There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the interest as it follows a fine, upstanding man behind bars and transforms him into a criminal mastermind. If the premise sounds familiar, perhaps you've seen Jacques Audiard's soulful 2009 masterpiece A Prophet. Well, this is more like a blow to the head. And by emphasising the characters' thuggishness over anything more nuanced, filmmaker Ric Roman Waugh (Snitch) seems to betray the fact that he thinks brutality is inherently entertaining.
The story centres on Jacob (Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), a successful banker with a happy home life with his wife and son (Lake Bell and Jonathan McClendon). Then he's involved in a drunk-driving incident and convicted of manslaughter. And in jail he's adopted by the white supremacist gang, pushed to commit such nasty violence that he cuts off all contact with his family when he's finally released a decade or so later. But he also clearly has a plan now, hiding from his tough-guy parole officer Kutcher (Omari Hardwick) to set up a dodgy operation with former prison-mate Frank (Jon Bernthal) and young military veteran Howie (Emory Cohen). Orchestrating all of this is the big boss (Holt McCallany), who is imprisoned for life.
Thankfully, the actors all add texture to their characters, bringing them to life even if the movie itself seems uninterested in anything beneath the surface. Coster-Waldau is terrific at capturing Jacob's inner decency and steely survival instinct as he transforms from a slick financial analyst into a muscled killing machine. But of course it's his internal journey that is far more interesting. Hardwick and Bernthal are solid as tough guys who feel a bit simplistic. But Bell has some properly steely moments as a woman who simply won't give up on her man even when he tells her to, and Cohen finds some intriguing layers in the quirky, shell-shocked Howie.
Continue reading: Shot Caller Review
Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly action movie. And it's a proper guilty pleasure. From the director of Ice Age, it never takes itself seriously, so disarms even the grouchiest members of the audience with its energetic mayhem and characters. It's very childish, and sometimes rather too cute, but it's also a lot of fun.
In rural North Dakota, an oil drilling company has unearthed something from deep underground. And it's teenage loner Tripp (Lucas Till) who discovers a huge octopus-type creature that turns out to be friendly, intelligent and rather adorable. It immediately takes refuge in the empty engine cavity of the truck Tripp is building, and it provides more power than Tripp imagined. All of which drags Tripp's popular-girl lab partner Meredith (Jane Levy) into the adventure as the oil company boss (Rob Lowe) sends his henchman (Holt McCallany) to find and dispose of the creature before the environmental officials can shut him down. But his chief scientist Bill (Thomas Lennon) is having doubts about killing the two endearing monsters they've already captured.
Yes, it sounds like a premise a 4-year-old might come up with, mixed with an ecological message for our times and some surprisingly impressive digital effects. The script breezes through all of this, as the cast and crew blithely charge forward through a series of laughably entertaining action set-pieces. It's never terribly thrilling, but the scenes are so good-natured that they keep us smiling. Till and Levy are charming heroes, and their strong chemistry is thankfully allowed to simmer in the background. Pepper is initially the film's antagonist as Tripp's harsh sheriff stepdad, but he hands over these reins to an enjoyably evil Lowe. And Lennon provides some nice moments of comic relief as the sensitive scientist won over by these blobby beasts.
Continue reading: Monster Trucks Review
After quitting the United States Army Military Police, Jack Reacher has become an independent crime investigator who looks into hard to solve cases. Having recently worked on the case of a rogue sniper we once again meet Reacher who's on a rampage for justice.
Jack Reacher makes his own laws and seeks justice for those who cannot speak. Reacher sets to work uncovering the ways of a dirty town sheriff and soon wants to meet up with his old friend, Susan Turner. Reacher turns up at Turners base to be told that she's been arrested for crimes. This is then followed by the arrest of Jack himself for a murder that happened more than a decade before. Reacher and Turner are both out on a mission to clear their names but as facts start to fall into place, it turns out that the people behind this mystery might reach far higher than ever thought.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is the second film in the Jack Reacher series (the first released in 2012), based on the books by Lee Childs. Never Go Back is Childs' 18th book in the series.
The idea of the perfect man doesn't always hold up entirely. Sometimes, a person can seem perfect on the surface - too perfect, in fact - and hold a deep, dark secret beneath. Leah Vaughn (Sanaa Lathan) discovers this when she finally leaves Dave (Morris Chestnut), her long-term boyfriend, because he isn't ready to commit to the idea of children. Dating begins, and she soon meets Carter Duncan (Morris Chestnut) who seems like the perfect man for her. But when she accidentally discovers his darker side, she does her best to get away from him, only to find herself pursued by a very dangerous suiter.
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Michael Mann doesn't make standard frantic-pace thrillers (see Heat and Public Enemies); he prefers to work at a more controlled stride, so while this hacking adventure-mystery is intriguing it also feels a bit plodding. Yes, the film erupts now and then into a viscerally exhilarating action sequence, including a couple of astonishing shootouts, but over the course of two and a quarter hours it barely builds up a head of steam. And it's further frustrating that the intriguing characters never quite emerge as real people.
It opens with a cyberattack on a Chinese nuclear power plant, after which Captain Chen (Wang Leehom) heads to America to consult with FBI Agent Barrett (Viola Davis), urging her to get the one man who can solve this case: Chen's former MIT roommate Nick (Chris Hemsworth), now serving 13 years in prison for hacking. On supervised release, Nick heads to Hong Kong with Chen and Barrett, plus a minder (Holt McCallany) and Chen's computer-whiz sister Lien (Tang Wei), who immediately catches Nick's eye. As they secretly begin falling for each other, Nick indulges in a lot of illicit computer work to trace the attack to ruthless thug Kassar (Ritchie Coster) and his shadowy boss Sadak (Yorick van Wageningen). But they're based in Jakarta, and the FBI has no jurisdiction there.
Aside from some cheesy inside-the-computer animation, Mann makes the film look sleek and stylish, dropping clues into each scene to fill in the bigger picture about what is happening. And when an action set-piece breaks out, the film becomes urgent and gritty, with handheld camerawork and a breathless sense of peril that suggests that no one is safe. On the other hand, the script asks us to believe that Hemsworth's imprisoned computer geek can suddenly become a full-on action man, with astonishing gun-handling skills, the muscly precision of a Hollywood stunt man and the ability to out-strategise both spies and super-villains in a massive climactic showdown in a crowded city square.
Continue reading: Blackhat Review
When an unnamed hacker begins to steal money from wherever he wants, he turns his attention on acts of terror. After the destruction of a Chinese power plant, a collaboration of American and Chinese agencies begin trying to find just who this person is. They finally hit on the idea of bringing convicted hacker Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth) out of his 15-year-jail time, in order to help them track down the illusive boogieman. But as he is always one step ahead of them, it seems that even Hathaway's help will not result in them catching their crook.
Continue: Blackhat Trailer
When an anonymous hacker is able to disrupt the files for three major banks around the world, it the US government find themselves unable to stop the mysterious cybercriminal. After beginning a joint operation with China, they turn to Nicholas Hathaway (Chris Hemsworth), a hacker serving a fifteen year sentence for his crimes. In exchange for his freedom, Hathaway agrees to help the combined force track down and stop the hacker. But when his cyber-attacks turn into acts of terrorism, Hathaway discovers that he is facing an enemy not motivated by money or politics. An enemy that exists everywhere at every time, and can strike out against whoever he pleases.
Continue: Blackhat Trailer
'Insidious' star Patrick Wilson and his wife Dagmara Dominczyk arrive at the New York Film Festival premiere of one-man movie 'All Is Lost'. The star, Robert Redford, is seen talking to an interviewer on the red carpet with his wife Sibylle Szaggars standing next to him. The star has talked a lot about this unique film which contains almost no dialogue, and told UK Screens, 'I believe in the value of silence. When you take it into a dramatic form, it brings an intensity.'
Jimmy Bobo is a brutal hitman; the best of his kind, an expert in the convenient disposal of unwanted individuals. When his partner is killed in a ruthless attack by the formidable ex-mercenary Keegan, he vows to take him out but things get serious when he is approached by WDCPD detective Taylor Kwon who seeks his help to investigate the killer who has also murdered his colleague. Although reluctant and apprehensive at first, Jimmy accepts to work with him especially after his tattoo fanatic daughter Lisa is kidnapped by the enemy to lure him into the hands of Keegan who, not content with slaughtering Jimmy's partner, wants to kill him too.
This action thriller is based on the French graphic novel 'Du Plomb Dans La Tete' (which translates to the movie's title) by Alexis Nolent. Out of their usual main areas of filmmaking expertise, the movie has been directed by Walter Hill (producer of the 'Alien' film series and 'Prometheus') who co-wrote the screenplay with Alessandro Camon (co-producer of 'American Psycho' and executive producer of 'Bad Lieutenant'). 'Bullet To The Head' is sufficiently action packed, with a grand portion of humour thrown in there as Sylvester Stallone drops in the characteristic one-liners. It is set to be released on February 1st 2013.
Holt McCallany Tuesday 19th July 2011 World premiere of 'Crazy, Stupid, Love' held at the Ziegfeld Theater - Arrivals New York City, USA
On a mission in Bolivia, a five-man black-ops team is betrayed by their power-mad CIA boss Max (Patric) and left for dead. But they embark on a mission to get revenge and clear their names, with Clay (Morgan) leading techie Jensen (Evans), demolition expert Roque (Elba), driver-pilot Pooch (Short) and sniper Cougar (Jaenada). They also enlist the help of a sexy-but-shady woman (Saldana) as they track Max and his vile henchman (McCallany) from Miami to Los Angeles and try to stop his nefarious Bond-like plan.
Continue reading: The Losers Review
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