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Posts Tagged ‘Toby Jones’

Captain America – Toby Jones to play Arnim Zola

Posted by LiveFor on May 7, 2010

It was recently confirmed that Hugo Weaving (The Matrix, Lord of the Rings, The Wolf Man) was to play the Red Skull opposite Chris Evans’ Captain America. Today news is out that Toby Jones (The Mist, Infamous) is to play the evil Nazi scientist, Arnim Zola. Joe Johnston’s film is shaping up to have a great cast of actors.

Arnim Zola was a biochemist during World War II who became one of the first human genetic engineers in history after finding papers and equipment used by the offshoot race of humanity, the Deviants. He found a ready home among the Nazi party, who saw his actions as the ability to ensure the existence of a master race.

One of his first accomplishments was the creation of a brain pattern imprinting device, which would allow someone’s mental essence to be projected into a cloned brain. Zola presented such a gift to Adolf Hitler, creating the Hate-Monger.

Born with a frail, dwarfish body, Zola used his scientific skills to genetically fashion a new stronger body for himself. Having done so, Zola used the mind-transferrance technique he devised to project his mind into the cloned brain of his new body, a brain that he situated in the chest cavity where it would be more protected. Since the brains of all of his genetic creations were grown from cells of his own, he can mentally project his intelligence into any of his creations.

As you can see from the figure by Bruce Ross above, he looks sort of like Krang from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon from the 80s. I don’t think he will have that look in the Captain America film (well at least not at first) and will probably be a normal human mad scientist until some kind of accident or maniacal scheme. To be honest I think it is great that they have Zola involved as it may well give the necessary reason for the Red Skull to survive into the present day. However, it does mean that we may well see Toby Jones crop up in other Marvel Studios films and I could see him in The Avengers having created some kind of crazy looking army of genetic freaks.

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Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll – Trailer for the Andy Serkis as Ian Dury film

Posted by LiveFor on December 17, 2009

A biography of Ian Dury who was stricken with polio at a young age and defied expectations by becoming one of the founder of the punk-rock scene in Britain in the 1970s.

Starring Andy Serkis, Naomie Harris, Olivia Williams, Mackenzie Crook, Toby Jones, Noel Clarke and Ray Winstone.

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Creation – Trailer for Charles Darwin biopic

Posted by LiveFor on June 13, 2009

Part ghost story, part psychological thriller, part heart-wrenching love story, Creation is the story of Charles Darwin and the single most explosive idea in history.

Paul Bettany stars as naturalist Charles Darwin and Jennifer Connelly as his wife Emma Darwin along with Toby Jones.

Creation is directed by British filmmaker Jon Amiel (Queen of Hearts, Sommersby, The Man Who Knew Too Little, Entrapment, and The Core).

Source: First Showing

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Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll – Andy Serkis’ Ian Dury gets his Blockheads

Posted by LiveFor on April 22, 2009

Back in January I posted part of an interview with Andy Serkis where he mentioned he would be playing punk legend Ian Dury in a biopic due to start filming this month.

Now the film has a title, Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, and will be directed by Mat Whitecross reports Variety.

It has also gained an excellent cast. Naomi Harris (“Pirates of the Caribbean”), Ray Winstone (“The Departed”), Olivia Williams (“The Sixth Sense”), Noel Clarke (TV’s “Doctor Who”), Toby Jones (“Infamous”), MacKenzie Crook (“Pirates of the Caribbean”) and Bill Milner (“Son of Rambow”) .

Arthur Darvill, James Jagger, Tom Hughes, Shakraj Soornack, Clifford Samuel and Joe Kennedy are also set to play Dury’s band members the Blockheads.

Paul Viragh penned the script, Damian Jones is producing and shooting kicks off May 3rd in London.

No word yet on whether Andy Serkis will be portraying Ian Dury through the wonders of motion capture 🙂

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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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Tintin news – Daniel Craig is the big bad and Jamie Bell is Tintin

Posted by LiveFor on January 27, 2009

Collider have some news on the Tintin movie.

It’s going to be called The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn.

Jamie Bell (Billy Elliot, King Kong) will be playing Tintin after Thomas Sangster dropped out.

Daniel Craig will be playing the nefarious “Red Rackham”. Craig previously worked with producer and director of the first Tintin film Steven Spielberg on Munich.

The film will co-star Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Gad Elmaleh, Toby Jones and Mackenzie Crook. All will be doing the motion capture dance.

Finally the script is being writtern by Edgar Wright (Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), Steven Moffat (Dr Who, Press Gang) and Joe Cornish (Adam & Joe).

All in all good news for the Tintin film.

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W. (2008) – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on October 17, 2008

Director: Oliver Stone
Starring: Josh Brolin, Richard Dreyfuss, James Cromwell, Toby Jones, Stacy Keach, Thandie Newton, Ioan Gruffudd
Running Time: 131 minutes

This review by John Hiscock of the Telegraph. Cheers to Andy D for forwarding it on.

Oliver Stone has said he wanted to understand, not to hurt, George W Bush and to give a fair and true portrait of the man. And with W, the filmmaker – who stirred a firestorm of controversy with JFK and Nixon – has presented a relatively even-handed and entertaining portrait of the current US president, although it is sure to raise White House hackles, nevertheless.

W covers Bush’s life from the age of 21 up to his invasion of Iraq, portraying him as both an arrogant, egotistical bully and a confused, sad and almost tragic figure manipulated by his aides and helplessly unable to come up with an exit strategy for Iraq.

Stone made the film in a quickfire 48 days on a £15 million budget to have it ready for release in the US before the November 4 presidential election, but the production values are excellent and there are no obvious signs of it having been a rush job.

As the title character who is in almost every scene, Josh Brolin has done his homework well and offers a convincing interpretation of George W, effectively capturing his mannerisms and style of speech.

Thoroughly researched and based mainly on available documentation, W opens with a post-9/11 cabinet meeting in the Oval Office.

In a series of flashbacks, we then follow Bush’s early days as a hard-drinking, rambunctious womaniser and ne’er-do-well, his conversion, at the age of 40, to born-again Christianity, his sobriety and his career in politics.

Stone and writer Stanley Weiser, who also collaborated on Wall Street, place a great deal of emphasis on the father-son relationship, taking the position that George H Bush (James Cromwell) favoured his younger son Jeb and considered George W the black sheep.

Consequently George W is shown as constantly striving to demonstrate he is stronger than his father, castigating him for not finishing the job and taking out Saddam Hussein during the 1991 Gulf War and for losing the 1992 election by running a poor campaign.

Among the mainly excellent supporting cast, Richard Dreyfuss is downright scary as Richard Cheney, Britain’s Toby Jones is outstanding as Karl Rove and Stacy Keach has some good scenes as the preacher who aids W’s conversion.

Thandie Newton, with little to do, bears a startling resemblance to Condoleezza Rice and Ioan Gruffudd makes a brief appearance as Tony Blair.

Inevitably, because the story of the George W Bush administration is still being written, the film’s ending is ambiguous.

Poignantly, the smug and self-righteous president is seen struggling at a White House press conference to define what he thinks his legacy will be.

‘W’ will be released in the UK on Nov 7


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