First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on a true story, he avoids the usual cliches and formulas, which makes it an unusually thoughtful film. On the other hand, this means that it lacks the excitement we expect as events spiral into some extremely stressful situations. Instead, the film relies on underlying tension, strong thematic resonance and another committed performance from Daniel Radcliffe.
Radcliffe plays Nate, an FBI agent who is a bit of a loner, teased by his colleagues for his nerdy lifestyle. But this is what his superior Angela (Toni Collette) notices about him, and she thinks he'd be perfect for an undercover assignment infiltrating a neo-Nazi group that might be planning a horrific terrorist bombing. So Nate shaves his head and studies up on the white supremacist cause, befriending a racist skinhead (Seth Numrich) and his trigger-happy pals, then meeting their leaders Gerry and Andrew (Sam Trammell and Chris Sullivan). Nate's main target is the underground radio broadcaster Dallas (Tracy Letts), who is stirring up his listeners by channelling bigotry into conspiracy theories. Is he the one planning to explode a dirty bomb somewhere in Washington DC?
The film has a dark, gritty tone that remains internalised all the way through, focussing on Nate's perilous job: if he betrays his true feelings about these reprehensible white-power ideals, it's more than likely that these men will kill him. Radcliffe is excellent in the role, quietly convincing these thugs that he's committed to the cause while still maintaining his friendly, helpful personality. Since there are no women in the movement, it's great to have Collette in such a pivotal, powerful role. Angela is a feisty blast of energy in the film. And Letts is also remarkable as a man whose complexity deepens the more we get to know him. In many ways he's the true villain of the piece, encouraging hatred among his vulnerable audience.
Continue reading: Imperium Review
Before they even read the script for the new Christmas horror-comedy Krampus, stars Adam Scott and Toni Collette sat down to talk with writer-director Michael Dougherty.
"We talked about the Amblin movies we grew up with and loved," says Scott, "like Gremlins, The Goonies and Poltergeist, and how much we missed those movies. And he's made something very much in the vein of those movies, a character-driven family dramedy. And then about halfway through this crazy s**t starts happening!"
"I think Gremlins was the first film I ever saw in the cinema without an adult," Collette adds. "And I think this movie kind of takes that idea and pushes it further. It's real people and real characters and it gets a little out of control and supernatural. You can't really categorise it or pin it to one genre, and that for me is frigging fantastic! There are so many stories that are just sort of rehashed, we've seen them before and it's so obvious what's going to happen. And in this I just never knew what was happening next."
Continue reading: Krampus Was Nostalgic Fun For Scott And Collette
Based on ancient mythology, this Christmas horror movie has a gleefully nasty attitude that makes it entertaining even if it isn't properly frightening. This is mainly because the marauding monsters remain sketchy at best, never developing anything more than a superficial sense of dread. But the ace cast is terrific at engaging the audience,and the filmmakers keep viewers gripped as they play merrily with cliches from both horror and holiday movies.
It opens on a recognisably stressed-out Christmas season, as Tom and Sarah (Adam Scott and Toni Collette) feel their relationship straining under the pressure of work and holiday plans. They and their teen kids Beth and Max (Stefania LaVie Owen and Emjay Anthony) are dreading the arrival of their Aunt Linda and Uncle Howard (Allison Tolman and David Koechner) and their boorish kids. Then the drunken Aunt Dorothy (Conchata Ferrell) turns up unannounced. Tom's German mother (Krista Stadler) watches all of this with a silent, knowing dread. But the real threat is outside the house, as a vicious ice storm settles in, knocking out the power and unleashing a ferocious Anti-Santa and his evil gang of elves and killer toys.
The film is strikingly well shot and edited, as director Michael Dougherty orchestrates the comedy, drama and action to focus on the gifted actors. While the design and in-camera effects are clever, much of the digital effects work is ropey, giving the movie a cartoonish sheen. And the monsters themselves are eerily expressionless: ghoulish puppets with immobile faces. So they're extremely creepy, but not particularly menacing, because they have no personalities at all. Thankfully, Scott, Collette, Koechner and Tolman are experts at sliding effortlessly between comedy, drama and terror. And young Anthony gives the film a blast of resonance as Max, a boy still young enough to believe in Santa who thinks he has brought all of this violence down on his family.
Continue reading: Krampus Review
Eggs is a young boy living in the dairy loving, wealthy town of Cheesbridge. He was adopted as a baby and is a perfectly ordinary boy - apart from the fact that he was brought up in a sewer by an unusual group of foster parents. The Boxtrolls are underground creatures feared throughout the town as sinister and dangerous monsters, but in truth they are remarkably kind and so shy that they spend most of their time hiding in the boxes they wear as shells and venturing out at night so that they don't bump into the Cheesebridge residents. All they wish to do is collect discarded rubbish and turn it into incredible machines. Unfortunately, despite their harmlessness, a vicious exterminator named Archibald Snatcher is after their heads when the town's council insists on their removal. Eggs must help save his family, but first he's got to start behaving like a regular boy.
Continue: The Boxtrolls - International Trailer
The fun-filled trailer gives us a good look at those 'Boxtrolls'.
The trailer for the latest film to come from Laika, Phil Knight's Hillsboro animation studio, has hit the web. ‘Boxtrolls’ tells the story of a group of goblins that live underground, feeding off grubs and various bugs, and using boxes to appear greater than the sum of their parts.
He's not a boxtroll, but he sort of is, is Eggs
The trailer gives us a further look at the beautifully crafted, almost dickensian world that the talented guys at Laika have created. The fantastical setting is intriguing as soon as we see the cobbled roof tiles, and becomes even riper for exploring the further we go down, even below the street, where those adorable (yet thoroughly disgusting) Boxtrolls.
Continue reading: Hidden Below The Streets Are The 'Boxtrolls' [Trailer + Pictures]
Martin Sharp is a disgraced TV presenter whose ambitions and family have been destroyed by his own stupid mistakes. Now feeling deeply lost and humiliated he finds that the only way to proceed is to commit suicide by leaping from the top of a London skyscraper aptly known as Topper's Tower. However, as he prepares to end his life on New Year's Eve, he is interrupted by Maureen, a middle-aged single mother also looking for a way out. Not only that, but the pair are soon joined by angst-ridden teenager Jess who also wants to jump from the roof, and then bemused pizza delivery boy and failed musician JJ after that. The four form a bond and sign a pact that they will not kill themselves before Valentine's Day in a bid to help each other get their lives back on track. When they decide to share their unusual story with the rest of the world, they become media stars and finally start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
'A Long Way Down' is a heartwarming comedy drama based on the bestselling novel by Nick Hornby ('About A Boy', 'High Fidelity'). The screenplay has been adapted by Jack Thorne ('The Fades', 'This Is England') and the movie directed by Pascal Chaumeil ('Heartbreaker', 'Un plan parfait'). 'A Long Way Down' is due for release on March 21st 2014.
Eggs is a young orphaned boy who had possibly the most unusual upbringing one could ever think of; he was raised by a group of inhuman trash collectors called the Boxtrolls who live in a dingy by cosy underground cave. However, The Boxtrolls, named so because of the large cardboard boxes they wear on their torsos, find their rubbish filled paradise under huge threat when a ruthless exterminator by the name of Archibald Snatcher decides to wipe out these unusual creatures for good. Eggs must do everything within his power to stop him and save his friends (and family) from certain death.
Continue: The Boxtrolls - Teaser Trailer
With a strikingly against-type performance from the late Gandolfini, this film gives the romantic-comedy formula a welcome adult spin. Writer-director Holofcener keeps the characters authentic even as she indulges in some rather farcical plotting. And her astutely observational dialog lets the cast members create characters who are funny, flawed and thoroughly engaging.
At a party, massage therapist Eva (Louis-Dreyfus) meets two people who become important in her life. First is Marianne (Keener), whose snappy wit and honesty make her much more than just a new client. And then there's Albert (Gandolfini), an unlikely suitor who charms Eva with his dry wit and warm camaraderie as they share common emotions about daughters (Fairaway and Hewson) who are leaving home for university. But as Marianne moans about her miserable ex-husband, Eva realises that she's talking about Albert. And she knows that if she tells them that she's made this connection, she'll lose both a friend and a boyfriend.
Holofcener takes this simple idea and stretches it nearly to the breaking point. Fortunately, the film's real strength lies in the interaction between these people, and it's easy to identify with their hesitance as they endure a series of awkward moments that feel bracingly realistic. All of the dialog bristles with humour that feels improvised, and Louis-Dreyfus has always been an expert at combining comedy with both underlying strength and fragility (see Veep). Gandolfini seems like a strange match for her, but he plays the role so beautifully that we root for them as a couple.
Continue reading: Enough Said Review
An especially strong script gives actors plenty to chew on in this comedy-drama, in which writer-directors Faxon and Rash (The Descendants) take an observant look at the awkward connections we make with each other. Using sparky humour and emotion, the filmmakers and cast create vivid characters we can't help but identify with, even when they do all the wrong things.
At the centre, Duncan (James) is a 14-year-old who dreads spending the summer at a beach house owned by Trent (Carrel), the cruelly critical new boyfriend of his mother Pam (Collette). When they arrive, they meet gossipy neighbour Betty (Janney), who has a whole season of neighbourhood parties planned. And her daughter Susanna (Robb) looks just about as miserable as Duncan does. As he tries to escape, Duncan finds a local water park run by colourful misfit Owen (Rockwell), who takes Duncan under his wing and offers him a summer job. And being on his own gives him the badly needed self-confidence to talk to his mother honestly, take on Trent and maybe even ask Susanna out on a date.
Even though this is essentially a standard coming-of-age movie, the script never falls into the usual cliches. For example, when Duncan's first kiss comes along, it plays out in an unexpected, realistic way. This is a generous, honest comedy packed with terrific characters and resonant situations. Supported by the all-star cast, James delivers an impressive performance as a sullen teen struggling to face the world around him , growing up while remaining awkward and likeable. Meanwhile, Stockwell keeps us laughing with a lively party-boy turn that's underscored with sympathy. Collette beautifully layers the repressive, conflicted Pam. Carell goes nicely against type as the cruelly passive-aggressive Trent. And Janney steals the show with the most hilarious lines.
Continue reading: The Way, Way Back Review
This romantic comedy will bring a tear to your eye, but less for its story.
The trailer has been released for Enough Said; a rom-com that will bear a more potent poignancy for those who were fans of the late James Gandolfini, star of The Sopranos. The actor died in June after an unexpected heart attack, whilst on holiday in Rome, but his death didn't mean he couldn't keep entertaining post-humously.
Eva, a divorced, single mother who faces the impending departure of her soon to be college bound daughter, meets Albert, an easy going, teddy-bear of man who has a complicated relationship with his ex-wife.
Eva pursues Albert and the couple's relationship quickly blossoms until Eva's latest friend, Marianne, gets a phone call from her supposedly miserable, horrible and selfish ex-husband. Albert.
Eva finds her relationship being tested and doubting her new partner after being sub-consciously influenced by Marianne. Eva must discover the truth about Albert in order find out first hand if he is as the man Marianne suggests he is.
Continue: Enough Said Trailer
The film's wit and charm win over even the harshest critics
The Way Way Back – a light, heart-warming comedy in the midst of an action-packed summer blockbuster season, saw its world premiere last month. The film hits US theatres (as a limited release) tomorrow, June 5th and there are already a number of opinions from critics floating around the internet.
Tony Collette stars as an out-of-touch mother in this one.
Among the CBS TV show actors arriving at the network's 2013 Upfront Presentation in New York were Sharon Osbourne from 'The Talk' (who doesn't refrain from her usual face-pulling shenanigans) and the cast of 'How I Met Your Mother' Josh Radnor, Jason Segel, Cobie Smulders, Neil Patrick Harris and Alyson Hannigan.
Iron Man 3 is getting solid reviews everywhere with Ben Kingsley's Mandarin very nearly stealing the show, Thor and Loki team up in new movie The Dark World while Tribeca Film Festival and Sundance London get underway.
The big news in cinemas globally is the release of Iron Man 3, which doesn't open in the USA until next week. But audiences around the world are already watching Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow reprise their roles in the Marvel franchise, which will no doubt lead box office charts everywhere for a few weeks at least.
Meanwhile, we got our first glimpse of Iron Man's fellow Avenger Thor with the trailer for The Dark World, which opens late this summer. Chris Hemsworth is back as the Norse god, this time teaming up with his mischievous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) instead of fighting him. Natalie Portman is also back for what looks like a seriously epic blockbuster.
Duncan is a 14-year-old boy struggling to fit in anywhere and dealing with all the problems that most teenagers are forced to deal with at some stage. His mother Pam has a new boyfriend, Trent, who happens to be a jerk with a keen interest in humiliating Duncan at every opportunity. As the summer nears, the family embark on a vacation at Trent's beach house where he meets their new neighbour's daughter Susanna who, far from seeing him as a socially awkward and embarrassing individual, warms to Duncan immediately. He also meets the unprofessional and extroverted manager of the Water Wizz water park, Owen, who offers him a job and some excitement on his otherwise uninteresting vacation and subsequently helps him grow in confidence and self-belief.
Continue: The Way, Way Back Trailer
What could have been an intriguing look at how Alfred Hitchcock created one of his most iconic masterpieces is instead turned into a gently entertaining romp. We may enjoy watching the twists and turns as this troubled project takes shape, but the script simply never breaks the surface or gives its stars any real depth to play with. So in the end, the most engaging thing about the film ends up being the portrayal of Hitchcock's marriage.
The story starts with the 1959 premiere of North by Northwest, a hit that critics dismissed as more of the same from a master resting on his laurels. So Hitchcock (Hopkins) decides to give them something unexpected, and takes his first foray into horror based on the little-known novel Psycho, a fictionalised story about a real serial killer. Working closely with his wife Alma (Mirren) on every aspect of the film, he is in constant conflict with the studio chief (Portnow) and the chief censor (Smith), who both believe the material is too strong. Meanwhile, Alma is tired of him flirting with his leading ladies (Johansson and Biel), so she takes a side job with a writer (Huston) who wants to be more than friends.
Oddly, neither director Gervasi (Anvil) nor writer McLaughlin (Black Swan) seems interested in getting beneath the surface of their central character, so Hitchcock is little more than the jovial caricature we saw in his TV anthology series. Hiding under layers of prosthetic face and body fat, Hopkins is good but never seems to break a sweat in the role. Which leaves Mirren to steal the film as Alma, mainly by departing from reality to create a more intriguing movie character instead. And Collette adds some spice as Hitchcock's assistant. But as the cast of Psycho, Johansson (as Janet Leigh), Biel (Vera Miles) and D'Arcy (Anthony Perkins) are only given small details to define them, which leaves them lurking uninterestingly around the edges.
Continue reading: Hitchcock Review
Some of Hollywood's most established stars - not least the cast themselves - turned out for the premiere of Hitchcockyesterday (November 20) at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California. It's not surprising that such a dazzling array of talent should take to the red carpet, given that the film effectively honours one of the greatest directors of all time in Alfred Hitchcock. Taking center stage were leading ladies Toni Collete, Jessica Biel and, of course,Dame Helen Mirren- the latter extremely enamoured by Biel's gorgeous dress, struggling to keep her hands off it.
Even for a riotous Australian black comedy, this film packs in just a bit too much chaos. It's consistently smart and funny, with lively characters and especially witty dialog, but some of the sideroads never go anywhere. Still, there's so much terrific material in here that it's well worth a look for fans of the genre. And it's great to see Collette return home to reunite with her Muriel's Wedding director P.J. Hogan nearly 20 years after they launched their careers.
The story centres on suburban housewife Shirley (Gibney), who is obsessed with The Sound of Music and wishes her unruly family was more like the Von Trapps. But no, her husband (LaPaglia) is the town's philandering mayor, and their five daughters all think they're mentally ill. Then when Shirley herself ends up in a psych ward, Dad brings in the drifter Shaz (Collette) to watch the girls. She takes no prisoners, whipping them into shape while trying to give them some self-respect. She also shows them that the people society considers "normal" are probably crazier than they are. Meanwhile, eldest daughter Coral (Sullivan) gets a job at a shark exhibit run by a salty fisherman (Schreiber) who has a connection with Shaz.
Writer-director Hogan packs the film with rude references to The Sound of Music, from a pastiche pre-title sequence to Shaz's unconventional Maria-like approach to child-rearing (with heavy overtones of Mary Poppins). The film is colourful and sometimes too hyperactive, with Collette often going way over-the-top as the wildly unhinged Shaz, who also upends the life of their compulsive next-door neighbour (Fox). Much of this is simply too wacky for us to go along with, but other scenes are quietly insightful and very, very funny. Often at the same time.
Continue reading: Mental Review
Alfred Hitchcock was in his sixties and struggling to come up with a fresh idea for a new movie; that was until the notoriously terrifying story of 'Psycho' by Robert Bloch came along in 1959. Arguably one of his best ideas for a movie to date, the Oscar nominated Hitchcock set to work pulling it together despite the extreme scepticism of his wife Alma Reville and Paramount Pictures who disapproved of the degree of horror the movie maker was planning to utilise. In fact, he was so confident that he was willing to pour in thousands of dollars for the film to be made when he was refused his usual budget from the studio; an action that Alma found irresponsible and rather worrying.
'Hitchcock' is drama biopic strongly focused on Alfred's often strained though very loving relationship with his wife and has been based on the book 'Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho' by Stephen Rebello. Directed by Sacha Gervasi ('Anvil: The Story of Anvil' documentary) and written by BAFTA nominee John J. McLaughlin ('Man of the House', 'Black Swan'), this is story of how 'Psycho', one of the greatest films of all time, was made including its inspiration from real-life Winconsin murderer and grave robber Ed Gein. It is set for release on February 8th 2013 in the UK.
Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Hopkins, James D'Arcy, Jessica Biel, Michael Stuhlbarg, Ralph Macchio, Toni Collette, Judith Hoag, Danny Huston, Michael Wincott, Kurtwood Smith, Richard Portnow, John Rothman, Tara Summers, Helen Mirren.
Continue: Hitchcock Trailer
Besides some cheap scares, it never generates a moment of suspense, but it's still good fun.
In suburban Las Vegas, Charley (Yelchin) is a nerdy teen with an impossibly hot girlfriend (Poots) and a feisty single mum (Collette). But there's something suspicious about the new neighbour Jerry (Farrell), whom Charley's best friend Ed (Mintz-Plasse) insists is a vampire. And as events start to get increasingly bizarre, Charley begins to believe it himself. He asks TV vampire expert Peter Vincent (Tennant) for advice, but Peter is a jaded showman who doesn't really believe in the supernatural. Or does he?
Continue reading: FrightNight Review
High school nerd Charley Brewster is in his senior year of high school and dating the popular beautiful British exchange student, Amy. When fellow classmate Adam Johnson goes missing, Charley isn't bothered by this - Adam is most likely skipping class, in his opinion. But his best friend, 'Evil' Ed, is concerned.
Continue: Fright Night Trailer
Continue reading: Evening Review
Among the group is Susie Carter (Sophie Okonedo), who quickly reunites with her husband Ian (Chiwetel Ejiofor) but is devastated to learn their four-year-old daughter slipped out of her father's arms and has disappeared. Meanwhile, Kim Peabody (Gina McKee) has lost her husband but finds her teenage son horribly injured.
Continue reading: Tsunami: The Aftermath Review
The compulsive listmaking and mathematical precision of Greenaway's earlier films is present and intact, but the center of 8 1/2 Women is ultimately hollow and painfully obvious. His very concept reduces women to childish fantasies such as the sexually repressed nun (Toni Collette), the pregnant woman (Natacha Amal), the nubile bombshell (Polly Walker), the prudish accountant who wears thick glasses (Vivian Wu, from The Pillow Book) and the woman who adores her pet horse and pig (Amanda Plummer). The "half-woman" has no legs, of course.
Continue reading: 8 1/2 Women Review
"The Hours" is an Oscar voter's nightmare. An adaptation of Michael Cunningham's novel about three women in three different time periods whose lives are profoundly affected by Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway," the film features equally magnificent performances of nearly equal screen time from three of the best actresses working in film today.
Meryl Streep submerges herself in the self-sacrificing soul of Clarissa Vaughan, a modern Manhattan book editor whose longtime dear friend -- and volatile ex-lover -- Richard (Ed Harris) likes to ruffle her feathers by comparing her to the heroine of Woolf's book. Both women are externally serene, perfectionist party-throwers hiding deep reservoirs of regret over missed opportunities while living lives as mother-hen caretakers to others.
Julianne Moore plays Laura Brown, a fragile, pregnant 1950s housewife in the midst of reading "Mrs. Dalloway," whose deep depression (like Woolf's) and suicidal musings (like Dalloway's) go all but unnoticed by everyone except her young son (Jack Rovello), who clings to her apron strings with worry.
Continue reading: The Hours Review
Date of birth
1st November, 1972
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