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Might be interesting if it had enough passion and guts to take a stand, but ends up in the mushy middle of the road, which surely sprang from a desire to be “fair” and “balanced.” I’m “biast” (pro): fascinated by Julian Assange and WikiLeaks; adore Benedict Cumberbatch
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
There was a small knot of confused-looking people hovering around outside the opening-day multiplex showing of The Fifth Estate I attended in central London, trying to push flyers on moviegoers that would convince us that the film is a propagandistic anti-Assange, WikiLeaks-bashing hack job. They were still there when I exited, and it was all I could do to restrain myself from asking, “Have ya actually seen the film?”
Cuz The Fifth Estate is nothing of the kind. It »
- MaryAnn Johanson
WikiLeaks movie ‘The Fifth Estate’: Bradley Manning episode ‘the best part of the film’ (photo: Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange in ‘The Fifth Estate’) (See previous post: “‘The Fifth Estate’ Movie Review Pt.1: ‘Tasty’ But ‘Opaque’ Take on Julian Assange.”) The Fifth Estate begins and eventually circles back to the Bradley Manning episode, in which the now-incarcerated Army private handed almost 450,000 U.S. military documents to WikiLeaks. This section is, by a far sight, the best part of the film. It slows down to consider the stakes and let interpersonal conflicts simmer and boil. Here, Daniel’s growing sense of apostasy towards the imperious Assange mixes with traditional media (represented by David Thewlis, as The Guardian reporter Nick Davies) deciding whether to cross the Rubicon and get into bed with someone so arrogantly deficient in journalistic ethics. Out of self-preservation, the old-school Guardian partnered with the internet provocateur and got what it deserved. »
- Mark Keizer
The film will be heading into cinemas next month on both sides of the Atlantic, and now a new featurette has landed online, going behind the scenes on what is sure to become one of the most talked-about movies in the coming months.
A dramatic thriller based on real events, The Fifth Estate reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization.
Triggering our age of high-stakes secrecy, explosive news leaks and the trafficking of classified information, WikiLeaks forever changed the game. Now, in a dramatic thriller based on real events, The Fifth Estate reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power »
- Kenji Lloyd
Ripped from headlines that still feel wet (even if its subjects might feel that phrasing gives print media too much credit), “The Fifth Estate” dramatizes the fast, controversial rise of anonymous-whistleblower website WikiLeaks and its figurehead, Julian Assange. Aiming to provide the kind of speculative personality portrait behind another sweeping digital-age change in communication that touches nearly everyone, a la “The Social Network,” helmer Bill Condon and scenarist Josh Singer’s film must also stuff in a heavy load of global events, all in a hyperkinetic style aping today’s speed of information dispersal. Results can’t help but stimulate, but they’re also cluttered and overly frenetic, resulting in a narrative less informative, cogent and even emotionally engaging than Alex Gibney’s recent docu “We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks.” Initial interest should be high, though likely mixed critical and word of mouth response may dampen B.O. »
- Dennis Harvey
Mickey Rooney was more convincingly Chinese in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” than Teuton thesp Moritz Bleibtreu proves as a sham Sikh in “Vijay and I,” a limp “Mrs. Doubtfire”/”Tootsie” knockoff that serves mainly to illustrate just how tricky it can be to reproduce the feel of a well-oiled Hollywood romantic comedy in the no man’s land of Europudding tax-shelter production. Latest English-language feature by Belgian-based German helmer Sam Garbarski (“Irina Palm”) should post Ok numbers in Germany (where it opens Sept. 5), but seems destined to find its most captive offshore audiences in-flight.
Like the characters played by Dustin Hoffman in “Tootsie” and Robin Williams in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” Bleibtreu’s Will Wilder is an actor whose career has become stuck in neutral, a German emigre with classical training reduced to playing a giant green rabbit on a New York City children’s TV program. Adding insult to injury, he »
- Scott Foundas
The Match Factory has sold romantic comedy “Vijay and I,” which made its world preem at the Locarno Film Festival on Thursday, to distribs in two further territories.
Sam Garbarski’s pic has been picked up by Officine Ubu in Italy and Panda Media in South Korea. It had already been sold to several territories, including the Cis and Baltic states (Project Manometr), and Taiwan (Encore Film), before the start of the festival.
Garbarski and two of the film’s stars, Moritz Bleibtreu (“Run Lola Run”) and Danny Pudi (“Community”), were in Locarno for the premiere, demonstrating chemistry at a humor-laced press conference. The film’s industry screening in Locarno is on Aug. 11.
“Vijay and I” tells the story of Will (Bleibtreu), a talented actor stuck on a children’s TV show, where he portrays a hapless bunny. After a thief steals and crashes his car, leading everyone to believe he is dead, »
- Leo Barraclough and John Hopewell
Garbarski’s romantic comedy, starring Patricia Arquette, Moritz Bleibtreu and Danny Pudi, has been sold to the Cis and Baltic states (Project Manometr) and Taiwan (Encore Film), with negotiations currently underway for “a number of territories“, including Italy and Korea.
The world premiere of the Belgium-Luxembourg-Germany co-production is due to be held on Locarno’s Piazza Grande open-air venue on Thursday evening (Aug 8) after the presentation of a Pardo alla carriera to Italian actor-director Sergio Castellitto, who starred in Vijay And I co-producer Pandora Film’s Mostly Martha which premiered on the Piazza Grande in 2001.
In addition, sales have been finalised on Wnendt’s Wetlands to Switzerland (Filmcoopi), Austria (Filmladen) and for a pan-Scandinavian deal (Future Film), with further deals under negotiation.
The adaptation »
- email@example.com (Martin Blaney)
Toronto Film Festival 2013 Dates and Movies (photo: Pierce Brosnan, Emma Thompson in ‘The Love Punch’) The Toronto Film Festival 2013 dates are September 5 to 15. The Opening Night Gala film is Bill Condon’s bound-to-be-controversial The Fifth Estate, which is not a belated sequel to Serge Leroy’s The Fourth Power / Le 4ème pouvoir. Instead of the Power of the Press — which seems to have gone the way of the 20th century (unless you consider the Royal Baby an epoch-making event) — The Fifth Estate is about the Power of Technology: the Wikileaks scandal that embarrassed (and infuriated) the U.S. government and military by exposing their dirty dealings. Written by Josh Singer, The Fifth Estate stars Star Trek Into Darkness‘ Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange, in addition to Laura Linney, Daniel Brühl, Anthony Mackie, Moritz Bleibtreu, Peter Capaldi, David Thewlis, Alicia Vikander, Carice van Houten, Stanley Tucci, and Dan Stevens. The Toronto »
- Andre Soares
It’s only July, but international film sales companies and distributors are already talking Oscars.
At the recent German Films Previews, a week of buyers-only screenings of films repped by German sales agents, the consensus seemed to be that Beta Cinema’s “Oh Boy” — Jan Ole Gerster’s Berlin-set slacker comedy — is the front runner to be Germany’s official entry in the Academy Awards’ foreign-language film category.
Germany has a stellar track record in the category, with its entries picking up five Oscar nominations in the past 10 years, which is matched by only one other country, Canada.
Another pic being touted as a hot Oscar contender at the German Films Previews in Dresden, which was attended by 75 international distributors, was Beta Cinema’s “Le Grand Cahier” (The Notebook), which won top prize at the recent Karlovy Vary Film Festival. Janos Szasz’s pic, which transposes the Brothers Grimm’s »
- Leo Barraclough
Benedict Cumberbatch has been going from strength to strength in recent years, making a name for himself with roles in Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness, and The Hobbit. Amongst the slew of movies on his slate before year’s end, many likely to be Oscar-bound, is The Fifth Estate, which is set to tell the story of the rise of WikiLeaks.
Cumberbatch takes the lead as Julian Assange himself, and is joined by a stellar cast led by Daniel Brühl as his colleague, Daniel Domscheit-Berg. We’ve heard little from the movie since our first look back in January. But with its release date now in sight, the first trailer has surfaced, along with a handful of new images.
A dramatic thriller based on real events, The Fifth Estate reveals the quest to expose the deceptions and corruptions of power that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century’s most fiercely debated organization. »
- Kenji Lloyd
In a manner similar to what happens with the television schedules, the streaming services suddenly go quiet in the summer. For true cinema fans this is pretty good news because the art house stuff comes along as well as some of the better catalogue titles that might have appeared elsewhere before.
It will probably be September before any subscription winning blockbusters are added again but the smart money is on one of the big ones adding The Avengers and (fingers crossed) the last season of Breaking Bad.
By the time you read this, the new Netflix exclusive series Orange is the New Black from the creator of Weeds, will be available on Netflix. Early word is that it’s actually the best Netflix exclusive title so far, which is good news after the horrendous Hemlock Grove. I will weigh in with an opinion next month.
Holy Motors (2012)
Starring: Denis Lavant, »
- Chris Holt
World War Z sequel planned? (Photo: Brad Pitt turns into a zombie-targeting axe-murderer in World War Z) Following the early success of Marc Forster and Brad Pitt’s zombie movie World War Z, Paramount Pictures "actively will turn to developing a sequel," claims The Hollywood Reporter, citing studio vice chairman Rob Moore. However, the Reporter article features no Moore quotes explicitly stating that Paramount has actually given the go-ahead to World War Z 2 — or whatever a World War Z sequel would be called. Co-produced by Paramount and Skydance Productions, the $220-$230 million-budgeted zombie movie (minus rebates and tax breaks, its official budget goes down to $190-$200 million) debuted this past weekend in North America and 25 international territories, collecting an estimated worldwide total of $112.21 million: $66.41 million in the Us/Canada (behind Monsters University‘s $82.42 million) and an estimated $45.8 million internationally (behind Man of Steel‘s $89 million and Monsters University‘s $54.5 million »
- Zac Gille
Monsters University and World War Z box office: Monsters hungry for knowledge and zombies hungry for humans bring down Man of Steel Here’s a quick rundown of this past weekend, June 21-23, 2013, at the North American box office. If studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo are on target, Pixar / Disney’s Monsters University surpassed expectations, grossing $82 million at 4,4004 locations. Approximately 30% of the gross came from 3D shows. (Image: Monsters University artwork.) Directed by Dan Scanlon, Monsters University features the voices of John Goodman, Helen Mirren, Billy Crystal, Nathan Fillion, Aubrey Plaza, Steve Buscemi, John Krasinski, Peter Sohn, Dave Foley, Sean Murray, Bonnie Hunt, Julia Sweeney, Sean Hayes, Alfred Molina, Tyler Labine, Bill Hader, Bob Peterson, and John Ratzenberger. Screenplay credit for the Monsters, Inc. sequel has gone to director Scanlon, Daniel Gerson, and Robert L. Baird. Starring Brad Pitt as a man having a number of close encounters of the living-dead kind, »
- Zac Gille
World War Z weekend box office: Monsters rule, but zombies are the big surprise hit (photo: Brad Pitt in World War Z) World War Z, Brad Pitt, and his living-dead pals have turned out to be the big (happy) surprise at the North American box office this weekend, June 21-23, 2013. In case Friday’s estimates are on target, the $190-$200 million-budgeted World War Z should collect $57-$60 million by Sunday evening, or about $10-$15 million more than many pundits had been expecting. Yesterday, World War Z opened with $25 million — about $5 million above early estimates — from 3,607 locations according to studio estimates found at Box Office Mojo. That figure includes $3.6 million from Thursday evening screenings. In case there’s a Saturday surge for Marc Forster’s Paramount-distributed PG-13 zombie movie, World War Z could actually go quite a bit beyond the $60 million mark. That’s good news for the studio and for producer Brad Pitt, »
- Zac Gille
World War Z box office vs. Monsters University vs. Man of Steel (photo: Brad Pitt in World War Z) The North American box office will be huge this weekend, June 21-23, 2013. You’ve surely read that elsewhere, and it’s no exaggeration. The combined gross of the top three movies alone — Monsters University, World War Z, Man of Steel — should hover around $180 million. Now, what remains to be seen is if there’ll be any dollars (whether Canadian or American) left for the dozens of other movies on North American screens. It’s like having huge supermarkets making little neighborhood stores disappear from view. But hey, that seems to be exactly what the moviegoing public wants. According to early, rough estimates found at Deadline.com, Disney / Pixar’s Monsters University will easily top the domestic box office following a Friday gross around $25-$28 million, in addition to $2.6 million from Thursday evening screenings. »
- Zac Gille
Brazil protests lead Brad Pitt to cancel World War Z promo trip in Rio Brad Pitt has canceled plans to come to Brazil to promote World War Z, which opens in that country on June 28, 2013. Pitt was expected to arrive later tonight, June 21, with daughters Shiloh and Zahara, according to the Rio de Janeiro daily O Globo. The reason for Pitt’s cancellation are the “Brazil Protests,” a wave of demonstrations that last night brought approximately one million Brazilians to the streets, protesting against police brutality, government and corporate corruption, dismal public services, and billions of public money being spent on state-of-the-art facilities for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games while the country’s health and education infrastructure is crumbling. World War Z distributor Paramount Pictures has made no pronouncements regarding Brad Pitt’s decision, adding only that director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Finding Neverland) will also no »
- Andre Soares
World War Z: Zombies movie offers ‘Breathtaking’ overhead shots [See previous post: "World War Z Review: Saved by Zombies."] These early scenes establish the speed and sheer number of undead and also unveil some visual go-to’s developed by Marc Forster (of the dreadful Quantum of Solace) and DPs Robert Richardson (who started the project) and Ben Seresin (who finished it and received sole credit). The most breathtaking are the overhead shots, oftentimes from a helicopter’s Pov, showing thousands of zombies filling the streets like floodwater. They figure prominently in the movie’s best section, when Gerry travels to Israel to investigate why the Israelis sensed the coming zombie invasion early enough to build a wall around Jerusalem. (Photo: World War Z zombies try to climb Jerusalem wall.) But since World War Z isn’t very interested in exploring the effects of a zombie takeover on social or religious order, the Israeli scenes, enlivened by eye-level shots of »
- Mark Keizer
Director: Marc Forster.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Ludi Boeken, Fana Mokoena, Pierfrancesco Favino, Ruth Negga, Peter Capaldi, Moritz Bleibtreu, Abigail Hargrove, Sterling Jerins, David Morse.
Running Time: 116 minutes.
Synopsis: United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) is at the forefront of a race against time to stop a zombie pandemic that is toppling armies, governments and threatening to destroy humanity itself.
Attempting to breathe new life into the zombie realm with his adaptation of Max Brooks’ 2006 book, Marc Forster has directed a relatively fun ride that will struggle to appease fans of the supernatural due to a steadfast commitment to family values and blatant lack of gore.
Strongest when itching towards 28 Days Later territory in its far quieter final third, World War Z spends most of its time floating somewhere between disaster movie and family drama. Hopping from continent to continent may not leave us dizzy, »
- Emma Thrower
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
The chequered and very public production history of World War Z means that, for many, it will be an outing more of morbid curiosity than fervent excitement. Despite a world class cast and crew at the helm and a whopping seven weeks of re-shoots – reportedly in order to fix the troublesome third act – this over-budget blockbuster fails to find its footing and settles for being a clunky, malformed mess unworthy of the source material.
Choosing to adapt Max Brooks’ much-loved epistolary novel of the same name is no easy task, given the interview-based nature of the text not lending itself particularly well to the cinematic medium. Instead, director Marc Forster and screenwriters Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard and Damon Lindelof (the latter two of whom jumped in for those last-minute rewrites) have attempted to capture the spirit of the material within a different framework, an admirable »
- Shaun Munro
The knack to pulling off any great heist, on the silver screen or otherwise, is forward planning. You’ve got to work the angles, visualise the entry, rehearse the execution and, most importantly, plan for disaster. Now, I don’t know about you, but that seems like a lot to get sorted out in your own head – surely that’s why there are so many great cinematic heist partnerships!
To celebrate the impending release of Robot and Frank, the story of a retired jewel-thief and his relationship with a highly-intelligent robot sidekick, we’ve rifled through the films of the ages and bagged ourselves some of cinema’s greatest heist partnerships.
In our opinion, all the best heists are crimes of revenge, and what greater revenge than on those suspected of causing your best friend’s death? »
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