Tag Archives: Anthony Hopkins

Review: Noah

Noah PosterWhen you’ve got Darren Aronofsky bringing a Biblical tale to screen, expectations are through the roof. “Noah” may not meet those expectations, but the film does nestle in just a few notches below. It isn’t a mind-blowing epic, but it’s certainly a riveting and worthy retelling of this story.

The film kicks off with a partial recap of creation, specifically what went down with Adam and Eve, and what became of their children, Cain, Abel and Seth. From there we cut to one of Seth’s descendant’s, Noah (Dakota Goyo), who’s just a boy at the time, but watches his father murdered right before his eyes. Years later, Noah (Russell Crowe) has a wife, Naameh (Jennifer Connelly), and three boys of his own, Shem, Ham and Japheth. After having a vision of man’s demise, Noah sets out to save the innocent – the animals – with the help of his family and The Watchers while Tubal-cain (Ray Winstone) and his followers threaten to claim their work, the ark.

As someone with limited knowledge of scripture, Aronofsky had a significant amount of breathing room with this and he didn’t let an inch of it go to waste. Whereas early memories of Noah’s ark involve a lecture or pages in a book, Aronofsky’s take is cinematic through and through. The performances are bold and engaging, most visuals are downright stunning, and they’re both featured within the context of an enthralling narrative. However, even though Aronofsky does deliver a worthy big screen Bible story, by going big in certain respects, he is forced to tiptoe around a number of potential pitfalls.

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Review: Thor: The Dark World

The_The_Dark_World_Poster1“Thor: The Dark World” is simply Marvel’s most fun movie.

Way back when, Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) father, Bor, supposedly annihilated a race called the Dark Elves, thwarting their attempt to shroud the universe in darkness using a weapon called the Aether. Trouble is, the leader of the Dark Elves, Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), and a few cohorts abandoned their race mid-fight and managed to escape so they could get another chance to see their plan through in the future. In present day, about two years after the events of “Thor,” Thor is reveling in the success of his efforts to bring peace to the Nine Realms. However, before the Asgardians can enjoy this universal accord, the Nine Realms align, portals open, and the Dark Elves return.

“Thor: The Dark World” is easily one of Marvel’s most entertaining films. It’s got action, adventure, heart and some of the best superhero movie comedy. There are some logic issues, but the film is such a joy and thrill that the pleasure of the illusion leaves no room for misgivings.

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Review: RED 2

RED_2_PosterThe details of the mission are a little sloppy, but the appeal of watching Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren rock some serious firepower is still there, making “RED 2” another satisfying Retired and Extremely Dangerous thrill.

Frank (Willis) is back to trying to live the quiet life again until Marvin (Malkovich) interrupts his Costco shopping session to warn him that Nightshade has come back to haunt them. Nightshade is a Cold War era nuclear weapon that went missing on their watch, but now it’s back, and both the US Government and MI6 think that Frank and Marvin know where it is. With Victoria (Mirren) trying to track them down on behalf of MI6 and a deadly assassin named Han (Byung-hun Lee) aiming to take them out for the US, Frank, Marvin, and Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) have no choice, but to travel the globe and figure out where Nightshade is for themselves so they can put an end to all of this.

There are two primary components to the “RED 2” story and while neither works particularly well, there’s enough outrageous action to fill up the plot holes and make it an entertaining watch.

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CS Video: Killing Time with the Cast of RED 2

Helen_Mirren_RED_2Watching Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren team up to blow enemies away with machine guns and explosives has an undeniable charm and it goes to show.RED opened in October of 2010 to the tune $21.8 million and then went on to stay in theaters for four full months and accumulate nearly $200 million worldwide. These Retired and Extremely Dangerous agents certainly earned their sequel.

In RED 2, opening July 19, we find former CIA black ops agent Frank Moses (Willis), again, happily retired, but this time he’s living the Costco shopper life with Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) by his side, much to her chagrin. But soon enough, she gets her wish and gets to add a little danger to their romance again when Frank and Marvin (Malkovich) are tasked with finding and destroying a missing Cold War weapon that returned to pose a serious threat. As if tracking down a super weapon isn’t tough enough, Frank, Marvin and Sarah have to do so with two assassins on their tail – the US hire, Han (Byung Hun Lee), a contract killer with a vendetta against Frank, and someone dispatched by MI6, none other than their old pal, Victoria (Helen Mirren).

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‘RED 2’ Video Interview: Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura On Making Blockbusters

Lorenzo-di-BonaventuraLorenzo di Bonaventura knows how to make a summer blockbuster.Transformers scored $70.5 million opening weekend in 2007, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen topped that with nearly $109 million in 2009, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra posted a $54.7 million start just after that, and thenTransformers: Dark of the Moon pulled in $97.9 million its first weekend out in the summer of 2011. Now the question is, can he take a long-range success and turn it into one of those summer tentpoles?

RED opened in October of 2010 with a moderate $21.8 million. Considering the film had a $58 million production tab, $21.8 million is sufficient, but also doesn’t necessarily scream franchise-worthy. However, then RED went on to spend a whopping four months in theaters, never losing more than 50.1% of its profits in a single weekend, which let it end its theatrical run with a domestic grand total of $90.4 million and a worldwide total of $199 million. Now a number like that deserves a sequel – which is why summer 2013 brings us RED 2.

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Review: Hitchcock

Hitchcock-PosterIf you’re a sucker for horror and suspense, and have a serious soft spot for the art of making movies, “Hitchcock” is an absolute charmer, delivering the touching satisfaction of a romance, but in a wildly entertaining and somewhat brutal environment.

“Hitchcock” focuses in on Alfred Hitchcock’s (Anthony Hopkins) career just after releasing “North By Northwest” and moving on to his next project, “Psycho.” Even though the director has immense clout amongst the Hollywood community, many wonder why he doesn’t just retire at the ripe old age of 60 and go out on top, but even more so about why he wants to work with such violent material.

Support for “Psycho” is hard to come by and Hitchcock is left with no choice, but to strike a deal with Paramount – self-finance the film himself and defer his director’s fee in exchange for a percentage of ownership of the film’s negative and a distribution agreement. The studio finally gives him a reluctant thumbs up and Hitchcock goes to work.

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Review: Thor

As someone who isn’t up-to-date on her comic book reading, these films tend to be a bit of a blur. However, lately, that sensation fades after the films’ releases. Thanks to Marvel, over the years, I’ve gotten to know tons of endlessly fascinating characters like Iron Man, Spider-Man and more. Of course there were less memorable ones like Daredevil and the Punisher, but rest assured, Thor certainly earns his place in the latter group.

Meet Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), the king of Asgard. As the aging Odin approaches the end of his reign, he must select one of his two sons, the all-powerful Thor or the magical Loki (Tom Hiddleston), to assume the throne. While Thor’s seemingly the favorite, his decision to travel to the world of the Frost Giants to violently put an end to their long-term feud with the Asgardians, leaves his father no choice but to banish him for the threat his reckless behavior poses to their people.

Thor arrives on Earth via a charged tornado, the force setting off the radars of a local cosmologist, Jane (Natalie Portman). Jane rushes out to the scene of the action with Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) and their college intern, Darcy (Kat Dennings). That’s when she literally drives her truck straight into Thor. While Thor tries to figure out the oddities of this foreign realm, Jane and her team take him to be a guy who’s just out of his mind. However, as she starts to piece together the facts of his arrival and simply get to know Thor as a man, she’s compelled to believe.

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