Actor Tate Donovan chats about how Hostages compares to his previous show Damages and opens up about his character. Watch the whole thing HERE!
Archive for September, 2013
The Heat star plays Dr. Ryan Stone, an astronaut untethered from her space shuttle following a debris storm. Cut loose from her space partner (George Clooney) and her ride to Earth, she drifts through the inky darkness until discovering a way to survive.
“The film is about adversities, and we were going through adversities,” says director Alfonso Cuarón. “Everything was a big challenge.”
Technically, the shoot was arduous. Recreating the zero-gravity of space required Bullock to learn to move at 30 per cent of her usual speed, and to be trussed up like a marionette on a 12-wire system and other torturous devices.
“We had a consultant from Guantanamo Bay come in,” jokes Cuarón.
Emotionally the shoot also presented issues. How could Bullock portray the impassioned inner life of the character when covered with a helmet and spacesuit for much of the performance?
“I think every actor will tell you that they are always panicked about being able to convey something with the least amount of preciousness,” she says. “If all you have are your eyes or your face, just feel it truthfully. For me, I didn’t think about being behind the visor. It was still my whole body feeling it.
“But a lot of times you’d feel yourself emoting something and they’d say, ‘No, we didn’t see anything.’ I just had to trust in what (Cuarón) saw. I saw nothing. I heard nothing. I had him in my head and I just had to trust that.
“It’s a weird profession. You have to unscrew your head and screw on this other head of what this other person is going through and you go, ‘Wow, that’s not a pretty place to live all day.’”
Working with Clooney, who she’s known since before they both were famous, also provided support.
When she was having trouble with a particular scene, Clooney sent an email with a some suggestions on how to make it work. “It’s not my business,” he wrote, “so throw this in the trash or use it.”
As it turns out, his ideas were bang-on. “That’s the gift of knowing someone for so long,” she says. “He gives you gold tidbits like that. It’s sweet.”
SYNOPSIS: When we first meet Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) they are third stringers, talented Formula 3 drivers desperate for a chance to move up to the big show. Bad blood flows between the two, stemming back to an incident when Hunt edged Lauda off the track the first time they faced off against one another. Cut to the 1976 Formula 1 season. Lauda seems unstoppable, until tragedy strikes and Lauda is badly burned in a fiery crash. During his recuperation Hunt rises in the ranks, leading to a showdown, just 50 days after Lauda’s accident, for the World Championship at the Japan Grand Prix.
Richard: 4 Stars
Mark: 3 Stars
Richard: Mark, in some ways Rush is a paint-by-numbers story—Formulaic 1, maybe?—of opposites. Lauda and Hunt face off in predictable ways—the kind of thing we’ve seen in other sports films—but the film really takes off in its second half when the characters show some growth and the racing scenes take center stage. Director Ron Howard takes us inside the cars—literally. The races are exciting, visceral and as close as I’ll ever get to rounding a hairpin curve at super sonic speeds. What did you think?
Mark: The races are well done, no doubt. But there has to be more, and often there is. I loved the groovy Euro-Seventies milieu of the movie, the sensuality of the cars themselves, and the behind the scenes politics of the Formula 1 game. But the movie is episodic, and lacks-wait for the pun-narrative drive. Chris Hemsworth is an arrogant rogue in the Lightning McQueen mode, but Daniel Brühl plays a rival racer with the soul of an actuary. Neither of them are exactly nice guys; in fact, they’re a couple of grand prix.
RC: Ha! I liked Brühl. It would have been easy to play Lauda as a one-note egotist, but as his character finds his passion after the horrific accident, Brühl adds complexity, bringing him to life as a fully rounded man. Hemsworth hammers it home, proving there is more to him than playing superhero Thor in The Avengers movies but I really thought Brühl showed the most range.
MB: Burning half your face off will often give you that range. He goes from a man who won’t smile to one who can’t smile. But he’s also an unsympathetic martinet for a lot of the movie, and I kept waiting for Ron Howard to go back to the Hemsworth story, which was more fun. How do you think the movie stacks up against classic racing movies like Le Mans or Winning?
RC: I think it compares well to movies like Winning, Grand Prix and Days of Thunder, but the racing flick it has most in common with has to be Le Mans, just for sheer speed demon spirit. Remember Steve McQueen famous quote about racing? “Anything that happens before or after… is just waiting.”
MB: A good quote indeed. I thought Rush was a bit more realistic than the other movies, less romanticized, and had the balance of storyline and racing just about right.
“Rush,” the new Ron Howard film about the rivalry of real-life Formula One racers, Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl) and James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth), provides insight on the “rebels, lunatics and dreamers,” who strap themselves into “a coffin, filled with high octane fuel” and drive 120 miles per hour.
When we first meet Lauda and Hunt they are third stringers, talented Formula 3 drivers desperate for a chance to move up to the big show. Lauda makes a financial deal that lands him on Team Ferrari while Hunt uses tenacity, charm and a touch of desperation to grab a spot with the McLaren team.
Bad blood flows between the two, stemming back to an incident when Hunt edged Lauda off the track the first time they faced off against one another. That rivalry spills over from the track as the two engage in name-calling and spar in the press.
In the 1976 season Lauda seems unstoppable, a sure bet to reclaim his World Champion title. Then tragedy strikes as Lauda is badly burned in a fiery crash. During his recuperation Hunt rises in the ranks, leading to a showdown, just 50 days after Lauda’s accident, for the World Championship at the Japan Grand Prix.
In some ways “Rush” is a paint-by-numbers story—Formulaic 1, maybe?—of opposites.
Lauda is methodical, reserved, clinical, egotistical, a man who races not for passion, but as an exercise in control and discipline. “If I had more talent,” he says, “and could earn more money at something else, I would.”
Hunt, on the other hand, is a wild card driven by passion and aggression; a flamboyant but troubled man who wore racing overalls embroidered with Sex: The Breakfast of Champions.
The pair face off in predictable ways—the kind of thing we’ve seen in other sports films—but the film really takes off in its second half when the characters show some growth and the racing scenes take center stage.
Howard takes us inside the cars—literally. Close-ups of revving engines and point of view shots form the driver’s visors make the race scenes a you-are-there feel, placing the viewer in the cockpit. They are exciting, visceral and as close as I’ll ever get to rounding a hairpin curve at super sonic speeds.
Hemsworth hammers it home, proving there is more to him than playing superhero Thor in “The Avengers” movies but it is Brühl who shows the most range.
It would have been easy to play Lauda as a one-note egotist, but as his character finds his passion after the horrific accident, Brühl adds complexity, bringing him to life as a fully rounded man.
“Rush” is more than “Rocky” on four wheels, it’s an exhilarating, stylish film with pedal-to-the-metal verve.
Cut to… a leek, with eyes and a mouth, screaming, “No-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o!”
If that kind of grocery gag makes you giggle then this animated follow-up to the fanciful 2009 Anna Faris, Bill Hader hit may be for you.
Me, I laughed both times they used that joke in the movie.
The new film picks up where the last one left off. The Flint Lockwood Diatonic Super Mutating Dynamic Food Replicator—FLDSMDFR for short—has left the planet covered in food. When scientific superstar and Thinkquanaut Chester V (Will Forte)—a bizarre mix of the Steves, Jobs and Hawking—offers to clean up the mess Flint Lockwood’s (Hader) machine made and give the inventor a job at the LIVE Corp—the “coolest and hippest company in the world”—it appears everything may work out for the best.
Before you can say, “Clean up in aisle nine,” however, things take a strange turn when Flint and friends—meteorologist Sam Sparks (Faris), policeman Earl (Terry Crews), Steve (Neil Patrick Harris) and Manny (Benjamin Bratt)—visit their former island home to find it overrun with food creatures. Foodimals like watermelophants, shrimpanzees, double bacon cheespiders, the Tacodile Supreme and Barry, the world’s cutest strawberry, have created their own ecosystem. Think of it as a delicious Island of Doctor Moreau, or a foodie’s “Jurassic Park.”
Flint’s job is to find the FLDSMDFR and destroy it before the cuisine creatures can leave the island and invade the rest of the planet. He and his friends are in for the food fight of their lives.
“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” is a surreal story with familiar themes about friendship and believing in yourself, but instead of conveying those messages through a talking giraffe or a sardonic dinosaur, it features a bizarre array of talking groceries.
The movie’s imagination, inventiveness and humor are its selling points. The creatures are fantastic, the food puns are delicious and the story moves along faster than a sous chef chopping parsley. There’s sight gags galore and there’s even jokes for foodie parents.
Barb (Kristen Schaal), an orangutan with a genius IQ explains that Chester V “put a human brain in my monkey brain—like a turducken.”
And like a turducken “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” offers up layers of fun for every member of the family.
Romantic comedies. Rom coms. Whatever you want to call them, it was a punishing year spent watching good looking do the same thing over and over again—meet cute, fall in love, then fall out of love before walking off into the sunset, happily ever after.
Kathryn Heigl, Jennifer Aniston, Justin Timberlake, Kate Hudson and Chris Evans not only tested my love of movies, but my love of love in that grim year.
At the time I declared the rom com dead.
I suggested it could be resurrected if someone like Quentin Tarantino came along and completely reinvented the genre, but the chances of that happening were about as great as Kristen Bell finding herself alone as the end credits roll.
Then along came Joseph Gordon-Levitt and “Don Jon.” Tarantino must be too busy reinventing the grindhouse genre to bother with rom coms, but the former “Third Rock from the Sun” star isn’t.
Gordon-Levitt, who also wrote and directed, stars as Jon Martello, nicknamed Don Jon because he is the godfather of meeting women in bars. He and his pals (Rob Brown and Jeremy Luke) troll nightclubs in search of “dimes”—perfect tens—but in secret Jon prefers the company of his computer. Addicted to porn sites, he spends an inordinate amount of time surfing the net, looking for the perfect video to “lose himself in.”
He can’t even give the habit up after he meets Barbara Sugarman (Scarlett Johansson), a beautiful, gum snapping Jersey girl who thinks people who watch porn are sick. She encourages him to go back to school, to better himself, which he does, all the while watching porn.
The porn addiction (SPOILER ALERT) eventually drives a wedge between them, but he soon learns about true intimacy when he meets an older woman (Julianne Moore) at night school.
“Don Jon” is a rom com is disguised as a character study. Jon’s romantic dalliances are a context for his intimacy issues, but the romance comes in unexpected places, subverting the formula that makes movies like “Sweet Home Alabama” so predictable.
The comedy comes from the characters. Imagine all the guys from “Jersey Shore” rolled into one porn-obsessed lothario and you have Gordon-Levitt’s foul mouthed but spot on portrayal of Jon.
Johansson, who swallows her words in what may go down as one of the greatest Jersey accents ever to be captured on celluloid, is the movie’s McGuffin. She appears to be the girl of his dreams, but she is simply the physical embodiment of his bombshell porn dreams come to life. It’s because he doesn’t love her that he learns what love actually is.
Cudos also go to Tony Danza as Jon’s father. He’s a carbon copy of the hot headed horn dog, and living proof that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
“Don Jon” is a stylish, crude look at romance with loads of laughs. It shows off Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s promise as a filmmaker, but more importantly it reinvents the rom com in a fun—although vulgar—way.
The concert film—shot by Nimrod Antal in Vancouver and Edmonton—showcases three decades of their uncompromising music. In front of thousands of devil horn throwing fans they deliver a blistering sixteen-song set that includes “The Ecstasy Of Gold,” “Creeping Death,” “…And Justice For All” and their biggest mainstream hit “Enter Sandman”
The concert footage is a turn-it-up-to-eleven experience with one of the best touring bands working today.
But it doesn’t stop there.
While rhythm guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield, drummer Lars Ulrich (who makes some of the strangest faces ever captured on film), lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Robert Trujillo rock out on stage a surreal parallel story unfolds on the streets outside the arena.
When Trip, a roadie for the band played by Dane DeHaan. is sent on a simple mission across town to retrieve a briefcase for the band, he discovers a terrifying post apocalyptic world where citizens have gone wild, frontier justice has taken hold and a masked man on horseback leads a band of headbanging anarchists.
The story is played mostly without dialogue and slices in and out through the concert footage. The story doesn’t add up to much, although DeHaan’s wordless performance is compelling. With just his expressive face and body he artfully conveys the confusion and fear felt by his character.
It is within his performance that the reason for the dystopian story becomes clear. Like “Thriller” or other extended music videos, the narrative is a clever way to bring the band’s favorite themes—like misuse of justice—to life or to personify the feelings of anger, rage and desperation that burn through the music. Many of Hetfield’s lyrics deal with nightmares, war and fear all topics covered off in Trip’s terrifying journey.
It’s a clever twist on the regular concert film, but ultimately the elaborately staged “Mad Max” scenario doesn’t add much to the understanding of Metallica’s music.
“Metallica: Through the Never” gets full mark for the concert scenes. The sound is stellar and Antal’s cinematography gives the audience the ultimate you-are-there experience but in the end the narrative gets in the way of the stage presentation.
If you are a David Bowie fan and reading this in Victoria, British Columbia or Dildo, Newfoundland or Vulcan, Alberta, let me tell you this. The Bowie exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario is worth the price of a plane ticket… or a long bus ride… or rocket ship… or whatever your choice of transpo.
This career spanning look at his work doesn’t just show off costumes—although there are 50 original, stage-worn outfits—or handwritten lyrics and diary entries—although seeing the original “Starman” lyrics written in Bowie’s hand is very cool—or even video clips, music promos and photography. Or even his own personal coke spoon from the 1970s. There’s all that and more but more importantly it places the artist’s work in context, highlighting his influences in surrealism, mime, Music Hall and Kabuki.
Mixing and matching 300 artifacts from Bowie’s archives with the artistic works that influenced him gives a rich and multi-textured look at one of the most influential and culturally active artists of the last fifty years.
The show, “David Bowie is,” will run at the AGO (317 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario), will run until November 27, 2013. Find ticket info HERE!
“Criminal Minds” star Shemar Moore dishes to “Canada AM’s” Richard Crouse about his love of Toronto, his character’s tough, yet sensitive personality, and sounds off on how the show’s evolved. Watch the whole thing HERE!