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4 items from 2006


Seraphim Falls

18 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

This review was written for the festival screening of "Seraphim Falls".TORONTO -- Irishmen Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan play opposing soldiers in the post-Civil War entry "Seraphim Falls", a beautifully shot (by Oscar-winning cinematographer John Toll) but dramatically empty pursuit picture set in the untamed West.

A first feature by busy TV director David Von Ancken, the sparsely written film has the visual resonance of a John Ford Western but ultimately moves slower'n a tumbleweed in a vat o'molasses.

Even two such charismatic actors as Neeson and Brosnan, all scruffy but no less photogenic, are hard-pressed to inject some much-needed vitality into their sparse lines, which have a habit of drifting off into those wide open spaces.

Technical attributes aside, this Icon Prods. effort looks to have an uphill climb at the boxoffice, even with its name actors.

From the outset, Brosnan's Gideon is a wanted man. Just exactly what he's wanted for is unclear, but it is very clear that Neeson's Carver, a former Confederate Army colonel, wants him dead, and he's even hired a posse of trackers to get the job done.

But even after taking a bullet to the shoulder, Gideon proves to be one tough hombre, constantly eluding Carver and his men during a prolonged pursuit across snowy mountains and down into the savannas before slowing to a virtual crawl in the stifling New Mexican desert.

Along the way there's no shortage of grisly blood-letting - it is the wild West after all - but by the time director/co-writer (with Abby Everett Jaques) Von Ancken gets around to revealing the motivation for the Javert-Jean Valjean-type pursuit, the viewer has been exposed to one too many methodically slow, existential "chase" sequences to muster up much compassion.

Although the film carries an obvious anti-war message that comes sharply into focus in the final minutes (during which Anjelica Huston comes out of nowhere as a cure-dispensing pistol in a crimson dress (could she be ... Satan?), "Seraphim Falls" ultimately fails to engage.

One ends up caring a lot more for the numbers of innocent horses who are shot, disemboweled or otherwise abused (presumably stunt horses were employed) than their two-legged counterparts.

Even Oscar-winning editor Conrad Buff ("Titanic"), who has an arsenal of action movies in his resume, isn't able to effectively kick-start this one, and the situation isn't helped by Harry Gregson-Williams' droning rumble of a score. »

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Seraphim Falls

18 September 2006 | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

TORONTO -- Irishmen Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan play opposing soldiers in the post-Civil War entry Seraphim Falls, a beautifully shot (by Oscar-winning cinematographer John Toll) but dramatically empty pursuit picture set in the untamed West.

A first feature by busy TV director David Von Ancken, the sparsely written film has the visual resonance of a John Ford Western but ultimately moves slower'n a tumbleweed in a vat o'molasses.

Even two such charismatic actors as Neeson and Brosnan, all scruffy but no less photogenic, are hard-pressed to inject some much-needed vitality into their sparse lines, which have a habit of drifting off into those wide open spaces.

Technical attributes aside, this Icon Prods. effort looks to have an uphill climb at the boxoffice, even with its name actors.

From the outset, Brosnan's Gideon is a wanted man. Just exactly what he's wanted for is unclear, but it is very clear that Neeson's Carver, a former Confederate Army colonel, wants him dead, and he's even hired a posse of trackers to get the job done.

But even after taking a bullet to the shoulder, Gideon proves to be one tough hombre, constantly eluding Carver and his men during a prolonged pursuit across snowy mountains and down into the savannas before slowing to a virtual crawl in the stifling New Mexican desert.

Along the way there's no shortage of grisly blood-letting -- it is the wild West after all -- but by the time director/co-writer (with Abby Everett Jaques) Von Ancken gets around to revealing the motivation for the Javert-Jean Valjean-type pursuit, the viewer has been exposed to one too many methodically slow, existential "chase" sequences to muster up much compassion.

Although the film carries an obvious anti-war message that comes sharply into focus in the final minutes (during which Anjelica Huston comes out of nowhere as a cure-dispensing pistol in a crimson dress (could she be ... Satan?), Seraphim Falls ultimately fails to engage.

One ends up caring a lot more for the numbers of innocent horses who are shot, disemboweled or otherwise abused (presumably stunt horses were employed) than their two-legged counterparts.

Even Oscar-winning editor Conrad Buff (Titanic), who has an arsenal of action movies in his resume, isn't able to effectively kick-start this one, and the situation isn't helped by Harry Gregson-Williams' droning rumble of a score.

Seraphim Falls

Samuel Goldwyn Films/Destination Films

Credits:

Director: David Von Ancken

Screenwriters: David Von Ancken, Abby Everett Jaques

Producers: Bruce Davey, David Flynn

Executive producer: Stan Wlodkowski

Director of photography: John Toll

Production designer: Michael Hanan

Editor: Conrad Buff

Costume designer: Deborah L. Scott

Music: Harry Gregson-Williams

Cast:

Carver: Liam Neeson

Gideon: Pierce Brosnan

Madame Louise: Anjelica Huston

Hayes: Michael Wincott

Parsons: Ed Lauter

Pope: Robert Baker

Kid: John Robinson

Henry: Kevin J. O'Connor

MPAA rating R

Running time -- 115 minutes »

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'Narnia' Sequel Postponed

19 May 2006 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

The release date of the sequel to The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe has been severely delayed while its special effects are completed. The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian was originally scheduled for release in December 2007, but is now expected to come out in the summer of 2008, according to a spokesman for Disney. Director Andrew Adamson needs more time to polish the fantasy film's special effects. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, starring Tilda Swinton, and featuring the voices of Ray Winstone and Liam Neeson, became Disney's most successful live-action film of all time, taking an estimated $742 million worldwide. »

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Streisand's "Sexual Conquests" Revealed in New Biography

28 March 2006 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

A new biography of Barbra Streisand alleges the superstar's list of lovers includes Diana, Princess Of Wales' former husband Prince Charles and her lover Dodi Fayed. Barbra: The Way She Is by Christopher Anderson claims Streisand is "cheap," has a "Maria Callas-sized ego," is prone to huge tantrums and has a star-studded list of former conquests. Warren Beatty, Ryan O'Neal, Steve McQueen, Kris Kristofferson, Don Johnson, Jon Voight, Elliott Gould, Andre Agassi, Richard Gere, Omar Sharif, Liam Neeson and Peter Jennings are just some of the men linked with her. Anderson also alleges Streisand, 63, was banned from the White House during Bill Clinton's presidency by his wife Hillary after the former First Lady discovered the actress had stayed overnight while she was away, the New York Post reports. Barbra: The Way She Is will hit stores on March 28. »

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4 items from 2006


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