Tag Archive: abraham lincoln


I expect two questions to be raised by the title of this post. One: Who is Anthony Mackie? Two: Why will he be a household name? These are both questions that I am set to answer in the next couple of paragraphs. Simply enough, Anthony Mackie is an actor, an actor who has starred in some of the biggest films of the last few years but has so far had very minor roles or exposure in the public domain. However, his talent is undoubted and soon enough, everyone will know who he will be. But let’s not just say random things, people want proof. So what has he been in so far?

Anthony Mackie has made quite an impression on the stage and his theatre roots have not been forgotten as he has grown as an actor and he regularly returns in between filming to perform on stage. On stage he has played Tupac Shakur, starred in three plays written by award winner August Wilson and starred in an ancient Greek tragedy The Bacchae. But while his performances on broadway got him noticed by critics and the people in the know, he would still be unknown by millions around the world if it wasn’t for his film career.

His film career began ten years ago in Eminem’s film 8 Mile. Here, Mackie played Eminem’s rival Papa Doc. I really liked 8 Mile and thought it was a decent film so this was a good place to start for Mackie in my opinion, it was an easy break into the world of film making. His first starring role came a year later in Brother to Brother and Mackie received a nomination at the Independent Spirit Awards for best debut performance. In the next couple of years he appeared alongside Denzel Washington in The Manchurian Candidate, Spike Lee’s She Hate Me and multi-Oscar winning Million Dollar Baby. He later appeared in Helf Nelson and then another multi-Oscar winning film and one that received huge critical acclaim and is probably the best film still to have been made about the Iraq war: The Hurt Locker. With such big hits under his belt how is he still not more famous?!

In the last couple of years it looks as though Mackie has been pushing for more fame, but his choice of roles may just be letting him down. Since 2008 he has appeared in blockbusters such as Eagle Eye, The Adjustment Bureau, Notorious (where he once again plays Tupac Shakur), Real Steel, Man on a Ledge and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. None of the aforementioned films turned out to be as big as their studios or casts had hoped unfortunately. So that leaves us with what he is going to do next… after ten years of being a successful but little known actor Anthony Mackie finally looks set to receive the fame that that handsome face and charming smile deserve.

One of the most anticipated films of next year is Gangster Squad. And here Mackie is included in an all star cast that boasts names of the quality of Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone… basically it’s a sure fire hit. This could get Mackie the exposure that he deserves but if not, then his project in 2014 will definitely get him noticed. Comic book movies have become the biggest genre of the last few years without a doubt! And Anthony Mackie has been confirmed to be in Captain America: The Winter Soldier where his role will be Sam Wilson, better known as Captain America’s modern day sidekick with the power of flight Falcon. If the film stays true to the comic books then Anthony Mackie will have a big part to play as it is likely that Falcon will be Cap’s best friend and the person he can confide in while he deals with the change of waking up in a whole new world. Anthony Mackie is a perfect choice for the role and the casting decision has been greeted with great positivity by fans of the comic book hero. With a role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it is also likely that Mackie could be in with a chance of getting some screen time in The Avengers 2 which would be a dream for most actors at the minute, I believe.

The comic book movie genre shows no signs of flagging and this casting choice could throw Anthony Mackie into the limelight and who knows, in a few more years he might even be headlining films rather than just being a sidekick.

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UK Release Date: 25th January 2013.

Stars: Steven Spielberg (director), Daniel Day-Lewis, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jackie Earle Haley, Jared Harris, Sally Field, Michael Stuhlbarg.

Plot: As the Civil War nears its end, President Abraham Lincoln clashes with members of his cabinet over the issue of abolishing slavery.

I have found a few trailers recently that have revived my hope in the comedy genre, which is one that I have considered very much a graveyard for the last couple of years, but here is something on the very opposite end of the scale; a hard hitting political drama based on former American president Abraham Lincoln.

I don’t think that there is a more exciting movie for the Oscar judges and Lincoln was clearly made for them. It is a biographical film about an American legend, a story about a pivotal moment in American history, directed by Steven Spielberg featuring an all star cast, of which a few have been nominated and won Oscars before and the make-up and costumes look great; Daniel Day-Lewis looks a dead ringer for Lincoln. Personally, depending on his screen time I’m hoping Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets an Oscar nod for his performance.

Like I said, Lincoln is very much a film for the Oscars and I’m not sure how it will do with the general audience but I have no doubts it will receive critical praise all over the world, especially in America and the United Kingdom. I’m looking forward to it; it has the potential to be the best ensemble acting performance ever.

As we know, there is a trend of bringing fairy tales to the big screen at the minute. So far there have been Little Red Riding Hood, Mirror Mirror and Snow White & The Huntsman. There is a Beauty & the Beast film in the pipeline but here we have Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, which is not by the same people as Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, although it sounds as though it could well be. When this update of the classic fairy tale was first announced it did worry me a little as the title sounded a little corny and the set photos didn’t inspire much confidence. However, now that the trailer has been released I have changed my mind completely.

The casting for Hansel & Gretel does look very good, despite the big age difference between the actors playing the title characters even though they are both shown to be around the same age but we can overlook that. Jeremy Renner is the ‘it’ man around Hollywood right now and has recently given a restart to both the Mission: Impossible franchise and the Bourne franchise (I think he was a great replacement for Matt Damon) and he also played fan favourite Hawkeye in Marvel’s The Avengers. Alongside Renner as Hansel there is one of my favourite British actresses Gemma Arterton playing Gretel. Arterton has shown over the years how incredibly versatile she is and just how wonderful an actress she can be. Now we finally get a chance to see her kicking ass and in real fight scenes which is good news.

Unlike the previous adaptations of fairy tales what we have in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is not a retelling of the original story. This is why I think it could be better than all other fairy tale films that have been recently. Whereas both Mirror Mirror and Snow White & the Huntsman both told the origin story of Snow White so people knew what was coming, however Hansel & Gretel takes place 15 years after the fairy tale, fifteen years on from when Hansel & Gretel were almost killed by an evil witch. This means that there is a lot of space to play with as there is no specific end in mind as there are with other fairy tale stories.

The trailer has filled me with excitement about this film. There is a voice over from Jeremy Renner which isn’t your ordinary emotionless narration that you often get in trailers. The whole film looks like it really has got it’s genre nailed on, the scenery looks fantastic and it visually is a treat for the eyes. The trailer is action packed and you can clearly tell how the event fifteen years prior to the film affected Hansel and Gretel and it is fantastic to get a taste of the fight scenes that will appear in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

 

 

How well Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters will do when it is released in January is difficult to estimate. I think that it could go either way but if marketed correctly it could go well, especially with Renner and Arterton in the main roles. Hopefully it will pick up the teenage audience which it appears to be aiming for but I know that I will be looking forward to it. I just hope it is as good as I want it to be!

After the tragic loss of action director Tony Scott a few weeks ago this is another sad week for Hollywood. The incredible Michael Clarke Duncan has sadly passed away just two months after suffering a heart attack that he never really fully recovered from. It’s horrible news especially considering the fact that news reports have emerged that Duncan and his reality television personality girlfriend planned on getting married next year and had talked about having children together. Michael Clarke Duncan is best known for his role in The Green Mile which he was Oscar nominated for but he also starred in Sin City, The Green Lantern and Armageddon.

In other news there is yet another film in pre-production about former American president Abraham Lincoln. This follows the unique take on the 16th president Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and the upcoming Steven Spielberg biopic starring the hyphenated cast of Daniel Day-Lewis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt entitled Lincoln. The title of the new film is The Green Blade Rises and will be directed by Terrence Malick. In the past Malick has taken long gaps between his films but his schedule seems to be pretty busy for the next two or three years. It’ll be interesting to see whether the success of Spielberg’s Lincoln affects this new take positively or negatively, if even at all.

Daniel Day-Lewis as President Lincoln

As many people will know by now The Hobbit has been announced as a trilogy and there has been a release date and title change for the films. The first part, out later this year, will still be named An Unexpected Journey. The second instalment will be titled The Desolation of Smaug to be released around Christmas 2013 whilst the third and final (for now) chapter adopts the name There and Back Again (originally the title for the second film) and will hit summer 2014.

Michael Bay continued to ruin childhoods this past week. He managed to anger Transformers fans when he continued to make each film worse than the previous one and then angered Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans by deciding their new origin would be that they are aliens from another planet. Now the terrible explosion happy director has had to come out and deny that the leaked script for the new TMNT film is actually the final one because everyone who is anyone has been slating it and saying how awful it is. Michael Bay has a lot of work on his hands and is quickly becoming very very unpopular among movie fans and anyone with taste.

I actually enjoyed the most recent CGI outing of TMNT.

Finally, it has been in the pipeline for some time but it has now been announced that Metal Gear Solid, the hugely successful video game, is to be adapted into a film. Avi Arad, who has produced almost every single movie about a Marvel character, will be producing the film. Metal Gear Solid has already been integrated into a hilarious comedy routine by Dara O’Briain but will it be turned into a film just as good? The main problem is who should play main character Snake? Some of the names being touted around fan forums so far include Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Bradley Cooper and Sam Worthington. The favourite and specifically mentioned by the games creator Hideo Kojima seems to be Hugh Jackman. I think Jackman would be a great choice as he can clearly pull off being a bad ass like he has done in the X-Men films playing Wolverine. But if they are to get Jackman they need to start moving forward with the project soon before he gets too old.

National Treasure: Book of Secrets is the sequel to Disney’s commercially successful original National Treasure film of 2004. When released back in 2007 Book of Secrets claimed the number one spot at the American box office and became a commercial success worldwide, and yes, plans for a third film are in place. So is this sequel actually any good?

Book of Secrets is an adventure mystery film that once again follows treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates. This time, Gates looks to discover the truth behind the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, by uncovering the mystery within the missing 18 pages from the diary of assassin John Wilkes Booth.

Justin Bartha injects some fantastic comedy into the film.

Disney pulled together a fantastic cast for the National Treasure franchise, particularly in Book of Secrets. A supporting cast of Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger, Ed Harris, Harvey Keitel, Jon Voight, Helen Mirren and Bruce Greenwood are led by the inconsistent, for want of a better word, Nicolas Cage who plays the smart adventurer Benjamin Franklin Gates. In my opinion Jutin Bartha as Riley Poole, Gates’ colleague and friend steals the show with a fantastic performance; he provides great comic relief and offers up plenty of laughs for the audience, a great shift from Bartha.

Book of Secrets is a family friendly film, aimed at children primarily but there is plenty there for the older viewers to enjoy as well. We follow Nicolas Cage on a journey that stretches across Europe and America connecting clues to solve their mystery. Whilst there is a lot to enjoy and keep the audience’s attention I do think that Book of Secrets lacks in story depth and character development which is pretty disappointing. It is very clearly defined which characters are good and which are evil but they are given no time to develop and instead the emphasis is on moving the action forward, which of course is not always a bad thing, but the loose strings holding the action together are sometimes too ridiculous to believe even for this film.

The action scenes are really enjoyable though and there will be things that you will laugh at, whatever your sense of humour may be suited to. The final action scene taking place inside Mount Rushmore is a very good climatic scene and to be honest, parts of the film show real intelligence in film making and writing. Something I did actually hate though, were the horrible cockney accents we were subjected during the Buckingham Palace scene.

As Book of Secrets was a hit it should come as no surprise that there is a sequel being planned at the minute. And the ending of the film leaves it open with the mystery surrounding ‘Page 47’ being mentioned. I would welcome a third film of the franchise. National Treasure: Book of Secrets lacks depth but it excels in fun and is a great film to watch when you just want to be entertained.

My Rating: 6/10

UK Release: 2nd August 2012.

So here we have a new take on the story of President Abraham Lincoln. The murder of his mother at the hands of a supernatural being fuels his hatred for vampires and he chooses to wipe them out, pretty much.

It’s an interesting re-writing of history and obviously nobody expects it to be historically accurate 100% but we’re here to watch the trailer, not discuss history. The trailer doesn’t give much of the story away, instead it just decides to pack in a lot of action scenes where Lincoln is killing or fighting vampires. Occasionally we get a small snippet of nothing happening just to let our minds register the action.

It’s not the best trailer but as the release date approaches we are sure to get better trailers, right? Anyway, it has Dominic Cooper in and I’m a big fan of his, I think he is a great, young British actor so I will be seeing this film as a fan of his anyway, if for no other reason.