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Entries in Brenton Thwaites (5)

Tuesday
May292018

Maleficent 2 Begins Filming. A Few Words on the Cast

by Nathaniel R

As much as I neither enjoyed Maleficent (2014) nor have any reason whatsoever to believe the sequel will be any better, I'll admit that I am as gullible as anyone when it comes to promotional hype about blockbusters. I veritably squealed when I saw this photo on Elle Fanning's instagram today. And then this equally delicious photo...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Mar052016

Is "Gods of Egypt" a Bad Movie People Will Eventually Love?

The cast sees the reviews! The Horror. The Horror.The ill begotten would be blockbuster Gods of Egypt, directed by Alex Proyas (I Robot, The Crow), is currently enjoying a 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; you could call that score bad luck but for the fact that the movie fully earns it.

Still... There's something enjoyable about tallying up the ways it goes wrong. It continually charges toward its own spectacular idiocy with gusto. Despite heaps of exposition it never makes a lick of sense, explaining rules only to break them. It mounts each action sequence with zero artistry in disguising its shameful lust to earn extra $ as a video game (you half expect congratulatory text and bonus points on screen a la Scott Pilgrim vs The World). It builds its own crazy as high as its in-movie Tower of Babel. It wants to play with surreal Egyptian imagery but is so 2016 that it mistakes human gods with animal heads for organic derivatives of Michael Bay's Transformers

Each actor, freed from mundane concerns of "direction" or even other actors (green screens abound so half the time it's clear they're not together), does his/her own thing. The result is a hilarious hodgepodge of styles, accents, and wildly varying degrees of success at self-amusement: Egyptians with Australian accents? why not, Gerard Butler!; You once saw Pirates of the Caribbean and want to do something affected but can't quite commit to your mincing gay idea? Then do it half ass, Chadwick Boseman; You only want to entertain yourself? Thank you thank you Geoffrey Rush & Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. You are both having so much fun which is the only way to do a bad movie.

Maybe it's the time of year, the garbage dump month between serious adult films vying for metaphoric gold (it's just gold plating) and studio four-quadrant product vying for audience gold (the green stuff) but I found its monotonous/cheap aesthetic weirdly endearing; the sets and costumes are gold, the lighting is golden, some of the superpowers are fiery gold, and these Gods even bleed gold! This is not a recommendation so much as a "if you're in the mood for it" which I, surprisingly, was. It's a blockbuster dumb as Brenton Thwaites is twink pretty, but it just can't help itself.

Grade: C-/D+
Oscar Chances: Teehee. not even if 2016 ended today with only 40ish movies to choose from. 

Friday
Oct242014

Scandinavians in London: New Films From Those 'Royal Affair' Lovers

A couple more reports from London and Chicago festivals heading your way. Here's David on three new films starring either Alicia Vikander or Mads Mikkelsen, who formerly sizzled together in Denmark's recent Oscar nominee "A Royal Affair" - Editor

Alicia Vikander

That Testament of Youth was made the Centrepiece Gala at the festival seems, sight unseen, predictable: supported by the Mayor of London, the Gala slot is one of the few that really demonstrates the festival's support of homegrown cinema, and the story told here is as British as you can get. 2014 marks the centenary of World War I, and with it comes this adaptation of Vera Brittain's iconic memoir. James Kent's film keeps his focus to the period of the war itself, beginning at its end; Vera (Alicia Vikander) looks oddly distraught amidst the celebrating crowds packing London's streets. Testament of Youth is a compassionate reminder of the emotional and physical toll of war on a whole nation - which is what Brittain's memoir proved too, in 1933, not long before the second, more devastating war hit.

Kit Harington and VikanderWhile the film is impeccably upholstered, with Consolata Boyle's costumes and Robert Hardy's photography particularly impeccable, it's the character work that makes Testament of Youth such an involving experience, especially through the veil of a 'period' film. Vikander is quite simply luminous, but the camera is drawn as much to the stubborn, robust manner she gives Brittain as much as it is the softer romanticism of the character's winsome independence. The film is decorated with familiar faces giving sturdy turns along the way: Miranda Richardson, Dominic West, Emily Watson and Hayley Atwell all have their striking moments.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug152014

Review: The Giver

Hey, folks. Michael Cusumano here fresh from having Jeff Bridges impart the wonders of humanity directly into my brain.

It’s an amusing irony that Phillip Noyce’s film of Lois Lowry’s beloved middle-school staple The Giver feels like an afterthought following the recent glut of Young Adult adaptations. It was Lowry’s vision of dystopia which helped launch the army of teenage Chosen Ones currently clogging multiplexes nationwide. Now, not only is The Giver late to the party, but the richly imagined worlds of Lowry’s literary descendants have left her story feeling undercooked. I can’t imagine teenage audiences who have spent the past few years steeped in the sprawling, detailed insanity of Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games books will be rapt with attention watching Jeff Bridges shambling around his library, triggering the occasional lame stock footage montage meant to portray humanity in all its myriad wonders.

Noyce’s film version might have had a fighting shot if it had tapped into the elemental power of the story’s spare allegory, but alas, even with a plotline of this simplicity, The Giver can’t make the pieces fit. The logic begins to fall apart right from the opening narration. We are told that this is a society where all the highs and lows of humanity have been wiped away and people live in a serene state of medicated blankness. Everyone strolls around grinning like they lost a fight with a body snatcher. We meet our hero Jonas (Brenton Thwaites, a monument to blandness) on the day of the great Ceremony where he and his two equally personality-free friends are to receive their lifetime job assignments. Yet no sooner does the narration tell us that this world is free from competition and envy than we hear the trio chatting about how they hope they get a great job, crossing their fingers that they don’t get put on the janitorial staff. Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t this indicate that they are A) competitive and B) envious.

Get used to this confusion...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug102014

Son of a Gun. Brenton Thwaites, Anyone?

Here's a new movie poster for Son of a Gun (which will be released by A24 at some point) starring our beloved Ewan McGregor as a notorious criminal and rising star Brenton Thwaites as his young protege.

The protege is expected to help his mentor escape from prison.

A happy belated to Brenton who turned 25 yesterday! He leads The Giver next weekend (albeit with ample support from not one but two legends: Bridges & Streep) which is his fourth release already this year... so basically he's this year's version of Male Australian Hollywood is Trying To Make Happen. Australia is just relentless at hogging the male starring roles, yes?  I have the sneaking suspicion he's going to be like the boy version of Alison Lohman and his age will be impossible to pin down onscreen for decades to come and maybe he'll play teenagers when he's 40? You'd think it would be creepy for a 25 year old to play 16 year old Elle Fanning's love interest in Maleficent but he didn't look a day over his 16th birthday in that, right? I once saw an interview with him where he claimed that The Blue Lagoon (1980), a movie he was then remaking, was "a hundred years old" which annoyed me in the highly specific way only smug teenage  'I know nothing of the past and I'm proud of it!' comments can. That movie is only 9 years older than he is so I guess he's 91.

But that's quite a tangent.

What I meant to say was that I find it interesting that young male stars often rise up through this movie phase of being "mentored" in one way or another onscreen by an older famous star  (Cruise and DiCaprio did that, Brad Pitt did that spiritually with Robert Redford directing him who he was then often compared to, Jai Courtney is in the process of doing that with Bruce Willis and Russell Crowe, etcetera) like a sort of box office insurance policy in case they can't cut it since the older star will still draw crowds. Young female stars don't regularly have that phase usually just leading movies straightaway or co-starring with men instead of other women. Anne Hathaway is a notable exception given that her Princess Diaries and Prada film-carrying/star-making gigs would fit perfectly within this typically male star-building formula. Except that her vehicles were about make-overs... but let's not split hairs.