This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with the weight of its themes. It may be fiction, but the film's exploration of the power of language raises fascinating ideas about the human mind. It's also produced to an extremely high standard, with striking effects and sumptuous cinematography and editing. And as played by Amy Adams, the movie also carries a surprising emotional kick.
Adams plays linguistics expert Louise, who is asked by the American government to help decode the language of aliens who occupy gigantic monolithic ships that appear suddenly, floating over various locations around the globe. So she heads to the American site in Montana and begins working with scientist Ian (Jeremy Renner) under the watchful eye of Colonel Weber (Forrest Whitaker). And of course she's taken aback by these seven-legged creatures who communicate with odd tones and swirling symbols. When coordinated efforts with other teams around the world begin to descend into mistrust, everyone stops sharing their data, and the military leaders decide to take matters into their own hands and destroy the ships. But Louise begins to believe she is onto something important, and she tenaciously pursues a course of action that terrifies everyone, including her.
Expertly directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario), the film never lapses into sensationalistic action, and it's even more gripping as a result. Several scenes generate goosebumps for their inventive visual flourishes, including the surprising gravitational twists and the face-to-face interaction with two freaky but oddly endearing aliens Louise and Ian name Abbott and Costello. Special effects are seamless, grounding everything that happens as something eerily believable. But the emphasis is on the emotional drama surging within Louise, and the huge implications it has for the entire world.
Continue reading: Arrival Review
Now in its third instalment, it's clearer than ever that this franchise is based on one joke that has been stretched far beyond the breaking point. And not too cleverly at that. Fortunately, this movie retains much of the deranged idiocy that made the second part rather enjoyable. So it's watchable even if there aren't many new ideas, and even if filmmaker Shawn Levy is far too happy to settle for unnecessary digital effects work where a bit of character comedy would have been much more engaging.
Back on the job as a night watchman in New York, Larry (Ben Stiller) is now orchestrating the museum exhibits when they come to life to provide spectacular shows for visitors who think this is all a special effect. Even his boss (Ricky Gervais) isn't sure what's really going on. But when a glitch in the magical Ancient Egyptian powers causes chaos, Larry learns that he needs to travel to London so he can reunite Ahkmenrah (Rami Malek) with his father (Ben Kingsley), who's on display at the British Museum. Larry's teen son Nick (Skyler Gisondo) comes along, as do his revived pals Teddy Roosevelt (Robin Williams), tiny soldiers Octavius and Jedediah (Steve Coogan and Owen Wilson) and others. But in London, while sneaking around local night guard Tilly (Rebel Wilson), Larry's team awakens a statue of the knight Lancelot (Dan Stevens), who dives into their quest with rather a bit too much gusto.
Until Lancelot turns up, everything about the film feels oddly tired, from the starry cameos to effects work that strains to be clever. Then Stevens injects a badly needed jolt of blue-eyed charisma and warped comical timing that makes the rest of the movie rather good fun. Rebel Wilson's side-plot is also rather amusing, with some wonderfully ridiculous touches. And even the cameos get better, notably a scene on a West End stage that's genuinely inspired silliness. Coogan and Wilson offer some raucous banter to accompany everything that happens, and Stiller kind of hangs on for dear life. But the filmmakers don't really care about these characters; they're just trying to create something visually impressive that's also goofy fun.
Continue reading: Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb Review
The cast of 'Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb' all posed happily together at the New York premiere of the film, which is set to hit movie theaters on December 19th 2014.
Ricky Gervais, who plays Dr. McPhee in 'Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb', arrived at the New York premiere with partner Jane Fallon, fooling around with the photographers, cracking jokes and taking selfies.
Larry Daley, the former security guard at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, is facing his biggest challenge yet. While he's used his exhibit friends coming to life at night, they are normally very well-behaved during the new sunset opening hours, but it seems something's started making them a little crazy. The magic of The Tablet of Ahkmenrah seems to be waning, putting them at risk of being still forever. Larry must find a way to restore the tablet before it's too late, and so he decides to venture to the Natural History Museum in London to find out how to fix it. There, Larry and his ancient friends face enormous snakes, dinosaur skeletons and bronze lions that are all coming to life, as well as the feisty head of security Tilly.
A sparky ensemble helps make this film entertaining even if the plot is simplistic and the themes very tame for a movie that is trying so hard to be anarchic. August: Osage County this isn't! Instead, it blends warm comedy, silly slapstick and a heavy dose of sentiment to tell a story that's engaging but never remotely surprising. But the terrific cast makes it well worth a look.
It opens as Judd (Jason Bateman) sees his life go from bad to worse: he catches his wife (Abigail Spencer) in bed with his boss (Dax Shepard), then learns that his father has died. Back home for the funeral, his mother (Jane Fonda) announces that she wants Judd to sit shiva, seven days of mourning, with his three estranged siblings: frazzled housewife Wendy (Tina Fey), frustrated Paul (Corey Stoll) and party boy Phillip (Adam Driver). Everyone in this family is dealing with relationship issues, so they all get involved in each others' lives again, even though none of them likes to talk about these things (except their hilariously over-sharing mother). So as Judd and Wendy reconnect with old flames (Rose Byrne and Timothy Olyphant, respectively), Paul and Phillip have to clarify things with their partners (Kathryn Hahn and Connie Britton).
Each of the various subplots touches on a big issue, although Jonathan Tropper's script never digs too deeply, relying on superficial comedy and simplistic emotion rather than anything too provocative. This is an odd approach for a film that is essentially trying to say that life is messy. Even the funeral and grieving are used more for laughs than emotion, as are old rivalries and perceived betrayals. Much of the brawling, insulting and teasing is genuinely funny, but only because the cast members have so much fun with it all. Bateman offers his usual likeable everyman, generating terrific chemistry with Fey, Stoll and Driver, as well as some jagged wit in his scenes with the always superb Byrne. And Fonda steals the show as an unapologetic woman who says the wrong thing at just the right time.
Continue reading: This Is Where I Leave You Review
There's nothing wrong with this bright and goofy family comedy, but there's nothing much to it either. As a bit of mindless entertainment, the film is smart and funny enough to keep audiences entertained, spinning a swirling vortex of bad luck and wacky slapstick around one lively family. But it's utterly weightless, without even a hint of an edge, and anyone who loathes either nutty physical gags or sappy sentimentality should steer well clear.
Everyone in the audience can understand how Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) feels: he's fed up with the fact that no one notices that his life is just one humiliation after another, so on his 12th birthday he wishes that his family would have a taste of his misfortune. Sure enough, everything that can go wrong does. Dad Ben (Steve Carell) has to take the baby with him to an important job interview; mom Kelly (Jennifer Garner) has a work event go horribly wrong; teen brother Anthony (Dylan Minnette) struggles to make prom night special for his demanding-diva girlfriend (Bella Thorne); and middle sister Emile (Kerris Dorsey) gets ill on opening night of the school play she's starring in. On the other hand, Alexander's day isn't so bad, as he finally catches the eye of cute girl Becky (Sidney Fullmer).
The plot is laid out as a series of minor calamities that escalate to crazed proportions as the day goes on, but only until the screenwriter decides to have mercy on the characters and let them bond to face the mayhem. Frankly, this is such a wildly happy family that nothing about the film is believable: their problems exist strictly for laughs. Thankful, most of the set pieces are genuinely funny due to the up-for-it actors, who make the most of their characters and the connections between them. There's also a terrific stream of cameo roles for comedy aces like Megan Mullally (Will & Grace), Jennifer Coolidge (American Pie) and Donald Glover (Parks and Recreation). Dick Van Dyke even makes a witty appearance as himself.
Continue reading: Alexander And The Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day Review
Following on from the discovery that New York Natural History Museum's exhibits come to life after dark, security guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is faced with a new problem. After confronting the curator, Dr. McPhee (Ricky Gervais), about the exhibits steadily losing consciousness, Daley and friends must travel to England to try to restore power to The Tablet of Ahkmenrah - the ancient artefact that grants life to the museum. In an adventure which spans the globe, Daley and company must meet up with new characters in an attempt to restore the magic before the figures lives end permanently.
Judd Foxman thought he had the perfect life with an enjoyable job, a pleasant apartment and a beautiful wife. However, he soon loses it all after bursting in on his boss in bed with his wife after an apparently lengthy affair. Unfortunately, things only seem to get worse when his sister phones him to tell him that their father passed away. He has to return home to his mother for the funeral where he meets the rest of his siblings and several old faces, but while most of them are hoping to make a quick exit, their mother has other ideas insisting that they spend a week at home in mourning. As awkward as it seems at first, Judd soon finds his pain to be easing with the support of his family and he soon starts to wonder if he wants a simple home life at all.
Continue: This Is Where I Leave You Trailer
This Wedding Crashers reunion has enough snappy dialog to keep us laughing even if the film itself feels like little more than a two-hour Google advert. Thankfully, Vaughn and Wilson are back on form after a number of flabby roles, and they keep the energy levels high enough to distract us from the fact that there's virtually nothing to either the character or the plot.
They play Billy and Nick, salesmen who are left unemployed when their company closes down. Nick finds a new job with his tattooed brother-in-law (Ferrell), but Billy talks him into ditching it for a summer internship at Google, where they join a mob of teen brainiacs in a battle for permanent jobs. Their ethnically diverse team of misfits (including O'Brien, Sircar and Raphael) is led by 23-year-old Lyle (Brener), and after a series of mishaps they begin to work together, surprising their aggressive rival (Minghella) and the intern programme director (Mandvi). Meanwhile, Nick flirts comically with Google exec Dana (Byrne).
This is a deeply lazy script that can't even be bothered to differentiate between the personalities of Billy and Nick, let alone anyone else on screen. Each person is defined by a couple of superficial characteristics, so there are no actual relationships between anyone. Billy and Nick aren't even allowed a hint of bromance. And it's simply insulting how the screenplay makes these two "old" men illiterate about both computers and culture (they've never heard of X-men?). Of course, they also teach the kids a lot about partying away from computer screens.
Continue reading: The Internship Review
Stars of upcoming comedy 'The Internship' - Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn - discuss life, careers and their funny new movie in an interview.
Asked what their favourite part about filming the new movie, Vaughn compares shooting the film at Google's HQ to visiting a chocolate factory: "It was pretty spectacular to be here."
Former salesmen Billy and Nick are left unemployed after the owner of the company that they work for decides to become an internet only business rendering their door-to-door techniques obsolete. In a bid to get back on the career ladder, Billy manages to land them an online, webcam interview with internet giant Google which, admittedly, could've gone better. After initially establishing themselves as illiterate in the way of computers by shouting at their potential employers through a machine at a public library, they managed to cause them great alarm, not to mention confusion, with an animated description of what they would do if they were shrunk to the size of a nickel and placed in a blender. An odd question for a job interview, but possibly not one this wacky duo haven't thought about before.
Continue: The Internship - Clip
Billy and Nick thought they were the perfect sales team, but their careers hit rock bottom when the owner of their company shut up shop due to the ever increasing internet preference among consumers. However, Billy soon manages to find a way for them to pick up a new, more stable job in the world of technological advancement and lands them an interview for an internship with global internet giant Google. As interns, they are made to compete for a full time job with an army of young, genius students who way out-geek Billy and Nick and whose expertise in technology is formidable. As much as they try and fit in with them, the students just can't help themselves and find every opportunity to take advantage of their computer naivety.
Continue: The Internship Trailer
Stiller stars as Evan, an overachiever who can't bring himself to tell his loving wife (DeWitt) that he's sterile. When there's a murder in the super-store he manages, he forms a neighbourhood watch group with three losers: Bob (Vaughn) is struggling to cope with his teen daughter, Franklin (Hill) has an unhealthy obsession with guns, and Jemarcus (Ayoade) is a goofy sex addict.
All three would rather drink beer and play stupid games than keep their community safe. But then they discover that the killer was actually an alien who is leading an invasion of Earth.
Continue reading: The Watch Review
In the near future, Charlie (Jackman) is an ex-boxer who now controls massive robots that have taken over the sport. A stubborn failure buried in debt, he has no interest in his 11-year-old son Max (Goyo), whose mother has just died, but agrees to care for him until his rich aunt and uncle (Davis and Rebhorn) return from holiday. But Max is far more savvy with robots than his dad. And with the help of Dad's lovelorn pal Bailey (Lilly), Max defies Charlie's expectations with his scrapheap robot Atom.
Continue reading: Real Steel Review
Charlie Kenton is a former boxer who finds he's given a huge opportunity to make something of his life when he and his estranged son team up to build a robot to fight in a new extreme sport called robot boxing, a hi-tech sport that's become one of the most profitable forms of entertainment in the world.
Continue: Real Steel Trailer
Martin reprises the role of Tom Baker, father of twelve and husband to wife Kate (the sparkling, grounded Bonnie Hunt). In an effort to bond the family one final time before grandkids are born and chickens fly the coop, Tom cloyingly convinces the clan to vacation at their old lakefront haunt. There, they meet their nemeses: the clean-cut white-teethed Murtaugh family led by perfectionist papa Jimmy, played by the painfully underutilized Eugene Levy.
Continue reading: Cheaper By The Dozen 2 Review
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