Gold is more than a valuable commodity for Kenny Wells, to him it's an obsession. The year is 1988 and Wells lives in Reno with his partner, Kay. The balding, fast-aging man is constantly down on his luck and often resorts to pawning his partner's possessions just to get hold of a little money.
The wannabe businessman attempts to start many new ventures but constantly finds himself being turned away. One day Wells awakes from his slumber and recalls a vivid dream telling him to go find Gold in unchartered territory. Kenny has little knowledge of how to make it work but knows that this is the big break he's been waiting for.
Teaming up with geologist Michael Acosta, Wells tells Acosta about the land he feels is rich with unmined gold reserves in Indonesia. Talking Acosta into the project, they begin their ambitious dig with basic supplies and minimal investment. As their workers begin to see that their efforts are not garnering any results they begin to leave and everything looks like it's going against the Americans.
Continue: Gold Trailer
That generic title obscures a surprisingly complex exploration of the real-life events surrounding the fall of iconic American newscaster Dan Rather in 2004. And while the film's script is rather talky (it's like Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom crossed with George Clooney's Good Night and Good Luck), it's strongly made point is too important to ignore. And it features yet another storming, intelligent performance from Cate Blanchett.
She plays Mary Mapes, a producer at the classic CBS news programme 60 Minutes, who just a few months before the 2004 presidential election is working on a story about incumbent George W. Bush's shady National Guard service during the Vietnam War. She has an ace team of investigators (including Topher Grace, Dennis Quaid and Elisabeth Moss), plus the nation's top news anchor Rather (Robert Redford). But after the story airs, Mary is attacked with questions about the authenticity of a series of memos that trace irregularities in Bush's service record. Her boss (Bruce Greenwood) applies plenty of pressure as the controversy gains more traction than the story itself. And the media storm that follows catches everyone by surprise.
This account is based on Mapes' own memoir about these events, which gives the film a personal, as opposed to journalistic, tone. It hints heavily at both government and corporate efforts to discredit the story, putting Mapes and her entire team in an impossible situation. The film also makes it clear that those memos were indeed real, and that the controversy was actually just misdirection. What brings this to life is the revelatory acting from the ensemble cast, led beautifully by Blanchett, who gives Mary a passion for the truth that's fuelled by her inner demons. And the entire supporting cast adds layers of wit and insight, although Redford kind of relaxes on his easy charm as the engaged, engaging Rather.
Continue reading: Truth Review
Matthew is a typical loving father who takes a day trip with his young daughter Cassandra in his truck, stopping off at a roadside diner along the way to pick up pie for lunch. He's only gone a few minutes but by the time he returns to his vehicle he discovers that Cass is gone. She's nowhere to be found, and to make matters worse, when he reports her disappearance as an abduction to the police he is the first suspect in the case. The incident puts a deep strain on his marriage to her mother Tina, who doesn't know whether to blame him for letting her out of his sight or suspect his involvement herself. Some years later, they are still searching, but when detectives Nicole and Jeffrey find new leads, Matthew becomes determined to find out exactly where his daughter is being held.
Continue: The Captive Trailer
After his successful re-imagining of the Star Trek universe four years ago, Abrams dives even deeper into the mythology, which is thrilling for fans but might leave newcomers feeling a bit lost. This sequel surges forward with action, drama, romance and a lot of comedy while constantly nodding back to the earlier TV series and films. And the smart screenplay finds ways to deepen all of the characters along the way, as well as offering an unusually complex villain.
The action picks up soon after the first film ends, as Kirk (Pine) is once again in trouble for disobeying the Prime Directive not to interfere with a planet's culture. But his punishment is short-lived, as Starfleet becomes the victim of brutal attacks in London and San Francisco, sending Kirk, his first officer Spock (Quinto) and the gang (Saldana, Urban, Yelchin and Cho, with Pegg following later) into enemy space to chase the villainous John Harrison (Cumberbatch). But of course, there's a much bigger story going on, and Harrison has a reason for his violent behaviour, leading to a series of terrifying showdowns as they all return to earth.
While the script is packed with shadowy characters, there's not much actual "darkness" in this movie. It's a pretty bouncy, energetic ride, continually making us laugh at tetchy interaction and throwaway one-liners, all of which are cleverly character-based rather than merely silly gags. This gives each actor a chance to shine, with Pegg and Urban offering much of the humour with their amusing crankiness, while Saldana provides the stereotypical female emotional beats. As usual, the strongest scenes are between Kirk and Spock, and their shifting bromance is well-played by Pine and especially Quinto. But dominating the whole film is a meaty turn from Cumberbatch as a particularly fearsome nemesis who also happens to be both brainy and openly emotive.
Continue reading: Star Trek Into Darkness Review
Mainstream audiences may be disappointed that this isn't a gritty thriller pitting the acting talents of Gosling and Cooper against each other, as it's instead a boldly artful, often moving drama. The three-part structure may soften the emotional punch, but a raw script and intimate direction let the actors find real resonance in every scene.
The title is a loose translation of the Mohawk word Schenectady, the New York town where the story is set. In the first section, carnival stunt rider Luke (Gosling) returns to town and tries to rekindle a previous fling with Romina (Mendes). When he discovers that his last visit produced a son, he decides to leave the circus and settle down, taking a job with a local mechanic (Mendelsohn). To make some extra cash, the two team up to rob banks, which puts Luke on a collision course with beat cop Avery (Cooper), who has a wife (Byrne) and young son of his own. Years later, their now-teen sons Jason and AJ (DeHaan and Cohen) discover a past connection they knew nothing about.
To explore the generational ramifications of these men's actions, the film switches perspective twice, first from Luke to Avery and finally to Jason and AJ. But the script never simplifies anyone into "good" or "bad": these are complex people facing difficult situations the best way they can. And sometimes their choices lead to tragic consequences. With this structure, though, the characters are somewhat fragmented, and only Avery emerges as a fully rounded figure, giving Cooper the best role in the film as he becomes unable to work out what is right and wrong, even though he knows it in his gut.
Continue reading: The Place Beyond The Pines Review
The Enterprise crew find themselves in more danger than they ever cared to imagine when London is ravaged by a brutal enemy with only vengeance on his mind. Captain Kirk must take his crew on a deadly mission to restore hope for their planet with every possibility that they could be wiped out in moments by the formidable John Harrison, but it's not just their lives at stake. Friendships and relationships are put to the test and the harder they try and stick together, the further they push themselves apart.
Continue: Star Trek Into Darkness Trailer
Oscar hopeful Flight has it's long-awaited box office unveiling today (Feb 1) in the UK and if critical reception and US box office takings is enough to go by then Paramount shouldn't have too much to worry about when it comes to audience numbers.
The film's star, Denzel Washington, delivers yet another powerhouse of a performance that makes his entry into the Best Actor category at the Oscars totally justified as he takes on the role of a veteran commercial pilot who fills his days with women, alcohol and drugs. Supporting Denzel in the flick is Don Cheadle, Kelly Reilly, Bruce Greenwood and Melissa Leo, as well as John Goodman who both delivers a scene-stealing performance - as he so often does.
Whilst Contact Music's own review of the film isn't wholeheartedly positive, the singling out of Denzel's performance is a mainstay among contemporary reviews, such as Rolling Stone and The Guardian, who single out the performance for being "detailed, depth-charged, bruisingly true" and maintaining Washington's "natural gravitas" respectively.
Continue reading: 'Flight' Expected To Take Off At UK Box Office This Weekend
With another deeply committed performance, Washington brings badly needed complexity to what is otherwise a contrived, overstated drama about addiction. It helps that the film is directed by Zemeckis as a kind of companion piece to his last live-action movie, 2000's Cast Away, another film about a man whose life is dramatically changed by a plane crash. Although here he's lost in a wilderness of substance abuse.
Washington plays Whip, a veteran commercial pilot who fills his days with women, alcohol and drugs. Even when he's flying a plane full of passengers. On a routine flight from Orlando to Atlanta, a catastrophic malfunction sends his airliner hurtling toward the ground, prompting an outrageously inventive reaction that saves 96 of the 102 lives on board. Then the investigators discover that he had both alcohol and cocaine in his system at the time. His union rep (Greenwood) hires a high-powered lawyer (Cheadle) to represent him, but Whip doesn't even try to straighten up until he meets young junkie Nicole (Reilly), who's serious about cleaning up her life.
The main problem here is that Gatins' script completely misses the point of his own story, never remotely touching on the central theme of a flawed hero who has no real moral compass. So drugs are the villain; it has nothing to do with Whip's personal failings. Instead, the script just uses a variety of contrived characters to confront him with his drug problems until he finally cracks under all this pressure. Fortunately, Washington is excellent as the high-functioning addict, and the supporting cast is solid in providing whatever element Gatins needs at the moment: Cheadle's straight-arrow efficiency, Reilly's hopeful anguish and Greenwood's steadfast friendship, plus scene-stealer Goodman as Whip's hilariously honest dealer-buddy and Leo as a ruthlessly tenacious investigator.
Continue reading: Flight Review
Luke Glanton is a stunt motorcyclist who currently works with a carnival where he performs numerous death defying feats for just a small pay cheque. When the carnival reach Schenectady, New York, he becomes increasingly determined to find his long lost love Romina who he idiotically broke contact with for over a year. However, when he finds her, he discovers that she has only recently given birth to a baby boy who happens to be his son, though she was reluctant to contact him about it because of feeling abandoned by him. Realising he can't afford to provide for his new family, he gives up his carnival job and goes in search of other ways to make money. He winds up being persuaded to help out in an armed bank robbery to bring in the cash but is immediately hunted by the police for his involvement. This brings Avery Cross on to the scene; a serious cop with an immense respect for the law who also has a new child to think about as well as his constantly worrying wife. His pursuit to uphold the law leads to criminal discoveries about his police department that he'd rather not be a part of, but things take an even more shocking turn when the long forgotten past of both Luke and Avery are brought up once again.
Directed and co-written by Derek Cianfrance ('Brother Tied', 'Blue Valentine') with writing credits also from Ben Coccio ('The Beginner') and Darius Marder in his screenwriting debut, the heart-wrenching and desperate story of 'The Place Beyond The Pine' is set for release on April 12th 2013.
Starring: Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Rose Byrne, Dane DeHaan, Ray Liotta, Ben Mendelsohn, Bruce Greenwood, Mahershalalhashbaz Ali, Harris Yulin, Robert Clohessy, Emory Cohen, Olga Merediz, Kevin Craig West & Gabe Fazio
Continue: The Place Beyond The Pines Trailer
Captain Kirk and his formidable Enterprise crew are back and this time danger is closer than they think. On returning to their home planet, they discover that a ruthless force integrated among them has caused massive destruction among the Starfleet and left their planet in total disaster. Kirk and the crew must band together for a life threatening mission that could destroy them all as they set out in a war against this terrible threat. But this time, lives are not the only thing at stake; friendships will be tested, hearts will be broken and Kirk must make sacrifices against his Enterprise family in order to finally settle the score with an old foe.
'Star Trek Into Darkness' becomes the twelfth 'Star Trek' movie since the sci-fi series released the first one, entitled 'Star Trek: The Motion Picture', in 1979. It serves as the sequel to the simply named 2009 film 'Star Trek' and has been directed by the same person J.J. Abrams ('Super 8') with writing credits from Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman ('The Legend of Zorro', 'Transformers', 'Cowboys & Aliens') and Damon Lindelof ('Prometheus'). It will finally hit screens after much anticipation on May 17th 2013 in the UK.
Starring: Chris Pine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Alice Eve, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, Peter Weller, John Cho, Nazneen Contractor, Bruce Greenwood, Heather Langenkamp, Nolan North,
Continue: Star Trek Into Darkness - Teaser Trailer
Denzel Washington’s latest film, Flight, has garnered much praise already – and for all the right reasons too – with Washington already tipped for Oscar glory for his staring role.
The film itself, directed by Robert Zemeckis and written by John Gatins, tells the story of an airline pilot who saves a flight from crashing, however the post-flight investigation into the plane’s malfunctions reveals some worrying revelations. Washington stars as said pilot, Whip Whitaker, who on top of being a veteran of his trade is also a serious alcoholic. The film also stars Bruce Greenwood as the character Charlie Anderson.
Whilst still a newcomer to the box office, critics look as though they can’t get enough of Washington and his performance, and betting sites have already placed the double-Oscar winner among the top contenders to achieve Oscar glory at next years ceremony.
Continue reading: Denzel Washington Set For Oscar Success With ‘Flight’?
When airplane pilot Whit makes an extraordinary landing following an engine failure which saves the lives of his passengers, he becomes a national hero mobbed by the press. It is only when he is introduced to an attorney that he discovers that he the one person he didn't manage to save was himself. The lawyer informs him that a blood test taken on the night of the crash revealed alcohol in system; an offence which is punishable by life imprisonment. An investigation follows and Whit reveals that he did drink the night before he was due for the flight, however, an experiment involving ten pilots in aircraft simulators with recreated circumstances from the crash revealed that, were any other pilot to land the plane in the way that Whit did, they would've killed every soul on board. Was Whit's risky landing a result of drunken recklessness, or was his decision made by the years of experience and general confidence in his area of expertise? This is the judgement the jury must make.
Continue: Flight Trailer
In 1979 Ohio, Joe (Courtney) is struggling with the fact that his mother has died in an accident. But it's summertime, so he and his pal Charles (Griffiths) decide to make a zombie movie with their friends (Lee, Basso and Mills).
Enlisting the help of their hot schoolmate Alice (Fanning), they are shooting a scene when they witness a train crash and some suspicious ensuing military mayhem. Suddenly the town is under the control of a harsh general (Emmerich), while Joe and his friends know a lot more than he thinks.
Continue reading: Super 8 Review
Finding love has never really been a problem for Barney. Having been married once before, he thinks his marriage to 'the second Mrs P' is going to be it, he's finally ready to settle down. After all, you couldn't hope for more when you're marring a beautiful princess with 'a wonderful rack'; however when Barney lays eyes on Miriam, a guest at his wedding, he knows his marriage is a total sham and a huge mistake.
Continue: Barney's Version Trailer
At first, he's a young, train-hopping wanderer who has taken the name Woody (Marcus Carl Franklin), from his hero Woody Guthrie. He also plays a guitar with "This Machine Kills Fascism" painted on it. Later, the man appears as an aged Billy the Kid (Richard Gere) who can't understand why the locals are being bullied out of their land by a decrepit Pat Garrett (Bruce Greenwood). Fitfully, the sequences are shot in the dusty browns of Peckinpah and the hippie westerns of the late 1960s and 1970s. Both stories, along with the others, are consistently interrupted by a press conference with poet Arthur Rimbaud (Ben Whishaw), who speaks in a particularly American sarcasm while scrutinizing everyone who questions him, half-mumbling with cigarette in hand.
Continue reading: I'm Not There Review
The year for some reason -- the actual events happened in 1957 -- is 1993. Walker plays a guide at the National Science Foundation's base in Antarctica, where he and his eight sled dogs cover the terrain, helping with expeditions. Bruce Greenwood plays a big-shot scientist who comes to the cold continent looking for the remains of an asteroid or something else out of a Michael Bay movie. The men head out on the sled, encounter a heap of trouble, and barely return to headquarters.
Continue reading: Eight Below Review
When the core of our planet stops spinning on its axis - a reason is given, though it makes little sense - a motley crew of hastily-trained scientists must accompany two astronauts (Bruce Greenwood, Hilary Swank) to the Earth's center so they can jump-start our globe using nuclear weapons.
Continue reading: The Core Review
Sure, hubby puts those super-tight abs and intimidating biceps front-and-center. But he's also forced to put Madonna's acting ability up there as well, and the awful truth is that Madonna is an average actress at best. Being as naturally theatrical as she is (and that's a compliment), she excels at stagy roles, as in Evita, but when it comes to the everyday, she comes across as rather limp.
Continue reading: Swept Away (2002) Review
Getting knocked up might just be the best thing to ever happen to Jodie Foster's career. Without a pregnancy to get her off the hook, it would have been Foster running from rampant, rabid loopholes in the laughable, pathetic, incoherent thriller "Double Jeopardy."
Poor Ashley Judd got the call to replace Foster in this picture -- about the fantasy revenge of a woman whose shady businessman hubby fakes his own murder and frames her for it -- and the actress barely survives it with her dignity intact.
Built upon the wildly inaccurate legal postulate that if you're convicted of murder and the victim turns up alive, you can kill them for real and the law can't touch you, this movie couldn't be more riddled with holes if the script spent an afternoon at the business end of a artillery range.
Continue reading: Double Jeopardy Review
It would be a terrible shame if talented actors like Stanley Tucci, Delroy Lindo and Alfre Woodard have reached a point where money trumps professional pride. But I can't imagine any other reason they'd sign on to a half-witted, obscenely formulaic, huge-budget save-the-Earth sci-fi embarrassment like "The Core."
Almost exactly the same movie as "Armageddon" -- and almost as insufferable -- it features a handful of good-looking scientists and NASA astronauts who, instead of going into space to set off a nuke and save the world from a asteroid, travel to the center of the Earth to set off a nuke, thus restarting the dying molten core and saving the world from electromagnetic disaster.
The exact same shopworn characters die in the exact same order, some accidentally, some heroically to save the mission. The simplest laws of physics and even plain-as-day physical facts are utterly ignored (the nuke-the-core plan is based on two-dimensional thinking even though the Earth is -- duh! -- a sphere).
Continue reading: The Core Review
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