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Posts Tagged ‘Oliver Platt’

2012 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on March 27, 2010


Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring: John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover

Score: 6/10

Reviewed by pjowens75

What is it about Roland Emmerich? Why is he so much fun to hate? Maybe it’s because there has to be an Irwin Allen in every movie generation. Irwin Allen is best known for his disaster movies, TOWERING INFERNO and THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE. And that’s what Roland Emmerich has become: this generation’s King of disaster flicks. I mean is there anyone out there who does the end of the world better than him? At least we know what to expect from one of his movies: great special effects, little logical story, and convenient forgettable characters. And if we’re honest with ourselves, we have to admit that we keep going back for the thrills, plain and simple. We want to sit back with our bag of popcorn and give our brains a rest for a couple of hours. And in 2012, we get what we paid for.

2012 is the ultimate disaster flick, based on several ancient civilizations predicting the end of the world, as we know it, on December 21, 2012. It seems that on that date, all the planets will line up, causing untold catastrophe. Well, at least according to the Mayans, anyway. Gotta hand it to those Mayans, they could see the writing on the wall. I mean, let’s face it, they got the hell outta Dodge a couple of thousand years ago. So what if they bugged out a little early? Better safe than sorry, I always say. And who better to show us exactly what catastrophes we’ll face than the King himself…the ultimate popcorn movie maker.

One of the things about Emmerich is that he always manages to get a couple of respectable actors in each of his films; actors of enough caliber that it leaves you scratching your head going “What the hell are they doing in here?” In this case it’s John Cusack as our hero, and Danny Glover as the President of the United States. But as you can guess, they are only there to add some dialog between each new earthquake, eruption, or tsunami. What story there is has Cusack trying to save his recently estranged wife and kids by stowing away on some gigantic secret ships the governments of the world have been building for just such an occasion. And that’s really all you need to know about the plot. Period. If you want a decent script, you’ve picked the wrong movie, dude.

Because 2012 is all about destruction, with one “can you top this” disaster after another. From cars trying to outrun the giant crack-in-the-earth appearing beneath the rear wheels in Los Angeles, to St. Peter’s Basilica collapsing and rolling over the thousands of faithful in Rome, to a giant tidal wave crashing over the Himalayas, be grateful you can watch all this on film because you sure wouldn’t want to be there in person. If you should make the mistake of actually stopping to think about some logic-defying event you’ve just seen, like how it only takes a couple of hours to drive the 1000 miles from LA to Yellowstone Park, don’t worry, something will come along shortly to numb that thought right out of your head.

Amidst all this hellfire and brimstone, there always seems to be one scene that makes you stop and go “wow”. In 1998’s GODZILLA, it was the scene of the submerged lizard chasing the poor fisherman up the dock. In 2012, it involves Glover, wearily looking up after the collapse of the Washington Monument. From over his shoulder, we see a faint object gradually materializing through the thick dust and smoke, eventually becoming recognizable as the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy being carried high up on a massive tsunami. Like I say, no one films destruction like Emmerich.

The problem is, where does he go from here? With each successive film, his disasters have gotten bigger and bigger. Now that he’s pretty much destroyed the Earth, what does he do next, take on the destruction of the entire solar system? I mean, what is there left to destroy? My hope is that he does something completely unexpected, perhaps a small, intimate character study. Because I’ve got to believe that he wants to be more than a “Johnny One Note”. Or maybe I’m wrong and he is perfectly happy making the movies that he does. Maybe he’s content to be the most expensive “popcorn maker” on earth.

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Year One – New trailer for Jack Black, Michael Cera caveman film

Posted by LiveFor on March 20, 2009

Columbia Pictures has just released the trailer for their upcoming comedy, Year One, which will hit theaters nationwide on 5th June.

Written and directed by Harold Ramis, this comedy stars Jack Black and Michael Cera. Produced by Harold Ramis and Judd Apatow after the former appeared in the latter’s Knocked Up, Year One is being executive produced by actor/screenwriter Owen Wilson. Oliver Platt, Olivia Wilde, Vinnie Jones, David Cross, and Superbad’s Christopher Mintz-Plasse co-star in the Columbia Pictures production.

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Frost/Nixon, 2008 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on March 17, 2009

Director: Ron Howard
Starring: Frank Langella, Michael Sheen, Kevin Bacon, Sam Rockwell, Rebecca Hall, Matthew Macfadyen, Oliver Platt, Toby Jones.
Running Time: 122 minutes
Score: 8 / 10

This excellent review is by Sarah Louise Dean.

(Warning: Minor Spoiler Alert)

When reading the cast list for certain films, you might find you doing the same thing I do. I can’t help but make judgments regarding the film’s credibility and its plot, before even the first words have been uttered. Looking at the cast here, you already know it’s top-notch. You see that Ron Howard is the Director, so you know that noone is going to be allowed to drop the ball. You may also have some prior knowledge about the Frost/Nixon interviews which lend the film its central theme. You are aware that David Frost, the celebrated but seemingly lightweight comic/interviewer needs to score a high profile interview to facilitate his way back into the favour at the BBC and in the US. You know all about Watergate and you wonder why Richard Nixon would agree to such an interview. You may know that the film is based on a play, so you imagine it might have that same stilted feel – limited scenes in a few locations, and an emphasis on language over imagery. You might even feel a little disheartened, assuming that this might be a bit worthy and over-intellectualised with its focus on events that occurred when the majority of today’s filmgoers were very young. In fact maybe you’ve nearly talked yourself out of seeing the film, its not contemporary, its not what you’d normally see and it might be, heaven forbid, a bit…..dull.

I say STOP! Give yourself a shake and watch the film because it is an absolute delight. This is one of those films that is filled with the unexpected by opening up a ponderous stage play about a story we all think we know, and giving it the wings that only visual imagery on the big screen (and a bigger budget) can provide. I found Frost/Nixon mesmerising.

I will say this though, you must persevere. Ron Howard understands that we may not fully understand the characters intentions and therefore provides us with a lengthy first section. He wants the viewer to fall into the trap of categorising Nixon as a washed and derided figure and Frost as a frivolous underdog. But then you are introduced to James Reston Jr (played with flair by Sam Rockwell) a passionate anti-Nixon biographer who believes the American public deserve an admission of Nixon’s culpability, and Jack Brennan, (an assured turn by Kevin Bacon) an ex-military right-hand man with a voice of reason who fundamentally believes that certain practices are perfectly necessary for the good of people. Brennan is a deadly serious force in a world filled with unholy camaraderie. The period detail is fantastic, seen in the seventies hotel suite décor, the tailoring and riotously, the hairstyles (particularly Matthew Macfadyen very much enjoying John Birt’s shaggy hair) and highlighted by Nixon’s obsession with Frost’s Italian loafers. The action (no car chases and explosions of course) effortlessly flicks between Australia, London and LA, and the playing out of the four key interviews of foreign policy, domestic policy, personal life and Watergate is interspersed with behind-the-scenes style footage allowing each character to escape from their caricature. It’s a good move, giving this film to Ron Howard, placing delicate material in such a capable pair of American hands.

Of course, this film has flaws. It is neither controversial nor particularly hard-hitting, and female characters are given short shrift. Rebecca Hall is woefully underutilised even though she gets the best lines outside of Nixon. However the screenplay expertly expands on an important moment of history making it both entertaining and far more relevant, than you’d initially conceive. The film asks some important questions. Can the media provide us with something from our politicians that Government can’t provide? Can Trial by Media sometimes be the only option left and the best way forward? Peter Morgan, expanding on his celebrated play, allows Brennan and Reston Jr provide the storyline with its heart, as two characters on either side of the divide but both feeling with absolute certainty that they are in the right and the world should know so.

Plaudits for Frank Langella have naturally come flooding in. Yes he effortlessly deals with the sizeable task of taking someone morally corrupt and giving them some much needed three dimensionality, making him look savvy, unflinching and erudite. But he is ably counterbalanced by Michael Sheen’s brilliant performance. Frost almost makes the most interesting viewing. He is the ultimate playful playboy for the majority of the film but as he suffers Nixon’s punch after verbal punch, his discomfort is tangible. We may all know what was coming, but the film in its denouement, is masterful. You come to care for the playboy and you realise how he has stretched himself to pull off this coup, moments before the limelight passes. And Nixon’s late night, inebriated phone call sets up the power struggle of the Watergate discussions with meticulous genius. You want to feel Frost’s gratification at extracting a small apology, but more importantly, you see Nixon’s own epiphany as to his responsibility for his own downfall, and his realisation as to what he has lost.

To feel sympathy for someone so ravaged by power is testament to the sheer brilliance of Howard’s light touch. A wonderful film.

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The Year One – Photo of Jack Black and Michael Cera as cavemen

Posted by LiveFor on January 4, 2009

The Year One is written and directed by Harold Ramis.

When a couple of lazy hunter-gatherers (Black and Cera) are banished from their primitive village, they set off on an epic journey through the ancient world.

The film also stars Ramis, Oliver Platt, Paul Rudd, David Cross, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Hank Azaria, Vinnie Jones and Olivia Wilde (Tr2n).

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Animated Wonder Woman DVD news

Posted by LiveFor on November 19, 2008

MTV have been talking about the forthcoming Wonder Woman animated feature on DVD which is due out on March 3, 2009. Warner Premiere has released the specs on the forthcoming DVD along with some images from the feature.

“Wonder Woman” will tell the truly epic tale of the character’s origin, from her upbringing on the mystical island of Themyscira, to her inevitable journey into the world of man, where she establishes herself as a hero who plays by her own rules and laws. However, conflict soon arises as Ares escapes his imprisonment from the Amazons and swears revenge on the mortal and mythical worlds, and it’s up to Wonder Woman to stop him at all costs.

Produced by Emmy-award winning animator Bruce Timm and starring the vocal talents of Keri Russell, Alfred Molina, Virginia Madsen, Rosario Dawson and Oliver Platt just to name a few, “Wonder Woman” will be released as a single disc, a two disc special edition and will also be available on Blu-ray DVD. Special features include featurettes such as “Wonder Woman: A Subversive Dream,” which delves into the history of the character and her role in helping define a generation of empowered women, “Wonder Woman The Daughters of Myth,” which documents the relationship between Wonder Woman and her true-life Amazon counterparts, and “Wonder Woman: The Amazon Princess,” a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the animated movie. There’s also a digital version of the film for handheld devices, audio commentaries, and a special look at Bruce Timm’s personal favorite episodes of “Justice League” and “Justice League Unlimited” which featured Wonder Woman.

Will you be picking this up? What other DC character would you like to get the animated treatment?
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