St. Vincent de Van Nuys is a broke former soldier with a serious alcohol and gambling habit. He has few friends apart from nightclub dancer Daka, but that's all about to change when some new neighbours arrive. Maggie and her young son Oliver have moved in, with the latter feeling a little alienated as one of the only Jewish kids at school as well as being smaller than everyone else. Vincent decides to take him under his wing in a bid to earn a little more cash as a babysitter, and Oliver soon warms to him despite his hedonistic life and generally poor childminding skills. Maggie is unhappy that Vincent is introducing him to strip clubs, dingy bars and the racetrack, but it soon becomes clear that Oliver is exactly what Vincent needs to finally get his life on track.
Continue: St. Vincent Trailer
'Gracepoint' stars Anna Gunn and David Tennant posed together on the blue carpet at the FOX Network Upfront presentation at The Beacon Theater in New York alongside a host of other recognisable TV faces.
Arnold Schwarzenegger gets one of his most complex roles yet in this messy, violent thriller, another trip to the dark side for filmmaker David Ayer. As in Training Day and End of Watch, Ayer is exploring that moral tipping point where the people charged with protecting society become a danger. But the formula sags badly in this sloppily written script, which relies on grotesque violence instead of a coherent plot.
Schwarzenegger plays Breacher, the head of an elite DEA squad that has just stolen $10m in drug-bust cash. But someone takes it from them, after which the team members start turning up murdered in increasingly vicious ways. So Breacher and his colleagues - hothead Monster (Sam Worthington), prickly Lizzy (Mireille Enos), beefy Grinder (Joe Manganiello), hotshot Next (Josh Holloway) and smoothie Sugar (Terrence Howard) - band together to find the killer. Meanwhile, two local Atlanta cops (Olivia Williams and Harold Perrineau) are also on the case, clashing with Breacher at every turn. And shadowy goons hired by a drug cartel are lying in wait.
For about two-thirds of the running time, this is actually an intriguing whodunit, complete with clues and red herrings, suspicions and surprises. There's also a sense of urgency, as we never know who's going to get it next. Although the escalating grisliness is hard to stomach (it even reduces seasoned cops to retching wrecks), as is a hint of unnecessary romance. Then when the truth is revealed, the whole movie collapses into utter nonsense, desperately straining for moral resonance but undermining its own point with gratuitous brutality.
Continue reading: Sabotage Review
John 'Breacher' Wharton is the head of a DEA Special Operations Team, well-known by authorities for their formidable skill at hunting down gang members, confiscating drugs and using firearms. However, despite their crime-stopping work, they don't always play by the rules themselves. After arresting a drug lord and retrieving large stashes of money, meth and cocaine, they reward themselves by stealing some of the confiscated drugs for a party. Unfortunately for them, someone has also decided to make off with $10 million and now their bosses have found out. Breacher, feeling guilty about the drug theft already, is forced to plead his innocence when he is the number one person suspected; although he didn't do it, he knows that he is probably working with the person that did. When two of his agents are killed following the theft, and his wife and child are kidnapped, he becomes fiercely determined to uncover the culprit.
Continue: Sabotage - Clips
John 'Breacher' Wharton is the leader of a DEA Special Operations Team who, although happen to be the most skilled in their field, don't exactly always play by the rules. In perhaps one of the biggest busts of their careers, they arrest a major cartel leader and uncover a hoard of meth, cocaine and a stack of millions of dollars, and subsequently wind up celebrating by sneaking away some of the drugs they confiscated. However, when the folks above them discover that $10 million has been stolen from the money they seized, John is forced to plead his innocence, though with the unnerving feeling that someone on his not-so-straight team is absolutely capable of doing just that. The theft leads to the brutal murder of two DEA agents and John must find out where the money has gone before another dies - however, the time he has is drastically shortened when the cartel kidnap his beloved wife and child.
'Sabotage' is the latest action-packed crime drama from director David Ayer ('End of Watch', 'The Fast and the Furious', 'Training Day') who co-wrote the screenplay with Skip Woods ('A Good Day to Die Hard', 'Swordfish', 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine'). It is set to hit movie theaters in the US on April 11th 2014.
This is an strangely slushy movie from Lee Daniels, whose last two films (Precious and The Paperboy) bristled with unexpected life. By contrast, this star-packed drama uses a true story to trace the Civil Rights struggle from the 1950s to the present day. But it's been so fictionalised that it feels kind of like a variation on Forrest Gump.
Cecil Gaines (Whitaker) grew up on a Georgia cotton plantation, where the cruel master's kindly mother (Redgrave) taught him to be a house servant. Years later, he marries Gloria (Winfrey) and moves to Washington DC, where he gets a job in the White House as a butler to presidents from Eisenhower (Williams) to Reagan (Rickman). His job description is simple: "You hear nothing, you see nothing, you only serve." And yet as the nation grapples with its racist culture, he has a quiet influence on each leader who moves through the house.
Whitaker narrates the film in drawling flashbacks, while the story flickers between Cecil and his eldest son Louis (Oyelowo), an activist who is involved in every key moment in the Civil Rights movement. And their younger son (Kelley) is sent to Vietnam. So it's like a condensed version of late 20th century American history, made notable by the lively cast of cameo players including Marsden (as JFK), Schreiber (LBJ), Ellis (MLK) and Cusack (Nixon), plus Fonda as a lively Nancy Reagan.
Continue reading: The Butler Review
What makes this thriller extraordinary is its willingness to make us scratch our heads and ask questions as the tense, fable-like story patiently unfolds. This creates an almost unbearably involving vibe, from the slow-burn pacing to the unusual character detail. And all of this allows the cast members to dig deep inside their characters.
It starts as two families in rural Pennsylvania get together to celebrate Thanksgiving, then discover that their two young daughters are missing. Keller and Grace Dover (Jackman and Bello) and Franklin and Nancy Birch (Howard and Davis) search the neighbourhood frantically, then try to help local detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) with his investigation. He settles on an oddball (Dano) who seems unable to provide any information at all. With no evidence against him, he's released. But Keller can't bear to think of this man being free while the girls are missing, so he hatches his own plan to sort things out.
There's a lot of symbolism in this screenplay, as everyone reacts to the situation in his or her own way (clearly echoing the world's response to the War on Terror). But it's also a riveting personal story of the desperate need for justice and revenge. Jackman is terrific as the deeply religious man whose love of guns informs his decision-making. He impulsively reacts like Liam Neeson in Taken, charging to the rescue. By contrast, Gyllenhaal's Loki is more measured and observant, while Howard's Franklin struggles with his own moral decisions. The women are a completely different story, and equally provocative: Davis is feisty but helpless, while Bello crawls into her shell.
Continue reading: Prisoners Review
The film is a hit with critics across the board and promises to be a challenging and engaging watch
Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal star in Oscar-nominated director Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners, a film that might just be one of the best thrillers, if not one of the all-round best films, of the year. The film hits cinemas up and down the US this weekend (arriving in UK cinemas on 4 October) and whilst it may be lacking in the audience pull power of the latest superhero epic, it has all the substance a gritty thriller needs and promises to be one of the year's most thought-provoking watches.
Jackman (L) and Gyllenhaal (R) are being praised for their performances
Jackman stars as Keller Dover, who is put into a position no parent ever want to be in when his six-year-old daughter and her friend go missing at Thanksgiving. When Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) is called in to handle the case, he promises to bring back Keller's daughter, and when the creepy, RV-dwelling outsider Alex Jones (Paul Dano) is found near the scene, he immediately becomes the prime suspect. But with police unable to pin him for the crime he may have committed, he is released following a 48-hour hold, enraging Keller, who decided to take matters into his own hand. It is up to Loki to get to the bottom of the case before it's too late for the missing girls, and before Keller does something he might regret.
Terrence Howard - 2013 Toronto International Film Festival - Prisoners - Photo call - Toronto, TIFF Bell Lightbox , Canada - Saturday 7th September 2013
When young Winnie Madikizela first set eyes on lawyer and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela in 1957, it was love at first sight and it wasn't long before she became Mrs Winnie Mandela. However, their idyllic life was soon to be torn apart when he was arrested five years later and later charged with life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the state. Winnie did anything but give up though. She embarked on an activism campaign of her own, determined not to let her husband's voice be forgotten and tirelessly working on winning his freedom. Even in spite of numerous scandals that were thrust against her, her loyalty and fighting spirit never wavered.
Continue: Winnie Mandela Trailer
Liev Schreiber and his partner Naomi Watts were among the star arrivals at the New York premiere of 'The Butler'. Liev played the part of President Lyndon B. Johnson in the flick, while Naomi is set to portray a similarly important historical figure in her new film 'Diana' as the titular Princess.
The main stars from the New York premiere of 'The Butler' arrive on the red carpet including title star Forest Whitaker with his wife Keisha Nash, Jane Fonda who plays former First Lady Nancy Reagan, Terrence Howard who plays Howard and James Marsden who stars as a very young President John F. Kennedy.
The former spouse of the Oscar-nominated actor claims that she was brutally attacked last week during a trip to Costa Rica
Terrence Howard is facing some serious claims of abuse by his former wife, who alleges that the Oscar-nominated actor brutally beat her in her hotel room during a recent trip to Costa Rica. The pair, who finalised their divorce in May this year, were holidaying in the Central American country together last week, with his ex, Michelle Ghent, claiming she was hit after she told Howard she wasn't interested in reigniting their relationship.
Howard could be facing a lengthy court battle
According to a report from TMZ, who obtained the court documents filed by Ghent and has pictures of her battered face, she claims in her police report that Howard punched her in the face, then grabbed her by the neck and threw her against the wall. The attack apparently didn't stop there, as Ghent also claims that after she was hit, Howard walked over to a bedside table where he had concealed 2 knives - between 4 and 6 inches in length - at which point she attempted to pepper spray the actor. Failing to do so correctly, she claims she was thrown to the floor and kicked repeatedly.
Continue reading: Terrence Howard Accused Of Violent Domestic Abuse By Ex-Wife
Terrence Howard's ex-wife, Michelle Ghent, has obtained a temporary restraining order following the 'Iron Man' actor's alleged assault on her last week. A hearing has been set for later this month to deal with this particular incident, however, it seems this is not the first time Howard has been involved in a violent domestic incident.
Terrence Howard's ex-wife Michelle Ghent obtained a temporary restraining order following the actor's alleged assault on her last week. Ghent claims the 44-year-old hit her whilst they were holidaying in Costa Rica.
Terrence Howard at the New York premiere of The Butler.
Appearing in court yesterday (Tuesday 6th August), Ghent was sporting a black eye, as reported by TMZ. This was not referenced in court but many have drawn their own conclusions from the injury.
Terrence Howard - what's happened man?
There was a time when Terrence Howard was considered amongst the finest actors on the planet. He excelled in Hustle & Flow, Crash and Iron Man, but then...well, it all went a bit flat didn't it?
This week, the actor was accused by his ex-wife of beating her during a heated argument in Costa Rica. Michelle Ghent - who divorced Howard in May before hooking back up with him - claims she was beaten up by her ex-husband during the trip last week
According to TMZ.com, Terrence claims Michelle maced him before police were called to the scene.
Continue reading: Where Did It All Go Wrong For Terrence Howard?
Cecil Gaines is a modest and dedicated butler at the White House who manages to make for himself a respectable career despite his underprivileged upbringing and cotton farm roots. Starting out as a regular kitchen worker, Cecil soon proves himself to be extremely proficient and works his way up to be the head butler for eight different US presidents. Some of them prove to be discriminatory, treating Cecil with little respect and holding massively differing views to him, but he always remains polite and does everything within his power to care for his employers while keeping any top secret information that he might hear firmly to himself. Meanwhile, he struggles at home with his son; a Black Panther with aggressive views on racial equality who is less than grateful to have a father working for the people that he believes are causing racial oppression.
This story of loyalty and unconditional dedication is based on the true story of Eugene Allen; a butler who similarly lived through years of racial inequality before finally seeing, in his retirement, the election of the first black President, Barack Obama. His story was documented in the article 'A Butler Well Served by This Election' written by Wil Haygood. 'The Butler' has been directed by Lee Daniels ('The Paperboy', 'Precious', 'Shadowboxer') and co-written by Danny Strong ('Game Change', 'Recount') and will be released in the US on August 16th 2013.
It's been fifteen years since the release of Harper Stewart's inflammatory autobiographical novel and the wedding of his best friend Lance, and now he is reuniting once again with his friends from college - also including Julian Murch and Quentin Spivey - over the course of the Christmas holiday period. He is now married to his then girlfriend Robin and he still has his friends in spite of some incriminating details in his book that could've ruined everything with the people he cared about most during Lance's tense wedding ceremony. But now he has more to contend with as he is reunited with old flames, former rivals and new arrivals who could shake things up again as Christmas approaches.
Continue: The Best Man Holiday Trailer
'Prisoners' is based on tried and tested crime-drama conventions, though Hugh Jackman is an engaging presence, as always.
The trailer for Denis Villeneuve's hard-hitting crime-drama Prisoners has rolled out online, showing Hugh Jackman in his first post-Les Miserables role, and a good one at that. The Australian plays Keller Dover, a regular guy from Boston whose life is turned upside down after his young daughters go missing.
Watch the Prisoners trailer:
Panic ensues as Keller and his wife (Maria Bello) scour the neighbourhood in search of their children, though the only clue is a banged up RV parked nearby. A young detective played by Jake Gyllenhaal gets the case and makes an arrest on an assuming man who is the driver of the vehicle, though with no solid evidence and no sign of the girls, he is forced to release the suspect. Keller subsequently takes matters into his own hands and kidnaps the suspect in a bid to extract information.
Though you've seen the plot - or something similar - a million times, Prisoners looks an entertaining piece of cinema about the horror of one of the worst situations a parent could possibly go through. Directed by BAFTA nominated Villeneuve and writer by Contraband scribe Aaron Guzikowski, Prisoners hits theaters in the U.S. on September 20, 2013 and in the UK on October 4, 2013. The supporting cast includes Viola Davis and Terrence Howard.
Keller Dover is just a regular guy from Boston who goes with his wife Grace and six-year-old daughter Anna to their neighbours' house on what seems like a routine social occasion. No parent blinks an eye when Anna asks if she can take the neighbours' daughter Joy to their house to play, but when there's no sign of them back home later on, panic ensues as the families scour the nearby streets trying to find their precious children. The only clue as to what may have happened to them lies with a banged up RV that had been parked nearby. When young Detective Loki gets involved with the case, he manages to make an arrest on the driver - a seemingly timid and quiet young man called Alex Jones. However, with no solid evidence against him for the cops to keep him in custody in the case for the missing girls, they are forced to release him after 48 hours. Keller, angry with the verdict and fearing for the life of his daughter who he believes is still alive, decides to embark on his own investigation and kidnaps Alex at gunpoint in an attempt to extract information. Though through his panic and frustration in his quest to find his daughter, he may lose himself along the way.
Continue: Prisoners Trailer
Cecil Gains is a devoted White House butler who grew up on a simple cotton farm where he and other black workers were not treated with any respect by their white counterparts. From a simple kitchen worker, he rises to be top butler to eight different presidents over the course of more than 30 years. Sworn to secrecy over the goings on at the White House, he serves the likes of Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson with all the care that he has in spite of their differing policies and the suppression of his race across the country. He rejects his freedom fighter son's distaste at Cecil's job and never once wavers in his respect for his government. He merely stands back, silver platter in hand and watches the progression of racial equality until the day the country's first black president is finally inaugurated.
This is a story about loyalty and commitment based on the article by Wil Haygood, 'A Butler Well Served by This Election', about Eugene Allen; a real butler who showed his devotion to his job over the course of three decades while he and his fellow black civilians went from being the underdogs to top dog as he lives to see the election of President Barack Obama. It has been directed by Lee Daniels ('The Paperboy', 'Precious', 'Shadowboxer') and co-written by Danny Strong ('Game Change', 'Recount'), and has an incredible all-star ensemble cast. 'The Butler' is set to his theatres in the US on August 16th 2013.
Here's yet another preposterous action movie that's made watchable by a skilful director and an engaging cast. While there are some intriguing themes in this spiralling odyssey of revenge, the script never really makes any sense out of the plot, merrily twisting and turning as it whizzes past a series of glaring improbabilities. But Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace put their huge brown eyes to work, holding our sympathies as things get messier by the moment.
Farrell plays Victor, a gun-toting goon working for the slick mobster Alphonse (Howard), who is being taunted by a complex, unnerving plot to bring him down. But Victor is sidetracked by his neighbour Beatrice (Rapace), who comes on strong before revealing that she has seen his handiwork and will report him to the cops if he doesn't help her get revenge against the guy who scarred her face in a drunk-driving accident. This puts Victor in a difficult position since he's already engaged in his own plan to avenge the brutal deaths of his wife and daughter, assisted by a family friend (Abraham) from the old country.
And the plot gets increasingly knotty, as both Victor and Beatrice start to wonder if perhaps falling in love with each other might be a more pleasant way to get over their anger issues. Yes, the film is essentially preaching love and redemption even as the body count nears triple digits. Fortunately, director Oplev brings the same slick-steely style to the film as his original The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. And the always watchable Farrell and Rapace get solid support from Howard and Abraham, as well as Cooper (as Victor's brother in arms), Huppert (as Beatrice's busy-body mum) and the underused Assante (as the big boss).
Continue reading: Dead Man Down Review
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