A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, this film is much more than a skilful re-enactment. It's a witty and insightful exploration of the kind of person who chases sporting success and global fame, even when the odds are stacked against them. And it's sharply well-played by Emma Stone and Steve Carell, who bring out the humour and pathos in their characters and the rivalry between them.
In the early 1970s, Billie Jean (Stone) has finally had enough of being treated as a second-class member of the tennis world, since women win just an eighth of what male players get. But the head of the tennis association (Bill Pullman) refuses to budge, so Billie Jean and her publicist (Sarah Silverman) start their own rival ladies' league. Meanwhile, former champion Bobby (Carell) is noisily shouting down this women's movement, claiming he could beat any female player. And while Billie Jean tries to ignore him, she knows that there's only one way to shut him up for good.
Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) packs a lot into two hours, digging beneath the story to explore both of these players in their private lives. Billie Jean is questioning her marriage to Larry (Austin Stowell) as she falls for her hairdresser (Andrea Riseborough). And Bobby's gambling obsession is jeopardising his marriage to Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue). The entire cast is terrific at bringing these people to life with scene-stealing quirks that keep the audience smiling. And both Stone and Carell skilfully reveal the resonant internal journeys King and Riggs are taking even as the situation becomes a full-on media circus.
Continue reading: Battle Of The Sexes Review
Mike's current life revolves around his girlfriend, a healthy amount of weed and his job at the local cash & carry but little does he know that things are about to dramatically change. Even though most people would think it unlikely - especially Mike- he's actually been programmed by the government into a super agent and has been 'sleeping' in this quiet town.
In order to survive, Mike must adapt and embrace his new abilities and find out who's out to kill him.
British director Nima Nourizadeh originally started out directing music videos and has shot promos for Dizzee Rascal, Franz Ferdinand and Lily Allen. Since the Nima broke into Hollywood with his directorial debut Project X.
The blockbuster sequel has landed another veteran from the original, to go alongside Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman.
He may not have been able to secure the services of Will Smith, but director Roland Emmerich has at least manage to secure the services of Smith’s on-screen wife Vivica A. Fox to reprise her role for the Independence Day sequel.
The director made the announcement via Twitter that Fox would be reappearing as her character Jasmine from the 1996 blockbuster. Fox has enjoyed a revival in her fortunes in the last couple of years, coming off a high-profile performance in the so-bad-that-it’s-good Sharknado 2: The Second One.
Vivica A Fox will reprise her original role in 'Independence Day 2'
Continue reading: 'Independence Day 2' Lands Vivica A. Fox
In a dark and corrupt world, the rich and powerful are the bad guys, while those who strive to bring them down are destined to fail. With sin and vice running wild, the dirty police force are pushed into a war with the criminals they have spent so long supporting. Cymbeline (Ed Harris) is a powerful drug lord that one day decides he no longer wants to pay the police for their protection, pushing both sides to put their financial goals aside and embark in a bitter and desperate battle to rid the world of one-another.
Continue: Cymbeline Trailer
Little more than a paint-by-numbers action thriller, it's anyone's guess why the filmmakers have bothered to make a connection with the 1980s TV series of the same name. Because this film bears almost no resemblance to it. Instead, this is a reunion of Denzel Washington and Antoine Fuqua, who last collaborated on the Oscar-winning Training Day. And since it's packed with brutal violence and questionable morality, that's clearly where this movie's roots truly lie.
Washington stars as Robert, a meek shelf-stacker at a DIY warehouse store in Boston. He can't sleep at night, so he heads to the local diner to read classic novels. That's where he meets Teri (Chloe Grace Moretz), a teen hooker who is having problems with her psychotic Russian pimp (David Meunier). Ever so quietly, and clearly relying on some external source of income, Robert goes about helping Teri secure a free future. But when he offers to settle her debts, the pimp and his thugs just laugh at him. So Robert mercilessly kills them all, drawing on his secret past as a black-ops agent. The problem is that this puts Robert at odds with the top Russian boss Teddy (Marton Csokas), who heads to Boston to get even.
In standard action movie tradition, Robert works his way right through the entire Russian mob, along the way cleaning up Boston's corrupt police force before the requisite final confrontation. His only distraction is a brief visit to his old CIA boss (Melissa Leo) and her husband (Bill Pullman) for a bit of moral support and added starry cameo value. Yes, there isn't much about this movie that doesn't feel concocted for the box office, which means that the story is both achingly predictable and littered with gaping plot-holes. And with Washington in the focal role, everyone else fades into the woodwork. Moretz is excellent but badly underused, while Csokas is never given much to do with his one-note villain.
Continue reading: The Equalizer Review
Robert McCall has a modest job at a hardware store in Boston where he longs for a peaceful life on his own to live out the rest of his days. He is a retired black ops commando and, unfortunately for him, that part of his life is not over - merely laying dormant. After meeting a young girl named Teri and seeing her trapped in a circle of abuse and danger within what appears to be a gang of pimps, he vows to help her. However, after taking them down with an extraordinary amount of grace and dexterity, he discovers that they are in fact part of the powerful Russian mafia who are hellbent on killing him. The odds aren't looking good for McCall, whose sense of justice and responsibility has been quickly reignited, but when it really comes down to it, it's difficult to tell who should be afraid of whom.
Continue: The Equalizer Trailer
How will the movie work without Will, then?
As an actor, Will Smith has come a long way since 1996's alien disaster movie Independence Day. So it's not really surprising that the star of the original movie has apparently turned down an offer to star in Roland Emmerich's upcoming sequel...but we kind of wish he hadn't.
Will Smith Won't Be Coming Back As Steven Hiller In 'Independence Day 2.'
Though Deadline reports an indecisive "back and forth," Smith has reportedly told Fox that he will not be accepting a reprisal of the big movie role that helped turn him into a fully-fledged film star. It has been suggested that one of the reasons for the back and forth was that Smith was "too expensive," as Emmerich himself has explained.
Continue reading: Will Smith Won't Star In 'Independence Day 2': A Possible Contender For The Sci-Fi Role Emerges
1600 Penn, one of the lucky shows to premiere as a mid-season replacement last month, is to return for a longer stretch starting tonight (January 10, 2013). The show has been created by 31 year-old Tony nominated actor Josh Gad and stars Bill Pullman, and its plot chronicles a dysfunctional family in the Gilchrists, whose father happens to be the President of the United States.
According to NBC New York, Gad has teamed up with real life President Barack Obama’s former speechwriter Jon Lovett to create the show, and he said that, though one of the lives involved was a fictional leader, it wasn’t so much about politics, and more about exploring the family dynamic –as well as a lot of laughter. “When we set out to do this, we really loved this idea of ordinary family, like any other family, in an extraordinary circumstance” the actor – who plays eldest offspring Skip – told NBC. “And I think as the episodes start to come out, you'll start to see this family become a very fun, cohesive unit that has their foibles but is absolutely in love with each other and absolutely teaching each other lessons week after week.”
Gad also revealed that he’d been given a two hour tour of the White House as part of his preparations for the show – describing it surprisingly as a “very small, intimate setting” – and also revealed a little more about what was going to happen further down the line. “We have the brilliant Hannah Simone from ‘New Girl’ coming on the show” he revealed, saying that she would be doing “do a role as this princess who goes on a date – she plays a literal princess of Andorra who comes to visit the White House. She's fascinated by Skip, absolutely, like in love with the idea of the chaos that is this character.”
Continue reading: Mid-Season Replacement 1600 Penn To Make Full Bow On NBC
Bull Pullman's new political drama 1600 Penn premieres on NBC tonight (December 18, 2012) and the first reviews have begun trickling in. The Independence Day actor plays the President of the United States, while Jenna Elfman plays his wife, the First Lady. Critics haven't exactly jumped for joy after watching the pilot, though Pullman fans shouldn't despair, there looks to be more to 1600 Penn than meets eye.
Entertainment Weekly has seen a handful of the first series and despite beginning its review with, "Here's the thing: You're not going to laugh very much, I'm guessing, at the 1600 Penn that premieres tonight," quickly adds, "But the show gets better; by the third episode, I liked the characters and I was laughing." The problem lies in the fact that masses of viewers probably aren't going to tune in for the first two episodes over the Christmas period - 1600 Penn could sink without trace. Though Pullman is the big draw, it's the performance of Josh Gad as the First Lady's stepson that appears to be winning all the plaudits. The American actor was lauded for his role in Broadway's The Book of Mormon and seems to be a natural when it comes to comedic timing.
The Hollywood Reporter disagreed that it takes 1600 Penn three episodes to find its feet, saying, "By the second episode, 1600 Penn neatly has found its compass on how to be a show about the first family and how to define the ensemble." The San Francisco Chronicle almost avoided the predictable comparison to Armando Iannucci's Veep, saying, "1600 Penn may not be as sophisticated as the hysterical HBO series 'Veep,' but it's still pretty funny when all the cylinders are firing." The Boston Globe offered a similar review of the show, saying, "Then the second episode, and then the third, come along, and 1600 Penn evolves into a surprisingly likable single-camera comedy."
Continue reading: 1600 Penn Premiere: You're Not Going To Laugh Very Much
1600 Penn may be set in the most famous residence in the US – The White House – but the show’s cast and producers have insisted that it’s not a political show. ‘How on earth can a show set in The White House NOT be political?’ you may well ask… well, according to the show’s co-creator Josh Gad, it’s all about the family that live there and the pressures that they’re under, trying to live their life under the intense glare of the media.
“It’s absolutely, absolutely not a political show, and I can’t emphasize that enough,” Gad told the Washington Post, who continued “We never set out to make a political show. . . . We wanted to make a show about a family that happens to live in a world where they are surrounded by politics.” Instead of a strong political bent, what you get is a comedy based on a dysfunctional family – brought to you by Modern Family’s Jason Winer, Men of a Certain Age’s Mike Royce and Jon Lovett, a former speechwriter for President Obama, just in case you were worried that the reality of life in the White House would be completely overlooked in the pursuit of a cheap laugh.
1600 Penn will star Bill Pullman as the president and Jenna Elfman as his wife and step-mom to his kids (much of the comedy will come from Elfman trying to win her step-kids affections, it would seem). The pilot airs Monday, December 17, 2012 at 9:30pm on NBC and the official series will run on Thursdays at 9:30pm, from January 10, 2013.
Date of birth
17th December, 1953
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