Tag Archives: the hollywood news

See You At The Movies: A Tribute To Roger Ebert

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***THIS WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE FOR THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON APRIL 4TH, 2013***

In a world of mass social media and a blogosphere so big that anyone can eternally etch their quickly formed opinions into hyperspace, people often ask what the point of a film critic is. When someone is as well-respected and revered as the late Roger Ebert, that question requires no answer.

It’s hard not to make this post personal, but Roger Ebert was nothing short of an inspiration to many, many writers, both aspiring and established, with his belief that, ‘No good film is too long,’ becoming a mantra to those who shared even a fraction of his passion. But for a man with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Pulitzer Prize, he’d be too modest to admit that he was any sort of idol. Continue reading

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Review: Maniac (2012)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS, HERE***

Director: Franck Khalfoun.

Starring: Elijah Wood, Nora Arnezeder, Megan Duffy, America Olivo.

Running Time: 89 minutes.

Certificate: 18.

SynopsisFrank (Elijah Wood) is an attractive yet awkward shop owner with a fetish for scalps. As his mental state worsens when a young artist, Anna (Nora Arnezeder) enters his life, his potent thirst for blood threatens to ruin any chance of a normal friendship.

Opening to slick city streets and electronic beats, Franck Khalfoun’s remake of William Lustig’s 1980 cult horror is reminiscent of the Los Angeles presented in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive. But don’t be fooled, as the contemporary city setting is soon unveiled as a dirty, dangerous place where the days are bathed in claustrophobic greyish hues and not even an apartment corridor or parking lot is safe. Continue reading

Review: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS, HERE***

Director: Don Scardino.

Starring: Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, Olivia Wilde, Jim Carrey, James Gandolfini, Alan Arkin, Jay Mohr, Michael Bully Herbig.

Running Time: 100 minutes.

Certificate: 15.

SynopsisAfter spending years at the top of their game on the Las Vegas strip, childhood friends Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) are losing their audience to outrageous street magician, Steve Gray (Jim Carrey). With the help of their assistant Jane (Olivia Wilde), the duo search for the ultimate illusion to win over a new generation of fans.

Having directed nearly forty episodes of 30 Rock, Don Scardino is no stranger to offbeat comedy, but The Incredible Burt Wonderstone is a refreshing surprise for an audience who have become increasingly comfortable amongst the current run of Apatow-schtick. Penned by two of the writers behind Horrible Bosses, there are some thigh slapping one-liners, but the film is all the richer for not completely saturating itself with jokes, instead becoming a master class in how to keep repeated gags consistently funny amidst cameos and satirical jabs. Continue reading

Oz The Great And Powerful Press Conference

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Yesterday, I headed to Claridge’s for the Press Conference for Oz The Great And Powerful for The Hollywood News. Aside from hearing about the film, it confirmed two things – that Zach Braff is hilarious and Rachel Weisz may be the most beautiful person I have ever laid my eyes on. I live blogged the whole thing with some short and sweet Twitter soundbites and you can read it all back here. Oh, and here’s a few of the photos I took. I spoil you, I know.

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Review: Cloud Atlas (2012)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS, HERE***

DIRECTOR: Lana Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski.

CAST: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Doona Bae, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, James D’Arcy, Hugo Weaving, Keith David, David Gyasi, Xun Zhou, Susan Sarandon.

SYNOPSIS: Six stories from different moments in time become intertwined as random acts change the course of history. From modern-day farce to post-apocalyptic warfare, everything is connected.

David Mitchell’s 2004 novel, Cloud Atlas, is a magical mixture of six seemingly unrelated historical yarns that weave together through time to become interlinked by specific, consequential ripples. With a formidable artistic trio at the helm, Mitchell’s majestic and lauded work has been transformed into a lovingly crafted, jaw-dropping epic from Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis.

Where the novel is read as separate chapters within the sextet’s respective timelines, Alexander Berner’s remarkable editing results in a singular, fluid tale. Slices of sci-fi, historical spectacle, political thriller and good, old-fashioned slapstick are layered harmoniously with unprecedented ease – an impressive feat that should not be undervalued. A modern-day caper set in an old people’s home may appear farfetched, but where the low-key comedy is merged seamlessly into the expansive world of Neo Seoul, you feel safe that these directors can master any genre. Continue reading

Review: I Give It A Year (2013)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS, HERE***

DIRECTOR: Dan Mazer.

CAST: Rafe Spall, Rose Byrne, Anna Faris, Minnie Driver, Simon Baker, Stephen Merchant, Jason Flemyng.

SYNOPSIS: After a whirlwind romance, Josh (Spall) and Nat (Byrne) tie the knot, but soon find that things aren’t quite as easy as they’d imagined. With old flame Chloe (Faris) on the scene and a rather new attractive American (Baker) floating around Nat’s office, will the pair find themselves tempted by others before their first anniversary, or are they in it for the long haul?

For a film that aims to break away from romantic Hollywood clichés, I Give It A Year relies too heavily on its puerile and farcical elements to showcase any novel perspectives on the overdone genre.

Realistic situations may be touched upon, but are frustratingly never fully realised, which is a real shame considering Dan Mazer proves himself in the odd sentimental, genuinely heartfelt moment. However, while the romantic backstory between Spall and Faris is one that begs to be further delved into, the excessive improvisation takes away from what could have been a far more interesting and quieter route for Mazer to go down. Continue reading

Review: Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS, HERE***

DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow.

CAST: Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler, Chris Pratt, Mark Duplass, Harold Perrineau, Edgar Ramirez, James Gandolfini.

SYNOPSIS: Following the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, CIA operative Maya (Chastain) starts a resolute pursuit of Osama Bin Laden, the man behind countless Al Qaeda acts of destruction. After years of searching, a new lead comes to light in 2011 that may finally help her get her man.

American cinema has a habit of skewing history in its favour – Pearl Harbor, anyone? But though Zero Dark Thirty starts with a heartbreaking American phone call, the splicing of footage and news from around the world ensures that its devastation is felt intimately by everyone. Continue reading