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Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Graham’

Season of the Witch – Full trailer for Nicolas Cage’s medieval horror

Posted by LiveFor on November 21, 2009

Nicolas Cage as a 14th century Crusader who returns with his comrade (Ron Perlman) to a homeland devastated by the Black Plague. A beleaguered church, deeming sorcery the culprit of the plague, commands the two knights to transport an accused witch (Claire Foy) to a remote abbey, where monks will perform a ritual in hopes of ending the pestilence. A priest (Stephen Campbell Moore), a grieving knight (Ulrich Thomsen), an itinerant swindler (Stephen Graham) and a headstrong youth who can only dream of becoming a knight (Robert Sheehan) join a mission troubled by mythically hostile wilderness and fierce contention over the fate of the girl.When the embattled party arrives at the abbey, a horrific discovery jeopardizes the knight’s pledge to ensure the girl fair treatment, and pits them against an inexplicably powerful and destructive force.

The film is out March next year.

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Season of the Witch – Trailer for Nic Cage’s new film

Posted by LiveFor on October 22, 2009

cageA 14th century knight (Nicolas Cage) transports a girl suspected of being the witch behind the Black Plague to an abbey of monks trained in exorcising demons.
Now usually I can be a bit down on Cage as more often than not he makes some pretty poor choices and bad acting decisions. However, I quite like the look of this teaser, but it only shows a little of the film so it is still too early to tell whether it will be good Cage or bad Cage.

However, the film also stars Ron Perlman (Hellboy) and Stephen Graham (This is England, Public Enemies).

Directed by Dominic Sena (Gone in Sixty Seconds, Swordfish, Whiteout)

The film is out on 19th March 2010. Let me know what you thought of the trailer.

Source: IGN

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Stephen Graham to visit London Boulevard

Posted by LiveFor on July 16, 2009

British thesp Stephen Graham (Public Enemies, Season of the Witch, This Is England, Snatch) has joined the cast of the romantic drama London Boulevard for GK Films says The Hollywood Reporter.

The story revolves around a romance between a former con (Colin Farrell) and an actress (Keira Knightley). Graham will play the lead detective pursuing Farrell.

William Monahan makes his directorial debut on the film. Graham, who played Baby Face Nelson in “Public Enemies”, will portray Al Capone in the upcoming HBO pilot “Boardwalk Empire”.

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Stephen Graham to visit London Boulevard

Posted by LiveFor on July 16, 2009

British thesp Stephen Graham (Public Enemies, Season of the Witch, This Is England, Snatch) has joined the cast of the romantic drama London Boulevard for GK Films says The Hollywood Reporter.

The story revolves around a romance between a former con (Colin Farrell) and an actress (Keira Knightley). Graham will play the lead detective pursuing Farrell.

William Monahan makes his directorial debut on the film. Graham, who played Baby Face Nelson in “Public Enemies”, will portray Al Capone in the upcoming HBO pilot “Boardwalk Empire”.

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UPDATED: Public Enemies – Press Conference Part 2 – Johnny Depp

Posted by LiveFor on July 1, 2009

I was going to do them in order with Michael Mann after Marion Cotillard, but then I thought I would do the actors first and the director last.

With all dictaphones at the ready Johnny Depp walked into the room. Yep he is as cool in real life as you expect him to be. Waistcoat, glasses and just looked cool. Walking to the podium he stopped and looked at the poster of himself. “It is entirely too large!” he proclaimed. You can see it in the footage I took below, the photos are also by me. Always near was the white haired Jerry Judge – Depp’s long time assistant, minder and friend.

John Dillinger is an absolutely bona fide folk hero, but what was the draw of playing this outlaw whose name is virtually synonymous with the gun-slinging American past?

Well, first and foremost, when I was like 9 or 10 years old, I had a fascination with John Dillinger, I don’t know why – and probably not a healthy one. I think it was something about the twinkle in his eye; there was something mischievous that intrigued me. But, in terms of taking on the role, the idea that the guy was called Public Enemy Number 1, but, if you really think about it, was never an enemy of the public. That I found intriguing and challenging.

What is it about this character of John Dillinger that you think fascinated the public? And, famously, he died after watching Manhattan Melodrama, what would be the film you’d like to watch before you died?

[Laughs] If I had to see a last-ever film, it would be Withnail & I. Without a doubt, no question Withnail and I!

I think, especially with a guy like John Dillinger, if you think about where we were in 1933 – well, it’s not unlike where we are now. The banks were sort of the enemies, and it was taking the knees out from under everyone. Displacement was a kind way of putting it – their lives were being ripped from them. And there’s JD, who arrives as one of those people who’ve been ten years in prison for some youthful, ignorant, drunken crime. Ten years, and he arrives on the scene in the ultimate existential arena, and says ‘I’m gonna stand up against these people’. So I think, for me, what’s fascinating is the guy who says ‘I’m not gonna take it’.[In reference to a short scene where JD sings the country standard The Last Roundup, after a jail break] First Sweeney Todd, and now this, it was almost as if you were looking to crowbar in some singing…

 

I almost broke into dance… I just might now!

Why not? Just wondering if you’ve been bitten by the singing bug?

I’ve only been bitten once, and it was an indirect bite. No, no, no. I sang the one time on Sweeney because, well, basically I had no choice.

But you sang well in this. I know it was only a few lines….

Oh, yeah! I do sing in the film – is it in? I haven’t seen it!

Any recording contracts come your way yet?

You know, some people better stay in their own little arena. [laughs]

How did you research for the role? Did you watch previous films about him?

I certainly had a strong memory of Warren Oates’ John Dillinger in the John Milius film [Dillinger, 1973]. But, I hadn’t seen it in years. I do remember there was a certain palate that was limited. And I thought there were more colours to be offered – without being too esoteric about it. If you think about the information that has come out since – some of Dillinger’s own words have surfaced. So there’s a bit more to the story, a little more dimension. And that was what I was hoping for, to add some of that.

Stephen Graham [Baby Face Nelson in Public Enemies] over here is our rising star – how did you two get on?

We hated each other, and we fought constantly. [assembled journos laugh] I think he’s magnificent, one of my favourite actors of all time. What he did in This is… [journos, in unison, 'England!'] England… absolutely destroyed me. What he did, and what Tomo did in that film of Shane Meadows’, took me to my knees. He’s someone I’m going to fight to get… I’m going to force him to be in every film I do – even at gunpoint!

You’ve mentioned you’ve not seen the film, and did a double-take at the poster as you came in – do you not like looking at yourself? And what’s it like now that you’re a big star?

If I can avoid the mirror when I brush my teeth in the morning, I will. I find security and safety in the most profound degree of ignorance. If you can just stay ignorant, almost everything will be ok. Just keep walking forward, and it’s ok to notice things, and look at things, but, to judge things will bog you down. So I don’t like watching myself in the movie, because I don’t like to be aware of the product, I like the process. I enjoy that. That [pointing at the oversized poster] is… not my fault. I didn’t do it!

In terms of your success, can you get your head around it? Did you think your time had come?

I went through 20 years of basically what the industry defined as failures. So for basically 20 years I was defined as box office poison. And I didn’t change anything in terms of my process. That little film Pirates Of The Caribbean came around, and I thought yeah, that would be fun to play a pirate for my kiddies, and all that stuff. And I created the character in the same way I created all the other characters, and… nearly got fired. And thank god they didn’t, because it changed my life. I’m hyper, super-thankful that radical turn happened, but it’s not like I went out of my way to make it happen.

You’ve played a lot of real-life figures in Blow, and Donnie Brasco, and now in Public Enemies, what attracts you to that? And, who do you want to play next?

Yeah… who would I like to play next. I don’t know, Carol Channing, maybe. I do like Carol Channing, very much! I mean, in the digital age… you can almost do anything. I could play a 12-year-old girl at this point – in the digital age!

But approaching someone like John Dillinger, as opposed to Jack Sparrow, is it as in-depth?

It is, it’s even potentially more so, because of the amount of responsibility you have, to that person who actually did exist. There’s some sense of responsibility to their legacy. With John Dillinger, there’s an enormous amount of information on the guy – we know where he was at 12:02, when the banks were robbed. But there’s a great gap with regard to who he was. There’s footage of him, there’s endless photographs of him – but there’s no audio. There’s just an attitude. So, that was the dig – how do I find this man, how do I find the way he speaks. And what made the connection for me was that John Dillinger was born in Indiana, and raised in Mooresville, Indiana, which was 2 hours from where I was born and raised. It was at that point that I thought – ah, I hear his voice now, now I know him, I know what he sounds like, because it’s not all that different. He was my grandfather, who drove a bus in the day, and ran moonshine at night. He was my step-father, who did time at Statesville Penitentiary. I knew his voice then.

Looking at you in this film, you don’t seem to have changed much over the years. Do you have any particular skin-care regime?

[Laughs] Clean living. Oh yeah, most definitely. I say if you could avoid wine, I’d do it. And liquor, definitely. Avoid liquor. Most definitely don’t smoke – anything. And stay in your room. And watch a bit of reality television, that’s how I do it.

Looking at the extraordinary range of characters that you’ve played so far. Which has been the closest to you personally, and which has been the furthest away?

Well, the furthest away – oh boy, probably a couple of them. But, furthest away… might be Willy Wonka [laughs]. Let’s hope that’s the furthest! Closest to me, this would be horrifically revealing, wouldn’t it? There’s probably three, Edward Scissorhands, John Wilmot from The Libertine, and maybe Dillinger.

There’s a great attention to detail in the film, in terms of shooting in real locations. How does that affect your performance, to know you’re in a location where Dillinger himself was?

That was one of the amazing things that Michael Mann provided us with, that level of authenticity, to be able to break through the exact doors that John Dillinger broke though. As opposed to shooting on some soundstage because it was cheaper or handier to the studio. Michael was a real stickler for that thing, and I will thank him forever for that. To be able to go and fire my Thompson out of the very window John Dillinger fired his Thompson out of during the gun battle at Little Bohemia. You can’t put a price on that thing. To be able to walk in the same footsteps as he took, to walk outside the Biograph theatre, and land exactly to the tiny millimetre where John Dillinger’s head fell, in the alley near the Biograph was magical. I mean, you almost feel him arriving. Not to be moony or spooky, but there were moments when I felt his presence, moments when I felt a certain amount of approval from the guy. When you’re going to that umpteenth detail, something’s going on.

How did you find working with Christian [Bale]? Are your acting styles quite different?

I don’t know if our acting styles are that different…

Christian tends to stay in character, and kept up the Southern accent between takes…

Oh, yeah, that kind of thing. Yeah, well I don’t do that. But, if you have to do that, that’s ok. I enjoyed our – basically – one scene together, besides when he and his cronies croaked me outside the Biograph [laughs]. Yeah, it was the scene in the jail cell, and I enjoyed it very much, it was like, how’d you describe it, like a great sparring match. Two guys in there with a similar respect for one another, trying to present different angles to each other. Obviously he’s a very gifted actor, and very talented. When we saw each other, which wasn’t very much, we talked about our kids, just talked about being dads. And that’s where we really connected.

Could you tell us about Michael Mann – how was his style of directing?

I think, ultimately, Michael’s style and my approach did complement each other. There are moments where, when you’re building something, there will be things discarded – things will get broken along the way. So it wasn’t right off the bat the easiest, but in the long run, what we were able to figure out together, was that, he presents something, he’d present something – we’d find a happy middle, and we’d get there. And we always got there. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Michael, as a human being but also as a filmmaker – he’s not joking, you know. He truly means it.

Then it was my turn to ask a question. The last one of Johnny’s press conference. Nervously I asked:

How difficult was it to let go of Dillinger once filming finished? And which character over your career has it been hardest to say goodbye to?

There’s been a few. The funny thing is, you really don’t say goodbye. There’s a little chest of drawers in here [points at chest], where you can always access these guys. I’m not sure if that’s healthy, but they’re there. Saying goodbye to Dillinger was tough, because it was like saying goodbye to a relative. The most difficult to say goodbye to? Well, Scissorhands was rough. The safety of allowing yourself to be that honest, to be that pure, to be that exposed. That was hard to say goodbye to. Wilmot, Lord Rochester, on The Libertine, was incredibly tough, because I felt like it was a very intense 40-something days where I had the opportunity to be that guy. And I felt a deep sense of responsibility, so it was like a marathon. And then, in the end, it was like the light goes out and it’s black.

There you have it. One of the biggest stars in the World today answered one of my questions and was looking straight at me when he did. Never thought it would happen to me, but an amazing experience. Depp was funny, charming and coolness personified.

UPDATE: Here is some more video from the press conference. You can briefly see the back of my head round about the 1:39 mark, oh and Johnny Depp is there as well.

Part 1: Marion Cotillard

Part 2: Johnny Depp

Part 3: Michael Mann

Public Enemies review

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Public Enemies, 2009 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on July 1, 2009

Director: Michael Mann
Starring: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Stephen Dorff, Billy Crudup, Channing Tatum, Stephen Graham, David Wenham, Jason Clarke, Emilie De Ravin
Running Time: 140 minutes
Score: 8 / 10

This review by me. Check out my report from the press conference.

John Dillinger. He seemed unstoppable and in the 13 months from his release from prison to his death he lived for the moment and became a legend. Paroled in May, 19933 and by July 1934 he was dead.

Michael Mann’s Public Enemies tells the tale of Dillinger and his pursuit by G-Man Melvin Pervis, the inspiration for the look of Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy.

My first thoughts on the film – It was good, but not a masterpiece as some are calling it. However, after watching it again that may change for the better, hell it may change while I get my thoughts sorted in this review. The reason being the way it was filmed.

Let me explain. We are all used to films from that era to have certain look and feel to them. That period sheen were you know, not just from the cars and costumes that you are looking at something from the past. The look that film can give you. However, Mann used HD cameras as he did with Collateral. As you know this has a contemporary immediacy about it. It can remind you of a home video or a documentary and lots of the shots in Public Enemies had a hand held look to them as you follow Dillinger and his gang on numerous bank robberies. What I am trying to get at is that this film seemed as if it was shot back then but with todays technology. It’s unlike any other period film that I’ve seen in that regard and it took me a while to get used to it. I found myself enjoying the film more as it went on. Hence if I watched it again I would probably get more out of it.

With that out of the way, let’s get on with it. Depp as Dillinger is superb. You get him straight away. He’s got out of prison after a lengthy sentence for a minor teenage crime. The world around him is full of colour, fun and opportunity and he wants it all right now and to hell with tomorrow. Johnny Depp plays him with a devil may care smile and you can see why the public loved John Dillinger. He played the PR thing before it was invented.

What got me was how cool he was under pressure. From walking around the Dillinger Task Force offices surrounded by photos of himself to breaking out of Lake County Jail with a gun he carved out of a chopping board he just didn’t seem to care what happened to him.

This Lake County breakout was one of my favourite scenes. Depp with his wooden gun takes a few guards hostage before driving out of the prison in the warden’s own car. The audacity of the man was amazing. If you feel that it was a little far fetched it turns out that Michael Mann toned it down from reality as in real life Dillinger took 13 guards hostage but Mann felt the audience would find that a little hard to believe!

The fact that this scene and many others were filmed at the actual locations where events took place makes it all the more realistic. It also went someway in helping the actors play the roles. Little Bohemia Lodge where the FBI surrounded Dillinger and his gang only for them to get away once again. The Biograph theatre in Chicago where Dillinger watched his final film, Manhatten Melodrama (where Clark Gable basically plays Dillinger), was renovated for the film and when Dillinger meets his end in the film, Depp falls in the exact same spot that Dillinger did.

Marion Cotillard is great as Dillinger’s girl, Billie Frechette. She has that wounded innocence that was seen in A Very Long Engagement and in an interrogation scene with the FBI she is wonderful. Like many of the actors she is not actually in the film for that great a length of time, but she lights up the screen every time she is.

Christian Bale plays Melvin Purvis. Hand picked by J Edgar Hoover (a great portrayal by Billy Crudup) the straight laced G-Man finds he has to bend his strict moral code to bring Dillinger to justice and you can see it cutting him up as the film goes on. Bale, as usual, plays it well. He oozes professionalism as the man who tracked down Dillinger and then the frustration as he escapes once again. There is no Batman growl, but he did keep the accent all through the shooting of the film.

Bale and Depp only have a few minutes of screen time together – Mann seems to like doing this with big names, Pacino and De Niro in Heat had a similar amount of time together – but they do it well. Two sides of the same coin. One buttoned down and in control, the other living for the moment, but both keenly aware that they are losing friends and that one day soon only one of them will still be alive.

Around these three big names are numerous other great actors. Many of whom are only on screen for a short time – Stephen Dorff as Homer Van Meter, Channing Tatum as a blink and you’ll miss him Pretty Boy Floyd, Stephen Graham (This is England, Snatch) was brilliant as Baby Face Nelson, David Wenham (300, Australia), Jason Clarke, Emilie De Ravin and many more. All of them were great. Yet sadly not enough time was spent on getting to know some of them. Some of the characters were long time friends of Dillinger, yet you don’t get a chance to know them before they disappear never to be seen again.

The look of the film is spot on. Everything looks authentic – cars, guns, clothes, buildings – and Mann directs with his usual aplomb. The gunfight scenes are all gripping and loud. This is to be expected from Mann whose gun battle in Heat is still one of my favourites.

My main problem with the film was that I felt curiously uninvolved in the first part of the film. This may have been due to the way it was filmed as I mentioned at the start, but it also felt as if you were dropped into the middle of things and then moved quickly to the next scene and then the next, before things settled down a little after the first third. This may have been intentional though to get you into the hectic life of the Dillinger gang, but it did make it hard to get a handle on the characters.

The look and feel of the film did remind me a lot of Arthur Penn’s Bonnie & Clyde.

It was 140 minutes in length but it flew by and I felt a little extra time spent on some of the minor characters would have added to my enjoyment. I definitely want to see it again though as I would appreciate the film more now I know how the HD camerawork affects the look of it all.

Don’t get me wrong, the film is well worth seeing especially if you are a fan of Mann’s previous work. Plus Johnny Depp is always great to see. Be prepared for the curious effect the HD has on the period look and you will enjoy it all the more.

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The Damned United – Brian Clough’s first day as Leeds Manager

Posted by LiveFor on March 26, 2009

Michael Sheen is the legendary Brian Clough in this funny and heart warming biopic alongside Timothy Spall, Jim Broadbent, Colm Meaney and Stephen Graham.

Set in 1960’s and 1970’s England, THE DAMNED UNITED tells the confrontational and darkly humorous story of Brian Clough’s doomed 44 day tenure as manager of the reigning champions of English football Leeds United. Previously managed by his bitter rival Don Revie (Colm Meaney), and on the back of their most successful period ever as a football club, Leeds had an aggressive and cynical style of football – an anathema to the principled yet flamboyant Brian Clough, who had achieved astonishing success as manager of Hartlepool and Derby County building teams in his own vision with trusty lieutenant Peter Taylor. Taking the Leeds job without Taylor by his side, with a changing room full of Don’s boys, would lead to an unheralded examination of Clough’s belligerence and brilliance over 44 days. This is that story. The story of The Damned United. Jim Broadbent plays Sam Longson, Derby Chairman. THE DAMNED UNITED was filmed in locations throughout Yorkshire, Leeds, Derbyshire and Spain.

It opens tomorrow.

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Public Enemies – Official Trailer

Posted by LiveFor on March 4, 2009

The official trailer for Universal Pictures’ Public Enemies.

In the action-thriller Public Enemies, acclaimed filmmaker Michael Mann directs Johnny Depp, Christian Bale and Academy Award® winner Marion Cotillard in the incredible and true story of legendary Depression-era bank robber John Dillinger (Depp)the charismatic bank robber whose lightning raids made him the number one target of J. Edgar Hoovers fledgling FBI and its top agent, Melvin Purvis (Bale), and a folk hero to much of the downtrodden public. No one could stop Dillinger. No jail could hold him. His charm and audacious jailbreaks endeared him to almost everyonefrom his girlfriend Billie Frechette (Cotillard) to an American public who had no sympathy for the banks that had plunged the country into the Depression.

But while the adventures of Dillinger’s ganglater including the sociopathic Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham)thrilled many, Hoover (Billy Crudup) hit on the idea of exploiting the outlaw’s capture as a way to elevate his Bureau of Investigation into the national police force that became the FBI. He made Dillinger America’s first Public Enemy Number One. Hoover sent in Purvis, the dashing “Clark Gable of the FBI”. However, Dillinger and his gang outwitted and outgunned Purvis’ men in wild chases and shootouts. Only after importing a crew of Western ex-lawmen (newly baptized as agents) who were real gunfighters and orchestrating epic betrayals from the infamous “Lady in Red” to the Chicago crime boss Frank Nittiwere Purvis and the FBI able to close in on Dillinger.

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Public Enemies, 2009 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on February 6, 2009

Director: Michael Mann
Starring: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Channing Tatum, Billy Crudup, Leelee Sobieski, Emilie de Ravin, Stephen Dorff, Giovanni Ribisi, Marion Cotillard, Stephen Graham
Score: 10 / 10

This review from JoBlo – Spoilers ahoy!

I went to see the screening of Public Enemies, on Wednesday night. The new film by Micheal Mann starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale. The movie is about the “public enemy era” of the 1930′s during the great depression, and focuses on the famed gangster / bank robber John Dillinger, played by Depp, and the man sent to capture him Melvin Pervis, played by Bale. The movie also included a vague side story of how the FBI was formed into what it is today.

The film starts off in 1933 with the prison break that Dillinger planned and executed, almost flawlessly. The movie starts with some action and bloodshed which in my opinion is always a good way to get the movie started. We then follow the newly acquired Dillinger gang to a hide away.

At this point, Mann, introduces Pervis, while he is trying to apprehend a famed gangster “pretty boy” Floyd. After Pervis has done his job he is commissioned by J. Edger Hoover to head the man hunt for Dillinger. We also learn of the governments doubts about the FBI and J. Edger Hoover’s involvement.

The film continues to follow the chase for Dillinger, and his many exploits that include the famous photograph in which he puts his arm around the prosecuting attorney. His escape from jail with a gun he carved out of a bar of soap. It all ends outside the Biograph Theater (**MAJOR SPOILER ALERT**) where Pervis and his hired help shot and killed Dillinger in the alley next to the theater after this brothel associate gives him up in hopes to avoid deportation.

Micheal Mann has found his perfect blend of drama and action in this picture. As well as he combined his style of handy cam, and set shots. All and all, it was his best film yet. Johnny Depp gets more and more outstanding as an actor every film he makes. Christian Bale, is as he always is… fairly dull. (sorry for any Bale fans out there, I know, Bale was the bomb in Batman yo!… but still) There are tons of cameo’s from stars that you’ll recognize but can’t think of their names off the top of your heads.

I would be surprised if this film doesn’t make it’s run as a might contender for the best picture of the year in 2009. I would give it a 10/10.

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