In a piece a news that will render all children of the 80s unable to process how they feel about it, the upcoming Michael Bay-produced Ninja Turtles movie has found it’s first cast member. According to Deadline, the role of Raphael (cool, but rude) will be going to Alan Ritchson.
Well, a little poke around the internet will reveal that Ritchson is an actor who’s set to appear in this year’s Hunger Games sequel as a rival tribute. His previous on-screen credits have included a stint on Smallville as Aquaman, where he was called upon to be buff. And buff he is: Ritchson’s career started off in the fashion world, where he worked as an underwear model for Abercrombie and Fitch (those high street connoisseurs of buff dudes).
Keen-eyed film fans may also recognise his square jaw and chiseled abs from Robert Zemeckis‘ Beowulf. In that film, he served as the character model for the title character, which was then animated from a performance capture by one-pack actor Ray Winstone. In a strange turn of events, Ritchson will be not be physically in the Turtles film, but instead be providing a motion-capture performance. One can only imagine a lost Charlie Kaufman film in which Ray Winstone performance captures Ritchson performance capturing Raphael, who is in turn operating a marionette of Ray Winstone.
Look, we’re being somewhat unfair: we’ve never seen Ritchson act. He could turn out to be the new Olivier for all we know. So let’s remain cautiously optimistic that Michael Bay knows what he’s doing. After all, he’s never disappointed us, right?
If you’re like us, you may have caught the first Hobbit movie when it was out in cinemas last year. An epic return to Peter Jackson‘s vision of Middle Earth, it introduced us to an enormous gang of characters, new and old. From Martin Freeman‘s young Bilbo to Sylvester McCoy’s crusty Brown Wizard, each character was created and performed with the utmost care and devotion.
In anticipation of the digital release for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (8th of April, don’t you know?), we have this exclusive infographic that takes us through all the weapons used by Bilbo and his Company of Dwarves on their journey to The Lonely Mountain. The spears, swords and such are designed so ornately that it’s a real treat to see them in this kind of detail. Enjoy!
A film that proved too challenging for many audience members on its US release, Compliance asks its audience a lot of tough questions, the answers to which might shock us were we to answer honestly.
In the very first scene, the manager of a small town fast food restaurant is already having a pretty challenging day: she’s short staffed and a lot of her produce has spoiled due to a mistake the night before. When a man phones up the back office claiming to be from the police, Dowd does her best to deal with the situation. The man claims that one of her employees, a teenage girl (Dreama Walker), has been caught on camera stealing money from a customer and that Dowd needs to keep her detained in the back room until an officer can come down.
Under his instructions, Walker has her phone and bag taken away — and eventually her clothes. It’s no secret that the film gets darker, as every other restaurant employee brought into this ‘interrogation’ seems to comply -in varying degrees- with the man’s orders.
At some point, audience credulity will be stretched to breaking point: how could anyone believe that a real cop would instruct a stranger to conduct a strip search? How could anybody do this to someone they know? It would be totally unbelievable… had it not actually happened in real life. In fact, similar incidences have occurred over 70 times in the US, according the film’s post-script. The events of Compliance are based beat-for-beat on one such fiasco that took place in a Kentucky McDonald’s back in 2004.
At times, Compliance is incredibly tough to stomach, in no small part due to director Craig Zobel’s economical script and the cast’s incredibly believable performances. Some TV fans might know Walker as the non-B on Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23but she shows a frightening level of vulnerability in this film – not just physically, but emotionally as well. Playing the restaurant manager, Ann Dowd has a naturalism that makes her character’s actions both horrific and somewhat understandable.
More terrifying than most horror films we’ve seen, it peels back some ugly layers on the human condition, confirming what normal decent people are capable of doing when they’re merely ‘following orders’. It’s utterly compelling.
“You are getting very sleepy… You will head to your local cineplex and fork out the GDP of a developing nation for two tickets and a large popcorn… You will watch….TRANCE”
Almost 9 months after becoming a bona fide national treasure for his part in creating the Olympic opening ceremony, Danny Boyle will unveil his newest London-based project. Namely: Trance, a tense psychological thriller that circles around the worlds of hypnotism and crime.
James McAvoy plays an art auctioneer who becomes mixed up with criminals Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel who are trying to get him to recover a lost painting by using the Dark Art of the Mind. The trailer makes it look like a Scanners-esque digital nightmare: the kind of movie David Cronenberg would be making — if he were still in the business of making David Cronenberg movies. And like last week’s Welcome to the Punch, it’s another film that casts London as a grimy city of the future: all reflective surfaces and skyscrapers.
Boyle’s on a bit of a hot streak right now. Aside from his triumph at London 2012, his last two films were feted at the Oscars while 2007′s Sunshine was merely one of the best science-fiction films in the past 20 years. Working again with his Trainspotting screenwriter John Hodge, there’s no reason whatsoever to think that Trance will be anything less than good.
You know, it’s only mid-March now, but the summer blockbuster season is actually little over a month away. You want proof? Well, if we could direct your attention to the latest poster for Marvel’s Iron Man 3 (in cinemas on May 3rd in the US):
In an explosion of potential plot spoilers, Marvel has packed an awful lot of information into one poster. We see Robert Downey Jr‘s Iron Man suit in an advanced state of disrepair, a sneering Guy Pearce and SirBen Kingsley sitting on a throne, wearing aviators like some kind of Uday Hussein lookalike. On top of that, there’s also the fleet of Stark’s Iron Men that we caught a glimpse of in the last trailer.
Hopefully there will still be a surprise or two left for the paying audience!
In the second piece of controversy to hit the film in a week, director Lynne Ramsay has apparently bailed on the indie drama Jane Got a Gun on the very first day of filming. According to Deadline Hollywood, the cast and crew arrived on set on Monday, only to discover that the entire production was going to have to be put on hold until a new director was found.
Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton and Jude Law, the project made headlines last week when Michael Fassbender allegedly walked away from a starring role, suggesting that the director’s fall-out might be a little more fractious than your usual ‘creative differences’. Director Ramsay is widely considered one of Britain’s most distinctive filmmakers, though the past decade has seen her struggle to work: there was almost a ten year gap between her second film Morvern Callar and 2011′s We Need to Talk About Kevin, in some part due to her doomed adaptation of The Lovely Bones (later to be made into a rubbish film by Peter Jackson).
Jane Got A Gun‘s producer Scott Steindorff told Deadline: “I’m shocked and so disappointed someone would do this to 150 crew members who devoted so much time, energy, commitment and loyalty to a project, and then have the director not show up. It is insane somebody would do this to other people.” (Translation: “You’ll never eat lunch in this town again!! Not if the producer of Penelope and The Human Stain has anything to say about it!”)
Well, if Ramsay becomes persona non grata in Hollywood, she’ll still be welcome back here in the UK. If she can’t get a film off the ground here, we’re sure she can at least get a job directing episodes of Miss Marple. There are worse things in this world…
Steve Carell‘s lovable super-villain Gru makes a return this summer and by the looks of the brand new trailer for Despicable Me 2, it’s going to be a bigger, starrier event than the original. It finds Carell’s reformed bad-guy-turned-father-of-the-year recruited into an organization of good guys led by Kristen Wiig and an old, posh, stuffy Steve Coogan.
Though the trailer doesn’t show any footage of Gru’s new nemesis, it’s been confirmed that he will be voiced by Al Pacino. So, if anything, you can expect a lot of evil vocal histrionics! HOO-HA!
The most promising aspect of the trailer is its funky 60s spy movie style. It seems that the makers of DM2 have taken a page out of Pixar’s playbook for The Incredibles. And that’s no bad thing: expect more gadgets, more adorable Minion antics and also a plenty more action.
LONDON — This week in the world of misleading headlines, Hobbit star and revered stage veteran Ian McKellan has announced that he is to wed his X-Men co-star Patrick Stewart… to Stewart’s fiancee! McKellen further clarified on Jonathan Ross’ ITV chat show this past weekend: “How else do you put that? I’m going to officiate at his wedding.”
This will be nuptual number three for the erstwhile Captain of the Enterprise but as they say in show business (and other cultures prone to platitudes): third time’s the charm. Much has been made of Stewart’s fiancee, jazz singer Sunny Ozell who is 33 years his junior. But after 7 years ofStar Trek, three X-Men films, numerous stage accolades and a Knighthood, Stewart can pretty do much whatever he wants, like a BOWSE!
If he wants to marry a woman half his age, he’s more than earned the right to “make it so“.
Taking place in the same world as the Pixar’s talking vehicle movies Cars and Cars 2, Disney Animation Studios has released a teaser trailer for their upcoming summer animated extravaganza, Planes!
It’s the first time any one of Pixar’s franchises have emigrated over to their parent company, although in this case, you can’t help but think that this decision was made to protect their reputation. Cars 2 wasn’t an unsuccessful film but it’s universally considered to be their worst film. And the law of diminishing returns only works one way…
Leading the voice cast is Dane Cook, the American stand-up best known for developing a new way to flip the bird. He plays a crop-dusting plane who “dreams of competing in a famous aerial race. The problem? He is hopelessly afraid of heights.”
Originally planned as a straight-to-video film, an August theatrical date has now been announced. Before we throw our hands up in despair, let’s remember that Toy Story 2 was also originally supposed to be a DTV feature. On top of that, don’t forget that Disney Animation is also the same studio that made the excellent Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph. So there’s no counting out the possibility that Planes will turn out great.
In one of the opening scenes of Amour, we see a theatre audience settle into their chairs before the start of a performance. The camera looks head-on into a crowd of hundreds; but if you let your eyes wander, they will find themselves drawn to an old couple in the fourth row. Just as with the final shot in his meditative thriller Caché, director Michael Haneke shows that he can be incredibly subtle as a director: his directorial hand is incredibly firm but almost always invisible in Amour. For Haneke –the peerless master of European cinema– this is perhaps his most affecting film yet.
Jean-Louis Trintignant (Three Colours: Red) and this year’s Oscar nominee Emmanuelle Riva (Hiroshima mon amour) are a married couple in their 80s. Formerly music teachers, they enjoy the spoils of retirement: reading books, drinking wine and attending concerts starring their former pupils. They’re living the kind of golden years you often see in insurance ads… until tragedy strikes. Riva is hit by a series of strokes and attacks, causing her health to deteriorate slowly but surely. Taking place almost entirely within their lovely Parisian flat, the film casts these walls as a prison; her condition has robbed her and her husband of their old lives. He looks after her the best he can, but even his best cannot stop his wife’s decline.
There are occasional visits from former students, their daughter (herself a touring musician) and a number of full-time carers but none of them can truly share his burden: the pain of having to watch his wife slowly disappear. We know the marriage vows always promise ‘for better or for worse’, though we rarely get to see the ‘for worse’ part.
Both she and Trintignant are heartbreaking in Amour, delivering two physically taxing performances well into their 80s. The scene where he tries to help her sing the word to Sur le Pont d’Avignon even though she can barely speak is one of the toughest things we’ve had to watch this year—and we’ve seen Maniac. The fact that Riva didn’t win the Oscar this year suggests only that not enough of the voters actually saw this.
It’s a really rough subject matter but Haneke handles it with sensitivity, framing scenes intimately, with great economy and a light touch. He takes its audience through the wringer, balancing sentiment and emotion with moments of clarity and dry humour. Amourdeserves all the accolades it has received: it’s undeniably great.
Michael Haneke’s Amouris available on blinkbox Monday 18th March