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Chicago – At its best, Lasse Hallstrom’s “Safe Haven,” based on the book by the insanely popular Nicholas Sparks, is merely safe, Lifetime Channel TV Movie junk. At its worst, it’s pretty offensive and exploitative of women actually stuck in abusive situations and men forced into single parenthood after losing a spouse. As he has done before, Sparks takes real-world issues and turns them into manipulative devices. Hallstrom (“Chocolat”) has enough filmmaking skill to keep it from getting too boring despite the attempts on the part of the two remarkably dull leads to put you to sleep.
Julianne Hough has yet to find that breakout role that convinces me she’s more than a reality TV star and this certainly doesn’t make the case as she’s incredibly flat and unbelievable as a woman on the run from an abusive husband. Hough’s Katie jumps a bus »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Click here to read our french "The Hypnotist" movie review, directed by Lasse Hallström with Michael Persbrandt, Lena Olin, Tobias Zilliacus starring.After a young woman and her parents are murdered by a killer determined to wipe out the entire family, Detective Inspector Joona Linna works with a psychiatrist to hypnotize the son who narrowly escaped death in order to find the one surviving daughter before the murderer does. »
While the critical response to Baz Luhrmann's lavish take on The Great Gatsby has been lukewarm, reviews have by and large praised Leonardo DiCaprio's central turn as the mysterious, tragic Jay Gatsby.
Digital Spy looks back on five of DiCaprio's most iconic performances.
What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
At the tender age of 19, DiCaprio earned his first Oscar nomination for Lasse Hallström's touching family drama. Playing the mentally retarded younger brother of Johnny Depp's put-upon Gilbert Grape, DiCaprio was deservedly singled out for praise by almost every critic despite being a virtual unknown. It's an intensely likeable and physically specific performance that elevates an otherwise predictable story.
The Basketball Diaries (1995)
Adapted from Jim Carroll's autobiographical novel, Scott Kalvert's drama tracked a high school basketball star's descent into drug addiction. The film debuted to decidedly mixed reviews, but again DiCaprio came out largely unscathed, with Rolling »
While it manages to be entertaining, Safe Haven follows the Nicholas Sparks' established blueprint too closely and fails to truly make the characters matter. Thankfully, the film is in the very capable hands of director Lasse Hallström and benefits from the likeable chemistry of its leads Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel. It is not a bad movie, but it could have been better given the amount of talent involved. Based on Sparks. novel, the film features a screenplay from Dana Stevens and Gage Lansky, and stars David Lyons, Irene Ziegler, Mimi Kirkland, Noah Lomax, Red West, and Cobie Smulders. Staying as spoiler free as possible due to the twists in the story, the film opens with a »
- Patrick Luce
Lasse Hallström has had a long and storied career as a director, putting together films as well thought-of critically as What.s Eating Gilbert Grape and The Cider House Rules. In recent years, he.s directed titles like Salmon Fishing in the Yemen and this year.s Safe Haven. It is the latter movie the exclusive Blu-ray bonus clip above discusses, with actors Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel talking about working with Hallström and the improvisational processes the director prefers to use in order to keep things real. Safe Haven is based on a Nicholas Sparks novel and follows a young romance under unusual circumstances. After Katie (Hough) shows up in a brand new town, she finds solace in a new community and a young dad named Alex (Duhamel), but she.s certainly hiding something. The film wasn.t released worldwide, but still managed to make a fair »
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 7, 2013
Price: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $39.99
Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Safe Haven stars Julianne Hough (Rock of Ages) as Katie, who moves to Southport, N.C., and sparks the interest of widower Alex (Josh Duhamel, Life As We Know It). Katie is reluctant to give Alex a chance, but after she finally begins a relationship with him, a dark secret from Katie’s past threatens their happiness.
Critics didn’t have much love for the movie. New York Observer critic Rex Reed said Safe Haven “plods along with dialogue just above the level of crayon scribblings, and the direction by the usually reliable Lasse Hallström is dismayingly sluggish.” Ouch!
But the romance film, which is rated PG-13, grossed a tidy $70 million in theaters, »
Today, you can hear the smooth, silky voice of Josh Duhamel narrating the underwater documentary Planet Ocean, or you can just hang out for a few weeks while Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment puts together the Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download release of Safe Haven, a romance film based on a novel by.you guessed it.Nicholas Sparks. Safe Haven will hit the aforementioned mediums on May 7. The nicely paced book by Sparks is a little more hurried when played out onscreen in Lasse Hallström.s film by Duhamel and actress Julianne Hough. The film follows a newcomer (Hough) to a small town who attracts the interest of a widower, Alex (Duhamel). The two begin to spend time together until a dark secret threatens to come between them. If you.ve caught the flick, you.ll know the secret.s not much of a secret, although the film does »
This week, Steven Spielberg's classic dinosaur thriller "Jurassic Park" gets rereleased in theaters –- in 3D! I vividly remember being in high school when it came out in the summer of 1993 and jumping out of my seat next to my best friends. It was an amazing year in theaters, with a mix of unforgettable Oscar-winning dramas ("Schindler's List," "Philadelphia," "The Piano"), hilarious comedies ("Mrs. Doubtfire," "Groundhog Day") and action flicks ("The Firm," "The Fugitive," "In the Line of Fire"). If you've got a tween or teen who has yet to see "Jurassic Park," get yourself to a theater, but if your clan isn't ready for lawyer-gobbling t-rexes and Samuel L. Jackson-chomping velociraptors, take a look at three more family friendly 20-year-old movies. Animated Classic - "Nightmare Before Christmas" (PG, 1993, 76 minutes) Netflix Amazon Instant iTunes Kids Will Love: The stop-motion animated Christmas-meets-Halloween musical is irresistible to kids who will »
- Sandie Chen
UK box office top ten and analysis for the weekend of Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd March 2013...
Director Tommy Wirkola's Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters topped the UK box office in its first weekend, although it was hardly a fairytale opening for witch hunting siblings Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, with the action fantasy pulling in just £1,502,782, which included £400k from two days of preview screenings. Had it not been for these, then Disney's Wreck-It Ralph would have retained top spot, pulling in £1.4 million over the three day weekend to leave the CG-animated adventure sitting in second place with a solid £20.4 million after four weeks on screens.
Along with Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, four other new releases cracked the top ten this past weekend: Lasse Hallström-directed romance Safe Haven debuted behind Mama and A Good Day to Die Hard in fifth with £812,460; the Mark Wahlberg / Russell Crowe crime thriller »
- Flickering Myth
Open thread: Tell us about the films you've seen in the past few days – and read what our critics made of them
Have you seen any good films in the last week or two? We'd like to hear about what you've been watching, and whether you'd recommend them to others – although we wouldn't mind also hearing about the the bad ones you'd suggest others avoid.
Here's what our critics had to say about some recent releases – if you've seen any of these over the weekend, or something else entirely let us know what you thought of it:
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
Peter Bradshaw said: So uncompromisingly rubbish that it is impossible to watch it without your rage and despair doubling with every minute that passes. You'll feel like making all the Hollywood executives responsible stand up, like naughty schoolchildren, while you rage: "Which one of you greenlit this unspeakably bad film? »
- Adam Boult
The Swedish moviemaker Lasse Hallström was brought to Hollywood following the success of the funny, moving, deeply honest My Life As a Dog. But for 20 years he's largely devoted himself to increasingly glossy, romantic crowd-pleasers, the serious exception being his version of John Irving's novel The Cider House Rules. Safe Haven, his second adaptation of a bestselling weepie by Nicholas Sparks, is an almost unendurably sentimental tale of a young woman in flight from an abusive relationship in New England who finds Mr Right at a cosy little seaport in South Carolina. He's a handsome widower with two small children, one adorable, the other in need of a mother's love, and the idyll is broken and mended on 4 July. At the beginning there's a certain suspense, and there's also for those who like it, and obviously many do, a generous helping of divine intervention.
- Philip French
Gangs Of Wasseypur Part 2 | Stoker | Arbitrage | Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters | Caesar Must Die | The Bay | Sleep Tight | Broken City | Trashed | Safe Haven | Hi-So | Michael H. Profession: Director | The Gospel According To Matthew | The Attacks Of 26/11 | Acoustic Routes
Gangs Of Wasseypur Part 2 (18)
It's over five hours long in all, but there's barely a slack moment in this exhilarating Indian epic as it races through generations of smalltown criminal, industrial and political enmity. Yes, it's violent, but like all great crime stories it's also a vibrant tapestry of family life and modern history, closer to Leone, Coppola or Tarantino than Bollywood.
The Oldboy director gives us a sensual, tantalisingly ambiguous thriller, centred on Wasikowska and her shifty smalltown family.
- Steve Rose
Based on the novel by The Notebook author Nicholas Sparks, and directed by Lasse Hallström, who has successfully gone down this road before with Dear John and Chocolat, Safe Haven opened in Ireland today, targeting the wallets of every couple in the country. While The Notebook may have it's fair share of haters, it is a very good example of the romance genre, with a well told story and a fantastic cast. Sadly, sharing an author is where Safe Haven's similarities with that movie end. The movie follows Katie (Julianne Hough), a young woman on the run, doggedly pursed by police detective Kevin (David Lyons). Finding herself in the small town of South Port, North Carolina, she tries to make a new life for herself, with her falling for widower Alex (Josh Duhamel) being a happy side effect. But, as is always the case, her old life catches up with her. »
- email@example.com (Tom White)
Nicholas Sparks, the great romdram master, is back – his novel Safe Haven has been adapted for the screen, directed by Lasse Hallström. Even though I have had a grudging respect for Sparks's knack for ingenious popular fiction in the past, this latest gushing, smouldering love story is just too ridiculously cliched; his tropes are beginning to look a bit threadbare, and the massive twist at the end is outrageous – and not in a good way. Julianne Hough plays Erin, a beautiful, troubled young woman escaping something or someone. She winds up in the town of Southport, North Carolina, and finds herself befriending Alex (Josh Duhamel), the manager of a convenience store, a widower with two adorable children. Could it be that hunky, sensitive Alex is the safe haven that Erin is looking for? But of course. »
- Peter Bradshaw
What starts out as a pleasingly old-fashioned romance eventually spirals into realms so far off the planet it would make Professor Brian Cox blow a fuse. Josh Duhamel smiles his way through the chaos as a nice guy widower living in a sleepy coastal town whose eyes brighten at the sight of a new arrival - even though she's played by the curiously charmless Julianne Hough.
The young starlet from Rock of Ages and Footloose has a bit of a hard edge, which is presumably why director Lasse Hallström (Chocolat) was drawn to her for the part of Katie. She blows into town like a storm after a briefly glimpsed scuffle in Boston that leaves her clothes stained with blood. At first, the sunnier climes of North Carolina »
This article is dedicated to Andrew Copp: filmmaker, film writer, artist and close friend who passed away on January 19, 2013. You are loved and missed, brother.
Looking at the Best Actor Academy Award nominations for the film year 2012, the one miss that clearly cries out for more attention is Liam Neeson’s powerful performance in Joe Carnahan’s excellent survival film The Grey, easily one of the best roles of Neeson’s career.
Along with negligence, other factors commonly prevent outstanding lead acting performances from getting the kind of critical attention they deserve. Sometimes it’s that the performance is in a film not considered “Oscar material” or even worthy of any substantial critical attention. »
- Terek Puckett
★☆☆☆☆ American author Nicholas Sparks has been watching his novels re-purposed for the big screen for over a decade now. The Notebook (2004) is perhaps the most widely adored example, though it hardly garnered universal acclaim; still, it did good business at the box office and paved the way for a stream of further Sparks adaptations. The latest in this line of suspiciously familiar love stories is Lasse Hallström's Safe Haven (2013). The film sees Julianne Hough drift into the life of Josh Duhamel, so that suitably toned and tanned bodies can frolic in warming golden light between gripping one another tightly - now where have we seen this before?
Read more » »
- CineVue UK
Director: Lasse Hallström.
Running Time: 115 minutes.
Synopsis: Katie (Hough) wants to start a new life in Southport, North Carolina, and begins to do just that when she forms a bond with a handsome young widower (Duhamel). However, as their relationship blossoms, she is forced to deal with the dark secrets from her previous life.
How many times can a girl with a mysterious past move to a new town before it becomes arse-shatteringly dull? This adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ novel explores this very question and abruptly reaches the conclusion that the time has already passed. It seems this premise has now been completely plundered for all it is worth.
Katie meets the gorgeous Alex, who is sensitive, lovely, yet dashingly rugged – essentially he is perfection. Put it this way, if he were to stand next to any other man in the world, »
- Martin Daniel McDonagh
When you think of French thespian Juliette Binoche, you think of her stirring turn in Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy, or maybe her Oscar-nominated performance in Lasse Hallstrom's Chocolat, or her Oscar-winning portrayal in Anthony Minghella's The English Patient. You don't think of monster movies. But how dare you put Binoche in a box. If she wants to be in a monster movie, she'll be in the biggest monster franchise of them all! Variety reports Binoche has entered into negotiations to co-star in Legendary's Godzilla reboot. Directed by Monsters helmer Gareth Edwards, the movie will of course focus on the iconic radioactive reptilian behemoth who is destined to cause earth-shattering collateral damage as he tears around some unfortunate cityscape. However, details on the plot and its characters are currently being closely guarded. What we do know is that Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass, Anna Karenina), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, »
"...'Erin Tierney' (Hough) leaves her abusive alcoholic husband, police officer 'Kevin Tierney' (David Lyons), under disguise with the assistance of an elderly neighbor, and moves to the small town of Southport, North Carolina, where she befriends her neighbor 'Jo' (Smulders), and adopts the identity of 'Katie'.
"She also meets 'Alex Wheatley' (Duhamel), the manager of a local convenience store, and his children, 'Lexie' and 'Josh'.
"But instead of going to a dating web-site like Badoo offering chances to meet that special someone, with Jo's encouragement, Katie and Alex begin a romantic relationship..."
Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Safe Haven"...
- Michael Stevens
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