12 items from 2015
Director: James McTeigue; Screenwriter: Philip Shelby; Starring: Milla Jovovich, Pierce Brosnan, Dylan McDermott, Robert Forster, Angela Bassett, Frances de la Tour, James D'Arcy; Running time: 96 mins; Certificate: 12A
There's little to enjoy about this daft spy thriller beyond the sight of Pierce Brosnan looking vaguely like a Spanish pimp when he wears a pencil-thin moustache as a disguise. Survivor is played straight, but laden with laughs that are entirely unintentional and make you feel somewhat sorry for the impressive cast.
You can vaguely understand why actors of the calibre of Brosnan, Milla Jovovich, Dylan McDermott, Robert Forster, Angela Bassett, Frances de la Tour and James D'Arcy signed up to the project. After all, the basic premise is an intriguing one, involving the capture of an American soldier in the Middle East leading to severe repercussions in London.
Security expert Kate (Jovovich) notices something suspicious at the Embassy, propelling her into »
Stars: Tony D. Czech, Douglas Sidney, KariAnn Craig, Roger Wayne, Anjel White, Anika Reitman, Jimmy Keebs, David Otto Simanek, Jarrod Crooks | Written by Elliot and Adam Diviney | Directed by Elliot Diviney
A group of mysterious villains known as “The Alliance” sets a trap for the Taxpayer. They imprison him, torture him, and make plans to publicly crucify him. Local janitor Richard Randolph rounds up retired Superheroes, and hatches a plan to rescue the Taxpayer. The villains stage a public rally, where many citizens come to watch the Taxpayer’s crucifixion. The heroes invade the bad guy lair, and a large battle ensues. Various comedic and action-packed musical numbers are intertwined throughout the madness. In the midst of the big political debate and battle for mankind will the heroes save the day?
If, like me, you’ve just read that official synopsis and thought “what the F**k?”, then you’re not alone. »
- Phil Wheat
It's happening, people! Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon's classic graphic novel series, Preacher, is officially underway under the direction of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the duo behind Pineapple Express and the script for Superbad. Rogen took to Twitter to announce the news, offering a shot of a filled-out clapperboard with Preacher graphics adorning it. It's great news for one of the most highly anticipated television events currently in production, and there's the added benefit of a second, more minor reveal concerning the forthcoming pilot, as the "Camera" line notes that the great cinematographer Bill Pope will be shooting the pilot for Rogen and Goldberg. [caption id="attachment_427863" align="alignright" width="247"] Image via Vertigo/DC[/caption] For those who don't know the name, Pope has been one of the most inventive and distinct directors of photography to work regularly in Hollywood over the last three decades or so. He shoots regularly for Sam Raimi, Edgar Wright, »
- Chris Cabin
The Exchange has released the first Hell & Back image online. The studio picked up the international rights at Cannes for the film, which is billed as being in the vein of South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut and Team America: World Police. That’s a high bar, but Hell & Back has the distinction of being stop-motion animated, and it also has a strong voice cast that includes Mila Kunis, Danny McBride, T.J. Miller, Bob Odenkirk, Susan Sarandon, Jennifer Coolidge, and Rob Riggle. The plot “follows two best friends who must rescue their friend after he’s accidentally dragged to hell," so you can see the potential for R-rated comedy. Check out the Hell & Back image below. Directed by Tom Gianas (SNL) and Ross Shuman (Robot Chicken), the movie is due out in theaters this fall. [caption id="attachment_457931" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image via The Exchange[/caption]
The post First Hell & Back Image Teases a Trip to »
- Matt Goldberg
Oh lordy. Just when you thought the world had come back from the brink of thermonuclear war over a Seth Rogen movie, the situation may just be about to become enflamed again.
You probably know the story so far. The Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy The Interview angered the North Korean authorities a lot, to the point where it was described as an "act of war" for its portrayal of Kim Jong-un. Yet after a cyber terrorist attack on Sony Pictures' servers, and the subsequent cancellation of the film's release, it was eventually rolled out in cinemas and across video on demand platforms. And The Interview didn't cause widespread conflict after all. Phew.
However, as you might have guessed, the film isn't welcome in North Korea. Which means that plans »
Lady Penelope, Parker and Brains are the next Thunderbirds Are Go! CG characters to be unveiled. Here they are...
No, not a promo for The Sims Sugar Daddy Expansion Pack, but our first look at the newly CGI Lady Penelope, Parker and dog in anticipation of ITV's Thunderbirds Are Go!, arriving on the channel this spring.
Lady Penelope is voiced by Oscar 2015 nominee Rosamund Pike, with David Graham from the original series voicing chauffeur Parker. We've yet to hear who'll be providing the voice of that snazzily dressed little pug.
Also released today is our first portrait of Brains, looking as if he wouldn't be a million miles out of place in a Shoreditch cereal bar if he'd only grow a beard. Kayvan Novak of Four Lions and Facejacker fame is lending his vocal chords to this one.
We've already seen Tracy Island and its eponymous brothers rendered in CGI. »
North Korea is the world’s most secretive and insular nation. Its 160-mile border with South Korea is arguably the most dangerous place on earth, while the nation’s military has access to nuclear weaponry.
Despite these terrifying facts, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has a premier about who little-to-nothing is actually known. Kim Jong-un replaced his father, Kim Jong-il, as Supreme Leader in December 2011 and has ruled North Korea ever since.
In popular culture, Kim Jong-il was depicted as a bloody-thirsty tyrant with a speech impediment in Team America: World Police, while two Americans attempted to infiltrate North Korea and assassinate Kim Jong-un in the highly-controversial film The Interview. North Korea reacted with distain to both films, but is that because they hit too close to home and almost uncovered the truth of what the nation is actually like?
Now that begs another question: »
- Chris Waugh
You’ve got to laugh, but the puerile gags don’t make it easy
“We don’t have a better plan – you’re going to have to stick it up your ass.” After the news stories, the cyber-attacks, the terror threats and the personal intervention of President Obama himself, here comes the movie at which North Korea reportedly took such offence. On the downside, it’s not a subversive patch on Team America: World Police; if the ruling dynasty could withstand a puppet Kim Jong-il singing “I’m so ronery” after feeding “Hans Brix” to a killer shark, they can surely weather Randall Park’s Kim Jong-un bursting into tears at a Katy Perry song and worrying about whether margaritas are gay.
Continue reading »
- Mark Kermode, Observer film critic
Run Time: 112 minutes
Synopsis: When a celebrity tabloid host lands an unprecedented interview with the Supreme Leader of North Korea, he and and his producer are recruited by the CIA to assassinate him.
As the cyber-hack attack on Sony Pictures played out (coincidently) in the media in the lead up to The Interview’s Christmas Day release, and amid speculation of North Korean involvement, I recall having one recurring thought. That the ‘attack’ was either an unfortunate event fortuitously timed (for the film that is) or the most outlandishly clever marketing campaign ever orchestrated. Cause let’s face it – The Interview is a stinker of dieg(rrh)etic proportions – destined for tanking glory had Sony’s hyperbole not bolsted it.
It’s a shame really because Seth Rogen and »
- Sacha Hall
The Interview, 2014
Dave Skylark and producer Aaron Rapoport run the celebrity tabloid show “Skylark Tonight.” When they land an interview with a surprise fan, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip to Pyongyang into an assassination mission.
Back in 1994, it was announced that Guns N’ Roses were working on a new album, the first with all-new material since 1991’s simultaneous release of Appetite for Destruction I & II. And as the years dragged by and members came and went, the hype and anticipation for Chinese Democracy only grew and grew. When it was released some 16 years later in 2008, the album was met with a tepid reaction. Chinese Democracy wasn’t terrible, but the problem was that it took too long to come out. »
- Luke Owen
For a moment there, it looked like The Interview was going to be the most important comedy of the 21st century. With hacks and terrorist threats obstructing its planned Christmas Day release in the United States, it was easily the most discussed movie of December 2014 and it finally reaches UK cinemas this Friday, after the fuss has died down.
In case you were pre-occupied during the festive season, it transpired that Us theatre chains refused to show the film in the wake of the threats, forcing Sony to pull their advertising and distribution plans. It eventually hit video on demand services on December 25th, after widespread calls for it from the press and President Barack Obama, no less.
But one of the more interesting and disappointing »
Duck Soup, 1933.
Directed by Leo McCarey.
Freedonia and Sylvania are forced into war due to the insults of Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx) and the spies of Sylvania (Chico and Harpo Marx).
When told about the Marx brothers, I often think of Groucho. Until I watched Duck Soup, I didn’t know what his shtick even was. Were they silent comics, akin to Chaplin and Keaton? Did they transcend the talkie-divide like Laurel and Hardy? Were they lightning-fast talkers, in the same vein as Woody Allen or Henry Youngman? It turns out that the family of the Marx Brothers – Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Zeppo – are a bit of everything. Each sibling either prefiguring or directly influenced-by a specific comic of the past. Chico, the smart-talking but not-so-clever one. Harpo, the physical silent one. »
- Simon Columb
12 items from 2015
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