Tag Archive: susan sarandon


The Big Wedding Review

In a comedy film titled The Big Wedding you wouldn’t be thought of as crazy to expect at least one of two things: a big wedding and/or some good jokes. If this is what you’re expecting then you are in for a major shock by the time the end credits begin to roll.

At the centre of The Big Wedding is Alejandro’s (Ben Barnes) marriage to Missy (Amanda Seyfried). Alejandro is adopted and his biological mother is a devout Catholic, therefore when it is announced that the biological mother is to attend the wedding Alejandro’s adopted parents, Don (Robert De Niro) and Ellie (Diane Keaton), are forced to pretend that they are still married, despite the fact they have been divorced for over ten years. Oh the fun that could come from this, right? Wrong!

The film opens with a quite misguided attempt at humour as we are introduced to the three main(?) characters, Don, Ellie and Don’s new girlfriend/Ellie’s best friend, Bebe (Susan Sarandon). The majority of backstory is thrown out of the window early on as the film focusses on introducing the main characters, trying to use humour to get the audience on side: there are no funny moments in this opening sequence, nor in Alejandro and Missy’s meeting with the vicar (Robin Williams), nor in Lyla’s (Katherine Heigl) introduction. You can just about force a laugh when Alejandro’s virgin brother (Topher Grace) is introduced.

The Big Wedding seems to be an experiment as to how much recycled comedy you can put into one film: the storyline seems to be very 80s style humour, the characters have all been seen before and offer nothing new to the storyline, and almost every story beat is predictable, despite how unpredictable the writer/director thinks he is being. Add all of this to the fact that almost none of the characters are really likeable then you know what you’re in for: an hour and a half of wishing the movie is going to take one almighty twist in which the wedding gets attacked by a nuclear weapon. This, unfortunately, never happens.

Early on there seem to be some promising aspects with Heigl and Grace’s interaction being the main source of genuine laughs but this soon fades away and is forgotten about as they have very little interaction at all after the first twenty minutes. A lot of the time, even in a bad comedy you can see what the film is attempting to do, you can see the potential. There isn’t even any real smidge of potential here, however.

The characters are, on the whole, very unlikeable; the plot is completely predictable for the most part; the acting is very poor, in particular Ben Barnes, while Amanda Seyfried is completely wasted in a nothing role; and the dialogue feels horribly forced and back to front.

The Big Wedding tries so hard to load in multiple story lines and in a last ten minutes that feels so rushed, these story lines are given very little time to come to natural solution and the films seems to jerk awkwardly towards the finishing line: this makes The Big Wedding, in actuality, seem more like a big waste of money.

My Rating: 3/10.

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What a fantastic month for films. You’re going to have some tough decisions to make when deciding what to go see in the coming weeks!

 

Arbitrage – 1st March

Arbitrage sees a Golden Globe nominated performance from Richard Gere as a powerful magnate desperate to complete the sale of his trading empire whilst trying to cover up a horrible accident that puts his career and life at risk. Gere is supported by a fine supporting cast including the likes of Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth and Brit Marling.

 

Stoker – 1st March

Here we have a bit of a creepy looking horror/thriller film featuring Nicole Kidman and Mia Wasikowska. Stoker is the last film to be produced by the late Tony Scott and the script was ranked number one on the list of the best unproduced scripts doing the rounds in Hollywood back in 2010. And who is the script written by? Wentworth Miller!?! Yes, Prison Break‘s very own Michael Scofield.

 

Oz: The Great and the Powerful – 8th March

Despite apparently being the third choice for the role as the title character early reports suggest that James Franco is the perfect man to lead this journey into Oz. Accompanied by three witched played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams (two very good actresses) this looks to be an epic and beautiful journey.

 

Side Effects – 8th March

There’s not a lot to say about this. It features two very successful stars at the minute in the forms of Channing Tatum and Rooney Mara accompanied by the improving-with-age Jude Law. Side Effects looks like one of the most exciting films to hit the screen so far this year.

 

Jack the Giant Slayer – 22nd March

Bryan Singer is returning to the X-Men series for the next installment but this is his latest CGI clad film based on the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. This is Nicholas Hoult’s first attempt at being a leading man in a big budget Hollywood flick but whether he has what it takes or not I am unsure.

 

The Host – 29th March

We didn’t have to wait too long for a Twilight replacement to come around as Stephanie Meyer’s other novel The Host is now adapted with one of the best young actresses around, Saoirse Ronan, in the lead role. An alien invasion film with a difference.

Snitch Trailer

UK Release Date: 5th April 2013

Stars: Ric Roman Waugh (director), Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, Jon Bernthal, Harold Perineau

Plot: A father goes undercover for the DEA in order to free his son who was imprisoned after being set up in drug deal.

Snitch is just one of six films released in 2013 that is set to star the new WWE champion, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. And in all honesty, I don’t believe that this is going to be the best.

The trailer portrays Snitch as your typical action film. It’ll bring nothing new to the genre, just another chance to see Dwayne Johnson on the big screen and it is undoubtedly set to be a fun ride. The plot, from what I took from the trailer, doesn’t really seem to make much sense but I guess we’ll find out when we see more than just two minutes of footage.

It looks as though there will be a slow build up with no real big action footage until towards the end of the film, which will be slightly disappointing for action fans. Even the trailer seems to take the slow build up and doesn’t really inject any adrenaline into viewers, which is something that it’s target audience will have been wanting.

The nominations for the 33rd Annual Razzie Awards have been announced and after last year saw Adam Sandler heroically sweeping the board by winning (or losing) ten Razzie Awards thanks to his film Jack & Jill, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 attempts to equal that this year after receiving eleven nominations in the ten categories.

Below is a full list of the nominees along with my predictions and other comments.

Worst Picture

Battleship

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure – seriously, look this up… what. the. hell?

That’s My Boy

A Thousand Words

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

 

Worst Actor

Nicolas Cage – Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance/Seeking Justice

Eddie Murphy – A Thousand Words

Robert Pattinson – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 – everyone knows he can’t act. Deny it. Try.

Tyler Perry – Alex Cross/Good Deeds

Adam Sandler – That’s My Boy – more as a plea for him to stop making films

 

Worst Actress

Katherine Heigl – One For The Money – not fair really, the film was awful but she did the best she could with it.

Milla Jovovich – Resident Evil: Retribution

Tyler Perry – Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection

Kristen Stewart – Snow White & the Huntsman/Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Barbara Streisand – The Guilt Trip

 

Worst Supporting Actor

David Hasslehoff (as himself) – Piranha 3DD

Taylor Lautner – Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 – the only trick he has is taking off his top. Never work again!

Liam Neeson – Battleship/Wrath of the Titans – everybody loves him for Taken and Batman Begins but he does make some rubbish.

Nick Swardson – That’s My Boy

Vanilla Ice (as himself) – That’s My Boy

 

Worst Supporting Actress

Jessica Biel – Playing for Keeps/Total Recall

Brooklyn Decker – Battleship/What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Ashley Greene – Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Jennifer Lopez – What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Rihanna – Battleship – there’s nothing more gut-wrenching than seeing her name in the credits.

 

Worst Screen Couple

Any two cast members from Jersey Shore – The Three Stooges

Mackenzie Foy and Taylor Lautner – Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart – Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Tyler Perry and His Drag Get-Up – Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection

Adam Sandler and either Leighton Meester/Andy Samberg/Susan Sarandon – That’s My Boy

 

Worst Prequel, Remake or Rip-Off or Sequel

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance – should never have been made, I don’t think anyone would argue with that!

Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection

Piranha 3DD

Red Dawn – not sure about this one.

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 

 

Worst Director

Sean Anders – That’s My Boy

Peter Berg – Battleship

Bill Condon – Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Tyler Perry – Good Deeds/Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection

John Putch – Atlas Shrugged: Part 2

 

Worst Screenplay

Atlas Shrugged: Part 2

Battleship

That’s My Boy

A Thousand Words

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2

 

Worst Screen Ensemble

Battleship – responsible for one of the biggest flops of the year

Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection

The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

That’s My Boy

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 – the best thing about this movie is that finally the franchise is done!

UK Release Date: TBA.

Stars: Robert Redford (acting & directing), Shia LaBeouf, Terrence Howard, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick, Brendan Gleeson, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper.

Plot: A thriller circled around a former Weather Underground activist who goes on the run from a journalist who has discovered his identity.

StudioCanal has the distribution rights for The Company You Keep in the UK but a date is yet to be named. Despite this, I think that this is one of the most promising trailers/casts/premises I have seen in a long time. With a cast that boasts no less than four Oscar winners and another four Oscar nominees you can’t really expect to be disappointed here.

The storyline looks pretty good to me and seems to be a very good (if not a little similar to other thrillers) story for a thriller film. Robert Redford’s character, Jim Grant, has been hiding from the FBI for over thirty years and is wanted for bank robbery and murder. After his identity is exposed by a journalist he goes on the run to find his ex-lover in the hope that she will clear his name and prevent him from losing his eleven year old daughter (seems to me that if a man Robert Redford’s age was to have daughter she would be older than 11 though so this is clearly for a bit of emotional leverage with the audience).

Shia LaBeouf is an actor that still has to prove to me that he deserves the title of an actor but here I do think he actually looks decent and I am pretty interested in seeing his performance. Hopefully Redford being the director doesn’t take away anything from his performance in front of the camera. The trailer seems to do the film a real justice (or makes it look good anyway) as it seems to have a very good pacing and could be a good hint at what the film will be: back story to begin with, slow pacing with information through the middle, with a fast paced ending. If so, I can’t wait.

 

Cloud Atlas is getting noticed more and more this week as a few days ago a number of images were released onto the net from the film and now we have an incredible six minute trailer showcasing the vast scope that this story takes on. Here are a number of reasons as to why Cloud Atlas has no choice but to be an absolutely incredible film.

Cloud Atlas is based on the novel of the same name that was released back in 2004. The novel was written by British author David Mitchell (not the comedian). To this date Mitchell has written five novels, two of which have been nominated for the prestigious Booker Prize. Mitchell has received huge praise throughout his career for his work. Cloud Atlas is one of the novels that was nominated for the Booker Prize as well as being nominated also for the Nebula Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award among many others as well as actually winning the Literary Fiction Award at the British Books Award. The novel is clearly held in very very high regard and so turning it into a film will have a huge pressure on it, especially because of the nature of the story which itself is an intriguing piece of imagination.

The official synopsis of the film is thus: An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution. This sounds fascinating itself but when you learn of the structure it becomes even more compelling. Cloud Atlas tells six nested stories, all of which are being read or observed by a character in the next story; it then mirrors itself as the second half to each story is revealed one after the other. This means that the cast are playing a number of characters through each time line and this structure is sure to make for a very exciting journey for the cast and audience, but it is going to take one hell of a good cast to make this work.

And a pretty good cast is what they have got for Cloud Atlas. Here we go: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw, Keith David, Jim Broadbent and James D’Arcy.  The cast is a wide range of careers as you have people like Tom Hanks and Halle Berry who are already accomplished actors and you have the wonderful Ben Whishaw who I am a huge fan of and really hoping his career takes off (he will also be playing Q in Skyfall).

Whishaw is destined to become a huge Hollywood property.

The budget is around $100 million and clearly a lot of that has gone to ensure that a cast capable of playing a number of characters over different times and places is gathered and it certainly looks like an ensemble to be excited about!

To direct a film with such a huge scope and with so much pressure with such a talented cast is no easy thing that’s for sure and Cloud Atlas has three directors! Will it be a case of the old proverb “too many cooks…” or will it work perfectly? I suspect the latter. Each of the three directors (Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski) combined to write the screenplay and they clearly have a lot of passion for the project. Because of the size of the project two units were needed to make sure the film was created to the best it could be: Tykwer directed one unit and the Wachowski siblings directed the other. Tykwer has experience with films with a number of narratives as he has previously directed the fantastic German film Run Lola Run. The Wachowski brothers directed The Matrix and it’s sequels so they can handle this vein of films very well too.

 

The six minute trailer is absolutely fantastic. It manages to give an idea of the film, bring together the themes and characters that Cloud Atlas will explore but does not give away any major plot details or spoilers and so it can really be enjoyed for its visual beauty. It is obvious that nothing has been held back as the special effects look absolutely stunning and the actors look as though they will be putting in a shift and a half. Not many people will know about this film yet but now they will have to; it is definitely going to be a big deal. If this is done right it could become known to be one of the greatest films of all time. It is a huge project but hopefully it will all be worth it in the end.

Hanks and Berry in one of their many guises.

I, for one, am very very excited for the arrival of Cloud Atlas. It is set to be released in October of this year however no specific date has been slated yet. The sooner it comes round the better!

UK Release Date: 20th April 2012.

You can’t change your family, but can you change your destiny?

Jeff is a thirty year old man still living with his mother, in her basement. His brother, Pat, is struggling with his wife to hold his marriage together. When sent on an errand by his mother, Jeff may finally discover his destiny as he spends the day with his brother tracking his adulterous wife which, in doing so, helps the brothers to rediscover their family bond.

Jeff Who Lives At Home is an indie comedy led by the brilliant Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and Ed Helms (The Hangover) with their mother being played by Susan Sarandon. The film has been an official selection at many of the top film festivals across America and has gone down well with critics and fans alike.

The trailer pretty much makes the film look like your typical, run of the mill, happy ending indie flick. But it is not the story that is important with this film; it is the journey the brother’s go on together and the family relationships that will keep the audience interested. The trailer is not so much laugh out loud funny and I doubt the film will be either but it will have it’s moments where everyone watching will be chuckling to themselves. It will be a film that everyone can enjoy, together.