An arch approach makes this bonkers thriller rather enjoyable, even if it never quite cracks the surface. The story comes from the Edgar Allan Poe story The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, written in 1845, so director Brad Anderson (The Call) has fashioned the movie as bit of riotous Victorian mental institution nuttiness. Cue the mad-eyed acting, gothic production design and ludicrously batty plot. But if you take it for what it is, it's pretty entertaining.
It takes place in December 1999, as the new century is about to dawn and young doctor Edward (Jim Sturgess) arrives at Stonehearst Lunatic Asylum in a freakishly isolated corner of England. Instantly smitten with the inmate Eliza (Kate Beckinsale), Edward struggles to concentrate on the tasks given to him by his sinister boss Silas (Ben Kingsley), while being constantly watched over by the glowering groundsman Mickey Finn (David Thewlis). Silas' revolutionary system of treatment involves indulging the patients in their specific delusions, which has created a deranged sense of community in the sprawling hospital. Then one night stumbling around in the darkness, Edward discovers a group of people locked in prison cells in the basement, and their leader Benjamin (Michael Caine) claims to be the true head doctor. Yes, the inmates have taken over the asylum!
This premise allows the cast to indulge in a variety of hilariously shifty performances, hamming up every scene with constant innuendo. There isn't anyone in this place who looks remotely sane. Sturgess is fine as the dull Edward, while Beckinsale keeps her character's madness just out of sight, so both of them pale in this colourful company. Kingsley and Caine camp it up marvellously, while Thewlis adds a strong sense of menace and Sophie Kennedy Clark almost steals the film as an amusingly sex-mad virginal nurse. It's also worth watching the background players, as each has a ball his or her brand of craziness.
Continue reading: Stonehearst Asylum Review
An unusual point of view prevents this from ever turning into the standard biopic, but it's Eddie Redmayne's staggeringly committed performance as Stephen Hawking that makes the film unmissable. Based on the book by Stephen's wife Jane Hawking, the film uses her perspective to recount the events with their relationship firmly at the centre, which adds a personal angle the audience can engage with. This diverts the attention from Hawking's scientific breakthroughs, but makes the film both energetic and emotionally riveting.
It opens in 1963 when Stephen (Redmayne) is a rising-star at Cambridge, already a genius who thinks far outside the box. But he also has a sharp sense of humour, which makes it easy to see what Jane (Felicity Jones) sees in this brainy black-hole-obsessed geek. Then just as their relationship begins to get serious, he is diagnosed with motor neurone disease and given two years to live. Instead of giving up, Jane marries him and has three kids as Stephen defies the doctor's prognosis. As his physical condition deteriorates, they get help from two people who become unexpectedly close: widowed choir director Jonathan (Charlie Cox) and medical assistant Elaine (Maxine Peake). And even as their marriage comes apart under the pressure, Jane and Stephen remain deeply connected to each other.
Anthony McCarten's script cleverly lets big ideas swirl around each scene without swamping the more human story. The central factor in Stephen and Jane's interaction centres on faith: his in science, hers in God. Stephen continues to seek a theory that will scientifically explain the nature of existence, while Jane catches him out when he takes a leap of faith himself. And the film lets all of this play out through their interaction with a variety of terrific side characters, including Stephen's tutor (David Thewlis), his colleagues (Harry Lloyd and Enzo Cilenti), his father (Simon McBurney) and Jane's mother (Emily Watson). Each performance is packed with telling nuance, while Jones gives the film a textured heart and soul.
Continue reading: The Theory Of Everything Review
Coming from a privileged upbringing, cosmologist and theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking naturally had a first-rate education - though no-one could expect the kind of genius and revolutionary theories that he would eventually come up with. While wowing his university professors with his baffling discoveries, he was fighting a personal battle with his rapidly deteriorating health. Whilst still studying, he began to lose the ability to walk as well as the ability to speak before being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and given a two-year expect survival rate. As to be expected from one of the world's most accomplished scientists, he defied the odds and embarked on a long and fulfilling life that lasts to this day - with just a little help from the love of his youth Jane Wilde, who encouraged him to carry on speaking with the help of his trademark speech generating device.
Continue: The Theory Of Everything Trailer
What can we expect from this exploration into the life of brilliant physicist, Stephen Hawking?
The first still from the forthcoming British biopic, The Theory of Everything, based on the life of brilliant physicist Stephen Hawking, has been released ahead of the film’s trailer premiere due out tomorrow (6 August). Showing its two stars, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, the still captures a tender moment between Hawking and his first wife, Jane.
The first still has been released of the Stephen Hawking biopic, The Theory of Everything
Due to make its debut as Focus Features’ frontrunner at the Toronto International Film Festival in September this year, The Theory of Everything charts the life of a young Hawking as he begins his epic journey of discoveries within the world of physics. The film follows Hawking as a young man who enters into a relationship with Cambridge student Jane Wilde shortly before his heart-breaking motor neuron disease diagnosis at 21.
Continue reading: Picture Released For Stephen Hawking Biopic: The Theory Of Everything
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
Lively and imaginative, this raucous adventure-drama recaptures the ramshackle futurism of director Terry Gilliam's 1985 masterpiece Brazil, throwing a lonely guy into a series of events that get increasingly surreal. And while we never lose interest, the plot seems to fall apart about halfway in, circling around itself and the pungent themes that ooze through every scene.
The central figure is Qohen (Waltz), a genius who feels like life has lost its meaning. He hates the corporate mentality at Mancom, where both his manager (Thewlis) and the computer system drive him nuts. Then after a chance encounter with the big boss (Damon), he's given a new assignment to work at home crunching numbers to prove the Zero Theorem. Everyone is vague about what this theorem is, but Qohen likes being away from the office. But now he's distracted by the seductive Bainsley (Thierry), who puts on a sexy nurse outfit and lures him into a virtual reality environment. He's also assigned 15-year-old computer nerd Bob (Hedges) to keep his system up and running. Or maybe everyone is spying on him.
The central theme is the search for meaning in life, which is echoed in Qohen's inability to feel, taste or properly experience anything. And the theorem itself turns out to be an attempt to prove conclusively that everything is meaningless. This allows Gilliam to deploy his vast imagination in every scene, with a flood of corporate and religious imagery, suggestive innuendo and topical gags about free will in a society that values making money at the expense of actually living. All of the actors grab on to these ideas, adding comical physicality and knowing humour to each scene.
Continue reading: The Zero Theorem Review
In a flamboyant, futuristic universe, Qohen Leth works as a computer hacker desperate to uncover the meaning of life. He appears to suffer from a range of conflicting phobias and his eccentricity forces him to stand out to the formidable Management who enlist him to try and crack the most fundamental formula of mankind history, the Zero Theorem. Meanwhile, he is waiting desperately for an important phone call that will reveal to him the purpose of human existence. But as he absorbs himself deeply with his own work at the dilapidated chapel he calls home, he finds himself repeatedly distracted by Management's teenager son Bob and a stunning blonde seductress named Bainsley who was specifically hired by the dictatorial authority. Qohen's sanity is frequently tested as it becomes more and more clear that the Zero Theorem is trying to tell him that all is for nothing.
'The Zero Theorem' is a vibrant sci-fi drama set in an almost Orwellian dystopian future. It has been directed by the Oscar nominated Terry Gilliam ('Twelve Monkeys', 'Brazil', 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail') and written by Pat Rushin ('No Ordinary Sun' short) in his full-length screenplay debut. It has already caused a stir having won the Future Film Festival Digital Award at the Venice Film Festival and it is set to be released in the UK on March 14th 2014.
'The Fifth Estate' stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Laura Linney, Daniel Bruhl and Stanley Tucci along with director Bill Condon talk about the upcoming movie in short featurette. The film tells the shocking story of WikiLeaks founders Julian Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg and their quest to share classified information with the world.
Continue: The Fifth Estate - Featurette
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
Benedict Cumberbatch stars in 'The Fifth Estate' as WikiLeaks found Julian Assange. The film follows Assange's turbulent relationship with his supporter Daniel Domescheit-Berg at the height of the WikiLeaks controversy.
Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock) stars in The Fifth Estate as Julia Assange. The trailer was released yesterday (17th July) and the film is due out in US cinemas this autumn.
Benedict Cumberbatch at the London premiere of Star Trek: Into The Darkness.
The Fifth Estate tells the story of Julian Assange, the WikiLeak's founder, and his relationship with supporter Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Their relationship is placed under pressure at the height of the WikiLeaks saga. It focuses on Assange wrestling with his morals as he decides whether or not to publish information which may have endangered his sources.
When Julian Assange began to leak damaging governmental information online through WikiLeaks, he was praised as a hero by many for finally showing the truth about unethical military operations such as the famous 'collateral murder' video showing an AH-64 Apache taking aim at some unarmed Iraqi journalists. One supporter, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, became good friends with Julian and eventually worked with him in his truth and justice exploits. However, when hundreds of names of government informers were under threat of being leaked, the pair were at a conflict as Daniel understood that many people's lives were at risk if the information got out while Julian remained determined to enlighten the public.
Continue: The Fifth Estate Trailer
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
Aung San Suu Kyi, born in Burma, watched her father die when she was three years old. Her father had lead Burma into independence from the British empire in 1947, as well as founding the modern Burmese army. But in that same year, he was assassinated by his rivals.
Continue: The Lady Trailer
In early 1900s Devon, teenager Albert (Irvine) lives on a farm with his impulsive-drunk father Ted (Mullan) and his tough-minded mum Rose (Watson).
When Ted overpays for the wrong horse to work the fields, Albert adopts the horse, names him Joey and teaches him the ropes. But when war breaks out in Europe, Ted sells Joey to a cavalry captain (Hiddleston). At war, Joey changes hands between British and German officers, a young soldier (Kross) and a French farmer (Arestrup). Meanwhile, Albert joins the army, heading into the trenches to search for Joey.
Continue reading: War Horse Review
As daughter of Aung San, founder of independent Burma, Suu (Yeoh) has a place in her nation's heart. She lives in Britain with her Oxford-professor husband Michael (Thewlis) and their sons (Raggett and Woodhouse), and when she returns home to care for her ailing mother, she gets involved in the pro-democracy movement. This terrifies the military junta that rules with an iron fist, so they put her under house arrest just before the 1990 election that her party won in a landslide. Then the military refuses to cede power.
Continue reading: The Lady Review
Harry Potter and his friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, continue their search for Voldemort's Horcruxes - dark magical objects that help the user gain immortality. Having found and destroyed one Horcrux - a locket belonging to Hogwarts founder Salazar Slytherin - the three friends travel from Ron's older brother Bill Weasley's house by the sea to the wizarding bank, Gringotts and then to Hogwarts to look for the final remaining Horcruxes.
Bruno shares a family dinner with his loving parents (Vera Farmiga and David Thewlis) and his older sister Gretel (Amber Beattie). With their sparkling British Masterpiece Theatre accents, the family appears as well-scrubbed paragons of British banality. (Even Richard Johnson, that great bastion of British nobility from the epics of the 1960s, is exhumed to appear as the family's Grandpa.) So it comes as a shock when Thewlis dons a German commandant's uniform for a going-away party and Herman quietly reveals that the Dad has been reassigned, taking the family with him. As Dad remarks, "Home is where the family is." In this case, however, home is Auschwitz and Dad is the new camp commandant, who will be supervising the mass exterminations.
Continue reading: The Boy In The Striped Pajamas Review
Merivel, the kind of guy who pawns his medical instruments to buy time with prostitutes, starts out as a pretty loathsome chap. However, he's also a pretty talented (and daring) physician, and after healing the King's beloved spaniel, he is brought into the fold of nobility. But the story then takes an inexplicable turn as Merivel is given a knighthood and coerced to marry the King's mistress, Celia (Polly Walker), and then promptly falls in love with her.
Continue reading: Restoration Review
Date of birth
20th March, 1963
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