When he turned 7-years-old, Joseph Gordon-Levitt landed his first role in television film Stranger On My Land, starring opposite Tommy Lee Jones. In the years that followed, he enjoyed limited, yet sustained success with roles in such well-known TV series’ as Murder, She Wrote, Dark Shadows and Quantum Leap, building up a strong portfolio and an honest passion for his art. It was his role as the awkward, yet unchaste Tommy Solomons in 3rd Rock From The Sun Continue reading
In the year 2044, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) works as a contract killer – or “Looper” – for a mysterious figure known as the Rainmaker, who exists in a future in which time travel has been invented. Joe’s job is to kill those sent back from the future and dispose of their bodies, ultimately destroying any evidence of their existence. However, when he’s ordered by his boss Abe (Jeff Daniels) to kill his future self (Bruce Willis) and “close his loop”, he chokes, giving his older Continue reading
Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) have been blissfully in love ever since they met at a DIY superhero New Year’s party. Wanting to spend the rest of his life with her, Tom proposes on their one year anniversary. But, despite their best intentions, life – new jobs, adultery and mid-life crises – keeps putting off their plans – something they can only take on the chin for a certain amount of time.
Produced by Judd Apatow and co-written by director Nicholas Stoller and Segel himself, The Five-Year Engagement boasts some excellent credentials, and Continue reading
When conservative fisheries expert Dr. Fred Jones (Ewan McGregor) receives an unexpected request from legal representative Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt), he finds himself embroiled in a wealthy sheikh’s ludicrous dream of introducing salmon fishing into the Yemen. After the project receives backing from the British government as a way of diverting attention away from their latest blunder in the Middle-East, Fred slowly finds the faith needed to turn a dream into a reality.
Adapted from Paul Torday’s acclaimed novel, screenwriter Simon Beaufoy employs neat tactics to ensure the narrative plays out at a believable, tempered Continue reading
IFC Films have debuted an entrancingly heartwarming US trailer for their new romance-drama Your Sister’s Sister.
Directed by Seattle-based filmmaker and mumblecore advocator Lynn Shelton (Humpday), Your Sister’s Sister stars Mark Duplass (Cyrus), Rosemarie DeWitt (Cinderella Man) and Emily Blunt (The Devil Wears Prada).
Struggling to overcome the death of his brother, Jack is sent to a remote cabin by Continue reading
Unable to recover from the untimely death of his brother, Jack (Mark Duplass) is sent to a picturesque cabin on a tiny island by best friend Iris (Emily Blunt). Arriving at the cabin, Jack runs into Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), Iris’ half-sister, who’s taken shelter there after running out on a seven-year-long relationship.
Nursing their respective troubles over a bottle of tequila, Jack and Hannah find themselves sharing a night of passion, only to be rudely awoken by the unexpected arrival of Iris, who’s come to keep Jack company.
Utilising a part-scripted, part-improvised approach, Your Sister’s Sister boasts a Continue reading
The official programme for the 8th annual Glasgow Film Festival was announced earlier today, featuring a total of 239 films and special events.
Not only does the programme include more European and UK premieres than ever, but it also represents the fact that Glasgow Film Festival is fast becoming a staple in the UK festival calendar – one that showcases “the very best of world cinema without any prejudice or snobbery.”
Lynn Shelton’s emotionally twisted tale Continue reading
On the brink of winning a seat in the U.S. Senate, ambitious politician David Norris (Matt Damon) meets beautiful contemporary ballet dancer Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt) – a woman like none he’s ever known.
But just as he realizes he’s falling for her, mysterious men conspire to keep the two apart. David learns he is up against the agents of fate itself – the men of ‘The Adjustment Bureau’ – who will do everything in their considerable power to prevent David and Elise from being together.
In the face of overwhelming odds, he must either let her go and accept a predetermined path…or risk everything to defy fate and be with her.
Adapted from Philip K. Dick’s short story Adjustment Team, George Nolfi’s directorial debut has all the typical elements of a traditional thriller, but instead – and to its merit – shifts focus onto the sincerity of its love story, the intensity and sting of its dialogue and the poignancy of its two lead characters.
Nolfi’s script is compellingly light on its feet, merrily skimming over any laboured exposition on the deep, underlying questions in an old-fashioned Hollywood way; and there’s a wonderfully pleasant, authentically believable echantment between Damon and Blunt.
Visually, the film is stylishly shot by John Toll. The sumptuous New York backdrop is bathed for all its worth, resolving the action sublimely with a peerless top-of-the-world, eloquent climax, thanks in no part to the pulsating score and symbolic use of natural lighting through mise-en-scène.
In terms of drama, The Adjustment Bureau doesn’t quite set all lights blazing, and the overall story lacks in the kind of gut-wrenching twist or moment of pathos that would propel it to a higher stature. But in no way shape or form does this infringe upon the overall point of the film – the sincere, clever and unique romantic nature.
The heart of the film, and the films most impressive element, is the plausible relationship between David and Elise, so exquisitely played by Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, who both exude a captivating level of warmth and naturalism that makes their potentially life-threatening romance instantly credible and captivating to behold.
Damon sturdily channels David’s bruised side, contrasting this with his level-headed political disposition, giving an extraordinarily full-bodied, comprehensive performance, one that will undoubtedly be shamefully overlooked.
And Blunt, in arguably her most enthralling role since The Devil Wears Prada, undercuts Elise’s cutting, untrustworthy exterior with her honest, vulnerable inner heart to perfect, pertinent avail. Her ballet skills may not be the best, but she more than makes up for that in other, more necessary areas.
The supporting actors, most notably a very impressive Anthony Mackie, a slick and crafty John Slattery, and an always on-form Terence Stamp, deliver committed, uniformly ardent turns as various members of ‘The Adjustment Bureau’.
The Adjustment Bureau is a fun, thought-provoking uniquely discerning and superbly acted entertainment romance-thriller. Unlike the marking campaign suggests, it isn’t Bourne meets Inception, but it does have the necessary ingredients to stand out as a solid piece of filmmaking.
Gnomeo and Juliet is a new animation film loosely based on William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. It’s directed by Kelly Asbury.
The film centers on two garden gnomes, Gnomeo (James McAvoy) and Juliet (Emily Blunt), caught in forbidden love. The couple looks to find lasting happiness and avoid tragedy as they are trapped in the middle of a feud between blue and red-hatted garden gnomes.
The heart and beauty of the film, aside from its queerness and spirit in bringing the garden gnomes to life, lies in the sheer attention-to-detail in the visual storytelling. The story and stunning animation, with all its quirks, draws you into the gnomes’ magical existence, and is so soft-hearted, daft and delightfully British that it’s hard not to be swayed.
Asbury awards each gnome a contemporary, individualistic personality that kids of all ages – including some adults – will respond to. In addition, the cast – including McAvoy, Blunt, Michael Caine, Jason Statham, Maggie Smith, Patrick Stewart, Ashley Jensen, Matt Lucas, Stephen Merchant, and even Ozzy Osbourne – enhance the enjoyability and retain the wholly British quality, inhabiting their respective personalities with such joy and comical timing.
The soundtrack, carefully constructed by Elton John, compliments the film seamlessly, becoming a character of its own and enhancing the story and mad-cap eccentricities unravelling on-screen, sweeping you away with its undeniable heart-warming nature.
While it may not have a hope in hell of reaching the dizzy heights of a fellow Pixar or Dreamworks Animation film, Gnomeo & Juliet is a wonderfully homegrown, quirky and seductively fun animation film that is sure to find a place in your heart, unless, however, it’s made of stone.
Morning Glory centers on Becky (Rachel McAdams), a hard-working morning TV show producer, who accepts the challenge of reviving struggling show Daybreak.
However, it soon becomes clear that the challenge at hand, including the task of pairing current host Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton) with respected newsman Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford), may be more difficult than even she can handle.
Surprisingly, despite opening with the usual generic rom-com characteristics, this is no predictable rom-com; instead more of a mature workplace comedy.
Director Roger Michell nails the direction, wonderfully transposing the busting and haphazard nature of Daybreak’s workplace to the bright, spacious and orderly environment Becky aspires to be a part of: the dizzy heights of well-rated commercial TV.
Aline Brosh McKenna’s script, in addition, is dynamic and vigorous. It uses some of the better rom-com characteristics and applies them remarkably well to the workplace comedy, increasing the films impact with fast-paced, sharp dialogue and well-rounded, emotive characters.
The performances are strong across the board. Harrison Ford, in particular, is on excellent form as the headstrong Pomeroy, and his sparring with co-star Colleen, played humorously by Keaton, is priceless.
It’s Rachel McAdams that’s the real triumph here. If, say, someone like Katherine Heigl had been cast instead, Morning Glory wouldn’t have the same pizaz it does with McAdams at the centre. Not only does she carry the film with her energetic, sleek and eminent performance, but she lifts it to a whole new level.
As an actress who has consistently delivered performances across a wide variety of genres, McAdams remains one of Hollywood’s most underrated actors. If there’s any justice, Morning Glory will do for McAdams what The Devil Wears Prada did for Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt: propel her to universal stardom.
With a clever, grown-up script and some brilliant performances at work, Morning Glory is able to shred its predictability and become something special.