Tag Archives: Jim Broadbent

Review: Cloud Atlas

Usually when I catch a movie, I’m busy scribbling down notes, some of which pertain to the film’s plot, just so I’ve got the facts straight when writing the review. However, in the case of “Cloud Atlas,” not only did I want to save my hand all that stress, but thought it’d be interesting to see what stuck after the 164-minute multiple storyline epic without writing a single note or looking at the press notes. No book, no notes, no Googling. This is what I took from “Cloud Atlas.”

We’ve got quite a few characters and storylines in play here. There’s Tom Hanks’ Zachary, a man living in a village, fighting off a vicious enemy tribe while assisting Halle Berry’s space-age character in her quest to send a call for help to her home planet. In the 1800s, one of Jim Sturgess’ characters befriends an escaped slave while sailing home to his wife. In the early 1900s, Ben Whishaw’s Frobisher goes to work for a famous composer where he gets the inspiration to pen the Cloud Atlas Sextet. In the 1970s, Berry is a journalist who catches wind of a scandal and is chased by a corporation assassin trying to stop her from exposing the story. In the present we get Timothy Cavendish, a man who’s tricked into signing himself into an old age home by his brother. Finally, well into the future, we meet Sonmi, one of many identical robot-like humans who are made to staff a fast food restaurant. They’re designed to sleep in their boxes, wake and go to work, but one day, Sonmi can’t help, but to recognize that she’s got hopes, dreams and feelings.

I can’t believe it, but I think I actually managed to account for every “Cloud Atlas” scenario. Yes, they’re merely simplistic descriptions of the stories, but when you’ve got a total of six narratives within a single film that don’t connect on a literal level and are all playing out simultaneously, it’s a wonder how someone can keep track of them all after a single viewing. And perhaps that goes to show that writer-directors Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski and Andy Wachowski did achieve a degree of success with their unusual methods.

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Review: Arthur Christmas

Want to put the odds in your movie’s favor? Make a Christmas movie. Unoriginality, cheesy humor, goofy characters? All is excused when it’s done in the name of holiday spirit. While Arthur Christmas does make use of that get out of jail free card quite often, there is enough solid filmmaking behind the Aardman Animations and Sony Pictures Animation collaboration to label Arthur Christmas above average holiday fair.

It’s November 25th and little Gwen is placing her order in advance, sending Santa a letter requesting a pink twinkle bike this holiday season. A few days later, that very letter lands in the hands of Arthur Christmas (James McAvoy), son of the current Santa (Jim Broadbent). December 24th arrives and Santa and the massive elf squadron, led by Arthur’s brother, Steve (Hugh Laurie), from home base, take action, delivering presents swiftly and generally clandestinely, then boarding their souped up version of the classic sleigh, the S1, and zipping over to the next city to do it all again. Santa and the elves return to cheers and applause. Another perfect Christmas – that is until it’s discovered that a single child has been forgotten; Gwen never got her twinkle bike.

Hoping to soon succeed his father as the next Santa, Steve’s ready to just brush this one under the rug, but Arthur insists they cannot allow just one child to wake up and think Santa’s forgotten her. At Grandsanta’s (Bill Nighy) urging, Arthur dusts off the old classic sleigh, hops in the passenger seat and Grandsanta attempts to fly them to Gwen’s home in England.

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Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

After ten years and seven films, it’s a near impossible task to wrap up the Harry Potter franchise. As someone who’s never read the books, I sat down for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 expecting to say goodbye to the gang in their graves or living happily ever after. Ultimately, the piece does find an appropriate spot on that spectrum, making for a great series conclusion. Then again, that’s great as compared to something that I hoped would be excellent – just short of excellent that is.

Harry, Ron and Hermione (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson) are back and in the midst of their Horcrux hunt. With Griphook (Warwick Davis) the goblin’s reluctant assistance, the trio infiltrates Bellatrix Lestrange’s (Helena Bonham Carter) vault at Gringotts where they suspect yet another Horcrux containing a piece of Voldemort’s (Ralph Fiennes) soul hides. From there, it’s on to track down and destroy the remaining items, both of which are suspected to be at Hogwarts.

The trio arrives back at school to find Snape (Alan Rickman) has assumed the late Albus Dumbledore’s (Michael Gambon) position. Once Harry arrives, Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith), Neville (Matthew Lewis), Ginny (Bonnie Wright) and all of his old Hogwarts pals abandon their efforts to simply submit to their new headmaster’s oppressive regime and join Harry to fight back. Soon thereafter, Voldemort arrives, massive army in tow, and the Battle of Hogwarts begins.

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Interview: Emily Blunt is The Young Victoria

It’s always a challenge to accurately portray a particular character. The actor must appease the expectations of the director, the writer and the producers. Yes, he or she must also gain the approval of the audience, but that’s after the fact. In the case of a period piece, the actor must think beyond the filmmakers and consider the approval of any administrations involved, having the character resonate with unfamiliar foreign audiences and, most importantly, having an in depth knowledge of who this figure really was in every facet.

The Young Victoria stars Emily Blunt as the princess who ascends the throne at just 18 years old. Looked upon as young and easily influenced, an assortment of royals, even her own mother (Miranda Richardson), pressures her to make decisions for their personal gain rather than the good of the country. It isn’t until her budding relationship with her cousin Prince Albert (Rupert Friend) transitions into a marriage that she realizes, unlike everyone else in her life, he has no intentions of being controlling and overbearing, just to be her loving husband and equal.

ComingSoon.net had the opportunity to attend a roundtable interview with the actress who enlightened us on the burdens and joys of taking on such a dynamic and historically significant character.

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Review: The Young Victoria

I tend to avoid costume period dramas. I find them tiresome to the point that British English sounds more like Chinese than the dialectic most similar to American English. It goes in one ear and out the other as my mind dissolves into oblivion. The same thing happens to you? I’m not surprised considering the rotten reception this genre of film typically gets in the U.S. But I implore you, rethink your preconceived notions and give The Young Victoria a chance. Yes, it’s talky and stately, but it has a degree of humanization making it far more enjoyable and relatable than others of its kind.

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