30th Aug2016

Golden Years (DVD)

by timbaros

12039747_583726331803592_5654593030295481167_nThe pensioners in the new DVD release ‘Golden Years’ try to get even at the system that they feel is robbing them.

It’s a cute and funny film about older people trying to get back what’s theirs. They feel the system is corrupt, so they take matters into their own hands. Retired couple Arthur Goode (Bernard Hill) and his wife Martha (Virginia McKenna), who is ill with Crohn’s disease, eke out a living on their pension while spending time at their local social club with friends Royston (Simon Callow), Brian (Philip Davis), and Shirley (Una Stubbs). But one day Arthur finds out that the company he spent a lifetime working for has gone bankrupt, and so has his pension. He doesn’t know what to do…….how is going to be able to take care of Martha? An opportunity presents itself when, while in front of a bank when money is being delivered, one of the guards trips, falls and gets knocked out on the ground, while the guard inside the truck inadvertently hands over a container of money to Arthur, who gladly takes it and runs. It sets off an idea where he enlists Martha, and eventually his friends, to rob banks. Who would expect pensioners as bank robbers, with cucumbers acting as guns, of stealing money?

‘Golden Years’ is a delightful film with a cast of great actors all relishing their role as bank robbers. It gets even funnier when the local police keep thinking that the bank robbers are a malicious and very dangerous gang. I would’ve liked to have seen more of Ellen Thomas, the loquacious and horny local diva, she’s got some of the best lines in the film. Some of the robberies the gang pulls off are, however, a bit unbelievable and far-fetched, especially when they’re attempt at running away is basically a slow walk. But nonetheless it’s a charming film that will make you think what retirement holds in store for you – perhaps robbing banks to get even with the system.

GOLDEN YEARS is available on DVD & Digital HD from 29th August
www.facebook.com/goldenyearsmovie @goldenyearsfilm



Golden Years Grand Theft OAP [DVD] (DVD)

Starring: Bernard Hill, Phillip Davis, Simon Callow, Sue Johnston, Alun Armstrong
Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over

New From: £3.72 GBP In Stock
Used from: £0.09 GBP In Stock

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30th Aug2016

Film actor Gene Wilder dies

by timbaros

images-420Comedian and Actor Gene Wilder has died at the age of 83 due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease in Stamford, Connecticut.

Wilder was a wildly popular actor and comedian who is best known for playing the lead role in the memorable Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971). Wilder teamed up with Mel Brooks on several films – The Producers (1968) – which earned Wilder a Best Supporting Actor nomination – as well as Blazing Saddles (1974) and Young Frankenstein (1974), earning his second Oscar nomination for his first-time screen-writing efforts (along with Mel Brooks) on the latter. Wilder teamed up with Richard Pryor on Stir Crazy (1980) and Silver Streak (1976). Wilder’s last screen role was in 1991’s Another You. He turned his hand to television in the 1990’s and was memorable in a recurring role in Will & Grace. Wilder’s late wife was Gilda Radner, who passed away in 1989.

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26th Aug2016

War Dogs (Film)

by timbaros

ARMS AND THE DUDESHow did two twentysomethings get into the business of selling arms to the U.S. government? ‘War Dogs’ tells this story.

Based on the Rolling Stone article ‘Arms and the Dudes’ by Guy Lawson, Miles Teller and Jonas Hill play David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli. Packouz is a massage therapist, constantly being sexually harassed by his very wealthy male clients. He also sells expensive high quality bed sheets to old age homes but he’s told they don’t want to buy them because it would be like wrapping a lizard in very nice bedsheets. But when he runs into long lost friend Diveroli at a funeral, his life takes a dramatic turn. Living with his girlfriend Iz (Ana de Armas) in a cramped flat, Packouz takes up the opportunity to work at Diveroli’s company – AEY Inc. to make more money. It’s a company Diveroli set up to sell weapons to the U.S. government, with silent partner dry cleaner owner Ralph Slutzky (Kevin Pollack). AEY is initially tasked with obtaining beretta guns for a general in the thick of the Iraq war. When the italian-made guns can’t be transported directly into Iraq, it’s up to the Packouz and Diveroli to drive the truck to Iraq via Jordan, and that’s exactly what they do, risking their lives for a $2.8 million payoff. They then discover that the U.S. government has what seems like billions of dollars to give out to companies just like theirs in order to procure weapons, and all bids listed on a government website.

With a lot of cash now in hand, and with fabulous new properties they’ve bought (plus a new baby girl for Packouz and Iz), AEY decides to expand their business. They head to Las Vegas for Vegas X, a comicon-like convention with grenades and not comics. This is where they meet Henry Girard (a very good and subdued Bradley Cooper), who puts them in contact with the Albanian government to help them obtain ammunition to arm the Afghan military (money which the U.S. Government will pay. Their $300 million bid is amazingly accepted by the military generals but they tell them that their bid was $50 million less than the lowest bid. The men carry out the order, not realizing until too late that the ammunition the Albanian authorities are selling them are actually Chinese, which they re-brand and re-package (illegal). Diveroli’s greed and his and Packouz’s crumbling relationship gets the best of them, and it all comes down to not if they will be caught, but when.

While ‘War Dogs’ is a very good film, reminiscent of a Martin Scorcese movie, though not all of what you see in this film actually happened. In the beginning we’re told that ‘War Dogs’ is ‘based on a true story,’ so several events in the film didn’t actually take place (driving the truck from Jordan to Iraq.) Directed by Todd Phillips (The Hangover) and produced by Phillips and Cooper, ‘War Dogs’ succeeds, however, in the performances of both of it’s leads (though neither one of them look in their 20’s and Hill is quite chunkier than usual), and the film’s script is clever and witty. ‘War Dogs’ also has an excellent movie soundtrack, with songs by The Who, Pink Floyd and House of Pain, carrying the spirit of a 1990’s Scorcese gangster film. If ‘War Dogs’ were a fictionalized film, then it would’ve been fine the way it is. But there’s no reason why the filmmakers couldn’t have just stuck to the real version of events of these two very young arms dealer – it would’ve made for a more compelling and very realistic tale.

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31st Jul2016

Jason Bourne (Film)

by timbaros

gallery4-5719055980b79-1Matt Damon is back and is better than ever in the new Bourne film appropriately titled ‘Jason Bourne.’

This is Damon’s fourth outing as the rogue CIA agent (Jeremy Renner stepped in to star in 2012’s The Bourne Legacy), and he comfortably steps back into Bourne’s shoes, a role Damon made his own back in the first of the series – 2002’s The Bourne Identity. In the new film, directed for a third time by Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips and Green Zone), Bourne is seen in several countries around the world, attempting to find answers about his past, while at the same time still being tracked by CIA chiefs. Among them is Tommy Lee Jones who plays CIA director Robert Dewey (Jones looks like he’d rather be elsewhere). With him is CIA Agent Heather Lea (recent Oscar Winner Alicia Vikander), who’s not given much to do except hunch over computer terminals tracking Bourne’s every move. But ignore the scenes that take place in the CIA headquarters as it’s the shots of Bourne in various parts of the world where the film really kicks ass. In Greece, Bourne is reunited with agent Nicolette Parsons (Julian Stiles) who has been in hiding but it takes a drastic turn for the worse and it takes Bourne to Berlin, Istanbul, London and lastly Las Vegas where he finally meets up with Dewey and Lea in a final scene that feels contrived and a bit ridiculous. In between Bourne’s running all over the world is a subplot involving a social media wunderkind (Riz Ahmed) who has entered into an agreement with Dewey to provide data for the CIA, a plot line that’s a bit irrelevant and unnecessary. It all makes for one head spinning action adventure movie.

Greengrass displays excellent directorial technique in the action sequences and less so in the scenes with Jones and Vikander – their performances are quite stiff. So the action that takes place in Greece (which is really Malaga), Paddington, and especially in Las Vegas are where the film excels. These action scenes are fast and frantic, involving lots of quick editing and camera work, with expertly staged car crashes and bystanders caught up in between it all. Vincent Cassel pops us as an assassin out to get Bourne, but we really don’t get to know much about him and why he’s on the CIA’s side. But poor Vikander and Jones, both Oscar winners, who take a huge back seat to Damon’s rough and ready and on the run Bourne. Could we see more of him and less, or none, of them in the next one?

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31st Jul2016

Traders (Film)

by timbaros

Killian Scott waits in toiletIt’s a game of cat and mouse and the prize is money in the new thriller ‘Traders.’

When the financial company they work for goes bust with a £14 billion loss, two men are left wondering what to do next. Killian Scott is Harry Fox, the good looking alpha male with an amazing flat who is used to making tons of money. John Bradley is Vernon Stynes, overweight and bit of a schlub, but he’s the one who has lots of ideas. He creates a new website business called Traders. The website has nothing to do with financial trading – it has to do with money exchanging hands, but the catch being that one man has to kill another man in order to get the money (trade the money). At first Harry dismisses Vernon’s idea, but when he falls behind in his bills and is resorted to taking a call centre job, he decides that he’s going to give it a try. So he sets up a trade – a meetup – with another trader from the website, and easily kills him, winning the money brought in green bag that’s part of the rules of the game. Harry buries him in the grave that both he and the deceased dug, another one of the rules of the game. Harry is hooked – this is way too easy for him. He continues to set up more and more trades, winning lots more money. But things, of course, don’t go according to plan. Vernon is severely injured when him and Harry decide to trade against each other but then stop before Harry actually kills Vernon. Harry then feels sorry for Vernon so he let’s him recuperate in his flat. In the meantime, Harry gets to intimately know Vernon’s neighbor Orla (Nika McGuigan), who comes to Harry’s flat to check on Vernon. Will almost killing his best friend teach Harry a lesson or will he continue to trade until he’s had enough, or worse yet, killed?

While Harry keeps on racking up lots of kills, why doesn’t anyone notice all of these men suddenly missing? When Harry kills a man who shows him a photo of his wife and kid right before the trade, didn’t anyone notice the killing? It all boils down to a final showdown where Harry is about to kill a young man half his age and it’s at this point that ’Traders’ gets to be a bit unbelievable and silly. ‘Traders’ is a film that probably won’t do much trade at the box office.

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10th Jul2016

Bachelor Games (Film)

by timbaros

00351530New VOD release ‘Bachelor Games’ is this year’s ‘The Hangover’ not set in Las Vegas but set in a mountainous desert.

It’s the story of five men who go on a stag weekend to the far flung reaches of Argentina (looking like Mexico) to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of Henry (Jack Gordon). Of course things don’t go according to plan, only because the stag weekend is a setup by Henry to get back at his best mate Leon (Charlie Bewley) for sleeping with his fiancé. Along for the ride as well is military he-man Max (Obi Abili), medic Roy (Mike Noble), and tough guy and drug addict Terence (Jack Doolan).

When the men go hiking in the Andes mountains, it’s Leon who gets punked. Henry has one of the men dress up as a warrior Indian to pretend to attack the gang, and mostly to scare Leon as payback, but it all goes haywire when Leon stabs Terence in the leg during the scare, and their adventure goes from bad to worse. The local myth is that the same area has been the home to some sort of spirit who protects the mountain and is known to attack and kill intruders. And the men intruders when the spirit surfaces, so it’s no longer a revenge game, it’s a run for your life game. There’s nowhere to run and there’s nowhere to hide for these men.

‘Bachelor Games’ is an action adventure horror thriller that never once loses it’s suspense. From the onset of the film there is a feeling that something bad is going to happen to these men – it’s not going to turn into a booze and cruise and strippers sort of weekend. But suspend disbelief in the absurdity of the revenge plot and just focus on the men’s plight so survive – at any cost.

BACHELOR GAMES, arriving on digital platforms July 8, 2016 from Gravitas Ventures and Strike Films.

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12th Jun2016

Where to Invade Next (Film)

by timbaros

WTIN-Join-Chiefs_CR_US_Department-of-DefenseIn his latest documentary, Michael Moore ‘invades’ several countries to learn about an aspect of their system that he could possibly take back to America with him.

Moore decides ‘Where to Invade Next’ as he plants a flag in each country he visits. These countries were chosen by him because they do something better than America – it’s European Socialism he says. He first visits Italy, where they get seven weeks of vacation, versus the U.S. standard of only two weeks. We meet a couple who make the most of their seven weeks, travelling during their time off and planning a longer holiday in August when the country practically shuts down. They even get 15 days off for their honeymoon! Then he visits an elementary school in France. His visit is timed with their lunch hour. He’s shocked to see how civil the kids are during lunch, how the food is practically gourmet, and how serious the school’s chef and the school system take over the nutritional content of their lunch. This in comparison, he shows us, of the lunch provided to the American school children which appears to be largely unidentifiable slop on a plate. He next visits Norway, where we see a prison that is nestled in a beautiful location where the prisoners lounge around, have pretty much all the amenities of home, and are treated like human beings, unlike in American where the prisons are overcrowded and extremely dangerous. Among other countries is a visit to Slovenia, where college education is free. Students don’t have a huge debt to pay once they get out of college. We meet a few American college students at a college in Slovenia who are happy attending a school that’s free and where there are more then 100 courses taught in English, where in the U.S. students protest over ever increasing college fees (and huge debt after leaving school). And Moore brings up an excellent point when he visits Iceland and discovers that the one bank that didn’t fail during the 2008 financial crises was a bank run by women. He likens that if Lehman Brothers were run by women (‘Lehman Sisters) it probably would not have failed. And Finland, where they’ve abolished homework for their students with the emphasis being spending free time with friends and doing what makes you happy.

Moore brings up a lot of valid points in ‘Where to Invade Next’ that makes you wonder how certain countries are able to better provide for their citizens while the U.S can’t do anything close . Moore has written and directed several controversial (and popular) documentaries including ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ (the aftermath of American from 9/11 – which is the highest grossing documentary ever) and ‘Bowling for Columbine’ (his Oscar-winning documentary about gun violence in the U.S. in the aftermath of the deadly massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado). ‘Where to Invade to Next’ might be one of his most light-hearted documentaries, and also a bit silly with the premise of ‘planting’ an American flag in each country he visits. But as usual he makes valid points that are useful comparisons of the American way of doing things versus the European way of doing things. And while during the film he visits world leaders and opinion makers, he makes absolutely no effort to dress and clean himself up before these meetings. But there’s lots to learn in ‘Where to Invade Next,’ to learn how countries do things better than America. According to Moore, ‘The American dream is alive and well, but not in America!’

‘Where to Invade Next’ is now playing in UK cinemas. On Friday June 10th there will be a live stream Q&A session with Moore from the Sheffield Documentary Film Festival that will be shown across 127 screen in both the UK and Ireland. To get tickets for this, please go to: http://tickets.wheretoinvadenext.co.ukIMG_0039-1

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08th Jun2016

Holding the Man (Film)

by timbaros

Holding The Man 1A moving and very emotional film about a gay couple during the height of the AIDS crises is beautifully told in the new film ‘Holding the Man.’

‘Holding the Man’ is based on the 1995 book of the same name by Timothy Conigrave. It’s a poignant true life love story between two Australian men, Conigrave and John Caleo, who met and fell in love at an all boys school in Melbourne in the mid-70’s. It’s a relationship that lasted 15 years.

‘Holding the Man’ is one of the better, or perhaps maybe the best, of all the films that’s dealt with the AIDS crisis. It’s a movie that simply tells a story, a love story so enduring and epic that it’s irrelevant whether the characters are gay or straight. And it’s a story that some of us, who were around in the 1980’s and 1990’s when friends and partners were dying right and left from AIDS, can unfortunately relate to.

Ryan Corr plays Timothy Conigrave, while Craig Stott plays John Caleo. ‘Holding the Man’ is directed by Australian Neil Armfield (2006’s ‘Candy’ with Heath Ledger), with a screenplay by Tommy Murphy, who adapted it for the stage in 2006.

Stott is the football player and football loving Caleo, a man who anyone could fall in love with. But it’s Conigrave, an aspiring actor, who tackles and gets him. (In Australian Football holding the man occurs when a player is tackled without the ball). They start dating and almost immediately fall in love. But these two men were exploring their sexuality in the 1970’s, a time when HIV and AIDS had yet to rear it’s ugly head. So it was a time when gay men were getting infected both in the U.S. and Europe – and Australia was no exception – without knowing it. It is 1985 when they discover that they are both HIV positive.

‘Holding the Man’ continues to tell the delicate and ever increasing sad story of these two men and their caring and loving relationship, how Caleo was the first to get sick, how their parents and family dealt with both men’s illness, and how Conigrave coped with Caleo’s deterioration.

Corr and Stott are terrific and give it their all (Anthony LaPaglia is especially good as Caleo’s stern and unforgiving father). But it’s in the storytelling where this film excels. Credit goes to director Armfield and writer Murphy for successfully bringing this story to the screen. It’s a story that’s been told a few times (‘Philadelphia’), but not in such a meaningful, and very realistic, way. However it’s Conigrave’s book on which this film is based, it’s his book about his relationship with Caleo, a sort of love letter to him, and we’re all very lucky to be able to see what an amazing, yet heartbreaking, relationship it was. This film is highly recommended.

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28th May2016

Alice Through the Looking Glass (Film)

by timbaros

alice-and-hatter_9908d9eaDisney’s new film ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ hits theaters this weekend and it’s bound to be a huge moneymaker for the studio who is having an excellent year so far.

Disney has 13 movies coming out in 2016, but if 2015 was the studio’s best year ever (‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ and ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron’ sequel were massive hits), 2016 looks to be even brighter and bigger for them.

‘Zootopia,’ ‘The Jungle Book’ and ‘Captain America:Civil War’ have made, as of May 16th, close to $1 billion each (!!), and they are still raking in money at the box office, with ‘Captain America’ only a few weeks into it’s release. With the release of ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass,’ is poised to take in more than the 2010 ‘Alice in Wonderland’ film which peaked at just over $1 billion.

‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ sees the return of the same actors playing the same characters from the 2010 film. Alice (Mia Wasikowska) travels back in time to try to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp). Along the way she reconnects with her friends including the White Rabbit (Michael Sheen), Absolem (the late Alan Rickman) the Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry), twins Tweedledee and Tweedledum (Matt Lucas), the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) and of course the Mad Hatter. We’re also treated to a delicious turn by both Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen (and Alice’s sister) and Sacha Baron Cohen (as Time).

Alice has spent several years sailing the high seas (and following in her father’s footsteps). When she returns to London, she is asked (and demanded) to sign away her ship to her ex-boyfriend James (Ed Speelers). When she attends a meeting with him and her mother (Lindsay Duncan), she goes to an upstairs room and steps through a mirror, and through this mirror Alice takes a journey (literally through the looking glass) to Wonderland. It’s here where she sees all of her Wonderland friends, but something is not right with the Mad Hatter. She needs to turn to Time to correct things in the past that will make the Mad Hatter’s life better. Alice ends up taking a device called the Chronosphere, which allows her to travel back in time. She sees ways where she can help the Mad Hatter, but also comes across the events in her own life, which include a lie that she told as a young girl that tragically affected her sister the Red Queen. It’s all told, as expected from Disney, in very visual colors and 3D.

There was no way that anyone could top Tim Burton’s 2010 film, but James Bobbin (‘The Muppets’ and ‘Muppets Most Wanted’) successfully manages to bring the story back to life, with the help of screenwriter Linda Wolverton (who also wrote ‘Alice in Wonderland’). But no film would be as good as this if it were not for the excellent cast. Wasikoska does her bit as Alice as well as she did in the 2010 film, but it’s the addition of Cohen as Time that adds a fun element to the film, where he, and the Red Queen, live literally in time. And it’s Carter as the Red Queen who steals every scene she’s in. With a huge head, and a huge head of hair, and makeup that’s expertly applied on her face to give her a highly unusual look, Carter chews up every scene she is in (and in my opinion it’s an Academy-Award worthy performance, though it’s rare for a performer to receive one in a Disney movie – though Meryl Streep was nominated for ‘Into The Woods’ – but of course it was Streep!). Expect ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ to break the $1 billion ceiling. It will be another hit for Disney, and will keep the studio on track to continue it’s dominance at the box office this year, where they have ‘Finding Dory,’ ‘The BGF,’ and ‘Star Wars: Rogue One’ still to come.

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21st May2016

Sing Street (Film)

by timbaros

phoca_thumb_m_sing_street_band_10It’s 1985 and the music of Duran Duran, Tears for Fears and Spandau Ballet were at the top of the charts. ‘Sing Street’ follows the story of one young man during this era who decides to start his own band to woo a local girl.

Dublin during this time was not a very good place to grow up. People were flocking to London where careers and money were to be made. Fresh, young and innocent Cosmo (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), baby-faced yet intelligent and going through puberty, is struggling with the eminent divorce of his parents. They no longer can afford to send him to private school so he’s chucked into attending the very rough Synge Street school where he immediately gets beaten up by the school’s bullies. But Cosmo comes up with the idea of forming a band because he wants to impress pretty 16-year old Penny (Maria Doyle Kennedy) who he spots sitting on her stoop at a girl’s boarding house where she lives. Cosmo immediately takes a liking to her but she says that she’s going to become a model and is planning on moving to London with her ‘adult’ boyfriend. But Cosmo is really keen on her and in order to impress her, together with his mates, they form the Sing Street band, but there’s a small matter of sourcing instruments and getting others (preferably talented) to join. After lots and lots of practice in a friend’s living room, Sing Street actually become very good. But Cosmo is still keen on impressing Penny, so he and the band invite her to star in their music video, made on the very cheap. As Sing Street continue to get better and better, and with fellow band members, they become local celebrities. With Cosmo’s no good for nothing brother Brendan’s support (Jack Reynor), who was never actually able to follow his dreams of leaving Dublin, Sing Street continue their plans to be successful and to conquer Dublin.

’Sing Street’ is a good old fashioned British musical that could’ve been made with the Monkees back in the 1960’s. But it’s now 2016 and ‘Sing Street’ is a very good throwback to that era and captures the look and feel and sound of that time. ‘Sing Street’ really works thanks to a great young cast and crisp direction and writing by John Carney (the Oscar-winning 2007 film ‘Once’). But it’s the music in ‘Sing Street’ that will get you to tap your toe and to hum along. Music by the actual actors in the Sing Street band in the film, Duran Duran, Hall & Oates, and Adam Levine make this musical comedy drama a must see.

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19th May2016

Green Room (Film)

by timbaros

CiWLn6nWEAAnNVZ.jpg-largeFive members of a rock band find trouble in the most unexpected place in the new thriller ‘Green Room.’

The Ain’t Rights are not the most successful band around, and they’ll play anywhere, anytime for some cold hard cash. So when they get invited to perform at an Oregon bar they jump on the opportunity. The group, whose members include Tiger (Callum Turner) the band’s vocalist, Reece (Joe Cole) the drummer, Sam (Alia Shawkat) the guitarist, and Pat (Aton Yelchin) the bassist, don’t know what type of crowd, or the type of venue, to expect, all they know and care about is that they are going to get paid. But the crowd is not the most hospitable, and at first don’t take to the group’s music. But after a few songs the crowd gets into it, and when their time slot is up they head to the green room. It’s here where they find a dead body, surrounded by a couple guys who ‘work’ at the bar. This is when they realize that they have stumbled onto something sinister, and something illegal, and they immediately try to run away. But what they don’t know is that the club is for white supremacists, run by Darcy Banker (Patrick Stewart), and they weren’t supposed to see the dead body, but now that they have, Banker and his gang of thugs won’t let the band leave. In fact as as the band are witnesses to a crime, Banker plans to not let the band live! It’s up to each individual band member to escape the clutches of Banker and his boys to get the hell out of there.

‘Green Room’ is a taut thriller that takes us on a ride from the unknown to the downright scary. As the band fight for their lives, Banker and his associates also attempt to fight for theirs, not realizing how tough the band members are. Written and Directed by Jeremy Saulnier ( who wrote and directed the acclaimed 2013 thriller ‘Blue Ruin’), here he ups his game and gives us a rollercoaster of a ride featuring a very good ensemble cast.

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14th May2016

Cannes Film Festival (Film)

by timbaros

740f4da215cd9647789997805f7c8867Where will the film business movers and shakers be from May 11th – May 22nd? In Cannes at the annual 69th Cannes Film Festival. Anybody who is anybody in the film business will be spending at least one night in five star hotels, in limosines, and on the red carpets to the many premieres promoting their latest film. And this year, like all other years, the star wattage is turned on extra high. Offerings from Steven Spielberg, Woody Allen and George Clooney prove that this year’s festival is no Sundance – it’s better and bigger, warmer, and more expensive, with lots more sun and skin!

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The opening night film of the festival is Woody Allen’s 47th – ‘Café Society.’ It’s a romantic comedy-drama (of course) about a young man who arrives in 1930’s Hollywood and gets swept into the whole scene. Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart and Blake Lively star.

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‘BGF’ is Steven Spielberg’s first live-action 3D film. Starring Mark Rylance, who Spielberg directed to an Oscar for last year’s ‘Bridge of Spies,’ it’s about a Big Friendly Giant from a magical land. Expect lots of buzz for this fantasy movie.

Jodie Foster is back at Cannes, this time as director of ‘Money Monster.’ She directs an all-star cast about a broadcaster and producer who are held hostage in their own studio. Clooney, Julia Roberts and hot young star Jack O’Connell (’71’) star. The red carpet will be chock-a-block for this premiere.

Films in Competition include:

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‘Julieta’ – Pedro Almodovar is back with another film about a woman’s trials and tribulations.

Cannes darling, and wonderkid Xavier Dolan, is back to Cannes with his new film ‘It’s Only the End of the World.’ The 27-year old wrote and directed this movie about a terminally ill writer (Gaspard Ulliel) who returns home after a long absence to tell his family that he is dying. Dolan has won an amazing 6 Cannes film prizes for his last four films, expect more accolades for this one as well.

Sean Penn directs Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem in ‘The Last Face,’ about a director of an international aid agency in Africa who meets a doctor amidst the turmoil of war around them.

There are 19 films competing in the festival’s Un Certain Regard competition, including:

‘Captain Fantastic’ (USA) – Director Michael O’shea’s story of reclusive single father of six kids who have to leave for the outside world, forcing them to rethink their existence. Viggo Mortensen stars.

‘The Red Turtle – a dialogue-less animated film from The Netherlands follows the major life stages of a castaway on a deserted tropical island.

Another film that is showing out of competition is Shane Black’s ‘The Nice Guys.’ Out in the U.S. on May 20th, Ryan Gosling, Matt Boner, Russell Crowe and Kim Basinger star in this film about a private detective who investigates the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970’s Los Angeles.

Director George Miller will be presiding over the jury this year, a jury that includes Kirsten Dunst, Donald Sutherland, and Vanessa Paradis (yes, Johnny Depp’s ex).

British Film Director Andrea Arnold is represented by the film ‘American Honey.’ Starring controversial actor Shia LaBeouf, it’s a road movie about a group of traveling magazine salespeople.

‘The Neon Demon,’ from Nicolas Rinding Refn (Drive), is a horror thriller about an aspiring model whose youth and beauty are devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women who will use any means to get what she has.

The Full line up of the festival is below:

Competition
“Toni Erdman,” directed by Maren Ade
“Julieta,” directed by Pedro Almodovar
“Personal Shopper,” directed by Olivier Assayas
“American Honey,” directed by Andrea Arnold
“The Unknown Girl,” directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne
“It’s Only the End of the World,” directed by Xavier Dolan
“Slack Bay,” directed by Bruno Dumont
“Paterson,” directed by Jim Jarmusch
“Rester Vertical,” directed by Alain Guiraudie
“Aquarius,” directed by Kleber Mendonca Filho
“From the Land of the Moon,” directed by Nicole Garcia
“I, Daniel Blake,” directed by Ken Loach
“Ma’Rosa,” directed by Brillante Mendoza
“Bacalaureat,” directed by Cristian Mungiu
“Loving,” directed by Jeff Nichols
“The Handmaiden,” directed by Park Chan-Wook
“The Last Face,” directed by Sean Penn
“Sieranevada,” directed by Cristi Puiu
“Elle,” directed by Paul Verhoeven
“The Neon Demon,” directed by Nicolas Winding Refn

Un Certain Regard
“Varoonegi,” directed by Behnam Behzadi
“Apprentice,” directed by Boo Junfeng
“Voir du Pays,” directed by Delphine Coulin and Muriel Coulin
“La Danseuse,” directed by Stephanie di Giusto
“Clash,” directed by Mohamed Diab
“La Tortue Rouge,” directed by Michael Dubok de Wit
“Fuchi Bi Tatsu,” directed by Fukada Koji
“Omar Shakhsiya,” directed by Maha Haj
“Me’Ever Laharim Vehagvaot,” directed by Eran Kolirin
“After The Storm,” directed by Kore-Eda Hirokazu
“Hymyileva Mies,” directed by Juho Kuosmanen
“La Large Noche de Francisco Sanctis,” directed by Francisco Marquez and Andrea Testa
“Caini,” directed by Bogdan Mirica
“Pericle Il Nero,” directed by Stefano Mordini
“Captain Fantastic,” directed by Matt Ross
“The Transfiguration,” directed by Michael O’Shea
“Uchenik,” directed by Kirill Serebrennikov

Out of Competition
“The BFG,” directed by Steven Spielberg
“Goksung,” directed by Na Hong-Jin
“Money Monster,” directed by Jodie Foster
“The Nice Guys,” directed by Shane Black

Special Screenings
‘L’ultima Spiaggia,” directed by Thanos Anastopoulous and Davide del Degan
“A Chad Tragedy,” directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
“The Death of Louis XIV,” directed by Albert Serra
“Le Cancre,” directed by Paul Vecchiali

Midnight Screenings
“Gimme Danger,” directed by Jim Jarmusch
“The Train to Busan,” directed by Yeon Sang-Ho

Cannes will wrap up it’s last night with a highly exclusive awards ceremony, and then the next day the rich and famous will flock to Monte Carlo for the Grand Prix, leaving other people to clean up their messes in Cannes.

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08th May2016

Alice Through the Looking Glass Press Conference (Film)

by timbaros

Johnny DeppJohnny Depp 1 IMG_6627
Johnny Depp trying to balance a plate of cupcakes on his head at today’s ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ press conference at the Corinthia Hotel in Central London

Left to right:
Sacha Baron Cohen
Johnny Depp
Mia Wasikowska

Highlights from the press conference:

-An elaborate stage which looked like something out of the film, with real cupcakes, tea, porcelain bunnies and flowers.

-Cohen and Depp joking with each other very playfully

-Cohen said ‘I wanted to wear tights (in the film) because I have ladies legs’

-Depp said that ‘it was great to come back and explore this story of Alice and the Madhatter It’s a very different side of the Madhatter.

-Sacha ate, then disliked, the cupcake he chose to eat.

-Depp said that ‘music was my first love since the age of 12, still my first love. Movies became my day job.’

-Mia said on the fact the film shows a strong-willed girl: ‘We’ve come a long way but there’s still a long way to do.’

-On his accent on the film, Sacha says: ‘I have a real passing German accent.’

-Burton chimed in that he said the main character was based on Jean-Claude Van Damme

-When asked by an Italian member of press how the Madhatter got mad, Depp responded that ‘Harvey Weinstein went mad once. Disney made him made once. Hatter was mad because he couldn’t get Apple TV.’

-Depp said that it’s a less male version of the Madhatter. When told by a member of press that time has been on his side he repled ‘Time has been on my side? Because I’m still alive?’

-On how the Madhatter is so mad, Depp said: ‘`If you were crazy, if you aren’t aware, great. If aware, it will eat you alive!’

-On fame, Depp added ‘If anyone gives you any shit, beat the fuck out of them.’

Depp was low key throughout most of the press conference.

And finally, Depp made a jab at the recent trouble he had illegally bringing his dogs into Australia by saying: ‘I would like to apologize for not smuggling my dogs into London because it would’ve been a bad thing to do.’

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07th May2016

Evolution (Film)

by timbaros

ChxbjFYVAAAMydj.jpg-largeYoung boys and their mothers are the only inhabitants in a seaside town in the highly unusual film ‘Evolution.’

It’s a world without men, a world where each woman has one son, where they all live in similar white-washed yet minimalistic homes, right off the coastal rocks of an unnamed country. It’s here where Nicholas (Max Brebant) lives with his mom (Julie-Marie Parmentier). She feeds him a greenish-like goulash soup at every meal, and also makes sure he takes his medication. She takes Nicholas to play along the rocks of the ocean with the other boys in town, each with their mothers close at hand. But at the heart of soul of this community is a hospital, staffed entirely by women, where all the boys are eventually hospitalized. It’s here at this hospital where the boys are subject to strange medical treatments that perhaps undermine the role of evolution. They are given shots in their stomach, administered to them while they lie strapped to a bed, females nurses surrounding them, with no emotion, all white, and wearing white. What does it all mean? What are the boys being given? And why does Nicholas’ mother, along with the other mothers, venture late at night next to the ocean and writh naked with each other in the rocks?

French with English subtitles, ‘Evolution’ messes with our head with the idea that evolution (the beginning of life) is created by women, and that perhaps God is woman. It’s imagery, tone and darkness reveals too much yet not enough. It’s a film that leaves the viewer attempting to intrepret what they’ve just seen, what they’ve just witnessed. ‘Evolution’, directed by Lucille Hadzihalilovic, is a film that she says is steeped in elements from her childhood. The barren landscapes, a faceless hospital, and the rough seas gives us a dreamlike haze into a world of innocence, beauty and cruelty. It’s film that’s not easy to watch – there’s big gaps of silence, and the ending may be a bit confusing, but upon watching it you’ll get the idea of what message the film is attempting to deliver. It’s beautiful yet strange.

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