With its rousing, old-fashioned tone, this fact-based epic is properly thrilling and inspirational, a tale of heroism that almost seems too good to be true. But it's the astonishing story of a real sea rescue carried out by ordinary men who rose to the challenge. It's also expertly directed by Craig Gillespie (Million Dollar Arm) to bring out subtle character detail amid the exhilarating action.
The events took place in a sleepy Massachusetts fishing town in the dead of winter 1952, where Bernie (Chris Pine) is an earnest Coast Guard sailor who has just agreed to marry his strong-willed sweetheart Miriam (Holliday Grainger). Then one night a fierce storm breaks an oil tanker in half just off the coast, and Bernie is sent by his aloof commander Daniel (Eric Bana) to lead a rescue mission. He takes his colleague Richard (Ben Foster) and two young crewmen (Kyle Gallner and John Magaro) with him, heading into the dangerous sea swells. Meanwhile on the tanker's still-floating stern section, engineer Ray (Casey Affleck) becomes the leader of a cantankerous 32-man crew, steering the wreckage toward the relative safety of a shoal. And in these conditions, the odds are in nobody's favour.
Unusually, despite pitch-black conditions with driving rain and swelling seas, the on-screen action is crisp and clear. Gillespie uses vivid effects and clever camerawork to keep the audience right in the thick of things, conveying a vivid sense of scale while detailing the connections between each string of events. And because we understand what's happening and who these people are, the set-pieces are literally breathtaking. This is partially due to the fact that these are normal people who are very easy to identify with, from Pine's inarticulate but tenacious sailor to Affleck's reluctant natural leader. Intriguingly, Grainger's Miriam is the film's feistiest character, a woman who simply can't sit still and wait for news.
Continue reading: The Finest Hours Review
It's 1952 and a routine shipment is being undertaken by the crew of an oil tanker travelling along the coast of Cape Cod. However, little did they know of a disastrous oncoming storm that would brutally attack New England like never before. As bad luck would have it, the crew on board the vessel find their tanker suddenly ripped in half by the hurricane and they are forced to await the Coast Guard for rescue unable to move from their sinking boat. 30 men are trapped, not knowing whether anyone was coming to rescue them, not knowing whether or not this was their last night on Earth. After all, it would be a suicide mission for any lifeboat to attempt a rescue in these conditions, but that's exactly what happens. A feat of outstanding bravery for this East Coast Guard.
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Ted (Seann William Scott) is done. Since his wife left him, he has decided that there is nothing left to live for, and he is prepared to kill himself. He only has one thing he wishes to do before he ends it all: get back at all the people who have wronged him over the years. Be it an old school teacher who he felt was too hard on him, or a school bully who made his life miserable, Ted intends to give them hell. That is, until he starts to learn just how much people change over time, and how change itself is something worth living for. Now, at the darkest moment in his life, can Ted really change, and learn the truth about life, love and friendship?
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What would you do when your own morals come into direct confrontation with your duty to protect your peers? For Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), a U.S. Navy SEAL working as a sniper in Iraq, the question comes in one of the worst possible ways. An armed patrol, under the watchful eyes of Kyle, is confronted by a woman and a child. When the woman hands the child what looks to be a Russian grenade, Kyle desperately calls for someone else to see and make a confirmation. When no one can, he is faced with the choice of killing the young boy in his tracks, or jeopardising the safety of his colleagues.
Continue: American Sniper Trailer
At the highly regarded college of Winchester University, racial tension is at an all time high. While a group of white students are planning to throw their traditional African-American themed party, many black students are firmly protesting. Meanwhile, the mixed race Samantha White is enjoying popularity as the host of her 'Dear White People' themed radio show, which aims to combat existing stereotypes at the college, but disaster strikes for her when the all-black residential hall faces eradication in order to further diversify students. However, it seems a reality show is keen to document her story - but that means her college peer Coco Conners is looking at rejection for her own pitch. Lionel Higgins joins the newspaper team to help ease some of the tension, but it seems not all black students are clued up on their own cultures.
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Lena Duchannes is a Caster whose family has plenty of dark power between them, but rather than feeling empowered, Lena just wishes she can be mortal so she wouldn't have to hide and people wouldn't talk about her all the time. When she moves to the small and somewhat conservative town of Gatlin, South Carolina, she finds herself an outcast but is soon noticed by her school mate Ethan Wate who is enchanted by her and the excitement her arrival brings to this ordinary, unmoving town. However, their relationship is compromised by the fact that Lena only has a matter of days left before she is subjected to the Claiming; a process that will decide whether she will turn to the Light or the Dark side of magic. While her uncle does everything in her power to make sure she is claimed to the Light, the all-powerful Sarafine is convinced that she will have great magical supremacy which would better be served in the Dark.
'Beautiful Creatures' is the story of just how much love can conquer and, equally, the devastation it brings. It has been adapted to screen by Oscar nominated director and screenwriter Richard LaGravenese ('P.S. I Love You', 'The Mirror Has Two Faces') from the book of the same name by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. The fantasy romance will be released in time for Valentine's Day on February 13th 2013.
Director: Richard LaGravenese
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Despite taking a full-on approach to the issue of alcoholism, filmmaker Ponsoldt undermines his own case by telling a story about the problem itself rather than the people caught up in it. And by avoiding the bigger questions, he leaves us with characters and a situation that are hard to care about, no matter how harrowing the story gets.
Schoolteacher Kate (Winstead) is a mess. Out drinking every night with her husband Charlie (Paul), she turns up drunk to teach her classroom of 6-year-olds. One morning when she's sick, she lets them believe she's pregnant. But lying to the kids sparks her guilt, which gets worse when a colleague (Offerman) covers for her and her boss (Mullally) throws a baby shower. So she joins AA and gets help from her sponsor Jenny (Spencer) to straighten out her life. But once she's sober she wonders whether she can stay with the still-drunk Charlie.
Essentially the film lets all of the characters off the hook since it's the alcohol that's the real villain, not any failing of willpower or self-discipline. In this world, it's not possible to be "the kind of people who have a glass of wine with dinner": you're either a falling-down drunk or a pious teetotaller. And even worst, both Kate and Charlie have tragic back-stories that explain why they are alcoholics. So the film's approach is purely superficial, which makes it impossible to identify with the characters or even root for them to sort out their messy lives.
Continue reading: Smashed Review
Kate and Charlie Hannah's marriage came about through their shared love of partying and getting drunk. All is well in their relationship as long as they are drinking together. However, when Kate's excessive partying pushes her into the dangerous territory of hard drugs threatening her teaching career when she continuously lies to her boss, she decides that it's time to deal with her problem and quit the booze for good. While Charlie vows to help her, he finds going sober less easy and Kate beings to question whether their relationship is built on love or whether their vision of each other has been blurred by alcohol over the past years. Quitting drinking also forces Kate to confront her conduct at work and her difficult relationship with her mother.
'Smashed' is a comedy drama with more drama than comedy. While the antics of Kate and Charlie may be funny at first sight, it is clear as the story goes on that this a story about burying your darkest problems. It has been directed by James Ponsoldt ('Off the Black') who also co-wrote the movie with actress Susan Burke in her screenplay debut. 'Smashed' is scheduled for release this year on December 14th 2012.
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Lily is a 15-year-old girl who has been raised in the miserable land of trailer parks that is Salton Sea, California by a mother who is constantly in the bar drinking. She and her best friend Alison have never left their hometown but angst-ridden Lily constantly dreams of been whisked away to the big city by a handsome stranger. Alison feels differently, content with remaining at home with her caring father, though watching her friend suffocate under the strains of their simple life concerns her greatly. One day, a group of boys with questionable intentions from Los Angeles show up in the town, immediately grabbing Lily's attention. Falling deeply for one of the boys, she convinces Alison to steal a truck from a neighbour and follow them back to the city where it soon becomes obvious that their lives are much more brutal and dangerous than they could ever have imagined. Alison was unhappy about leaving from the off, but is too nervous to try and further convince Lily that they should leave. Their bond, and their lives, are put to the test when the boys use the girls as bait in a ruthless mugging scheme.
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Teenagers Travis, Billy-Ray and Jarod are best friends who live in a small town in Middle America. One night, they trawl the internet for casual hook-ups outside town and get talking to a 38 year old woman, Sara, who propositions them with no strings attached group sex. The three friends agree and travel to Cooper's Dell, where Sara lives, all the while discussing what they'd like to do with her.
Continue: Red State Trailer
With its rousing, old-fashioned tone, this fact-based epic is properly thrilling and inspirational, a tale...
It's 1952 and a routine shipment is being undertaken by the crew of an oil...
Ted (Seann William Scott) is done. Since his wife left him, he has decided that...
What would you do when your own morals come into direct confrontation with your duty...
At the highly regarded college of Winchester University, racial tension is at an all time...
Lena Duchannes is a Caster whose family has plenty of dark power between them, but...
Despite taking a full-on approach to the issue of alcoholism, filmmaker Ponsoldt undermines his own...
Kate and Charlie Hannah's marriage came about through their shared love of partying and getting...
Lily is a 15-year-old girl who has been raised in the miserable land of trailer...
Teenagers Travis, Billy-Ray and Jarod are best friends who live in a small town in...
In recent times Kate and Bill's marriage has been a little fragile. Both are committed...