Filmmaker Ben Wheatley has made a series of critically acclaimed films with increasingly starry casts.
Ben Wheatley is happy that these are small-budget movies made on his own terms. After finishing High-Rise with Tom Hiddleston and Luke Evans, he turned to Free Fire. The idea came from reading transcripts of real police shootouts that are far messier than the movies ever portray them. "That was the beginning point for me," Wheatley says. "I thought maybe there's something in this, a procedural thing about people in a gun battle in real time. I'm not saying that Free Fire is a documentary or massively realistic, but it relies on some of that realism."
Ben Wheatley at the 2017 Empire Awards
Set in 1970s Boston, the film was shot in a warehouse in Brighton, England, over six weeks with an eclectic ensemble of actors led by Brie Larson, who arrived straight from filming her wrenching Oscar-winning role in Room.
Continue reading: Ben Wheatley Threw His Cast Into Free Fire
After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise, continuing with this King Kong prequel. It's a ripping adventure, cleverly directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) to resemble a snarky Apocalypse Now remake with added gigantic beasts. And the eclectic cast makes sure that there's plenty of comedy, villainy and heroics to draw the audience in.
It's 1973, and Bill (John Goodman) is taking a pair of scientists (Corey Hawkins and Jing Tian) to an uncharted island to verify reports of prehistoric creatures before the Russians can get there first. En route, they stop in Vietnam to collect a mercenary adventurer (Tom Hiddleston), a photojournalist (Brie Larson) and a helicopter squadron led by Packard (Samuel L. Jackson). But their noisy arrival on the island enrages towering monkey Kong (mo-capped by Terry Notary and Toby Kebbell, who also plays a member of the team). With their choppers grounded, the main job now is to get out of here alive. And after discovering a castaway WWII pilot (John C. Reilly), they learn that Kong is actually protecting the world from far scarier monsters.
The story is told with a blast of dry humour, weaving in lots of sharp banter along with a collection of iconic 70s rock anthems. This gung-ho approach makes the movie energetically good fun, obscuring the fact that it's not particularly deep or meaningful. There are big themes gurgling away under the surface (such as the way blind militaristic action unearths dangers far worse than the perceived enemy), but these things remain subliminal, only barely visible amid the fast-paced action and big effects mayhem. That it all leads to some heavily animated monster-vs-monster destruction is hardly surprising. But when a movie is this light on its feet and so cheerfully frenetic, the audience is really only interested in hanging on for the ride.
Continue reading: Kong: Skull Island Review
The drama picked up the coveted People's Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday (September 20th).
Lenny Abrahamson’s drama Room impressed the critics and wowed audiences at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, taking home the prestigious People's Choice Award. In the film Brie Larson stars as Ma, a woman being held captive in a room with her son Jack, in a role which required the actress to really get in the mind of someone cut off from the outside world.
Brie Larson stars in Room.
For Larson, becoming Ma would take enormous mental and physical preparation which started with an intense diet and exercise program to get her inside the mind of someone being held in captivity. “That physical process really put me in a certain mindset,” Larson said.
A young woman and her 5-year-old son Jack live together in a confined, sound-proofed room in the outhouse of Old Nick's backyard. There is nothing but a bed, a bathtub and a few household items inside, with Old Nick making occasional visits when Jack hides away in a wardrobe. The woman was kidnapped seven years ago by Nick, and subsequently raped by him, meaning that Jack knows nothing of life outside the room. He's content with life with his mother, but she has never given up hopes to escape their prison. She hatches a plan for Jack to escape and seek help and the pair are eventually re-united with her mother and father, and given temporary accommodation in hospital. But Jack is barely able to comprehend all the new experiences and longs for the comfort of his dark former home.
Continue: Room Trailer
Amy Schumer makes her big screen debut with a script that feels like a much-extended sketch from her TV series. It's hilariously observant and refreshingly grown-up about sex, but the plot falls back on the usual cliches. Even with some clever twists and turns, the structure is oddly predictable. But the biggest surprise is that Schumer and director Judd Apatow ultimately cave in and take a traditional approach to romance.
As she does on her show, Schumer plays a sexually frank woman called Amy. Taught by her father (Colin Quinn) to distrust monogamy, she has indulged in a commitment-free life, rarely seeing a man more than once. And her one repeat male partner (John Cena) is a rather too self-obsessed bodybuilder. Then her boss, blithely demanding magazine editor Diana (Tilda Swinton), assigns her to interview Aaron (Bill Hader), a doctor who specialises in sports injuries. Amy can't help but seduce him; it's what she does! But in the process she realises that she actually quite likes him. This idea so rattles her that she sabotages her close relationship with her sister Kim (Brie Larson), who is expecting a child with husband Tom (Mike Birbiglia).
Schumer has impeccable comic timing, and she's hilarious all the way through this film, playing on her character's riotous way of being shockingly honest at all the wrong times. In other words, the character is entertaining but never very likeable because of the thoughtless things she does and says. So our sympathies lie with Hader, who gives an unusually layered turn as a smart, sensitive and very funny guy who just might be too good for Amy. Other characters are either here to provide emotion (Larson and Quinn) or to shamelessly steal scenes (Swinton). And Apatow brings in a usual stream of big-name cameos, including Daniel Radcliffe and Marisa Tomei in a clever pastiche of a New York indie movie.
Continue reading: Trainwreck Review
Amy Schumer has shared more pictures and videos from her summer on Instagram. This time she's showing off her dance moves on board a yacht in Switzerland.
Amy Schumer’s holiday fun continues. This time, the 34-year-old comedienne shared a short video of herself on Instagram dancing to the Backstreet Boys’ ‘As Long As You Love Me’. Schumer was filmed on-board a luxury yacht on Lake Lugano in Switzerland along with her sister, Kim Caramele. Both wore one-piece bathing costumes as Schumer showed off her dance moves.
Amy Schumer and her sister, Kim Caramele, at the premiere of Cop Show on Broadway in February 2015.
Film director Lee Daniels was among arrivals at the 2015 Met Gala. He was snapped leaving the Mark Hotel in New York ahead of the event, alongside a host of other celebrities who were adhering to the theme of China: Through The Looking Glass.
Amy enjoys her life in the big city with her comfortable apartment, wacky friends and driven job as a reporter for a men's magazine. As a young girl, her parents sadly divorced, and her father wasted no time in drumming into her that a lifelong partnership with just one person left much to be desired. So she's certainly taking her father's words literally and seems to enjoy the company of a different man every night (though never the full night); it's a life that she has no plans to change any time soon. However, something shifts in her consciousness when she meets sports doctor Aaron Connors on whom she's been commissioned to write an article. The pair hit it off right away, but after their first night together, Amy's left wondering if ending it there is really the best thing to do. It feels weird to carry on seeing someone after she's slept with them, but at the same time, she can't remember the last time she had so much fun.
Continue: Trainwreck Trailer
With a strangely simplistic screenplay by William Monahan (The Departed), director Rupert Wyatt and his cast struggle to dig beneath the surface in a meaningful way. Mark Wahlberg does what he can in the lead role as a self-destructive gambling addict, but since he's never remotely likeable it's impossible to care what happens to him. It's decently made, but without strong characters or a resonant message the movie ultimately feels like a vanity project that's gone wrong somewhere along the way.
Wahlberg plays Jim, a swaggering university professor who torments his brightest student Amy (Larson) in front of the whole class. But she knows that he's also unable to pass a blackjack table without losing a small fortune. And it's probably money he owes to someone. Indeed, he's accruing such severe debts to a gangster (Michael Kenneth Williams) that he turns to his millionaire mother (Jessica Lange) for help, knowing that if she gives him the cash he'll gamble it away before settling his accounts. So he also turns to tough loan shark Frank (John Goodman), who stresses to Jim the importance of paying up and getting out of the betting world for good. But Jim seems incapable of even a shred of self-control.
It's virtually impossible to connect with a character this one-sided. Aside from his literary intelligence, there's nothing remotely redeeming about Jim, so it's difficult to escape the feeling that he's getting just what he deserves. And it gets worse when he starts romancing Amy, a nubile girl barely half his age. Wahlberg never plays Jim as anything but an unapologetic loser who has orchestrated his own misfortune. So why should we care what happens to him? At least the side characters interject a bit of complexity, most notably Lange and Goodman, who command the entire film with just a couple of scenes each. The usually terrific Larson barely registers in an underwritten role that makes very little logical sense.
Continue reading: The Gambler Review
The 'Zero Dark Thirty' actor is said to be in talks to take the lead role.
Jason Clarke is reportedly in talks to take play John Connor in the upcoming Terminator reboot, Terminator: Genesis. The 44 year-old actor, who caught our attention in Zero Dark Thirty, is said to be the frontrunner in a race to the lead role that has apparently also included British actor Tom Hardy, according to Deadline.
Jason Clarke Is In Talks To Play John Connor In 'Terminator: Genesis.'
The 2015 reboot of the iconic Terminator franchise will be directed by Thor: The Dark World's Alan Taylor with Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier having penned the script. Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke and Don Jon actress Brie Larson are also said to be being considered for the role of Sarah Connor, John's mother.
Continue reading: Jason Clarke Could Be John Connor In 'Terminator: Genesis'
With this writing-directing debut, Joseph Gordon-Levitt delivers a remarkably assured comedy-drama while also giving himself a role that's far against his usual type. It's raucously hilarious but also surprisingly involving as it reveals the vulnerabilities of a strutting hard-man. And we're having so much fun that we barely notice that the script's approach to addiction is somewhat simplistic.
The title character is such a dude that his friends call him "the don", in reference to New Jersey gangsters. And Jon (Gordon-Levitt) has his life figured out, with a list of things he cares for: his body, home, car, family, church, friends and girls. In that order. But above everything else, his main obsession is porn. Then while hanging with his friends Bobby and Danny (Brown and Luke) he spots Barbara (Johansson), a perfect "dime" who's worth playing the long game for. Except that she has zero tolerance for pornography, so he has to hide his addiction from her, only confessing to his parish priest and an unexpectedly sympathetic fellow student (Moore) at night school.
Like a character from Jersey Shore, Jon is such a charming loser that we can't help but love him. But despite the macho swagger and gym-honed physique, he's also deeply devoted to his parents (the fabulous Danza and Headly) and happiest when he's cleaning his flat. Gordon-Levitt wouldn't be the first actor you'd think of in this role, but he plays it perfectly, letting us see the little boy behind the tough-guy posturing and making us believe that he's fallen for the charms of this idealised woman (Johansson is simply hysterical).
Continue reading: Don Jon Review
Documentary-style authenticity gives this understated drama a real kick as it explores the fallout of child abuse from an angle we'd never expect. But this isn't the usual devastatingly gloomy approach, as filmmaker Cretton creates people and situations that are so honest that we have no trouble identifying with them. And he remains realistic and hopeful about the future.
The story centres on Grace (Larson), a counsellor at a short-term group home for at-risk teens. She's secretly in a relationship with her colleague Mason (Gallagher), and has a shock when she learns that she's pregnant. The real surprise is how this news dredges up memories of her own troubled childhood. But she doesn't have much time to take care of herself, because she, Mason and their coworkers (Malek and Beatriz) have a variety of kids who need their help. These include Marcus (Stanfield), who's about to turn 18 and move out on his own, and new arrival Jayden (Dever), who keeps trying to run away to see her abusive father.
Writer-director Cretton reveals Grace's personal history only as she's willing to face it herself. This allows Larson to deliver a remarkably transparent performance, as we see her confronting things she won't admit to herself. Her scenes with Gallagher are packed with jagged emotion as all of these issues swell up around them. And we can see that Mason's past in much more stable foster homes has given him more tools to handle these things.
Continue reading: Short Term 12 Review
Sutter Keely thinks he has the perfect life; he's a high-school student with a car, a job he loves, a gorgeous girlfriend and the ability to make friends wherever he goes. Rather than thinking about his future and what graduation will bring, he's perfectly contented to take each day as it comes. It only becomes a curse when his girlfriend dumps him, but things take a different turn in his life when he wakes up after a particularly alcohol-fuelled night only to find himself in someone else's yard with a concerned looking Aimee Finicky next to him. Aimee's the good girl, who's never had a boyfriend and puts her focus on her future. Sutter finds himself falling in love and coming round to the idea of a quiet life, but thinking about the future has made him wonder if he should factor in Aimee's at all.
Continue: The Spectacular Now Trailer
Jon Martello enjoys his routine lifestyle which involves working out, maintaining his apartment, driving a flash car, seeing his family, going to church, hanging with his boys, pulling pretty girls and, crucially, watching porn. The expectations he builds watching X-rated internet videos is a massive contribution to the fact that he doesn't have long lasting relationships with anyone, despite his friends nicknaming him Don Jon for his ability to take home a stunning woman whenever he likes. However, after setting eyes on a beautiful blonde at a club, he has more than just a one night stand on his mind and arranges to meet her for a date. When they appear to begin seeing each other regularly (to the delight of his grandchild-less mother) things seem to be going better for him than ever before; that is, until, she catches him enjoying his daily dose of obscene web action. Jon now realises he has a lot of lessons to learn if he wants to be with the woman of his dreams.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt ('Looper', 'Lincoln', 'Inception', 'The Dark Knight Rises') stars in his directorial feature debut 'Don Jon' which also marks his first full-length screenplay. It's a comedy about a seemingly normal New Jersey guy who, though happy as he is at the present, could be slowly destroying his future. It will hit UK cinemas in the Autumn on November 15th 2013.
Rivals in high school, popular pretty boy Jenko (Tatum) and smart-shy nerd Schmidt (Hill) become unlikely friends to get through police academy. But being cops isn't quite as exciting as they thought it would be until they're assigned to the Jump Street squad run by Captain Dickson (Cube). This group of baby-faced cops infiltrate high schools, posing as students. Jenko and Schmidt's assignment is to find the source of a new super-drug that recently caused the death of a student.
Continue reading: 21 Jump Street Review
Morton Schmidt and Greg Jenko were enemies in high school. Schmidt was a nerd who looked like Eminem in an attempt to be cool. Jenko was a jock who took particular delight in bullying Schmidt. In a twist of fate, the pair end up at the same police academy after graduation.
Continue: 21 Jump Street Trailer
Dave (Harrelson) is struggling to hold his fractured family together while covering up his dodgy activities as a cop in L.A.'s rough Rampart district. He lives with his two ex-wives (Heche and Nixon) and two daughters (Larson and Boyarsky), while developing a tentative relationship with a lawyer (Wright).
But his vigilante-style approach to his job leaves him with few friends, while his addiction to prescription drugs is sending him into a downward spiral. And now he's being harassed by the D.A. (Weaver) and her investigator (Ice Cube).
Continue reading: Rampart Review
In the midst of the 1990's Rampart Scandal, Dave Brown works for the LAPD and is the most corrupt cop you're ever likely to meet. He is racist, homophobic and chauvinistic and that's just the tip of the iceberg. In his mind, he thinks he is an action hero and he has dedicated himself to doing 'the people's dirty work'. In his personal life, he has two ex-wives - both of them sisters - and has fathered two daughters between them.
Continue: Rampart Trailer
As Fernanda enters her final year at Tanner Hall, a rundown boarding school in New England, she is met by some surprising changes within her group of peers. A friend from her childhood joins the school. Victoria, an alluring trouble causer brings a whole new challenge to her school.
Continue: Tanner Hall Trailer
Date of birth
1st October, 1989
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With a strangely simplistic screenplay by William Monahan (The Departed), director Rupert Wyatt and his...