Tag Archive: gary oldman


Two years ago the Harry Potter saga came to an end and now it looks as though two of it’s lead stars, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, have found themselves a new franchise each. Daniel Radcliffe is in final negotiations to play the role of Igor, Frankenstein’s assistant, who the story is set to be based around (despite the fact that this character does not appear in the original novel). Emma Watson is set to become Disney’s next princess as she is in final negotiations to play Cinderella in the new adaptation (a basic retelling of the original story) directed by Kenneth Branagh. Cate Blanchett will be playing Cinders’ wicked stepmother.

In general casting news, two of my most anticipated sequels in the coming years have added new (and old) cast members. X-Men: Days of Future Past has now confirmed that Halle Berry will return as Storm along with several other former characters. As well as this Omar Sy has been cast and speculation is rife that he will be portraying the time traveling mutant Bishop (although it might be more likely he will be cast as an evil human leader). And in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes news: the brilliant, incredible actor Gary Oldman has joined as a human revolutionist, meaning it’s safe to assume that the troubled sequel is in safe hands after all.

Good news for comedy fans as FOX has give the go ahead to Let’s Be Cops, a story of two friends looking for more out life and so they pretend to be cops; but when they get involved with a real lief gangster the game gets real. Let’s Be Cops will be directed by Luke Greenfield (The Girl Next Door) and will star Damon Wayans Jr. (Happy Endings) and Jake Johnson (New Girl).

If they cast Max Greenfield too they’re onto a winner!

And finally… this week has seen Transcendence really get a shift on with their casting as it seems to be one of Warner Bros. top priorities at the minute. For anyone who doesn’t know Transcendence will be the directorial debut of Oscar winning cinematographer Wally Pfister. The plot is pretty complicated but it centres on a scientist whose brain is uploaded into his creation, a supercomputer with the potential to think for itself, after he is assassinated by anti-technology terrorists. Johnny Depp has been cast in the lead role and this could see the resurgence of his career at long last! Also added to the cast this week is Paul Bettany (A Knight’s Tale) and Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3). Transcendence is one of the most exciting science fiction films in production at the minute and is set to start shooting in April with a 2014 release date on the cards.

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Can Shia LaBeouf really act? How much does Gary Oldman need to be in a film to make a lasting impression? How tough can a man in a cardigan really be? These are all questions that Lawless poses and answers in it’s running time. Lawless is a post-western gangster flick based on the novel The Wettest County in the World: during the prohibition era the Bondurant brothers run a liquor bootlegging operation but new crooked Special Deputy Charles Rakes is after a share of the profits. The backbone of the story is the coming of age journey of the youngest brother, Jack Bondurant.

Jack Bondurant is played by Shia LaBeouf and this performance soon put to bed any doubts I had about his ability to be taken serious as an actor, I think that Lawless will be the film that builds the bases for LaBeouf’s future audition tapes because he is surprisingly good! However, he isn’t good enough to steal the show, despite being the main character. Guy Pearce was the stand out performer among an all star cast as the villain Charles Rakes; Pearce is incredibly good that as the film goes on you just can’t help but actually be filled with genuine hate towards his character. Gary Oldman manages to make sure his part of the film, although small, is unforgettable; Oldman pretty much picks up a check for shooting a car to pieces and hitting someone in the face with a shovel. Job done. Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska do their jobs well to stand up well in a very testosterone driven film and the latter is definitely going to steal some hearts with this performance.

Tom Hardy who is having a terrific career puts in a performance just as good as any he has done before. He doesn’t have a lot to say as his character, the leader of the Bondurant boys Forrest Bondurant, isn’t much of a talker but as everyone soon finds out, if you anger him you will know about it. It is Tom Hardy that really proves that even though a man is wearing a cardigan he can still kick your ass ten times over before you even have time to raise a fist in defence. The real quality of Hardy’s performance comes in his timing and delivery which is perfect all the way through the film. There is a running joke (sort of a myth or a legend rather than laugh out loud puns) that the Bondurant boys are invincible, immortal or indestructible and after a few scenes with Forrest Bondurant you certainly believe this to be true.

I have read that the script has been accused of being lazily written in places but I found Lawless to be very well written; it was slow paced that led up to a big ending in the final act with enough action in between to keep everyone happy. Guy Pearce and Shia LaBeouf have a great fight scene which is one of the best and most genuine I have seen for a while. The relationships between the Bondurant brothers and their dynamic is really what makes Lawless interesting and the character development throughout is wonderful.

The final act comes down to what most gangster films end with. A gun fight. A lot of the time I am not a big fan of a shoot out because I don’t really find them that exciting, I would much rather see people going toe to toe in hand to hand combat but I found that the amount of care you had invested in the central characters did enough to make the shoot out a riveting watch as you jump around in your seat hoping and praying that none of your favourite characters are going to die and you can do nothing but wish and wish and wish that Pearce’s villain finally gets his comeuppance.

Lawless isn’t for everyone, but it was certainly for me.

My Rating: 8/10.

Let’s start with some great news for fans of Pixar. For a while it has been thought that there would be a sequel coming up to Finding Nemo, which is probably my favourite Pixar movie there has been so far. No plot details have been released yet but surely it can’t just be Nemo getting lost again and needing to be found? They could go the ‘Taken 2‘ route and have Marlin needing to be found instead this time but that would just be ridiculous too. Pixar don’t usually screw up so fingers crossed but the news this week about the sequel is that Ellen DeGeneres is back for the sequel. DeGeneres played Dory who is often thought of as the most popular character of the first film so this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

Lawless is hitting the cinema screens next week and with the cast it boasts (Hardy, LaBeouf, Oldman, Chastain, Pearce) it should surely be a hit. The western is the oldest genre in cinema and is still one of my favourites to this day and I am glad that some big name actors are trying to bring the genre back to the forefront of cinema. Natalie Portman is producing and also starring in a film called Jane Got A Gun where she plays a woman whose husband comes home pumped full of bullets so she reaches out to a former lover to protect her homestead from the criminals who are on the way to finish off her husband. Michael Fassbender is in talks for the role of the former lover! Brilliant news, this could well be another mark of how versatile Fassbender really is.

Tom Hardy, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire are set to team up for a new film with a strong message which takes aim at the horrible world of animal trafficking. DiCaprio and Maguire have long been friends with very strong animal rights opinions and DiCaprio has done plenty of work campaigning for better animal rights. Hardy has recently been fully informed of the actions by friends of his that used to be in the Special Forces but now work as anti-poaching fighters across the world. As of now the trio is only producing the film but with all three having such strong opinions on the subject I wouldn’t be surprised to see one, two or all three of them taking a starring role too.

Space Jam was released way back in 1996 and revolved around Bugs Bunny and his Looney Tunes friends recruiting basketball superstar Michael Jordan to play in a basketball match between the Looney Tunes and a group of aliens who stole the talent of some NBA heavyweights. Modern day Miami Heat star LeBron James has said that he is a huge fan of the film and has expressed interest in teaming up with Bugs, Taz, Daffy Duck and the rest for a sequel. Warner Bros. aren’t actually developing a sequel yet but James’ interest could be the push they need: Warner Bros. always want to make money, the Looney Tunes are guaranteed to pull audiences and sportsmen always want to be actors these days so I would suggest everything is already in place to get it going!

And finally… Tom Hanks has become a viral sensation this week and has earned the respect and adoration of thousands of new fans because of a set of pictures that have appeared on the internet. Tom Hanks is known for being pretty easy going and having a quirky and fun personality and now he has proven it once more as three pictures arrived of him pretending to be drunk and have his glasses stolen by a fan of his. Hanks shows he never gives acting a break and really plays up for the camera! See the pictures below…

 

 

It is one of the most anticipated films of all time and how well it is received will determine how Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is seen by future generations; whether it really is one of the greatest film trilogies of all time or whether it burns out over two films and disappears without a trace after a poor final chapter. After watching Batman Begins and The Dark Knight yesterday, I was ready for whatever Christopher Nolan had to throw at me with The Dark Knight Rises…or at least I thought I was.

The previous two films opened wonderfully: Batman Begins brought us Bruce Wayne’s origin as a child (or at least part of it) and his place in the real world at present day, The Dark Knight brought us one of the best opening sequences of all time with the Jokers bank robbery. ‘Rises‘ introduces the audience to a new world, eight years after the last confirmed sighting of Batman, Harvey Dent is still celebrated as a hero and Gotham’s streets are free of crime thanks to a police department headed up by Commissioner Gordon (the role reprised once more by the brilliant Gary Oldman). We are introduced early on to new characters in the franchise; Bane, John Blake, Miranda Tate and Selina Kyle aka. Catwoman.

Of these newcomers it was Blake who I looked forward to seeing the most because the stature of his character struck my curiosity and he is played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt who is one of my favourite actors. However, it was Anne Hathaway as Catwoman that really stole the show for me. Nolan has proved doubters wrong by writing a strong conflicted female character who is more than a match for Bruce Wayne himself. In Batman Begins and The Dark Knight I felt that the only places the films really lost points was in the fight scenes; I never found Batman’s fight scenes as exciting or thrilling as I should have because it always felt a little too staged, too jarred but when Catwoman kicks ass in The Dark Knight Rises she really goes for it and the choreography is excellent, the fights are seamless and exciting, they are really incredible sequences. The eventual final climatic fight between Batman and Bane (played by another brilliant English actor Tom Hardy) is better than any fight scenes of the previous two instalments as well.

The plot can be condensed into a simple sentence: Batman has to stop the city of Gotham being blown up by Bane. Replace the two character names and the name of the city and that plot could fit any generic action movie. But to do this, to try and explain the plot of The Dark Knight Rises in one sentence is to do yourself and the film a massive injustice. There are enough twists and turns, revelations and red herrings to keep the audience interested and invested in the story and it moves at the perfect pace; you can tell it’s a long film but everything, every tiny piece of detail and dialogue is needed and it is well worth sitting through!

The Dark Knight Rises is a brilliantly written film, it is directed beautifully and every single member of the cast, young and old, performs excellently to make this wonderful masterpiece. With a cast that boasts so many big names (Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Juno Temple, Cillian Murphy, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson and Matthew Modine) it would have been just as easy to let them run riot and it still would have been brilliant to watch but with Christopher Nolan at the helm this pool of talent brought their very best to the table to make one of the best films of all time and bring the final curtain on a trilogy that will define the superhero genre but the whole face of cinema for years to come.

My Rating: 10/10

Lawless [Trailer]

UK Release Date: 7th September 2012.

Stars: John Hillcoat (director), Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska

Plot: Set in the Depression-era Franklin County, Virginia, a bootlegging gang is threatened by authorities who want a cut of their profits.

The Western looks set to make a glamorous return to the cinema screens later on this year when Lawless is released. Directed by John Hillcoat and packed with more than enough big names to overlook the fact that the cast list includes Shia LeBeouf (who will never do anything near as good as Even Stevens in his entire career) Lawless was nominated for the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes film festival, therefore proving it must have some merit.

Brits Tom Hardy and Gary Oldman work together again (both will appear in The Dark Knight Rises) and are joined by Guy Pearce as his career continues to have somewhat of a resurgence over the past year or so. The female representatives in Lawless come in the form of critics favourite Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska who are both talented enough to more than hold their own among the male heavyweights here.

Lawless is based on novel The Wettest Country in the World by Matt Bondurant who wrote the book based on his own grandfather and great-uncles. This movie seems to have everything the critics will adore, but will audiences feel the same way? Unfortunately I doubt that this will hit big mainstream numbers as the success of Westerns have been limited over the past decade or more. However, with the stellar cast and the gangster aspect to the film if it is marketed right it could cause a big surprise at the box office!

The Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings franchises are too of the highest grossing in cinematic history, with the boy wizard being ranked at number one. There is a lot of debate among fantasy fans as to which franchise is actually better and audiences tend to fall on one side or the other, rather than both.

There are many similarities between the two film series’: the unsuspecting hero (Harry and Frodo), the ever faithful best friend (Ron and Sam), the tale of friendship and companionship, both taking place in completely new worlds and the battle between good and evil. Both franchises are based on books by British authors, also; Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling and Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien.

Return of the King is joint holder of the most Oscar awards won by a single film.

If we go by recognition from the Academy Awards then there is, of course, a clear winner in terms of which film series is better. Whilst the Harry Potter series won the BAFTA for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, it received zero Oscars, despite six of the eight films being nominated for 12 between them. Lord of the Rings, however, was nominated for a total of 30 Oscars, winning 17 of them including best picture for Return of the King.

Throughout the course of the Harry Potter series it remained British in its casting. It made child stars of the main three newcomers Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson but accompanied them with some of the best British actors around. Some of the best include Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Julie Walters, Helena Bonham Carter and Maggie Smith.

Whilst some of the actors in Lord of the Rings are British Peter Jackson (director and creative mind behind the films) went abroad too for Elijah Wood and Viggo Mortensen. Lord of the Rings also combined the new actors and old actors by pairing Orlando Bloom with the likes of Ian McKellen and Sean Bean. So both film series have superb casts, there is no doubt about that.

Dobby won the hearts of audiences the world over throughout the Harry Potter series.

 

The special effects for both films are again fantastic. Both franchises had to create these brand new worlds for audiences. Harry Potter had it slightly easier because it’s world is still based in human territory really but did what it had to; the flying cars, Dobby the house elf, the massive basilisk, the whomping willow, werewolves and the brilliant scenes of the Quidditch World Cup.

 

Lord of the Rings created the Shire, Mordor, Mount Doom, Rohan and more. Making each place look as though it belonged on the screen and looking as though you could actually be there. The creative process that went into those scenes is unimaginable. And where Harry Potter created the basilisk and the house elves, Lord of the Rings created Gollum, the Balrog and Sauron himself.

There is no doubt that the two franchises are up there with the best of all time, but there is one factor that, I think, separates them. That is the rewatchability factor. When I like a film, really really like it, I want to watch it again and again and enjoy it as much as I did the first time. As much as I like Lord of the Rings every time I consider watching them again it dawns on me how long they are and as the first one is slightly slow paced it seems like a much daunting task than perhaps it is. This is even more true if you happen to own the extended cuts.

Millions of children have grown up with Harry, Ron and Hermione.

This is where Harry Potter triumphs, in my eyes, as each film is an enjoyable journey. Despite the story getting darker and darker as each film progresses the films manage to keep a light heartedness about it that makes it easy to watch, easy to follow and easy to watch again. As well as this, Harry Potter is something for the whole family to enjoy, whereas Lord of the Rings is perhaps targeted at a more mature audience.

As you might be able to tell, I fall into the category of Harry Potter fans. I do think that this series is better than the Lord of the Rings. This is not a slight on Lord of the Rings at all, as I still think it is a superb trilogy and look forward to The Hobbit later on this year. But for sentimental reasons, perhaps more than other reasons, I think that The Boy Who Lived will always be my favourite film series no matter how long I live.

Which one of these three comic book films will rule the box office?

Superhero films have been increasing in popularity since they first hit the big screen and this year comic book fans have even more to be excited about. 2012 promises to be an unforgettable year for fans of the comic book genre as three of the years most anticipated films feature some of the most popular superheroes of all time: The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers and The Amazing Spider-Man. But with all these heroes fighting for top spot at the box office which one will reign supreme?

The Dark Knight Rises

UK Release: 20th July 2012.

The Stars: Christopher Nolan (director), Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman.

The Hype: It’s the sequel to The Dark Knight, need I say more? This is the final chapter of Christopher Nolan’s, so far, brilliant Batman franchise. Christian Bale has done a good job as Bruce Wayne and his alter ego but the buzz about this film is the villain: Bane. And with Ra’s al Ghul returning to the franchise, along with his daughter, the mere thought of this film has the Batman fanboys and the Nolanites frothing at the mouth.

The Drawbacks: After the huge success of The Dark Knight it’s going to be hard to follow that and with high expectations come huge disappointment. The casting of Anne Hathaway didn’t go down very well with fans so it’s risky as to whether that will work. Bane’s voice has been the cause of much controversy surrounding the film but that will soon be forgotten surely.

My Opinion: I’ve never been a huge fan of Batman and I didn’t enjoy The Dark Knight as much as everybody else seemed to either, although Heath Ledger was fantastic, there is no doubting that. I’m a fan of Tom Hardy (not so keen on Anne Hathaway) so he gets my interest in this film anyway. I really enjoyed Batman Begins and it has been claimed that this final piece will focus more on Bruce Wayne than Batman, more in the style of Batman Begins than The Dark Knight so this bodes well for me, I think. Whatever happens, I’ll be seeing this on the opening day anyway.

The Avengers

UK Release: 27th April 2012

The Stars: Joss Whedon (director), Robert Downey Jnr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddlestone

The Hype: Just look back at the cast. It’s great to see so many top quality actors sharing the screen together. Not just the actors, but the characters; it is every comic book fan’s dream to see the big three (Captain America, Iron Man and Thor) on screen together. Bringing the characters together through solo films leading to this moment have been some of the greatest events in comic book movie history. Joss Whedon is known for writing brilliant characters and dialogue so this should all point towards success.

The Drawbacks: Since he has had two films, Iron Man is most known to audiences and has been leading the promotion of The Avengers which hasn’t gone down well with the whole of the fan community. There is also the danger that too many characters means not enough development and lack of story but hopefully this will not be the case.

My Opinion: Out of the three, this is the one that I am most excited for. I cannot wait to see Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk and Hawkeye all share the limelight. I’ve loved watching all the solo movies waiting for The Avengers and with the release of the second trailer which was incredible it just does not get any more exciting. This has the potential to be the greatest comic book movie ever made. It’s going to be amazing.

The Amazing Spider-Man

UK Release: 4th July 2012

The Stars: Marc Webb (director), Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans, Martin Sheen

The Hype: Spider-Man is one of the most iconic heroes of all time and Marvel’s most popular and highest selling character. This is an interesting retelling of Peter Parker’s backstory and features initial love interest Gwen Stacy rather than the more universally known Mary Jane. The Lizard is Spider-Man’s enemy in this film in a move to excite fans as he was strongly suggested for a Spider-Man 4 that never came to be.

The Drawbacks: We’ve just had a Spider-Man trilogy in the last ten years. This could be a factor that puts a lot of mainstream cinema goers off the film; do they really need to see another origins story for Spider-Man, a character that, let’s be honest, doesn’t really have that much of an interesting origin anyway.

My Opinion: I’m really looking forward to seeing Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man as I think he is a brilliant young actor. From the trailer the new Spider-Man seems a lot more like the comic book character with his wise-cracking attitude which I cannot wait to see. Although, I do think that this will gross a lot worse than the other two big comic book films coming out this year.

Who Will Win?

Batman. Hands down, which is a shame. The Dark Knight grossed over a billion dollars and so there is already a HUGE market in place for The Dark Knight Rises. No matter how hard it tries to topple it’s competition I think The Avengers will fall short, whilst The Amazing Spider-Man will be the third film that doesn’t really stand a chance against the two big boys.

With the 2012 Academy Awards just around the corner I thought I would take a look at five actors that do not have an Oscar but should.

Ed Norton.

Ed Norton is one of the best actors of his generation, consistently turning in top performances in all of his movies. Even when the script is not great (The Italian Job for example) you can still count on Norton to be fantastic. Nominated twice; best leading actor for American History X and best supporting actor for Primal Fear. Yet most surprising to me is that his work on Fight Club did not even gain him a nomination!

Johnny Depp.

Depp is one of the most famous men on the planet and even though today he is mainly thought of as Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise he is undoubtedly one of the most versatile actors of his generation. Johnny Depp has been nominated three times, each in the leading actor category; Sweeney Todd, Finding Neverland and Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. Surely it is only a matter of time before Depp collects the Oscar that he deserves.

Steve Buscemi.

In recent years Steve Buscemi’s film career does seem to have tailed off into cameo slots and altogether not so great films and with him now working on television it is unlikely that we will see him picking up an Oscar anytime soon. However, the fact that he does not have one already is very surprising! He has given unforgettable performances in Fargo, Con Air and of course as the brilliant Mr Pink in Reservoir Dogs but the Academy has not even recognised him with a nomination.

Leonardo DiCaprio.

Nominated for three Oscars in his time: best leading actor for Blood Diamond and The Aviator and best supporting actor for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. It is surprising to me that he does not have an Oscar yet and that he doesn’t have more nominations for The Departed, Shutter Island or Inception. DiCaprio started out as the heart throb of Hollywood but with a little help from Martin Scorsese and choosing his films carefully he has transformed into one of the best leading men working in Hollywood today. An Oscar is nothing more than he deserves.

Gary Oldman.

The 2012 Oscars have finally recognised this man’s talent with a nomination in the best leading actor category for British film Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Gary Oldman has been ever brilliant throughout his career. Best known to younger audiences as Commissioner Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Batman series or as Sirius Black in Harry Potter but he has been a magnificent actor for so much longer, you just need to watch Sid and Nancy or JFK to see that. Good luck to him at the Oscars.