James McAvoy opens up about working with this legendary filmmaker.
James McAvoy stars in M. Night Shyamalan's latest psychological thriller 'Split', which follows a man with 23 different personalities. James had to play 9 of them which he admits was a lot of work, but that work was helped by the director's determination to stick to his script to the very end.
James McAvoy stars in M Night Shyamalan's 'Split'
Often during filming, a screenplay is changed as the story comes to life, usually only slightly but sometimes very dramatically. It's not always easy to translate a vision on paper to live action, but M Night Shyamalan knows enough about the process to be able to make the first draft count.
Continue reading: M Night Shyamalan Knows How To Get Exactly What He Wants
After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style of filmmaking with 2015's The Visit and now this edgy psychological horror romp. It's a genuinely freaky movie, packed with unsettling touches and wonderfully intense performances. And yet there's a nagging sense that the filmmaker is using a very real mental health issue for cheap thrills. Dissociative identity disorder, also known as split personality, is genuinely devastating, but here it's played for blackly comical chills.
The man suffering from this condition is Kevin (James McAvoy), and he has 23 identities battling for supremacy inside him. The ringleader is Dennis, a psychopath who is working in league with fellow alter-ego Patricia to kidnap three young women, the abused outcast Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) and two classmates (Haley Lu Richardson and Jessica Sula). As these teens try to use his personalities against each other to escape, Kevin is also attending sessions with his psychiatrist Dr Fletcher (Betty Buckley), an expert on his condition. And she has no idea what he's actually up to. Or that all of his personalities are terrified of a menacing identity they call the Beast.
Shyamalan is an expert at dropping clues into each scene, packing the dialog with innuendo and encouraging the actors into giving performances that suggest at unexpected connections and histories. As the film progresses, both Kevin and Casey reveal the most telling details of their grim pasts, allowing Shyamalan to gleefully crank up the tension. And the result is enjoyably creepy, keeping the audience off-balance with a plot that's impossible to predict and plenty of shocking mayhem along the way. At the centre, the audience is able to identify with Taylor-Joy's thoughtful Casey, a girl who has survived a nasty childhood and is determined to get out of this situation before it turns even more horrific.
Continue reading: Split Review
When Casey and two of her friends go to the mall they're abducted by an unsuspecting and nervous looking man. When they awake the three girls find themselves locked away in a room, each with a camping mattress for a bed. The room is bare and they have no idea what's going on and they all fear for their lives.
Though they're free to roam in their room and bathroom, there's no windows and the only part of the world they can see from inside is through a small gap in the door which leads onto another room. As they peer through the small hole, they see a pair of high heeled shoes and immediately see the legs of a woman. Knowing that they were abducted by a man, the girls call out for help and what they find frightens and perplexes them all.
The person who comes to the room isn't a woman, it's their kidnapper and in a soft voice he tells the girls not to worry as 'he's not allowed to touch you' and goes on to say that the kidnapper 'listens' to her.
Continue: Split Trailer
X-Men Apocalypse comes as the ninth instalment in the X-Men film series and stars Jennifer Lawrence and James McAvoy as Raven and Professor X. The X-Men are made up of a subspecies of humans that are born with superhuman abilities and are able to perform acts that are considered not normal for the average human.
Continue: X-Men Apocalypse Trailer
This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The Last Stand, the final part in the original X-Men trilogy: it shifts the focus from character detail and social commentary into a more standard effects-heavy action brawl. There's still a lot of strong character detail, and a big story that can't help but be entertaining. But it's impossible to escape the feeling that the film's scale is far bigger than it needed to be.
It's now 1983, and while Professor X (James McAvoy) works with Hank (Nicholas Hoult) to set up his school for young mutants, his old friend and nemesis Erik (Michael Fassbender) has started a family in a rural corner of Poland. But he can't hide forever. Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) is roaming the world helping mutants where she can, meeting the teleporting Kurt (Kodi Smit-McPhee) in Berlin before heading to Cairo. There, CIA operative Moira (Rose Byrne) has just uncovered a bizarre underground cult that has revived the ancient super-mutant Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac), who immediately sets out on a quest to cleanse the planet and start over again. He needs four assistants, and the question is which of the X-Men will go over to the dark side.
This is the third comic book movie in a row about superheroes fighting each other, after Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Captain America: Civil War. And it's similarly enormous (all three films are around two-and-a-half hours long), with mammoth battles that don't quite make logical sense but are compelling enough that the audience goes with them. This film has a bit more emotional depth, including back-stories that have been developed with unusual complexity. But some characters fall through the cracks.
Continue reading: X-Men: Apocalypse Review
The couple, who have been married for nine years, have one child together.
X-Men: Apocalypse star James McAvoy and his wife Anne-Marie Duff are to divorce after nine years of marriage, the couple have confirmed. The Scottish actor, who is best known for his role as the young Professor Charles Xavier in the X-Men franchise, married Duff in 2006, after meeting on UK show ‘Shameless’.
James McAvoy and Anne-Marie Duff have announced their separation.
In a joint statement to People magazine the couple said: "It is with tremendous sadness that we have come to the decision to divorce. We enter this next phase with continued friendship, love and respect for one another and the shared focus of caring for our son. We ask that you respect our and, most importantly, our child's privacy during this time.”
Continue reading: James McAvoy And Anne-Marie Duff Announce Divorce
Critics aren't fond of the latest installation.
It seems, according to critics, that 'X-Men Apocalypse' will be joining 'Batman v Superman' in the list of the most disappointing comic book superhero films of 2016, as the franchise returns with much less excitement than the synopsis and trailers suggested. A bit of a Marvel misfire as it were.
'X-Men Apocalypse' hasn't found favour with critics
It's hard to pinpoint exactly what the critics hated most about the latest instalment of the 'X-Men' series, which sees the return of director Bryan Singer in a story about the impending doom of mankind. The confusing plot, the poor character development and some overly blase moments made for 'a franchise-killing disaster' according to Forbes, who also said, 'I am not sure how you make Oscar Isaac as a world-destroying baddie dull, but the powers-that-be have pulled it off.' Ouch!
Continue reading: Has 'X-Men Apocalypse' Doomed The Franchise?
A four-part animated re-make, with more of a role given to the female characters, is due to be broadcast in late 2017.
The BBC has teamed up with Netflix to announce a televisual re-make of children’s favourite 'Watership Down', which will feature an all-star cast including new Star Wars actor John Boyega, Nicholas Hoult and James McAvoy among others.
The new four-part animation was announced by the BBC in conjunction with streaming giant Netflix on Wednesday (April 27th), and with a reported budget of nearly £20 million, represents the biggest joint venture between the two organisations to date. Using state of the art animation, it will apparently be broadcast on BBC1 in late 2017, with Netflix giving it its premiere throughout the rest of the world.
John Boyega is to voice 'Bigwig' in a re-make of 'Watership Down' for BBC and Netflix
Mutants and humans alike are familiar with the story of Apocalypse, he was the first mutant and began harnessing his power in ancient times. Now, millions of years after his reign, Apocalypse is reborn and finds himself in the middle of a modern society and shocked by the direction both human and mutant life has taken.
Feeling there are few options left, Apocalypse calls on the help of Magneto and a group of other mutants to help 'cleanse' the earth of all the citizens who have contributed to its downfall. The Horsemen of the Apocalypse - headed by Magneto - start to wreak havoc around the world and it looks like the X-Men's attempts to save it are all but lost - especially when their team is badly hurt by the loss of one member.
The film takes an unusual approach to the classic monster story, combining the original Mary Shelley novel with the cultural iconography of decades of movies and comics.
Victor Frankenstein stars James McAvoy as the doctor and Daniel Radcliffe as his assistant Igor, and the two actors developed a close friendship on-set, despite their 10-year age difference and the challenges of making the movie. This is reflected in the film's plot. As McAvoy notes, "Igor has something that Frankenstein needs, so he harnesses him. Frankenstein is very selfish and personally driven, so he's always using, but something of Igor gets through to him and they do form a loving relationship."
But Radcliffe says that the friendship he forged with McAvoy backstage is very different from what's on-screen. "Victor and Igor's relationship is quite an abusive one," he says. "I think James and I are fairly similar in terms of our work ethic. But we're lucky that we get to work in an industry where we can have a lot of fun while doing our jobs." Intriguingly, the character of Igor isn't even in Shelley's novel, but he's been important in the movies. "Victor and the monster have had plenty of time to get acquainted," says Radcliffe. "Now it's time for Victor and Igor! Something I found very interesting is that [screenwriter] Max Landis says one of his big inspirations for writing this film was The Social Network - this idea of two young guys on the tip of the spear of technology who are forging their ways forward and being told no and really overcoming it all with youthful rebellion and a complete lack of self-doubt. I find that rather exciting."
Continue reading: Victor Frankenstein Was A Bonding Experience For Mcavoy And Radcliffe
'X-Men' star James McAvoy has recalled the embarrassing moment when he was approached by a woman who thought he was fellow actor Ewan McGregor.
The 35-year-old actor has revealed supporters have approached him on several occasions because they think he is the 43-year-old Scottish star.
Speaking about one particular incident on 'The Late Show with David Letterman' last night (27.08.14), the actor, who is also from Scotland, recalled: ''I was in the gym not too long ago and this really nice little Argentinean girl came up to me and she was like, 'I love your films' and I was like, 'Thank you very much.'
Continue reading: James McAvoy Mistaken For Ewan McGregor By Fans
Everyone's back for one of the year's biggest releases
Possibly the biggest reunion movie of all time, X-men: Days of Future past isn't just a sequel to 2011's X-men: First Class, but also to the original 2000-2003 trilogy.
Back from those first three films are director Bryan Singer, writer Simon Kinberg and cast members Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Shawn Ashmore and Daniel Cudmore.
Continue reading: X-Men: Back Together Again In Days Of Future Past
X-Men: Days of Future Past is a serious critical hit.
The early reviews of X-Men: Days of Future Past were potentially damaging. There was talk of the narrative being far too complex for the average movie fan to enjoy and many were suggesting Bryan Singer had bitten off more than he could chew by having the beloved characters from the original X-Men trilogy joining forces with their younger selves.
Starring Sir Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy, X-Men: Days of Future Past is certainly a hotbed of serious acting talent, but very often, big names simply aren't enough to carry a poor script. Luckily, for 20th Century Fox, writers John Byrne, Simon Kinberg, Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman haven't written a poor script. They haven't even written an overly complex script.
Continue reading: With 95%, 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Is The Best X-Men Movie. Period.
Jennifer Lawrence was a picture of elegance as she swished up and down the red carpet in a classic style blue velvet gown at the New York premiere of 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' in which she stars as Mystique. She flashes paparazzi a few funny faces in between the sultry looks.
The stars of 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' arrived for the world premiere held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York. Among them were James McAvoy and Patrick Stewart who play the younger and older versions of Professor X and were interviewed together on the red carpet, and Daniel Cudmore, Shawn Asmore and Evan Jonigkeit who play Colossus, Iceman and Toad respectively.
Ahead of its May 22 release, the critics have their say on the latest X-Men adventure
Professor X, Mystique, Magneto, Kitty Pryde and Wolverine are back, but this time the latter is trying to convince X-Men from the past to help stop a war that is going to occur in the future. It’s a complicated plot, by all accounts, but one that Bryan Singer and Matthew Vaughn have portrayed skilfully, with plenty of action in between.
Charles Xavier meets his past self
The critics have kicked off the ever fluctuating aggregate Rotten Tomato score with a very healthy 86%. “Not since 2003's "X2: X-Men United" has this filmmaker tapped so effortlessly into his talent for comicbook gravitas, his ability to mine emotional resonance, pop poetry and (crucially) sly humor…” wrote Variety’s Justin Chang.
'X-Men: Days of Future Past' actor Hugh Jackman revealed a funny story about co-star Michael Fassbender on 'The Graham Norton Show.'
Hugh Jackman revealed he would play "Blurred Lines" to "coax" Fassbender out of his trailer
The three hunky actors looked sharp and similar, dressed in smart suits while they chatted to talk show host, Graham Norton. Jovially, Jackman told Norton, “Michael is one of those actors you have to coax out the trailer,” adding, “to get him out there was really only one song…so I used to get the sound guy to play it very loud in the studio as he came in, just so he could get his mojo up.”
X-Men: Days of Future Past is getting closer.
Fox has released the X-Men: Days of Future Past behind-the-scenes featurette as it prepares its promotional material ahead of the movie's release on May 23. Mainly featuring Bryan Singer explaining his reasons for getting back into the director's chair for the latest entry in the long-running superhero series, the new clip also features some pretty neat looking footage from the blockbuster.
Ian McKellen in X-Men: Days of Future Past
Singer's first two movies starring Hugh Jackman paved the way for the younger cast (McAvoy, Fassbender, Lawrence etc) to take a hold of the franchise, though the filmmaker is delighted to be forging both teams together for Days of Future Past.
A rock star drops a new track, a pop star grieves and a film star confirms his engagement in this week's round-up.
Nice Work, 'Noah': Darren Aronofsky's latest epic, Noah, was released last weekend and managed to triumph at its debut box office with $44 million, despite all the negative publicity regarding religious condemnation and middling reviews. Starring Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Emma Watson, Noah is based on the well-known Genesis tale but is given a pump of testosterone with the Black Swan director's dramatic CGI marvel. Check out the trailer.
Empire Film Awards: Emma Thompson and James McAvoy were the big winners at this year's Empire Film Awards, taking home trophies in their respective acting categories for Saving Mr. Banks and Filth. Space thriller Gravity and the fantasy sequel The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug were the evening's most-awarded movies with Simon Pegg, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sally Hawkins, Tom Cruise, Hugh Jackman, Steve Coogan and Margot Robbie also honoured for a smashing year in film. Find the full list of winners here.
The stars were out to party at last night Empire Film Awards.
Some of the biggest names in film were out last night for the Jameson Empire Film Awards, which saw the year's biggest and best movies awarded for a storming year in filmmaking. Voted for by the public, the awards presented a somewhat different picture of the last year in film than most of the other big awards ceremonies have done so far.
It Was An Evening Of Triump For Emma Thompson, Who Was Awarded Best Actress.
Space thriller Gravity and the fantasy sequel The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug were the evening's biggest winners with the former winning Best Film and Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón whilst the latter picked up Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy and Best Male Newcomer for Aiden Turner, AKA Kili. Saving Mr, Banks star Emma Thompson and Filth actor James McAvoy took home the respective male and female acting awards, according to the movie magazine.
The BIFA 2013 honored some of the best in independent cinema from this past year.
This year’s British Independent Film Awards honored world-renowned Hollywood actors and actresses, as well as small, independent productions and rising stars, from James McAvoy and Julie Walters, to newcomers like The Shell’s Chloe Pirrie.
Lindsay Duncan and James McAvoy won for best actress and actor, respectively.
Some of the winners included Blue Is The Warmest Color (Best International Independent Film), Filth and Le Week-end, but with three awards in total, Sean Ellis’ Metro Manila was by far the most successful. The film won for Best Achievement in Production, Best Director and the top honor of the night, Best British Independent Film.Click here to check out the full review of Metro Manila.
Check out the emotional trailer for 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' below.
Following a nastily short, nevertheless exciting, six-second teaser trailer released last week, we finally have a longer trailer to whet our comic book appetites. The emotive, epic trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past sets out the story, which sees two generations of X-Men required to stop a war before it begins.
Hugh Jackman's Wolverine faces a difficult task
Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellen and Hugh Jackman reprise their roles; the latter being the conduit on which the film’s plot is based. He must wake up in his younger body, and find a young Professor Charles Xavier and “guide him, have patience with him.”
Can Bryan Singer save the X-Men franchise with 'Days of Future Past'?
Filmmaker Bryan Singer has released the first clip from his anticipated X-Men sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past - a few seconds of footage featuring Hugh Jackman's Wolverine and Patrick Stewart's Professor Charles Xavier.
Days of Future Past - due out in May 2014 - follows on from Matthew Vaughn's 2011 prequel X-Men: First Class which chronicled the superheroes' origins in the 1960s.
The new movie - which stars James McAvoy as the young Xavier, Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender as Magnet, Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique, Anna Paquin as Rogue and Halle Berry as Storm, is adapted from one of the comic book story lines conceived by Claremont.
Continue reading: Will 'X-Men: Days Of Future' Past Energize Or Kill Off The Franchise?
Uploaded earlier today, the trailer for the next X Men movie will blow you away
X-Men: Days of Future Past won't be out until May next year, but after you see the first trailer for it you'll wish that you could jump forward and dive right into it now. In it, we get our first real glimpse at our mutant heroes and villains, from past and future, who must bend the space time continuum to make the future a better day for mutants throughout the Marvel Universe.
The past (McAvoy) and present (Stewart) Xaviers meet face to face in the trailer
Based on the much lauded and incredibly popular (if you happen to be into comic books at least) 'Days of Future Past' storyline from the Uncanny X-Men, the move will unite the characters from the first X-Men movies with those from 2011's X-Men: First Class, with the present day X-Men having to go back in time to prevent the ongoing war against mutants, who are being hunted down by the robotic Sentinels. Are you still with us? Good, because it gets even more complicated.
Filth invades the UK, while Hanks' Captain Phillips and the Coens' Inside Llewyn Davis bow in New York. We also get a look at Statham's Homefront action and much more detail from The Hobbit 2...
Two big British films hit UK cinemas this week. After storming the Scottish box office last weekend and garnering rave reviews across the board, Filth arrives in the rest of the country this week. Based on the novel by Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting), the Edinburgh black comedy stars in a career-redefining role as a deeply nasty cop. Read our 'Filth' review here.
Meanwhile, Saoirse Ronan stars in the introspective thriller How I Live Now, set in a present-day Britain that's engulfed in war. Opening in the UK this weekend and in America next month, the film is directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), and the cast includes rising stars George MacKay (Hunky Dory) and Tom Holland (The Impossible). We gave the film 4/5 you can read the 'How I Live Now' review here.
'Filth' has split critics, but many agree it is still a film worth watching, if you can handle it
Filth is the James McAvoy-starring movie adaptation of Irvine Welsh's novel of the same name, about a debauched police officer scheming his way through life. Starring as Dt. Bruce Robertson, McAvoy snorts and shags his way through the night, and lies and cheats his way to the top during the day. It is a gritty subject and one that has been both applauded and abhorred by opposing critics.
McAvoy tries to climb the white ladder to success
Robertson is a devious and emotionally unstable fellow, indulging in sordid sexual activities and dabbling in as many drugs he can get his get his nostrils on. When he is on duty, his actions hardly change, only when he is there he has his eyes on the lucrative promotion to Detective Sergeant, and will stop at nothing to ensure he gets what he wants. Whilst struggling with an unpredictable bipolar disorder and desperate to resolve things with his ex-wife, his mental state becomes increasingly worse as he attempts to keep on top of his lies, whilst also attempting to get to the bottom of a murder case with as little effort as posible.
Would he be wise to take on such an inflammatory role if it came up?
With his role in Filth, James McAvoy is a liberated man. His talents have been celebrated, both on the screen and on stage, and with a wave of critical praise pushing him forward, he’s ready to take on even the most challenging and controversial of roles, even that of Jimmy Savile.
Irvine Welsh, who wrote the book on which McAvoy’s film is adapted from, also penned the 1996 collection, Ecstasy. One of the stories from that collected, entitled Lorraine Goes to Livingston, sees Freddy Royle - a fictitious children's TV presenter who turns out to be a child molester.
Continue reading: Riding High - James McAvoy Will Take On Any Role, Even Jimmy Savile
McAvoy's latest role certainly pushes the boundaries.
James McAvoy continues to assert himself as one of the finer actors of his generation. In his new film, Filth – one of Irvine Welsh’s fruitier novels – fans of the Scottish actor might just have their nerve tested as he indulges in possibly the worst (and best) character created by the Trainspotting author.
McAvoy in Welcome to The Punch.
Bruce Robertson, as you’ll see in the trailer below, is a narcotic-infused, alcohol-swilling, nymphomaniac party-beast who also happens to be a part of Edinburgh’s police force. He’s PC Bruce Robinson, but he isn’t politically correct, not one bit.
Continue reading: Just How Filthy Is Filth? James McAvoy Reveals All
The French Oscar-winner replaces Natalie Portman, who was initially cast as Lady MacBeth, and will star alongside Michael Fassbender.
Marion Cotillard has been chosen to bring some Gallic glamour to one of Scotland's most malevolent (fictional) characters in the latest big screen adaption of William Shakespeare's MacBeth. The Oscar-winning actress is set to star along German/Irish actor Michael Fassbender, who will be taking on the titular role, under the direction of Snowtown's Justin Kurzel, The Hollywood Reporter first revealed.
Marion Cotillard will replace fellow Oscar-winner Natalie Portman in the latest adaption of 'The Scottish Play'
Distributed through StudioCanal and Film4, the latest rendition of the classic Shakespearean tragedy is being produced by The King's Speech backers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman, who run the production house See Saw. Which happens to be the same company that worked on the Fassbender-starring Shame. No further details of the film have been released just yet, so it is still unknown who Cotillard and Fassbender will be starring alongside when filming begins in January 2014.
X-Men put on a huge panel at Comic-Con 2013 with each cast member and writer present to answer the burning questions of the franchise's fans.
The X-Men stars who were present at this year's monumental Comic-Con included writers Simon Kinberg and Omar Sy, as well as Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, director Bryan Singer, Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicolas Hoult, Peter Dinklage, Evan Peters, with producers Lauren Shula Donner and Hutch Parker.
Hugh Jackman: Always Ready To Break Into Song.
Hugh Jackman, AKA Wolverine, took centre stage as arguably the most memorable and distinctive character in the long-running franchise. Describing his role as Wolverine as "the job that has defined [his]career...every day [he's] grateful," he added "I thank my lucky stars" before he and X-Men director Bryan Singer engaged in a spot of snuggling.
From the people who brought you The Roast of William Shatner.
It might seem like James Franco has been in almost every movie this year and with so much success, what better way to knock the actor/director/producer/writer/poet/we’re-probably missing-something-here down a peg than with a good old fashion roast? Franco made the announcement via Instagram video last night. “Hey y’all. I’m gonna get roasted on Comedy Central,” the Spring Breakers actor deadpans in the video. ”Be sure to check it out. They wanted me to tell you that. Alright.”
James Franco has been on a winning streak this year.
The roast, which already has its own twitter hashtag (#francoroast, how creative) will be filmed in August and is set to air on Labor Day, according to the Comedy Central website. It will be produced by Miles Levy and Joel Gallen, who also worked on the roasts of Rosanne Barr, Charlie Sheen, and Donald Trump, as well as the Emmy®-nominated Comedy Central Roast Of William Shatner. It’s safe to say that these people know how to make fun of celebrities.
Continue reading: The Ultimate Compliment? James Franco To Be Roasted On Comedy Central
And so, after a decade, Shameless is no more.
Say goodbye to “Shameless” – everyone else has, in one massive final blowout – in other words, a final episode to remember. The series is Channel 4’s longest runner, but this past season hasn’t exactly been its peak year. Having opened with a 1.7 million viewership, the rest of the season averaged just over a million for each episode, clearly hobbling on its last leg.
Shameless hit a ratings peak during its fourth series in early 2007, attracting up to 3.5 million viewers and a near 20% share for the early episodes of that run. However, according to the Guardian, this peak may have had something to do with Shameless following directly after Big Brother for that season. Whatever the case may be, the Channel 4 drama is no longer reeling in the viewers like it used to.
The final episode aired this Tuesday at 10, following the documentary Edward VIII: the Lion King, which averaged 800,000 viewers and a 3.2% share. Nevertheless, the drama had quite an impressive run – not only in terms of ratings, but also critical appeal. The series, chronicling the Gallaghers’ dysfunctional (to say the least) life helped launch the careers of stars like Anne-Marie Duff, James McAvoy and Maxine Peake. And with last night’s episode getting consistently good reviews, it looks like the drama is definitely going out on a high note.
Continue reading: Channel 4 Sees Off "Shameless" In Last Ever Episode
Danny Boyle is obviously having a ball with this thriller, deploying every cinematic trick he can think of to throw the audience off the track. But sometimes too much of a good thing is annoying. And while this film holds our interest, it also reveals early on that we simply can't trust anything we see on-screen. So while it's expertly shot and edited, and the actors make the most of their shifty characters, it's not easy to just sit back and enjoy the show.
McAvoy stars as Simon, an auctioneer presiding over the sale of a £30 million Goya painting, which promptly goes missing after an elaborate heist. Simon suffers a head injury in the assault, and can't remember anything, which is a problem when it turns out that he was working with criminal mastermind Franck (Cassel). Now Franck and his goons (Sapani, Cross and Sheikh) want to know where the painting is, so they enlist hypnotherapist Elizabeth (Dawson) to help Simon recover his memory using a series of unconventional methods. But she wants her share of the cash.
Yes, the further they travel into Simon's mind, the stranger things get. McAvoy has little to do here but look dazed in between moments of lucidity that generally spark something horribly violent. Opposite his understated performance, Cassel can hardly help but be a lot flashier as a menacing charmer. And Dawson has a fierce presence as a woman who quickly takes control of every situation she's in. Although Dawson also has to contend with a couple of leery nude scenes that go further than what was strictly necessary.
Continue reading: Trance Review
The big global release this week is the comedy pastiche The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, starring Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Jim Carrey and Alan Arkin as Las Vegas musicians in a battle between old-school illusions and street-magic stunts. Warm and funny, it's also just as silly as you think it'll be.
In between performances as Macbeth on London's West End stage, James McAvoy has been out promoting his new film Welcome to the Punch, an unusually glossy cop thriller set in East London. The film opens this weekend in the UK. Speaking to Contactmusic, he talks about how making action movies is a breeze, and why he prefers to work in Britain if he has the chance. Until a new X-men movie comes up, that is.
After the tiny drama Shifty, British filmmaker Creevy turns to both Hong Kong and Hollywood for inspiration, creating an unusually glossy, explosive London cop thriller. But for all the sleek filmmaking and energetic action, the film struggles to make us care about characters who are dark and troubled. Their complexity is interesting, but not hugely engaging.
Adding to the visual sheen, the action is set among the gleaming glass and steel skyscrapers of Canary Wharf in East London, where detective Max (McAvoy) is still struggling to accept his inability to stop a heist three years earlier. The mastermind Jacob (Strong) managed to escape then, but he's back in town now, so Max is chomping at the bit to grab him. Max's lieutenant (Morrissey) tells him to back off, but he secretly works with his partner Sarah (Riseborough) to join the hunt. Meanwhile, Jacob teams up with an old pal (Mullan) to find out why one of the gang members (Harris) is on a murderous rampage. Which puts Jacob on a collision course with Max.
With so much full-on gunplay in a city where cops aren't actually armed, the film feels like it's set in some sort of parallel reality London. And Creevy augments this fantasy tone by indulging in shootouts that are sudden and brutal - like John Woo crossed with Michael Mann. The plot is full of clever twists, as motivations are revealed and a political conspiracy becomes apparent. It's all a bit convoluted and implausible, and the details are annoyingly murky, but within this premise the cast are able to find some emotional resonance.
Continue reading: Welcome To The Punch Review
Scottish actor talks forthcoming roles with Contactmusic
James McAvoy has a busy year coming up with three new projects set to see the light of day. The actor, who has recently been receiving rave for reviews for his performances on stage in the Shakespeare play Macbeth, will be starring in Welcome To The Punch – a London cop thriller starring Mark Strong. Then he stars for Danny Boyle in the action thriller Trance, and then finally he appears in Filth, based on the Irvine Welsh novel.
McAvoy spoke to contactmusic.com about his upcoming role in Welcome To The Punch, and commented that he was drawn to the role because of “the fact that it seemed very determined not to be your usual geezer, gangster, "street", apples-and-pears London crime thriller.” Continuing, he added of the Eran Creevy-directed film “I've seen lots of them be great as well, but its willingness to not rely on gritty British realism is something that seemed refreshing. And although it is definitely taking strong points from the Hong Kong action genre movies and from Michael Mann, which Eran is totally open about, it felt quite fresh in terms of what Britain produces.”
Continue reading: James McAvoy Talks Welcome To The Punch In New Interview
After a couple of years off, James McAvoy has the leading role in three big British films in 2013. First is the American-style London cop thriller Welcome to the Punch, opposite Mark Strong, then he teams up with Danny Boyle for the action movie Trance, and later this year he leads the starry cast of Filth, based on the notorious Irvine Welsh novel. Meanwhile, he's been getting rave reviews in the title role in Shakespeare's Macbeth on a London West End stage before he rejoins the X-men for the super-sequel Days of Future Past.
You've been getting great reviews for Macbeth.
We've done really well. But it's the most physical thing I've ever done - ever! Including any action movie. So to do it for two-and-a-half hours straight every single night, eight times a week, I'm literally falling to pieces at the moment! Proper aches and pains. I nearly broke someone's knee the other night, and they nearly broke my face.
So playing a gun-toting London cop in Welcome to the Punch was a breeze?
Yes, this was a total laugh, largely thanks to [director] Eran Creevy, who's a lovely guy to work for. So passionate, so enthusiastic. He's like Danny Boyle in that respect, because the enthusiasm and the energy flies off him and kind of spears us all.
Continue reading: James McAvoy - Interview
Max Lewinsky is a determined police detective who remains bitter about never managing to find and arrest the elusive criminal that is Jacob Sternwood. However, he is in with another chance of victory when Sternwood leaves his hideout in Iceland to return to the streets of London where his son Ruan is lying unconscious in a hospital bed after suffering a near-fatal bullet wound to the stomach during a heist that went wrong. Knowing that Sternwood will attempt to sneak in to the hospital to see his son and also attempt to smuggle him out under the police's nose, Lewinsky pulls out all the stops in the biggest effort of his career to catch this former criminal and reinstate his flawless reputation. However, as they come face to face, the both of them find themselves in the middle of a much bigger scheme and the pair must work together to uncover the shady truth.
Continue: Welcome To The Punch Trailer
James McAvoy enjoys high praise for his turn in Macbeth
James McAvoy in Macbeth is causing quite a stir. Both the critics and the stars in the audience have lavished praise over the Scottish actor who has applied his trade in Hollywood, in X Men and The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. He is perhaps best known, though, for his roles in The Last King of Scotland and Atonement.
Stephen Merchant said he “loved it. I loved the bloodiness of it, the passion and the youthfulness of it, which was a nice take on the play.” Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville said of him, “James McAvoy is a brilliant actor, full stop,” while singer Beverley Knight had kind words for the plays writer. “Only Shakespeare himself could come up with the words to describe what I’ve just seen. I’m at a bit of a loss. It was so spellbinding, so intense, incredibly gripping. I thought I knew the play but now I’m seeing it with fresh eyes. It was absolutely unreal,” she said. The Director of the play, Jamie Lloyd, said of the play: “It's an apposite, urgent play for today, and that's why I don't want it to be set in period. I don't want the production to be a reflection of a time long past, I want it to resonate here and now."
Simon is a successful auctioneer of fine art who gets tracked down by a ruthless gang of organised criminals after an extremely valuable painting seen at one auction gets lost. He is subject to brutal torture as they fruitlessly try to uncover the artwork and he finds himself teaming up with the professional hypnotherapist Elizabeth to access the information in his brain that he can't quite reach. His life depends on him making the right choice between forcing himself to remember and letting himself forget the location of the painting but soon he finds that reality, suggestion and general delusions are becoming distorted putting more than just his life at stake, but also his sanity.
Continue: Trance Trailer
The updated production will be held at the newly opened Traf Transformed theatre at Trafalgar Studio in Whitehall, beginning in February next year (13), running from February 9 until April 27. The latest version has been re-written by Lloyd and is set in a dystopian separatist Scotland, which has been ravaged by war. Although little else has been revealed about the plot of the latest adaption, is is believed that the story will largely follow Shakespeare's original plot, with the setting and a few other details being changed for the new adaption.
After the show's run, McAvoy will be heading back to Hollywood to film the sequel for last years X Men: First Class, where he will reclaim his role as Professor Charles Xavier in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Don't worry if you want to see Macbeth after McAvoy calls it quits though, as the newly knighted Sir Kenneth Branagh will be teaming up with director Rob Ashford to bring their own interpretation of the Bard's most famous story at the Manchester International Festival in July.
Scottish star James McAvoy will play his nation's most famous royal when he takes to the stage to portray Macbeth next year in the latest adaption of Shakespeare's most famous play.
McAvoy will portray the tragic King on stage at Trafalgar Studios from February 9 to April 27, 2013 in the latest version of one The Bard's best known plays, which is being helmed by Jamie Lloyd. The new version will thrust the original forward a few hundred years, and is set in a dystopian future version of Scotland, where Macbeth takes on his power struggle with the help (or rather hindrance) of his maniac wife - with the actress portraying Lady Macbeth yet to be announced.
Speaking to reporters about the unveiling of his new star, Lloyd said: "I am thrilled to announce the first production for Trafalgar Transformed - a season of politically-charged power plays on the doorstep of Whitehall, accompanied by a festival of platform events, discussions and readings. We hope to welcome new and diverse audiences to the West End and I am very excited to engage with schools and other groups via a series of bespoke workshops and master classes."
Continue reading: James McAvoy To Play Macbeth In New West End Show
James McAvoy is returning to the stage for the first time since 2009, to play the lead role in The Scottish Play. We’re not sure if it’s bad luck to type the real name of the Shakespeare play, or just to say it out loud, so with some trepidation, we confirm, that is Macbeth. James McAvoy will play Macbeth, in Macbeth (hey, in for a penny, in for a pound).
The Atonement star will star in Jamie Lloyd’s production; part of a season of work at Whitehall’s Trafalgar Studios, entitled Trafalgar Transformed. The last time McAvoy was onstage was in the Olivier nominated Three Days of Rain, at the Apollo Theatre, in 2009. According to The Independent, Lloyd’s version of the Shakesperian classic will be set in a “dystopian Scotland brutalised by war” and will depict Macbeth’s “tormented struggle for power fuelled by ambition and paranoia under a toxic fog.” In a statement, Lloyd said “We hope to welcome new and diverse audiences to the West End and I am very excited to engage with schools and other groups via a series of bespoke workshops and masterclasses.”
Tickets for Monday performances with be priced at £15. Half of those tickets will be made available via an outreach scheme aimed at school pupils and first-time theatre goers. In addition to this, all daytime performances will be available for £10 per ticket, for Tuesday to Saturday.
This lively holiday romp has a steady stream of sharp verbal and visual gags that hold our interest. Even when the plot stalls in the middle, it's difficult to stop chuckling at the filmmakers' deranged sense of humour.
At the North Pole, Santa (Broadbent) is a bit complacent after 70 years on the job, letting his heir-apparent son Steve (Laurie) convert Christmas Eve into a high-tech black-ops style mission executed with military precision. To Steve, missing one child is an insignificant statistic. But Steve's younger brother Arthur (McAvoy) disagrees, and teams up with his feisty Grandsanta (Nighy) to make sure the last gift is delivered the old fashioned way.
Yes, the film is a riot of clashes between tradition and progress, the wisdom of the years and youthful vigour. Fortunately, the serious themes are subverted, hilariously playing with our expectations and never turning into a nostalgic paean to the olden days. That said, this British production does feel eerily co-opted by Hollywood, from the use of the American "Santa Claus" (no one ever calls him "Father Christmas", which might have made sense of the film's odd title) to the somewhat feeble attempts to ramp up the action and suspense. Not to mention a massive wave of sentimentality at the end.
But even this is undermined by Baynham (Borat) and director Smith's script, which maintains a dry British sense of humour and gives the strong vocal cast plenty of snappy material to play with. While most of the characters are a bit unmemorable, Nighy gets the best lines: Grandsanta as an old coot full of surprises, including some terrific rude jokes and an amusingly animated hound-style old reindeer sidekick. Staunton also has some terrific dialog as the underestimated Mrs Santa.
Visually the film is brightly colourful, amusingly designed with small sight gags and continual Christmas imagery. While the characters look a little plasticky, the settings are gorgeously rendered, and the flying sleigh sequences almost make it worth seeing in 3D. The problem is that the film feels stretched out by random antics and underdeveloped plot-threads along the way that add nothing to the overall story. So we get tired of the bumbling chaos, mainly because we know exactly where it's got to end up.
After the President is murdered in 1865, inexperienced lawyer Frederick (McAvoy) is assigned to defend Mary Surratt (Wright), who is charged with conspiracy alongside eight others. As a war hero from the North, Frederick is horrified to get this job, but is convinced by his boss (Wilkinson) that she at least deserves a fair trial. Of course, in the hysteria following the war and assassination, that's not likely. The judge (Meaney) clearly takes sides, the prosecutor (Huston) is relentlessly arrogant and the war secretary (Kline) has already decided on a verdict and sentence.
Continue reading: The Conspirator Review
Valentin (McAvoy) is a young Tolstoyan in 1910 assigned by the movement's leader Chertkov (Giamatti) to keep an eye on Leo Tolstoy (Plummer) and his sceptical wife Sofya (Mirren). But what Valentin finds is a lively, loving marriage that's strong enough to include opposing views. This isn't good enough for Chertkov, who moves to get Leo to change his will to leave everything to the movement. Which of course enrages Sofya. Meanwhile, Valentin is experiencing his first flush of love with a Tolstoyan commune resident (Condon).
Continue reading: The Last Station Review
What sounds an awful lot like The Matrix is actually Wanted, an adaptation of Mark Millar's 2004 comic book miniseries by style-conscious Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov. His name may ring a bell with adventurous moviegoers who sampled his frenzied vampire thriller Night Watch and its muddled sequel, Day Watch. And though it's unlikely Bekmambetov will become a household name once Wanted explodes on the scene, a wider audience certainly will become more familiar with the director's uniquely kinetic aesthetics.
Continue reading: Wanted Review
Date of birth
21st April, 1979
What do you do when you feel like your garden ornaments are in grave danger?...
From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...
Lorraine Broughton is an experienced MI6 agent who, in 1989, is assigned on a mission...
After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...
X-Men Apocalypse comes as the ninth instalment in the X-Men film series and stars Jennifer...
This closing chapter of the First Class trilogy falls into the same trap as The...
Mutants and humans alike are familiar with the story of Apocalypse, he was the first...
Igor Strausman is the less thought about assistant of the insane but brilliant Victor Frankenstein....
Conor (James McAvoy) and Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) play a couple who fall in love and...
Continuing to be the most original and resonant of the Marvel superhero franchises, the X-men...
The mutants of the world are quickly dwindling in their numbers, tearing each other apart...
In a post-apocalyptic world where mutants are now scarce, Charles Xavier must convince Wolverine to...