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The last month of summer begins this weekend, giving us only a few more chances to get out of the doldrums that have plagued the box office for much of July with two movies that will try to turn things around. Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy, directed by James Gunn and with a wildly diverse cast, is going to be the big "must see" event of the weekend, leaving a lot of people wondering how much is possible for a Marvel movie with very little starpower and based on a lesser-known group of characters. By comparison, Everyone knows who James Brown is, so one wonders whether the musical biopic Get On Up (Universal), directed by The Help's Tate Taylor, has a chance at bringing some counterprogramming to find an underserved audience.
Undergoing a tragic and heartbreaking crisis in life can bring about unexpected and diverse reactions amongst family members, as they strive to deal with their pain in their own ways. Contending with the distinct responses from a father and his daughter as they struggle with the death of his wife and her mother is the humanizing driving force in the new independent drama, ‘Calvary,’ from writer-director John Michael McDonagh. When the father underwent a spiritual change and decided to become a priest, his daughter felt emotionally abandoned as he devoted himself to the long-lost ideal of being forgiving to everyone around him. She only began to understand his notion to [ Read More ]
- Karen Benardello
I’m much more used to seeing medical dramas airing during the fall. Summer time seems to be filled with mediocre comedies, trashy reality shows, and very little substance if the networks can help it. That’s not something I have much of a problem with, since summer is also a time for big-budget action flicks and Shakespeare in the Park. In short, summer is a time to get out of the house and not spend time trying to keep plots and characters straight if you can help it.
The advertisements for ABC’s “Black Box” looked intriguing. They promised a show about a neurologist with bipolar disorder who has a brilliant career. It made me curious about the show, thinking maybe, since the show would deal primarily with both brain and mental disorders that it would have at least a sympathetic portrayal of the patients.
Most of the shows »
After Kelly Reilly came three Calvary men - John Michael McDonagh, Brendan Gleeson and Chris O'Dowd. With McDonagh, I voyage through his many literary references, from Samuel Beckett to Herman Melville, from Albert Camus to James Joyce, and from Philip K. Dick to David Gates' Jernigan. James Cagney's Shanghai Lil with Busby Berkeley's choreography in Footlight Parade reveals Angels With Dirty Faces as another influence.
Peggy Siegal used her magic to snare O'Dowd, who is starring with James Franco on Broadway in John Steinbeck's Of Mice And Men with Leighton Meester and Jim Norton, directed by Anna D. Shapiro. Joyce Carol Oates, who sat next to me during lunch, elegantly sums up Calvary.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Calvary Fox Searchlight Pictures Reviewed for Shockya by Harvey Karten. Data-based on Rotten Tomatoes Grade: B+ Director: John Michael McDonagh Screenplay: John Michael McDonagh Cast: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaac De Bankolé, M. Emmet Walsh Screened at: Dolby88, NYC, June 24, 2014 Opens: August 1, 2014 Ever since that disastrous choice in the Garden of Eden, the world has been going to hell. It’s no wonder that our young people have stopped reading books and newspapers and train their smart phones not to CNN or NYTimes or Huffington Post but instead communicate frantically with their friends. Not for them a great concern with the [ Read More ]
The post Calvary Movie Review appeared first on Shockya.com. »
- Harvey Karten
John Michael McDonagh's Calvary stars Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly, Chris O'Dowd, Isaach De Bankolé, Domhnall Gleeson, Dylan Moran with The Diving Bell And The Butterfly's Marie-Josée Croze, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, M Emmet Walsh and David Wilmot. Fox Searchlight Pictures celebrated with a luncheon at the Explorers Club in New York with guests including Jimmy Breslin, Dana Delany, Jodi Applegate, Annette Insdorf, Eugene Hernandez, Joyce Carol Oates and Charles Gross.
I spoke with Kelly Reilly and what started out with Monica Vitti in Michelangelo Antonioni's Red Desert and Tippi Hedren's style in Hitchcock's The Birds, quickly turned to themes of forgiveness which brought us to develop a quick theory of a Holy Female Trinity holding Calvary together, before lunch was served.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Chris O’Dowd, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Dylan Moran, Isaach De Bankolé, M. Emmet Walsh, Marie-Josée Croze, Domhnall Gleeson, David Wilmot | Written and Directed by John Michael McDonagh
In 2012 writer and director John Michael McDonagh broke out worldwide with the indie action-comedy The Guard. It’s story of an unapologetic Irish policemen teaming up with a fish out of water FBI Agent had all the initial makings of a classic 80’s buddy cop film. It took that cliché format and added some sharp orthodox absurdity to make something refreshing original.
In his latest film Calvary he is once again teaming up with veteran actor Brendan Gleeson to tell a story of a benevolent priest trying to come to terms with the ever-increasing cynical world around him. McDonagh blends his dark sense of humor with melancholic storytelling to craft an enduring tale about the hardships faith sustains »
- Dan Clark
There are few directors who could find comedy in the premise of a priest who has been mysteriously told by an unidentified man that he'll be killed. But then perhaps you're not familiar with John Michael McDonagh, who put himself on the cinematic map with outrageous "The Guard," and returns with "Calvary." And today we have a batch of exclusive pics from the film. A terrific cast has been brought together for this one, with Brendan Gleeson, Kelly Reilly, Aidan Gillen, Isaach de Bankolé and Chris O'Dowd among the ensemble, in the tale of the man of the cloth, who tries to continue with this churchly responsibilities, even with the looming threat of death. It's one we highly recommend with our critic out of Sundance calling the film "an inventive whodunit in reverse," but if you can't take his word, perhaps the Ecumenical Jury prize from the Berlin Film Festival will sway you. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Trials of Faith Without Error; Glesson’s Good Priest Suffers for Sins of the Fathers
Two years after The Guard, the most commercially successful Irish film of all time, writer-director John Michael McDonagh and actor Brendan Gleeson return with considerably darker arthouse fare. Part Two of the unfinished “Glorified Suicide Trilogy”, Cavalry begins inside a shadowy confessional with the announcement, “I first tasted semen when I was seven years old”. To the voice behind the lattice, Gleeson’s priest replies, “Certainly a startling open line” – speaking, more or less, on behalf of Cavalry’s wrong-footed audience. The recollection of sexual abuse precedes a heavy dose of theological and moral insight, but lively, quick-witted dialogue will sweeten the pill.
- Caitlin Coder
Our resident VOD expert tells you what's new to rent and own this week on the various streaming services such as cable Movies On Demand, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu and, of course, Netflix. Cable Movies On Demand: Same-day-as-disc releases, older titles and pretheatrical exclusives for rent, priced from $3-$10, in 24- or 48-hour periods Heaven Is for Real (drama; Greg Kinnear, Kelly Reilly; rated PG) Sabotage (action; Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello, Josh Holloway, Terrence Howard; rated R) Transcendence (sci-fi; Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman; rated PG-13) The Single Moms Club (Tyler Perry-directed comedy; Nia Long, Amy Smart; rated PG-13) Cesar Chavez (drama; Michael Peña, America Ferrera; rated PG-13...
- Robert B. DeSalvo
The accolades have been rolling in for John Michael McDonagh's "Calvary." It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January to solid reviews, including ours which highlighted the "unwavering commitment to the intelligent thorniness of its themes" and the execution of the material brings "it soaring close to something divine." Things have been a bit quiet since, but the movie is now headed to theatres and a new clip and some images have arrived. Brendan Gleeson leads the film, reteaming with his "The Guard" writer/director, for this tale about a priest who is told by an unseen member of his church that he will be killed. This sets off something of an existential, comic and dramatic journey for the man of the cloth, who continues to try and tend to his flock, even as death looms. And around Gleeson is a pretty great supporting cast including Kelly Reilly, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Dylan Thomas knew the transcendent power of great art: “The world is never the same,” he famously said, “once a good poem has been added to it.” The world, it has to be said, does not look terribly different after viewing “Set Fire to the Stars,” a stylized biopic covering the alcoholic poet’s first American tour in 1950. Shot in silky black-and-white, Andy Goddard’s debut feature is an easy, elegant diversion — a kind of “My Week With Dylan” exercise, agreeably headlined by Elijah Wood as John Brinnin, the buttoned-up Harvard grad swiftly overwhelmed by the Welsh hellraiser. Yet its appreciation of Thomas’ work remains superficial, while the polished filmmaking never quite finds its own poetry. Perhaps the most universally distributable of this year’s Edinburgh world premieres, “Stars” should twinkle only modestly in select arthouses.
- Guy Lodge
James Watkins, a British director who has gone on to stand behind the lens on the Hammer-produced horror film, The Woman in Black, made his directorial debut in 2008 with a film he also wrote, this tense and nasty little thriller called Eden Lake.
Jenny and Steve (played with conviction by Kelly Reilly and Michael Fassbender) take a trip for a romantic weekend away in the country in which Steve is planning to propose. They reach a secluded beach that is surrounded by forest land, and all seems peaceful and ideally as our loving couple set up a tent and lay back on their beach towels, watching the water drift calmly along. Their peace and quiet is quickly soiled as a group of »
- Chris Cummings
Never meet your heroes. Or so states the tagline for Andy Goddard’s feature-length debut. Far from a paint-by-numbers biopic, the Downton Abbey alumnus makes the leap to silver screen with an understated elegance, only snowflakes and the swirling of cigarette smoke fracturing Chris Seager’s crisp black and white casing. This may be a world of post-war dreamers, but the choice of monochrome certifies Set Fire to the Stars worthy of timeless status.
Harvard graduate and poetry teacher John Brinnin’s (Elijah Wood) precise opening steps accompany his equally meticulous repetition of tour dates prepared for literary hero, Dylan Thomas (Celyn Jones, also on writing duties). But it is clear from the initial jazz-dowsed introductions that Brinnin will remain the steady bassline, Thomas the improvising drums and brass. Recounting the celebrated Welsh poet’s first trip to America, breaking their first host’s Crock-Pot is the least of this magnificently cast duo’s worries. »
- Emma Thrower
Andrew finds lots to like in this thoughtful movie about Dylan Thomas
Set Fire To The Stars, directed and co-written by Goddard with actor Celyn Jones, is visually impressive, but also immeasurably more lyrical and thoughtful than you might be expecting. This is less of a surprise considering its subject matter: the story of Dylan Thomas's first visit to New York (his death in the city was dramatised in the recent BBC drama A Poet in New York, with Ewen Bremner playing the same role Elijah Wood does in this film).
Here, Jones plays Dylan Thomas, visiting 50s New York (Swansea), Connecticut (Swansea) and Yale (also Swansea) at the request of Elijah Wood's lapsed poet, the academic John Malcolm Brinnin. Through a combination of monochrome, »
★★★★☆Cédric Klapisch's lively romantic comedy, starring Romain Duris and Audrey Tautou, is the final chapter in his 'Spanish Apartment Trilogy', which began with the titular The Spanish Apartment (2002). As the name suggests, Chinese Puzzle (2013) is a colourful mishmash of different characters' stories, sub-plots and intersecting timelines. There's also a clever meta-textual commentary running through the film. Writer Xavier Rousseau is approaching 40 when his wife of ten years, Wendy (Kelly Reilly), announces that she is leaving him and moving to New York City with their children. Inconsolable without his family, Xavier decides to follow them to the Big Apple, where he hopes to finish his latest book.
- CineVue UK
Based on John M Brinnin’s account of the hell-raising poet’s first visit to New York in 1950, the film is the feature debut of director Andy Goddard (Downton Abbey) and stars Elijah Wood, Celyn Jones, Kelly Reilly, Stephen Mackintosh and Shirley Henderson.
Wood will attend the Eiff premiere, along with Jones and Goddard. Following the screening there will be a performance from Gruff Rhys, lead singer of the Super Furry Animals, who composed the original score for the film.
Clare Crean, head »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Andreas Wiseman)
So often we see a Hollywood film begin with a swooping, aerial shot of a glorious Manhattan, with the Empire State Building gracefully standing tall, while the Statue of Liberty looks out knowingly into the distance. However when our protagonist Xavier arrives in New York, in Cédric Klapisch’s Chinese Puzzle, it’s a grey, miserable day, and the peak of the aforementioned skyscraper is hidden by clouds. This lone image sets the precedence for the rest of this title, as an authentic, foreigner’s take on New York, as not always being the romanticised, cinematic setting we’re often led to believe it is.
As the third – and seemingly final – chapter in the life of Xavier, played Romain Duris, following on from the actor’s previous collaborations with the filmmaker, L’Auberge Espagnole and Russian Dolls, the author is now going through something of a crisis, when his partner »
- Stefan Pape
He first went to study film in New York when he was 23. French director Cédric Klapisch, now 53, returned to the city for Chinese Puzzle, the third part of the comedy trilogy that started with Pot Luck (L’Auberge Espagnole) in Barcelona in 2002 and continued three years after in St Petersburg and London for Russian Dolls (Les Poupées Russes), all featuring the same characters falling in and out of love. Now Xavier, economics student turned writer and played by Romain Duris, heads for the Big Apple to be near his children who live with his ex Wendy, portrayed by Kelly Reilly. Former girlfriend Martine (Audrey Tautou) turns up – and there’s also Cecile de France from the original as Xavier’s lesbian friend Isabelle. How did Klapisch sustain the momentum of the characters and what does it feel like to grow old with them? »
- Richard Mowe
Capturing basic human interactions on film isn’t as easy as you’d think. Too often screenwriters and directors retreat into cliched dialogue and stock characters to the point where the people on screen feel as artificial as any rampaging CG monster. Cédric Klapisch’s Chinese Puzzle is different though, effortlessly serving up a blizzard of well observed moments, shifting relationships and fragments of honest emotion. This is that annoyingly rare thing: a film that really understands the complexities – the soaring joys and the crushing miseries – of modern love.
Our hero is Xavier Rousseau (Romain Duris), a 40 year old writer navigating some pretty choppy relationship waters. Framed through a Skype conversation with his publisher, we track his friendships and romances with three women; businesswoman and old flame Martine (Audrey Tautou), his lesbian best friend Isabelle (Cecile de France), and Wendy (Kelly Reilly), his estranged ex-wife and mother of his two children. »
- David James
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