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Locke (Tom Hardy) - Review

Locke

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

CINEMA is littered with scenarios in which a single character is the sole focus as their life unravels before them because of a set of exceptional circumstances. Just recently, we’ve had Robert Redford alone at sea in All Is Lost, while Tom Hanks was adrift in Castaway and Ryan Reynolds endured a torrid time confined to a coffin in Buried.

Compared to those, Tom Hardy’s predicament in Locke, which sees him confined to being behind the wheel of his luxury BMW, is almost comfortable. But then Hardy is on a journey that could well destroy him in different ways.

The actor plays Ivan Locke, a dedicated structural engineer from Wales who is on the eve of a career defining achievement.

Instead of going through his usual meticulous final preparation, or even spending time with his family watching the football with his favourite German beer, wife and two sons, he is headed to London on the motorway to do the right thing and take the first steps towards correcting his one big mistake.

We won’t reveal any further details of what’s involved other than to say that over the course of his night-time drive Locke must juggle increasingly anxious calls from angry work colleagues with personal calls from the people whose lives his mistake has impacted, including his hitherto unaware wife.

Writer-director Steven Knight’s subsequent film delights in slowly turning the screw against it’s central character, showing how his controlled life gradually unravels even as he tries to hold each piece together.
Hardy, for his part, combines steely determination with a slow realisation that things are slipping away, as well as a deep-rooted anger that he may be about to repeat the sins of his own father. It’s an utterly engaging stand-alone performance that continually keeps things compelling.

And while Locke’s stubborn refusal to engage with the emotional complexity and hurt of his actions makes him a bit of an idiot, there remains something worth rooting for in him. Hardy conveys a lot from very little and is never allowed to leave the car for the entire journey.

Knight’s film may not have as high stakes as some of the earlier films I mentioned but he still manages to keep things taut throughout, while even making you sympathise and root for some of the people at the other end of Locke’s phone line.

And he ensures the film retains a cinematic feel with some stylish cinematography – his neon journey evocative of Michael Mann at times.

Hence, while Locke won’t be to every taste and isn’t without flaws (there are lulls, while some will find it difficult to warm to Hardy at all), Locke remains a confident and consistently engaging experience that’s a triumph for both star and creator.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 85mins
UK Release Date: April 18, 2014

If I Stay (Chloe Grace Moretz/Jamie Blackley) Trailer

If I Stay

On a day that started like any other, Mia (Chloe Grace Moretz) had everything: a loving family, an adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music. Suddenly, a family drive on a snowy day changes everything. In an instant, almost all of that is taken from her.

Caught between life and death, Mia spends one critical day contemplating a future that is now more unknowable than ever. Is love enough to keep her here? Tragic but ultimately hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting and uplifting story about music, life and love.

If I Stay also stars Jamie Blackley (Snow White and the Huntsman) and Mireille Enos (World War Z).

It is released in UK cinemas later this year.

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Next trailer: Gone Girl

How To Train Your Dragon 2 - Trailer 2

How To Train Your Dragon 2

Set for release in June 2014, The thrilling second chapter of the epic How To Train Your Dragon trilogy brings us back to the fantastical world of Hiccup and Toothless five years after the two have successfully united dragons and vikings on the island of Berk.

While Astrid, Snoutlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island’s new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds.

When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.

Now, Hiccup and Toothless must unite to stand up for what they believe while recognizing that only together do they have the power to change the future of both men and dragons.

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Gone Girl (Ben Affleck/Rosamund Pike) First trailer

Gone Girl

TWENTIETH Century Fox are delighted to announce the theatrical release of GONE GIRL in the UK and Ireland on October 3, 2014.

Gone Girl – directed by David Fincher and based upon the global bestseller by Gillian Flynn –unearths the secrets at the heart of a modern marriage.

On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) reports that his beautiful wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike), has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick’s portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behavior has everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?

Gone Girl is released in UK cinemas on October 3, 2014.

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Next trailer: X-Men Days of Future Past trailer 3

X-Men: Days of Future Past - Trailer 3

X-Men: Days of Future Past

THE ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class, in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future.

X-Men: Days of Future Past stars Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Anna Paquin, Peter Dinklage and Halle Berry.

It is released in UK cinemas on May 22, 2014.

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Leonardo DiCaprio and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu unite for Revenant

The Wolf of Wall Street

Story by Jack Foley

LEONARDO DiCaprio is to unite with director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for period revenge thriller The Revenant.

Based on Michael Punke’s novel, the film will follow the story of a gold-seeking fur trapper who is mauled by a bear.

When the two men who are supposed to take care of him rob him and leave him for dead, the man wills himself to survive and goes on a 350-mile journey though the wilderness to stay alive.

The project has been doing the rounds in Hollywood for years, with Inarritu attached since 2011. DiCaprio has long been interested, while Sean Penn was also linked at one point.

But according to The Hollywood Reporter, DiCaprio is now ready to commit and the pair are hoping to commence filming in September 2014 with a view to releasing in the autumn of 2015.

DiCaprio was last seen in his Oscar nominated The Wolf of Wall Street.

Next story: Harrison Ford talks Blade Runner sequel and sets record straight on Star Wars/Indiana Jones classic moments

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - Review

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

AMAZING in places, overcooked at others, Marc Webb’s sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man is a generally crowd-pleasing affair that thrives on the ability of leading man Andrew Garfield.

Effortlessly combining a glib, wise-cracking confidence with moments of doubt, confusion and darkness, his Peter Parker matures superbly in this follow-up, with Garfield firmly making the role his own.

When put together with his red hot chemistry with Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy, The Amazing Spider-Man really does fly and gives the film an emotional resonance that genuinely endears.

There are problems, however, most of which stem from the ongoing need for superhero movies to stick to genre convention and not learn from past mistakes.

Webb’s decision to include three villains means that some characters and stories, almost inevitably, become short-changed. While the added necessity to set up a wider franchise also means the film sometimes feels machine- like.

But in the main, Webb and company do enough to keep things firmly on track, while taking the odd risk that really does pay off.

Story-wise, the film finds Peter Parker (Garfield) juggling his superhero responsibilities with his feelings for Gwen while remaining mindful of her late father’s dying wish to leave her out of his dangerous new world.

At the same time, there’s a Russian gangster nicknamed The Rhino (Paul Giamatti) to contend with, as well as the emergence of a mysterious new villain named Electro (Jamie Foxx) and the return of former childhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) to get his head around.

Of this latter trio of new characters, it’s DeHaan’s Osborn (aka The Green Goblin) who is most interesting and the young actor is a suitably engaging presence, bringing more depth and emotional layering than his screentime necessarily allows. He has to rate as another of the sequel’s assets.

Giamatti, for his part, opts for OTT and has fun but is under-employed but Foxx struggles to make his Electro overly memorable despite being granted the biggest presence. His story arc is underwhelming and even unconvincing.

Webb may have done better by building the film around a slow villain (a la The Joker in The Dark Knight, the benchmark for such things) or even Doc Oc in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man sequel.

That said, he does deliver one decent set piece showdown between Spider-Man and Electro in Times Square as well as several other big action sequences to savour, including a climax that is as surprising as it is poignant and even inspired (no matter how emotionally manipulative).

For all of its flaws, therefore, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 still has enough in its armoury to make it worth seeing. And that’s no more than Garfield, especially, deserves for the way he has taken the role and made it his own.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 138mins
UK Release Date: April 16, 2014,/b>

Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis/Jamie Foxx) International Trailer

Annie

Business tycoon and mayoral candidate Benjamin Stacks launches a campaign to take in Annie, a young girl who has been living with her mean foster mom Miss Hannigan (Cameron Diaz) since her parents left her as a baby.

Based on a screenplay by Aline Brosh McKenna, the 2014 version of Annie stars Jamie Foxx, Quvenzhané Wallis and Rose Byrne.

It is directed by Will Gluck.

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Annie hits UK cinemas 6 February 2015!

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Next trailer: 22 Jump Street – International red band trailer

MTV Movie Awards 2014 - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire wins big

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Story by Jack Foley

THE Hunger Games: Catching Fire has emerged as the biggest overall winner at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards, claiming three of the night’s top prizes.

The sequel was named movie of the year agead of Oscar heavy-hitters 12 Years A Slave and American Hustle, while leading lady Jennifer Lawrence was crowned best actress and her co-star Josh Hutcherson took best actor.

After claiming the night’s final prize of best film, Hunger Games stars Hutcherson and Sam Claflin used the opportunity to pay tribute to late co-star Philip Seymour Hoffman, who played gamesmaker Plutarch Heavensbee in the sequel prior to his death.

Hutcherson said: “I know that if Phillip were here, he would think this was really cool and to have him in our movies was one of the coolest things in the world. He’s one of the actors I’ve looked up to my entire life, and we think about him every day on set. Wherever he is, this definitely goes out to him.”

The awards are viewed as a much lighter ceremony to the likes of the Oscars and are voted for by movie-goers themselves. As a result, there are also some quirky categories.

Hence, Zac Efron took home the award for best shirtless performance for That Awkward Moment and Jared Leto, who won the Oscar for best supporting actor for his portrayal of a transgender AIDs sufferer in Dallas Buyers Club, won best transformation.

Young British actor Will Poulter, who earlier this year took the EE Rising Star Award at the BAFTAs (another prize voted for by members of the public), claimed two prizes on the night: for best breakthrough and best kiss (shared with Emma Roberts and Jennifer Aniston). Both awards recognised his work in We’re The Millers.

Jonah Hill won best comedic performance for The Wolf of Wall Street, which his co-star (and leading man) Leonardo DiCaprio claimed best WTF moment for his scene in the same film in which he takes his Lamborghini for a spin.

Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker were named best on-screen duo for their work in Fast & Furious 6.

This year’s awards ceremony was hosted by Conan O’Brien and was broadcast live from LA Live’s Nokia Theatre on Sunday, April 13.

The winners (and nominees) are as follows (winners in bold)…

MOVIE OF THE YEAR
12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Warner Bros. Pictures)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)

BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE
Amy Adams – American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
Jennifer Aniston – We’re the Millers (New Line Cinema)
Sandra Bullock – Gravity (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate)
Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

BEST MALE PERFORMANCE
Bradley Cooper – American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Josh Hutcherson – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate)
Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE
Liam James – The Way Way Back (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Michael B. Jordan – Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Company)
Will Poulter – We’re the Millers (New Line Cinema)
Margot Robbie – The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)
Miles Teller – The Spectacular Now (A24 Films)

BEST KISS
Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams – American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson – Don Jon (Relativity Media)
James Franco, Ashley Benson and Vanessa Hudgens – Spring Breakers (A24 Films)
Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller – The Spectacular Now (A24 Films)
Emma Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Will Poulter – We’re the Millers (New Line Cinema)

BEST FIGHT
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Paramount Pictures) – Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, David Koechner and Steve Carell vs. James Marsden vs. Sacha Baron Cohen vs. Kanye West vs. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler vs. Jim Carrey and Marion Cotillard vs. Will Smith vs. Liam Neeson and John C. Reilly vs. Greg Kinnear
Identity Thief (Universal Pictures) – Jason Bateman vs. Melissa McCarthy
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Warner Bros. Pictures) – Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly vs. Orcs
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate) – Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Sam Claflin vs. Mutant Monkeys
This is the End (Columbia Pictures) – Jonah Hill vs. James Franco and Seth Rogen

BEST COMEDIC PERFORMANCE
Kevin Hart – Ride Along (Universal Pictures)
Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)
Johnny Knoxville – Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (Paramount Pictures)
Melissa McCarthy – The Heat (20th Century Fox)
Jason Sudeikis – We’re the Millers (New Line Cinema)

BEST SCARED-AS-S**T PERFORMANCE
Rose Byrne – Insidious: Chapter 2 (FilmDistrict)
Jessica Chastain – Mama (Universal Pictures)
Vera Farmiga – The Conjuring (New Line Cinema)
Ethan Hawke – The Purge (Universal Pictures)
Brad Pitt – World War Z (Paramount Pictures)

BEST ON-SCREEN DUO
Amy Adams and Christian Bale – American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)
Vin Diesel and Paul Walker – Fast & Furious 6 (Universal Pictures)
Ice Cube and Kevin Hart – Ride Along (Universal Pictures)
Jonah Hill and Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)

BEST SHIRTLESS PERFORMANCE
Jennifer Aniston – We’re the Millers (New Line Cinema)
Sam Claflin – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate)
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)
Zac Efron – That Awkward Moment (Focus Features)
Chris Hemsworth – Thor: The Dark World (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

#WTF MOMENT
Steve Carell, Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd and David Koechner – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Paramount Pictures)
The Channel 4 News Team’s afternoon is no longer a delight as their speeding van filled with bowling balls, scorpions and hot oil takes a tumble on the highway.
Johnny Knoxville and Jackson Nicoll – Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (Paramount Pictures)
Johnny Knoxville and Jackson Nicoll manage to strike fear into a room full of unsuspecting beauty pageant-loving parents thanks to a bump n’ grind dance routine to a Warrant classic.
Cameron Diaz – The Counselor (20th Century Fox)
Having sex in a car is pretty much a rite of passage, but having sex with a car? Cameron Diaz’s Malkina gets down and dirty with a bright yellow Ferrari to show the world how it’s done.
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)
Leonardo DiCaprio’s iconic portrayal of excessive Wall Street player Jordan Belfort takes a turn for the insane when he takes his Lamborghini for a spin.
Danny McBride and Channing Tatum – This is the End (Columbia Pictures)
Danny McBride shows an apocalyptic world, and uncomfortable theater-goers everywhere, that there’s no better pet than a scantily-clad Channing Tatum.

BEST VILLAIN
Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips (Columbia Pictures)
Benedict Cumberbatch – Star Trek into Darkness (Paramount Pictures)
Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Mila Kunis – Oz The Great and Powerful (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Donald Sutherland – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate)

BEST ON-SCREEN TRANSFORMATION
Christian Bale – American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
Elizabeth Banks – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Lionsgate)
Orlando Bloom – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)
Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)

BEST MUSICAL MOMENT
Backstreet Boys, Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen and Craig Robinson – This is the End (Columbia Pictures)
Spoiler alert! Backstreet Boys reunite in heaven to perform “Everybody” with signature boy band moves and flair for this unforgettable apocalyptic ending.
Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
Lawrence cleans and dances her frustrations away as she mouths the words to 70s classic “Live and Let Die.”
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount Pictures)
During his wedding reception, DiCaprio’s fraudulent Jordan Belfort pops and locks it to Bo Diddley’s “Pretty Thing.”
Melissa McCarthy – Identity Thief (Universal Pictures)
To ease the tension of stealing Sandy’s identity, McCarthy’s Diana shows her musical range as she attempts to sing along with the car radio — and even hits that high note in “Barracuda.”
Will Poulter – We’re the Millers (New Line Cinema)
With eyes wide shut, Poulter’s Kenny Rossmore throws it back to the 90s with a hilarious rendition of TLC’s “Waterfalls.”

BEST CAMEO PERFORMANCE
Robert De Niro – American Hustle (Columbia Pictures)
Amy Poehler and Tina Fey – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Paramount Pictures)
Kanye West – Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (Paramount Pictures)
Joan Rivers – Iron Man 3 (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Rihanna – This is the End (Columbia Pictures)

BEST HERO
Henry Cavill as Clark Kent – Man of Steel (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man – Iron Man 3 (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins – The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Chris Hemsworth as Thor – Thor: The Dark World (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Channing Tatum as John Cale – White House Down (Columbia Pictures)

Harrison Ford talks Blade Runner sequel and sets record straight on Star Wars/Indiana Jones classic moments

Raiders Of The Lost Ark

Story by Jack Foley

HARRISON Ford has been speaking of his excitement at the prospect of a Blade Runner sequel as well as setting the record straight on speculation surrounding two of his most iconic moments in, respectively, Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Answering questions as part of Reddit’s Ask Me Anything series, the iconic star – best known as Han Solo and Indiana Jones – said he was most excited about the opportunity of reuniting with Ridley Scott if the script for the proposed Blade Runner sequel is good enough.

He wrote: “I’m quite curious and excited about seeing a new script for Blade Runner if in fact the opportunity would exist to do another, if it’s a good script I would be very anxious to work with Ridley Scott again, he’s a very talented and passionate filmmaker. And I think it would be very interesting to revisit the character.”

And that’s despite the fact that Ford cites Blade Runner as being one of his toughest roles, given the fact that it was “always raining” and he worked 50 nights in a row.

Further gems from Ford on Reddit included revelations concerning iconic moments from both Stars Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark – and, in particular, scenes that were supposedly ad libbed or spontaneous.

Addressing the Star Wars rumour first, Ford denied that his “I know” line (in response to Princess Leia’s declaration of “I love you”) was not – as widely reported – ad libbed.

“It’s not really an ad lib, it was a suggestion, and movie making’s a real collaborative process at its best,” he wrote. “You don’t ad lib it, you suggest it and then you try something in rehearsal and then you agree. So, it was my suggestion, because I thought it was more of a character line than what was written, but the director and Carrie and I all thought it was a good idea at the time so we did it.”

Moving on to Raiders, Ford gave a detailed run-down of the events that led up to his decision to shoot a swordsman instead of indulging in another lengthy fight… most of which were dictated by the fact that the actor was suffering from dysentery at the time.

He wrote: “We were shooting in Tunisia, and the script had a scene in which I fight a swordsman, an expert swordsman, it was meant to be the ultimate duel between sword and whip. And I was suffering from dysentery, really, found it inconvenient to be out of my trailer for more than 10 minutes at a time.

“We’d done a brief rehearsal of the scene the night before we were meant to shoot it, and both Steve and I realized it would take 2 or 3 days to shoot this. And it was the last thing we were meant to shoot in Tunisia before we left to shoot in England. And the scene before this in the film included a whip fight against 5 bad guys that were trying to kidnap Marian, so I thought it was a bit redundant.

“I was puzzling how to get out of this 3 days of shooting, so when I got to set I proposed to Steven that we just shoot the son a bitch and Steve said ‘I was thinking that as well’. So, he drew his sword, the poor guy was a wonderful British stuntman who had practiced his sword skills for months in order to do this job, and was quite surprised by the idea that we would dispatch him in 5 minutes.

“But he flourished his sword, I pulled out my gun and shot him, and then we went back to England.”

And on another forthcoming note, Ford explained his reasons for agreeing to take part in Sylvester Stallone’s forthcoming Expendables 3, stating: “I was on my way to Indonesia to do Years of Living Dangerously, and halfway around the world. And the location for Expendables was right on the way, and they asked me for a relatively short period of time, and it seemed like fun. I hadn’t seen the films but I looked one of them and i thought it was kind of funny, so I thought why not?”

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Next story: Guardians of the Galaxy will feed into Avengers 3