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The Ballad of Franks and Beans: Stephens’ Dips Toes and Other Bits into Political Scandal
It is still very much a man’s world, or so the expectedly corrupt judicial landscape seems to be sighing as it unrolls before our eyes with near clinical precision and predictability in Mora Stephens’ sophomore feature Zipper. Another politically minded effort, her first feature in a decade since 2005’s Democrat/Republican ideals face-off Conventioneers, this thriller skirts in and out of issue concerning addiction and the abuse of power without really delving into either beyond superficialities. Featuring a notable, comely cast and co-written by Stephens’ spouse Joel Viertel, there’s a dark cynicism managing to rear its face from time to time, but given we’re never surprised or endeared towards this group of slow-to-strike piranhas, this scandal sheet is a tale as old as time.
- Nicholas Bell
By Dana Jung
Sam Ellis (Patrick Wilson) is a high-powered lawyer with the U.S. Attorney’s office who is on a fast track to a higher political office. He has a loving wife (Lena Headey) and young son, the admiration of his colleagues, and the interest of a Washington power-broker (Richard Dreyfuss). In fact, Sam has everything going his way in life. But something is not quite right with Sam. There is a disconnect going on in the seemingly comfortable relationship with his wife, and Sam is turning to other sexual outlets to relieve the tension of his stressful job and super-powered future.
When a routine interview with a witness on a case turns out to be with a high-end escort, things begin to change for Sam. No longer satisfied with masturbating to internet porn, Sam makes contact with an escort service and starts having regular sexual encounters, with a new woman every time. »
- Movie Geeks
Beasts have always provided fantastic source material for horror filmmakers across the ages, whether from the mythical world or the natural. To celebrate the release of Into the Grizzly Maze last week we take a look back at some the biggest, baddest beasts on film…
Into the Grizzly Maze (2015)
Starring James Marsden, Thomas Jane and Billy Bob Thornton, Into the Grizzly Maze tells the story of a sheriff (Jane), thrown into turmoil when a massive rogue grizzly wreaks havoc in a local Alaskan community. Enlisting the help of his estranged brother (Marsden) he enters the labyrinthine Grizzly Maze to track down his missing wife, before the bear does. As the body count mounts, things are only further complicated when an infamous bear hunter (Thornton) enters the fray, determined to take down the bear he’s been waiting for his whole life…
- Phil Wheat
Nil by Mouth, 1997.
Directed by Gary Oldman.
Depicting the lives of a dysfunctional, South London family. Aggressive Ray and junkie Billy are central roles as we see how their flaws bleed into their home lives and affect others.
There is a moment, on the tube, as Billy (Charlie Creed-Miles) begs for change. A girl, with her friends, cannot assist and as Billy continues down the train we see the roll of her eyes. In 2015, nearly 20 years after Gary Oldman’s directorial debut, Nil by Mouth, we still see this poverty and desperation on the trains. The eternal conflict as we choose not to support, against our instincts, as “we know where the money will go”. What is so effective in Oldman’s brutal film, is how we know intimately the family, friends and background of Billy. We also see his sister, »
- Simon Columb
Over the years that Den Of Geek has been going, we've regularly been charting the assortment of reboots and remakes that are making their way through the Hollywood system. This, then, is the current state of play. We've removed a bunch of projects that seem utterly dead - the once mooted remakes of Videodrome and Timecrimes, for instance - but we'll keep this list up to date as and when we hear of more.
Without further ado, here's what's coming up...
One of Hollywood's most on and off projects, the current state of the live action Akira remake is that it's back in the works. Marco J Ramirez, the showrunner for season 2 of Netflix's Daredevil show, has been hired to pen a screenplay. Warner Bros is still backing the film, »
In what is already a crowded field, Bgo have managed to make the worst betting company advert on television with help from Paris Hilton and Verne Troyer
An unwritten rule of adverts for betting companies is that they need to be as facile as possible. Whether it’s Paul Kaye on a pogo stick or Ray Winstone doing a bad impression of Ray Winstone, they have to be silly because the thing they’re trying to sell is deadly serious. They want you to think: “No need to worry too much about the consequences of putting little Timmy’s lunch money on a horse called Bum Tits because, look, Carlton Palmer’s sitting in that guy’s bath. Hahaha!” But with the new advert for online casino Bgo we might have reached the apotheosis of the genre. It don’t even try to use current pop culture figures, instead opting »
- Edward Tew
Based on the first of a series of novels by Douglas Lindsay, Robert Carlyle’s directing debut stars the actor as a hapless Glasgow barber caught up in a farcical imbroglio involving a plague of severed body parts. Shot with brio by Fabian Wagner, designed with an anachronistic 50s/60s look, and with a similarly retro soundtrack steeped in whammy-bar guitar, Barney Thomson strains after more fun than it can manage. Either Carlyle as Barney, permanently a-quiver with panic, doesn’t have a funny bone, or he just can’t direct himself funny. Ray Winstone’s irascible English copper all but blows steam out of his ears, and Ashley Jensen chews whatever scenery hasn’t already been trampled. Improbably redeeming the overall mirthlessness is Emma Thompson, briskly profane as Barney’s elderly, »
- Jonathan Romney
There are only two problems – Sam has a compulsive desire to sleep with high-priced call girls and a dangerous fascination with a young intern (Dianna Agron).
Zipper bows on August 28 in Us cinemas. A UK release is yet to be set. »
Related: Robert Carlyle: ‘Big films don’t feed your soul’
Robert Carlyle makes a capable directorial debut, serving up this chaotically brutal comedy noir with some very broad gags. He plays Barney Thomson, a middle-aged Glasgow barber, depressed about his job and getting bullied by his terrifying mother, uproariously played by Emma Thompson, who has an outrageous line when a bit of dunked biscuit falls off into her tea. A ferocious argument at work concludes with a gruesome accident and poor Barney finds himself prime suspect in a serial killer case, with a malevolent Cockney copper played by Ray Winstone all over Barney’s case like a cheap suit. He is himself feeling the heat from his superior officer: a nice cameo from Tom Courtenay. The Tarantino-esque finale doesn »
- Peter Bradshaw
Cult 1980s TV show Robin of Sherwood is returning with a new episode - in the form of a radio play.
Written by Richard Carpenter, the show ran for three series between 1984 and 1986.
Now, in tribute to Carpenter - who died in 2012 - 'The Knights of the Apocalypse' will be recorded and aired in early 2016, with all proceeds going to charity.
Carpenter wrote the episode following the end of the TV series, and nothing was ever done with it until now.
Connery, who played Robin, said of the new radio play: "My time in Sherwood was spent working with wonderful actors who became lifelong friends, and behind it all was Richard 'Kip' Carpenter's brilliant writing, whose scripts we brought to life. After many false dawns, I can finally »
The Sundance Film Festival has, over the course of its run, become a ripe place for films to get attention even without explicitly winning awards. One such film in the 2015 incarnation of the festival was Zipper. The second feature from director Mora Stephens was also co-written by Stephens, alongside Joel Viertel. The synopsis is as follows.
Sam Ellis is a man on the rise – a federal prosecutor on the cusp of a bright political future. But what was meant to be a one-time experience with a high-end escort instead turns into a growing addiction. His moral compass unraveling, his new demon threatens to destroy his life, family and career.
Patrick Wilson stars as the lead character, with a supporting cast that includes Lena Headey, Dianna Agron, Ray Winstone, John Cho, and Richard Dreyfuss. The film is set to be released in American theatres and VOD on August 28th, and it now has a trailer. »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Today we have the trailer for the upcoming "Zipper" thriller, starring Patrick Wilson (Watchment), Lena Headey (300), Ray Winstone (The Departed), John Cho (Star Trek) and Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws). Check it out below. Plot: Sam Ellis (Wilson) is a man on the rise — a hotshot federal prosecutor on the cusp of a bright political future. But what was meant to be a one-time experience with a high-end escort instead turns into a growing addiction. His moral compass unraveling, his new demon threatens to destroy his life, family and career. The new movie set to be released in select theaters and on VOD on August 28th. Trailer: »
In what promises to be a gripping study of power and addiction, Patrick Wilson takes the lead in Zipper as a universally loved politician on a seemingly non-stop rise to the top. But he finds everything falling down around him as his ‘zipper problem’, i.e. his nasty habit of sleeping with scores of women who are not his wife (Lena Heady), catches up with him. Really, Wilson is perfect for the lead role. Not only does he a great actor, he has the sort of charisma that demands all eyes are on him, as well as the chops to delve into the darker parts of his character. On top of that, he his surrounded by a stellar cast, including Heady, Richard Dreyfuss, and Ray Winstone, which all adds up to an absolutely fascinating political trailer. Released: 28th August »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom White)
Read More: Alchemy Acquires Sundance Political Thriller 'Zipper' Debuting at Sundance this year, Mora Stephens' thriller "Zipper" follows Patrick Wilson as prosecutor Sam Ellis, whose political career becomes scandalous before it even can get started. The film features an impressive cast, including Lena Headey ("Game of Thrones"), Dianna Argon ("Heroes"), Richard Dreyfuss and Ray Winstone. The official synopsis reads: "Sam Ellis is a man on the rise -- a hotshot federal prosecutor on the cusp of a bright political future. But what was meant to be a one-time experience with a high-end escort instead turns into a growing addiction. His moral compass unraveling, his new demon threatens to destroy his life, family and career." "Zipper" will be released day and date on August 28. Watch the trailer above. Read More: Meet the 2015 Sundance Filmmakers #53: Mora Stephens Wants to Start a Conversation About Political Scandals with »
- Ethan Sapienza
"I set out to help people, I never said I was better than them..." Alchemy has debuted the trailer for the sex thriller Zipper, which dramatizes the sexual urges of a man on the cusp of a bright future. Patrick Wilson stars as a politician on the rise who ends up losing everything "due to his inability to fight off his obsessive temptation for other women." This is a thriller because they really play up the angle of "look how deadly this can be to your life!" with all the endless infidelity. The cast also includes Lena Headey, Dianna Agron, Alexandra Breckenridge, Richard Dreyfuss, John Cho and Ray Winstone. This looks interesting, but at the same time I'd kind of rather just go back and watch Joe Carnahan's Stretch again. Give it a watch. Here's the first official trailer for Mora Stephens' Zipper, in high def on Apple »
- Alex Billington
From "Nymphomaniac" to "Shame" to "Men, Women & Children" and now to "Zipper," filmmakers of late have been obsessed with characters who are obsessed with sex. And Patrick Wilson is the latest actor taking the role of a character who can't control his urges. Read More: Why Gaspar Noé's "Love" Fails To Break The Curse Of Sex On Screen Lena Headey, Dianna Agron, Ray Winstone, John Cho and Richard Dreyfuss co-star in the film that follows Sam Ellis, a prosecutor with an eye on politics. But after a visit with a high-end escort, he can't get enough and soon starts on a downward spiral. Here's the official synopsis: Sam Ellis is a man on the rise -- a hotshot federal prosecutor on the cusp of a bright political future. But what was meant to be a one-time experience with a high-end escort instead turns into a growing addiction. His moral compass unraveling, »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Stars: Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Jasmine Trinca, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance, Billy Billingham, Peter Franzén, Daniel Adegboyega, Ade Oyefeso, Rachel Lascar | Written by Don MacPherson, Pete Travis, Sean Penn | Directed by Pierre Morel
After working as a mercenary in the Congo, Terrier (Sean Penn) lives a life away from action, his health, and his life affected by his past deeds. When it seems he has been marked out for assassination he tries to reconnect with past colleagues to discover the reason for his sudden targeting, suspecting a clean-up job is in progress. With the net closing in and past crimes coming back to haunt him, it is not until he re-connects with Felix (Javier Bardem) and past girlfriend Annie (Jasmine Trinca) that events take a deadly turn.
The Gunman would like to be a movie with a message, and there are moments where you are made to think »
- Paul Metcalf
The Gunman, 2015.
Directed by Pierre Morel.
Eight years after a hit on the Congo mining minister, the assassin finds that he is now the target in a game of cat and mouse.
Spurred on by the inexplicable success of Taken (seriously? Watch it again – it isn’t That good), its sequels and the subsequent fad of middle-aged actors starring in revenge thrillers, Sean Penn (Carlito’s Way/Casualties of War) has joined the likes of Liam Neeson, Kevin Costner and Denzel Washington by starring in The Gunman, directed – funnily enough – by Taken director Pierre Morel.
Penn plays Jim Terrier, a sniper who has been selected to be the shooter in the assassination of the mining minister in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After the hit Jim has to leave the continent as »
- Gary Collinson
From comic-book adaptations to sci-fi, fantasy and horror. Here are the new geek-skewed shows coming to Us TV in 2016...
The world of TV has never been so crowded and, at the same time, geeks have never had it so good. As saturated as the big screen is with superhero films and sprawling shared universes, that mentality has well and truly bled onto the small screen too.
So there’s a lot of comic-book adaptations coming up in 2016 from Marvel, DC and others, but genre TV is represented across the board with science-fiction, fantasy and horror represented at pretty much every network and cable channel in the Us.
Here's some of the geek TV that will be making its way to us from the Us next year.
Aka Jessica Jones (Netflix)
Part of Netflix’s own connected slice of the McU, there has been a lot of confusion over when we »
It’s been some time since Johnny Depp graced our screens. He’s been a Hollywood icon for over 30 years and has starred in some of the biggest box office smashes in history as some of the most recognisable characters on our screens.
So much so that in a recent poll by Ladbrokes, he was voted the UK’s favourite current celebrity. Which is quite the accolade in a world of the Kardashians and Ryan Gosling.
Of course, that’s because he has a fantastic back catalogue of work, but what ranks up there amongst his best?
A Nightmare on Elm Street may have been Johnny Depp’s first role on the big screen, but he showed no sign of nerves with a magnificent performance as Glen Lantz, one of the main characters who experience the horrific nightmares of Freddy Krueger.
Depp was aged just 21 at the time, »
- The Hollywood News
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