Tag Archives: Ralph Fiennes

Review: Skyfall

When news broke that the James Bond film franchise was set to make it to film 25, to put it bluntly, I didn’t care. Good for all the longtime fans, but I’ll take a pass. However, should the next two installments be anything like “Skyfall,” bring on the Bond!

When James Bond’s (Daniel Craig) mission in Istanbul goes awry, a hard drive containing the identities of embedded agents winds up in enemy hands. The incident leads Gareth Mallory (Ralph Fiennes), the new Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee, to insist on M’s (Judi Dench) retirement. She sticks to her guns and vows to recover the drive, but when MI6 is bombed, M comes to realize she’s got no one to trust – except Bond. Bond returns, but in a subpar state, off his game both mentally and physically. However, this is 007 we’re talking about and he’s got just enough juice left to take on the culprit, the sadistic Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem).

As someone without a long-term love of the 007 franchise, the Daniel Craig iterations of the series were just any old spy movies. Yes, “Casino Royale” is superior to the lot, but without having grown up on the Bond movies, there’s never been a reason to have an emotional stake in the character – until now.

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Interview: Wrath of the Titans Director Jonathan Liebesman

It ain’t easy getting work in this industry, especially a film like Wrath of the Titans, but boy did director Jonathan Liebesman take on, well, a monster. While Clash of the Titans went on to make a killing at the box office, $493.2 million worldwide, many moviegoers weren’t particularly happy with the experience. In a way, not only is Liebesman responsible for making his own movie good, but also for making up for the last one a bit.

Sam Worthington is back as Perseus, who is now a father. With the gods’ power waning, Zeus (Liam Neeson), Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Poseidon (Danny Huston) are unable to maintain control of the Titans and, led by their once banished father Kronos, they threaten humanity yet again. Perseus has no choice, but to leave his son and quaint life as a fisherman behind to go head to head with some of the most vicious monsters of the underworld.

Kronos, Chimeras, Cyclopes, explosions an ever-changing labyrinth, some of the most prominent actors in the business, an extra dimension and more – forget the franchise’s past; Liebesman had his hands full regardless. Now, in honor of Wrath of the Titans’ March 30th release, Liebesman took the time to sit down and run through the entire process from the preparation needed to do 3D right to the steps to making the real world elements blend with those digitally created and much more. Check it all out in the interview below.

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Interview: Wrath of the Titans’ Toby Kebbell

We’ve still got massive monsters, powerful gods and a ton of epic battles, but director Jonathan Liebesman and co. are making big changes with their Clash of the Titans sequel, Wrath of the Titans, and one major step in the right direction is the inclusion of some comedic relief courtesy of Toby Kebbell.

Kebbell steps in as Agenor, the forgotten son of Poseidon and, therefore, Perseus’ (Sam Worthington) cousin. When the mortals stop praying to the gods, they lose their powers, leaving them helpless against the Titans. Now the safety of the world lies in Perseus’ hands, but in order to find the location at which he must start his journey, he needs the self-proclaimed Navigator, Agenor. Along with Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), they trek through Cyclopes territory and on in an effort to find a way to keep the Titans and Kronos from ravaging the earth.

Sure starring in a major motion picture sounds glamorous, but in Kebbell’s case it involved being covered in mud, wearing tiny costumes in cold weather, having to hit marks perfectly for the sake of visual effects and more. However, as a guy who prefers to be on set even when he’s not called, making Wrath of the Titans was a pleasure for the actor. Read all about his experience in the interview below.

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Review: Coriolanus

Back in high school, I always knew I should appreciate Shakespeare, but getting through his work was so tedious, it often took away from the narrative. Then, once I finally understood the text and perhaps should have gone back for a second go-around to appreciate it as a story, it was onto the next book of the semester, forever branding his work a mere school assignment rather than something that was meant to be enjoyed. Thanks to Ralph Fiennes, if Coriolanus ever comes up in a school curriculum, teens might actually be able to enjoy the material when passing on the text for the movie. (But, of course, I never did that.)

The story now takes place in a more modern Rome, but still focuses of Caius Martius (Fiennes), a solider who deplores the common folk. When war erupts between Rome and the Volscians, Martius comes face to face with his adversary, Tullus Aufidius (Gerard Butler). Ultimately, Martius prevails and he’s bestowed the name Coriolanus. When his deeds lead the Senate to make him consul, Martius has no choice but to appease the citizens, as he needs their vote to officially assume the position.

Well, actually he has a choice and when Martius chooses to defy the common folk rather than embrace them for their blessing, they banish him from Rome, sending him right into the arms of his utmost enemy, Aufidius. Together, they seek vengeance by taking Rome.

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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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Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

There’s a lot to the world of Harry Potter. We’ve got all these spells with crazy names, people with crazy names, items with crazy names and for those who’ve never read the books or watched the films dozens of times, it’s impossible to remember them all. Having only seen the last film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, once, not knowing enough information to understand The Deathly Hallows: Part I was a major concern. Well, there’s no need to worry because as important as all of the details are, the quality of filmmaking is monumentally more important and that’s as evident as ever in this film. Director David Yates delivers such an entertaining, engaging and well-made film, you practically feel as though you’re part of the world yourself and it’s that sensation that not only clarifies nearly every detail, but it makes for an immensely powerful and all-consuming experience.

Harry, Ron and Hermione (Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson) are back, but not at Hogwarts. The search for Voldemort’s Horcruxes is now their top priority forcing them to leave their education and families behind. With the help of Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), Mad-Eye Moody (Brendn Gleeson), Lupin (David Thewlis) and others, Harry is smuggled to the Weasley’s house for hiding, but when their group is ambushed by Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), Harry can’t bare to see his friends suffer on his behalf and attempts to venture off alone. That’s when Ron steps in and puts things into prospective; Harry may be the chosen one, but this situation is far bigger than him.

A short while later, the Wesley’s home is attacked in the middle of Bill and Fleur’s (Domhnall Gleeson and Clemence Poesy) wedding and everyone scatters. Harry, Ron and Hermione wind up together and knowing that everybody is surely in hiding, opt to take the search for the Horcruxes upon themselves. With just a few cryptic clues left behind by Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), they’re left to trek across the land in hope they’ll uncover more clues along the way.

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Review: Clash of the Titans

The ‘open item’ policy at stores like Best Buy is great. Someone returns a lightly used product, it’s repackaged and resold at a lesser cost. The downside is that it’s a final sale deal. If you’re used item is actually used and abused, you’re screwed. Post-production 3D conversion is the ‘open item’ of filmmaking. You’re creating the effect of shooting in 3D, but at a lesser cost. But sadly, in Clash of the Titans’ case, 3D conversion is damaged goods and is just a gimmick, not a good deal.

The film opens with a fisherman (Pete Postlethwaite) finding a gigantic box floating in the water. He pulls his haul aboard and is surprised to find a woman and child inside. Sadly, the woman has passed, but the young boy survives. Little does this fisherman know, the boy who he adopts as his son, only survived because he’s not entirely human, he’s Perseus (Sam Worthington), the son of Zeus (Liam Neeson). During a fateful encounter with Hades (Ralph Fiennes), Perseus’ family perishes and he winds up in Argos.

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