Here's another remarkable biopic from Oliver Stone, who has used all-star casts and intensely pointed filmmaking to trace the lives of such people as JFK, Nixon, Jim Morrison and George W. Bush. And now he turns his attention to whistleblower Edward Snowden. This is an urgent, skilfully made film that manages to avoid preachy politics as it asks the central question: was Snowden a traitor or a patriot?
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Ed, a nerdy genius who never went to university but was spotted by CIA trainer Corbin (Rhys Ifans) and brought into the fold. Rising through the ranks, he moves from Virginia to Switzerland, Japan and Hawaii, accompanied by his long-suffering girlfriend Lindsay (Shailene Woodley), who isn't allowed to know what he does for a living. Over the years, his faith in America's government is shaken as he discovers the scale of its data-gathering operation, collecting all telephone and internet information on every person on earth, whether or not they're a suspect. And he believes that the taxpayers have a right to know what their elected officials are doing.
The script tells the story as Ed describes his life to filmmaker Laura Poitras (Melissa Leo) and two Guardian journalists (Zachary Quinto and Tom Wilkinson) while hiding in a Hong Kong hotel, an event recounted in the Oscar-winning documentary Citizenfour. Eventually, this element of the story generates some proper action as the CIA tracks him down and gives chase. Stone orchestrates these scenes expertly, generating some real adrenaline without sacrificing the bigger narrative. And Gordon-Levitt is simply remarkable, vanishing into the role so effectively that the final dissolve to the real Snowden is barely perceptible. His chemistry with Woodley is complex and engaging (even with a gratuitous sex scene), creating a terrific central love story to guide the audience through the events.
Continue reading: Snowden Review
It's the 1970s and Captain James Conrad and Lieutenant Colonel Packard are leading a group of soldiers and explorers to a seemingly idyllic unmapped location in the Pacific.
Unfortunately, their journey requires some serious collateral damage, as they are forced to bomb the island and unwittingly incite the treacherous ire of Kong, the King of Skull Island. He crushes them - literally. That's what happens when you bomb the habitat of a giant ape. But soon they realise that Kong isn't the only outsize creature they have to fear, because the island is home to a group of demonic monsters as well, some that resemble spiders and others that resemble reptiles. Their only hope is to enlist the help of the island's inhabitants, tribal men and women who worship the great Kong but disapprove of the Americans' willingness to attack their home.
Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts ('The Kings of Summer'), 'Kong: Skull Island' is a re-imagining of the King Kong story, following him to his home on Skull Island where he first originated. The screenplay was written by Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein, and filming spanned locations the likes of Hawaii, Australia's Gold Coast and Vietnam. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson and John C. Reilly, the film is scheduled to be released on March 10th 2017.
Professor Deborah Lipstadt spent her life documenting and writing about the atrocities that happened in concentration camps during the second World War. She wrote numerous books on the subject and in 1993 she eventually published a book on holocaust deniers, a conspiracy theory that was growing in strength mainly down to a few pseudo-historians and Nazi supporters who deny the holocaust ever happened - or at best claim the deaths and gassings have been vastly over exaggerated.
Rightfully documenting the danger of denial, Lipstadt's book brought to light just how such stories take shape to become plausible to readers and creators of such literature. One of the people she named in her book was the British historian David Irving who had written multiple books on Hitler and various parts of the war who supported the notion - amongst many other things - that Hitler didn't kill Jewish people for actively being Jewish and there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz.
Irving sues the professor and her publishers for Liable in the British court system and a long trial is set in motion. Lipstadt and her team of lawyers must find a way to prove in a courtroom setting that the holocaust did happen and Irving's claims (stated in her book) are false and that he is therefore a holocaust denier.
Continue: Denial Trailer
Edward Snowden always knew he wanted to serve his country and, as most young men and women who feel the need to serve their country, he enrolled in the United States Army Reserves, training was tough and it took a toll on his body, an accident led to Snowden fracturing both his legs, his plans for the future were thrown into chaos and he had to evaluate a new way to serve - as well as make a living.
Turing to one of his other natural skills, Snowden continued to hone his computer skills and finally applied for a job at the CIA. Working his way up the ranks, Snowden became an intrinsic member of staff and it lead him to be offered a new job at the NSA by their deputy director. His job was to analyse the internet, to find new ways to intercept the one communication from the 'bad guy' amongst all the innocent communications each person sends on a day to day basis but what he discovers is that the NSA have access to far more knowledge and information than he or any other normal citizen would expect.
Though he's never believed in sharing state secrets, now he's privy to this information, Snowden knows he must do something with it and that he might be putting his life on the line in order to bring this enormous data privacy breach to light. Sneaking out files via a micro drive hidden in his rubik's cube, Snowden contacts three journalists Laura Poitras, Ewen MacAskill and Glenn Greenwald with his newly found knowledge and they begin to unfold the information.
Continue: Snowden Trailer
James Conrad is a British captain who leads an international envoy to the middle of the Pacific Ocean to charter some of Earth's most distant and mysterious lands. The captain is accompanied by a number of other members on the team including Randa, a government official who appears to know a few of the islands mysteries; a female photojournalist called Weaver who is known for her war photography; US Lieutenant Colonel Packard who is in charge of the UK troops who are also part of the mission.
As the vessel approaches the island, spirits are high and the team are ready to take choppers to the green land known as Skull Island. Soon their mission becomes disastrous as the inhabitants are far more feral than they could ever imagine. Equipped with guns, Ammunition and rocket launchers, the humans feel that they're able to overcome whatever may await them on the island but the truth is that they could never come face to face and beat the beast that awaits them.
Kong: Skull Island is the latest reboot of the King Kong story and it focusses on the start of the story originally told in 1933.
Continue: Kong: Skull Island Trailer
Gabby Holland is the latest resident to join a quiet bay side community, her neighbour is a young single man, Travis, who lives with his dog. When Gabby finds out that her dog is pregnant and Travis' dog is the likely culprit, their worlds are thrown together.
Though Gabby has little time for Travis she feels an attraction to him, even though she's in a relationship with a smart and more than adequate match. This is a beginning to their intense love affair. As time goes by, their relationship is far from straightforward but the two still have an obvious mental and physical connection. After a serious car accident their relationship is tested to the limit and Travis must make some choices that will affect both their lives forever.
The Choice is the latest of Nicholas Sparks' film to be made into a film. Some of his more successful novels that have been turned into films include: The Notebook, Dear John, A Walk to Remember and The Lucky One.
Continue: The Choice Trailer
The Bafta nominations have been revealed, leading to some shock by what has been missed out from the ceremony.
Friday morning's British Academy Film Awards nominations show the predicted BAFTA love for home-grown movies like 'The Imitation Game' and 'The Theory of Everything', but were even more notable for who was missing from the shortlists.
Timothy Spall - snubbed by the academy?
The most obvious snub was for Mike Leigh's acclaimed biographical drama 'Mr Turner', for which Timothy Spall won Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. But the film only has a handful of technical nods (for cinematography, production design, costumes and make-up/hair), with nothing for Spall or Leigh, and most surprisingly no British Film nomination.
Continue reading: Bafta 2015 Nominations Reveal Secrets Of Awards Season
Despite his business acumen and ability to land important deals, one businessman named Dan Trunkman (Vince Vaughn) still managed to get a pay cut from his uncaring boss - who may be hot but she's still widely hated throughout the company. A year later, he's set up his very own business with only two employees: one man who's old enough to have retired a decade ago (Tom Wilkinson), and a boy who's barely out of college (if he ever managed to get that far) hilariously named Mike Pancake (Dave Franco). Even in spite of the unsual trio, they still manage to secure a lucrative deal with a top company and make way for a trip to Germany to shake on it. However, another company threatens to disrupt everything - Dan's former employers. In order to be noticed over his busty blonde former boss, he has to pull out all the stops. And we mean all of them.
Continue: Unfinished Business - Red Band Trailer
The reviews for Amma Asante's film 'Belle' are in and they're looking pretty good from where we're standing.
Amma Asante’s second directorial project, Belle, has been received positively by critics. Released June 13, the film already holds an 81% fresh rating on review aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw places the eponymous character in Amma Asante's Belle
Film critic Geoffrey Macnab from the Independent praised the film: “With Belle, Asante has succeeded in making a sweeping costume drama that confronts questions of race and gender head on - something that Merchant Ivory films rarely managed to do”
Continue reading: 'Belle' Reviews Are In, Critics Generally Won Over
Tom Wilkinson stars in 'Belle'
UK cinemagoers! Stuck for something to see at the cinema this weekend? Look no further than Tom Wilkinson's new movie Belle - inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate mixed race daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay.
Raised by her aristocratic great uncle Lord Mansfield (Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle is forced to watch on as her cousin Elizabeth chases suitors for her marriage, leaving her to wonder whether she will ever find love. After meeting a young vicar's son hell belt on changing society, he and Belle help shape Lord Mansfield's role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.
Continue reading: Tom Wilkinson's 'Belle' Is The Best Movie Out This Week (Probably)
John Reid bears the alias of the Lone Ranger and uses his title and his mask to fight for justice and maintain the law. He's Texas born, never removes his disguise and fights for peace in his troubled town with his Native American friend Tonto who is a spirit warrior with a personality a mile away from that of the Ranger but they still remain loyal companions on their journey to eliminate crime in their quiet town.
It started out as a thirties radio show before becoming a hit TV series in the fifties, and now it has been adapted by Walt Disney Pictures for the silver screen. 'The Lone Ranger' is an exciting contemporary version of this much-loved tale with high-energy action and much in the way of humour. It's a wonderful take on the famous partnership that is masked hero Tonto and his faithful 'kemosabe'. Oscar winning movie genius Gore Verbinski returned to Walt Disney to work on the movie with Hollywood superstar Johnny Depp in his wake having previously worked on the film company's epic film series 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. The screenwriters include the writers of masked crusader 'The Mask of Zorro' Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, with Justin Haythe ('The Clearing', 'Revolutionary Road'). It is set to hit cinemas across the UK on August 9th 2013.
Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Ruth Wilson, James Badge Dale, Tom Wilkinson, Barry Pepper, Helena Bonham Carter, Mason Cook, James Frain, Harry Treadaway, Matt O'Leary, W. Earl Brown, Leon Rippy, Timothy V. Murphy, Joaquin Cosio, Damon Herriman, Robert Baker,
Continue: The Lone Ranger Trailer
John Reid is the Lone Ranger; a law-abiding man of justice from Texas who resolutely wears his mask and disguise at all times and vows to fight crime and keep the peace in his town. Battling alongside him is his trusted Native American companion Tonto, a painted spirit warrior and the complete opposite of Reid but, nonetheless, they make the perfect crime-fighting duo as they set out to conquer the theft and corruption that threaten the harmony of the people.
'The Lone Ranger' is the Walt Disney Pictures adaption of the legendary Western tales that started out on the radio in the 1930s before hitting TV screens in the 50s. It's a stunning modern take on the stories combining serious action with hilarity, with wonderful character development and the heart-warming partnership of Tonto and his 'kemosabe'. It was only right that Oscar winning big budget director Gore Verbinski returned to Walt Disney to work on the movie, having previously worked on Disney's popular film series 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. The screenwriters included those who wrote the modern story of another masked hero on 'The Mask of Zorro' Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, along with Justin Haythe ('The Clearing', 'Revolutionary Road'). The movie will hit cinemas in the UK on August 9th 2013.
Starring: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, William Fichtner, Ruth Wilson, James Badge Dale, Tom Wilkinson, Barry Pepper, Helena Bonham Carter, Mason Cook, James Frain, Harry Treadaway, Matt O'Leary, W. Earl Brown, Leon Rippy, Timothy V. Murphy, Joaquin Cosio, Damon Herriman and Robert Baker
Armie Hammer brought the Lone Ranger teaser trailer with him last night, as he made time in his busy schedule for an appearance on The Tonight Show, reports E! Online.
Looking dapper, sitting alongside Jay Leno in a bespoke grey suit, Hammer, who plays the titular peacekeeper alongside Johnny Depp, spoke of his time on set for the film: "I showed up on set and I said 'ok great we are gonna do the things with the scorpions right' and Gore [the director] was like 'I think we have to rework that.," he laughed, adding: "We were rehearsing with the dummy and the horse bit the dummy's nose off." More importantly, though, a teaser trailer for the new film accompanied his presence, and it didn't disappoint. We saw Western gunslingers, chugging steam trains and of course, the mercurial Depp looking suitably quirky in his Tonto attire. We've also been treated to a moody poster for the film recently, which sees the lone ranger's eyes in a rough depiction of the iconic black eye mask.
Continue reading: Lone Ranger: Armie Hammer Sparks Trailer Alert!
After 25 years in prison, con-artist Foley (Jackson) decides to change his life. All his old friends are gone, and his best pal's son Ethan (Kirby) now works for vicious businessman Xavier (Wilkinson). But Ethan brings back the issues Foley is trying to put behind him. Worse, Ethan needs Foley's help for a "samaritan" grift, which involves coming to the aid of the mark to win his trust. Then Foley meets vulnerable young call-girl Iris (Negga), who manages to get under his skin.
Continue reading: Fury [aka The Samaritan] Review
Seven retirees meet at the airport as they move to Rajasthan to retire in a newly restored hotel. Evelyn (Dench) is financially strapped due to her late husband's debts. Muriel (Smith) is getting a faster, cheaper hip replacement.
Douglas and Jean (Nighy and Wilton) can't afford to retire in Britain. Graham (Wilkinson) has unfinished business in India. And Norman and Madge (Pickup and Imrie) are both single and looking for love. But manager Sonny (Patel) has slightly exaggerated the hotel's facilities.
Continue reading: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review
Muriel, Evelyn and Jean are just a few of a group of British retirees who decide to travel to India to stay at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. After viewing the hotel's website, they are won over by how luxurious the hotel is and are soon on the first flight out of the UK.
Continue: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Trailer
A terrorist attack on the Kremlin in Moscow causes the President of the United States - believing that the Impossible Mission Force is behind it - to issue Ghost Protocol, thereby shutting down the entire force. Agent Ethan Hunt and his team are being sent to Washington, where they will be charged with the terrorist attacks but escapes - as part of a plan to allow him to work outside of the IMF - by assaulting fellow agent, Brandt, who he then has to work closely with in order to clear the IMF's name. Hunt is told that if he or any member of his team is caught or compromised, they will be charged as terrorists trying to start global nuclear war.
After the President is murdered in 1865, inexperienced lawyer Frederick (McAvoy) is assigned to defend Mary Surratt (Wright), who is charged with conspiracy alongside eight others. As a war hero from the North, Frederick is horrified to get this job, but is convinced by his boss (Wilkinson) that she at least deserves a fair trial. Of course, in the hysteria following the war and assassination, that's not likely. The judge (Meaney) clearly takes sides, the prosecutor (Huston) is relentlessly arrogant and the war secretary (Kline) has already decided on a verdict and sentence.
Continue reading: The Conspirator Review
In 1828 Edinburgh, friends William Burke (Pegg) and William Hare (Serkis) realise they can make good money supplying cadavers to world-class surgeon Dr Knox (Wilkinson). But when they can't find a dead body, they kill someone instead. Hare's wife (Hynes) finds out and wants in on it, but Burke can't tell his aspiring actress girlfriend (Fisher) how he makes his living. Meanwhile, Knox is battling a rival surgeon (Curry) for the King's seal. And the local militia captain (Corbett) is closing in.
Continue reading: Burke & Hare Review
RocknRolla is sexy, fast, loose, smart, and extremely funny. It's crammed with colorful criminals, which Ritchie and cinematographer David Higgs backlight to great effect. It chokes on delightfully screwy schemes, which the director and his editor James Herbert slice, tape, and test drive at breakneck speeds. And that's the key. It keeps moving, hardly caring if you are keeping up.
Continue reading: RocknRolla Review
Based on P.G. Wodehouse's novel, the film concerns the exploits of one Jim Crocker (Sam Rockwell), a young wastrel whose social-climbing American mother (Allison Janney, sharp as a tack) has forced him and his father (Tom Wilkinson), a failed British actor, to live in London and try and impress the swells there. She does this just to tick off her competitive sister, Nesta (Brenda Blethyn), a fact not wasted on the men of the family. Spoiling his mother's plans is Jim's penchant to booze it up all over town, getting into fistfights and leaving flappers scattered about the house and in his bed. Jim decides to ostensibly reform his wayward ways when he meets Nesta's step-niece Anne (Frances O'Connor), who won't have anything to do with him unless he pretends to be someone else - Jim once wrote a gossip column under the name "Piccadilly Jim", and once someone else writing the column (he hasn't worked on it for years) gave a negative review to a collection of Anne's poems. Jim thusly does the only sensible thing a fellow could do: He pretends to be a teetotaler Christian named Algernon Bayliss. Somehow, along the way, a German spy and some scientific secrets come into play, but one would be well-served to not wonder how.
Continue reading: Piccadilly Jim Review
The catchy pop ballads found on the soundtrack for Tony Goldwyn's The Last Kiss will break your heart in two. The movie these songs support only wishes it could make such a claim.
Back to the music for a minute. Coldplay, Cary Brothers, Fiona Apple, Snow Patrol, and a smattering of other fashionable artists - each handpicked by leading man Zach Braff - croon (and sometimes whine) about infidelity, loss, and life-changing mistakes that target the love of your life. Sample lyrics include, "She's moving on... without you." Sentiments rarely deviate from this norm. It's a nice place to wallow on a rainy afternoon.
Braff worked similar musical magic for his directorial debut Garden State. His ear for stirring, soulful melodies earned him a Best Compilation Soundtrack for a Motion Picture Grammy award. But where Braff's Garden mix tape enhanced his quirky and personal little comedy, this new song collection can't lift Goldwyn's somber material from the doldrums.
Continue reading: The Last Kiss (2006) Review
Unlike the romanticized "starving artist," Vermeer's household (in 1600s Netherlands) was extremely well-off, though little much else is known about him. Based on the popular novel, the film imagines the circumstances that might have led to the creation of Vermeer's most famous painting, "The Girl with a Pearl Earring," produced in 1665.
Continue reading: Girl With A Pearl Earring Review
The story revolves around two dashing English gentlemen in the 1890s - John "Jack" Worthing (Colin Firth) and Algy Moncrieff (Rupert Everett) - and their trials and tribulations in the games of love and marriage under the moniker of Ernest. Jack spends his days watching over his bookish charge Cecily Cardew (Reese Witherspoon) - the granddaughter of his adopted father - at his country estate. When his restless spirit calls for adventure, he travels to London and visits his wayward city brother "Ernest." In London, Jack becomes "Ernest" and partakes in decadence with his affluent but reckless best friend Algy and ends up madly in love with Algy's sophisticated society cousin Gwendolen Fairfax (Frances O'Connor) - who has a strange love for the name of "Ernest."
Continue reading: The Importance Of Being Earnest (2002) Review
Having dabbled in John Malkovich's mind in "Being John Malkovich," then delved into his own neurotic noggin in "Adaptation," ingeniously idiosyncratic screenwriter Charlie Kaufman wraps his head around themes of lucid-dreaming and lost love in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," and once again hits the Freudian jackpot.
A melancholy metaphysical romance about how human beings are the sum of their experiences, this distinctively surreal, meditative fable takes place largely inside the rapidly dissolving memories of a dejected sad sack named Joel Barish (Jim Carrey), who hopes to end a crippling case of heartbreak by having his ex-girlfriend (Kate Winslet) electronically expunged from his cerebellum in a makeshift CAT-scan procedure performed by a dubious back-alley doctor (Tom Wilkinson) and his nerdy house-call technicians.
To augment the film's sublimely disorienting narrative -- parts of which run backwards as Joel's discordant recent memories are boiled away before his more melodious earlier ones -- director Michel Gondry opens with an unsteady shot of Joel wobbling out of his unfolded sofa-bed on Valentine's Day 2004, the morning after his selective lobotomy.
Continue reading: Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind Review
For a relentlessly unoriginal, pandering and predictable, two-and-a-half hour Revolutionary War epic that white-washes slavery, chooses exaggerated slow-motion action over any interest in historical accuracy and is helmed by a director who has demonstrated little talent for anything but overblown textbook filmmaking, "The Patriot" isn't a bad movie.
It's a mimeographed knock-off of "Braveheart" in buckskin vests and powdered wigs, but that doesn't seem to bother Mel Gibson, who won an Oscar for directing that film and stars in this one as another tread-upon colonial who takes up arms against England for his nation's freedom.
A hero of the French and Indian War who has since pledged to raise his children as a pacifist plantation farmer in South Carolina, Benjamin Martin (Gibson) is an amalgam of real revolutionary war figures, fantasized by screenwriter Robert Rodat ("Saving Private Ryan") as a politically correct hero who is a wonderful widower father, who communes with the natives (he's versed in the deadly use of a Tomahawk hatchet), who employs his plantation workers instead of enslaving them, and who takes up arms again only after a stuffy, sadistic redcoat Colonel named Tavington (Jason Issacs) kills one of his sons in cold blood when he finds Martin's home filled with rebel soldiers receiving first aid after a battle.
Continue reading: The Patriot Review
Date of birth
5th February, 1948
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