For us, the best part and the most treasured and brilliant aspect of the Madagascar movies is those perky penguins. That’s why it is with utter thrill that we recommend wholeheartedly that audiences dive into the madcap world of Penguins of Madagascar.
Skipper, Rico, Kowalski and Private are back and as the film begins, we meet them in Antarctica as little pups. Immediately they strike us as independent and adventurous in nature. They don’t fit in with the rest of the “March of the Penguins” crowd. Through a series of mishaps (one involves how they meet Private) — they discover that a life of being an “elite team” is for them… far from their kind.
We fast forward to one of the closing scenes (that can be seen when you watch Madagascar 3 online) of the last film we saw them in. They are busting out of that circus and heading to break into Fort Knox for a little birthday treat for Private. It is there that they run into Classified (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his North Wind team of animal super agents who will give Skipper and his crew a run for their high adventure money.
Tue Nov 25 18:41:00 EST 2014
Despite having a late December bow in Australia, Russell Crowe’s directorial fiction debut won’t arrive stateside until next spring, therefore missing this year’s awards race completely. But that doesn’t mean the buzz can’t start early. A couple of months ago saw our first look at Crowe’s “The Water Diviner,” and now two new clips from the film have hit the internet.
Set in 1919, Crowe’s film centers on an Australian man who travels to Turkey to search for his missing sons, one of whom was reported missing in action. The two clips run a total of roughly two-minutes-and-a-half and feature Crowe as the worried patriarch, a mustached Jai Courtney, and a wicked dust storm.
When the producers of the James Bond franchise decided to go in a different direction and hired Daniel Craig, we felt that the previous actor who was 007 was not quite ready to go. That became clear in our The November Man Pierce Brosnan exclusive interview and judging by the film that is out now on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download, he is years away from being “too old” for the cinematic spy game.
Brosnan is Peter Devereaux, a retired spy who gets pulled back into the game when someone he loves needs his help in Russia. As you can see from The November Man trailer (and as these things often are in spy movies), things are not what they seem and before he can blink, he’s in over his head and fighting for his life.
Tue Nov 25 19:08:00 EST 2014
Jeremy Xido’s “Death Metal Angola” is being considered by many who’ve seen it to be a serious Best Documentary contender in the Oscar race this year and it’s not hard to see why. Xido’s doc – which examines the death metal subculture that emerged from the war-torn streets of Angola, a republic that is still reeling and rebuilding after a civil war that lasted twenty-seven years – is ultimately an affirming testament to the power of an art form that will ultimately unite and solidify a fractured culture. Given that the art form in question is death metal – that allegedly “dangerous” kind of hard-rock music that Joe Lieberman warned us about, the kind characterized by chugging, down-tuned guitars, Cookie Monster vocals and assaultive drums that sound like aural air raids – it’s a curious prospect, but it turns out to be an immensely rewarding one. “Death Metal Angola” is deeply involving and, in its own way, completely and refreshingly unusual. The film gains traction through its deft perception of how primal, some say violent, music ultimately serves as an outlet for conflicted notions of national identity. The kids in this film may be proud of their heritage, but there are also atrocities in the past of their homeland that simply cannot be ignored. Xido’s film, in spite of openly addressing heated political issues and casting an unsparing eye to the serious poverty of Huambo, Angola’s capitol city, is ultimately a stirring, broken-mirror reflection of a part of the world often and unfairly neglected, and also a celebration of music and its power to heal the wounds of an entire culture.
But wait, I’m sure some of you are saying. Death metal? The power to heal? I’m aware that it may sound incongruous to the uninitiated. To this reviewer, at the age of thirteen, nothing was cooler than death metal. It was the ultimate rebuke to authority, the most extreme form of rebellion. I even cut the sleeves off one of my childhood denim jackets and ended up drawing some truly unholy shit on the back with a sharpie marker (I wanted it to look like my favorite Cannibal Corpse album cover). The lyrics of the bands I listened to were the kind of stuff that gives parents nightmares for weeks: murder, death, hell, deviant sexuality, murder, godlessness, the devil (of course) and did I mention murder? My folks were understandably concerned. And yet the lyrics of the songs played in “Death Metal Angola” – the tunes themselves are as sonically brutal as any American death metal you’ll ever hear – are rousing and politically conscious, the kind of call-to-arms one usually associates with straight-edge punk. The musicians themselves, when interviewed, are friendly, goofy kids with ear-to-ear smiles. They exude a sort of jocular playfulness that is miles away from the stereotypical blueprint of death metal-heads as anti-social weirdoes. It’s a refreshing reminder of the healthy gap between the art and the artist: the idea that these smart, gifted young people are exercising a healthy aggression that in no way reflects some kind of tortured inner state. And yet, that is not to suggest that the songs in the film are without their fair share of righteous fury: while there’s little talk of bodily dismemberment, there are songs committed to describing the “blood in the streets” and of course, plenty of hellacious riffage. The socially motivated anger behind these songs – the idea that the emotional turmoil that fuels the best of this kind of music arose from deep-seated social and political upheaval – is hardly accidental. The members of the film’s featured bands (Before Crush primarily, but also Black Soul, Neblina and others) are young and full of energy, but they are far from apathetic. This film is the story of how their concerted efforts almost turned Huambo around completely.
Ridley Scott is currently chatting up his Exodus: Gods and Kings. But, given that he has a few projects on the horizon that have high interest, questions will surely come his way. He is planning to get to work on Prometheus 2 soon, and for fans of his work a sequel to Blade Runner has to be high on the anticipation meter.
But, in an interview with Variety, the 76-year-old director admitted that he is heavily involved in Blade Runner 2, but will not be directing it. But the first film’s star — Harrison Ford – will appear.
Tue Nov 25 10:16:56 EST 2014
It’s hard to imagine a movie less deserving of a high profile follow-up than “Horrible Bosses,” the inert 2012 comedy that saw a trio of bumbling goofballs (Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman and Charlie Day) plot the separate murders of their abominable employers (Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Aniston and Colin Farrell). “Horrible Bosses” thought it was edgy and provocative, but it was safe and predictable and without merit. And yet, it earned a respectable enough box office that a sequel was quickly commissioned, without much of the creative team that made it such a success in the first place and, whether or not anyone really asked for it, “Horrible Bosses 2” is here. The fact that the sequel is a messy, dull, instantly forgettable trifle somehow makes it the perfect follow-up to the original — it’s just as horrible.
As the sequel opens, the victims of the horrible bosses have themselves become bosses, leading an entrepreneurial charge to get their Shower Buddy device (a shampoo dispenser/shower head combo) to the masses via awkward morning talk show appearances (where, of course, the guys end up simulating fellatio like something out of a lesser “Austin Powers” sequel) and appealing to Bert and Rex Hanson, a pair of slick, father-and-son moguls (played, with an admitted amount of impish glee, by Christoph Waltz and Chris Pine). When their business deal goes south, the would-be criminals hatch a harebrained scheme to kidnap Rex and extort Bert for the amount of money they’re losing on their business. The “twist,” given away months ago in a series of overly explanatory marketing materials, is that Rex wants to be kidnapped and exert his own scheme against his father.
Pop superstar Rihanna made a big splash in Battleship, and now she is getting all sorts of animated for the latest from DreamWorks Animation, Home. We headed to the studio’s campus (where they’ve made everything from Shrek to Kung Fu Panda) in Glendale, California and were treated to almost 20 minutes of footage from the film and a chance to chat with the film’s stars, including Ri-Ri!
More on our chats with Jim Parsons and Steve Martin later in the week — but, first we wanted to know what it was about Home that compelled Rihanna to take time out of her busy music career to record her voice for an animated film. It turns out, Rihanna deeply identified with her character Tip.