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2 Guns ***

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Run Time: 109 mins Cert: 15

 

Synopsis: An undercover DEA agent (Washington) and a naval intelligence officer (Wahlberg) unknowingly investigate each other when they both steal what they both think is mob money.

 

Mark Wahlberg reteams with his Contraband director Baltasar Kormákur for a Lethal Weapon influenced 80’s style buddy movie, that brings Denzel along for the ride.

 

Based on a graphic novel series of the by Boom! Studios publications, this run by the mill tale that takes cues from Elmore Leonard novels. The plot involves relentless twists and turns full of double crosses that become confusing as the story unfolds.

 

While the plot appears to be a run by the numbers action buddy flick that is reminiscent of the 1980’s, the film comes alive by the main players.

 

Washington and Wahlberg bounce off each other like an old married couple. Their chemistry is what makes this film a joy to watch. Denzel is as always perfect with timing and shows off his comic skills. Both stars look like they are having fun and that in turn makes us as an audience have fun too.

 

Unfortunately Bill Paxton’s villain is one dimension and is the same character that is portrayed in other classic buddy movies. Not to say that Paxton is bad, he does try his best with the little screen time he has. The same goes for an unrecognisable James Marsden as Wahlberg’s superior officer.

 

This flashy action piece would be extremely dull if it was not for the two star players who make the movie, a fun and highly enjoyable experience.

Reviewed by Paul Logan

This Is The End ****

Unknown

 

 

Run Time: 106 mins               Cert: 15

 

Synopsis: Written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the comedy follows a group of actors as they experience the apocalypse together.

 

The movie begins when Jay Baruchel and his old friend Seth Rogen meet up in Los Angeles. They decide to attend a housewarming party hosted by fellow actor James Franco, where they meet a host of other celebrities. Jay feels uncomfortable at the party so he and Seth take a trip to a local shop to buy cigarettes, during which explosions occur and other people are beamed up into the sky. Despite this occuring outside, they go back to the party to find everything is carrying on as normal. However an earthquake creates a hole in the ground that swallows up a large number of celebrities, leaving only five survivors – Baruchel, Rogen, Franco, Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson.

 

Having squabbled over rations and boarded up the house, the group of actors head to bed. On waking up they discover Danny McBride is alive and completely unaware of the previous night’s events. Over the next few days, the men spend their time getting high and spoofing movies. One by one they discover their fate.

 

“This Is The End” is entertaining and hilarious to watch. The sheer ludicrousness of the events is what makes the movie work and the story contains a number of twists that will shock the audience and leave them anticipating the next crazy occurrence.The relationships between Rogen and Goldberg’s fictitious versions of the actors are also fun to watch and cover all angles from close friendship to love-hate relationships and people that can’t stand each other.

 

The cast is top notch with great performances from all the actors – particularly Rogen, Franco, McBride and Robinson. The actors work well together and create an ensemble that provokes laughter at every opportunity.

 

The ending is both random and unexpected. Given the whole film is completely off the wall, it fits well and gives a good conclusion.

 

Reviewed by Lesley Logan

Newsreel (W/e 25 August 2013)

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Rumour has it that Ewan McGregor is to reprise his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi in JJ Abrams’s Star Wars Episode VII

 

Tron Legacy’s Joseph Kosinski is set to direct the remake of The Twilight Zone.

 

Producers Distribution Agency will be releasing Randy Moore’s directorial debut Escape from Tomorrow in the U.S. this fall.

 

Universal Studios has optioned the rights to the comic book series Day Men.

 

Robert Rodriguez’s movie El Mariachi is to be adapted for TV.

 

Idris Elba is set to both produce and star in an adaptation of Uzodinma Iweala’s novel Beasts of No Nation.

 

Guy Ritchie may direct an adaptation of Thomas Kelly’s period novel Empire Rising as his next project.

 

Chappie, the next film from Neill Blomkamp is set for release on March 27, 2015.

 

Ricky Gervais is planning to develop a movie based on his The Office character David Brent.

 

Benedict Cumberbatch has dropped out of Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak.

 

Clint Eastwood is in talks to direct the drama American Sniper.

 

A Rambo television series is in development.

 

Pirates 5 to be titled Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

 

Ben Affleck will play Batman opposite Henry Cavill’s Superman in the Batman/Superman movie.

 

JJ Abrams, & cinematographer Dan Mindel will be shooting Star Wars: Episode VII on 35mm film. Specifically, Kodak film stock 5219.

 

Game of Thrones’ Natalie Dormer has been cast as Cressida in The Hunger Games: Mockinjay – Part 1 and Part 2.

 

Tony Jaa has joined the cast of Fast & Furious 7.

 

Happy 83rd Birthday to The Man Who Would Be King of Scotland, Sean Connery!

 

R.I.P. Elmore Leonard.

 

The Butler continues to serve at the U.S. box-office.

Newsreel (W/e 18 August 2013)

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Mel Gibson & Antonio Banderas join the cast of The Expendables 3.

 

Now You See Me 2 is now in development.

 

Joel Edgerton in talks to be Ramses for Ridley Scott’s Exodus.

 

Darren Aronofsky may adapt Jason Matthews’s novel Red Sparrow as his next film.

 

Vin Diesel will star in the sci-fi, Soldiers of the Sun.

 

Seth MacFarlane confirms that Ted 2 is set for an April 2015 release.

 

The Butler serves at the top of the U.S. box-office.

The Lone Ranger *****

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Run Time: 149 mins Cert: 12A

 

Synopsis: Tonto (Depp) remembers his days with John Reid (Hammer) and how the sole survivor of a massacre of Texas Rangers by the notorious outlaw Butch Cavendish (Fichtner) and his gang became the masked man bringing justice in the Old West.

 

The makers of the Pirates of the Caribbean series return with a classic high octane adventure, that studios used to release in days gone by.

 

Firstly forgot everything that has been highlighted in the media. The movie may have cost $215 million to make and delayed by two years, but like World War Z it is no where near the disaster that many critics have made this out to be.

 

The story initially written by Pirates writers Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, with a second take conducted by Revolutionary Road’s Justin Haythe have made an interesting take on an origin story taken from the sidekicks point of view. Tonto with his broken English and madcap ranting is very much the brains of the outfit. While Reid is not the brave and dashing vigilante but a bumbling fool with a hatred of guns although he is still a loner. Even the actual episodic structure feels a refreshing change in a summer blockbuster.

 

Depp and Hammer make a fantastic double act, both reacting with each other in perfect timing. The relationship between the two leads plays out like a wacky western Odd Couple. It may play for laughs, but it does not feel too ridiculous, rather more engaging than distracting.

 

While classic character actor William Fichtner plays the heart eating villain Butch Cavendish, with such venom that every moment he chews the scenery, he steals every scene that he is in. Luther’s Ruth Wilson gives the role of unconventional adventurous damsel emotional gravitas. While Tom Wilkinson’s character feels slightly underdeveloped.

 

Gore Verbinski has made a stunning looking film with spectacular mind blowing action scenes. All the money spent is clearly on screen. Not since the John Ford westerns has Monument Valley looked so beautiful.

 

The movie is flawed. There are far too many characters. Wilkinson’s character needed to be more empathetic and the middle act seems to drag slightly and could almost certainly have cut the overlong running time down.

 

But this is definitely the most enjoyable and fun movie of the summer. Audiences will find it difficult to stay still in their seats once Rossini’s William Tell Overture finally erupts during the finale.

Reviewed by Paul Logan

Newsreel (W/e 11 August 2013)

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A spinoff of DreamWorks Animation’s The Penguins of Madagascar is set to star Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich.

 

Sam Rockwell in talks to star in the Poltergeist reboot.

 

Christopher McQuarrie set to direct Mission: Impossible 5.

 

Steven Spielberg is no longer directing the biopic, American Sniper.

 

Jobs’ Josh Gad is to play comedian Sam Kinison in the biopic Brother Kinison, directed by Borat’s Larry Charles.

 

Meryl Streep & Robert De Niro are to star in the adaptation of best-selling novel The Good House.

 

Harrison Ford has joined The Expendables 3 while original star Bruce Willis will not be returning.

 

Leonardo DiCaprio is set to produce and possibly star in King Harald, a historical biopic about Harald Hardrada, 11th century Viking king.

 

A TV version of The Exorcist is in the works.

 

Arcade Fire to provide the soundtrack for Spike Jonze’s new movie Her.

 

Hugh Grant joins the cast of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

 

A Paranormal Activity spin-off to be released in January, then another sequel in October 2014.

 

Elysium tops the U.S. box-office.

Newsreel (W/e 4 August 2013)

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Disney & Harvey Weinstein set to make the film adaptation of Artemis Fowl with Robert De Niro & Jane Rosenthal executive producing.

 

A John McAfee biopic is in development at Warner Bros with Ed Wood screenwriters Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski to script.

 

Kevin Smith is planning to make a horror movie based on a Gumtree listing about a Walrus, the film is titled Tusk.

 

Denis Leary & Vanessa Hudgens in talks to star in The Kitchen Sink, a horror comedy about a vampire & zombie teaming up when aliens invade.

 

The Inbetweeners Movie 2 is to be released in August 2014.

 

Warner Bros & Jaume Collet-Serra are trying to get the live action Akira remake back on track.

 

Samuel L Jackson has joined the cast of The Secret Service as the villain.

 

Director James Cameron has confirmed that he will make three sequels to Avatar, with the first sequel set to be released in 2016.

 

Denzel Washington turned down a role in Fast & Furious 7.

 

House of Flying Daggers director Zhang Yimou is in talks to helm Warner Bros’ Quasimodo starring Josh Brolin.

 

Billy Bob Thornton is to star in the forthcoming TV series based on the Coen brothers’Fargo.

 

Ellen DeGeneres is to host the 86th annual Academy Awards.

 

2 Guns fires at the top of the U.S. box-office.

 

R.I.P. Eileen Brennan (Aka Capt Lewis from Private Benjamin).

Newsreel (W/e 28 July 2013)

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Adrien Brody & Brian Blessed is set to star in the Kenneth Grahame biopic Banking on Mr Toad.

 

Sacha Baron Cohen has dropped out of the planned Freddie Mercury biopic due to creative differences with the remaining members of Queen.

 

Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys is to become a TV series.

 

Christopher Walken set to star in director Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys.

 

A feature film version of the video game series Gran Turismo is on the way from Sony Pictures.

 

Paul Greengrass is set to direct Aaron Sorkin-scripted The Trial of the Chicago Seven.

 

Danny McBride set to join Bradley Cooper & Emma Stone for Cameron Crowe’s next untitled movie.

 

Rocky spinoff Creed is set to star Michael B Jordan & Sylvester Stallone.

 

V For Vendetta director James McTeigue has signed on to direct a Bloodsport while Kickboxer remake is to be directed by Stephen Fung.

 

Ewan McGregor & Gwyneth Paltrow are in talks to join Johnny Depp in director David Koepp’s Mortdecai.

 

Zombieland’s Abigail Breslin joins Arnold Schwarzengger for Zombie movie Maggie.

 

Ryan Gosling & Zac Efron rumoured to be in the running for Star Wars Episode VII.

 

Soap star MacKenzie Mauzy has been cast as Rapunzel in Disney’s Into The Woods.

 

Rosamund Pike will play the lead in David Fincher’s Gone Girl.

 

Melissa McCarthy to retrain with director Paul Feig for a female-driven spy comedy, Susan Cooper.

 

Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Aniston, Will Forte, Austin Pendleton, Cybil Sheppard & Owen Wilson cast in Peter Bogdanovich’s Squirrels to the Nuts.

 

Paramount Pictures & Eddie Murphy set to bring back Axl Foley after the failed TV series attempt with a fourth Beverly Hills Cop movie.

 

A Dolphin’s Tale 2 is now in development.

 

The Wolverine scratches it’s way to the top of the U.S. box-office.

 

R.I.P. Dennis Farina

World War Z ***

 

Unknown

 

Run Time: 116 mins         Cert: 15

 

Synopsis: Former UN employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) attempts to save the world from zombies in Marc Forster’s latest horror film.

 

At the beginning of the film Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his wife Karin (Mirielle Enos) are taking their two daughters to school when Philadelphia is attacked by people who appear to have a lethal virus. As those around them are killed and the city is destroyed, the family escape in a camper van and hide in a block of flats. As they wait for a helicopter to rescue them, they are joined by a young boy named Tommy whose parents have succumbed to the virus. Following this, they are taken to a US Navy Vessel where Gerry is persuaded to help find the source of the virus in exchange for keeping his family safe.

 

The film follows the team of soldiers to locations all over the world including South Korea, Israel and South Wales. As they travel around attempting to identify where the virus has come from, the team accompanying Gerry are gradually killed leaving only Gerry and a woman named Segen (Daniella Kertesz) whom he has saved from death by removing her hand. Despite almost being killed themselves, the pair finally identify the source of the virus and find a way of preventing it.

 

“World War Z” is nicely shot and the 3D is excellent. There are some spectacular shots of cities from above that show the true advantages of 3D. The scenes in which the infected people morph and attack also benefit from this as it gives the impression the audience could walk into the screen.

 

The film is let down by a story that starts well but loses its way in the third act. It is fairly obvious the film has been edited a lot and the acts have been thrown together. This results in “World War Z” feeling somewhat like two separate movies. The ending is also disappointing and feels a bit too perfect.

 

Although it features good performances from Pitt, Enos and the supporting cast, the characters in the movie are not particularly memorable. Again their development may have suffered due to the excessive editing that has taken place throughout its lifetime but it would have been nice to see characters with more depth and “human like” features to complement a story that is predominantly driven by events.

 

Overall, the film has its strong points, particularly during the first two acts. However the lack of structure in the third act, lack of character development and cliched ending let it down.

 

Reviewed by Lesley Logan

The World’s End ****

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Run Time: 109mins Cert: 15

 

Synopsis: Gary King (Simon Pegg), decides to track down his estranged friends and complete the Golden Mile, an infamous pub crawl encompassing 12 pubs in their hometown of Newton Haven. The group attempted the crawl as teenagers, but failed to reach the final pub, the World’s End..

 

Director Edgar Wright and co return to finish the last part of their “Cornetto” trilogy. After the rom zom com of Shaun of the Dead and comedy action thriller Hot Fuzz, Frost Pegg and Wright have gone for an apocalyptic sci fi comedy for the finale, with a satirical razor sharp wit that audiences have come to expect from the Spaced team.

 

The story focuses on the theme of growing up, while showing Britain as a dull place full of franchise chain pubs and superimposed high streets. Not to mention the usual mix of barroom brawls, movie references and a funky musical soundtrack. However the tone of the piece seems disjointed as the first half is solely a comedy, while the second part is more drama and action driven.

 

Usually it would be Frost that plays the annoying joker of the pack, but in a refreshing take Pegg is now this archetypal character and dials it up to 11. In doing this Frost shows his acting skills by the straight man for once. While the rest of the cast including Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan are equally as good supporting the two leads. Unfortunately
Rosamund Pike’s Sam is memorable, but underused. This may be to do with the fact that it is a boys to men story.

 

Wright brings his trademark flashy direction and jump cut editing that have graced the other two parts. After tackling the fantastic, but under performing Scott Pilgrim, many would have expected the director to pick a small project to follow up on. If anything this seems bigger especially in effects, but probably cost half of what it took to make the comic book adaptation.

 

Not the best of the trilogy, but The World’s End has enough laughs, surprise cameos and clever twists to make this a successful finale. Hopefully the team will decide to make more flavours.

Reviewed by Paul Logan