Tag Archives: may

Review: The Hangover Part III (2013)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE FOR THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON MAY 23RD, 2013***

Director: Todd Phillips.

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis, Ken Jeong, Justin Bartha, John Goodman, Melissa McCarthy, Heather Graham, Mike Epps, Sondra Currie, Jeffrey Tambor.

Running Time: 100 minutes.

Certificate: 15.

SynopsisWith Alan (Zach Galifianakis) off his meds, the Wolfpack form an intervention. On the way to rehab, the consequences of the first two films catch up with them as they find themselves the missing link to get the intimidating Marshall (John Goodman) to his goal – a certain Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong).

Todd Phillips’ first two booze-fuelled bouts of cinematic amnesia may have grossed over $1 billion worldwide, but 2009’s THE HANGOVER never screamed with trilogy potential. The gang’s all here, but you sense they’re ready to leave the fun behind. And so, it turns out, are we.

Mixing up its inherent formula, PART III once again sidelines Doug (Justin Bartha), with the boys in pursuit of Chow after he stole from angry businessman, Marshall – yes, that Marshall. With so much of what’s gone before passing without consequence, it’s a brave move to tie-in the fallout, but this was never a serious franchise to begin with, leaving the balls to the wall manhunt formula sorely missed. With a not so subtle JURASSIC PARK reference during Alan’s giraffe-based motorway opening (one of the film’s many green screen distractions), Phillips’ nods to big budget actioners lay the groundwork for a big adventure, but this final swansong never quite delivers. Continue reading

Review: The Great Gatsby (2013)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE FOR THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON MAY 16TH, 2013***

Director: Baz Luhrmann.

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Carey Mulligan, Joel Edgerton, Elizabeth Debicki, Isla Fisher, Jason Clarke.

Running Time: 142 minutes.

Certificate: 12A.

SynopsisYale graduate Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) moves next door to the mansion of a mysterious millionaire renowned for his lavish parties. Spending time in Long Island brings him closer to cousin Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her husband, Tom (Joel Edgerton), but other eyes are watching Daisy from afar.

The fictional Long Island setting of West Egg plays host to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age tale of the price of obsession. The roaring twenties are a paradoxical time of cheap alcohol and family pride, with the constant debauchery a platform for temptation. Luhrmann sure wants us to enjoy the party, but it’s only when the revelry is over that his adaptation becomes any fun. Continue reading

Review: Fast & Furious 6 (2013)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE FOR THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON MAY 15TH, 2013***

Director: Justin Lin.

Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Sung Kang, Tyrese Gibson, Luke Evans, Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Gal Gadot, Gina Carano, Jordana Brewster, Elsa Pataky.

Running Time: 130 minutes.

Certificate: 12A.

Synopsis: Former soldier Owen Shaw (Luke Evans) and his team are being hunted by Agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) for their vehicular warfare crimes. Knowing the only way to outwit them is by playing them at their own game, Hobbs enlists Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and crew to outmatch them in London, while a personal connection makes things harder for Dom.

Dubstep. Short skirts. Dodgy one-liners. It’s safe to say that FAST & FURIOUS 6 knows what its audience expects. Opening with a self-gratifying montage that’s as laughable as it is helpful, the franchise’s confidence is as loud as its revving engines. Reacquainted with bromantic bezzies Dom and Brian racing through the Spanish mountains to the birth of a new addition to the Swiss Family Petroleum, the modern-day A-TEAM are spread over the globe after their mega lucrative Rio heist. Competition may be temporarily out of the water, but the promise of full pardons from sometimes friend, sometimes foe Luke Hobbs is too good for the crew to resist. Continue reading

Review: Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE FOR THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON MAY 4TH, 2013***

Director: J.J. Abrams.

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon Pegg, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban, Alice Eve, Bruce Greenwood, John Cho, Anton Yelchin.

Running Time: 132 minutes.

Certificate: 12A.

SynopsisWhen an unstoppable force of terror rises within their own organisation, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) leads a manhunt that will put the lives of the Enterprise’s crew at risk.

After the success of 2009’s space reboot, J.J. Abrams left tongues wagging as to how he would follow his superb Romulan romp. His sequel may contain some brilliant comedy and interesting moments, but it unfortunately suffers due to an unoriginal first half that shares much with the cold and hollow materials that make up the USS Enterprise.

Immediately thrown amongst an active volcano and a chase involving an indigenous papier-mâché-esque tribe, things stall after we are treated to one of the film’s more impressive and stomach-churning gravity defying leaps. The witty repartee between crewmates may be continuously present, but things feel unremarkable and stuck in neutral until Abrams puts his ship into warp speed come the final thirty minutes. Continue reading

What I’m Watching – May 2013

This list only includes films I watched for the first time this month. My most recent viewing is the top entry.

Psycho (Dir: Alfred Hitchcock, 1960) *****

The Hangover Part III (Dir: Todd Phillips, 2013) **

O Brother, Where Art Thou? (Dir: Joel Coen, 2000) ****

The Great Gatsby (Dir: Baz Luhrmann, 2013) ****

Fast & Furious 6 (Dir: Justin Lin, 2013) ***

Trance (Dir: Danny Boyle, 2013) ***

Spring Breakers (Dir: Harmony Korine, 2012) *****

The Place Beyond The Pines (Dir: Derek Cianfrance, 2012) *****

Star Trek Into Darkness (Dir: J.J. Abrams, 2013) ****

Review: Iron Man 3 (2013)

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***THIS REVIEW WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE FOR THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON APRIL 24TH, 2013***

Director: Shane Black.

Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Don Cheadle, Rebecca Hall, Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Ty Simpkins, Jon Favreau, William Sadler, Stephanie Szostak, Paul Bettany (voice).

Running Time: 130 minutes.

Certificate: 12A.

SynopsisWhen Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) finds his world challenged by a terrorist simply known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley), he embarks on a mission to protect those he loves, no matter the cost.

After Joss Whedon set the Marvel bar to dizzy, Asgardian heights, Shane Black’s first venture into the superhero realm was always primed for comparison. With the director’s second feature with Robert Downey Jr. to be viewed as the fourth part of Tony Stark’s metallic journey and a direct response to how, “Nothing’s been the same since New York,” many will feel it suffers for not necessarily belonging to the IRON MAN canon. But the decision to honour its central story instead of competing with its bigger, brassier AVENGERS predecessor makes it a surprisingly personal tale about the testing of our favourite mechanic’s mettle. Continue reading

Iron Man 3 Press Conference

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On April 17th I was lucky enough to head over to the Dorchester Hotel in London for the Iron Man 3 Press Conference. If you head over here you can read it all back, with Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Rebecca Black, Ben Kingsley, Shane Black and Drew Pearce all present. I managed to take a few cheeky snaps, so without further ado, here’s some more of Mr. Wayne Gale himself, Robert Downey Jr.

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See You At The Movies: A Tribute To Roger Ebert

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***THIS WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED HERE FOR THE HOLLYWOOD NEWS ON APRIL 4TH, 2013***

In a world of mass social media and a blogosphere so big that anyone can eternally etch their quickly formed opinions into hyperspace, people often ask what the point of a film critic is. When someone is as well-respected and revered as the late Roger Ebert, that question requires no answer.

It’s hard not to make this post personal, but Roger Ebert was nothing short of an inspiration to many, many writers, both aspiring and established, with his belief that, ‘No good film is too long,’ becoming a mantra to those who shared even a fraction of his passion. But for a man with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a Pulitzer Prize, he’d be too modest to admit that he was any sort of idol. Continue reading

Edinburgh International Film Festival 2012 Programme Announcement

Twelve days. One hundred and fifty films. Nineteen World premieres. Thirteen International premieres. Eleven European premieres. Seventy-six UK premieres. It’s safe to say there’s going to be a lot going on at the 66th Edinburgh International Film Festival.

I’m lucky enough to be heading up to Scotland (for the very first time) next month and will be bringing you as much coverage as I can. As the Festival gets closer I will reflect a little more on what I’m most excited about, so, for now, here’s a round up of what’s going on between 20th June – 1st July.

The Michael Powell Award for Best British Feature Film returns this year alongside The International Feature Competition, both of which include documentaries and narrative film. Nominees can be seen in this picture from the Festival brochure:

To see what films will be heading to Edinburgh next month, check out the full press release below or head over to the Festival’s official website here for more information: Continue reading

Bitesize Review: Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

DIRECTOR: Wes Anderson.

CAST: Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Bob Balaban.

SYNOPSIS: When Sam (Gilman) abandons the Khaki Scouts and Suzy (Hayward) runs away from home, the pair embark on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance.

My broken arm calls for a slightly different (and bitesize) reviewing format. So here’s ten things I want to say about Moonrise Kingdom: Continue reading