There's an allure to imperfection. With his latest drama Lawless director John Hillcoat taps directly into the side of human nature that draws us to it. Hillcoat finds it in Prohibition history a time when the regulations of alcohol consumption were subverted by most of the population; He finds it in the rural landscapes of Virginia: dingy raw and mesmerizing. And most importantly he finds it in his main character Jack Bondurant (Shia LaBeouf) the scrappy third brother of a moonshining family who is desperate to prove his worth. Jack forcefully injects himself into the family business only to discover there's an underbelly to the underbelly. Lawless is a beautiful film that's violent as hell striking in a way only unfiltered Americana could be.
Acting as the driver for his two outlaw brothers Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clarke) isn't enough for Jack. He's enticed by the power of the gangster figure and entranced by what moonshine money can buy. So like any fledgling entrepreneur Jack takes matters into his own hands. Recruiting crippled family friend/distillery mastermind Cricket (Dane DeHaan) the young whippersnapper sets out to brew his own batch sell it to top dog Floyd Banner and make the family rich. The plan works — but it puts the Bondurant boys in over their heads with a new threat: the corrupt law enforcers of Chicago.
Unlike many stories of crime life Lawless isn't about escalation. The movie drifts back and forth leisurely popping in moments like the beats of a great TV episode. One second the Bondurants could be talking shop with their female shopkeep Maggie Beauford (Jessica Chastain). The next Forrest is beating the bloody pulp out of a cop blackmailing their operation. The plot isn't thick; Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave preferring to bask in the landscapes the quiet moments the haunting terror that comes with a life on the other side of the tracks. A feature film doesn't offer enough time for Lawless to build — it recalls cinema-level TV currently playing on outlets like HBO and AMC that have truly spoiled us — but what the duo accomplish is engrossing.
Accompanying the glowing visuals and Cave's knockout workout on the music side (a toe-tapping mix of spirituals bluegrass and the writer/musician's spine-tingling violin) are muted performances from some of Hollywood's rising stars. Despite LaBeouf's off-screen antics he lights up Lawless and nails the in-deep whippersnapper. His playful relationship with a local religious girl (Mia Wasikowska) solidifies him as a leading man but like everything in the movie you want more. Tom Hardy is one of the few performers who can "uurrr" and "mmmnerm" his way through a scene and come out on top. His greatest sparring partner isn't a hulking thug but Chastain who brings out the heart of the impenetrable beast. The real gem of Lawless is Guy Pearce as the Bondurant trio's biggest threat. Shaved eyebrows pristine city clothes and a temper like a rabid wolverine Pearce's Charlie Rakes is the most frightening villain of 2012. He viciously chews up every moment he's on screen. That's even before he starts drawing blood.
Lawless is the perfect movie for the late August haze — not quite the Oscary prestige picture or the summertime shoot-'em-up. It's drama that has its moonshine and swigs it too. Just don't drink too much.
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.
Paramount Pictures’ Mission: Impossible franchise is a rare phenomenon. Few film series based on properties as old as it is have retained such relevance in the modern movie market and few take as long a break in between installments making each new entry a highly anticipated event. Such is the case with Ghost Protocol the fourth in fifteen years starring Tom Cruise as super-agent Ethan Hunt. Adding to the hoopla surrounding the holiday release is the fact that it marks the live-action directorial debut of Brad Bird the Pixar wunderkind responsible for Oscar-winning hits The Incredibles and Ratatouille. Unfortunately I feel that the animation auteur had too much to prove in his first physical outing and tried a bit too hard to thrill resulting in a film that plays more like John Woo’s over-the-top M:I:II than Brian de Palma’s suspenseful original.
The plot essentially kicks off when a bomb blasts a hole the size of a football field in the Kremlin (Russia’s most important government facility) while Hunt and his team of IMF agents (Paula Patton and Simon Pegg) attempt to extract a nuclear detonation device from the fortress before a mysterious figure known only as Cobalt can get to it first. The problem: Cobalt has gotten to it first and frames Hunt and company for the bombing causing the U.S. President to enact "Ghost Protocol " which disbands the IMF and disavows its soldiers. Knowing that the theft of the device and a batch of codes that enable it to be used prior to this event means that Cobalt surely intends to start World War III the agents go rogue to retrieve the components and bring the terrorist to justice.
Like the fore mentioned bomb blast Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec’s script is devastating leaving scattered pieces of information all over the place and making it hard for the story to truly find its footing. Expository plot points are dropped in way after they’re needed or wanted messing with the pace of the movie on more than one occasion. Perhaps their biggest crime is crafting a lame villain with little presence in the picture. After the intensity that Phillip Seymour Hoffman brought to his antagonist in M:I:III Michael Nyqvist’s quiet and composed Hendricks just isn’t convincing enough as a true threat. On the other hand Bird’s direction is anything but composed.
While his use of IMAX cameras is quite breathtaking when filming the much-publicized Burj Khalifa climb and other notable set pieces as stated before his approach to the material seemed to be “let’s make every action sequence as ludicrous as we can.” I realize that MIGP is a holiday blockbuster designed to get audiences blood pumping but I’ve always found that action films work best when they operate (mostly) within the confines of reality. That’s clearly not the case here where Hunt drives perfectly through a blinding sandstorm without causing much collateral damage and nosedives a Volkswagen off of a 30-foot drop and lives to save the day.
Still it’s all in the name of fun and he does manage to create an entertaining dynamic between his IMF agents. Patton is totally passable as Jane Carter an agent seeking revenge for the murder of her cohort and apparent beau Hanaway (Josh Holloway) while Pegg returning as Benji the tech-geek from the preceding film has been promoted to field agent and is without question the movie’s saving grace. Though his comic relief is relied heavily upon it’s absolutely welcomed. The biggest surprise is Jeremy Renner who was supposedly brought in to take the reigns of the franchise but is pretty stale as Brandt. He never elevates his character to the level of coolness that Cruise has maintained throughout the years and doesn’t provide anything significant other than assistance. Given the talent that we all know he possesses his negligible contribution was a bigger let down than the film itself.
A special event celebrating the world premiere of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is taking place down in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, today. We in the States will have to wait for our national release date of Dec. 21 to enjoy Tom Cruise in his fourth adventure as Ethan Hunt. But we do have the option of checking out the live premiere event. You can watch via the video below, starting at 4 p.m. ET. Those who tune in to check out the premiere party will be treated to an appearance by DJ Tiesto, who will be performing a special remix of the classic, unbelievably catchy Mission: Impossible theme song. It's also likely that we'll be seeing a few members of the movie's cast, which includes Cruise, Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg and Josh Holloway.
The LiveStream Rio Premiere for Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is sponsored by CokeZero.
Josh Holloway, a.k.a. Sawyer, visited Jimmy Kimmel Live! to talk about working with Tom Cruise on Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, and the powers (and hardships) that come along with his signature stubble.
Barbara Walters showed up on The Late Show to debate the merit in many of her Fascinating People with Letterman, touching upon the Kardashians and Donald Trump. But the most mysterious part was the secret name of the Most Fascinating Person of the Year, whom nobody knows about...but Letterman thinks he cracked the code.
Dana Carvey appeared on The Tonight Show in character as Ron Paul, Barack Obama, Billy Crystal, Regis Philbin, Rain Man and more.
Finally, back on The Late Show, Saturday Night Live star Bill Hader stopped by to prove that he's funny no matter what he's talking about: he told a story about a family ski-trip from his childhood that went awry and resulted in a Swedish man coming to the rescue.
There's nothing I like more than a good, old-fashioned girl fight. Whether it's a watching Gina Carano kick some ass in the ring when she's not making a Steven Soderbergh flick or some chicks on the streets of NYC tussling over who "wore it best," I can't get enough of them. But when you throw two extra-attractive women into the world of Mission: Impossible, it's simply the best of the best.
In this new clip from the franchises latest entry, Ghost Protocol (due in IMAX screens on December 16 and everywhere else on the 21), disavowed IMF agent Jane Carter (played by the luscious Paula Patton) engages in visceral hand-to-hand combat with an as-yet-unnamed adversary played by Lea Seydoux. You can check it out below.
More Mission: Impossible %2D Ghost Protocol Videos
Directed by Brad Bird and starring, as always, Tom Cruise, along with Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Josh Holloway and many more, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol hits IMAX screens on December 16 and every other movie theater on December 21.
The actor admits his love for food and beer became a problem on the Lost set in Hawaii because he struggled to stay in shape and so he befriended the guys behind the script in a bid to stay one step ahead of the director.
He explains, "All my brothers were skinny with a gut... That's what I fight against. I love food, I love drink, I love that social thing.
"They (writers) would give me five days' notice... Writers and producers expect you to be in shape all the time, but as they became my friends, I'd say, 'Dudes, give me a little warning...' Then I'd warrior up, do more weights, and stick to eating steak and fish."
But Holloway had to get serious about his physique when he got a call to join Tom Cruise in the new Mission: Impossible movie and he lost 20 pounds (nine kilograms), which he now intends to keep off.
He tells Men's Fitness magazine, "No more of that desperation push (before topless scenes). I'm going to stay fit. It feels better."
"I call it Disneyland for me... That kinda thing is just action-packed and lots of stunts and fun things to do, and working with Tom (Cruise) was an honour." Lost star Josh Holloway on filming the latest Mission: Impossible movie.
Mission: Impossible IV (M:I IV for short, ‘meev’ for shorter) cashed in on a lot of frequent flier miles when bringing in the baddies for the film. Seems that they didn’t get the memo about how the more bad guys that appear in a sequel, the worse the movie is.
We already knew that Swede Michael Nyqvist (that’s Mr. Nyq.. Ni-quest? Nee-quest? Nu-quest? Ah forget it) of The Girl With a Dragon Tattoo fame would be one villiain. However, reports have come in that Frenchie Lea Seydoux (that’s Miss Say-do... Sigh-do? Sigh-dough? Man this is hard) and Indian Anil Kapoor (Got this one!) will be causing trouble for Ethan Hunt.
Kapoor is best known for his pronunciation of 'millionaire' while screaming it in Slumdog Millionaire. Seydoux was most recently in Robin Hood but since you and I both know you didn’t see that movie, she was in the opening scene (if you can call something that lasts for 20 minutes a scene) of Inglourious Basterds.
And here’s my problem with this movie. It has a ton of talent in it like regulars Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames and new recruits Jeremy Renner, Paula Patton and Josh Holloway. Brad Bird is directing and as mentioned above some incredible foreign talent has signed up for the antagonists, but it will probably feature more of Tom Cruise showing off how well he looks shirtless than it does showcasing the abilities of its supporting cast. Hopefully I'm wrong and this will be the most well-rounded Mission yet.
Source: Deadline and Hollywood Reporter
The TV hunk, who played castaway Sawyer on the desert island drama, looks set to join the action man, Paula Patton and The Hurt Locker star Jeremy Renner in Mission: Impossible IV.
Vladimir Mashkov and Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist will play the villains of the piece.
The film is set to hit cinemas at the end of next year (11).