Sunday 30 August 2015

Agent 47 Review by Carleton Rutter

Directed by: Aleksander Bach

Starring: Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto and Ciaran Hands

So, in a nutshell?
Elite assassin Agent 47 teams up with Katia a girl who has been searching all her life for own identity and ancestry. Together they must unlock her secret whilst at the same time fighting off enemies who are hell bent on capturing her.

So, what are my thoughts?
Well, here we are at the end of another summer season and what have we got to show for it? Twentieth Century Fox rebooting a movie which its predecessor Hitman was only released 8 years ago. The movie was moved from a February release to an August release, so 20th Century Fox may well have considered they had a decent summer action flick on their hands, so have they? 

Well firstly, I'll say one thing for Hitman: Agent 47 it's certainly at home in a truly atrocious August for movies.

Hitman: Agent 47 is an bland movie that bears nothing but a passing resemblance to the game that inspired it. It is by definition a studio cash grab from its production company TSG Entertainment which was also the same studio that helped make Fantastic Four for Fox, maybe that's the real reason why this one was moved to help prop up an equally dire movie? 

Agent 47 is written by the same writer as the original Hitman movie. Skip Woods. What were they hoping to achieve using the same writer? If you're going to reboot a movie, the very least you should do is employ a new writer. But not in this case, and it gets even worse when you see that this guy is responsible for such stinkers as X Men Origins: Wolverine, 
The A-Team and A Good to Day Die Hard. Second time round he pulls nothing new out the hat with a convoluted far-fetched yawn fest of a story that is married to banile clunky dialogue.

At the start of the movie we are treated to a prologue which is as unnecessary as it is dense. Agent 47 is an allegory of the movie itself. Devoid of charisma, charm, humour and above all heart. It is a flat stale affair that has a direct-to-DVD feel about it, just like its predecessor. 

Rupert Friend as Agent 47 is the best thing about the movie, and that’s saying something considering he’s a robotic killing machine lacking any emotion who is hard to empathise with and get to know. All other characters including Star Trek's Zachary Quinto (Who was looking for a quick pay cheque to cash in whilst Scotty gives the Enterprise a once over before their next mission) are one dimensional characters.

The movie does feature some serviceable action scenes, but as the whole venture is without heart they come off as bland and generic. Agent 47 is also let down by dodgy CGI and some horrendous stunt double body work employed during the fight scenes for Zachary Quinto, which in a summer 2015 release is inexcusable.  It also utilizes the same close up shaky camera technique used in movies such as Taken 3 to shoot its fight scenes which try to be take a leaf out of the same book as John Wick but just don't work, add to the fact that Agent 47 moves in another time frame to everyone else gets more than tiresome.

My Rating - 1 /5 stars
Despite Rupert Friend’s best efforts as the deadly assassin, Hitman: Agent 47 shoots nothing but blanks. It’s a generic soulless action movie with a ridiculous plot that is lazily executed. Add to that awful dialogue and dodgy CGI, this is yet another example of why video games make awful movies. 

by Carleton Rutter

Emily Watson Top 10

Emily Watson Top 10

Emily Watson burst onto the scene with an Academy Award for Best Actress in her first major film role in Breaking The Waves. From there on, she has continued to shine in blockbuster leading roles alongside acting greats Daniel Day-Lewis, Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith and Geoffrey Rush. This year, Watson starred alongside Rupert Everett, Sarah Gadon, Bel Powley and Jack Reynor in A ROYAL NIGHT OUT, which arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand from 7th Sept 2015 and EST from 4th Sept 2015. Here we take a look at her most impressive film roles...

Inspired by true events, this heart-warming, wonderfully nostalgic romantic comedy tells the riotous tale of a beloved future monarch experiencing the energy and spirit of one of the most unique nights in history. On VE Day, 1945, people all over Europe are celebrating the end of the war. London overflows with celebration and after pleading their case to their parents, two young girls are allowed to leave their house and join the party. Nothing particularly unusual about that... except, in this case, home is Buckingham Palace, and the two young girls are Princess Margaret (Bel Powley) and the future Queen of England, Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon). Quickly giving their chaperones the slip, Elizabeth and Margaret are separated by the vast, lively crowds; and whilst Margaret is swept away by officers and taken into the heart of the party in Soho, Elizabeth finds herself enjoying a very different kind of evening; in the company of young, cantankerous, and rather handsome RAF airman Jack (Jack Reynor ), who happens to be AWOL, and is guaranteed to be arrested if he crosses the path of the Military Police... Emily Watson stars as The Queen Mother opposite Rupert Everett as King George VI, both of whom give magisterially stern, royal performances as disapproving parents.

Testament of Youth (2015)
The indomitable Vera Brittain became the first person to document war from a woman’s point of view and, in so doing, changed the way a generation regarded itself and its actions. Alicia Vikander stars in this drama as Brittain – irrepressible, intelligent and free-minded – who overcomes the prejudices of her family and hometown to win a scholarship to Oxford. With everything to live for, she falls in love with her brother’s close friend Roland Leighton (Kit Harington) as they go to University to pursue their literary dreams. But the First World War is looming and as the boys leave for the front Vera realises she cannot sit idly by as her peers fight for their country, so volunteers as a nurse. She works tirelessly, experiencing all the griefs of war, as one by one her fiancé, her brother and their closest friends are all killed and the pillars of her world shattered. However, an indefatigable spirit, Vera endures and returns to Oxford, irrevocably changed, yet determined to find a new purpose which spurs her towards a redemptive act of remembrance. Emily Watson supports brilliantly as Vera’s mother, who shares the same grief as her family as the world around her is torn apart by war. A sweeping, epic and yet inherently personal account of the true cost of war by a star-studded British cast.

Fireflies in the Garden (2008)
To an outsider, the Taylors are the very picture of the successful American family: Charles (Willem Dafoe) is a tenured professor on track to become university president, son Michael (Ryan Reynolds) is a prolific and well-known romance novelist, daughter Ryne (Shannon Lucio) is poised to enter a prestigious law school, and on the day we are introduced to them, matriarch Lisa (Julia Roberts) will graduate from college-decades after leaving to raise her children. But when Lisa is killed in a car-crash, the far more nuanced reality of this Midwestern family's history and relationships come to light. Flitting between Michael’s childhood, a period where he was cruelly picked on by his neglectful father, and the present, when he is on the verge of publishing a biographical novel which will reveal all about his father’s horrible treatment of his wife, Michael and Jane (Lisa’s much younger sister). Whilst Hayden Panettiere plays young-Jane, the guardian older-sister figure to Michael, Emily Watson delivers an emphatic turn as older-Jane, who struggles to keep peace between Michael and Charles in the same way her late sister had before. Inspired by Robert Frost’s moving poem of the same name.

War Horse (2011)
Adapted from Michael Morpurgo’s prizewinning novel of the same name and directed by none other than Steven Spielberg, War Horse is the story of a remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When Joey is sold by Albert’s father behind his back, Albert is heartbroken and must wait until he is old enough to enlist before he sets off to find Joey in the midst of the First World War. Set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War, War Horse follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets-British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter-before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man's Land. The First World War is experienced through the journey of this horse-an odyssey of joy and sorrow, passionate friendship and high adventure. Emily Watson plays Albert’s kind-hearted mother, who hated the idea of separating Joey and Albert but also understood the family’s need for money in hard times. Another heart-warming motherly performance.

Breaking the Waves (1996)
Emily Watson gave a critically acclaimed debut film performance as Bess McNeil in Lars von Trier's Breaking the Waves, for which she was earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress. Watson was virtually unknown until director Lars von Trier chose her to star in his controversial Breaking the Waves after Helena Bonham Carter dropped out due to the nudity involved in the role. Set in the Scottish Highlands in the early 1970s, it is about an unusual young woman, Bess McNeill, and of the love she has for Jan, her husband, who asks her to have sex with other men when he becomes immobilized from a work accident. Bess' emotional trauma over Jan's injury turns into obsession as she prays to God for his recovery. Jan requests Bess to have sex with other men as he believes this will allow her to return to a normal life. Bess, on the other hand, sees it as an expression of her devotion to Jan that even God won't be able to ignore. Bess's resultant downward spiral leads to a finale of both tragedy and spirituality. Breaking the Waves is widely regarded as one of the most distinctive European movies of the 1990s, marking von Trier's movement toward his influential Dogma 95 School of filmmaking, which emphasises realistic situations of contemporary life, filmed without background music and with a hand-held, restlessly moving camera.

Hilary and Jackie (1998)
Watson also received an Academy Award nomination for her role as Jacqueline du Pré in the 1998 film Hilary and Jackie, the touching and incredible true story of Jacqueline and Hilary du Pré, the gifted musical sisters who grew up in England in the 1950's. Written and produced as a tribute to Jackie, and based on the memoir A Genius in the Family by Piers and Hilary du Pré, the story traces her rapid rise to international fame and the devastating consequences it had on her and those she loved. Jackie and her husband, the pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, were treated as musical royalty as they travelled and performed around the world. However, the constant touring became a tremendous strain on Jackie who longed for the simpler life that her sister had built with husband Christopher Finzi, the son of composer Gerald Finzi. When Jackie arrives at her sister’s home for an unannounced visit, lonely and desperate, Hilary consents to Jackie having an affair with her (Hilary's) husband.

Appropriate Adult (2011)
Appropriate Adult is a 2011 British television film, first shown on ITV in two 90-minute parts, based on the true story of Gloucester serial killer Fred West (no relation to the actor playing him, Dominic West) and his wife Rosemary West. Appropriate Adult focuses on the events between the Wests' arrests in 1994 and Fred's suicide in Birmingham's Winson Green Prison on New Year's Day 1995, from the perspective of Janet Leach (Emily Watson), Fred West’s appropriate adult during his questioning. The senior investigator of Fred West’s case wanted to ensure that there could be no suggestion that West did not understand any part of the process, so arrangements were made so that he had an appropriate adult present at all times. Emily Watson won the BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for her role as the compromised Janet Leach, who draws vital information from West but must remain silent due to the confidentiality demanded of an appropriate adult.

The Boxer (1997)
The Boxer sees Daniel Day-Lewis play Danny Flynn, the 32-year-old boxer and former Provisional IRA volunteer, who returns to Belfast and tries to “go straight” following his release from prison. To get back into the boxing ring, Danny works hard to get the community-centre gym back in operation and starts training, encountering opposition from militant IRA members along the way. Watson stars as former-flame Maggie (Emily Watson), who has an unhappy marriage and now raises her son alone while her husband is in prison. Danny and Maggie grow closer, but Danny continues to be confronted with former IRA compatriots. The growing animosity leads to a bomb being set off, destroying Danny’s gym. Day-Lewis and Watson’s great chemistry in The Boxer sets a heart-warming love story adjacent to the militant friction that developed between splinter groups within the IRA in Belfast.

Gosford Park (2001)
A Julian Fellowes classic period drama- Gosford Park boasts an incredible British ensemble cast including Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi, Eileen Atkins, Alan Bates, Kristin Scott Thomas, Clive Owen, Emily Watson, Charles Dance, Tom Hollander and Laurence Fox. The British mystery film explores the lives of upstairs guests and downstairs servants at a party in 1932 in a country house in England as they investigate a murder involving one of them. Emily Watson plays Elsie, the head house maid, who jumps to the defence of Sir William, breaking the class barrier and eventually revealing her affair with Sir William to everyone at the table. Comic murder mystery at its best.

Oranges and Sunshine (2011)
Set in 1980s Nottingham, Oranges and Sunshine is the true story of social worker Margaret Humphreys, who unveiled the scandalous British government child migration schemes in which thousands of children were told their parents had died and were deported to Australia. As Margaret reunited families she drew worldwide attention to the cause. Miraculously, Margaret reunited hundreds the children involved – now adults living mostly in Australia – with their parents in Britain. These children were promised Oranges and Sunshine but they got hard labour and life in institutions.


A ROYAL NIGHT OUT arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand from 7th Sept 2015 and EST from 4th Sept 2015, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Friday 28 August 2015

Irrational Man - New Poster

Woody Allen's 50th feature film, IRRATIONAL MAN stars Jamie Blackley, Joaquin Phoenix, Parker Posey and Emma Stone and is released in UK cinemas on September 11.

Woody Allen’s IRRATIONAL MAN is about a tormented philosophy professor who finds a will to live when he commits an existential act. Philosophy professor Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) is at rock bottom emotionally, unable to find any meaning or joy in life. Abe feels that everything he’s tried to do, from political activism to teaching, hasn’t made any difference.

Soon after arriving to teach at a small town college, Abe gets involved with two women: Rita Richards (Parker Posey), a lonely professor who wants him to rescue her from her unhappy marriage; and Jill Pollard (Emma Stone), his best student, who becomes his closest friend. While Jill loves her boyfriend Roy (Jamie Blackley), she finds Abe’s tortured, artistic personality and exotic past irresistible. Even as Abe displays signs of mental imbalance, Jill’s fascination with him only grows. Still, when she tries to make their relationship a romantic one, he rebuffs her.

Pure chance changes everything when Abe and Jill overhear a stranger’s conversation and become drawn in.

Once Abe makes a profound choice, he is able to embrace life to the fullest again. But his decision sets off a chain of events that will affect him, Jill and Rita forever.

Watch the trailer for IRRATIONAL MAN

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Best of Rupert Everett

Best of Rupert Everett

Rupert James Hector Everett has become something of a national treasure in the last decade, with his wit, outspokenness and refusal to conform winning him legions of admirers. To celebrate the release of his latest (A Royal Night Out, out on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand from 7th Sept 2015 and EST from 4th Sept 2015, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment), we look back on some of his best films to date.

A Royal Night Out (2015)
Inspired by true events, this heart-warming, wonderfully nostalgic romantic comedy tells the riotous tale of a beloved future monarch experiencing the energy and spirit of VE Day, 1945. Across Europe, people are celebrating the end of the war and London overflows with celebration. After pleading their case to their parents, two young girls are allowed to leave their house and join the party. Nothing particularly unusual about that... except, in this case, home is Buckingham Palace, and the two young girls are Princess Margaret (Bel Powley) and the future Queen of England, Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon). Everett and Emily Watson take the roles of the King and Queen, who reluctantly allow their daughters out to celebrate.

The Importance of Being Earnest (2002)
One of Everett’s many roles in Oscar Wilde adaptations, this take on one of his funniest plays sees Everett star alongside Colin Firth and Dame Judi Dench, as well as an irrepressible Reese Witherspoon. Firth and Everett play two young gentlemen living in 1890's England, who both use the same pseudonym (Ernest) for their on-the-sly activities. Everything seems to be ticking along nicely, until they both fall for women using that name, leading to all manner of complications and mistaken identities...

St Trinians (2007)
Everett steals the show in this remake of the 60’s classic, which follows the exploits of the wayward students of St Trinian’s girl’s school, lead by their irrepressible headmistress Camilla Fritton (Everett). When the new Minister of Education (Colin Firth, hamming it up gloriously) announces he will personally revamp the school, he has no idea what’s in store. Meanwhile, the school is threatened with closure by their bank, and the girls (including Gemma Arterton and Tallulah Riley) realise it’s up to them to save the day.

An Ideal Husband (1999)
This adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic stars Everett alongside Jeremy Northam, Julianne Moore, Minnie Driver and Cate Blanchett. It tells the story of Sir Robert Chiltern (Northam) a successful and happily married Government minister. All this is threatened when Mrs Cheveley (Moore) appears in London with damning evidence of past misdemeanours. Sir Robert turns to his friend Lord Goring (Everett), a witty, idle philanderer who knows Mrs Cheveley, and takes it upon himself to solve the matter once and for all.

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
Everett revived his career in spectacular form in this classic romantic comedy which also stars Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz and Dermot Mulroney. He plays George, the effortlessly sophisticated editor and friend of Julianne (Roberts), who offers a great deal of sage advice (which falls on deaf ears) when she decides she is in love with her best friend Michael (Mulroney). As Julianne attempts to sabotage Michael’s upcoming wedding to Kimmy (Diaz), she finds herself stooping to outrageous tactics... but is she really in love with him, or just the idea of him?

Dunston Checks In (1996)
This classic crime caper stars Everett alongside Jason Alexander, Faye Dunaway, and a very cute orang-utan. Alexander plays Robert, a beleaguered concierge of the luxury hotel owned by Mrs. Dubrow (Dunaway). She informs Robert that an undercover reviewer is visiting, and if he impresses he might get a promotion and some time off to take his sons on vacation. But when the notorious jewel-thief ‘Lord’ Rutledge (Everett) checks in with his trained orangutan, Dunston all manner of chaos ensues.

The Madness of King George (1994)
Nicholas Hytner directed this screenplay by Alan Bennett, which tells the sometimes funny, but mostly tragic tale of King George III, his descent into insanity, and the political and royal back stabbing which resulted from his incapacitation. The film offers a fascinating insight into medical practices in the late 18th century, as well as an insight into the life of royalty; Everett plays the Prince of Wales, alongside Nigel Hawthorne as the king, and Dame Helen Mirren as Queen Charlotte.

Shrek 2 (2004)
This sequel to the smash hit animation introduced Everett as the not-so charming Prince Charming, alongside the original voice cast including Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz. Jennifer Saunders also voices the brilliantly villainous Fairy Godmother. The sequel focuses on the exploits of Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey when they set off to Far, Far Away to meet Fiona's mother and father. Prince Charming returns from a failed attempt at rescuing Fiona, and works alongside his mother, the Fairy Godmother, to try and find a way to break up the happy couple.

A ROYAL NIGHT OUT arrives on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand from 7th Sept 2015 and EST from 4th Sept 2015, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Tuesday 25 August 2015

Tale of Tales - Official Trailer (2015) Salma Hayek Movie [HD]

The film serves as Garrone's English-language debut and will interweave three separate story strands bookended by brief bits in which Italians Alba Rohrwacher and Massimo Ceccherini will play a street circus family. In one tale Salma Hayek will play a jealous queen who forfeits her husband's life. In another, Vincent Cassel plays a king whose passion is stoked by two mysterious sisters.

Release Date: TBC
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Director: Matteo Garrone
Writers: Giambattista Basile (book), Edoardo Albinati (screenplay)
Stars: Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones

Monday 24 August 2015

Competition: Win Rise Of The Krays on DVD

Rise Of The Krays is released on DVD on August 31st, and to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies to win on DVD

The early years of the most notorious criminals Britain has ever produced are portrayed in visceral brutality in THE RISE OF THE KRAYS. London, 1961: Ronnie and Reggie Kray begin a reign of terror that would endure and define London s East End for years to come.

From protection rackets to members clubs, from brutal street brawls, arson via blackmail extending all the way up to the Cabinet Office, the Krays rained red on anyone who crossed them.

Win This:
Rise Of The Krays [DVD]
To enter all you have to do is answer this easy question...

Who is the director of Rise Of The Krays?

To enter Email us on with your answer, along with your name and address.

When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.

Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Competition: Win Odysseus - Voyage to the Underworld on DVD

Odysseus - Voyage to the Underworld is released on DVD on August 31st, and to celebrate we have a great competition for you and 3 copies to win on DVD

Troy has been defeated and Odysseus has begun his 10 year journey to return home to Ithaca. Accompanying Odysseus and his small team is the poet Homer, who is acting as the scribe and recording Odysseus' adventures as they travel along. The story about to unfold is so horrifying that Homer decided to leave it out of his Odyssey.

During their travels, they become lost in a deep fog and encounter horrific winged creatures that kill several men and drink their blood. In disarray, the crew lands at the Isle of the Mists, a terrible place where death is in the very air.

Eventually, they become imprisoned by Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, who was banished to the Isle of the Mists and sealed there by the Hellfire. Now the men must find a way of killing her and escape the island before she is freed to enslave humanity.

Win This:
Odysseus - Voyage to the Underworld [DVD] 
To enter all you have to do is answer this easy question...

Who is the director of Odysseus - Voyage to the Underworld?

To enter Email us on with your answer, along with your name and address.

When the competition ends as indicated on this page, any and all entries received after this point will not count and emails blacklisted due to not checking this page first.

Winners will be chosen randomly and will be informed via email.

Big Sky - Official Trailer (2015) Bella Thorne, Frank Grillo [HD]

Mother and daughter, Dee and Hazel (Sedgwick and Thorne) go on a roadtrip to a desert facility to help Hazel deal with her agoraphobia. When gunmen and brothers Jesse and Pru (Grillo and Tveit) attack the pair, Hazel has to battle her fears so she and her mother can survive.

Release Date: August 14, 2015
Genre: Drama
Director: Jorge Michel Grau
Writer: Evan M. Wiener
Stars: Bella Thorne, Kyra Sedgwick, Frank Grillo

Friday 21 August 2015

Kate Winslet’s Period Dramas

Kate Winslet’s Period Dramas

Bursting onto screens with her strikingly English rose features and vivacious demeanour, Kate Winslet has carved out an impressive and eclectic resume over the years. Whilst she has tried her hand at several genres (always successfully), she has, in particular, made a name for herself in acclaimed, brilliant period dramas. To celebrate the release of her latest, A Little Chaos (available on digital platforms from 10th August, 2015, and on Blu-ray and DVD from 24th August, 2015, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment) we take a look back at some of her other best portrayals of characters from yesteryear...

A Little Chaos (2014)
This wonderfully romantic period drama focuses on brilliantly talented landscape gardener Madame Sabine De Barra (Winslet) who finds herself an unlikely candidate for landscape architect of the still‐to-be-completed Palace of Versailles. Thrown into the bewildering world of the court of King Louis XIV (Alan Rickman), she finds she has little time for the classical, ordered designs of her employer, the famous architect Le Nôtre (Matthias Schoenaerts). However, as she works on her creation, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to him, while attempting to negotiate the perilous rivalries and intricate etiquette of the court.

Mildred Pierce (2011)
Set in 1930’s California, this acclaimed HBO series stars Winslet as Mildred Pierce, a young mother with a talent for baking, hunting for work to support herself and her two young daughters after throwing out her husband Bert (Brían F. O'Byrne). Visiting an employment agency only to encounter job opportunities she feels are beneath her, she resolves to open a restaurant business- straining an already tense relationship with her eldest daughter Veda (Evan Rachel Wood).

Revolutionary Road (2008)
This atmospheric and unsettling adaptation of Richard Yates’ acclaimed novel reunites Winslet with Leonardo Dicaprio, as they take the roles of Frank and April Wheeler, who in 1955 find themselves in the seventh year of their marriage, and in a life that appears seemingly perfect but is in fact deeply unfulfilling. When April suggests that they move to Paris - a city where Frank visited during the war and loved, but where April has never been - as a means to rejuvenate their life, an initially doubtful Frank ultimately agrees to the plan. However, when circumstances change around the Wheelers, April resolves to do whatever she has to in order to escape her humdrum existence- with tragic consequences.

Finding Neverland (2004)
Winslet co-stars alongside Johnny Depp in this charming biographical drama set in London in 1903. J.M. Barrie (Depp) is left reeling after his latest play flops, and by chance meets four boys and their widowed mother Sylvia (Winslet) in the park. Over the next few months, the childlike Barrie visits the boys daily, and with help from their endlessly imaginative games, begins to develop the idea for his next play. Meanwhile, his friendship grows with Sylvia, much to the fury of his wife Mary (Radha Mitchell), and to the judgment of the wider high society they inhabit, which gossips incessantly about his attraction to Sylvia and her sons. As Sylvia's health begins to deteriorate, Barrie's bond to the family strengthens, and he resolves to finish his play about the place called Neverland.

The Reader (2008)
Winslet won a Best Actress Oscar for her role in this deeply affecting drama, which begins in post-war Germany. Teenager Michael Berg (David Kross) is taken ill and helped home by Hanna (Winslet), a stranger twice his age. Recovering from scarlet fever, he seeks out Hanna to thank her, and they begin a passionate affair. Michael discovers that Hanna loves being read to and their physical relationship deepens as Michael reads to her from various classics. Despite their intense bond, she suddenly vanishes one day and Michael is left heartbroken. Eight years later, while Michael (now played by Ralph Fiennes) is a law student watching the Nazi war crime trials, he is stunned to see Hanna again - this time in the dock. As Hanna's past is slowly revealed, Michael uncovers a deep secret that will impact both of their lives forever.

Enigma (2001)
This drama centres on the British code-breaking efforts during World War II. Cryptoanalysts at Bletchley Park have discovered that Nazi U-boats have changed their Enigma code. Authorities enlist the help of the brilliant young Tom Jericho (Dougray Scott) to help them break the code again, with the help of an equally brilliant team. The possibility of a spy within the British code-breakers' ranks hangs over them and Tom's lover Claire (Saffron Burrows) has mysteriously disappeared. To crack the code and try and discover the spy, Tom recruits Claire's best friend, Hester Wallace (Winslet), and in delving into Claire's personal life, they unearth betrayals which go farther than either of them could imagine.

Quills (2000)
This Oscar-nominated biography of infamous writer the Marquis de Sade (Geoffrey Rush) focuses on his times spent imprisoned for unmentionable activities at Charenton Insane Asylum. He manages to befriend the young Abbé de Coulmier (Joaquin Phoenix), who runs the asylum, along with beautiful laundress named Madeline (Winslet). Secretly continuing to write his provocative books, Madeline assists by smuggling the manuscripts out of the asylum to be published. However, when they are discovered, the ramifications are severe, and stretch far beyond the walls of the asylum...

Titanic (1997)
Catapulting her to the A-list, this James Cameron directed epic romantic drama focuses on the ill-fated love affair between young aristocrat Rose DeWitt Bukater (Winslet) and penniless artist Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), as they both embark on RMS Titanic’s maiden voyage. The film won an astounding eleven Oscars, including Best Picture, and Winslet was nominated for Best Actress, making her the youngest actress to ever receive two Academy Award nominations.

Sense & Sensibility (1995)
Winslet is perfectly cast as the flighty, fanciful Marianne Dashwood who couldn’t be more different to her older sister Elinor (Emma Thompson), but ultimately comes good. Ang Lee directed this adaptation of the Jane Austen classic, and Emma Thompson won a thoroughly deserved Oscar for her adapted screenplay. Hugh Grant, Greg Wise and Alan Rickman play the various suitors which the Dashwood sisters must navigate.

Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Based on the true story of Pauline Parker (Melanie Lynskey) and Juliet Hulme (Winslet), this crime drama charts the meeting of the two young girls in school during the 1950s, and their instant friendship. Spending every minute possible together, and concocting a fantasy world and religion of their own invention, the girls grew more and more estranged from their respective families, and as the two families became increasingly concerned about the intensity of the friendship, the girls conspired to kill Pauline’s mother, to ensure they wouldn’t be separated.

A LITTLE CHAOS is available on digital platforms from 10th August, 2015, and on Blu-ray and DVD from 24th August, 2015, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

Beasts On Film

Beasts On Film

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 (on digital platforms from August 3rd and DVD from August 17th, 2015, courtesy of Signature Entertainment) 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...

Jaws (1975)
Spielberg’s classic stars Rob Schneider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss, and takes place over the course of one hot summer on Amity Island, a small community whose main business is beaches. When new Sheriff Martin Brody (Schneider) discovers the remains of a shark attack victim, his first inclination is to close the beaches to swimmers. As the victims mount, Amity is swamped with amateur hunters hoping to cash in on the bounty offered. A local fisherman with experience hunting sharks, Quint (Shaw), offers to hunt down the creature for a hefty fee. Soon Quint, Brody and Matt Hooper (Dreyfuss) from the Oceanographic Institute are at sea hunting the Great White shark. But they might need a bigger boat...

The Mist (2007)
In 2007, having previously adapted Stephen King’s novellas The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, director Frank Darabont returned with yet another adaptation of King’s work, The Mist. An ensemble cast of Thomas JaneMarcia Gay Harden and Laurie Holden feature in this spooky, claustrophobic horror. After a freak storm in the small town of Bridgton, Maine, a band of citizens become trapped in a supermarket, enveloped by a most unnatural mist. The trapped citizens are driven into action as it becomes evident that something vicious, savage and otherworldly lurks within the mist, unseen. The Mist explores what ordinary people will be driven to do under extraordinary circumstances.

Dune (1984)
This American science fiction film, written and directed by David Lynch, was based on the 1965 Frank Herbertnovel of the same name and stars Kyle MacLachlanVirginia Madsen and Francesca Annis. Set in the year 10,191 in the midst of an intergalactic war, a duke's son, Paul Atreides, leads an army of desert warriors against the galactic Padishah Emperor Shaddam Corrino IV to defend planet Arrakis (also known as Dune). Successfully defending the barren, desert planet seems all but hopeless, unless Paul can harness control of the monsters that linger beneath the sands of planet Dune...

Beowulf (2007)
In 2007 the Old English epic poem Beowulf exploded onto the screen in revolutionary computer-animation. The fantasy film was created through a brand new motion capture process, and starred a blockbuster cast including Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Robin Wright Penn, Brendan Gleeson, John Malkovich, Crispin Glover and Angelina Jolie. Set against the coming of Christianity, the fearsome and boastful warrior Beowulf must fight and defeat the monster Grendel who is terrorizing towns and villages. Beowulf’s heroism cannot be celebrated for too long however, as a monster much more powerful still exists, and she has a vengeful desire for human blood... Grendel's mother...

Clash of the Titans (2010)
Directed by Louis Leterrier, Clash of the Titans sees Sam Worthington star in his second major lead role, following the vast critical acclaim for his character Jake Sully in Avatar. This action-packed fantasy thriller is based on the Greek myth of Perseus and his battle with Hades. Once Perseus is prophesied as the only ‘human’ who can defeat the Olympian Gods, he faces all manner of fearsome beasts and monsters in his attempt to send Hades back to the Underworld. To fulfil this prophesy he must slay giant scorpions, the gorgon Medusa, and most terrifying of all, the Kraken.

Dog Soldiers (2002)
British director Neil Marshall's directorial debut was a surprise hit on release, expertly combining comedy and horror on a shoestring budget. Sergeant Harry Wells (Sean Pertwee) leads a team of soldiers on an expedition to the Scottish Highlands, which takes a sinister turn when they discover the severely injured Captain Ryan (Liam Cunningham) and the bloody remains of his team. On the run from giant werewolf beasts, they seek refuge in the cottage of zoologist Megan (Emma Cleasby), who offers some explanation... but the danger is far from over, as they begin a desperate attempt to keep the monsters out...

I Am Legend (2007)
This adaptation of Richard Matheson's influential novelette of the same name, features a standout performance from Will Smith as Robert Neville, a brilliant scientist desperately trying to survive while fighting off the infected survivors of a devastating vampiric plague. Neville was inexplicably immune to the highly contagious infection and now the entire world has been transformed into murderous bloodsuckers that fear the light and live solely to spread the infection...

The Cabin In The Woods (2012)
Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard wrote and directed this well-received satirical horror, turning a clichéd premise on its head and subverting the genre. When five college friends (Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, and Jesse Williams) stay in a remote cabin in the woods, they find they are completely isolated with no means of communicating with the outside world. Finding a collection of relics, they inadvertently awaken a family of deadly zombies. But just who is calling the shots... and why?

The Village (2004)
M. Night Shyamalan wrote and directed this thriller, which features his trademark twist ending. The rustic village of Covington is home to 60 citizens leading a quiet, seemingly idyllic life- with one bizarre caveat. Terrible creatures lurk just outside the borders of the village, and the people of Covington have reached an agreement with them, permitting them to go about their business as long as they never cross the village's boundaries. However, this delicate agreement is upset when the wilful Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix), decides to investigate what really lies past the boundaries, and unwittingly incurs the wrath of the creatures upon the village...

INTO THE GRIZZLY MAZE arrives on digital platforms from August 3rd and DVD from August 17th, 2015, courtesy of Signature Entertainment.

Vacation Movie Review by Carleton Rutter

Vacation - Meet The Griswolds
Vacation - in cinemas August 21
The Griswolds are at it again.  “Vacation,” starring Ed Helms (“The Hangover” films) and Christina Applegate (the “Anchorman” films), takes the family on the road for another ill-fated adventure.  The film marks Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley’s directorial debut.

Following in his father’s footsteps and hoping for some much-needed family bonding, a grown-up Rusty Griswold (Helms) surprises his wife, Debbie (Applegate), and their two sons with a cross-country trip back to America’s “favorite family fun park,” Walley World.


Carleton reviews Vacation starring Ed Helms, and as you'll see watching the movie was no holiday!


Wednesday 19 August 2015

Stanley Tucci Top 10

Stanley Tucci Top 10

The lovable talent that is Stanley Tucci has transcended three decades with turns as a fab-dad, TV presenter, airport security chief of JFK and now a Seventeenth Century Duke, as A LITTLE CHAOS comes to digital platforms from 10th August, 2015, and on Blu-ray and DVD from 24th August, 2015, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Tucci has played in some fantastic films in his 27 year career and has played a variety of roles, some serious, some comic-relief and others are just indescribable. See below for our top ten.

A Little Chaos is a story about a brilliantly talented landscape gardener (Kate Winslet –Revolutionary Road) who finds herself an unlikely candidate to build the still‐to-be-completed gardens of the Palace of Versailles. British acting royalty Alan Rickman directs Academy Award® winner Kate Winslet in the wonderfully romantic period drama set in some of the most stunning gardens in Europe. In the floral-themed romance, Stanley Tucci stars as Philippe, Duc d'Orleans, the real-life brother to the infamous French king Louis XIV. Tucci’s character is filled with wit, bold exclamations and elaborate outfits, including a very large hat. This film is a wonderfully sumptuous drama that includes an all-star supporting cast, which includes Alan Rickman himself, Helen McCrory, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jennifer Ehle and Rupert Penry-Jones.

This film has a subtle charm and is a stomach-grumbling tale of great food and passions, starring Stanley Tucci and Campbell Scott. Brothers Primo and Secondo come to America in the hope of running a successful, authentic Italian restaurant in 1950’s New Jersey. By the end of the movie, the audience have been through an emotional wringer, in a film of great wisdom and delight. A real triumph for everyone involved, especially Stanley Tucci who brings hilarity to the table when a woman orders spaghetti and the following conversation ensues:
"Who's the spaghetti for?"
"For the lady who ordered the risotto"
"Because she likes starch, I dunno! Come on!"

If you don’t know what The Hunger Games is than you must have been living under a rock for the past 5 years. For those under-the-rock dwellers, The Hunger Games is the story of a girl named Katniss who voluntarily joins a televised fight to the death between teens from each of the twelve districts of dystopia, Panem. Stanley Tucci shines as Ceasar Flickerman, the exuberant TV personality that interviews the competitors. Tucci portrays this colourful personality with equally colourful hair, making his few scenes quite memorable.

Andy (Anne Hathaway) is a recent college graduate who gets a job at a prestigious Runway Magazine and becomes the assistant to diabolical editor Miranda Priestly, played by Meryl Street. Tucci shines in this film as the hilarious and very sarcastic fashion assistant to Priestly. His scenes are filled with mirth and are unforgettable. His character is one of the most frequently quoted of this cult film, e.g.: “alright everyone, gird your loins!” Tucci gives diversity to his character, portraying both hilarious wit and heartbreaking emotion.

Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is re-imagined as a contemporary high school comedy in this tale of a scheming student who plots to give her popularity a boost by painting herself the easiest lay in school. Stanley Tucci plays the fun-loving, adorable, hilarious, fabulous step father to Emma Stone’s Olive Penderghast, whose short scenes sporadically placed throughout the movie are some of the most quoted and memorable. If you need a good laugh, go to YouTube and type in “Who Told You?!”

Winchell is the biographical drama from HBO that recounts the rise and fall of Walter Winchell, a gossip columnist and reporter who changed the face of news reporting. This film is a lively and vivid tale of an interesting man played by an even more interesting man. Tucci endured extensive makeup, aging him from his twenties to his early sixties and wore several different wigs throughout production. His charm and acting ability won him a Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy. Tucci stars alongside Paul Giamatti, Glenne Headly and Christopher Plummer.

Tom Hanks plays Viktor Navorski, a visitor to New York from Eastern Europe. His homeland erupts in a fiery coup, while he is in the air en route to America. Stranded at Kennedy Airport with a passport from nowhere, he is unauthorized to actually enter the United States and must improvise his days and nights in the terminal's international transit lounge, until the war at home is over. Stanley Tucci plays Frank Dixon, airport security chief and US customs official who wants to raise the stakes of airport safety. His portrayal of a mean spirited, power hungry antagonist is both amusing and infuriating. Tucci truly holds his own opposite Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Road to Perdition is an epic film about the bonds of loyalty that are put the test when a hit-man’s son witnesses what his father actually does for a living. Stanley Tucci plays Frank Nitti, a crony for Al Capone’s outfit and mob boss from Chicago. This was a completely different role for Tucci who had previously avoided such roles, not wanting to be type-casted in to the typical Italian gangster role. Though after reading the script, Tucci joined and perfectly portrayed the Italian gangster he wanted to avoid. Tucci stars alongside some greats, including Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jude Law, Daniel Craig and Tyler Hoechlin.

Michael Hoffman brought the famous Shakespearian play to life on the silver screen in 1999. This version of the comedic play finds the world of humans interacting with the realm of magic and fairies. Tucci plays the malicious yet comical sprite Puck who causes mayhem and mischief throughout the film by administering a secret love potion – causing the lovers to mix-and-match with outrageous results.

This is one of Tucci’s most serious roles, playing a psychopathic, paedophiliac serial killer. He plays George Harvey, a quiet man, living a seemingly normal life among his neighbours, who eventually rapes and brutally murders Susie Salmon, played by Saoirse Ronan. This film is a truly twisted, heartfelt thriller about the psychological fallout of a family after their daughter is murdered and her experience watching it all happen from heaven.

A LITTLE CHAOS, available on digital platforms from 10th August, 2015, and on Blu-ray and DVD from 24th August, 2015, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Victor Frankenstein - First Trailer, New Poster and New Image

James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe star in a dynamic and thrilling twist on a legendary tale.  Radical scientist Victor Frankenstein (James McAvoy) and his equally brilliant protégé Igor Strausman (Daniel Radcliffe) share a noble vision of aiding humanity through their groundbreaking research into immortality. But Victor’s experiments go too far, and his obsession has horrifying consequences.  Only Igor can bring his friend back from the brink of madness and save him from his monstrous creation.

Victor Frankenstein will be released in cinemas in the UK on December 4th.



Tuesday 18 August 2015

Alan Rickman Top Ten

Alan Rickman Top Ten

Alan Rickman has established himself over the years as one of Britain’s best thespians, and has become something of a national treasure as he’s demonstrated his fantastic range over and over again. He’s also turned his hand to directing- with his latest stint behind the camera also reuniting him with former co-star Kate Winslet. To celebrate the release of A Little Chaos, available on digital platforms from 10th August, 2015, and on Blu-ray and DVD from 24th August, 2015, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment, we take a look back at some of his other most memorable roles.

A Little Chaos (2015)
Rickman is reunited with Kate Winslet, as well as taking on directing duties, in this wonderfully romantic period drama set in 17th Century France. When brilliantly talented landscape gardener Madame Sabine De Barra (Winslet) finds herself an unlikely candidate for landscape architect of the still‐to-be-completed Palace of Versailles, she is thrown into the bewildering world of the court of King Louis XIV (Rickman). She has little time for the classical, ordered designs of her employer, the famous architect Le Nôtre (Matthias Schoenaerts), but as she works on her creation, she finds herself irresistibly drawn to him, while attempting to negotiate the perilous rivalries and intricate etiquette of the court.

The Harry Potter series (2001 – 2011)
Taking on the role of one of the most well-known and debated characters in modern children’s literature is no easy task, but Rickman managed it in spectacular fashion as Professor Snape in the adaptations of JK Rowling’s record-breaking novels. Much of the tension throughout the eight films comes from the ongoing question of exactly where Snape’s loyalties really lie, and Rickman delivers a pitch-perfect performance as the sneering, bitter, but ultimately tragic double agent.

Love Actually (2003)
Richard Curtis’ sugary-sweet ode to London, love and Christmas weaves together several strands into one quintessentially British, and yes, quite saccharine portmanteau with a mind-bogglingly star-studded cast. Rickman stars opposite Emma Thompson as Harry and Karen, a happily married couple who find their relationship tested when he’s tempted to stray following the attentions of his colleague Mia (played with pantomime levels of femme fatale-villainy by Heike Makatsch).

Die Hard (1988)
John McTiernan directed this high octane thriller about John McClane (Bruce Willis), officer of the NYPD, who is on a mission to save his wife and several others when they are taken hostage by German terrorists. Rickman plays German madman Hans Gruber, and obviously relished every second of it. His take on the action-hero evil mastermind is endlessly quotable and almost charming enough for the audience to end up rooting for him.

Truly Madly Deeply (1990)
Like the film Ghost, but British and arguably better. Juliet Stevenson plays a British woman who tries to overcome the death of her musician lover, played by Rickman. Stevenson begins an affair with Rickman’s ghost, even playing host to some of his dead friends. It is sharply scripted and beautifully acted by all, but particularly Rickman, who brings charm to a literally dead role. Plus, who doesn’t want to hear Professor Snape sing a ballad?

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
This take on the classic tale may not have done particularly well at the box office, but since its release has become a cult favourite, and with good reason-it’s an outstandingly entertaining adaptation of the much-loved legend. Rickman steals every scene he’s in as the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham, more than holding own opposite Kevin Costner, Morgan Freeman and Christian Slater.

Sense and Sensibility (1995)
Ang Lee directed this adaptation of the Jane Austen classic, and Emma Thompson won a thoroughly deserved Oscar for her adapted screenplay. She also turns in a pitch-perfect performance as the put-upon Elinor Dashwood, ably supported by Kate Winslet as flighty younger sister Marianne, while Rickman, Hugh Grant and Greg Wise play the various suitors which the Dashwood sisters must navigate. Rickman particularly stands out as the tortured, brooding Colonel Brandon, who finds a new lease of life when introduced to the bright, breezy Marianne.

Rasputin (1996)
This HBO biopic about the infamous “sorcerer” Rasputin from the court of Tsar Nicholas of Russia features a memorable performance from Rickman in the titular role. He’s joined by an incredible ensemble cast, including Ian McKellen and Greta Scacchi, which makes for a thoroughly entertaining film, in which Rickman’s melodramatic, outstanding portrayal leaves audiences pondering, ‘was this more than a man’?

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
Rickman demonstrates his incredible range in Tim Burton’s slightly barmy but brilliant musical. Although singing isn’t one of his strengths, his performance as Judge Turpin is fantastic. Taking on the role of the man who ruins Sweeney Todd’s life, Rickman manages to deepen the role, making his character one of the most memorable- no small task in a cast that includes Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Lee Daniel’s The Butler (2013)
This historical drama tells the story of a White House butler, played by Forest Whitaker, who served eight American presidents over three decades. Rickman stars as former US president Ronald Reagan alongside an amazing cast which includes the late, great Robin Williams, John Cusack, James Marsden and Liev Schreiber. Though many debated the portrayal of Reagan, particularly his views on race, no one could argue that Rickman’s performance was amazing to watch.

A Little Chaos is available on digital platforms from 10th August, 2015, and on Blu-ray and DVD from 24th August, 2015, courtesy of Lionsgate Home Entertainment