Actress Maggie Gyllenhaal is disillusioned with U.S. President Barack Obama over his handling of the Edward Snowden snooping scandal. The Dark Knight star takes an active interest in politics and supported Obama during his 2008 election campaign, but she admits that lately she has started to question his commitment.
Gyllenhaal starred in a public service announcement (PSA) last year (13) calling for an end to National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance after former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operative Snowden blew the whistle on U.S. government secrets.
The actress tells Time magazine, "I really believed in (Obama), and I'm not sure what he believes in anymore... Look, I get it... It's a complicated job. I could never do it. But I hope for a leader who will stand up and be unpopular."
Actor and author Stephen Fry has blasted British government officials for failing to take action over the mass surveillance programme detailed by U.S. 'whistleblower' Edward Snowden. The former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee hit headlines after leaking confidential information on top secret operations undertaken by U.S. and U.K. government chiefs on their own citizens, and he has since been charged with committing espionage against America.
Snowden is currently seeking asylum in Russia, but his revelations were at the centre of debate on Saturday (07Jun14) at a London privacy summit, organised by activists at the Don't Spy on Us Campaign and held to mark the one-year anniversary of the expose.
In a pre-recorded video message, Fry urged attendees to demand action from politicians in an effort to pressurise the U.K.'s coalition government to launch an inquiry into the controversial surveillance operations.
He said, "The idea of having your letters read by somebody, your telegrams, your faxes, your postcards intercepted, was always considered one of the meanest, most beastly things a human being could do, and for a government to do, without good cause. Using the fear of terrorism that we all have, the fear of the unknown that we all share, the fear of enemies that hate us, is a duplicitous and deeply wrong means of excusing something as base as spying on the citizens of your own country."
He continued, "It's enough that corporations know so much about us and our spending habits, our eating habits, our sexual preferences, everything else.
"But that a government, something that we elect, something that should be looking out for our best interests, should presume, without asking, to take information that we swap, we hope privately, between ourselves is frankly disgraceful."
For the bulk of every Rocky and Bullwinkle episode, moose and squirrel would engage in high concept escapades that satirized geopolitics, contemporary cinema, and the very fabrics of the human condition. With all of that to work with, there's no excuse for why the pair and their Soviet nemeses haven't gotten a decent movie adaptation. But the ingenious Mr. Peabody and his faithful boy Sherman are another story, intercut between Rocky and Bullwinkle segments to teach kids brief history lessons and toss in a nearly lethal dose of puns. Their stories and relationship were much simpler, which means that bringing their shtick to the big screen would entail a lot more invention — always risky when you're dealing with precious material.
For the most part, Mr. Peabody & Sherman handles the regeneration of its heroes aptly, allowing for emotionally substance in their unique father-son relationship and all the difficulties inherent therein. The story is no subtle metaphor for the difficulties surrounding gay adoption, with society decreeing that a dog, no matter how hyper-intelligent, cannot be a suitable father. The central plot has Peabody hosting a party for a disapproving child services agent and the parents of a young girl with whom 7-year-old Sherman had a schoolyard spat, all in order to prove himself a suitable dad. Of course, the WABAC comes into play when the tots take it for a spin, forcing Peabody to rush to their rescue.
Getting down to personals, we also see the left brain-heavy Peabody struggle with being father Sherman deserves. The bulk of the emotional marks are hit as we learn just how much Peabody cares for Sherman, and just how hard it has been to accept that his only family is growing up and changing.
But more successful than the new is the film's handling of the old — the material that Peabody and Sherman purists will adore. They travel back in time via the WABAC Machine to Ancient Egypt, the Renaissance, and the Trojan War, and 18th Century France, explaining the cultural backdrop and historical significance of the settings and characters they happen upon, all with that irreverent (but no longer racist) flare that the old cartoons enjoyed. And oh... the puns.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a f**king treasure trove of some of the most amazingly bad puns in recent cinema. This effort alone will leave you in awe.
The film does unravel in its final act, bringing the science-fiction of time travel a little too close to the forefront and dropping the ball on a good deal of its emotional groundwork. What seemed to be substantial building blocks do not pay off in the way we might, as scholars of animated family cinema, have anticipated, leaving the movie with an unfinished feeling.
But all in all, it's a bright, compassionate, reasonably educational, and occasionally funny if not altogether worthy tribute to an old favorite. And since we don't have our own WABAC machine to return to a time of regularly scheduled Peabody and Sherman cartoons, this will do okay for now.
If nothing else, it's worth your time for the puns.
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Alongside Hollywood veterans Kate Winslet, Ashley Judd, and Tony Goldwyn and two young leads (Shailene Woodley, Theo James) who have already built up quite the impressive C.V., Divergent's ensemble cast also includes several virtual unknowns. Here's a brief guide to their careers so far.Ansel Elgort (Caleb)
The son of fashion photographer Arthur Elgort, 19-year-old Elgort's career began on stage in Matt Charman's off-Broadway drama Regrets. After making his big screen debut as Chloe Moretz's prom date in last year's Carrie remake, the New Yorker landed the role of Tris' inquisitive brother Caleb Prior. Elgort will then make the switch from playing Woodley's sibling to her love interest when they both star in the adaptation of John Green's best-selling novel, The Fault In Our Stars, while he's also set to appear in Jason Reitman's star-studded comedy Men, Women and Children.
Amy C. Newbold (Molly)
Amy C. Newbold is no stranger to the Hollywood blockbuster, having worked as a casting assistant on Superman reboot Man Of Steel as well as on the likes of Contagion and Raising Hope. But as Tris' factionless enemy Molly Atwood, Divergent will see her move from behind to in front of the camera for her first major acting role, with bit parts in Boss and Chicago Fire the only other credits to her name.
Ben Lamb (Edward)
Cast as skilled fighter Edward, Ben Lamb made the move to post-apocalyptic Chicago from medieval England after playing The White Queen's brother Anthony in the BBC's hit historical drama. The 25-year-old, who'd previously studied at both RADA and Oxford University, cut his teeth appearing in various Shakespeare productions and made his onscreen debut as a posh toff in BBC legal drama Silks in 2012.
Christian Madsen (Al)
One of the more experienced "unknowns" in the cast, Christian Madsen has appeared alongside his father Michael in deliverance tale Refuge from the Storm and off-kilter thriller The Brazen Bull and his auntie Virginia in comedy Jake Squared, while he also had a minor role in Justin Timberlake vehicle In Time. Cast as kind-hearted Al, he'll next be seen as Bryan, a young man who reunites with his estranged father after 15 years in the indie drama Prism.
Ben Lloyd-Hughes (Will)
Following his older brother Henry's role in Harry Potter & The Goblet Of Fire, the Lloyd-Hughes name will appear in the credits of another major franchise when 25-year-old Ben plays Tris' brainy ally Will. He first appeared on screen as a teenager in BBC drama Love Soup back in 2005 and has since cropped up in a string of hit British TV shows including Skins, The Hour and Young James Herriot. While his filmography includes teen horror Tormented and the 2012 remake of Great Expectations.
Divergent hits theaters March 21. You can check showtimes and purchase advanced tickets at Movietickets.com.
The Wolf Of Wall Street star Margot Robbie has been confirmed to play Jane in a new live-action take on Tarzan. The Australian beauty edged out Emma Stone for the lead female role, and she'll now romance Alexander Skarsgard's Tarzan in the modern remake of the classic Edward Rice Burroughs tale.
The 3D live-action film will focus on Tarzan's efforts to get to grips with life in urban London. It will be directed by Harry Potter director David Yates.
Django Unchained co-stars Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz will also be a part of the Tarzan film, which Warner Bros. producers hope to have swinging into cinemas in July, 2016.
The Yates project isn't the only Tarzan movie in the works - Kellan Lutz voices the jungle orphan in another live action release, which is set to hit theatres in May (14).
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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The Twilight trilogy has lovingly left its sparkle in Hollywood, leaving behind a trail of movies to proceed in its dust, sometimes shining bright and sometimes burning out. Achieving that sparkle, or promising to, is known as the Twilight Effect. Studios can’t seem to buy scripts fast enough hoping to cast the next Bella, taking young female leads to new heights.
Gone are the days of the popular football jock discovering the hot bod of the nerd under her big sweaters.
Now the adolescent girls roar their battle cry, “Give us blood! Give us guts! Give us the soulless creatures only we can save! Give us this or give us nothing at all!”
The hero, young Bella, gave grunge girls everywhere hope that they too might score an older, wise, charming, virtuous and strong, blood sucker that looked torn from the pages of a GQ magazine...admittedly, a lot to live up to.
Enter Katniss Everdeen. With her girl-next-door looks and badass attitude, she has come the closest to touching Bella’s allure. She isn’t just saving her sister when she volunteers for the annual Hunger Games, she is uniting her society that was previously hopeless.
Julie Grigio isn’t afraid to get her hands a little dirty. She doesn’t merely ignite a beating heart in the once lifeless body of R in Warm Bodies, she saves an entire race of people from being massacred by the ever disgusting-have-been-zombies-too-long Boneys.
Beautiful Creatures perhaps missed the beat on providing the strong female role Twihards have come to need. But the beautifully-woven story about a girl entering into puberty and facing the choice of good or evil can’t be completely dismissed, especially after seeing the lovely Emmy Rossum due her evil thing.
It isn’t just teenage girls being swooned by the sensational Twilight Effect. Studio executives are seeing the power behind the angst-ridden females. They are listening. “We just want to be loved...loved by dead, pale day-walking blood-sucking vampires who will carry us to the top of trees and beyond.”
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Johnny Depp's fifth Pirates Of The Caribbean movie has been hit with a raft of delays over script issues. The Edward Scissorhands star is set to reprise his role as Captain Jack Sparrow for a fifth installment in the franchise, which is reportedly titled Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Production was due to start on the film in March (13), ahead of a proposed summer 2015 release date, but producer Jerry Bruckheimer has now revealed work on the film has been postponed.
He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "We're supposed to start (shooting) in March... We have an outline (story) everyone loves but the script is not done... We want a script that everyone's signed off on and a budget that everyone's signed off on... (Coming up with a great script is) always hard... everybody's more cautious (about getting it right)... With any movie, you're never confident. But it's a billion-dollar franchise."
Producers hope to have the film ready for a 2016 release date instead.
Actor Matt Damon fears U.S. President Barack Obama has been bullied into making unpopular decisions and struggles to fight back because of his lack of military background. The American leader swept to power on a wave of hope and goodwill in 2008, but the shine has since come off his presidency amid disagreements over a national healthcare plan and the 'spying' scandal exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
However, Damon, who has been a vocal supporter of the Democrat politician for years, insists Obama is not to blame for the controversies and is trying to prove his "manhood" by taking tough action.
The Good WIll Hunting star tells the Guardian Weekend magazine, "It just seems to have taken this weird, Orwellian turn. It's surreal. I don't know where we are now... I think it's tough for guys who weren't in the military. One, their manhood is kind of challenged on some level, I imagine, and they allow themselves to get bullied. And two, they're just politically afraid of either looking soft or looking incompetent, so they overcompensate."
Renesmee Cullen is leaving Bella and Edward's Twilight home in Forks to jet off through time with Christopher Nolan. Mackenzie Foy, who starred in the last installment of the Twilight Saga films as Bella and Edward's vampire/human hybrid daughter, is in final negotiations to enroll in Christopher Nolan's upcoming project Interstellar, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The child actress would join a gloat-worthy crew of stars comprised of Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Zero Dark Thirty's Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, and also Casey Affleck.
The sci-fi film penned by Nolan and his sibling Jonathan Nolan, who also worked with his brother onThe Dark Knight series, is said to explore American physicist Kip Thorne's theories involving wormholes, gravity fields, and other intergalactic madness that Einstein grappled with. Let's just hope Renesmee can subdue her sparkling glitter while traveling through time!
Joining the cast of Nolan's Interstellar, which is set for a November 7, 2014 release, proves that Foy is not just fussing around. The former Twilight star is not letting the end of Edward and Bella's time on the big screen be a damper on her prominent career. On top of landing a role in the upcoming flick Interstellar, Foy is slated to voice a part in an animated modern childhood adaption of The Little Prince alongside Jeff Bridges and Marion Cotillard.
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