Tag Archive: scoot mcnairy


12 Years a Slave Trailer

UK Release Date: 24th January 2014

Stars: Steve McQueen (director), Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano, Michael Fassbender, Scoot McNairy

Plot: In the pre-Civil War United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.

Films about slavery seem to be becoming the new Western. Every year there are now high profile stories of slavery being told on the big screen and 2014 will be no different with Steve McQueen gunning for Oscar glory. Perhaps the most noticeable thing about this trailer is in fact Brad Pitt’s beard, just for the sheer ridiculousness of how it looks… but that might just be me.

However, if you can look past Pitt’s beard what you’ll find is this really touching, almost unbelievable true story about one man’s descent into slavery and his fight against it. Chiwetel Ejiodor is not a name that everyone will be familiar with but he has starred in a huge number of films over the years and finally takes centre stage in a star studded cast.

Established stars Pitt and Fassbender, who looks like he’s playing an incredibly nasty piece of work and doing it so well, join rising star Paul Dano and the incredible Scoot McNairy who I am a big fan of!

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Blah blah.. Disney… blah blah… Star Wars. Exactly. With Michael Arndt currently writing Episode VII it has now been announced who will write Episodes VIII and IX, clearly Disney is expecting big things from their newest franchise. Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are the two people chosen to write the next sequels but it is unclear who will write which one as of yet. These are very good choices as Kasdan has previous with the Star Wars series (so why wasn’t he chosen to write Episode VII?) as he wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. simon Kinberg also has experience with blockbusters, he has written Sherlock Holmes and is currently writing Days of Future Past, the sequel to X-Men: First Class. However, Kinberg has previously had writing credits on Mr & Mrs Smith, Jumper and X-Men: The Last Stand, not such a good choice after all?

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is picking up the pace now. We know that Jamie Foxx is in the running to play the villain and probably will do so but now we know that Harry Osborn will feature in the film and several actors are being auditioned. Those in the running include Dane DeHaan (Chronicle), Sam Claflin (Snow White and the Huntsman), Eddie Redmayne (My Week With Marilyn) and Boyd Holbrook (Milk). If it was up to me I would be snapping up Sam Claflin to play the past as soon as I could. Claflin is a British actor that I have seen a lot of (Pillars of the Earth, United, Snow White and the Huntsman) and has also landed himself roles in other big blockbusters such as Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It is clear he is going to have a great career and I really would love to see him emulate James Franco in this role.

Claflin gets the thumbs up from me to play Harry Osborn.

Scoot McNairy is getting around a lot in Hollywood at the minute. As soon as I first saw him in Monsters I was a fan, he is a very good actor and deserves all the success that comes his way. This year he has starred in Killing Them Softly with Brad Pitt and Argo with Ben Affleck. This week, McNairy has been cast in two more films. These are The Rover, an “existential western” set in the “near future” starring Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce; the other is Frank alongside Michael Fassbender. Scoot McNairy is fast becoming one of my favourite actors! (expect a blog all about him in the next week or so).

Finally, Pinocchio. The classic tale of a carpenter who makes a puppet that turns into a real boy. The story has been done several times, most famously by Disney and probably most recently on television show Once Upon A Time. For months and months this project has been in the works with two names attached to team up to make it happen and they are, arguably, ideal for the job. the two in question are director Tim Burton and (no, not Johnny Depp or Helena Bonham Carter) the brilliant Robert Downey Jr, who would play Geppetto! The film has been on and off more than Ross and Rachel in Friends (can you believe its 10 years since that finished? I can’t!) but now a writer has been hired to produce a script. And that writer is Jane Goldman, the woman behind such hits as Stardust, Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class and The Woman in Black. Good times!

Argo Review

In a year with so many big action sequences and huge blockbuster films hitting the cinema screen it would be easy for Argo to have escaped attention. Argo depicts the unbelievably true story of the rescue of six American diplomats in Tehran, Iran during 1979 in which CIA operative Tony Mendez (played here by Ben Affleck) attempts to infiltrate Iran and get the diplomats out by pretending to be a film crew scouting locations for their new science fiction film titled Argo.

The obvious problem when making a film about a rescue mission is thus: audiences primarily go because they want to see the rescue which puts pressure on the build up to the rescue because it becomes a hard task to get your audience invested in your characters and your story. It was a worrying start for Argo, I felt, because the opening narration which outlines Iran’s state at the time of the events seemed pretty boring and while not exactly irrelevant, it wasn’t actually needed either. Fortunately these early concerns of boredom were soon put to rest, largely thanks to Ben Affleck, although not for his acting.

Ben Affleck is not often quoted as anyone’s favourite actor and, in all honesty, I don’t think his performance in Argo as Tony Mendez will change that at all. Tony Mendez seems to come across as quite a boring although no doubt brave and intelligent man but he’s not a character who immediately gains your interest and pulls you into the story. Fortunately, Ben Affleck is a wonderful director and he directs Argo as well as starring in it and he does a brilliant job of really capturing the emotion of the story. Every time that the film goes back to Iran and focusses on the stranded Americans the film seems to dig a lot deeper than most, with real panic, stress and human pain being shown and Affleck very subtly leaves the empathic audience to really get a feel for the conditions and sadness of the situation by themselves.

Ben Affleck is helped by the fact that he has a very experienced cast for him to direct. The cast combines stars of both television and film in the forms of Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Scoot McNairy and Kerry Bishe among others. Every cast member puts in a more than adequate performance and really bring to the forefront the emphasis on emotion and character. Along with Affleck’s brilliant direction it is partly Goodman and Arkin’s double act and comedic moments that help to sustain interest before the actual rescue takes place.

Once Afflek’s character touches down in Iran and meets the diplomats that is when the pace begins to quicken and things begin to get a lot more interesting! The rescue itself is nail biting stuff that will make your heart thump out of your chest. There is so much suspense and tension created, conflict between the characters, flaws in the plan, will the be found out or not? I think you are best of seeing Argo with no knowledge of the real life escape to save yourself from ruining the ending of the film. Although, even if you do know how the situation resolves itself you will still be overcome with emotion as you will the escape to happen and you wish for everyone to make it out of Iran safely. Of all the films I have seen this year Argo is the one that has created the most tension and suspense. The final act is incredibly gripping, nail biting, edge of your seat entertainment and the audience is rewarded with a fantastic ending.

It would be wrong to call Argo a feel good film but the sense of elation that runs through your body with the climax of the film is unmatched by most films this year. I would suggest that Argo could well be a dark horse for an Oscar nomination. It truely deserves the hype and brings the emphasis of the cinema back to human stories. Just brilliant.

My Rating: 8/10.

UK Release Date: 21st September 2012.

Stars: Andrew Dominik (director), Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn, James Gandolfini.

Plot: Jackie Cogan is a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game.

This is the trailer for Brad Pitt’s latest film and with all the attention seeming to be on his other upcoming film World War Z, Killing Them Softly has gone under the radar but this is a trailer that will surely up the interest in this crime thriller.

The role of Jackie Cogan, which Brad Pitt is playing, seems to be sort of similar in the way he is portrayed to Tyler Durden, who Pitt of course played in the brilliant Fight Club, which is a good sign because it seems to be when Pitt is at his best; another similar role I thought was his character in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. The remainder of the cast is a very good mix with the experienced Ray Liotta and Richard Jenkins mixing in with the brilliant younger actor Scoot McNairy of Monsters fame.

The trailer looks great, it builds up the character of Jackie Cogan and lets us know that this is not a guy to be messed with. Both crime and thriller element of the film are put across well in the trailer and you get the feeling that this will be a film that surprises and impresses you with its action and story.  The trailer doesn’t let much of the storyline out but that’s not a bad thing; it’s not going to be very thrilling when we watch the full piece if we already know what happens.

Also, I can’t wait to hear Brad Pitt say the line “I like to kill them softly” when I watch Killing Them Softly.

Monsters (2010) Review.

Monsters is a sci-fi adventure film that takes place six years after Earth suffered an alien invasion thanks to a deep space probe crash landing in Mexico. A cynical journalist, Andrew Kaulder, agrees to escort the daughter of his boss, Samantha Wynden, through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border.

Monsters is a British film ‘written’, shot and directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able in the principal roles. The performances put in by these two is vital as they are the only real characters in the film. Monsters takes the two characters on a journey and their relationship grows throughout the hour and a half that the movie lasts and to make their relationship believable and in order to hold the audience’s attention the chemistry needs to be perfect. Fortunately, at the time of filming McNairy and Able were in a relationship (they are now married) and their chemistry really comes across when watching the film. Their back and forth dialogue and blossoming love story is a treat to watch and their performances are second to none, absolutely flawless in every way.

Monsters is gripping from start to finish.

The story that the film tells is a gripping one. Whilst being a sci-fi and the alien invasion being a huge plot point the aliens actually have a very insignificant role in the film. This was largely down to the minuscule budget but I think the lack of focus on the aliens really adds to the suspense and the fear created within the atmosphere of the film. Monsters is very much a character story and the lack of huge special effects really places the emphasis on the actors’ performances which make us, the audience, feel closer to the characters and places us as more intimate to their relationship.

A lot of what makes Monsters as good as it is is in the back story and behind the scenes of the film. As mentioned earlier, the two main actors were and are a couple so their chemistry was real. What’s more, the film was shot on such a small budget that there were only five members of the crew; all the extras in the movie were just people who happened to be at the location at the time as the whole film was shot on location with no permission asked in advance. It was largely ad-libbed and improvised with McNairy and Able being told the main points they had to mention in the scene but nothing else. The drama was filmed with store bought cameras and Edwards added all the special effects later on using software on his laptop.

Monsters is an absolute huge achievement for everyone involved and the hard work gone into making the film really comes across when watching. My attention was help throughout the film, Monsters was a tense, heart pumping film that gets the pulse racing as the drama unravels in a very natural way. We are made to feel as though we are part of that world and there is no higher praise for a director than that.

I think that, without a doubt, Monsters is a must see for fans of drama, romance, adventure and sci-fi. Whatever you like, give it a try.

My Rating: 9/10.