Month: November 2015

Bridge Of Spies – Review

bridge of spies

The combination of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks usually results in an automatic masterpiece, and the pair’s latest project is no exception. Bridge of Spies is a fascinating and thrilling insight into one of the lesser known, but incredible true stories from the Cold War.

Lawyer James Donovan (Hanks) is tasked with defending the Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylace), when US officials catch him. As a result of saving Abel from the death penalty, Donovan swiftly becomes a hated man in the US, but the outcome soon works in the country’s favour.

When the pilot of an American U2 spy plane is downed and captured whilst flying over the Soviet Union, an agreement with the CIA and KGB is put in place to facilitate an exchange between Abel and the captured pilot, Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell).

As a result, Donovan is the man tasked with travelling to East Berlin in order to make sure the exchange goes swimmingly following his defence of Abel.

Spielberg’s movie gives a clear indication of the vast amounts of negotiations, usually done in bad faith, in order to get their pilot home. The tension plagued throughout the film is based on the consequences of the exchange going array at a time when both nations were one slip away from serious ramifications. Throw in the fact that the US was also seeking the return of an additional captive in the form of student, Frederic Pryor, and things suddenly became a lot more difficult.

Hanks gives a typical assured performance as the confident but under pressure James Donovan. But Rylace’s reserved and quiet portrayal of Russian spy Abel makes for a fascinating watch and despite his occupation, you certainly find yourself emotionally attached to this intriguing character.

Although the movie is based on a tale of such high stakes, the subtle comedic writing of the Coen brothers is evident throughout, no more so when we are introduced to Abel’s fake, extravagant family. Furthermore, it’s always slightly heart-warming when repeatedly throughout the movie, Abel is asked by Donovan why he’s not worried, the spy would simply respond, “Would it help?” – typical of Rylace’s gentle, calculated character.

Bridge of Spies is an incredibly tense, intriguing and satisfying watch, headed by masters of their trade. An important story that perhaps has gone somewhat under the radar is beautifully told in a confident and self-assured manor by Spielberg and Hanks.

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Captain America: Civil War – Trailer

Here is the epic new trailer for the latest in the Captain America series, which sees Chris Evans’ Captain America go up against his former Avenger companion, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)

An incident leads to the Avengers developing a schism over how to deal with situations, which escalates into an open fight between allies Iron Man and Captain America. – IMDB

Zootopia – Trailer

Check out the hilarious new trailer for Disney’s Zootopia, starring the voices of Jason Bateman, Ginnifer Goodwin and Idris Elba.

In the animal city of Zootopia, a fast-talking fox who’s trying to make it big goes on the run when he’s framed for a crime he didn’t commit. Zootopia’s top cop, a self-righteous rabbit, is hot on his tail, but when both become targets of a conspiracy, they’re forced to team up and discover even natural enemies can become best friends. – Walt Disney Animation Studios

Now You See Me 2 – Teaser Trailer

Check out the new teaser trailer for the sequel to 2013’s, Now You See Me.

One year after outwitting the FBI and winning the public’s adulation with their Robin Hood-style magic spectacles, The Four Horsemen resurface for a comeback performance in hopes of exposing the unethical practices of a tech magnate. The man behind their vanishing act is none other than Walter Mabry, a tech prodigy who threatens the Horsemen into pulling off their most impossible heist yet. Their only hope is to perform one last unprecedented stunt to clear their names and reveal the mastermind behind it all – IMDB

Jesse Eisenberg and co return with Lizzie Caplin and Daniel Radcliffe joining an already impressive cast.

Steve Jobs – Review

steve-jobs

It’s easy to recognise the similarities with Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs and David Fincher’s The Social Network. This is mainly down to screenwriter Aaron Sorkin who worked on both projects. In 2010, he gave us an insight into the hectic, arrogant genius that was Mark Zuckerberg. With Jobs, he almost had the exact same character to work with, and so the fast paced, constantly on the move portrayal of the man is just one reason why the movie leaves you breathless.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale were both talked about to play the legendary Apple designer, but ultimately it was Michael Fassbender who would take the role. The movie focuses on Jobs’ meltdowns prior to three separate product launches – the Apple Mac in 1984, the NeXT Computer in 1988 and his iMac in 1998. Each crisis is based mainly around issues either with his daughter, Lisa, and her mother Chrisann (Katherine Waterston), with his board, headed by John Sculley (Jeff Daniels), or with former Apple partner and super-nerd Steve Wozniack (Seth Rogan). All the while he is however supported, rather adamantly, by marketing executive, Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet)

Throughout each act we discover a clear understanding of the ruthless nature of Jobs and how that is fuelled by his absolute passion for “putting a dent in the universe.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to hear Fassbender’s name mentioned during awards season for his performance as the difficult genius. In 2013’s Jobs, Ashton Kutcher’s eerie resemblance to the great man was about as far as the similarities went. Instead, Fassbender delivers a commanding and fierce performance of the no-nonsense man during three defining moments in his career and therefore some of the most stressful.

He is a man who does not switch off, and that is accurately reflected throughout the film with its walk-and-talk, fast paced mentality, backed up by Daniel Pemberton’s techy soundtrack of a similar nature.

Steve Jobs was brutal but brilliant and Boyle’s depiction of one of the most impressive creators of all time offers a spectacular insight through the medium a well put-together movie, worthy of the Jobs’ magnificence.

Finding Dory – Trailer

The first trailer for one of 2016’s most anticipated animated movies, Finding Dory, dropped today and it looks hilarious.

Idris Elba, Dominic West and Diane Keaton’s voices all feature, while Ellen DeGeneres returns as the friendly but forgettable Dory.

If Finding Dory is anything like its predecessor Finding Nemo, Pixar are onto another masterpiece.

London Has Fallen – Trailer

Here’s the first trailer for London Has Fallen, the sequel to 2013’s Olympus Has Fallen.

The movie follows the story of Mike Banning as he discovers a plot to assassinate all the world leaders as they attend the Prime Minister’s funeral in London.

The A-list cast return including Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman.

What To Watch – November 2015

hunger-games-mockingjay-part-2-trailer-jennifer-lawrence

It’s getting colder, darker and seemingly more miserable outside as we close in on the winter months. Fortunately, November sees a promising line up of movies coming our way, including some Oscar tips that could be worth a watch. Here’s a comprehensive look into the films I would recommend seeing this month:

Burnt – 6th November

Bradley Cooper plays Adam Jones, a disgraced chef following some bad behaviour. In order to turn his career around, he returns to London seeking redemption at a top restaurant. Sienna Miller plays sous chef, Helene, as the pair reunites for the first time since playing alongside each other in last year’s Oscar-nominated American Sniper. John Wells, the man behind August: Osage County directs.

Kill Your Friends – 6th November

Nicholas Hoult stars as the A&R man who decided to go to the extreme lengths of murdering his co-workers in order to find the next big hit. Rosanna Arquette, Craig Roberts and James Corden also feature in the comedy thriller, which is based on the John Niven novel.

Steve Jobs – 13th November

Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs offers an insight into the digital revolution and one of the main men responsible behind it. Michael Fassbender plays the iconic Jobs, heading a strong cast including Kate Winslet, Seth Rogan and Jeff Daniels. There were initial issues finding a man to play the lead role, but Steve Jobs has been included in the early Oscar talks.

The Lady in the Van – 13th November

This adaptation of the West End drama, starring Maggie Smith and Alex Jennings follows the incredible true story of an elderly woman called Mary Shepherd, who lived in a tattered van on the driveway of writer Alan Bennett for 15 years. The eccentric Shepherd forms an estranged friendship with Bennett and The Lady in the Van is sure to be a charming and pleasant watch.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 – 20th November

The series finale sees Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) lead her rebellion, bringing together an army to finally bring down President Snow. Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland and Julianne Moore all return alongside Lawrence, as well as the late Phillip Seymour-Hoffman in his last film role. The Hunger Games is therefore all but set for an epic climax.

Black Mass – 27th November

Johnny Depp stars as notorious gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, one of the most infamous violent criminals in the history of South Boston in the 1970’s and the brother of state senator, William. When their close friend, John Connelly, returns as an agent in the FBI, Whitey sees this as the perfect opportunity, becoming an informant in order to take down a rival family. A star-studded cast join Depp including Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton and Dakota Johnson.

Bridge of Spies – 27th November

When Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks team up, you can usually count on the end result being something quite special. Expect no different with their latest venture together. The film follows James B. Donovan, an American lawyer who during the Cold War is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy before helping the CIA to agree a trade between the spy and American U2 spy plane pilot, Gary Powers. Another film out this month with Oscar dust sprinkled all over it.

The Good Dinosaur – 27th November

The latest Pixar outing explores the world had the dinosaurs not been wiped out and the unlikely friendship that an Apatosaurus called Arlo makes with a human being. Throughout the movie, Arlo learns to grow and confront his fears whilst with his new companion. The Good Dinosaur has all the ingredients for another Pixar masterpiece.

All release dates are UK based