Category Archives: Movie Review
Fast and Furious 6 is certainly worth catching if your into fast heavy metal driven hard, attractive women, CGI graphics explosions and action!
The Fast and Furious culture as portrayed by Hollywood, with a plot thrown in, is a parody of the real Fast and Furious culture that exists in England that we at ICU Online will be doing our own series of around the fall 2013 in a similar environment as shown somewhere in the film (can’t tell you any more; please watch this space!)
This particular story is about the Fast and Furious crew going up against an evil version of themselves led by an ex British SAS officer that is a very convincing nemesis that give them a good run for their money. Whilst the Fast and Furious crews code is family with a capital F their evil rivals are coldness and precision.
The plot involves the stealing of sophisticated military hardware worth billions in the wrong hands and most of the action takes place in London itself with many familiar surroundings.
One of those pieces of military hardware involves a tank that is put to good use flattering other cars that get in the way (see above).
The cars themselves range from the classics to some home made custom pieces with armored plating and formula 1 engines.
The film finishes with the Fast and Furious ‘Family’ victorious over a prayer and some cold ones and a cliff hanger moment that introduces the next nemesis of F and F 7! (No I am not telling you any more than that! Go catch at the cinema or online if you are a cheapskate).
Into Darkness is the second J J Adams film to emerge from his successful re-imagining of the Star Trek universe four years ago
The action picks up soon after the first film ends, as Kirk (Pine) is once again in trouble for disobeying the Prime Directive not to interfere with a planet’s culture. But his punishment is short-lived, as Starfleet becomes the victim of brutal attacks in London (Sacrilege!!) and San Francisco, sending Kirk, his first officer Spock (Quinto) and the gang (Saldana, Urban, Yelchin and Cho, with Pegg following later) into enemy space to chase the villainous John Harrison (Cumberbatch). But of course, there’s a much bigger story going on, and Harrison has a reason for his violent behaviour, leading to a series of terrifying showdowns as they all return to earth.
While the script is packed with shadowy characters, there’s not (ironically for its title) much actual “darkness” in this movie. It’s a pretty bouncy, energetic ride, continually making us laugh at tetchy interaction and throwaway one-liners, all of which are cleverly character-based rather than merely silly gags. This gives each actor a chance to shine, with Pegg and Urban offering much of the humour with their amusing crankiness, while Saldana provides the stereotypical female emotional beats. As usual, the strongest scenes are between Kirk and Spock, and their shifting bromance is well-played by Pine and especially Quinto. However, dominating the whole film is a significant portrayal from Cumberbatch as a particularly fearsome nemesis who also happens to be both brainy and openly emotive.
Cumberbatch, choice as a villain seems to follow the wisdom of Hollywood that if you want to cast a decent villain you need to use someone British.
Visually, the film looks seamless, and Abrams keeps the special effects in the background where they belong. Apart from the sometimes distracting 3D, the spectacular visuals are always put into perspective by the people. Even the unnecessarily crazed fight scene on floating trash barges has a human touch. And this personal approach helps us identify with real characters in extraordinary situations that are both exhilarating and surprisingly emotional.
Good news for Tom Cruise and action movie lovers; “Mission Impossible: 5” is happening!
Deadline Hollywood first reported the news; however, the movie doesn’t yet have a director, though the outlet speculates it will be Tom Cruise’s frequent collaborator, Christopher McQuarrie.
Having said that, Cruise will star as he did in the first four films. The most recent one in 2011 “Ghost Protocol,” racked up a worldwide gross of nearly $700 million. A healthy profit as the budget was a $145 million!
As a result, it meant another movie was pretty much a no-brainer; “MI:5” rumors and reports have been swirling for about a year. (via Screen Rant)
“Ghost Protocol” became, surprisingly, the biggest movie of Cruise’s career. With a divorce and Scientology rumors always flying, Cruise has certainly been tabloid material over the past few years…
In fact, as Den of Geek notes that “Ghost Protocol” was rumored to be a bit of a push-Tom-out thing; a vehicle to mold Jeremy Renner into the star of the franchise.
Despite this, Cruise has worked hard to grow his ability to deliver on action movie franchises. He does his own stunts, he promotes tirelessly worldwide and all his hard work has paid off.
JJ Abrams’ Bad Robot production company will again be involved in this new “Mission: Impossible” movie. No word yet on a possible release date.
Joseph Fiennes is set to delve into the supernatural in new movie The Unholy.
The Escapist star will share the screen with Homeland’s Morena Baccarin in the thriller, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The movie is said to be inspired by scientific research that suggests evil may live within a person’s genetic code, and follows “a group of cutting-edge scientists who believe they can link evil to a specific human gene”.
Things get spooky when the scientists are recruited by the Vatican to lead a new initiative to examine candidates for official exorcisms.
Joseph, 42, was last seen on the silver screen in 2009′s Against The Current.
Morena, 33, has appeared in movies such as Stolen and Stargate: The Ark Of Truth.
Les Misérables is emotionally charged record-breaking stage musical that had being sired within the West End theatre. Its story is set in France within the first half of the 19th Century where an individual called Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), convicted for stealing bread to feed his sisters child. For this crime he eventually spent 19 years doing hard labour in prison until he is released from prison on parole where is forced endure prejudice and strict boundaries that are engineered to punish him for his crime for the rest of his life.
Along the way he meets a kindly religious minister who provides him food and shelter as well as the resources to start his life again and do good which he does under a new identity which means he violates his original parole conditions.
A number of persons cross his path including a star-studded host of characters including: Fantine (Anne Hathaway) who is slipping slowly into prostitution and the merciless lawman Javert (Russell Crowe) who purses him for breaking his parole. Other stellar performances are rendered by Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter and Amanda Seyfried that add to what is a rich performance in film.
If I had a skeptical attitude toward the work transcending successfully from the theatre they were dashed quickly from the start with the song ‘Look Down’ at the beginning and the sight of human misery that can only be described as hell on earth. Near the end of the film we hear the chorus of “do you see the people sing” charged with hope and defiance against a tyranny of early 19th century France that is filled with a mood of hope against all the odds that those on the 1848 barricades had to endure.
A film for young and old that had my own son singing along days after the performance.
Another excellent period piece from director of The King’s Speech Tom Hooper who is able compel you to have sympathy for characters whether they be low in stature or great. Don’t walk but run to catch it performing at your local theatre.
Flight is a serious look at addiction and the havoc it wreaks on lives. This beautiful moving work was done by Robert Zemeckis from the director of classics like What Lies Beneath and Back to the Future.
Whip (Denzel Washington) is a seasoned airline pilot who miraculously crash-lands his plane after a mid-air catastrophe, saving nearly every soul on board. But while the world is getting ready to treat him as a hero, it emerges he was drunk and high.
We see Denzel deal with the ebbs and highs of the investigation, his denial of his addiction issues, his fractured relationship with his son, the emerging relationship with Kelly Reilly who also is battling her own demon of addiction, the sharp lawyer Don Cheadle who boasts, “My clients don’t go to jail”, his drug dealer, his hippy drug dealer and friend John Goodman.
Can he be saved from prison? More importantly, can he be saved from his own self-destructive addiction?
Flight is a engaging drama with heart-stopping action sequences; Denzel’s character Whip is one that speaks to many of us on some or many levels. It even has some cool tracks that support various points of the movie such as Marvin Gaye’s “What’s going on” and the Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”.
Will we see some major Oscar come from this work?
With the relaunch of ICU Online Web TV we were looking to define who we are as a company and to make more clear who and what we represent as a business. No matter what challenge or obstacle life has thrown at this small start up media company we just keep going, not knowing when to quit, or how to quit. “Live the dream or die trying” is tattooed somewhere inside the founders brain, and his team must really like hime to stick with him through the rough and the smooth.
Enter Kai Soremekun and Chick episodes. Although the series is now a few years old, we decided to relaunch the network with Chick being our “Special Feature” simply because we could identify to everything about Chick. From the story line, (a girl finding her superhero inside herself), the format, (interactive webisodes, at the time of its release this was one of the first interactive videos where the viewer could give input to determine the outcome of the hero), the production, (low budget it may have been, but the quality of production, filming and editing were all very entertaining and watchable).
Kai is a forward thinker, and using the internet to directly communicate with her audience she explored a new media idea with outstanding results, Chick episodes went on to be an award winning production.
At ICU Online we live by the rule “impossible is nothing”, “if we think it we can do it” so when we first saw Chick in 2011 we knew exactly where Kai was coming from. At ICU Online we are living our dream, or at least we are building the platform upon which we will live our dream, and when a “dreamer” sees another “dreamer” living their dream, we celebrate them, we take courage, we share the celebration of the victory, though there may be 8000 miles between Kai Soremekun and the ICU team, her message, her energy and spirit is one we recognise right inside our own camp.
In 2013 on ICU Online you will see the rise of Renae Rain, OneNess Sankara, Ady Opoko (the founder of F@ Talent), Ashton Fionda (the founder of Model Me TV) and Louise Paul (a fearless journalistic reporter spearheading Spectrum). These five young women have found the super hero inside them and will reveal all to the world via ICU Online Web TV this summer.
Find the super hero inside you, and remember to Log On, Tune in and Chill out with ICU Online Web TV.
Natalie Portman thrilled and frightened audiences as the downward spiraling ballerina “Nina” in the Black Swan. She won an Oscar for that performance — but now, critics are asking how much dancing she really did.
“According to published reports, Natalie Portman is insisting she did the majority of her dance sequences in the film. This comes after her ballet double Sarah Lane claims Portman did 5 percent of those scenes and there is an allusion that Portman is some sort of dance prodigy, she says. Portman says that Lane was only used for the most complicated dance sequences.” (WDIV)
But that double — real American Ballet Theater dancer Sarah Lane — was never acknowledged for her dance work. In the film’s credits, she’s simply listed as “hand model,” “stunt double,” and as an extra. The Editor in Chief of Dance Magazine is outraged over Lane’s exclusion:
“Do people really believe that it takes only one year to make a ballerina? … I think there has been a propaganda of omissions in the media that has reinforced that belief.”
But team Portman was quick on the defense. And one member of her camp was particularly incensed by the accusation — that report comes from E! News:
“Natalie’s fiance, Benjamin Millepied is defending amid criticism. Her baby daddy — who pulls double duty as her costar and the film’s choreographer — cleared the air for the haters in the LA Times — quote — ‘There are articles now talking about her dance double… Honestly, 85% of that movie is Natalie. It was so believable, it was fantastic, that beautiful movement quality.’”
Lane remained mostly quiet until now under the instruction of the film’s rep — Fox Searchlight. After learning she was hushed… the Wall Street Journal questions the motives behind Portman’s whole Oscar campaign:
“One charge that Sarah Lane made was that she said — Fox Searchlight said stop giving interviews during the Oscar campaign. Talk AFTER she’s won the Oscar. That would suggest that they thought, that if people knew she wasn’t doing all the dancing — they might not give her credit for this terrific performance, that it might take a little bit away from her.”
For the record — Portman did admit she had some help on the advanced dance moves. FasterTimes says — Lane needs to give it a rest:
“But no one gets rewarded for asking for recognition, or fair pay… Indeed, squeaky-Sarah will almost certainly not be hired to ‘hand-model’ for another big studio film any time soon.”
Finally, Business Insider says — either way — this scandal is good for all parties involved.
Portman already has her Oscar, Lane gets her 15 minutes of fame, and of course, the movie:
“The most unsurprising benefit: all of this chatter throws some spotlight back to the movie, which still lingers in a few theaters and comes out on DVD Tuesday.”
So who do you think deserves the credit in these scenes, Portman or Lane? And since nobody really knows who’s dancing — How about the visual effects editors? After all, they’re the geniuses behind this:
Call it a hiccup. A mistake. Even karma. Any way you cut it, some critics think Megan Fox’s career might be coming to an end.
Fox’s latest flick, Passion Play – in which she plays a bird woman in a carnival attraction - is bypassing movie theaters – and heading straight-to-DVD. (Annapurna Productions)
After accusing Transformer’s director Michael Bay of sexual harassment and comparing him to Hitler, Fox left the mega-hit franchise. A writer for Pop Crunch argues, maybe Fox was never that big of a box-office draw.
“This is the latest blow to Megan’s acting career… Jennifer’s Body which was released in 2009 debuted at a disappointing number five and only earned $6.8 million. [And] Jonah Hex, released last summer, earned Meg a 2011 Razzie nomination for Worst Actress!”
So maybe her last few movies bombed- but hey, at least they made it to the theater. As her latest flick Passion Play hangs out at a DVD packaging plant- a blogger for The Huffington Post writes…
“Neither angel wings nor cleavage could save Megan Fox’s newest film …Playing at the Toronto Film Festival in September, the film bombed, with terrible reviews and viewers openly mocking it as it played — that is, before they walked out.”
“Variety called it ‘perversely eccentric and frequently inert,’ while the Los Angeles Times said of the … premiere, ‘For most everyone in the room, it felt like it couldn’t be over soon enough.’ But the Hollywood Reporter found some redeeming qualities, including how Fox ‘disrobes attractively’ and acts ‘persuasively shy and hurt, using a soft and whispery voice.’”
And E! Online’s Ted Casablanca adds- maybe Fox should take a step back and reevaluate her career before she takes on another project.
“…maybe the insanely hot chick should just stick to posing in her Armani underwear instead of acting on the big screen. Who would have thought hubby Brian Austin Green had the hot career this year on friggin’ Desperate Housewives?!”
Fox joins a long list of big names with straight-to-DVD stints, including Michelle Pfeiffer, Renee Zellweger and Forrest Whitaker. So is her career DOA? Or can she make a comeback?
Looks like Mars needs more than moms to save itself at the box office.
The kid flick opened over the weekend – and made it into the record book with the 10th worst opening since 1982. It raked in $6.2 million – a far cry from its $150 million dollar production budget. (Video: YouTube/Disney)
So where did Mars go wrong? Some critics are saying that the word “Mom” in the title kept boys away. Hollywood Reporter quotes one studio exec who jokes…
BoxOffice Mojo argues- the film was doomed from the get-go.
“Mars was severely limited by its premise, which was better suited to a television cartoon, and its execution looked awkward, incoherent and creepy in the marketing.”
The movie’s director Robert Zemeckis’s – whose foray into animation also includes The Polar Express and 2009’s remake of A Christmas Carol – is known for his use of motion capture- tracking points on a moving face or body. A Zoiks blogger says- that’s a lot of extra- unnecessary- work.
“Zemeckis’s insistence on Motion Capture was likely the death knell for ‘Mars Needs Moms,’ a modest story that needed a more modest production if it needed to be made at all.”
Though animation has been one of Hollywood’s biggest money makers for the past decade – The New York Times believes Mars’ box office failure could be hinting at something….
“As the first big-budget computer animated movie to flop, ‘Mars Needs Moms’ tells some film executives that the market is becoming saturated. “
According to Hollywood Reporter, when production and marketing costs are combined, Disney has invested more than $200 million in Mars Needs Moms.
Producer Alain Chabat describes the documentary Babies as a “wildlife film on human babies”. This may sound like an idea that has already been done, but the documentary is actually more original than you might think.
Most non-fiction cinematic chronicles of the under-two set tend to fall into two categories: 1) advice-oriented instructional movies that seek to provide nervous moms and dads with all the information they need to raise a well-adjusted child and 2) YouTube videos featuring said child spitting up, rolling over, falling down or simply staring wide-eyed into the camera.
So the notion of a filmmaker setting a camera down and observing babies in their natural habitat the same way they would a lion, tiger or bear is an intriguing one. And in fact, the resulting documentary does share some similarities with the kinds of traditional nature docs that air in near constant rotation on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel.
As in those programs, director Thomas Balmès and his camera crew avoid any direct interaction with the wildlife cavorting in front of the camera, which in this case are the four infants—Ponijao from Namibia, Mari from Japan, Hattie from San Francisco and Bayarjargal from Mongolia—who make up the film’s multi-ethnic cast. The babies are also at the center of virtually every shot, meaning that we, the audience don’t see much of their world beyond their tiny frames.