Nicole Kidman is to be honoured with an outstanding contribution award at the Shanghai International Film Festival in China. Hugh Grant and John Woo will present the Australian actress with her latest accolade at the opening ceremony on Saturday (14Jun14), while artist Qin Yi will honour Jiang Wen with the Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Film Award.
Kidman will be hoping this film festival will be a better experience than her visit to Cannes last month (May14), when her new film Grace of Monaco was savaged by critics.
Kirsten Dunst, John Cusack, Hayden Christensen, Jackie Chan, Tony Leung, Li Bingbing and Korean superstar Rain are expected to attend the opening gala, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film festival will open with a restored version of 1964 movie Two Stage Sisters and close with Transformers: Age of Extinction. A jury led by actress Gong Li will decide the winner of the Golden Goblet from the 15 films in competition.
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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Movie star Nicolas Cage has taken aim at Hollywood's top executives in a new TV interview, accusing them of ignoring Asian talent. The Con Air star sat down with Chinese state broadcaster CCTV to talk about his new movie Outcast, which is a joint U.S. and China production, and he used his airtime to praise the continent's top film stars, calling on Tinseltown's studio bosses to use them more in mainstream films.
Saluting the talents of his Outcast co-star Liu Yifei, Cage said, "I hope that we will see more Chinese actors in American cinema too. We do see Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi and Chow Yun Fat, but it’s very rare to see the Chinese male actor in Hollywood movies, which is something I take great umbrage with.
"My son is Asian. He may want to direct one day; he may want to be an actor like his father - and I want that to be open to him. So I want to make some kind of effort to see more of that happen in Hollywood."
The son Cage is referring to is his eight year old with wife Alice Kim, who is Korean-American.
Outcast marked Cage's first film experience in China, but he insisted it won't be his last: "I do want to come back, and I want to work with a Chinese director and Chinese actors. If there’s something that makes sense for a white guy like me, I’d like to do that here in China.
"I would like to make a movie with (Chinese actor) Tony Leung, but I don’t know how to do it."
A kids’ movie without the cheeky jokes for adults is like a big juicy BLT without the B… or the T. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted may have a title that sounds like it was made up in a cartoon sequel laboratory but when it comes to serving up laughs just think of the film as a BLT with enough extra bacon to satisfy even the wildest of animals — or even a parent with a gaggle of tots in tow. Yes even with that whole "Afro Circus" nonsense.
It’s not often that we find exhaustively franchised films like the Madagascar set that still work after almost seven years. Despite being spun off into TV shows and Christmas specials in addition to its big screen adventures the series has not only maintained its momentum it has maintained the part we were pleasantly surprised by the first time around: great jokes.
In this third installment of the series – the trilogy-maker if you will – directing duo Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath add Conrad Vernon (director Monsters Vs. Aliens) to the helm as our trusty gang swings back into action. Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) are stuck in Africa after the hullaballoo of Madagascar 2 and they’ll do anything to get back to their beloved New York. Just a hop skip and a jump away in Monte Carlo the penguins are doing their usual greedy schtick but the zoo animals catch up with them just in time to catch the eye of the sinister animal control stickler Captain Dubois (Frances McDormand). And just like that the practically super human captain is chasing them through Monte Carlo and the rest of Europe in hopes of planting Alex’s perfectly coifed lion head on her wall of prized animals.
Luckily for pint-sized viewers Dubois’ terrifying presence is balanced out by her sheer inhuman strength uncanny guiles and Stretch Armstrong flexibility (ah the wonder of cartoons) as well as Alex’s escape plan: the New Yorkers run away with the European circus. While Dubois’ terrifying Doberman-like presence looms over the entire film a sense of levity (which is a word the kiddies might learn from Stiller’s eloquent lion) comes from the plan for salvation in which the circus animals and the zoo animals band together to revamp the circus and catch the eye of a big-time American agent. Sure the pacing throughout the first act is practically nonexistent running like a stampede through the jungle but by the time we're palling around under the big top the film finds its footing.
The visual splendor of the film (and man is there a champion size serving of it) the magnificent danger and suspense is enhanced to great effect by the addition of 3D technology – and not once is there a gratuitous beverage or desperate Crocodile Dundee knife waved in our faces to prove its worth. The caveat is that the soundtrack employs a certain infectious Katy Perry ditty at the height of the 3D spectacular so parents get ready to hear that on repeat until the leaves turn yellow.
But visual delights and adventurous zoo animals aside Madagascar 3’s real strength is in its script. With the addition of Noah Baumbach (Greenberg The Squid and the Whale) to the screenwriting team the script is infused with a heightened level of almost sarcastic gravitas – a welcome addition to the characteristically adult-friendly reference-heavy humor of the other Madagascar films. To bring the script to life Paramount enlisted three more than able actors: Vitaly the Siberian tiger (Bryan Cranston) Gia the Leopard (Jessica Chastain) and Stefano the Italian Sealion (Martin Short). With all three actors draped in European accents it might take viewers a minute to realize that the cantankerous tiger is one and the same as the man who plays an Albuquerque drug lord on Breaking Bad but that makes it that much sweeter to hear him utter slant-curse words like “Bolshevik” with his usual gusto.
Between the laughs the terror of McDormand’s Captain Dubois and the breathtaking virtual European tour the Zoosters’ accidental vacation is one worth taking. Madagascar 3 is by no means an insta-classic but it’s a perfectly suited for your Summer-at-the-movies oasis.
Wonder what Hannibal Lecter (Gaspard Ulliel) was like as a boy? Well even as a youngster he had a keen interest in (eating) human anatomy but as we see in Hannibal Rising he wasn’t born a cannibal. It all started in World War II Lithuania where a young Hannibal is left an orphan after he watches his whole family die at the hands of war criminals. In the eight years that pass only the hope of revenge has kept him afloat. After escaping the orphanage at which he was bullied Hannibal finds his uncle’s Japenese widow Lady Murasaki (Gong Li) who lives in a similarly lonesome state. They strike up a very close bond in which she helps him tap into the memory of his family’s death--most importantly and painfully his young sister’s--while he more or less let’s her live. Not the case for those who wronged him but hot on Hannibal’s murderous trail is a French inspector (Dominic West) who both sympathizes with and greatly fears the madman-child Lecter. And given that Anthony Hopkins has thrice played a grown-up Hannibal and Brian Cox once everyone should know how this prequel ends. With Anthony Hopkins having lent his unmistakable visage to his now iconic Lecter no actor would be given a fair chance to do the same for a young Hannibal. Ulliel (A Very Long Engagement) often tries his darndest to contort his makeup-scarred face so that it alone will frighten viewers but an actor either looks like a psychopath or doesn’t; Hopkins with the utmost respect looks like a straightjacket escapee whereas Ulliel looks like an over-exerting actor. Forced scowl aside he’s creepy as a near mute in the movie but it’s almost impossible to believe that this is the young man who would go on to become Hopkins’ Lecter. Li (Miami Vice) looks incredible and easily 20 years younger than her actual age. She does what she can with her mysterious and emotionally stunted Lady Murasaki but it’s an odd character to begin with. In a supporting role Englishman West (HBO’s The Wire) adds a needed subtle performance and fits well alongside the past lawmen in the Hannibal series and Rhys Ifans as a villain continues his trend of unpredictable role choices. Hannibal Rising is astonishingly the fifth installment in a franchise that truly lost its luster after Silence of the Lambs and the neglected Manhunter. Of course the franchise is only kaput if the latest doesn’t make enough money but this should have been stopped years ago—at least as a movie series. As novels the saga is much more sustainable because author Thomas Harris who makes his Lecter screenplay debut with Rising can get away with murder (no pun intended). But while Rising is far from over the top director Peter Webber (Girl with a Pearl Earring) and Harris can’t make the movie nearly as tense as any of its novel or film predecessors. Webber is an editor-turned-director and it shows: The film is masterfully shot by Ben Davis (Layer Cake) and put together by the director but once Webber gets down to the movie’s blood and guts (pun intended this time) he can’t deliver much excitement at all. Ultimately Webber takes his restraint too far.
Near the end of the Tang Dynasty in 10th century China things are not well between the Emperor (Chow Yun-Fat) and his Empress (Gong Li). She serves more as an arm piece to him and begins to suspect that he is poisoning her to keep her subservient. The Emperor brings his son Prince Jai (Jay Chou) to the palace and Jai is concerned for the Empress's health. She also seems to have some sort of hold on her stepson Crown Prince Wan (Liu Ye) who just wants to run away with the palace doctor's daughter Chan (Li Man). With all the scheming and ulterior motives going back and forth it all hits the fan when the Emperor's convoy is attacked by assassins. From here secrets come to light through death and battle as the assassins force both sides' hands. The family relations and dynasty lore may be too complicated to understand in one viewing but that is often the case with these kinds of historical epics especially in a foreign language. Still the elements are beautiful to watch and once it becomes a war movie the threat of boredom is lifted. Curse of the Golden Flower offers traditional epic performances. Gong Li’s Empress may be bitter in servitude angry in conspiracy or pained with tragedy but it's all big dramatics. Few can do it better than Gong. The lavish emotional material is her forte and this is another tragic epic in which she can shine. Chow Yun-Fat does his stoic thing. What makes him the ultimate badass action hero also suits him well as a plotting monarch. Some range of issues face his character but he greets them with a strong even-keeled temper only breaking down in pivotal moments. The assassins serve as a singular character too. They move so gracefully as a single unit you don't even need to see who's under the masks to get the personality of this unstoppable killing machine. Other characters just serve as pawns in the plot. There's the whiny sissy son and lovelorn kids all convincing as they serve their purposes in Gong and Chow's chess game. Curse of the Golden Flower seems to be a culmination of all of director Zhang Yimou's work. It includes period drama with epic tragic themes and even more newfangled martial arts action since his last effort Hero. He also uses color schemes to reflect emotion. Superficial gold barely masks the palace corruption and forest greens welcome in the change brought by the assassins. Golden Flower does seems a tad melodramatic. But the Chinese language is based on subtle sound differences and going over the top may be the only way to convey it. It certainly works for a political intrigue family drama. The best parts of the film are the assassin attacks big but full of nuance. The dark figures flow gracefully through the scenes seeming to defy gravity but not in a Crouching Tiger sort of way. Their acrobatic antics are based on some level of physics at least as the film establishes the group. It's never just clanking swords there's always some careful tactics to enjoy. Combining so many aspects masterfully Curse of the Golden Flower could be Zhang's masterwork.
Hollywood actor Colin Farrell has been caught romancing his Miami Vice co-star Gong Li at the movie’s intimate post-premiere party.
The Irish star was getting up close and personal with the Memoirs of a Geisha beauty, who is 10 years his senior.
Farrell, 30, who was recently linked to former Boston Legal actress Lake Bell, enjoyed a romantic rendezvous with Li at London's Sanderson Hotel.
They arrived at the party hand-in-hand where they sat whispering to each other all night--and although Farrell was getting plenty of attention from the ladies, he only had eyes for Li.
This isn't the first time Farrell has made a play for an older woman--he once attempted to romance 72-year-old star Dame Eileen Atkins.
The ageing actress said, "Three weeks before my 70th birthday a simply stunning, gorgeous big film star came into my room for sex without strings. I spent two-and-a-half hours saying no, but it cheered me up fantastically."
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Assuming you’ll be able to understand about half of what’s being said due to the mumbling and thick accents here’s the gist of this Miami Vice: James “Sonny” Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Ricardo “Rico” Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) are the unsmiling leaders of a top-notch Miami-Dade vice squad whose job it is to take down the bad guys. But when they go deep undercover to expose yet another global drug cartel—which includes factions of the Aryan brotherhood (nice bunch)--their lives are put on the line especially after Crockett ends up falling for Chinese-Cuban Isabella (Gong Li) an intoxicating player for the other side. So back and forth we go: The good guys have the drugs; the bad guys want them back; the boys drive speed boats real fast have sex with their girls in the shower—blah blah blah—until finally some action. And when it all goes down it goes down hard. [Cue the synthetic drum solo.] Although you do miss a bit of that Don Johnson spirit Farrell and Foxx actually hold up just fine as the re-envisioned Crockett and Tubbs minus the jovial rapport and pink T-shirts. They look good in the Armani suits with stubbly faces and the dark sunglasses talking the talk and wielding firearms like pros. Everyone around them are equally Vice-esque especially the two female detectives—Trudy Joplin and Gina Calabrese—brought back from the original show. Played by Naomie Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest) and Elizabeth Rodriguez (Blow) respectively these girls simply kick ass. The only one who sticks out like a sore thumb is Gong Li. She looks the part—all steely and indifferent—but once the accomplished Chinese actress (Memoirs of a Geisha) opens her mouth she is way out of her element. It’s actually cringe-worthy watching her try to be tough speaking languages (even Spanish) she is not at all familiar with. And on top of that Gong and Farrell have zero chemistry making their supposedly steamy love scenes tepid indeed. What a waste of good-looking skin. Michael Mann is arguably one of the best writer/directors of crime drama today having crafted such sleek hard-hitters as Heat and Collateral. Returning to the innovative ‘80s show that helped put him on the map must have been a no-brainer even if he was reluctant to do it at first. Apparently Mann wanted to make Vice originally as a gritty feature film but got pigeonholed by the network. Maybe that was good thing because in holding back a bit Mann managed to make it one of the coolest crime series ever combining pulse-racing action with synergized music. But after getting burnt out by the network grind Mann is back to revisit the Vice world again taking it in the direction he originally planned. This Miami Vice is a hard cruel place almost too serious. There’s the little Mann stamps all over it—the overhead shots the clipped dialogue the grainy night vistas—but what’s happened between the first Vice and now is how tired the subject matter has become. Undercover cops/drug smuggling movies are old hat something we’ve seen played out hundreds of times before. And unfortunately Mann offers nothing new. Maybe he should have just left well enough alone.
Memoirs of a Geisha will not be screened in China indefinitely, despite attempts by the film's distributor to overturn the ban.
Chinese film authorities and critics were unimpressed by the casting of homegrown actresses Ziyi Zhang and Gong Li in Japanese roles, and the fact Japan committed atrocities in China during the period the film is set.
A spokesman for distributor Sony Columbia Tristar Pictures says, "(It will not be released in China) because of the negative social response to the film reflected on various media.
"We were pleased with the acceptance of the film in November and were disappointed by this decision."
Despite this decision, Chinese film fans hoping to see the film are buying illegal copies on the black market.
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.
Sylvester Stallone has named Sharon Stone as the sexiest over-40 celebrity in a poll featured in the latest issue of his health and fitness magazine, Sly.
Stallone's The Specialist co-star beat Aussie supermodel Elle Macpherson and Madonna on the actor's Hottest Women Over 40 list.
The magazine's top 10 mature ladies are:
1. Sharon Stone
2. Elle Macpherson
4. Diane Lane
6. Julianne Moore
7. Heather Locklear
8. Marg Helgenberger
9. Tina Turner
10. Gong Li
Article Copyright World Entertainment News Network All Rights Reserved.