Widening the thematic scope without sacrificing too much of the claustrophobia that made the original 1979 Alien universally spooky Prometheus takes the trophy for this summer's most adult-oriented blockbuster entertainment. The movie will leave your mouth agape for its entire runtime first with its majestic exploration of an alien planet and conjectures on the origins of the human race second with its gross-out body horror that leaves no spilled gut to the imagination. Thin characters feel more like pawns in Scott's sci-fi prequel but stunning visuals shocking turns and grand questions more than make up for the shallow ensemble. "Epic" comes in many forms. Prometheus sports all of them.
Based on their discovery of a series of cave drawings all sharing a similar painted design Elizabeth (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie (Logan Marshall-Green) are recruited by Weyland to head a mission to another planet one they believe holds the answers to the creation of life on Earth. Along for the journey are Vickers (Charlize Theron) the ruthless Weyland proxy Janek (Idris Elba) a blue collar captain a slew of faceless scientists and David (Michael Fassbender) HAL 9000-esque resident android who awakens the crew of spaceship Prometheus when they arrive to their destination. Immediately upon descent there's a discovery: a giant mound that's anything but natural. The crew immediately prepares to scope out the scene zipping up high-tech spacesuits jumping in futuristic humvees and heading out to the site. What they discover are the awe-inspiring creations of another race. What they bring back to the ship is what they realize may kill their own.
The first half of Prometheus could be easily mistaken for Steven Spielberg's Alien a sense of wonder glowing from every frame not too unlike Close Encounters. Scott takes full advantage of his fictional settings and imbues them with a reality that makes them even more tantalizing. He shoots the vistas of space and the alien planet like National Geographic porn and savors the interior moments on board the Prometheus full of hologram maps sleeping pods and do-it-yourself surgery modules with the same attention. Prometheus is beautiful shot in immersive 3D that never dampers Dariusz Wolski's sharp photography. Scott's direction seems less interested in the run-or-die scenario set up in the latter half of the film but the film maintains tension and mood from beginning to end. It all just gets a bit…bloodier.
Jon Spaihts' and Damon Lindelof's script doesn't do the performers any favors shuffling them to and fro between the ship and the alien construction without much room for development. Reveals are shoehorned in without much setup (one involving Theron's Vickers that's shockingly mishandled) but for the most part the ensemble is ready to chomp into the script's bigger picture conceits. Rapace is a physical performer capable of pulling off a grisly scene involving an alien some sharp objects and a painful procedure (sure to be the scene of the blockbuster season. Among the rest of the crew Fassbender's David stands out as the film's revelatory performance delivering a digestible ambiguity to his mechanical man that playfully toys with expectations from his first entrance. The creature effects in Prometheus will wow you but even Fassbender's smallest gesture can send the mind spinning. The power of his smile packs more of a punch than any facehugger.
Much like Lindelof's Lost Prometheus aims to explore the idea of asking questions and seeking answers and on Scott's scale it's a tremendous unexpected ride. A few ideas introduced to spur action fall to the way side in the logic department but with a clear mission and end point Prometheus works as a sweeping sci-fi that doesn't require choppy editing or endless explosions to keep us on the edge of our seats. Prometheus isn't too far off from the Alien xenomorphs: born from existing DNA of another creature the movie breaks out as its own beast. And it's wilder than ever.
The first and most important thing you should know about Paramount Pictures’ Thor is that it’s not a laughably corny comic book adaptation. Though you might find it hokey to hear a bunch of muscled heroes talk like British royalty while walking around the American Southwest in LARP garb director Kenneth Branagh has condensed vast Marvel mythology to make an accessible straightforward fantasy epic. Like most films of its ilk I’ve got some issues with its internal logic aesthetic and dialogue but the flaws didn’t keep me from having fun with this extra dimensional adventure.
Taking notes from fellow Avenger Iron Man the story begins with an enthralling event that takes place in a remote desert but quickly jumps back in time to tell the prologue which introduces the audience to the shining kingdom of Asgard and its various champions. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) son of Odin is heir to the throne but is an arrogant overeager and ill-tempered rogue whose aggressive antics threaten a shaky truce between his people and the frost giants of Jotunheim one of the universe’s many realms. Odin (played with aristocratic boldness by Anthony Hopkins) enraged by his son’s blatant disregard of his orders to forgo an assault on their enemies after they attempt to reclaim a powerful artifact banishes the boy to a life among the mortals of Earth leaving Asgard defenseless against the treachery of Loki his mischievous “other son” who’s always felt inferior to Thor. Powerless and confused the disgraced Prince finds unlikely allies in a trio of scientists (Natalie Portman Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings) who help him reclaim his former glory and defend our world from total destruction.
Individually the make-up visual effects CGI production design and art direction are all wondrous to behold but when fused together to create larger-than-life set pieces and action sequences the collaborative result is often unharmonious. I’m not knocking the 3D presentation; unlike 2010’s genre counterpart Clash of the Titans the filmmakers had plenty of time to perfect the third dimension and there are only a few moments that make the decision to convert look like it was a bad one. It’s the unavoidable overload of visual trickery that’s to blame for the frost giants’ icy weaponized constructs and other hybrids of the production looking noticeably artificial. Though there’s some imagery to nitpick the same can’t be said of Thor’s thunderous sound design which is amped with enough wattage to power The Avengers’ headquarters for a century.
Chock full of nods to the comics the screenplay is both a strength and weakness for the film. The story is well sequenced giving the audience enough time between action scenes to grasp the characters motivations and the plot but there are tangential narrative threads that disrupt the focus of the film. Chief amongst them is the frost giants’ fore mentioned relic which is given lots of attention in the first act but has little effect on the outcome. In addition I felt that S.H.I.E.L.D. was nearly irrelevant this time around; other than introducing Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye the secret security faction just gets in the way of the movie’s momentum.
While most of the comedy crashes and burns there are a few laughs to be found in the film. Most come from star Hemsworth’s charismatic portrayal of the God of Thunder. He plays up the stranger-in-a-strange-land aspect of the story with his cavalier but charming attitude and by breaking all rules of diner etiquette in a particularly funny scene with the scientists whose respective roles as love interest (Portman) friendly father figure (Skarsgaard) and POV character (Dennings) are ripped right out of a screenwriters handbook.
Though he handles the humorous moments without a problem Hemsworth struggles with some of the more dramatic scenes in the movie; the result of over-acting and too much time spent on the Australian soap opera Home and Away. Luckily he’s surrounded by a stellar supporting cast that fills the void. Most impressive is Tom Hiddleston who gives a truly humanistic performance as the jealous Loki. His arc steeped in Shakespearean tragedy (like Thor’s) drums up genuine sympathy that one rarely has for a comic book movie villain.
My grievances with the technical aspects of the production aside Branagh has succeeded in further exploring the Marvel Universe with a film that works both as a standalone superhero flick and as the next chapter in the story of The Avengers. Thor is very much a comic book film and doesn’t hide from the reputation that its predecessors have given the sub-genre or the tropes that define it. Balanced pretty evenly between “serious” and “silly ” its scope is large enough to please fans well versed in the source material but its tone is light enough to make it a mainstream hit.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell appeared in a New York court today to answer charges she assaulted a former assistant with a mobile phone.
Campbell, 36, pleaded not guilty at Manhattan Criminal Court and her case has been adjourned until Sept. 27. She did not speak at the hearing.
It is alleged Campbell hit Ana Scolavino with her phone in March, after accusing her of stealing a pair of jeans, leaving the maid requiring stitches to the head.
British Campbell says Scolavino made up the assault story after she was fired.
Prosecutors believe a possible plea deal could be reached in the case.
Six years ago, the model pleaded guilty to hitting former assistant Georgina Galanis with a telephone and was ordered to take anger management classes.
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Naomi Campbell faces further abuse allegations after her former maid Gaby Gibson claimed the troubled supermodel hit her on the head.
The British beauty was arrested last month after another servant, Ana Scolavino, was admitted to a New York hospital to receive five stitches after she was allegedly hit by model with a mobile phone.
Campbell denies Scolavino's allegations, saying, "It won't be the first time I have been extorted."
Scolavino, 41, claims Campbell fired her before the attack, after she accused her maid of stealing a pair of jeans.
Scolavino's case has now been supported with evidence from Gibson, who worked for Campbell until earlier this year.
Police have confirmed Gibson made a formal complaint of harassment against Campbell on Jan. 19, but was unable to press for abuse charges due to lack of a visible injury.
According to British newspaper The Sun, Gibson told cops, "She assaulted me, too--and for the same reason as the other girl--over a pair of jeans. She hit me with her hand on the back of the head when I couldn't find her Stella McCartney jeans.
"She was cursing me. Naomi was so upset. She was threatening that she was going to get me arrested and put me in jail for stealing her clothes."
A police spokesman says, "This will not go to court and Miss Campbell was not arrested. But it is relevant in the light of the other complaint."
Six years ago, the model pleaded guilty to hitting former assistant Georgina Galanis with a telephone and was ordered to take anger-management classes.
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell faces seven years in jail after being charged with assault in a New York Court - but she insists she is being "extorted".
Campbell denied hurling a mobile phone at her assistant on Thursday, insisting the charges were "falsely" brought against her as revenge for sacking the employee earlier on Thursday.
She says, "I am fine. The police have been really nice. It won't be the first time I have been extorted."
The incident occurred at 8:00am on Thursday, when the 41-year-old aide was allegedly fired and then struck on the head with an object after Campbell accused her of stealing a pair of jeans. The alleged victim received four stitches to the back of her head.
Campbell was arrested at her home and taken to the Midtown North Precinct in New York City, according to entertainment website TMZ.com.
The judge at Manhattan Criminal Court put up bail of $3,500 and demanded Campbell appear in court again in June on the single charge of felony assault. She has also been banned from contacting her alleged victim.
It's not the first time the catwalk queen has been accused of throwing phones at her assistants: in 2000, the model pleaded guilty to hitting former assistant Georgina Galanis with a telephone and was ordered to take anger management classes.
Another former personal assistant, Simone Craig, claimed Campbell threw a mobile phone at her in 2001. The British beauty denied the claim and no charges were filed.
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Supermodel Naomi Campbell has been arrested in New York City for allegedly assaulting her assistant.
The incident occurred at 8:00am on Thursday where the alleged victim, a 41-year-old woman, was struck in the head with an object, allegedly thrown by Campbell.
The woman had a laceration on the back of her head and was taken to nearby Lenox Hill Hospital for stitches.
Campbell was arrested at her home and taken to the Midtown North Precinct in New York, according to entertainment website TMZ.com.
A representative for Campbell released a statement saying, "We believe this is a case of retaliation, because Naomi had fired her housekeeper earlier this morning. We are confident the courts will see it the same way."
In 2000, the model pled guilty to hitting a former personal assistant Georgina Galanis with a telephone and was ordered to take anger management classes.
In 2001, another former personal assistant, Simone Craig, claimed Campbell threw a mobile phone at her. The British beauty denied that claim and no charges were filed.
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Bobby Garfield (David Morse) returns to his small hometown to attend the funeral of his childhood friend and remembers the fateful summer in 1960 when his whole world changed. The story flashes back to when 11-year-old Bobby (Anton Yelchin) and his best friends Carol (Mika Boorem) and Sully-John (Will Rothhaar) capture the pure joy of youthfulness. When a mysterious stranger named Ted Brautigan (Anthony Hopkins) moves upstairs and starts to pay attention to Bobby the boy suddenly realizes what's truly missing from his life--the love of a parent. Bobby's mother Liz (Hope Davis) is embittered by the death of Bobby's father and shows little compassion for her son's growing needs. Ted fills a void with the boy opening his eyes to the world around him and helps Bobby come to terms with his real feelings for Carol--and his mother. But Ted also has some deep dark secrets of his own and Bobby tries hard to stop danger from reaching the old man.
The performances make the film especially in the genuine camaraderie of the kids. Yelchin Boorem and Rothhaar never deliver a false move with an easiness that makes us believe we are simply watching three 11-year-old children grow up together. Yelchin in particular is able to get right to the heart of this young boy who misses his father and clings to the only adult who will listen. And his scenes with Boorem simply break your heart. (Davis) does an admirable job playing a part none too sympathetic. She manages to show a woman whose been beaten down but who does truly love her son in her own way. Morse too is one of those character actors you can plug in any movie and get a performance worth noting. In Hearts you want to see more of him. Of course the film shines brightest when Hopkins is on the screen. It may not be an Oscar-caliber performance but the actor is unparalleled in bringing a character to life--showing the subtleties of an old man looking for some peace in his life.
If you are expecting the Stephen King novel you may be disappointed. Screenwriter William Goldman and director Scott Hicks (Shine) deftly extracted the King formula of telling a story through a child's eye and explaining how the relationships formed as a child shaped the adult later. Hicks did an amazing job with his young actors especially Yelchin and Boorem. But where the novel continued into a supernatural theme explaining Brautigan's fear of being captured by "low men in yellow coats" (a reference to King's The Dark Tower series) the movie downplayed the mystical elements instead giving real explanations for Brautigan's man-on-the-run. That was the one problem with Hearts--we needed more danger. Introducing men from another dimension may not have been the way to go but had there been more tension the film would have resonated more especially when Bobby risked his own safety to save Ted.
British supermodel Naomi Campbell is in the news once again after being asked to leave an exclusive London boutique. Campbell shouted at the store's staff for not opening the door quickly enough.
Reuters reports that the prestigious runway model was asked to leave the members-only Voyage clothing store after telling staff they should have recognized her immediately and opened the door faster. Apparently, Campbell rang the doorbell several times and was not recognized by the shop owners. She only gained entry to the boutique when another customer turned up.
"We apologized, but she kept going on and on and on, and tried to make a problem about it," Rocky Mazilli, son of the shop's Italian owners. According to Reuters, Mazilli's sister asked Campbell to leave, then called the model's agency to revoke her membership at Voyage.
Campbell is almost as famous for her quick temper as for her leggy good looks and catwalk success. Last year, Campbell's personal secretary Georgina Galanis claimed that the model slapped and punched her, hit her on the head with a phone, and threatened to throw her from a moving car. Campbell's spokesperson was unavailable for comment.
The "American Psycho" saga has taken another twist. After the movie ratings board made a final 11-4 ruling Wednesday upholding the film's NC-17 rating, Lions Gate Releasing announced that director Mary Harron will re-edit the film to achieve an R.
The film, which opens in April, stars Christian Bale as a young executive with a psychopathic taste for murder; it was given its rating for a scene depicting group sex among Bale and two prostitutes. But not to worry; we're sure the original cut will make its way onto DVD someday.
UN-MODEL BEHAVIOR: Supermodel Naomi Campbell apparently has worries deeper than which world runways to strut, as we reported Wednesday. The British diva pleaded guilty in a Canadian court to assaulting her former assistant and was given an absolute discharge, meaning she will not have a criminal record in Canada.
Campbell, 29, was accused by Georgina Galanis, who worked as her personal assistant while the model filmed a movie in Toronto, of grabbing her throat and hitting her on the head with a telephone Sept. 9, 1998. Three months later, Campbell surrendered to Canadian police.
British newspapers recently reported that Campbell spent nearly four weeks at a U.S. clinic to learn how to control her anger. She wasn't in the courtroom to plead guilty herself; the prosecutor explained that "she is a celebrity, she is a public figure, and there's all kinds of people under serious violent allegations wandering the courtrooms." Serious violent allegations. What was that old saying about people who live in glass houses?
HEALTHY HARVEY?: Miramax Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein left the hospital Wednesday and is now recuperating at home from a mysterious illness no one can figure out. His brother and Co-Chairman Bob Weinstein released a statement saying, "He thanks everyone for their support and good wishes and looks forward to returning to work during the next several weeks." Rumors have run rampant over the seriousness of his condition, which has been reported to be a bacterial infection. No other information was given.
MAMA MADONNA: When one child is a handful, have another? Madonna seems to think so. She told Jane magazine that she would like to have another child, because well, daughter Lourdes is becoming a brat. "I think Lola [Lourdes' nickname] should have a brother or sister," the Material Mom said. "I think she's incredibly spoiled. She needs a bit of competition." The 41-year-old singer also gushed to the Calgary Sun that 3-year-old Lourdes is "a great little singer and dancer and she has perfect pitch. ... She memorizes whole songs and then goes around the house singing them. Right now, she's into Mary J. Blige, the Spice Girls and me."
MUSIC BEAT: D'Angelo's latest, "Voodoo," finally bumped Santana's "Supernatural" from the top of the Billboard album charts this week. The R&B singer's album debuted at No. 1, while "Supernatural" fell to No. 2. Dr. Dre's "Dr. Dre 2001" held at No. 3. Celine Dion's "All the Way: A Decade of Song" and The Lox's "We are the Streets" round out the Top Five.
The Top Five singles in the country are: "I Knew I Loved You," Savage Garden; "Thank God I Found You," Mariah Carey featuring Joe and 98 Degrees; "What a Girl Wants," Christina Aguilera; "Get it on Tonite," Montell Jordan; and "Smooth," Santana featuring Rob Thomas.
QUICK TAKES: Jane Fonda and Haley Joel Osment have been tapped as presenters for the 72nd Annual Academy Awards on March 26 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. Fonda, 62, a seven-time nominee and two-time Best Actress winner (for 1971's "Klute" and 1978's "Coming Home") will appear on the show for the first time since 1992. Eleven-year-old Osment is a likely supporting-actor nominee for his role in "The Sixth Sense," for which he has already won several critics' awards ...
... Ving Rhames has been named ShoWest 2000 supporting actor of the year by the National Association of Theater Owners. The 38-year-old actor appeared in two films this year, Martin Scorsese's "Bringing Out the Dead" and the Sean Connery hit "Entrapment." Rhames will receive his honor at the ShoWest convention March 9 in Las Vegas. Please refrain from jokes about giving the award to Jack Lemmon.