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Newsreel (W/e 14th April 2013)

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The Avatar sequels will feature underwater performance capture scenes.

 

Robert De Niro & Edgar Ramirez are set to play trainer Ray Arcel & Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran in the biopic Hands of Stone.

 

Anne Hathaway joins Matthew McConaughey for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

 

Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to The Bermuda Triangle, an original spec script by 12 Rounds screenwriter Daniel Kunka.

 

Walt Disney Pictures is to make screenwriter Larry Brenner’s original pitch for a fantasy adventure called Labyrinth into a reality.

 

Jim Carrey to star in Ricky Stanicky directed by Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls’ Steve Oedekerk.

 

Sylvester Stallone & Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Tomb has now been renamed The Escape Plan.

 

Bryan Cranston, Mads Mikkelsen & Rebel Wilson join the voice cast of Kung Fu Panda 3.

 

Invincible’s Ericson Core is set to direct the remake of the 1991 action-thriller Point Break.

 

Liam Neeson & Woody Harrelson are in line to star in the drama Highwaymen.

 

The Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara is in talks to write The Overlook Hotel, which will be a prequel to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

 

Warner Bros. confirms that Christopher Nolan is not involved with the Justice League movie.

 

Morgan Freeman joins the cast of Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister’s directorial debut, Transcendence.

 

Baseball movie 42 strikes a home run at the U.S. Box-office.

Identity Thief **

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Run time: 111 mins Cert: 15

 

Synopsis: Con woman Diana (McCarthy) is living it up in Florida, using the identity of a timid Denver businessman Sandy Patterson. (Bateman). When he discovers what she’s done, he has to drive down to the Sunshine State to find her and stop her.

 

Over the years there have been several buddy movies involving criminals assisting their pursers, with Bulletproof and the classic Midnight Run coming to mind for this genre. This time Horrible Bosses’ Seth Gordon brings a film uniting two of the most funny current comedic actors at the moment.

 

Unfortunately this dream team brings the chemistry but sadly lacks the spark that this movie promises.

 

Both Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy work perfectly together. They have both proven their worth with Arrested Development and Bridesmaids. Even their characters are the perfect balance of straight versus crazy personalities.

 

The plot is also well structured. Where the film falls apart is that for a comedy it is sadly lacking in laughs. Both actors try and make the best with the material, but the lines and the actions are just simply not funny.

 

Normally in these types of films, the audience would normally feel sympathy for the antagonist, but McCarthy’s character comes across as a vicious bully with no sense of remorse.

 

This comedy could have been the best film of the genre since Bridesmaids, sadly the makers forgot if needs to be funny.

Reviewed by Paul Logan

Newsreel (W/e 7th April 2013)

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Finding Nemo Sequel is now called Finding Dory and will arrive in Theaters on November 25, 2015.

 

The Avengers 2 will be filmed in the UK.

 

Tim Burton set to direct Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams in the Margaret Keane biopic Big Eyes.

 

Will Arnett joins the cast of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

 

Robert Redford is playing the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Marvel Studios’ upcoming sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

 

Walt Disney Pictures has hired Prometheus screenwriter Jon Spaihts to rewrite their remake of 1979’s The Black Hole.

 

Benedict Cumberbatch set to star in Guillermo del Toro’s haunted house thriller Crimson Peak.

 

Director Justin Lin is no longer doing any more instalments of Fast and Furious franchise.

 

Evil Dead scares the competition at the U.S. box-office.

 

R.I.P. Roger Ebert

The Guilt Trip **

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Run time: 95 mins                Cert: 12A

 

Synopsis: Organic chemist Andy (Seth Rogen) goes on a tour to promote his new product and is joined by his irritating widowed mother Joyce (Barbra Streisand). 

 

The film begins with chemist Andy (Seth Rogen) flying from California back to the East Coast to visit his mother Joyce (Barbra Streisand). The visit is only supposed to be a short one prior to embarking on sales pitches throughout the USA, however on hearing his mother has “unfinished business” on the West Coast, he invites her along on his road trip. Having been widowed when Andy was in his early teens, Joyce is a woman who spends most of her time alone and scoffs at the idea of relationships due to being set in her ways. The two clash before they even make the road trip and the viewer has to wonder what will happen when this pair are in the confined space of a car for several days.

 

Despite being a comedy, the film is seriously short of laughs. The jokes are very weak and attempts to get a laugh from the audience result in virtually no reaction. Even scenes which the viewer feels should be funny are cringe worthy and disappointing. While all parents have the potential to be both comic and embarrassing, the conversations between the mother and son seem unrealistic and the dialogue seems forced. At times it feels like the writer has tried too hard to make the film funny while not putting much effort into the story and characters.

 

The two lead actors are watchable but not great. While Seth Rogen tries to be funny as Andy, it doesn’t really work and his performance is substandard compared to previous roles. The character lacks depth and seems like a cardboard cut out. Barbra Streisand succeeds in playing the annoying mother role but lacks humour and gives a very average performance. Joyce (Streisand) also comes out with some rather ludicrous statements, particularly the reasons why she hasn’t pursued a relationship. The supporting cast are insignificant and easily forgotten.

 

Overall, The Guilt Trip is a disappointing and unfunny movie. There are no particularly memorable moments in the whole 95 minutes and members of the audience who took another person to see it may end up getting a guilt trip themselves for choosing it.

 

Reviewed by Lesley Logan

Newsreel (W/e 31st March 2013)

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Blake Lively may star in the Freddie Mercury biopic as the star’s former girlfriend Mary Austin.

 

Joseph Fiennes & Ian McShane have joined the cast of Brett Ratner’s Hercules: The Thracian Wars.

 

Val Kilmer & Anthony Edwards reunite to lend their voices to Disney’s Planes.

 

Matthew Vaughn’s The Secret Service, which is based on the comics by Mark Millar & Dave Gibbons, will hit theaters November 14, 2014.

 

GK Films & MGM are set to reboot the Tomb Raider franchise.

 

Kate Mara is joining Wally Phister’s directorial debut Transcendence.

 

Martin Scorsese is developing his 2002 film Gangs of New York into a TV series.

 

Matthew McConaughey has been offered the lead in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

 

The Descendants’ Judy Greer has joined the cast of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

 

Chevy Chase & Beverly D’Angelo are officially in negotiations to reprise their roles as Clark & Ellen Griswold in reboot of Vacation.

 

Forest Whitaker tackling on bringing story of comic Richard Pryor to the big screen.

 

G.I.Joe Retaliation storms to the top of the U.S. box-office.

 

R.I.P. Uncle Monty (AKA Richard Griffiths)

The Croods ***

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Running Time: 98 Mins Cert: U

Synopsis: Caveman Grug (Cave) is obsessed with keeping his family safe especially his daughter (Stone). But when his home is buried during an avalanche, he must guide his family with the help of a stranger (Reynolds) to a new home.

 

Director Chris Saunders has made some of the most memorable animated films in recent times. Both Lilo & Stitch and How To Train Your Dragon captured audiences hearts. Can he do it a third time?

 

Unfortunately this film is not a charm, even though it is perfectly adequate as a piece of entertainment.

 

The bright visuals and colourful characters are letdown by a lacklustre script, which wanders about as aimlessly as the cavemen do. Which is a shame considering it is based on an original premise by Monty Python’s John Cleese.

 

There is no real character development and the journey is predictable. The cast bring life and humour to an unoriginal plot, but Nicolas Cage’s voice just does not go with his character. In fact it is the usual phoned in performance by the crazy haired one.

 

Kids will love the bizarre creatures and the slapstick humour. But this could have been so much better considering the talent involved.

 

Reviewed by Paul Logan

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

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Run Time: 100 mins Cert: 15

 

Synopsis: Burt Wonderstone (Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Buscemi) are successful Las Vegas magicians. When Anton is injured in a performance, Burt see off competition from a street magician called Steve Gray (Carrey) who relies on shock than cheap tricks.

 

There have been a few competing magician movies, notably Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece The Prestige. Now we have a comedy that seems to be having comedians outdoing each other.

 

The film has brought together an impressive cast. Each showing a variety of skills. Jim Carrey is the scene stealer of the piece as a crazy over the top concoction of David Blaine meets Penn and Teller. Steve Buscemi gives an equally memorable performance with some of the best laughs in the film. While Alan Arkin does what he does best with a showboating cameo role as a veteran magician.

 

Unfortunately Steve Carrell disappoints, but this is purely down to the script. The character is just so unlikeable and boring compared to the others. At no point is there any empathy shown towards Burt, even when he turns from being a smug idiot to being a protagonist who has seen the errors of his ways.

 

Audiences will be routing more for the shocking Steve Gray, than the lifeless Burt Wonderstone. The film is fun, but the plot is as predictable as Burt’s tricks.

 

Reviewed by Paul Logan

Newsreel (W/e 24th March 2012)

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Sarah Silverman is in talks to join the cast of Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways To Die.

 

Tom Cruise & Guy Ritchie may team up together to make The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

 

Disney set to remake Pete’s Dragon.

 

MGM is planning to have the next Bond film released within 3 years.

 

Monsters vs. Aliens’ Rob Letterman is in talks to direct a Goosebumps movie.

 

Ben Affleck may direct an adaptation of Nathaniel Philbrick’s book Bunker Hill: A City, A Siege, A Revolution.

 

Director Lynne Ramsay was a no-show for the first day of filming on Jane Got a Gun. While The Warrior’s Gavin O’Connor takes over as the new director. Only for Jude Law to also leave production.

 

Christina Applegate is reportedly in talks to star in the reboot of National Lampoon’s Vacation.

 

Peter Serafinowicz & Dexter Fletcher have joined the cast of The Muppets… Again.

 

Training Day’s Antoine Fuqua in talks to direct The Equalizer.

 

The Croods caves in at the top spot of the U.S. box-office.

Newsreel (W/e 17th March 2013)

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Danny Boyle planning Trainspotting sequel for 2016.

 

Evil Dead 4 will be a sequel to Army of Darkness.

 

David Strathairn has joined the cast of Godzilla.

 

Emma Watson has left the cast of Disney’s Cinderella.

 

The Adventures of Tintin: Red Rackham’s Treasure planned for 2015.

 

Robert Duvall joins Robert Downey Jr. for David Dobkin’s upcoming comedy drama The Judge.

 

Safety Not Guaranteed director Colin Trevorrow is set to direct Jurassic Park 4 for a June 2014 release.

 

Disney is planning a new live-action reimagining of Beauty and the Beast titled The Beast.

 

WWE wrestler Dave Bautista is joining the cast of Guardians of the Galaxy as Drax the Destroyer.

 

Oz is still Great & Powerful at the U.S. box-office.

Cloud Atlas ****

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Running Time: 172 Mins Cert: 15

Synopsis:

Six stories that connect a distant past to a bleak future. The adventure travels from a 19th-century Pacific island to a pre-War Edinburgh, ’70s San Francisco, present-day Britain, a dystopian Korea and apocalyptic Hawaii.

 

Based on the always thought of as infilmable David Mitchell novel of the same name. The Wachowskis and Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer have decided to team up to try to make a complex story with many time linked stories entertaining.

 

Putting these visionaries of modern cinema together works extremely well. In that the film has a stunning look and that each of the directors have worked on their strengths. The period pieces being handled by Tykwer, while Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski tackle the more complex futuristic pieces.

 

The actual narrative itself is very complex and initially very confusing. The story strands are mixed together into a never ending concoction events.

 

Chronologically it begins in 1840’s Pacific Islands, where notary Adam Ewing (Sturgess) learns about the cruelty of slavery.

 

In Thirties Britain Ewing’s journals of his voyages inspire composer Robert Frobisher (Whishaw) who struggles with his opus and affections for his mentor Vyvyan Ayrs (Broadbent).

 

While in San Francisco 1973, an investigative journalist Luisa Rey (Berry) reads the letters that Frobisher once wrote to his lover Rufus Sixsmith (James D’Arcy).

 

In London 2012 publisher Timothy Cavendish (Broadbent) is on the run after swindling criminal author Dermot Hoggins (Hanks) out of royalties.

 

The New Seoul of the future, clone Sonmi-451 (Bae Doona) faces execution for her part in a rebellion against an dictatorial regime.

 

While the final tale sees a post-apocalyptic Hawaii tribesman Zachary (Hanks) is visited by Meronym (Halle Berry) who is one of the last survivors of a lost civilisation.

 

The strongest stories are The 1930s strand about a young composer and his less talented employer, the IRobot influenced futuristic Korean tale and a very funny present day story about a crooked publisher confined to an old folks home.

 

Halle Berry and Tom Hanks lead an all star cast in taking on multiple roles with Hugh Grant, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Hugo Weaving and Jim Broadbent all appearing in different guises throughout the film.

 

The makeup effects are very hit and miss. At times it seems that the actors are using left over masks from Dick Tracy. This is ashame as the acting from everyone involved is great.

 

Ambitious and breathtakingly beautiful, this is Wachowskis’ best since Bound. Cloud Atlas is overlong and flawed, but never dull. Audiences will be amazed and thrilled by this intelligent adventure epic.

Reviewed by Paul Logan