After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film version of August Wilson's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. First staged in 1983 (the Washington-Davis revival was in 2010), the story explores the experience of an African-American working class family in the 1950s. And its most powerful kick is in the balance of power between husband and wife, something that easily transcends the racial themes.
In Pittsburgh, trash collector Troy (Washington) is proud to be able to support his wife Rose (Davis) and teen son Cory (Jovan Adepo), who wants to attend university on a football scholarship. But Troy thinks this is unnecessary, forbidding him from playing on the team. Troy and Rose's other son Gabriel (Mykelti Williamson) is disabled but living on his own, and Troy has an older son, Lyons (Russell Hornsby), who regularly needs cash to top up his income as a musician. As he slowly builds a fence in the back yard, Troy is beginning to resent having to give in to all of these people, blaming his problems on white-majority culture. But Rose has had enough of his complaining.
Wilson's dialogue is heightened and gorgeous, with a poetic ring like modern-day Shakespeare as it explores enormous issues using clever wordplay and epic monologues. While Troy continually rants at how hard life is for a black man, the interaction points out that his main problem is actually his need to be in control of everyone around him. This makes Troy increasingly unlikeable, and Washington goes for broke in the performance. It often feels like he's playing to people sitting in the top of the theatre balcony, but it's impossible not to be moved by his words. By contrast, Davis' much more intimate Rose is the film's heart and soul. As the story progresses, she becomes the lead character, and Davis delivers a series of devastating scenes with raw power.
Continue reading: Fences Review
Troy Moxson works hard as a garbage collector to support his family. He has two sons, one who lives in his home with his wife and one from a previous marriage who is older but still turns to his father for support. Set in the 1950's, racial discrimination is still rife and Troy and his family are just one of thousands of families who live a life surrounded by enforced limitations.
In his younger years, Troy was scouted to be a baseball player but being a black man once again worked to his disadvantage and his dream was over before it even really began. Despite everything, Troy stands strong in adversity and instils a few words of wisdom in to his son, 'Don't go through life worrying about if someone likes you or not, you best be sure they're doing right by you.'
Troy's wife, Rose is a strong woman who's stuck by her husband's side through many hardships, she's also a constant support for their son Cory who wishes to gain a place on the football team.
Continue: Fences Trailer
Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic 1960 Western, itself a remake of the masterful 1954 Japanese original Seven Samurai. Reteaming with his Training Day stars Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, Fuqua injects some very manly grit into the tale of a ragtag gang of mercenaries who find themselves trying to save a town in peril. It's a great story, and Fuqua delivers plenty of punch in the action set-pieces. But the characters and situations never quite rise beyond the usual Wild West cliches, and toning everything down for the required PG-13 rating creates an oddly celebratory tone, as if the brutality isn't that bad, really.
In a peaceful village in the middle of nowhere, greedy corporate baron Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard) has discovered gold, so he decides to buy up everyone's land. When the homesteaders resist, Bogue turns vicious, and the newly widowed Emma (Haley Bennett) refuses to go quietly. Instead, she hires notorious gunslinger Chisolm (Washington), who in turn rustles up six more desperados: hard-drinking sharpshooter Faraday (Chris Pratt), fading legend Goodnight (Hawke), burly bear-man Horne (Vincent D'Onofrio), blade expert Billy (Byung-hun Lee), Mexican outlaw Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo) and Native American warrior Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). Not only do they need to become a team, but they need to teach these timid farmers how to fight against Bogue's approaching army.
Screenwriters Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk have reduced the plot to the bare basics: scrappy good guys versus a slick, well-organised villain. There's never a compelling reason why Bogue wants the farmland (is there gold under the cornfields?), but he's clearly willing to kill everyone and level the entire town to get it. In this sense, Sarsgaard has the least subtle role in the film, but he has a great time snarling and shouting and generally being the devil incarnate. But then all of the roles are fairly simplified, with each of the seven teammates having a basic trait to combine with their general heroism: cool, cheeky, weary, quirky, flashy, rambunctious and lethal, respectively.
Continue reading: The Magnificent Seven Review
The on-screen teaming of Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt in the remake The Magnificent Seven is deliberately unexpected, generating some offbeat chemistry both in the film and off the set.
Both are playing against type, and they say they avoided rewatching the 1960 version, although they did make a point of sitting down to see the original 1954 Japanese film Seven Samurai. Pratt says that he enjoyed playing a character who was less innocent than his other movie roles. "I think he carries around some major heavy stuff inside his heart that's convinced him that he is less than savoury," he says. "And when you think you're a bad guy, you let yourself do bad things. That is all deeper stuff to play as an actor than [Guardians of the Galaxy's] Peter Quill."
Even so, Washington enjoyed the fact that while their characters are flawed, they're clearly the good guys. "Audiences like to know who they're rooting for," he says. "I remember going to the movies and having that feeling, 'I wanna be that guy.' Unfortunately, that was the 1970s so it was usually drug dealers."
Continue reading: Washington And Pratt Ignore The Serious Themes In The Magnificent Seven
This is the re-make to keep an eye out for this year.
'The Magnificent Seven' returns in, thankfully, not another sequel but a remake starring Chris Pratt and Denzel Washington. It's a semi-modern twist on a frequently revisited and retold tale that mixes Western wonder with gargantuan gun-power, and it's set to be released in theaters this Fall.
Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt star in 'The Magnificent Seven'
It's a re-boot of John Sturges' Oscar nominated 1960 classic, this time directed by Antoine Fuqua who has previously worked alongside Washington on 'Training Day' and 'The Equalizer'. And with a modern spin comes new characters, because replacing the likes of Yul Brynner and Steve McQueen is impossible, as we saw with the last two sequels of the 'original' movie (we say 'original', but the original is actually 1954 Japanese film 'Seven Samurai').
After the murder of her husband, a widow and resident of the town of Rose Creek finds herself seeking revenge over the brutal methods of Bartholomew Bogue, the man responsible for the death of her partner. Bartholomew is a ruthless industrialist and has his sights set on the town of Rose Creek and will go to any lengths to take it from the residents.
The widow makes contact with a bounty hunter named Sam Chisolm who agrees to help her look for gun fighters to help protect the town. Though the money is little, Chisolm begins his search for skilled gun slingers who might be able to help lead the resistance against Bogue. Amongst the recruits are Josh Farraday, Goodnight Robicheaux, Jack Horne, Billy Rocks, Vasquez and Red Harvest. What begins as purely a monetary commitment for the men soon turns into something far more personal when they experience first-hand the lengths Bogue is willing to go to.
The Magnificent Seven is a remake of the 1960 movie which originally starred Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach and Steve McQueen. The new version of the movie follows a similar plot which has been adapted and written by True Detective writer Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk. The score was composed by James Horner shortly before his death in 2015.
If only he brought his glasses with him...
Sunday's Golden Globes saw the announcement of the 2016 Cecil B. DeMille Award winner, and never has the acceptance of it been more humble and downright adorable as it was when Denzel Washington got up on stage on January 10th accompanied by his wife and three of his children.
Denzel Washington's acceptance speech was a Golden Globes highlight
After an incredibly flattering speech from Tom Hanks who was presenting the award, and who put Washington's name among some of Hollywood's greats like Bogart and Gable, the 'Equalizer' star brought wife Pauletta, daughters Katia and Olivia, and son John David on to the stage to help him make his acceptance speech. His son Malcolm, a filmmaker and graduate from the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania, was missing from the group, with Washington explaining that he was currently working on a thesis for the AFI (American Film Institute).
Depp was ranked number two in last year’s list.
Johnny Depp has received the unfortunate honour of topping Forbes' annual list of Hollywood’s most overpaid actors. Last year Depp was ranked number two on the list, but thanks to recent films Mortdecai and Transcendence he’s managed to dethrone Adam Sandler who has previously topped the list two years in a row.
Johnny Depp has been crowned Hollywood’s most overpaid actor.
According to Forbes, Depp’s Mortdecai grossed just $47 million at the box office, on a $60 million budget. While Transcendence barely made back its $100 million production costs, meaning Depp returned a mere $1.20 for every $1 he was paid.
Continue reading: Johnny Depp Tops List Of Hollywood's Most Overpaid Actors For 2015
The 'Flight' star is due to star in 'The Magnificent Seven'.
Double Oscar winner Denzel Washington is about to have his hard work recognised yet again at next year's Golden Globe Awards, where he is deservedly set to receive the annual honour of the Cecil B. DeMille Award for his services to the film and entertainment industry.
Denzel Washington gets lifetime achievement award
The talented actor has continuously been honoured for his films at the Golden Globes, winning awards for his 1999 boxing biopic 'The Hurricane' and 1989's historic war drama 'Glory'. He has been nominated for awards for a further five of his films at the Globes, most recently in 2013 when he was recognised for his part in Robert Zemeckis' 'Flight'.
Continue reading: Denzel Washington Is 2016 Golden Globes Cecil B. DeMille Award Honouree
It was a tight race this weekend, but the big winner (so far) is "Gone Girl".
Over the weekend, David Fincher’s suspenseful thriller Gone Girl breezed past box office competition, including the supernatural prequel Annabelle. Fincher's mystery flick about a husband, who finds himself the prime suspect in the disappearance of his wife, did better than any of the director’s previous films and scored a $38 million debut – much hire than industry experts originally predicted.
Ben Affleck plays the anti-hero in Fincher's Gone Girl.
Gone Girl easily blew past Fincher’s previous personal best – the Jodie Foster starrer Panic Room, which opened to $30 million in 2002. Starring Affleck as Nick Dunne and Britain’s Rosamund Pike as missing wife Amy, with Neil Patrick Harris and Emily Ratajkowski in supporting roles, the film was a favorite of critics and a commercial hit for the time of year.
Continue reading: "Gone Girl" Wins Weekend Box Office. Barely.
With remakes and reboots dominating the Hollywood landscape at the moment, The Equalizer has found a new and interesting way to recreate the source material.
It's hardly surprising that filmmakers raised on TV series in the 1980s are now turning them into movies. Some of these end up as faithful adaptations (Miami Vice, The Dukes of Hazzard), while others take a more knowingly pastiche approach (Charlie's Angels, 21 Jump Street). What we haven't seen before is a film that only takes the barest hint of an idea to make a very different kind of movie. But that's exactly what's happened with The Equalizer.
Robert McCall is played by Denzel Washington in this new film
The television series ran for four seasons from 1985 to 1989, starring British actor Edward Woodward as retired intelligence officer Robert McCall, who quietly goes about helping people who are in trouble. The show's theme centres on McCall's efforts to atone for his violent past by doing good in his golden years, mainly working as an investigator or bodyguard who takes on drug dealers, murderers, rapists and kidnappers.
Continue reading: 'The Equalizer' Takes A New Approach To The Remake
Director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen) talks about what makes The Equalizer (Denzel Washington) different from other action movie heroes. The name comes from how he spends his days as a "regular Joe", but uses hand-to-hand combat in order to fight his way through legions of bad guys "levelling the playing field". Producer Todd Black (A Knight's Tale, The Pursuit of Happiness) goes on to explain The Equalizer's skill set. He uses impeccable awareness of his surroundings to manipulate his environment into a weapon - this leads to stunt coordinator Keith Woulard discussing Washington's desire to make the fight scenes "dirty and gritty, but he want[ed] it smart".
Continue: The Equalizer - Featurette and Clip
Film contenders jostle for position after the holiday break, while the internet buzzes with casting rumours for Batman vs Superman and 4 vs X. And trailers stir up anticipation for Stallone action, Costner drama and Rogen comedy...
Things always go quiet in the film industry over the holidays as everyone takes one last break before the full onslaught of awards season campaigning. Nominations for both Oscars and Baftas come in the next two weeks, and there's also action for the influential writers, directors, producers and actors guilds.
Awards-worthy movies expanding into cinemas this weekend include Mark Wahlberg's Lone Survivor, Spike Jonze's Her, the biopic Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and the Cambodia documentary The Missing Picture. All have picked up attention from critics groups over the past month and are looking to catch the eye of Oscar voters. Read our review of 'Lone Survivor', watch the trailer for Spike Jonze's 'Her', read our review of 'Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom' or our review of 'The Missing Picture'.
The actor grabbed the qualification while filming the summer blockbuster, '2 Guns.'
For Marky Mark Wahlberg, growing up wasn’t exactly the drama-school adventure a lot of today’s Oscar hopefuls were lucky enough to enjoy. No, he dropped out in the ninth grade, and not because he wasn’t turning up or getting the grades: he was charged with attempted murder.
Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington in 2 Guns... surrounded by money
Now, aged 42 and with nearly a billion movies under his belt, Wahlberg finally has his high school diploma having taken online classes while filming his latest picture, 2 Guns alongside Denzel Washington.
Continue reading: Mark Wahlberg Has The Thirst For Knowledge After Gaining Diploma
Mark Wahlberg knows how to land a blockbuster number one.
The Mark Wahlberg vehicle 2 Guns - co-starring Denzel Washington - topped the US box office over the weekend with estimated takings of $24.4 million. Based on the graphic novel of the same name, the movie sees both actors teaming up as cops battling drug traffickers.
It toppled the strong performing The Wolverine, Marvel's latest blockbuster starring Hugh Jackman which was knocked back to second with $21.7 million. The Smurfs 2 appeared to suffer from a plethora of awful reviews and took just $18.2 million, according to the reliable guys over at Hollywood.com.
The animated sequel failed to meet expectations in the US, though earned $52.5 million from 43 markets.
Continue reading: Mark Wahlberg's '2 Guns' Shoots Up 'Wolverine' At The Box-Office
The Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington-starring caper performed much better than fellow newcomer The Smurfs 2, while The Wolverine continued to draw in an audience
The battle for the number one spot at the box office wasn't quite so one sided as it was last week, but like last week, our number one this time around was a clear victor, with 2 Guns beating it's nearest competitor by some distance. With The Wolverine dominating cinemas last weekend, it was time for Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington to take their share of the box office takings, with Hugh Jackman's latest turn as Logan falling short of the top spot in it's second week.
2 Guns managed to bring in a cool $27.4 million over the weekend, a paltry sum by some weekend standards, but enough to make it to the top of the film charts at least and an amount that will be reassuring to the movie's producers. Meanwhile, The Wolverine led an impressive second week charge to remain in the top two despite the two big name releases coming this week in the shape of 2 Guns and Smurfs 2. With overall weekend takings of $21.7 mil., the superhero film has managed to draw in almost $100 million in the domestic market alone, whilst it continues to perform well overseas, with the overall foreign total now standing at $160.2 mill.
The critics are having their way with 2 Guns and it isn't pretty.
With a cast boasting Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg in the main roles, there’s little a movie like 2 Guns could do to mess it up. And yet this brass tax action flick apparently didn’t quite work for a most critics.
Continue reading: Reviews For "2 Guns" Much Like The Film Itself, Are Violent
The guys might want 2 Gins before they read these reviews.
Perhaps there’s a reason Denzel Washington doesn’t do comedy films. He’s established himself as one of the finest dramatic actors of a generation, played our favorite maverick cops, unlikely heroes and even thrown in a couple of brilliant antagonist performances.
Are Wahlberg and Washington - a comedy duon't?
Comedy, perhaps, isn’t his strong suit.
The stars of crime comedy '2 Guns' including 'Ted' actor Mark Wahlberg and 'The Book of Eli' actor Denzel Washington attend the world premiere of the movie at the SVA Theatre in New York City. In stark contrast to everyone else, Denzel has decided to dressdown in a black t-shirt, black jeans and trainers.
Daniel Day-Lewis will make Oscar history on February 26, 2013, when - as expected - he takes the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Steven Spielberg's critically acclaimed Lincoln. Should Hugh Jackman, Bradley Cooper, Joaquin Phoenix or even Denzel Washington steal away the gong, it would almost certainly represent the biggest Best Actor shock since Robert Benigni somehow usurped Tom Hanks and Nick Nolte to the award in 1999. Though Jack Nicholson was considered the favourite, Day-Lewis could have had another award in 2003, (Gangs Of New York) had Adrien Brody not upset the apple-cart for his role in The Pianist.
As 'Lincoln' prepares to hit screens in the UK, critics have seized the opportunity to laud Day-Lewis' performance - "legend", "genius" and "one of the greats" are words and phrases found in almost every review. Ian Nathan of Empire Magazine said, "As unexpected as it is intelligent, thanks to virtuoso work from Spielberg and Kushner, Lincoln is landmark filmmaking, while Day-Lewis is so authentic he pulls off that stovepipe." Matthew Turner of ViewLondon said, "Impressively directed and superbly written, this is an absorbing and enjoyable political drama with an Oscar-worthy central performance from Daniel Day-Lewis." Shaun Munro of What Culture agreed, writing, "Daniel Day-Lewis gives yet another performance for the ages in Steven Spielberg's admirably literate, thoroughly charming biopic."
Continue reading: Lincoln's Daniel-Day Lewis To Outdo Brando, Penn, Hanks With Oscar Win
Denzel Washington narrowly avoided a very awkward moment at the Golden Globes, when he hurriedly identified his date as his daughter. He was trying to avoid Ryan Seacrest introducing his 22 year-old daughter as his wife Pauletta (who normally accompanies Denzel to awards ceremonies). Luckily for Denzel, Ryan was on the ball and quickly responds that he was just about to ask who the date was.
Unfortunately, Ryan’s patter seemed to be thrown off course and he then asked, very hurriedly, ‘who’ she was wearing (i.e. which designer) and Denzel’s daughter Olivia mispronounced the name of the label, apologising that her French was not very good. Denzel, who was clutching his daughter’s hand the entire time, then said “she’s an aspiring actress,” to which no reply was given, other than Olivia looking pretty awkward and embarrassed. Denzel’s daughter was making a rare public appearance with her father; she’s one of four children (along with John David, Katia and Olivia’s twin brother Malcolm.)
Still, it’s definitely not the most embarrassing red carpet moment ever. Joan Rivers once managed to confuse Anthony Hopkins’ wife Jennifer Lynton for his mother in a cringeworthy case of mistaken identity. Luckily Seacrest is a dab-hand when it comes to live TV and thinking on his feet and managed to avoid making it a embarrassing family night out.
Continue reading: Ryan Seacrest Dodges Awkward Moment With Denzel Washington And Daughter
To win a Screen Actors Guild Award is one of the most prestigious accolades an actor or actress can receive in their career. 2012 has given us some fantastic films, so the competition is even more fierce. We can all speculate but what do the bookies have to say? Paddy Power have compiled their odds, and here they are.
Daniel Day-Lewis is leading the pack for the coveted prize of Best Actor, with odds of 4/11. Having received almost unanimously positive reviews for his performance in Lincoln, this is no real surprise. He's beating competition of Flight's Denzel Washington at 4/1, Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables, at 6/1, The Sessions' John Hawkes at 7/1, and dragging a little way behind with 14/1 is Bradley Cooper for his role in Silver Linings Playbook.
Silver Linings Playbook is doing considerably better for the prize for Best Actress, as Jennifer Lawrence is the favourite to win it for her role in the film, with pretty good odds of 8/15. Jennifer Chastain, who has also been praised very highly for her role in Zero Dark Thirty is the second favourite with odds of 7/4. Marion Cotillard has odds of 8/1 for her role in Rust and Bone, which is the film's only recognition in the nominations. Helen Mirren in Hitchcock has 14/1 odds, and Naomi Watts is bringing up the rear for her role in The Impossible.
Has Budweiser Derailed Denzel Washington and Flight Oscar Chances?
The industry buzz for Denzel Washington's new movie Flight is beginning to grow as awards' season approaches, though a dispute over product placement is threatening to derail its chances. The movie follows an alcohol pilot, played by Washington, who rescues a plane full of passengers after a crash.
It's got everything the Academy loves: an American hero, drama, suspense, and Denzel Washington, though it's also got a high profile dispute with Budweiser and Stolichnaya. Both brands want glaring shots of their products removed from the film, claiming that neither were contacted prior to filming. Essentially, they object to the way in which their beers are depicted in the movie, which follows Washington's character on a boozy downward spiral. From where the Budweiser PR people are standing, the scenes scream, "DRINK BUDWEISER AND YOU WILL BECOME AN ALCOHOLIC". Budweiser Vice President Robert McCarthy told E! News, "We would never condone the misuse of our products, and have a long history of promoting responsible drinking and preventing drunk driving.It is disappointing that Image Movers, the production company, and Paramount chose to use one of our brands in this manner." A representative for Stoli was equally unimpressed, "As the importer of Stoli to the United States, we were dismayed by the choice of Paramount to include Stoli in the recent film Flight," he said.
Continue reading: Has Budweiser Derailed Denzel Washington And Flight Oscar Chances?
Budweiser have requested that Paramount remove all images of their beer in Denzel Washington's warmly received new film, Flight, which tells the tale of an aeroplane polite with a penchant with boozing.
"We would never condone the misuse of our products, and have a long history of promoting responsible drinking and preventing drunk driving," Robert McCarthy, said in a statement, according to Reuters. "It is disappointing that Image Movers, the production company, and Paramount chose to use one of our brands in this manner." It's a strange case, as brands are normally fighting tooth and nail to get their products placed in the highest grossing films, but given the delicate subject matter of the film, Budweiser's PR people have clearly expressed concern. ABC quote Matt Patches, movies editor at Hollywood.com, saying, "The general practice on a film set is to go through publicity of a company and make sure everyone is on the same page, and often get free product for use in the movie. We need to see that Denzel Washington's character is dependent on products we can find at the local store, if only to drive home the emotional impact of his alcoholism," he said. "If Paramount was worried about licensing the products through Anheuser-Busch because of the subject matter, it's easy to see why we are only hearing complaints about the logo after the fact."
Despite this issue, Flight has enjoyed a relatively successful opening, and an even better response from critics, who cite Washington's impressive performance as the key point of the movie.
The makers of the new Denzel Washington film Flight have come under fire from Budweiser after they featured the drink in the movie. The story line follows Washington as an airline captain who saves his plane from crashing, but faces accusations of drinking before the flight.
Given that it was Budweiser he was drinking, the company have moved quickly to defend themselves. “We would never condone the misuse of our products, and have a long history of promoting responsible drinking and preventing drunk driving. It is disappointing that Image Movers, the production company, and Paramount chose to use one of our brands in this manner," their vice president Robert McCarthy said in a letter, which was emailed to Reuters on Monday. "We have asked the studio to obscure the Budweiser trademark in current digital copies of the movie and on all subsequent adaptations of the film” he added.
The film was released in the US last week and took a healthy total of $25 million to place second in the domestic Box Office. There has been as yet no response from the makers of the film Paramount Pictures, should they comply though it’ll likely be a costly process to get the advertising removed from the film.
Denzel Washington's Flight has all the hallmarks of an Oscar winner, epic story, suspense, drama, an American hero, and, uh, Denzel Washington. Now, it appears as though the movie was made with a couple of the gold statuettes in mind.
In case you've haven't yet seen Robert Zemeckis' new movie, it follows Washington's airline pilot character, who emergency lands a plane and is hailed a hero, a saviour. However, his world soon begins to unravel and his personal problems come to the fore. Washington appears to be a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination, though - according to Deadline.com - Paramount campaign consultants are making a "tonal shift" to win the movie as many awards as possible. In fact, a new 90-second trailer has been released, specifically targeted at awards voters. The movie took around $25 million at the U.S. box office, from only 1900 screens, meaning Paramount has almost made back its $30 million investment. On top of this, the movie got an "enthusiastic response" at a screening for SAG and Academy members at the Writers Guild Theatre on Saturday afternoon and drew over 500 to its official Academy screening at the Goldwyn later that might. Both screenings were boosted by Q&A's with popular stars Washington and Jon Goodman.
Oscar voting kicks off on December 17, with Flight, Lincoln, Argo, The Master, and Les Miserables all thought to be named in the Best Picture category. Watch the 'Academy targeted' trailer for Flight below:
Continue reading: Denzel Washington's Flight Specifically Targeted At The Oscars? (Video)
Disney were back on top of the pile at the US Box Office over the weekend with their new animation film Wreck-It Ralph scoring the highest grossing opening weekend in Disney animation history. The film, about a video game character and featuring the voice of John C. Reilly, took in an almighty return of $49.1 million – not too shabby indeed.
The figures were especially impressive given the quiet weekend expected in the wake of Hurricane Sandy which hit the east coast of America last week. It also meant that the much-fancied Flight’, starring Denzel Washington, was forced to take a back seat, coming in at second place with takings of $25 million. Indeed, Dave Hollis, executive vice president of film distribution at Walt Disney Studios, told Reuters that the hurricane may have actually helped audiences given the amount of schools that remained shut.
"In a nice way, 'Wreck-It Ralph,' in areas affected by the storm, ended up actually becoming an opportunity to relieve yourself from the reality that might be going on around you, we saw the theater business around areas affected by the storm very healthy," he said, adding "The storm and its impact - I don't know if it was a function of cabin fever or just escaping by getting into a movie theater, but there was definitely a gravitating-towards-the- theater phenomenon." Argo, which topped last weekend’s box office, came third with takings of $10.2 million.
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’?
All eyes are on Flight and Wreck It Ralph this weekend as the main contenders for box office glory. Denzel Washington’s performance in Flight has already sparked whispers of an Oscar nomination from insiders, something that’s always guaranteed to get people fleeing to the movie theaters. However, with much of the East coast of the USA blighted by Hurricane Sandy earlier in the week, the attentions of much of the US public will be elsewhere as people try to recover from the devastation caused there.
Denzel Washington last won an Oscar in 2002, for the crime thriller Training Day. Flight is Washington’s latest stab at the prize. Described on Rotten Tomatoes as an “action packed mystery thriller,” Denzel plays the lead role of the pilot Whip Whitaker, who manages to land a passenger plane after a mid-air catastrophe and saves everyone on board. After being hailed as a hero, it soon becomes clear that something may be amiss with Whitaker and all is not as it seems.
The critical response to Flight has been largely positive, with Roger Ebert hinting at the power of Denzel’s performance by saying “Not often does a movie character make such a harrowing personal journey that keeps us in deep sympathy all of the way.” High praise indeed from Ebert. In fact, the bulk of the praise for Flight is centered on Washington; Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers surmises “Flight reminds us of what Washington can do when a role hits him with a challenge that would floor a lesser actor. He's a ball of fire, and his detailed, depth-charged, bruisingly true performance will be talked about for years.” Sounds like one not to be missed! Wreck It Ralph might not have ‘Oscar Winner’ stamped all over it but it’s still shaping up to be a strong contender in the popularity stakes this weekend, with only one dissenter failing to give it the thumbs up on Rotten Tomatoes’ round-up of the top critics’ remarks.
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
Matt (Reynolds) is a low-level operative watching over the CIA's Cape Town safe house. After months of sitting around waiting, he finally gets to host a notorious guest: most-wanted rogue agent Tobin (Washington). Then violent thugs assault the place and Matt takes Tobin on the run, calling his handler (Gleeson) in Langley to get help from senior agents (Farmiga and Shepard). But there's clearly a leak in the ranks, and Tobin is obviously carrying something both the good guys and bad guys want.
Continue reading: Safe House Review
Matt Weston is a young CIA agent who, for the past year, has been bored by his inactive post in Cape Town. Matt is a "housekeeper" who aspires to be a full-fledged agent, a loyal company man who is waiting for an opportunity to prove himself. That opportunity seems to present itself when Matt's new 'guest' proves to be the most dangerous man he's ever met.
Continue: Safe House Trailer
Ridley Scott has a good thing going here, tossing these two Hollywood bigshots into the ring and letting them play cops and robbers while he slathers on the period detail with a trowel. There's some serious Superfly outfits (including a godawful $50,000 chinchilla coat that plays a surprisingly key part in a plot twist), a generous helping of soul music, enough fantastic character actors to choke a horse (Idris Elba, Jon Polito, Kevin Corrigan, an incredibly sleazy Josh Brolin, and so on), the specter of Vietnam playing on every television in sight, and the odd enjoyment one gets from watching cops in the pre-militarized, pre-SWAT days take down an apartment with just revolvers, the occasional shotgun, and a sledgehammer to whack down the door. Scott's smart enough to let the story cohere organically and without rush, keeping his main contenders apart for as long as could possibly be borne, making them fully developed characters in their own right and not just developed in opposition to the other. But there's something in this broad and expansive tale that can't quite come together, and it seems to start in Denzel's eyes.
Continue reading: American Gangster Review
Typical of any mid-1980s after-school special, Washington stars as the (real person) George McKenna, who cleaned up notorious, gang-infested, drug-addled Los Angeles High School with such tricks as mandating a dress code and enforcing homework.
Continue reading: Hard Lessons Review
Chief of Police Matt Lee Whitlock (Washington) monitors the comings and goings of Banyan Key, an intimate beach community located several miles south of Miami. His private life is plagued by failed relationships and love triangles. A pending separation from his wife Alex (Eva Mendes) doesn't stop Whitlock from sleeping with Anne (Sanaa Lathan), a married townie with an abusive husband (Dean Cain).
Continue reading: Out Of Time Review
In the film (a remake of a 1987 flick of the same name) Denzel Washington coasts through his role as John Creasy, your average ex-undercover operative now saddled with a drinking problem and a yen for his own death. His buddy from the bad old days, Rayburn (Christopher Walken), now a wealthy Mexican businessman of ill repute, gets Creasy a job as bodyguard for the nine-year-old daughter of Mexico City industrialist Samuel Ramos (Marc Anthony). The average parent might have noticed that Creasy might not have been the best man for the job, seeing as he drinks, is temperamental with the daughter, and tries to off himself one lonely night. But the girl herself, Pita (Dakota Fanning), takes to crusty old Creasy anyway, saying to her mother (Radha Mitchell) that "he's like a big, sad bear" and filling her notebook with moony scribblings about how much she loves him. Creasy finally warms up to Pita, an irresistibly personable ball of energy as played by Fanning, who also brings a powerfully adult presence to her scenes with Washington, complementing his character's world-weariness: they're like the only two adults in a world full of corrupt, venal teenagers.
Continue reading: Man On Fire (2004) Review
Date of birth
28th December, 1954
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