1-20 of 77 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
A smalltown Southern pawn shop run by Vincent D'Onofrio provides the link for three stories dripping in black humour. The late Paul Walker plays a meth head who meets a flamboyant demise, recently married Matt Dillon stumbles upon the truth of his first wife's disappearance and Brendan Fraser portrays an Elvis impersonator who somehow finds himself involved with an army of sex slaves. An outrageous B-movie blast from Wayne Kramer, the director of The Cooler and Running Scared, Wayne Kramer. »
You wonder how long Anderson can keep accumulating star actors and creating ever more elaborate microcosms but, judging by this, he's a long way from running out of steam. It's a witty caper-within-a-reminiscence-within-a-flashback set in interwar Europe, through which Fiennes's debonair concierge must flee, protege lobby boy in tow, after an heiress's murder. It's breathlessly paced and breathtakingly designed, but with a solid core – like a fancy cake with an iron file concealed inside.
300: Rise Of An Empire (15)
With the bar for violent historical silliness raised by Game Of Thrones, this sequel pitches recklessly into another orgy of fetishised classical warfare with comic-book effects. »
- Steve Rose
Scorch (Brendan Fraser) and Gary (Rob Corddry) are blue alien brothers on the planet Baab, who work together in their 'Basa' space programme. They're hardly the best of buddies - but when Scorch embarks on a maverick mission to ‘The Dark Planet' - aka Earth - it's up to Gary to save the day. Colourful animated fun with an all-star cast (William Shatner, Jessica Alba, Sarah Jessica Parker). »
This weekend sees the release of Escape from Planet Earth, a family film that follows a hapless alien who’s trapped on the dangerous Planet Earth, and his attempt to escape a horrible fate at the hands of the humans. Brendan Fraser provides the voice of Scorch Supernova, the blue-skinned extraterrestrial hero, in a role that sees the loveable actor continue his run of family-friendly movies after Furry Vengeance and Inkheart, and as an aside to his more independent, serious fare such as Gimme Shelter and Breakout.
When we spoke with the actor we expected a straight-forward interview. How very wrong we were; the following conversation includes some singing, a bit of ice cream tasting, and a dash of Charlie Chaplin, proving why Fraser is the go-to guy if you’re looking to give your movie some spark. Read on on and enjoy.
Hi Brendan, how are you doing?
- Gary Green
This weekend's "Mr. Peabody and Sherman," a feature-length, 3D animated film from DreamWorks Animation, is already notable in the sense that it's the first film based on characters from the classic series "The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show" that doesn't look like it's going to be a huge financial disaster.
The spritely story of time traveling dog Mr. Peabody (this time voiced by Ty Burrell) and his "pet" human Sherman (Max Charles) is adapted from the "Peabody's Improbable History" segments of "The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show," and was directed by Rob Minkoff (it's his first animated feature since a movie we've never heard of called "The Lion King").
With "Frozen" finally exiting theaters and "The Lego Movie" losing some of its staying power, it looks like "Mr. Peabody and Sherman," a brightly colored, lively movie that will probably rake in some big box office. The premise is appealing and a number of parents »
- Drew Taylor
Ellen DeGeneres at the 2014 OscarsPhoto: Aaron Poole / ©A.M.P.A.S. "Tonight, there are so many different possibilities, possibility number one, 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture; possibility number two, you're all racists. Now, for our first white presenter, Anne Hathaway!" -- Ellen DeGeneres Covering the awards race has the ability to turn you jaded and cynical on the entire movie industry. You know, or at least think you know, the ins and outs and the shady backdoor dealings. Or, at least you know they exist even if you don't have physical evidence. I've seen many write about the 2014 Oscars calling it one of the closest races in years, citing the possibility for 12 Years a Slave, Gravity or American Hustle to win Best Picture and supporting the claim by Gravity's seven Oscars compared to only three for Best Picture winner, 12 Years a Slave. Such evidence and an immense amount »
- Brad Brevet
We Are What We Are (18)
The story of an archaic backwoods family with very good reasons for their insularity, this spends such a long time laying out its twisted domestic set-up, it's almost as if it's in denial about being a horror movie (remade from a Mexican original). It's a wise decision. If you don't know the family's Big Secret already, it would be a shame to spoil it; let's just say it pulls the story into real shock and gore territory.
The Book Thief (12A)
- Steve Rose
School Ties: Kent’s Latest Film Doesn’t Make the Grade
If you’re at all familiar with director Billy Kent’s previous film, 2006’s The Oh in Ohio, then his latest effort, HairBrained, will seem like an even greater disappointment. An oddly paced film revolving around mismatched underdogs wading through an overwhelming miasma of collegiate clichés feels far removed from the real world and isn’t charming or engaging enough to achieve the status of a situational parody or satire. Instead, Kent’s screenplay, which was co-written with Sarah Bird and Adam Wierzbianski, presents itself as a potential gimmick that soon reveals itself as nothing more than a cobbled together formula of wan dramatic tension with a grating finale that’s egregiously stale.
Eli Pettifog (Alex Wolff) is a 13 year old genius that’s skipped five grades and is about to enter his freshmen year in college. Sporting an unkempt bowl of gnarly, »
- Nicholas Bell
Editor’s note: Kate’s review of Alan Partridge originally ran during last year’s Nyff, but we’re re-running it as the film opens today in limited release. For the small subset of cinephiles who have long hungered for a major motion picture that places Steve Coogan’s moronic broadcasting character Alan Partridge into a situation resembling the Brendan Fraser-starring 1994 comedy Airheads, Alan Partridge is so perfectly tailor-made for their desires that it’s actually somewhat frightening. (It also doesn’t seem like an actual possibility, but clearly someone thought this was a good idea, or else the film wouldn’t even have been made.) Coogan has played Partridge for over twenty years now, with the character first appearing on the radio program On the Hour in 1991, and then serving as the centerpiece of his news broadcasting spoof show, The Day Today, which aired on the BBC for one brief seven-episode season back in 1994. Since »
- Kate Erbland
Facebook has changed the way people meet one another and how we learn more about people shortly after departing from their company. “Facebook stalking” has become a common enough of a concept that we now have a romance based on that very concept: A Case of You. While everything about it is pretty obvious after the first 30 minutes, from the conflict to the resolution, it still has enough charm and a few good performances to make it worth watching. Director Kat Coiro’s romantic comedy doesn’t have a whole lot of comedy, but its sincerity and cast (Justin Long, Evan Rachel Wood, Sam Rockwell, Busy Philipps, Peter Dinklage, Brendan Fraser) give it some heft.
- Lex Walker
“Revenge of the Nerds” meets “Back to School” via “Doogie Howser, M.D.” in “HairBrained,” a campus comedy that tries to transcend its many formulaic elements with an insufficient dose of absurdism. This follow-up feature from the writing-directing team behind 2006′s “The Oh in Ohio” seems unlikely to repeat that film’s modest sleeper success, even with the presence of sometime franchise king Brendan Fraser as the past-40 late bloomer who’s an incoming freshman alongside Alex Wolff’s 13-year-old prodigy. Limited U.S. theatrical launch Feb. 28 will be just a brief prelude for imminent better prospects in home formats.
Dropped by his “terrible mother” at the bus station (it’s depressing straight off to see Parker Posey exit the movie after two minutes), child genius Eli Pettifog (Wolff) has already lowered his expectations for college life, having settled for “the 37th best small liberal-arts college on the East Coast »
- Dennis Harvey
HairBrained is a dumb movie about a smart character named Eli Pettifog, a 13-year-old prodigy that does not have a discernible area of expertise for his talents, except for an encyclopedic mind. In Billy Kent’s prodigy-heads-to-college comedy, we rarely see him reading, studying or behaving like a regular person with an invaluable intelligence. He feels more like a quirky tool ripped off from Max Fischer’s precociousness and other hyperintelligent characters from books and the movies than a fully realized creation. Eli’s wacky, Einsteinian hairdo is his most unique quality.
Alex Wolff, already a multi-talented musician, plays Eli with a sarcastic tone and rarely offers more than a sullen look. In HairBrained, the young prodigy begins classes at Whitman, which he tells the audience is “the 37th best liberal arts college on the East coast.” He is 13 years old on his first day, while dorm neighbour Leo Searly (played by Brendan Fraser, »
- Jordan Adler
After being rejected from Harvard University, 14-year old genius and outcast Eli Pettifog (Alex Wolff) finds himself at Whittman College, an Ivy League wannabe. Eli meets 41- year-old freshman Leo Searly (Brendan Fraser), a gambler whose world has imploded and has dropped out of life to enroll in college. The odd duo become unlikely friends in HairBrained, a comedic, coming of age film. We have an exclusive clip for you to check out before Vertical Entertainment releases the film in theaters this weekend. Watch as Eli and Leo bond over a jacket fitting before an important campus function.
HairBrained was released February 28th, 2014 and stars Alex Wolff, Brendan Fraser, Julia Garner, Michael Oberholtzer, Greta Lee, Teddy Bergman, Robin de Jesus, Elisabeth Hower. The film is directed by Billy Kent. »
This weekend, Liam Neeson attempts to save his fellow passengers from a hijacked plane in "Non-Stop," the life story of Jesus comes to the big screen in "Son of God," and many more new releases make their way to select theaters.
"Non-Stop" stars Liam Neeson as an air marshal caught in a game of cat-and-mouse with a hijacker during a transatlantic flight. After receiving threatening text messages, the marshal springs into action to find the person responsible for holding the passengers hostage 10,000 feet in the air. Julianne Moore, Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave"), and Michelle Dockery ("Downtown Abbey") star in supporting roles.
From the makers of hit "The Bible" mini-series comes the inspirational "Son of God." The biblical film brings the biographical story of Jesus, from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion, and ultimate resurrection, to the big screen.
Also in theaters this weekend: Nominated for Best Animated Feature, »
- Jonny Black
After he fails to get into Harvard, 14-year-old genius and hair farmer Eli (Alex Wolff) must settle for the fictional Whittman College. Ranked the 37th best small liberal arts college on the East Coast, Whittman is home to lovable losers like Leo (Brendan Fraser), a 41-year-old gambler trying to make a fresh start.
The picture's primary relationship isn't so much between Eli and Leo, but rather Eli and the members of Whittman's Collegiate Mastermind Team, who harness his encyclopedic knowledge of useless information in hopes of avoiding getting pounded by the quiz team from Eli's beloved Harvard.
HairBrained avoids becomes a slobs-v »
Harold Ramis - the writer, director and actor who helped re-shape American comedy in the '70s, '80s and '90s - passed away yesterday at the age of 69.
A performer with Chicago's Second City and the National Lampoon comedy troupe early on in his career, Ramis made his film breakthrough when he co-wrote the script for Animal House. Before long he was heading behind the camera to direct Bill Murray in golf comedy Caddyshack and Chevy Chase classic Vacation.
Ghostbusters, which Ramis co-wrote with Dan Aykroyd, provided him with his biggest commercial hit in 1984. Ramis memorably played bespectacled scientist Egon Spengler, adding some dry wit to counteract the scene-stealing from Bill Murray.
The success of Ghostbusters and its 1989 sequel allowed Ramis to keep on directing films, with 1993's Groundhog Day his career highlight. The comedy offered up an unexpectedly profound look at the life of a weatherman (played »
Odd Man Out: Delayed Koontz Adaptation a Tone Deaf Misfire
Filmed way back in 2011 and then delayed indefinitely in 2013 due to legal actions woes in relation to marketing and advertising funds, Stephen Sommers’ adaptation of Dean Koontz’s novel, Odd Thomas, at long last arrives after notable anticipation. The first of a series of novels, the success of the film will dictate future adaptations, but the results, especially after such a long gestational period, are superbly woeful. Questionable casting and a gruesomely synthetic screenplay that awkwardly veers from broad comedy to schmoozy romance to demonic hunting super hero scenario gives the film an unappealing adolescent quality that only gets worse as the film drags on and on.
- Nicholas Bell
Digital Release Date: April 8, 2014, Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: April 15, 2014
Price: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $34.98, Blu-ray 3D Combo $49.98
It’s all about the squirrels in animated movie The Nut Job, or maybe all about the nuts.
Problem is, the store is a front for a gang of ruthless robbers planning a heist of their own, on a bank. The furry heroes have to stop the robbers to save the town.
The Nut Job grossed a not so inspiring $59 million in theaters, to mixed reviews from moviegoers. »
Be prepared for one squirrelly adventure in the action-packed comedy, The Nut Job, starring Will Arnett (Despicable Me, Ratatouille) as Surly, a mischievous squirrel on a mission to prove himself. The Nut Job comes to Blu-ray 3D and Blu-ray Combo Pack including Blu-ray, DVD, & Digital HD with UltraViolet as well as On Demand on April 15, 2014, from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. The film will also be available on Digital HD one week early on April 8, 2014.
Surly (Will Arnett) is a mischievous squirrel with a mission: to find the tastiest nuts for winter. When he discovers a whole store filled with his favorite food, he plans a heist of nutrageous proportions. But the place turns out to be owned by ruthless bank robbers so it's up to Surly and his furry friends to stop the nearby bank heist and save the town.
Starring Vanessa Hudgens, James Earl Jones, Rosario Dawson and Brendan Fraser, in a story of an incredible path to find love, Gimme Shelter, arrives on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD UltraViolet), DVD (plus Digital UltraViolet), Digital HD and Video On Demand April 29 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Vanessa Hudgens (Spring Breakers, High School Musical franchise) stars in the heart-wrenching, inspirational drama Gimme Shelter, arriving on Blu-ray (plus Digital HD UltraViolet), DVD (plus Digital UltraViolet), Digital HD and Video On Demand April 29th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Based on the true life stories of Several Sources Shelters founder Kathy Difiore and some of the pregnant teen shelter residents, the gripping tale follows the courageous Agnes "Apple" Bailey who fights against »
- Pietro Filipponi
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