A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, this film is much more than a skilful re-enactment. It's a witty and insightful exploration of the kind of person who chases sporting success and global fame, even when the odds are stacked against them. And it's sharply well-played by Emma Stone and Steve Carell, who bring out the humour and pathos in their characters and the rivalry between them.
In the early 1970s, Billie Jean (Stone) has finally had enough of being treated as a second-class member of the tennis world, since women win just an eighth of what male players get. But the head of the tennis association (Bill Pullman) refuses to budge, so Billie Jean and her publicist (Sarah Silverman) start their own rival ladies' league. Meanwhile, former champion Bobby (Carell) is noisily shouting down this women's movement, claiming he could beat any female player. And while Billie Jean tries to ignore him, she knows that there's only one way to shut him up for good.
Screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) packs a lot into two hours, digging beneath the story to explore both of these players in their private lives. Billie Jean is questioning her marriage to Larry (Austin Stowell) as she falls for her hairdresser (Andrea Riseborough). And Bobby's gambling obsession is jeopardising his marriage to Priscilla (Elisabeth Shue). The entire cast is terrific at bringing these people to life with scene-stealing quirks that keep the audience smiling. And both Stone and Carell skilfully reveal the resonant internal journeys King and Riggs are taking even as the situation becomes a full-on media circus.
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Most people are brought up with a clear idea of right and wrong, but when it comes to retribution, mankind remains torn. When a Chicago doctor named Paul Kersey hears that his wife Lucy has been killed in a home invasion leaving his daughter Jordan critically injured, he decides to take matters into his own hands. Police have no leads, so Paul purchases a gun and tracks down the perpetrators himself with no mercy. His quest begins with taking revenge on the men that were responsible for the death of his wife, but soon turns into a vigilante vendetta against criminals in general. The people he's protecting believe him to be some kind of guardian angel but that doesn't mean the law are going to give him a free pass. When is taking another person's life no longer considered wrong? Is Paul Kersey really a hero or is he the worst kind of villain?
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When Dr. Emmett Brown gets trapped in a Western world in 1885, it's up to Marty to rescue him when he learns of his untimely death. It isn't long before he runs into Biff's ancestor Buford, however, who doesn't exactly make it easy for the pair to get home. Plus, the DeLorean is out of gas which means they can't accelerate to the required speed anyway to travel forward in time. They have an idea, though, involving the use of a rail spur and a train to push them to the right speed, but before they can implement the plan Buford attempts to force Marty into a duel. And after Doc has fallen in love with a beautiful 19th century lady named Clara and been subsequently dumped after revealing his true origin, he's not in the best of moods to help them finally get home either.
Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown re-unite for more adventures, but this time Doc is looking to the future rather than the past. He encourages both Marty and his girlfriend Jennifer to accompany him to 2015 and help out their future children. However, things take a shaky turn when Marty decides to buy a sports almanac in a bid to get rich through betting. Unfortunately, their journey to the future has been witnessed by Biff, who manages to steal the almanac and give it to his 1955 self. When Marty and Doc return to a dystopian 1985 they most certainly don't recognise, they are forced to go back to the past to rectify the situation - and prevent Biff from ruining their futures.
For a comedy that so desperately wants to be rude and sexy, this movie is remarkably timid. It does a great job putting up a front as an anarchic laugh riot, but the genuinely funny moments are few and far between. And it seems to have been written by sniggering teenage boys who can only imagine what it's like to experience sex, drugs and romance, but they haven't a clue, really. Thankfully, the starry cast makes it just about watchable.
With a drunken mom (Mary-Louise Parker) and a deadbeat dad (Cary Elwes), 17-year-old Rick (Nat Wolff) pretty much has to grow up on his own. Then over two fateful weeks everything starts going wrong. Just as he seems to be making progress with hot good-girl Nina (Selena Gomez), he gets caught in a drug deal with a strip-club manager (Dylan McDermott), the cops find a dead mobster in his car, and then everyone is arrested when a house party he throws turns into a drug-fuelled sex romp. Even more precarious for Rick is the fact that he has just lost his virginity to Pamela (Elisabeth Shue), who is both his mother's best friend and the mother of his best friend Billy (Lachlan Buchanan).
Yes, the script wallows in sex and drugs, but never seems quite sure what to do with them, shying away whenever anything remotely grown-up threatens to happen. Instead, scenes degenerate into corny broad comedy that feels more than a little desperate. Director Tim Garrick throws everything he can think of at the screen, so naturally a few gags stick. Even if the plot is paper-thin, and several of the jokes are beyond offensive (including gags hinging on both statutory and prison rape), there are also several witty zingers that elicit outright laughter. Such as when Nina remarks casually that her parents are away from home attending a pro-life gun rally in Dallas.
Continue reading: Behaving Badly Review
Despite a number of exhilarating surfing sequences, the interesting true story of surf legend Jay Moriarty is transformed into another dull Hollywood biopic. Painfully family-friendly, it's all so relentlessly smiley and sun-kissed that we wonder where the real story and characters are amid the sticky schmaltz. Even so, it's so beautifully shot that it holds our attention, especially when the cameras are riding the waves.
By the time he was 9 years old in 1987, Jay (Timberline) was already an expert on the tides in his home town of Santa Cruz, California. Watching the surfers every day, he longs to get out there himself. His mother (Shue) is a sleepy alcoholic and he never knew his father, so he adopts salty old surfer Frosty (Butler) as a mentor, even though he's not sure he wants the job. Especially since he's doing everything to avoid his own wife (Spencer) and baby. But Frosty sees Jay's natural talent, and seven years later Jay (now Weston) has the confidence to ask Frosty to teach him how to ride the mavericks, mythical monster waves that only come along every few months.
With its absent father and drunken mother, the script never feels like more than an after-school special, complete with a bat-wielding bully (Handley) and a surf babe (Rambin) who chastely flirts with Jay whenever they meet. Frosty even sets Karate Kid-style pointless tasks for Jay to teach him the bigger picture. But this set-up is so trite that we never have even the slightest doubt about where it's going. And the characters all feel like cliches rather than real people. The three women are especially wasted, but at least they add spark to their roles.
Continue reading: Chasing Mavericks Review
'CSI: Crime Scene Investigation' actress Elisabeth Shue meets her fans and has her photograph taken with them at 'CSI: The Experience' at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Elisabeth Shue Sunday 28th October 2012 23rd Annual Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic at Delray Beach Tennis Center
Elisabeth Shue, Chris Evert, Raymond James Pro- Celebrity, Tennis Classic, Delray Tennis Center and Delray Beach Friday 26th October 2012 Elisabeth Shue participates in the Chris Evert / Raymond James Pro- Celebrity Tennis Classic at the Delray Tennis Center in Delray Beach
The story starts when Kay (Streep) finally refuses to accept her dried-up marriage to Arnold (Jones), who can't see any reason to change things. She enrols them in an intensive counselling session in Hope Springs, Maine, with a well-known therapist (Carell), and after initially refusing to go, Arnold tags along. Their sessions immediately hone in on their nonexistent sex life, which causes both Kay and Arnold to squirm in their seats (and provides most of the laughs for the audience). And their small-step exercises aren't exactly a roaring success. But Kay is determined that she wants a real relationship or nothing at all.
Continue reading: Hope Springs Review
Elissa and her divorced mother Sarah seek a new start in a beautiful countryside town. Everything seems perfect with their nice house, quiet community and wonderful neighbours. Soon Elissa meets her next door neighbour, a boy called Ryan, who enchants her with the unusual way he sees the world. It isn't long before she discovers that he lives in his house alone after his younger sister murdered their parents in the night before mysteriously disappearing. Ryan is seen as not normal by some people, and Sarah urges Elissa never to find herself alone with him in his house. She ignores her desperate mother's pleas and soon discovers a disturbing secret that Ryan has kept locked away over the years putting her in grave danger.
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When surfing legend Frosty Hesson pulled a drowning 8-year-old boy out of the water while he was surfing, he was unaware that their bond would develop and change their lives forever. Seven years later, Jay Moriarty is a teenager and an enthusiastic surfing amateur. Jay is estranged from his father and sees the aloof Frosty as his idol who first inspired him to ride the waves. One day, he discovers that the mythological surf break, Mavericks, is more than just a story; it's real and a matter of miles away from where he lives in Santa Cruz, California. He is determined to ride the massive waves at Half Moon Bay to the extreme worry of Frosty who cannot bear to see Jay at risk again. When Jay's mother tells Frosty that nothing he says will stop Jay riding the wave, he decides that he will instead train him to survive it with a variety of intense exercises. They soon come to release that their journey is no longer about surfing, but about freedom and believing in yourself.
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Elisabeth Shue Thursday 1st December 2011 The 21st annual Children's Defense Fund California 'Beat The Odds' Awards at The Beverly Hills hotel Los Angeles, California
Elisabeth Shue Saturday 29th October 2011 Andre Agassi Grand Slam For Children at Wynn Resort and Casino Las Vegas, Nevada
Date of birth
6th October, 1963
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