For the production of 'Blackhat', writer/director Michael Mann had to brush up on his knowledge of hacking in order to put together a film on the subject. Actor Chris Hemsworth had to undergo a master class on hacking and the use of computers. Mann also discusses how terrifying the idea of a cyber-criminal being able steal whatever they please from anywhere in the world at any time.
'Blackhat' follows the story of a hacker that can target anywhere in the world, stealing money and amassing wealth before causing a string of terrorist attacks upon the world. The US and China form a specialist taskforce to discover the identity of the hacker and find him before he is able to strike again. When they find themselves unable to trace the source, they turn to Nicholas Hathaway (Hemsworth), a convicted hacker serving jail time for hacking. If Hathaway is able to find and expose the mysterious hacker before it's too late, he will be free to live his life. 'Blackhat' is due to be released in the US on 16th January 2015, with a UK theatrical release following on 20th January in the same year.
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.
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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.
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Bill Marks is a U.S. federal air marshal who ironically can't stand plane journeys. His hatred for flying is only about to get a lot worse when an anonymous person breaks through the secure network on his phone to send him a threatening text explaining that they're going to kill a person on the plane every twenty minutes unless $150 million is transferred to an offshore account number. With the crew sceptical that anything's amiss and insisting that no-one could get away with murder on a 6 hour flight between the States and the UK, Bill is forced to search for the culprit alone - but time is running out as the first victim is discovered. When it is revealed that the account number is actually in his name, news spreads across the world that he has hijacked the flight and he is forced to defend himself while keeping everybody else from being harmed.
This high-action mystery thriller will have you on the edge of seat this winter with an almost impossible to believe cat and mouse chase. 'Non-Stop' has been directed by Jaume Collet-Serra ('Orphan', 'Unknown', 'House Of Wax') and written by Ryan Engle ('On a Clear Day') and John W. Richardson and Christopher Roach in their feature screenwriting debuts. It is set to be released in the UK on February 28th 2014.
Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra
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Fit snug into the mother superior of self-reflexive roles, Angelina Jolie once again finds herself the eye of the storm in Clint Eastwood's epic melodrama Changeling. Armed with her thick, crimson lips, period duds, and that ever-present cloche, Jolie goes all gooey as Christine Collins, a single mother who finds herself a media fulcrum when she denies that a boy returned to her by the LAPD is Walter, her son who had been kidnapped five months prior.
Based on a catastrophic piece of the infamous Wineville Chicken-Coop Murders, which ran from 1928 to 1930, and the ensuing trials that yielded a major ousting of the LAPD's top tier and almost no real answers, Changeling is an exceedingly visual film yet one that lacks confidence in its imagery, relying too often on clunky language and an unsteady lead performance. This is no loose adaptation of actual events: Collins fought against the terminally-corrupt LAPD for years, became a martyr for forced institutionalization, and kept her job as a roller-skating switchboard operator while continuing the search for her lost boy. That's no small feat for a lone woman in the late 20s/early 30s.
After taking the boy the LAPD presented home, Collins begins to document inaccuracies between the delivered boy and her son, only to be brushed off by Captain J.J. Jones (Jeffrey Donovan), the man in charge of the investigation. Support comes in the form of Reverend Gustav Briegleb (John Malkovich), a flamboyant radio preacher who's been hounding the LAPD for years. When Collins finally takes her story to the media, it's Gustav who starts yelling for her return as she is forced into a psychiatric hospital with a gaggle of mistreated women, the most vocal of whom is played by Amy Ryan.
In its third act, Eastwood switches focus to the trial and execution of Gordon Northcott (Jason Butler Harner), the man who kidnapped and slaughtered over 20 children on his ranch in Wineville, one of which was Collins' son. The introduction of Northcott disrupts the tone and mood of the film, stumbling from feminist parable to legal drama. It does permit a final scene between Collins and Northcott, allowing Jolie a final, enraged plea for closure: It's later revealed that Walter might have escaped Northcott's ranch, a fact that's meant to bolster an infuriating feel-good ending.
Changeling, like most of Eastwood's excellent latter-day work, is a classy affair, but one of technical weight rather than dramatic. Shot by Tom Stern, the brilliant cinematographer who has been working with Eastwood since 2002's Blood Work, the director's latest is covered in dehydrated colors and beautifully scored by Eastwood himself with lilting pianos and blustery strings. While Jolie overplays her scorned mother, the supporting cast blends in beautifully, especially Donovan's complexly-composited policeman and Malkovich's propulsive, lively clergyman. Schematically unstable, it's J. Michael Straczynski's woozy script that proves the film's most incapable cog, handling its cerebral and narrative shifts with the subtlety of a race car hitting a speed bump.
At a hulking 141-minute runtime, Changeling suffers from more than its fair share of showy moments, none more egregious than when momma bear profanely tells off the head of the psychiatric hospital. Eastwood's direction is proficient, but he finds it impossible for his actress and his aesthetics to coalesce. Unable to internalize the drama, Jolie engulfs every scene with an utterance of "I want my son back!," often cheapening the meticulous production design, courtesy of the talented James J. Murakami. It's a gaudy, showboat performance, trading nuance and grace for simple presence; I'll eat a small fishing boat if she doesn't get an Oscar nomination. British director Michael Winterbottom tempered Jolie the starlet as another single mother left as residue after a media-centric tragedy in A Mighty Heart by centering on the procedure of retrieval. With Eastwood, however, Jolie's weeping caterwaul reduces a firebrand of corrupt politics into a work of enthused pageantry.
First we're gonna catch this Zodiac guy, then we'll find your boy.
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