Month: September 2015

John Wick – DVD Review

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John Wick is a timely reminder that Keanu Reeves is still the man. The Matrix actor may have had a rocky career in recent years, but at 50 years of age, Reeves proves that he has still got it, not only as an action actor, but an actor in general.

The story follows John, a retired hit man, who loses his wife to a sudden illness and whose parting gift is an adorable beagle puppy. When thugs, headed conveniently by the son of Wick’s former employer, break into his house, beating John, stealing his vintage Mustang and murdering the puppy, he officially comes out of retirement in order to seek vengeance.

Purely from the first half an hour of the film, we find grief a serious test for John as a character and for Reeves to portray – this being a clear indication that the man can act, casting away any doubters. As an audience we are quickly attached to John, and much of that is down to Reeves.

The movie itself is beautifully delivered to us by director Chad Stahelski, (the man who provided Reeves’ stunts in The Matrix) making his directorial debut. The ominous tones are evident throughout, dark and melancholy to match the sad opening to the film and its brooding subject matter.

Adding to the style is the incredible shoot outs and fight scenes where Reeves again shines. The slick delivery of the gunfights is almost Tarantino-esque where the bouts and tussles are played out like dance routines.

Ultimately John Wick provides a stylish, fast-paced entertainment with plenty of firepower behind it and providing us with a reminder as to why we love Reeves. It’s no wonder a sequel has been confirmed.

The Big Short – Trailer

The first trailer for the comedy drama The Big Short has been released, written and directed by Anchorman‘s Adam McKay.

The movie stars a host of acting talent including Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling and Steve Carell, and could well be a contender during awards season.

The film follows the story of four financial outsiders who predict the credit and housing collapse of the mid-2000’s and decide to take on the big banks.

The Big Short will be released in cinemas in the UK on 11th December 2015

Heist – Trailer

Here’s the explosive new trailer for Heist, starring Robert De Niro, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Dave Bautista.

The plot is as follows: When Vaughn (Morgan) and Cox’s (Bautista) attempt to rob a casino owned by notorious gangster Pope (De Niro) goes awry, the pair are forced to hijack a city bus, taking the passengers as hostages.

Scott Mann’s first serious blockbuster certainly looks full of action, backed up with some experienced actors so hopefully will be a fun watch.

Legend – Review

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Playing a character who the audience struggles to approve of, let alone two, is a difficult challenge. So when it was announced that Tom Hardy would be playing both Kray twins, he had an almighty task on his hands.

Fortunately, Hardy’s performance, as well as director Brian Helgeland’s beautiful portrayal of London’s 1960’s East End makes Legend an enjoyable interpretation of the famous brothers.

The film follows the story of twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray, two of the most notorious gangsters in London in the swinging 60s, told through the narration of Frances Shea (Emily Browning), the wife of Reggie.

The story starts almost at the beginning of their downfall in the midst of their ruling of the East End. As their empire grew into the West End, so did their name, rubbing shoulders with some of the big names in society. As a result, rival gangs, in addition to the police, led by Detective Superintendent “Nipper” Read (Christopher Eccleston) were a constant threat to the Kray’s rule.

Ultimately, the relationship between the two brothers is what sparks their fall. Due to Ronnie’s mental condition, and Reggie’s unwillingness to abandon his brother, the latter struggles to keep his dealings stable whilst trying to almost look after his twin.

Reggie’s wife Frances, played by Emily Browning, is a key component to determining the relationship between the brothers. Her peripheral Snatch-like narration slightly backfires for director Helgeland as she is barely involved in the brothers’ criminal on goings, but the interpretation of this fragile character gives us a clear insight into the magnitude of the Krays’ status.

Hardy is inevitably excellent – twice over. Helgeland does an incredible job of convincing the audience that there isn’t just one man behind both characters, but Hardy’s portrayal of two different types of individuals, albeit brothers, is highly impressive.

Following a number of gangster movie trends, Helgeland adds a dark, comedic element to the Krays and ultimately the film. Ronnie may be a psycho, but he’s a funny psycho and therefore one the audience enjoys watching. Reggie’s savvy Bond-esque stature also contributes a few laughs.

If there is one major downfall for Legend, it’s that the audience are never emotionally invested in either Kray. Sure there are moments when we’re fooled that they’re not quite the monsters that they truly are – but ultimately as hard on criminals, their actions are hard to approve of and it’s difficult to want a happy ending for either.

With calls to make him the next Bond, Hardy’s latest outing acts as the perfect audition to fit the role. He is by far the outstanding component of the film, impressing in this unique duel role. Alongside the overall sparkling depiction of the East End of London in the 60s by Helgeland, Legend is a fun and intriguing watch, if not just for Hardy’s performance(s) alone.

The Jungle Book – Trailer

There are currently two remakes of the 1967 Disney classic Jungle Book in the works. The trailer for the first, which is brought to us from the same company, has just dropped and it’s looking promising.

Released next Spring, Jungle Book is directed by Iron Man’s Jon Favreau and features upcoming star Neel Sethi as Mowgli with a star studded supporting voice cast including Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Lupita Nyong’o and Christopher Walken.

As well as the classic animation movie, it is also the Rudyard Kipling book that Favreau has to live up to which will be no easy task. However, judging by the trailer (which has a spine-tingling ending) we can look forward to a beautiful looking adaptation.

The Next Bond – The Candidates

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Tom Hardy today announced that he would be keen to become the new James Bond. This news comes within a week of the star being placed as the favourite to don the 007 title.

Speaking to Sky News following the release of his new film, Legend, Hardy gave little away, simply saying, “I think anybody would consider doing Bond, wouldn’t they?”

Current Bond, Daniel Craig, recently announced that his latest outing as 007 in the upcoming Spectre, could potentially be his last.

There are a handful of actors who could potentially take on the role, despite Hardy now looking the firm favourite. Here’s a list of who else may be in with a shout for the role:

Tom Hardy

As mentioned before, Hardy is now the strong favourite to be our next 007. His latest film, Legend, which hits cinemas this Wednesday, sees him play both Kray twins and the actor has already received high acclaim for his performance(s). The 37-year-old has made a big name for himself in recent years following high profile roles in Inception, Dark Knight Rises, Warrior and Mad Max. Hardy also recently revealed how he’d like to reprise his role as Bane someday. Serious or not, that could become a factor.

Hugh Jackman

The Australian actor today revealed two things. Firstly that he was offered the chance to play Bond a few years ago but reluctantly declined, suggesting it wasn’t the right time as filming for X-Men 2 was set to begin. The Wolverine star also claimed that “he would seriously consider it” if he was to be offered it again. His role-playing the superhero however could be the defining component in his decision were he to be offered the opportunity.

Henry Cavill

The British actor’s latest role in Guy Ritchie’s The Man From UNCLE represented an audition for Cavill where he played a classy but cheeky CIA agent, and doing a good job of it. Like Jackman however, Cavill has superhero commitments, playing Superman in Batman vs. Superman: The Dawn of Justice and the two upcoming Justice League movies. There has been nothing to suggest Cavill will be offered the role but he certainly has all the capabilities to fill the role.

Idris Elba

Last week, author of the new James Bond book, Anthony Horowitz, claimed Elba was “too street” to play 007. It was a quote he inevitably had to apologise for and rightly so. The star of The Wire and Luther oozes class and has made a name for himself on the big screen in recent years with starring roles in Prometheus, Pacific Rim, Mandela: A Walk to Freedom and Thor. Elba has already announced his intentions to play the role.

Damian Lewis

The Homeland star was the previous favourite for the role before Hardy overtook him last week. When Craig was announced as Bond back in 2005, some people criticised the decision due to his blonde hair, something a Bond had never donned before. Should Lewis be chosen, he would be the first red head to play Bond. Would that be a nice twist on Bond’s Scottish heritage?

And finally…David Beckham!

The former England football captain was today urged to take the role. He recently made a cameo appearance in The Man From UNCLE and is again featuring in another of Ritchie’s upcoming films, Knights of the Roundtable: King Arthur, in which he has 13 lines! However, he’s got a long way to go if he were to be taken as a serious candidate in the future surely…

There are a number of other names that have been thrown into the hat such as Michael Fassbender and Tom Hiddleston, and it’s a guarantee that if Craig does hang up the suit, a host of new names will flood in.

Who would like to see as the new 007?

Spectre is set to be released on the 6th November

Suffragette – Trailer

Here is the first trailer for drama Suffragette, starring Carey Mulligan and Meryl Streep.

The film takes a look at the female movement for the vote in the late 19th century/early 20th century. Directed by Brit Sarah Gavron, Suffragette could be another film in with an Oscar shout with Mulligan’s performance looking like a key ingredient.