic rebel veterans living the wild life in an abandoned hotel.
This partying hideout is a nicely raucous touch, even if its pungent innuendo essentially rules young children out of the audience. But this kind of blackly comical touch is more than welcome in a movie that's otherwise rather childish and earnest. Another nice touch is how the human collaborators are called the Volunteer Corps and identify themselves with Nazi-style armbands. And the robots' human-shaped mediator (Craig Garner) looks like a freaky demon-child. All of this helps overcome the film's strong sentimental streak, as well as some production values that are more in line with Doctor Who than a big-screen alien blockbuster.
Continue reading: Robot Overlords Review
What would you do if you had one of the smartest minds and largest bank accounts on the planet, but were still faced with your own mortality? For Damian (Ben Kingsley), a man credited with single-handedly building a city. He is also, steadily deteriorating and dying from cancer. When a shadowy scientist named Albright (Matthew Goode) offers to save him with an experimental treatment, Damian believes he has no choice if he wants his mind to live on. With his mind implanted into the body of someone else (Ryan Reynolds), he begins to enjoy his revitalised body to enjoy his life. That is, until he starts to realise the sinister truth behind living out an immortal existence in, what is revealed to be, a stolen body.
Continue: Selfless Trailer
When Earth is suddenly taken over by colossal robots from another planet, the citizens of Earth are ordered to stay within their homes as captives or risk a frightful and immediate death. Meanwhile, a young man named Sean Flynn is missing, and wanted by Robin Smythe and his team (who willfully serve the robot race) in connection with an alleged terrorist attack. Implanted in his head is a device that appears to respond to certain signals from the robots and he soon discovers that he has the power to control them. As the biggest threat to robot-kind he must be disposed of, but he is determined to restore freedom to mankind and sets out to build his own army to take back their planet.
Continue: Robot Overlords Trailer
Aside from impressive 21st century digital effects, this new take on the Moses story pales in comparison to Cecil B. DeMille's iconic 1956 version, The Ten Commandments, which is far more resonant and intensely dramatic. Biblical epics are tricky to get right, and Ridley Scott certainly knows how to make them look and feel terrific (see Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven), but his films are generally about the spectacle rather than the human emotion. So this version of the biblical story will only appeal to viewers who have never seen a better one.
It's set in 1300 BC, when the Israelites have been in captivity in Egypt for 400 years. Now rumours of liberation are circling, centring on Moses (Christian Bale), the adopted son of Pharaoh Seti (John Turturro), raised as a brother alongside the future Pharaoh Ramses (Joel Edgerton). When it emerges that Moses is actually a Hebrew, he is sent into exile in the desert, where he finds a new calling as a shepherd and marries his new boss' sexy daughter Sefora (Maria Valverde). Moses also has a run-in with the Jewish God, who appears in the form of a young boy (Isaac Andrews), challenging Moses to free the Israelites. As Moses attempts to spark a slave revolt, God sends seven horrific plagues to convince Ramses to let his people go.
The script struggles to have its cake and eat it too, finding rational explanations for the plagues and miracles while still maintaining God's supernatural intervention. It's a rather odd mix that demonstrates just how compromised the movie is: it's a big blockbuster rather than a story about people. Several elements work well, such as depicting God as a boy, although the screenplay never manages to make much of the female characters. And only Ben Mendelsohn manages to inject any proper personality as the weaselly overseer of the slaves. Bale and Edgerton both catch the complexity of their characters' situations, privilege mixed with personal revelations. But Scott is more interested in parting the Red Sea than taking them anywhere very interesting.
Continue reading: Exodus: Gods And Kings Review
Now in its third instalment, it's clearer than ever that this franchise is based on one joke that has been stretched far beyond the breaking point. And not too cleverly at that. Fortunately, this movie retains much of the deranged idiocy that made the second part rather enjoyable. So it's watchable even if there aren't many new ideas, and even if filmmaker Shawn Levy is far too happy to settle for unnecessary digital effects work where a bit of character comedy would have been much more engaging.
Back on the job as a night watchman in New York, Larry (Ben Stiller) is now orchestrating the museum exhibits when they come to life to provide spectacular shows for visitors who think this is all a special effect. Even his boss (Ricky Gervais) isn't sure what's really going on. But when a glitch in the magical Ancient Egyptian powers causes chaos, Larry learns that he needs to travel to London so he can reunite Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek) with his father (Ben Kingsley), who's on display at the British Museum. Larry's teen son Nick (Skyler Gisondo) comes along, as do his revived pals Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), tiny soldiers Octavius and Jedediah (Steve Coogan and Owen Wilson) and others. But in London, while sneaking around local night guard Tilly (Rebel Wilson), Larry's team awakens a statue of the knight Lancelot (Dan Stevens), who dives into their quest with rather a bit too much gusto.
Until Lancelot turns up, everything about the film feels oddly tired, from the starry cameos to effects work that strains to be clever. Then Stevens injects a badly needed jolt of blue-eyed charisma and warped comical timing that makes the rest of the movie rather good fun. Rebel Wilson's side-plot is also rather amusing, with some wonderfully ridiculous touches. And even the cameos get better, notably a scene on a West End stage that's genuinely inspired silliness. Coogan and Wilson offer some raucous banter to accompany everything that happens, and Stiller kind of hangs on for dear life. But the filmmakers don't really care about these characters; they're just trying to create something visually impressive that's also goofy fun.
Continue reading: Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb Review
In the teaser trailer for the upcoming biographical Robert Zemeckis movie, 'The Walk', Joseph Gordon-Levitt is almost unrecognisable. The Twin Towers, on the other hand, are not.
On the morning of 7th August, 1974, French high-wire artist, Philippe Petit, made an incredible journey, as he flew into the record books with the record of the highest high-wire walk at the time. For 45 minutes, he walked back and forth along an eight-meter-long wire, 1350 feet from the ground, between the - then new -World Trade Centre Towers.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Charlotte Le Bon in the planning stages of the walk
In 2008, the UK made a documentary about Petit's walk, entitled 'Man on a Wire'. Now, 40-years on from the insane and unauthorised stunt, director Robert Zemeckis ('Who Framed Rodger Rabbit', 'Back to the Future', 'Forrest Gump', 'Cast Away', you get the idea.) is working on a new biographical film, 'The Walk', looking into the life and aspirations of Petit and the walk that made him famous.
Continue reading: 'The Walk' Trailer Shows Joseph Gordon-Levitt And The World Trade Centre
Rupert Murdoch has attempted to defend the casting of 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' after critics claimed the film's casting was racially insensitive.
Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has defended the casting of Exodus: Gods and Kings after reviews and social media users claimed the film was racially inaccurate and insensitive.
Controversial casting: Joel Edgerton (L) and Christian Bale (R) in Exodus: Gods and Kings.
Read More: Ridley Scott: "Mohammad So-And-So Isn't Going To Get My Movie Financed".
Continue reading: Rupert Murdoch Causes Controversy On Twitter (Again!), Defends 'Racially Insensitive' Casting Of 'Exodus: Gods & Kings'
Director Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven) talks about world of his new film, 'Exodus: Gods and Kings'. The film follows the life of Moses (Christian Bale), and works on "the complexity of his character". Scott also talks about what drew him to the material, namely, the "beauty in the massive scale of it". He discusses the process of using computers to turn four thousand extras look like twenty thousand soldiers. Aside from the battle scenes, we see evidence of the biblical plagues that come from the original story at work.
Continue: Exodus: Gods and Kings - Featurettes
A triumph on a variety of levels, this staggeringly detailed stop-motion animation has a wonderfully deranged story packed with spirited characters. It also takes on some seriously important issues without ever getting heavy-handed about it. So while we're laughing at the astounding visual mayhem, there's plenty of depth to keep our brains spinning. And what the film has to say about communal paranoia is vitally important in today's world.
The story takes place a decade after a baby was kidnapped by the Boxtrolls, nighttime scavengers who prowl by night. Over the last 10 years, their legend has grown, and the people are now terrified of being eaten. So the red-hatted Snatcher (voiced by Ben Kingsley) and his sidekicks (Richard Ayoade, Nick Frost and Tracy Morgan) set a goal to exterminate the trolls in exchange for prestigious white hats, which will let them join Lord Portley-Rind (Jared Harris) for his evening cheese-tasting events. Then Portley-Rind's daughter Winnie (Elle Fanning) spots a boy among the Boxtrolls, learning that Eggs (Isaac Hempstead Wright) is actually the kidnapped baby. And that Boxtrolls aren't actually villains at all. But can she get her father to pay attention to her for even a moment, so he can understand that Snatcher is the real bad guy?
Everything on-screen is in constant motion, with cluttered scenes that are a feast for the eyes. Action sequences are complicated and layered, drawing the eye all over the screen as the stakes grow higher with each scene. The mechanical climax feels like one step too far, but the filmmakers keep the focus tightly on the characters, each of whom has a bundle of quirks and obsessions that make them flawed and likeable. Even the nefarious Snatcher has a soft side, and Kingsley has a great time bringing out each aspect of the hilariously vile character, including his scene-stealing alter ego, the fabulous drag queen Madame Frou Frou.
Continue reading: The Boxtrolls Review
The third and final instalment of 'Night At The Museum' will be out in time for Christmas, and sees old characters return and new ones join.
Another treat is in store for movie fans this Christmas as the family favourite Night At The Museum returns for a third and final instalment. Entitled Secret of the Tomb, it follows on from 2009's Battle of the Smithsonian.
Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb will be released on December 19th
When the mystical powers of the Tablet of Ahkmenrah that animates that museum’s exhibits at night begin to die out, Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) realises he must travel the globe and meet up with new characters and old favourites in order to restore the artefact’s powers before it disappears forever. Cue a journey to London!
Continue reading: Robin Williams And Ben Stiller Re-Unite For More Magical Mayhem In 'Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb' [Trailer + Pictures]
Following on from the discovery that New York Natural History Museum's exhibits come to life after dark, security guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is faced with a new problem. After confronting the curator, Dr. McPhee (Ricky Gervais), about the exhibits steadily losing consciousness, Daley and friends must travel to England to try to restore power to The Tablet of Ahkmenrah - the ancient artefact that grants life to the museum. In an adventure which spans the globe, Daley and company must meet up with new characters in an attempt to restore the magic before the figures lives end permanently.
Stonehearst Asylum follows the plot of Edgar Allen Poe's short story The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether. It is a story about Edward Newgate (Jim Sturgess) - a medical school graduate in the 19th Century who travels to the titular Asylum to gain 'clinical experience'. It is here that Newgate meets Silas Lamb (Ben Kingsley) and Eliza Graves (Kate Beckinsale), the latter of which he becomes instantly infatuated with. Almost at once, things start to creepy as Edward encounters some of the inmates and realises that perhaps his new colleges are not entirely concerned with following regulations. As the plot thickens and Edward finds himself spiralling further down the rabbit hole, the questions seem pile up. Why does one of the inmates claim to be the asylum's superintendent? Why are the doctors so gleeful when using such barbaric 'treatments'? And why does the man in charge seem so adamant that 'we're all mad'?
Continue: Stonehearst Asylum Trailer
Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton star as Moses and Rhamses in director Ridley Scott's big budget interpretation of the Exodus Bible story. The film isn't out until December but check out the trailer for 'Exodus: Gods and Kings'.
Director Ridley Scott has dealt with some epic stories whether it's the might of the Roman Empire and the obsession with gladiators, slavering murderous aliens in space or legends of British folklore. But now the 76-year-old director is tackling the Bible and is adapting the story of Moses for the big screen in Exodus: Gods and Kings.
Joel Edgerton and Christian Bale star as Rhamses and Moses in Exodus: Gods and Kings.
Read More: Christian Bale's Representative Dismisses True Detective Rumours.
Continue reading: See Heavily Eye-Linered Christian Bale As Moses In Ridley Scott's 'Exodus: Gods And Kings' [Trailer & Pictures]
Moses and the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses grew up together as brothers after the former was saved from drowing in the Nile. However, Moses has not forgotten the reason why he was cast into the river; all newborn Israelites were condemned to death by the past Pharaoh for fear of their growing numbers. Now he is enlisted by God to save the Israelites from their slavery at the hands of the Pharaoh's people, but to do so he must turn his back on his brother and friend. The Egyptians fight back as Moses defiantly leads the Israelites on an arduous journey across the desert, while God unleashes a series of horrific plagues and turns their Nile to blood. Egypt face new dangers as God decides that rules need to be laid down for Moses and his people.
Continue: Exodus: Gods And Kings Trailer
The Boxtrolls are odd underground creatures that wear cardboard boxes as if they were shells. Shy and wary of the unforgiving world around them, they take to the streets at night to recycle rubbish from dustbins and store it in their homes below the streets of Cheesebridge; a town fixated with money and smelly cheese and who are less than welcoming to their sewer dwelling neighbours, who they believe to be enormous insidious menaces. That couldn't be further than the truth when it comes to the Boxtrolls; there is simply nothing menacing about them, so when they find themselves being pursued by a ruthless exterminator by the name of Archibald Snatcher, all they want to do is make sure they are well hidden. They have a protector, however, named Eggs - a young boy who the Boxtrolls adopted as a baby - and he's about to show them just how brave they can be in the face of danger.
Continue: The Boxtrolls Trailer
Eggs is a young orphaned boy who had possibly the most unusual upbringing one could ever think of; he was raised by a group of inhuman trash collectors called the Boxtrolls who live in a dingy by cosy underground cave. However, The Boxtrolls, named so because of the large cardboard boxes they wear on their torsos, find their rubbish filled paradise under huge threat when a ruthless exterminator by the name of Archibald Snatcher decides to wipe out these unusual creatures for good. Eggs must do everything within his power to stop him and save his friends (and family) from certain death.
Continue: The Boxtrolls - Teaser Trailer
The comic actor also took home the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award For Excellence In Comedy award
Sacha Baron Cohen not only left the Beverly Hilton with the highest honour awarded for comedy by the BAFTA-LA ‘s annual Britannia Awards, but also left with the audience either still in shock or holding on to their sides with laughter following an inspired practical joke. Los Angeles' British alliance was out in force for the Saturday (9 Nov.) night ceremony, and there were even a few non-Brit Hollywood heavyweights doing their best to pretent to be from the other side of the Atlantic for the awards show.
Sacha Baron Cohen flanked by his wife Isla Fisher [R] and Salma Hayek [L]
Airing on BBC America on Sunday (10 Nov.) night, host Rob Brydon had the job of handling the more raucous than usual crowd, which had plenty to do with Cohen's stunt. It began when Salma Hayek came on stage with an elderly woman to present the Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award For Excellence In Comedy award. Confined to a wheelchair, she was identified as Grace Collington, an actress she said appeared with Charlie Chaplin in 1931′s City Lights when she was just 5-years-old. She very believably told the audience, “At 87, she’s the oldest surviving actor to have worked with Chaplin in a silent movie,” at which point Cohen climbed to the stage to accept the honour. The elderly woman presented Cohen with one of Chaplin's trademark canes, at which point Cohen pushed her from the stage and began his acceptance speech as 'Collington' lied motionless on the ground.
Continue reading: Sacha Baron Cohen's Hilarious Stunt Steals The Show At BAFTA-LA Britannia Awards
Check out Ender's Game, it's better than you think it is
Tomorrow’s a big day: The iPad Air is out, Halloween is done for another year, and Harrison Ford stars in the cinematic remake of Orsen Scott Card’s sci-fi epic, Ender’s Game.
Harrison Ford in Ender's Game, scaring kids
The former will affect gadget freaks, people with money and Apple employees; Halloween ending affects us all – it just doesn’t really matter – but how will Ender’s Game’s release affect you: should you go and see it?
Continue reading: Is 'Ender's' Game Worth Your Money This Weekend? Let's Ask The Critics
Since this entire story centres on virtual-reality gaming, it's tricky to feel any sense of what's at stake here. But a strong cast and above-average effects work help hold our interest until the requisite dramatic shift takes hold. Along the way, the movie explores some punchy issues such as the nature of true leadership and the morality of war.
It's set in a distant future: Earth has regrouped after an alien invasion, turning to children to harness their quick gaming reflexes and inner fearlessness. Ender (Butterfield) is a 12-year-old who's sure he'll crash out of training like his older sister Valentine (Breslin). But Colonel Graff (Ford) and Major Anderson (Davis) see something in him and send him on to battle school in an orbiting space station. As he shows true leadership potential and a sharp mind for warfare, he's promoted even further, training with iconic hero Rackham (Kingsley) on one of the aliens' former planets. And as he approaches his final exam, there's the sense that the fate of Earth hangs in the balance.
Yes, everything Ender does throughout his training is game related, either with digitally created environments or in a weightless battle globe with other cadets. This adds huge possibilities for the script to grapple with moral issues as Ender faces some staggering decisions. But since it's just a simulation, does it really mean anything? Thankfully, Butterfield is a terrific actor who lends the character a steely interior life that catches our interest. And being surrounded by the terrific Ford, Kingsley and Davis helps. As do some intriguing fellow recruits played by Steinfeld, Arias and others.
Continue reading: Ender's Game Review
The pair stunned the students at Westminster Academy
As part of an initiative to encourage kids to both engage with and learn from cinema, Harrison Ford and Sir Ben Kingsley visited a London academy in West London.
Ben Kingsley in Ender's Game
The kids that put their names down for this particular after-school club won’t have known the surprise they were in for. Stunned little faces stared back at Ford and Kingsley as they confidently took their seats, ready to impart a lifetime of knowledge and wisdom upon these impressionable youngsters.
Continue reading: Film Legends Harrison Ford And Ben Kingsley Visit London School To Promote Learning Via Movies
Date of birth
31st December, 1943
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