14 items from 2015
I cannot recall a film that left me with such a sour taste in my mouth by its end. Does the movie deliberately defy itself with obnoxious intent? I’m “biast” (pro): love Colin Firth
I’m “biast” (con): the trailer did not inspire hope
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
This is not an gentlemanly movie.
Now, most movies are not very gentlemanly, and this isn’t necessarily a problem — except, perhaps, to those of us who lament the passing of true gentlemanliness as a thing a dude might aspire to. But it’s a honking huge problem forKingsman: The Secret Service. Because this movie makes such a big deal about how gentlemanliness is a thing a dude must exude, certainly if he wants to become a member of the titular elite society of gentleman spies and »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Santa Monica — It's been really easy for the media to talk about "Birdman" and Michael Keaton's award-winning performance in terms of being a "comeback," and of course, the meta angle of playing an actor who formerly starred as a superhero is just begging for attention. On one hand it's a fortunate hook to help sell the movie, but on the other, it's been a pretty simplistic reduction, not necessarily one that Keaton has had a big problem with, but one that could certainly be discussed with a little more nuance. You might have to go back to the late '90s for examples of the actor's work that really landed culturally, but in the time since, while he's certainly taken a few breathers, he's worked very consistently. He's done TV spots on popular shows. He's starred in acclaimed TV movies like "Live from Baghdad" and the TNT miniseries "The Company. »
- Kristopher Tapley
The Bends centers on a diving expedition that uncovers a mystery on the sea floor.
The expedition serves to bring up old problems for an ex-marine working to pay off mob debts.
Pike is coming off the success of Gone Girl, which has earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination.
She will also soon appear in romantic thriller Return to Sender and survival drama The Mountain Between Us.
Based on a bestselling novel by Tom Rob Smith, Child 44 tells the story of a man (Tom Hardy; The Dark Knight Rises) fighting to reclaim his humanity from a system that requires him to sacrifice it in order to survive.
Noomi Rapace (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Joel Kinnaman (RoboCop), Jason Clarke (Terminator Genisys), Vincent Cassel (Black Swan), Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight Trilogy) Sam Spruell (Snow White and the Huntsman) and Paddy Considine (The World’s End) co-star.
Child 44 opens in the Us and the UK on April 17th.
- Scott J. Davis
We're still waiting for Swedish-raised filmmaker Daniel Espinosa to make good on the promise of his 2010 thriller "Snabba Cash" (aka "Easy Money"). The movie launched the international career of Joel Kinnaman (2013’s “RoboCop”) and made Espinosa a much in-demand filmmaker for Hollywood studios —after juggling several offers, he directed “Safe,” starring Denzel Washington. But will Espinosa become of those acclaimed foreign filmmakers who devolve into the anonymous Hollywood hackwork (like, ahem, Baltasar Kormákur)? Maybe Espinosa will fare a little bit better with his upcoming film “Child 44.” Based on the first novel in author Tom Rob Smith’s trilogy featuring disgraced Mgb Agent Leo Demidov investigating a series of gruesome child murders in Joseph Stalin's Soviet Union, the movie stars Tom Hardy as Demidov and co-stars Noomi Rapace, Kinnaman, Gary Oldman and Vincent Cassel. Here's the official synopsis: A politically-charged serial killer »
- Edward Davis
Especially when it comes to big-budget genre blockbusters, hype has become an inseparable part of movie culture. Trailers, teasers and teasers for trailers, along with a steady drip-feed of news, rumors and inside reports, all these are well-handled tools in Hollywood’s ever-increasing mastery of getting you primed and ready to slap down your money. Add the fact that more and more Hollywood blockbusters are based off beloved properties or tied to ongoing series and yearly top-ten lists of the most anticipated blockbusters or summer movies of the year can tend to look a bit samey. Oh really, you’re excited for Star Wars Episode 7? Well of course you are, it’s Star Wars Episode 7. Saying you’re excited to see it is like saying you enjoy oxygen or puppydog kisses.
Most of the most anticipated movies of the year, quite frankly, don’t need any more hype than they already have. »
- Thomas O'Connor
Donning the cape and tights to play a big screen superhero was often seen as career suicide for actors. This idea is mined to brilliant effect in Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman, with a former comic book star looking to relaunch his career with an ambitious Broadway play.
Adding extra spice to Birdman is the casting of Michael Keaton, himself a former Batman whose post-tights career has been somewhat hit and miss. This film, however, is a stunning reminder of just how good an actor Keaton is and proof that careers don't end when on-screen superpowers fade away.
Digital Spy takes a look at 20 ex-superhero stars to see how they fared after leaving an iconic comic book role behind.
20. Billy Zane
While "Birdman" is being positioned as Michael Keaton's comeback movie — and certainly it's his meatiest and best lead role in ages — let's not forget that in 2014, the actor also lent his talents to "Robocop" and "Need For Speed." Basically, it's not like Keaton has been choosy or hasn't been asked to help prop up a piece of popcorn entertainment. And so, this next move isn't a huge suprise. Deadline reports that Keaton is locking down a deal to star in "Kong: Skull Island." And while we're usually wary of franchise movies for the sake of franchise movies, rising talent Jordan Vogt-Roberts ("The Kings Of Summer") has been given the keys for this one, and with Keaton joining Tom Hiddleston and J.K. Simmons, that's a cast we'd watch reading the phone book (as the saying goes). We really dig the talent behind this one. And while details on this movie »
- Kevin Jagernauth
This weekend, moviegoers around the country will undoubtedly line up for Liam Neeson in the third (and supposedly final) "Taken" film - and while those moviegoers wait for "Taken 3" will be given an extra jolt of Neeson-related ass-kickery in the form of the new trailer for "Run All Night." And it's really, really cool.
In "Run All Night," Neeson plays a former hit man (his nickname was "The Gravedigger," so you know he was good) who intervenes when a killer is sent to murder his son (Joel Kinnaman from the "Robocop" reboot). That puts him in the crosshairs not only of his gangland former employer (Ed Harris), as well as a squadron of crooked cops (led by Vincent D'Onofrio). So that's the incredibly catchy synopsis: one night, Neeson and his estranged son against killers, thugs, and crooked cops. It's going to be awesome.
"Run All Night" marks the third »
- Drew Taylor
The dawn of Dusk! Abbie Cornish has actively been a rapper for years, but a 2007 video of the RoboCop actress spewing verses in Australia has been making the rounds since it was recently uploaded to YouTube. Cornish, 32, goes by the moniker of "Mc Dusk" and has even procured a Facebook page under that stage name. The star's Instagram account also actively promotes her rap career as she soon goes on tour with revered rapper Nas in Australia starting Jan. 20. In the clip, Ryan Phillippe’s ex-girlfriend [...] »
It’s no surprise that Michael Keaton is in demand now more than ever. He’s hot off the acclaimed and award-garnering Birdman or (the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), for which he’s a likely contender for the Oscar for Best Actor (he’s already nominated for a Golden Globe and a SAG Award). Hollywood typically comes calling when actors and actresses receive big honors, not necessarily because of the talent being recognized but because these people are being talked about. Buzz for Keaton is especially heavy because Birdman has been labeled a comeback of sorts. But it’s only really a comeback in terms of prestige, not presence. Last year alone he was also in the RoboCop remake and Need for Speed. Had the former been a big hit, that could have technically been his comeback. Even though so was The Other Guy five yeas ago. News that Keaton is now joining the cast of Kong: Skull Island »
- Christopher Campbell
Birdman was the best movie of 2014 and it was great seeing Michael Keaton crush such an energetic and lively role and it's most likely going to earn him his first Oscar. However, 2014 also saw Keaton in a pair of bigger budget duds, those being the semi-adequate RoboCop remake and the terrible Need for Speed. Whatever, gotta cash them checks and it appears he may be looking to cash another one as it's being reported he's eying a role in Legendary's Kong: Skull Island. Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) is directing and Tom Hiddleston is already on board to star with J.K. Simmons also joining the cast, which is to say this 2017 release could very well feature two recent Oscar winners. Very little is known about the plot other than to say it "will fully immerse audiences in the mysterious and dangerous home of the king of the apes as »
- Brad Brevet
It’s only a couple of days into 2015 and already fans have been treated to two major milestones on the TV calendar with the debuts of both Agent Carter and Lee Daniels’ Empire. To say those are the least of this year’s small screen goodies is an understatement: thanks to the successes of gigantic TV event shows over the past few years money has been flowing more steadily back to the supposedly lesser little brother of cinema, and the results are a packed roster of delights.
And the good news is it’s not all Ryan Seacrest and America’s Funniest Brain Injuries: even without the usually more eye-catching announcements of the Fall/Winter schedule, the strength of upcoming projects is simply phenomenal. Not only will superheroes make even more of an impact on the small screen and Netflix, but there will be massive returns for some »
- Simon Gallagher
This weekend, Taken 3 hits theaters, and we hope this is truly the end for the series as the trailers and TV spots have indicated. But just because this may be the final chapter for Bryan Mills doesn't mean that Liam Neeson won't see more action. In fact, he's got another action thriller on the way this spring called Run All Night. The film teams Neeson up with Robocop reboot star Joel Kinnaman as father and son, as Jimmy (Nesson) is haunted by his criminal past, and only finds solace from his drinking. And soon, the past inevitably catches up with Jimmy, and his son ends up in danger as well. We have the first photos from the generic sounding new thriller, and they just as easily look like they could be from Taken 4 instead. Look! Here's the first photos from Jaume Collet-Serra's Run All Night from USA Today: »
- Ethan Anderton
14 items from 2015
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