Monthly archives "February 2013"

Newsreel (W/e 24 February 2013)

 

Producer Kathleen Kennedy will not return for Jurassic Park 4, due to Star Wars commitments.

 

Rupert Wyatt is in talks to direct the adaptation of The Equalizer.

 

Christian Bale is to star in Everest.

 

Michael Bay announces that Megan Fox is set to star in the new Ninja Turtles movie.

 

Zero Dark Thirty’s Jason Clarke is to star in the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

 

James Marsden joins the cast of Anchorman: The Legend Continues.

 

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 won seven awards at this year’s Razzies.

 

The Identity Thief breaks into the the top spot of the U.S. Box-office again.

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I Give It A Year ***

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Run Time: 97 Mins     Cert: 15

Synopsis: Directed by Dan Mazer, the British comedy follows mismatched couple Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) as they navigate through the first year of their marriage.

The film begins when Josh (Rafe Spall) and Nat (Rose Byrne) get married. From the beginning, it’s obvious the couple are not particularly compatible. Nat is very proper and career focused while Josh is a chilled out and fun loving writer. Throughout the film the audience are given a rather comic insight into their marriage in the form of flashbacks while, in the present, the couple are unhappy and are visiting a rather wacky marriage counsellor (Olivia Colman) to try and sort out their problems.

There are some really funny scenes in the movie that include a cringe worthy game of charades, an embarrassing incident with a digital photo frame and a disastrous attempt at a threesome. Despite the good laughs, I Give It A Year is somewhat predictable with the outcome being fairly obvious from early in the film. The writers attempt a few twists and turns but there are no surprises in the ending.

While Rose Byrne is an attractive woman who puts on a flawless English accent, her character is not particularly likeable and spends most of her time moaning. Rafe Spall is entertaining but again his character is rather irritating and it’s hard to believe they got together in the first place. While there are some films in which you want the lead couple to make it work, the pair are hard to root for.

In terms of the supporting cast, Simon Baker gives an average performance as the businessman Nat becomes attracted to while Anna Faris is likeable and entertaining as charity worker Chloe. Stephen Merchant is hilarious as Danny, Josh’s inappropriate friend and best man while Minnie Driver gives a humorous but realistic performance as Nat’s sister Naomi.

While I Give It A Year is fun, full of light entertainment and has some good performances, the movie is let down by a predictable story and a couple that are not really believable.

Reviewed by Lesley Logan

Oscar Winners 2013

Here are the winners and nominees of the 2013 Academy Awards. (Oscar winners in bold)

 

BEST PICTURE

 

Argo
Amour
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

 

BEST DIRECTOR

 
Ang Lee – Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook
Michael Haneke – Amour
Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild

 
BEST ACTOR
 
Denzel Washington – Flight
Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables
Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
Joauquin Phoenix – The Master
Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
 
BEST ACTRESS
 
Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
Quvenzhane Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts – The Impossible
Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
 
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
 
Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
Alan Arkin – Argo
Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained
 
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
 
Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
Helen Hunt – The Sessions
Sally Field – Lincoln
Amy Adams – The Master
Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook
 
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
 
Mark Boal – Zero Dark Thirty
Quentin Tarantino – Django Unchained
Michael Haneke – Amour
Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola – Moonrise Kingdom
John Gatins – Flight
 
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
 
Tony Kushner – Lincoln
Chris Terrio – Argo
David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook
David Magee – Life of Pi
Lucy Alibar, Behn Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild
 
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE
 
Amour – Austria
No – Chile
A Royal Affair – Barbara
Kon-Tiki – Norway
War Witch – Canada
 
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
 
Frankenweenie
Brave
ParaNorman
Wreck-It Ralph
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
 
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
 
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
Searching for Sugar Man
5 Broken Cameras
The Invisible War
 
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
 
Inocente
Kings Point
Mondays at Racine
Open Heart
Redemption
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
 
Lincoln
Life of Pi
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
 
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
 
Claudio Miranda – Life of Pi
Roger Deakins – Skyfall
Janusz Kaminski – Lincoln
Robert Richardson – Django Unchained
Seamus McGarvey – Anna Karenina
 
BEST FILM EDITING
 
William Goldenberg, Dylan Tichenor – Zero Dark Thirty
William Goldenberg – Argo
Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers – Silver Linings Playbook
Michael Kahn – Lincoln
Tim Squyers – Life of Pi
 
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
 
Dario Marianelli – Anna Karenina
Mychael Danna – Life of Pi
Thomas Newman – Skyfall
John Williams – Lincoln
Alexandre Desplat – Argo
 
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
 
“Skyfall” – Skyfall
“Suddenly” – Les Miserables
“Pi’s Lullaby” – Life of Pi
“Before My Time” – Chasing Ice
“Everybody Needs a Best Friend” – Ted
 
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
 
Life of Pi
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Prometheus
Snow White and the Huntsman
The Avengers
 
BEST COSTUME DESIGN
 
Lincoln
Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
Mirror Mirror
Snow White and the Huntsman
 
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
 
Hitchcock
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Les Miserables
 
BEST SOUND EDITING
 
Skyfall
Argo
Zero Dark Thirty
Life of Pi
Django Unchained
 
BEST SOUND MIXING
 
Skyfall
Lincoln
Life of Pi
Les Miserables
Argo
 
BEST SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
 
Adam and Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head over Heels
The Longest Daycare
Paperman
 
BEST SHORT FILM (LIVE-ACTION)
 
Asad
Buzkashi Boys
Curfew
Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)
Henry

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Zero Dark Thirty *****

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Run Time: 157 Mins Cert: 15

Synopsis: After the 9/11 attacks in 2001, the CIA make al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden a prime target. Over a decade since the the 9/11 attacks, intelligence analyst Maya (Chastain) tracks a courier she senses will eventually lead to finding the location of Bin Laden.

 

Oscar winner Kathryn Bigelow returns with another war drama that is more fact than fiction this time around. The director along with screenwriter Mark Boal has crafted a tense and dark action packed drama. The narrative centres on one woman’s determination of striving for results at the cost of not only her reputation within Washington, but also her life.

 

The story covers almost a ten year period and never feels long or dragged out. Much has been made surrounding the controversy surrounding the torturing of the detainees, but this aspect is not glorified. If anything it is shown that nothing is achieved from torture and that no significant results were gained from doing this.

 

Jessica Chastain gives a subtle performance in the lead role. For some audiences it may be too lifeless and stern. But this is what is good about her acting. She portrays a woman who has seen so many horrific things,that she no longer feels anything. Maya is only passionate about her objective.

 

While the other supporting players are well portrayed, they are simply just that. Many characters are introduced, but there is little enough time for anyone to care about them. The only exception would be Seal Team 6.

 

When it comes to the finale, Bigelow shows flare and panache with a stunningly thrilling sequence of events. Even although audiences know exactly what happens, there is a tense, nail biting sensation that the siege will fail. If a movie makes you forget and become emotionally involved, it is something truly special.

Reviewed by Paul Logan

Hitchcock ***

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Run Time: 98 minutes Cert: 12A

Synopsis: Anthony Hopkins stars as the legendary movie director Alfred Hitchcock in this real life story of how the film “Psycho” came to exist.

 

Directed by Sacha Gervasi and boasting an all star cast, Hitchcock tells the story of Alfred Hitchcock’s (Anthony Hopkins) life during the production of his classic horror movie “Psycho”. As with all movies based on real life, the film had the potential to be predictable. However the writers combat this by adding other elements to the story such as the events leading up the making of “Psycho” and the exploration of Hitchcock’s relationship with his wife Alma Reville, a woman who spends her life supporting her husband’s career but clearly wants to make it in her own right.

 

Anthony Hopkins gives a great performance as the title character. Heavily made up and sporting a fat suit, he bears a strong resemblance to Alfred Hitchcock and is both convincing and entertaining. Helen Mirren’s performance as Alma is reasonably good but a bit bland at times. The supporting cast works well. James D’Arcy looks scarily similar to Anthony Perkins and Scarlett Johansson is both believable and likeable as Janet Leigh.

 

Although Hitchcock shows an interest in the young actresses he works with, the film is relatively tame in this area and portrays the director in a more positive light than previous attempts. Although he is seen telling Scarlett Johansson’s character dirty jokes and watching Vera (Jessica Biel) through a hole in the wall, it doesn’t go any further than that. The focus seems to be more on Hitch and Alma’s marriage and her friendship with fellow writer Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston) whereas other attempts at telling Hitch’s story have delved deeper into his attraction to the female stars.

 

The scenes in which Alma spends time with Whitfield are boring and cliched, while the scenes where Hitch has an imaginary confidante are entertaining but leave the viewer questioning whether the writer is hinting at deeper issues or just having fun.

 

Overall, the film was pleasant enough to watch and had some good acting but the story was disappointing and the ending rather cheesy.

Reviewed by Lesley Logan

Newsreel (W/e 17 February 2013)

minion

Sandra Bullock will voice the villain in Illumination Entertainment’s Minions, to be released on Friday, Dec 19, 2014.

 

Amanda Seyfried joins the cast of Seth MacFarlane’s western comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West.

 

Robert Downey Jnr. has picked up the rights to adapt an episode of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, The Entire History Of You.

 

Ahmet Zappa set to reinterpret Charles Dicken’s Oliver Twist into a new movie called Dodge & Twist.

 

Albert Brooks is set to return to voice Marlin in the sequel to Finding Nemo.

 

Hugh Laurie is in talks to play the villain in Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland.

 

Chris Hemsworth and Michael Mann are teaming up for a new untitled thriller.

 

Terence Stamp may star in Anchorman: The Legend Continues.

 

Rumour has it that Harrison Ford is returning as Han Solo in Star Wars: Episode VII.

 

A Good Day To Die Hard at the top of the U.S. box-office..

Newsreel (W/e 10th February 2013)

guardians

Johnny Depp is to star in crime thriller Black Mass as Boston’s most notorious gangster, Whitey Bulger & directed by Barry Levinson.

 

Star Trek Into Darkness will open on 3D IMAX screens two days before its May 17 wide release.

 

Marvel are planning more Hulk movies for phase 3.

 

Kristen Wiig joins the cast for Anchorman: The Legend Continues.

 

Parks & Recreation & Zero Dark Thirty star Chris Pratt will play Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord) in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

 

Sean Bean is set to join the Wachowskis’ Jupiter Ascending.

 

Stacy Keach is the main villain in Sin City: A Dame to Kill.

 

Christopher McQuarrie set to be the director of MISSION: Impossible 5.

 

Twentieth Century Fox Film is rebooting Hitman with Paul Walker in a movie to be titled Agent 47.

 

Michael Keaton joins the cast of DreamWorks’ video game adaptation, Need for Speed.

 

Death of a President director Gabriel Range is to direct Lust For Life, a biopic about the creative partnership of David Bowie & Iggy Pop.

 

Pete Docter’s new Pixar animated movie to be called Inside Out.

 

Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Quvenzhané Wallis is looking to be in the remake of Annie.

 

Simon Pegg & Nick Frost join the cast of the stop-motion animated movie The Boxtrolls.

 

The Identity Thief has no problems stealing the No 1 position at the U.S. box-office.

Lincoln ****

Lincoln

Running Time: 150 mins Certificate: 12A

Synopsis: An account of Abraham Lincoln’s (Day-Lewis) plan to sway the House Of Representatives and pass the 13th Amendment, which will outlaw slavery, but will it have reprecussions on his mission to end the war.

 

Spielberg revisits the theme of freedom and slavery after the disjointed and disappointing Amistad, with an epic film that is more rewarding. But do expect another War Horse or Saving Private Ryan as there are very few battle scenes with most of the carnage and destruction being displayed long after the civil war battles have ended.

 

The message is clear from the outset that nothing good comes out of wars, but ultimately talking can be more powerful than a gun. In a funny way this is what both the director have done for this movie with a though provoking ambitious drama with great dialogue. The discussions are never boring and are mostly enlightening.

 

This partly the problem with the biopic is the script is too dense and is full of detail, which at times feels a little confusing and hard to follow. Multiple characters are constantly established only to be forgotten. Tony Kushner’s script seems like it would have been better suited for the stage than the screen.

 

The acting is sublime with James Spader and John Hawkes bring much needed comedy to the proceedings. Tommy Lee Jones plays the likeable, but gruff opponent to Lincoln. Sally Field tries her best with an underwritten part, but she is ultimately forgettable.

 

But the scene stealer is the man himself. After a few minutes it is hard to believe that the person on screen is not Lincoln. Day Lewis absorbs the role like a chameleon, with his slow southern drawl and stooped posture.

 

Spielberg has made thought provoking epic with stunning photography, beautifully written dialogue and outstanding performances. It may be a bit talky for some, but given a chance audiences will find a hidden gem of a movie.

 

Reviewed by Paul Logan

 

Newsreel (W/e 3 February 2013)

the-muppets-again

Brad Bird’s 1952 is now unveiled as Disney’s Tomorrowland starring George Clooney.

 

Paul Giamatti in talks to play Rhino in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

 

Lucasfilm cancels 3D re-releases of both Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones & Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

 

Eva Green has joined the cast of Sin City: A Dame To Kill For to play Ava Lord, the deadly muse from Frank Miller’s graphic novel.

 

Entourage is now officially headed to the big screen.

 

Matt Kindt’s comic book series Mind MGMT is headed to the big screen with Ridley Scott producing.

 

Gore Verbinski is to direct an adaptation of the graphic novel Pyongyang.

 

Muppets’ sequel titled The Muppets…Again!

 

Duncan Jones is set to direct an upcoming movie based on the World of Warcraft game.

 

Charlize Theron is in talks to star in A Million Ways to Die in the West, the upcoming Seth MacFarlane comedy.

 

Kenneth Branagh in talks to direct Disney’s Cinderella.

 

Warm Bodies heats up at the top of the U.S. box-office, while Bullet in the Head is shot dead.

Flight ****

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Run Time: 138 Mins         Cert: 15

Synopsis: When a plane falls apart in the sky, its pilot (Denzel Washington) performs an emergency landing that saves most of its passengers. Following the incident, the events prior to it come back to haunt him.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back To The Future, Forrest Gump), “Flight” tells the story of William “Whip” Whitaker (Denzel Washington), a pilot who spends most of his time high on alcohol and drugs. He has a volatile relationship with his ex-wife and teenage son and is in a relationship with a flight attendant at the start of the film. On a short flight from Florida to Georgia, the plane he is flying malfunctions and Whip has to use extreme manoeuvres to land the plane.

The flight sequence is spectacular from the rainstorm to the mechanical problems that lead to the plane being expertly crash landed by Whip. After the flight at the start, the film becomes very character-driven and focuses on the moral question raised by these events: should Whip be recognised for his heroics or be condemned for his irresponsible behaviour? It also explores the issue of people’s trust in those who are responsible for their lives.

One thing that becomes clear throughout the film is that Whip is not a likeable character. As the story progresses, the audience sees him continue to engage in behaviours that destroy his life and have negative effects on others. This makes it difficult to wish for a good outcome despite having seen him save 100 people. At first it isn’t clear what Nicole’s (Kelly Reilly) role in the story is but her performance is good and the character is likeable. At first Whip appears to be the stronger of the two, but as time goes on it becomes obvious Nicole is the strong one.

Despite Whip’s destructive behaviour, he has support from his friend and union representative Charlie Anderson (Bruce Greenwood) and lawyer Hugh Lang (Don Cheadle). Both remain loyal and fight his case, which makes for good performances from both actors. Although John Goodman only appears for two scenes, his performance in the role of Whip’s drug dealer is entertaining and comic.

While it could have been predictable, the story unfolds in a way that leaves viewers unsure of the outcome until the very end. These twists and turns combined with a high standard of acting and a surprise ending make it a great movie and a must see for anyone that likes a mixture of action and character-driven drama.

Reviewed by Lesley Logan