Since its true story is still so timely after some 150 years, we can forgive this film for being somewhat dull in the way the events are recounted. Solid acting helps give the characters some soulfulness, and the issues are things society is still grappling with. Writer-director Gary Ross (The Hunger Games) may struggle to maintain the momentum of the story with his fragmented script, but he recreates the period beautifully and makes sure that the ideas resonate.
It's set in 1862 Mississippi, as the American Civil War is in full force and medic Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey) finds it increasingly difficult to serve in the Confederate Army. In addition to the rampant racism, he realises that this is little more than a class war: poor men fighting to help the rich maintain their wealth. So he abandons his post and returns home, where he assembles a ragtag militia from escaped slaves and deserters. Together, they claim that Jones County is a free state. Their battles with military forces and angry locals continue long after the war ends. But Newton and his second wife Rachel (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) keep fighting against the state's blatantly racist laws.
This story is intercut with another series of events 75 years later, as a descendant of Newton and Rachel fights a courtroom battle in which he's criminally charged with marrying a white woman, even though he's only one-eighth black. This sideroad has nothing to do with Newton's story, other than to connect it loosely to America's civil rights protests in the 1960s, so it drastically slows down the entire movie. There's a lot happening with Newton, but filmmaker Ross never quite lets a scene build up some momentum before cutting away to something else.
Continue reading: Free State Of Jones Review
That kind of evidence is hard to argue...
Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are reportedly expecting their first baby together after a few years of dating. Although the couple are yet to confirm the news themselves or via a representative, there have been several 'exclusive' reports from various publications - alongside some rather unambiguous photos. If the rumours are true, congratulations guys!
Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys to have a baby?
In 2014, it was first confirmed that 'The Americans' co-stars had been dating since 2013, and while the expected baby is not the first for 39-year-old Russell herself, it will be their first as a couple.
Continue reading: New Evidence Nearly Confirms Keri Russell And Matthew Rhys' Baby News
The couple, whose on-screen characters in 'The Americans' are also in a relationship, are expecting their first baby.
The couple began dating when they met on the set of the FX spy drama in 2013, and a report by Us Weekly on Wednesday suggested that they were expecting their first child together. “Keri is more than four months along. It’s so exciting for them,” a source told the publication.
Russell, 39 years old and a former star of ‘Felicity’ and of movies like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, has two children (daughter Willa, 4, and son River, 8) from her seven-year marriage to ex-husband Shane Deary, which ended in 2013.
Mel Gibson is honoured at Czech festival, while the Apes sequel and What If premiere in New York, and Legend and Grimsby film on streets around London. Plus new trailers for heavy-hitters Exodus, Gone Girl and Foxcatcher...
This is a week when most attention was on the sporting world, with the Wimbledon finals, the Formula One British Grand Prix and the Tour de France starting in Britain, and of course the World Cup in Brazil. So most people didn't notice that the Karlovy Vary Film Festival kicked off in the Czech Republic by awarding Mel Gibson with the Crystal Globe for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema. The festival wraps up on Saturday. Here's Mel Gibson at the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival - Mad Max screening .
Meanwhile in New York, the stars turned out on Tuesday for the premiere of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Cast members Andy Serkis and Keri Russell were joined by visiting filmmakers Darren Aronofsky and Paul Haggis and actors Alex Karpovsky and Bridget Moynahan. The film opens this week in the US and next week in the UK. Here's a Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes clip to get you in the mood.
In a post-apocalyptical Earth inhabited by only the few humans who survived the viral pandemic that wiped out most of human civilisation less than ten years ago, man and ape are at war. A troop of genetically modified apes have taken over the planet led by the enraged and long-suffering Caesar; the first ape to have been modified enough to develop human speech and intelligence. Determined not to let humankind rule over them as they once did, the apes will stop at nothing to make sure they are never subjected to brutal scrutiny ever again. However, Caesar knows deep down that there are still good men in the world, and he also knows that if those men and his primate family don't work together to create peace in the world, it will be the end of all of them.
Continue: Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes - Clip
Jon Favreau's new movie 'Chef,' has got our mouths watering. Here's our top five favourite films about food. WARNING: Don't watch on an empty stomach!
Jon Favreau’s new film Chef was released last weekend to nearly unanimously positive reviews. Gary Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times raved, “Favreau is flat-out terrific. Warm, dimensional and intuitive, his Carl proves an ideal combo of top dog and underdog - as well as a thoroughly credible kitchen master.”
Jon Favreau's new movie Chef has gone down a storm with the critics
Praise for Favreau and the script aside, hardly a single critic doesn’t recommend making sure you watch Chef on a full stomach. The tantalising dishes served up are just too much to take if you’ve skipped lunch. We recommend stocking up on snacks before watching these fantastic food movies, too.
Continue reading: 'Chef' And Our Five Other Favorite Films About Food
'It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia' star Danny Devito is seen looking cheerful as he arrives at the Media Presents: 'Fargo' event at The Paley Center in New York alongside his 'Taxi' co-star Carol Kane and daughter Lucy DeVito.
If Matt Reeves' synopsis doesn't get you pumped, the new stills should do the trick.
Let’s just slip into geek out mode for a few minutes with these ten new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes stills released by Empire Magazine and USA Today, among others. The stills reveal nearly the entire cast of Dawn characters, some really cool CGI and the biggest news of all – it looks like the formerly mild-mannered and lovable Caesar is now wielding a shotgun.
Watch the Dawn teaser trailer below.
We also get several glimpses of the apes, which have well and truly taken over the world by the time of the film. The virus, released in Rise has by this point wiped almost all of humanity, including James Franco’s character from the previous film (or his contract expired, both valid possibilities). Either way, the main protagonist is now Gary Oldman’s character, the leader of a small band of survivors, whom we’ve already seen give a rousing speech in one Dawn trailer. Oldman stars alongside Jason Clarke and Keri Russell, the other leaders of the colony, which settles just outside of San Francisco.
True Detective and House of Cards might have a contender in The Americans as its second season impresses the critics.
Returning to a series that has enjoyed a strong first season is always a risk: expectations are doubled, and the job of pleasing fans increasing exponentially the further you go on; the further you desensitise them from what you have to say. The Americans, which is primarily a drama about relationships and marriage while the backdrop of war and espionage provides its steely edge, premiered last night on FX with its second season, and re-enters a TV space filled with stern competition. But if the critical response is anything to go by, it’ll soon become one of the most talked about shows of 2014.
“FX's The Americans does the near-impossible of making viewers cheer for Russian spies in America and at the same time for the American FBI agents who are trying to unmask those Russians living in suburbia. It's an incredibly deft balancing act that's accomplished through strong character development all around,” writes Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Keri Russell splits with Shane Deary - and the news comes after frightening burglary at her New York home.
Keri Russell had announced her separation from husband Shane Deary only days after being subjected to a burglary while she slept.
It's been a tough time for the 'Felicity' star as she confirms to People that she and her husband of nearly seven years have split up, separating in the summer of 2013. "They have been separated since early summer," a representative told the publication.
"The separation is amicable and their focus is on their children." The pair married on Valentine's Day in 2007 and subsequently had two children named River Russell Deary and Willa Lou Deary.
Continue reading: Keri Russell Announces Marriage Separation Following Terrifying Burglary
Fans of romantic fiction may enjoy this gimmicky comedy, which cleverly plays around with Jane Austen's fiction but kind of misses its own joke. The screenwriters seem to think they're combining sudsy fantasy with darker realism. But actually everything on screen is plainly ridiculous, only livened up by a couple of the actors.
The story starts in America, where Jane (Russell) is so obsessed with Austen's novels that she's sure Mr Darcy is coming for her any day now. So she spends her savings on a holiday at Austenland in England, where Mrs Wattlesbrook (Seymour) lets her clients live as if they're in a 19th century novel. Jane's only fellow guests are Elizabeth and Amelia (Coolidge and King), both of whom flirt shamelessly with Nobley, Andrews and East (Feild, Callis and Whittle), the actors on hand to play dashing bachelors. But Jane is more interested in sexy stable boy Martin (McKenzie).
As the script strains to layer romance and fantasy into this goofy set-up, there are a few snappy one-liners that get us laughing, thanks mainly to the expert improvisation skills of Coolidge, who can make anything funny. By contrast, Russell is annoyingly naive and sulky, while King tips the opposite way into broad farce. The men are more interesting because we occasionally get to see them as the actors they really are, but none of them are very complex, and we can guess where the story is going from the start.
Continue reading: Austenland Review
Jane Hayes has, what some might say, an unhealthy obsession with Jane Austen's novels and all things from the Regency era. She's infatuated with Mr. Darcy from 'Pride and Prejudice' - of whom she has a cardboard cut-out portrayed by Colin Firth from the 1995 Emmy winning BBC series - and has filled her bedroom with all manner of Austen-themed memorabilia. After discovering an ultimate Austen experience in England, she puts all her life savings into making the trip there, immersing herself completely in the Regency style excursion and finding her Mr. Darcy. However, it soon becomes clear that living without modern amenities is almost unthinkable and the paradise she imagined is far from bliss. Although she starts to contemplate that she may have wasted all her life savings, she does meet a potential love interest, though he may not be what she was looking for.
Continue: Austenland Trailer
Being Valentine's Day week, cinemas are flooded with romantic movies like the new teen franchise-launcher Beautiful Creatures. US audiences can also weep their way through the new Nicholas Sparks drama Safe Haven, while in the UK couples instead can laugh at Judd Apatow's epic rom-com This Is 40 and the clunky British farce Run For Your Wife. And for alternative viewing, there's the ultimate date movie A Good Day to Die Hard, Bruce Willis' fifth instalment in the crashing, exploding franchise.
And this kind of action dominates the week's new selection of trailers, starting with the very explosive-looking Olympus Has Fallen, starring Gerard Butler as a Secret Service agent trying to retake the White House after a terrorist invasion. The muscly cast includes Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Angela Bassett and Melissa Leo. It opens in March.
Daniel and Lacey Barret have always lived a happy and quiet life in their typical suburban American home with their two loving children Jesse and Sam. However, their tranquillity is tested when strange things start happening around the house. Objects are rearranged in their home, hundreds of migrating birds are killed after flying into their windows compelled by some unknown energy and the family start to develop strange illnesses and injuries on their bodies starting with Sam. It becomes obvious that they are dealing with a malevolent alien force intent on destroying the family, children first, and Daniel and Lacey must confront the force head on if they have any chance of survival. To help them, they enlist the help of an expert who claims to have knowledge on what has been happening, after discovering that similar things have happened elsewhere.
Continue: Dark Skies Trailer
The Americans - a new FX drama series starting Keri Russell - is receiving encouraging reviews across the board following its premiere on U.S. television. Set in the 1980s, the cold-war drama follows a group of Soviet KGB officers who have been trained to impersonate American citizens so that each one can become a sleeper agent. Their covers include unwitting spouses and families.
The Americans, also starring Welsh actor Matthew Rhys, premiered on Wednesday evening (January 30, 2013) to near unanimous acclaim from critics. Alan Sepinwall over at HitFix said, "Based on the admittedly small sample size of two episodes, The Americans feels like it could very comfortably slot in with the upper tier of FX dramas. That's about as good as it gets." Dorothy Rabinowitz at the Wall Street Journal was equally impressed by the show, writing, "The Americans unfolds a thoroughly seductive tale of sleeper KGB agents." The nature of the show leaves it an open target for Homeland comparisons, though critics aren't necessarily dismissing its potential to match the Emmy and Golden Globe winning drama. The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman said, "It's too early to really judge Americans against Homeland, but if the latter is getting away from what hooked you in the first place, then you might find what you're missing on Americans." Gil Pennington at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch likened the show to another all-conquering television drama, "The Americans isn't just a heart-pounding action drama; by presenting heroes who are also villains, it also confronts viewers with TV's deepest moral dilemma since "The Sopranos". High praise indeed.
Fans of the show have a 13-episode season to look forward to, though on the basis of early reviews, expect a second instalment to be given the green-light pretty soon.
Continue reading: Is Keri Russell's 'The Americans' Better Than Homeland?
Ellis is probably the most normal member of his weird family. His mother, Wendy, is a hippie who enjoys practising rituals of self-empowerment with a dubious boyfriend who lives in Tucson, Arizona. His father left him when he was young because of Wendy's eccentricities, leaving him to be raised by Goat Man; a long-haired, bearded botanist and goat tracker who has lived with him and his mother in their pool house for as long as he could remember. Ellis decides to attend the Gates Academy prep school on the East Coast that his father used to go to, devastating his mother who misses him dearly. He attempts to rebuild a relationship with his father who now has a beautiful girlfriend, a meticulous house and a baby on the way. Ellis is hurt that he was never informed about the imminent arrival of his half-brother but his dad takes the opportunity of seeing his son again to step up to being a proper father this time. Although Ellis settles into his new school well and meets a pretty girl from the area, he soon begins to realise how huge the gap between his life at home and his life on the East Coast really is.
Continue: Goats Trailer
Freddie Highmore plays the title character, a little boy in a Dickensian version of the real world: He has grown up in a group home for boys in upstate New York (do they even have those anymore?), where he hears music in the world, from the corn fields to the moonlight. He sets out one day, believing that if he follows the music, it will lead to his parents; where it actually leads is New York City, where the noise of the city turns into the rhythmic beginnings of a Stomp number. There, he hooks up with a band of street urchins/musicians straight out of Oliver Twist, run by the unstable and off-putting Wizard (Robin Williams as a creepy redhead). When August discovers things like guitars and sheet music that allow him to produce the music he hears, he becomes a prodigy, and a sensation.
Continue reading: August Rush Review
The film, written and directed by the late Adrienne Shelly, opens with Jenna discovering this pregnancy, and despairing over the fact that it ties her to her surly, controlling husband Earl (Jeremy Sisto). She dreams of escape plans, squirreling away tip money from her titular job and soliciting advice from her two friends and co-workers, while peevishly and secretly attending doctor's appointments with Dr. Pomatter (Nathan Fillion). In the back of her mind, Jenna seems to know that keeping secrets and extra cash may not be enough; her escape is attempted through a series of half-measures.
Continue reading: Waitress Review
We Were Soldiers is based on the book We Were Soldiers Once...And Young written by Lieutenant Colonel Harold Moore and Joseph L. Galloway, the only journalist willing to go into the front lines to capture a first hand account of the war. In the film, Mel Gibson plays Harold Moore, a down-to-earth officer who is responsible for leading a group of innocent, naive young men into the area of Vietnam known as "The Valley of Death." But not soon after Lt. Col. Moore and his troops touch down, their position is compromised and they find themselves outnumbered almost 5 to 1. The American soldiers engage in a deadly battle for control of the area.
Continue reading: We Were Soldiers Review
Date of birth
23rd March, 1976
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Jane Hayes has, what some might say, an unhealthy obsession with Jane Austen's novels and...
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Going in to August Rush, you've got to be more than willing to accept fairy...