Russell Crowe

The Nice Guys Review Upodcast

Releasing this week in the UK, The Nice Guys stars Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe in a retro 70’s buddy action comedy like they used to make when Shai Hussain, our guest of this week, and I used to be a young men. Does Shane Black capture some of the magic of movies like Another 48 hours and Lethal Weapon?  Will the movie be able to find an audience squeezed between superhero franchises?

All that and more (like the guys that would make Shai question his sexuality) in this week’s episode of Upodcast.

Here’s the trailer and synopsis:

“The Nice Guys” takes place in 1970s Los Angeles, when down-on-his-luck private eye Holland March (Gosling) and hired enforcer Jackson Healy (Crowe) must work together to solve the case of a missing girl and the seemingly unrelated death of a porn star. During their investigation, they uncover a shocking conspiracy that reaches up to the highest circles of power.”

In UK Cinemas June 3, 2016

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A New York Winter’s Tale: 2 new trailers

Right in time for V-day we have a dreamy, magical love story to defy our yearly cynism. Come on people, it’s once a year, get over it!

A New York Winter’s Tale (quite the horrible title) hits cinemas February 21st. starring Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Russell Crowe and Jennifer Connelly.

I must admit being a sucker for these kind of movies and the trailer does look interesting even with Russel Crowe’s outrageous accent, which makes it seem like he didn’t let go of Les Miserables.

Have a look and let us know what you think!

Set in a mythic New York City and spanning more than a century, “A New York Winter’s Tale” is a story of miracles, crossed destinies, and the age-old battle between good and evil. The film stars Colin Farrell (“Total Recall”), Jessica Brown Findlay (TV’s “Downton Abbey”), and Oscar® winners Jennifer Connelly (“A Beautiful Mind”), William Hurt (“Kiss of the Spider Woman”), Eva Marie Saint (“On the Waterfront”) and Russell Crowe (“Gladiator”).  “Winter’s Tale” also introduces young newcomers Ripley Sobo and Mckayla Twiggs (both from Broadway’s “Once”).

The film marks the directorial debut of Academy Award®-winning screenwriter Akiva Goldsman (“A Beautiful Mind”), who also wrote the screenplay, based on the acclaimed novel by Mark Helprin. Goldsman is also producing the film with Marc Platt (“Drive”), Michael Tadross (“Sherlock Holmes”) and Tony Allard (Showtime’s “The Baby Dance”).  The executive producers are Kerry Foster and Bruce Berman.

The behind-the-scenes creative team includes five-time Oscar®-nominated director of photography Caleb Deschanel (“The Passion of the Christ,” “The Patriot”), production designer Naomi Shohan (“Constantine,” “I Am Legend”), costume designer Michael Kaplan (“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol,” “Star Trek”) and editors Wayne Wahrman (“I Am Legend”) and Oscar® nominee Tim Squyres (“Life of Pi,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”).  The music is composed by Oscar® winner Hans Zimmer (“The Lion King,” “Inception,” “Man of Steel”).

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Noah Trailer: It’s about to get Biblical!

It truly has been a long wait for Darren Aronofsky to follow up his critically acclaimed Black Swan, but now that the trailer for Noah starring Russel Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins and Logan Lerman is out, we can clearly see where all the hard work has gone into.

Darren Arronofsky wrote the screenplay together with Ari Handel his collaborator for Black Swan and The Fountain.

the story is pretty clear although there are a lot of elements in the trailer that give the scope of the world they have created:

Here is the trailer and the teaser poster:

Noah, a man chosen by God for a great task before an apocalyptic flood destroys the world.


NOAH is set for UK release on 28 March 2014.



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Review: Point Blank (A Bout Portant)

I have no idea why the producers of A Bout Portant chose to give this French thriller, directed by Fred Cavaye and starring Giles Lelouche, Gerard Lanvin and Roschdy Zem, the same name as the classic John BoormanLee Marvin 1967 film noir but there must be some marketing genius that got a promotion out of it, so who am I to complain about it.

We start off with a very impressive bike crash (the opposite of Meet Joe Black’s car accident) in the tunnels of Paris where a wounded man, bank robber Hugo Sartet (Roschdy Zem), is brought into the ward of Samuel Pierret (Gilles Lelouche) a nurse in training with a lovely 7.5 month pregnant Spanish wife Nadia (played by Elena Anaya known from Sex and Lucia , Mesrine and Van Helsing) . After rescuing the wounded man from an assassination attempt and in the midst of bragging about it in the morning, he is knocked out and his wife is kidnapped. When he wakes up by the sound a ringing cell phone he hears a crying Nadia and a simple message: Bring the man you saved to us and your wife will be returned to you.

From the outset the stakes are set unbelievably high, just having a pregnant women crying in a cold storage room gives viewers the Heebie-jeebies and the movies pace is relentless with some a very cold and realistic cinematography. Although not related but after seeing last year’s “Ne le Dit a Personne” (Tell No One, soon to be remade by Ben Affleck… and there was much rejoicing) these kind of pulpy French thrillers have definitely been on my radar.

Where Gilles Lelouche had a small but pivotal role in “Tell No One” where he was playing a gangster/ hustler, here he plays just an everyman that bleeds, cries and pukes. He really sells you on the sense of desperation straight from the kidnapping scene. It’s the complete opposite of the cell phone scene with Liam Neeson in Taken. Where that scene left the audience fist bumping “Fuck Yeah”, here Gilles really sells us his helplessness but also his resolve to do anything to find his wife.

The performances by all the cast are great and I have to give a special mention to Elena Anaya who just has the cutest accent when speaking French, maybe something non-native speakers won’t catch but I am sure her performance will win you over and feel protective of her.

I am trying to be careful of spoilers but knowing French cinema conventions and general disdain for the police force, you can pretty much figure out the twist and turns but the action is so fast paced that you are fully engaged with the movies. Director Fred Cavayé‘s approach has a good balance of familiar thriller tropes combined with that Gaelic “I don’t know what” and like his previous movie Pour Elle which was remade by Paul Haggis with Russel Crowe and Elizabeth Banks, A Bout Portant is ready to be remade by Hollywood too, I hope it does get a better treatment at the box office then “The Next Three Days” did (as it was a pretty good movie that was completely neglected by general audiences).

Nothing ground breaking but if you are in the mood for a decent thriller you can definitely not go wrong with A Bout Portant.


Here is the trailer:

A Bout Portant is now out on Blu Ray and DVD in France.

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