Monthly Archives October 2013

Thor: The Dark World

Thor - The Dark World - Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, quad posterDirector: Alan Taylor

Writer: Christopher L. Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Christopher Eccleston, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba

Cert: 12A

Running Time: 112 mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: By Odin’s beard! Chris Hemsworth’s Norse God Pwoar – sorry, Thor, returns to bring the hammer down on an ancient elfish race threatening to plunge the universe into darkness. Natalie Portman is back as the love interest, Anthony Hopkins brings his Shakespearean bark as Thor’s dad, and series favourite Tom Hiddleston returns as irresistible bad guy Loki, joined by new villain Christopher Eccleston...

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Ender’s Game

Ender's Game Q&A - posterDirector: Gavin Hood

Writer: Gavin Hood

Cast: Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Abigail Breslin, Jimmy Pinchak, Viola Davis

Cert: 12

Running time: 114mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: After almost three decades in development Hell, Orson Scott Card’s classic of young adult sci-fi finally arrives. And the reaction is a surprised phew, rather than disappointment at yet another unsatisfying blockbuster. Rising star Asa Butterfield makes a confident bid for early leading man status as troubled child genius Ender, recruited into a brutal space Academy to train for war against an alien race. Harrison Ford makes a welcome return to sci-fi as his gruff, Machiavellian commander...

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Ender’s Game Q&A Panel Discussion

Ender's Game Q&A - Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, Asa Butterfield, Ben KingsleyWith Ender’s Game a movie almost 30 years after the novel’s publication, here is the Q&A hosted on 7th October 2013.

In attendance were stars Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley, plus writer/director Gavin Hood and ...

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Barry Pepper Talks Snitch

SNITCHDwayne Johnson sheds his larger-than-life image for the action thriller Snitch.

Johnson plays John Matthews, who offers to go undercover for the Drugs Enforcement Agency when his teenage son is busted on a minor drug offence and is suddenly looking at decades behind bars.

We caught up with Johnson’s co-star in the movie, Barry Pepper, who plays DEA agent Cooper.

Star of such five star movies as Saving Private Ryan and The 25th Hour, Pepper is electrifying here as a Hell’s Angel looking law enforcer who becomes the government’s conscience as the nightmare of Matthews’ situation becomes dangerously real.

Pepper told us about what it was like laying down the law to The Artist Formally Known As The Rock, holding his own against Hollywood legend Susan Sarandon (playing a ruthless Distri...

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Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips - poster, Tom HanksDirector: Paul Greengrass

Cast: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Addirahman, Faysal Ahmed, Mahat M Ali, Michael Cherums, Catherine Keener

Cert: 12A

Running Time: 134 mins

Year: 2013

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The lowdown: Batten down the hatches for this nail-biting biopic, boasting an Oscar-baiting return to form from everyone’s favourite everyman Tom Hanks. Recreating the five days in April 2009 when Somali pirates boarded US container ship Maesk Alabama and took its Captain Richard Phillips hostage. United 93 director Paul Greengrass once again crafts a taut thriller around a real-life crisis without sacrificing authenticity or humanity.

Captain Phillips - Tom Hanks, Somalian pirates, gunpoint930353 - Captain Phillips

The verdict: Anyone expecting an Uncle Sam vs. The Savages set-up will be disappointed. Tub-thumping political agendas are resisted...

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Prince Avalanche

Prince Avalanche - Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch, quad posterDirector: David Gordon Green

Cast: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch

Cert: 15

Running time: 94mins

Year: 2013

 

The lowdown: Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch renew their ultra-indie credentials with David Gordon Green’s sweet, rambling charmer. Based on the 2011 Icelandic film Either Way, Rudd and Hirsch play two listless guys repainting roadside yellow lines following a California forest fire. Not one for those wanting fast-paced excitement, but breezily pleasant with enough depth to make it worthwhile.

Prince Avalanche - Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch, drivingPrince Avalanche - Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch, fighting

The full verdict: Best known as the director of Pineapple Express, The Sitter and (urgh) Your Highness, David Gordon Green returns to the indie roots of his earlier films George Washington and All the Real Girls for Prince Avalanche.

Rudd (bizarrely resembling Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Bloo...

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Gravity

Gravity - quad posterDirector: Alfonso Cuaron

Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney

Cert: 12

Running time: 91mins

Year: 2013

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The lowdown: Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are lost in space as the audience loses itself in ninety-minutes of cinematic perfection in Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity. Action movie and disaster epic, with a dollop of existential soul-searching against a backdrop of deep space, this raises the bar of big screen spectacle as Star Wars, Jurassic Park and The Matrix did before it. Succumb to its irresistible pull.

Gravity - George ClooneyGRAVITY

The full verdict: Seven long years have passed since Alfonso Cuaron amazed us with Children of Men. Gravity is a first class return, and like its predecessor splices high intelligence scriptwriting with high adrenalin filmmaking.

Birth, death, rebirth, the soul, the cold depths o...

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Carnival Freakshow Chaos: Gareth Evans On V/H/S/2

VHS2 - Gareth Evans intro at FrightFest 2013For a man who single-handedly re-energised the action genre, Gareth Evans is charmingly self-effacing.

You’d never guess the gregarious, affable 6ft+ Welshman could orchestrate the majestically choreographed mayhem of The Raid, but that’s exactly what he did last year. And reset the action movie bar in the process.

Even more surprising is that Evans (along with co-director Timo Tjahjanto) concocted the best, most terrifying segment of anthology horror V/H/S/2, the sequel to 2012’s cult smash.

Evans and Tjahjanto’s instalment, Safe Haven, concerns a documentary crew filming a suspicious religious cult led by the mysterious, unnerving Father (Epy Kusnanda). And it happens to be on the day of reckoning, all caught on camera.

We caught up with Evans to discuss his contribution to V/H/S...

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Sunshine on Leith

Sunshine on Leith - quad posterDirector: Dexter Fletcher

Cast: Jane Horrocks, Peter Mullan, George Mackay, Kevin Guthrie, Antonia Thomas, Freya Mavor

Cert: PG

Running Time: 100 mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Sweet-spirited, upbeat adaptation of The Proclaimer’s sell-out musical. Unfairly dubbed ‘MacMamma Mia’, Dexter Fletcher’s directorial follow-up to Wild Bill effectively utilises its source material. Friends Davy (MacKay) and Ally (Guthrie) return home from a disastrous call of duty in Afghanistan for the 25th wedding anniversary of Davy’s parents Rab (Mullan) and Jean (Horrocks) where past secrets and present doubts threaten to derail the celebrations. Silence your cynical side and journey north for a beery, teary, toe-tapping tale of home, heart and Hibernian FC.

Sunshine on Leith - MacKay, soldierSunshine on Leith - MacKay, Guthrie, Thomas, Mavor

The full verdict: If your knowledge of t...

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Emperor

Emperor - Tommy Lee Jones, Matthew Fox, posterDirector: Peter Webber

Cast: Matthew Fox, Tommy Lee Jones, Eriko Hatsune

Cert: 12

Running time: 105mins

Year: 2013

The lowdown: Impressively mounted, old fashioned feeling take on the post-WW2 investigation into Japanese emperor Hirohito’s part in Japan’s war crimes. Lost’s Matthew Fox is the American General charged with uncovering the truth at the behest of boss General McArthur, played by a show-stealing Tommy Lee Jones. By no means the definitive account of America’s post war occupation, but as a polished “who decided it?”, this is a passable entry point into a fascinating period of Japanese/American history.

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The full verdict: The investigation into Hirohito’s war crimes complicity is a detective story worthy of Dashiell Hammett.

Secluded in his heavily guarded palace,...

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