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Posts Tagged ‘Timothy Spall’

Alice in Wonderland, 2010 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on March 7, 2010


Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne Hathaway, Crispin Glover, Matt Lucas, Stephen Fry, Paul Whitehouse, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Alan Rickman

Score: 8 / 10

This review by Pamela Fruendt

What’s there to say about ALICE IN WONDERLAND? Certainly not “off with their heads!” Kudos to Linda Woolverton’s script which took the best of Lewis Carroll’s ideas and wove them together with our favorite characters into a reworked story that gave Tim Burton something to run with and run he did. Burton has created an absolutely magical, vibrant, dazzling world in ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Forget those critics who brand parts of the film too dark. Underland has been at war which, as the Mad Hatter shows, leans towards destruction. There is much light to this ALICE IN WONDERLAND. And muchness too.

Mia Wasikowska is perfect as 2010’s sweet, but nobody’s fool Alice Kingsleigh. Mia’s someone to keep your eye on in the future. Johnny Depp gives another finely nuanced performance as the Mad Hatter. His portrayal is especially poignant in that the Hatter knows something is terribly amiss with him yet carries on as best he can. As an aside…despite Depp’s protestations to the contrary, his dancing ability seems more than adequate. Futterwhacking, anyone?

Helena Bonham Carter nearly steals the film as the unloved petulant Red Queen. Anne Hathaway plays a quietly powerful Underland version of a valley-girl-type White Queen while Crispin Glover’s Knave of Hearts maintains just the right amount of distaste and admiration for the Red Queen. And I mustn’t forget Tweedledee and Tweedledum – Matt Lucas has taken such a tiny role and made it so memorable.

The animated characters from The Cheshire Cat (Stephen Fry) to the screaming March Hare (Paul Whitehouse) to Bayard, the adorable Bloodhound (Timothy Spall) and all those not mentioned are exquisite both in design and execution.

But what’s wrong with ALICE IN WONDERLAND? For me it was the 3D technology which I found distracting and superfluous. Avatar needed 3D…ALICE doesn’t. I’m actually looking forward to the early DVD release so I can see the film on my 42″ Sony 1080p…then I’ll be able to concentrate on the story and not 3D. But I will admit it could just be me. I may even try to find a theater without 3D to check myself.

So, go see ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Expect to see a good film with great performances. And don’t forget your futterwhacking shoes…

Have you seen Alice in Wonderlan? What did you think of it?

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Heartless – Noel Clarke previews the new Demon infested film starring Jim Sturgess

Posted by LiveFor on January 19, 2010

When his [Sturgess’s] mother is viciously murdered, the media reports it’s by a hoodie wearing a devil mask. But Jamie soon realizes the thugs aren’t wearing disguises at all; they really are demons and hell on earth is beginning to plague the capital city. Yet all is not what it seems in enfant terrible Ridley’s unique horror fantasy landscape ingeniously informed by the current climate of fear running through every strata of modern society.

Starring Jim Sturgess, Noel Clarke, Clemence Poesy, Joseph Mawle, Eddie Marsan, Luke Treadaway & Timothy Spall. Directed by Philip Ridley.

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Jackboots on Whitehall – Animated Nazis invade England

Posted by LiveFor on July 16, 2009

This sounds fantastic – England defeated by Nazi Germany during World War II and now occupied and only Scotland can save everyone.

It is an animated film featuring stop-motion, puppets and animatronics and has started filming today.

It stars Timothy Spall as Churchill, Alan Cumming as Hitler, Tom Wilkinson as Goebbels and Richard O’Brien as Himmler, along with Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Ewan McGregor and Richard Griffiths. That is one hell of a cast.

Edward and Rory McHenry are writing and directing the film that will feature stop motion, puppeteering, and animatronics.

I can’t wait to see some photos of the puppets.

Source: Empire

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Jackboots on Whitehall – Animated Nazis invade England

Posted by LiveFor on July 16, 2009

This sounds fantastic – England defeated by Nazi Germany during World War II and now occupied and only Scotland can save everyone.

It is an animated film featuring stop-motion, puppets and animatronics and has started filming today.

It stars Timothy Spall as Churchill, Alan Cumming as Hitler, Tom Wilkinson as Goebbels and Richard O’Brien as Himmler, along with Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Ewan McGregor and Richard Griffiths. That is one hell of a cast.

Edward and Rory McHenry are writing and directing the film that will feature stop motion, puppeteering, and animatronics.

I can’t wait to see some photos of the puppets.

Source: Empire

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The Damned United, 2009 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on March 29, 2009


Director: Tom Hooper
Starring: Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall, Colm Meaney, Jim Broadbent
Running Time: 97 minutes

This review by mredrew.

I watched this film at a preview screening and although there were no trailers, the film more than made up for it. Based on the popular book of the same name, the film charts the early career of the legendary and outspoken Football Manager Brian Clough. It simultaneously contrasts Clough’s rise to glory as Manager of Derby County in the late sixties, with his disastrous subsequent appointment at local rivals Leeds United lasting only forty-four days.

Brought to the screen by a similar team as ‘Frost/Nixon’, it stars: Welsh actor Michael Sheen as Brian Clough; Timothy Spall as his long-suffering assistant manager and best friend Peter Taylor; Jim Broadbent as the snooty Derby County chairman, ‘Uncle’ Sam Longson and Colin Meaney as Clough’s idol-turned-rival, former Leeds Manager Don Revie. British gems, the lot of them! Famous players are well represented in the cast, most notably by Stephen Graham as former Leeds Captain Billy Bremner.

Michael Sheen’s Brian Clough is an entertaining, arrogant but likable character with self-destructive flaws. Obviously he has the best lines (unfortunately many of which feature in the trailer) and some of his best scenes are with Timothy Spall’s Peter Taylor, who’s friendship is severely tested as the events unfurl. Clough’s vulnerability and insecurities are explored in his relationship with Taylor and the audience learn that only as a team do they conquer English football. Clough’s apparent hatred for Revie stems from being snubbed by the latter at an early Cup match. This experience drives Clough’s ambition to not only succeed, but to attempt to eclipse the architect of Leeds United’s ‘Golden Age’. Along the way we learn about the now familiar friction between the Manager and the Chairman, the task of signing players and the universal theme of pride coming before a fall (there’s a football pun in there).

Set in the late sixties/early seventies and seamlessly interspersing the action with real footage and interviews, this film enables the audience to embrace the spirit of the times and appreciate the simplicity of ‘the good old days’ whilst still going on a journey with laughs and tension throughout. As with ‘Frost/Nixon’ the story caters for people with very little prior knowledge of the subject matter and as such, it can be enjoyed by football fans, history fans and film fans alike. Plus there isn’t a huge amount of actual ball kicking by the cast, so people won’t switch off. There is an obligatory montage, but it’s nicely done and over quickly.

The only downside to this film is that it’s a little bit short if anything, but it leaves you wanting more which can only be a good thing. There’s a mild bit of comical swearing throughout, which is justified (and probably even toned down) given the situations the lead characters face.

To sum up, I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoyed ‘Frost Nixon’, Biopics, Football or quintessentially British films. This film isn’t my favourite of the 2009, but is definitely getting a Champions League spot!

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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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The Damned United – Brian Clough biopic starring Michael Sheen

Posted by LiveFor on January 27, 2009

From the best-selling and critically acclaimed novel by David Peace, The Damned United is directed by Tom Hooper and stars Michael Sheen as the legendary, opinionated football manager Brian Clough, with Timothy Spall as his right hand man, only friend, and crutch Peter Taylor.

Set in 1960s and 1970s England, The Damned United tells the confrontational and darkly humorous story of Brian Cloughs 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 Dons boys, would lead to an unheralded examination of Cloughs 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.

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Appaloosa, 2008 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on October 6, 2008


Director: Ed Harris
Starring: Ed Harris, Viggo Mortensen, Renee Zellweger, Jeremy Irons, Timothy Spall, Lance Henriksen, Adriana Gil.
Running Time: 114 minutes
Score: 7 / 10

This review by neil-476. It may contain spoilers.

Let’s get it straight right from the start – Appaloosa is not a classic western. It is, however, a good western.

Appaloosa is a small town in the back of beyond, in thrall to rich local landowner Bragg (Jeremy Irons) and his thuggish ranch hands. Bragg kills the sheriff and his deputies, so the Councilmen hire Virgil Cole (Ed Harris) and his sidekick Everett Hitch (Viggo Mortensen), a pair of freelance gun-for-hire lawmen, to sort the problem out. These men have an easy, almost telepathic, relationship which become complicated once Allison “Ally” French (Renee Zellweger) comes to town – she pitches herself at Virgil and hooks him although, confusingly, she also makes advances to Everett, which he rejects. Bragg is caught and convicted, but his own hired guns use Ally as a lever to have him freed. There then follows a pursuit and resolution with some minor divergences from expectations.

In many respects this is a completely traditional western, featuring a plot which has been seen, with variations, many, many times before. Ed Harris and Viggo Mortensen are settled into their parts, as comfortable as old clothes, before the movie begins, and the relationship between these two men is the strongest element of the movie by far. It is a handsome looking movie, although the camera was occasionally a little too jittery for my taste.

But there are some problems. Zellweger’s part is not only a thankless one, it also seems not to have been fully thought through. For a sizeable chunk of the movie it is far from clear where Ally’s loyalties really lie, and at least two of the false(?) hints deserve better resolution than they get.

Jeremy Irons’ accent is simply awful – neither American nor English, nor even convincingly mid-Atlantic. He has done convincing American accents, but he doesn’t do so here. He would have done better to simply stick with an English accent. Timothy Spall fares slightly better, but only slightly (note: see Gary Oldman for instructions on How Brits Should Do American Accents In Movies).

My final reservation is more an observation than a criticism. This film is very low on traditional western-type action – if there is more than 5 minutes’ worth in total during the entire film, I would be surprised. To be fair, this is probably an accurate reflection on how things were (the movie’s best line features Mortensen and Harris lying wounded after a shoot-out lasting, perhaps, 15 seconds: Mortensen says “Well, that was quick,” and Harris replies, “Everybody could shoot.”) So this is a character-based atmosphere piece built on a traditional western framework. As I said, not a classic, but still a rewarding movie for western fans.

Do you agree with the review? Will you be going to see the movie?

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