(Photo by Buena Vista/ courtesy Everett Collection)
All Diane Lane Movies Ranked by Tomatometer
Diane Lane has been leading films since age 14, when she debuted in 1979’s first-love story A Little Romance. In the ’80s, she brought New Wave to the big screen with hip, unusual musicals Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains, and Streets of Fire, along with collaborating with Francis Ford Coppola in Rumble Fish and The Outsiders.
In the ’90s and early 2000s, Lane appeared in a variety of big productions, including Chaplin, Judge Dredd, Jack, and The Perfect Storm, pulling her away from leading roles. That changed with 2002’s Unfaithful, the erotic sizzler with Richard Gere for which she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar. This led to a mid-career blossoming as romantic lead, with films like Under the Tuscan Sun, Must Love Dogs, and Nights in Rodanthe.
Since then, Lane’s movies have been among the most critically acclaimed of her career, including Certified Fresh marks for Inside Out, Trumbo, and her latest, Let Him Go, opposite Kevin Costner. She’s also been Ma Kent in the DC Extended Universe since 2013’s Man of Steel, helping guarantee we’d never hear the name Martha the same way again. And now we look back on all Diane Lane movies ranked by Tomatometer!
Critics Consensus:Justice League leaps over a number of DC movies, but its single bound isn't enough to shed the murky aesthetic, thin characters, and chaotic action that continue to dog the franchise.
Synopsis: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists newfound ally Diana Prince... [More]
Critics Consensus: While the special effects are well done and quite impressive, this film suffers from any actual drama or characterization. The end result is a film that offers nifty eye-candy and nothing else.
Synopsis: Based on a true story, the film tells of the courageous men and women who risk their lives every working... [More]
Critics Consensus:Chaplin boasts a terrific performance from Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role, but it isn't enough to overcome a formulaic biopic that pales in comparison to its subject's classic films.
Synopsis: Re-creation of the life of comic genius Charlie Chaplin, from his humble beginnings in south London through his early days... [More]
Critics Consensus:Cinema Verite is a disappointingly incurious dive into the birth of reality television, but terrific performances and the inherent intrigue behind the making of An American Family keep this drama compelling.
Synopsis: In the 1970s Bill Loud (Tim Robbins) and his wife, Pat (Diane Lane), allow cameras to film their personal lives... [More]
Critics Consensus:Trumbo serves as an honorable and well-acted tribute to a brilliant writer's principled stand, even if it doesn't quite achieve the greatness of its subject's own classic screenplays.
Synopsis: In 1947, successful screenwriter Dalton Trumbo (Bryan Cranston) and other Hollywood figures get blacklisted for their political beliefs.... [More]
(Photo by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection)
All Samuel L. Jackson Movies Ranked
After a number of character parts and bit roles in a swath of urban dramas at the start of his career, Jackson made his breakthrough statement as the fiery voice of reason in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing: DJ Mister Señor Love Daddy. Pulling off a character with a name like that should only lead to more success, and sure enough, then came the slapstick comedy (Loaded Weapon 1), a disarming role in Jurassic Park, and the ultimate ’90s character: hitman Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction.
From there, Jackson has only cemented his rep as Hollywood’s versatile king of volatile cool, partnering with John McClane (Die Hard With a Vengeance), feelin’ the Force in the Star Wars prequels, starring as the sexy spawn of Shaft, and making his mark in original meme movie Snakes on a Plane.
And as, of course, the linchpin of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Nick Fury, whose movie appearances (brief or significant) are all included here in the greater interest of the general public, i.e. you’re going to complain if we didn’t. With that said, hold on to your butts for Samuel L. Jackson movies ranked by Tomatometer!
Critics Consensus:xXx: Return of Xander Cage should satisfy fans of the first two installments, but its preponderance of set pieces can't quite make up for a tired storyline that fails to take the franchise -- or action fans -- anywhere new.
Synopsis: After coming out of self-imposed exile, daredevil operative Xander Cage (Vin Diesel) must race against time to recover a sinister... [More]
Critics Consensus: It has an endearing lack of seriousness, and Vin Diesel has more than enough muscle for the starring role, but ultimately, XXX is a missed opportunity to breathe new life into the spy thriller genre.
Synopsis: Vin Diesel stars as former extreme sports athlete Xander "XXX" Cage, notorious for his death-defying public stunts. Betting he can... [More]
Critics Consensus:Die Hard with a Vengeance benefits from Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson's barbed interplay, but clatters to a bombastic finish in a vain effort to cover for an overall lack of fresh ideas.
Synopsis: Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) is now divorced, alcoholic and jobless after getting fired for his reckless behavior and bad... [More]
Critics Consensus:Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones benefits from an increased emphasis on thrilling action, although they're once again undercut by ponderous plot points and underdeveloped characters.
Synopsis: Set ten years after the events of "The Phantom Menace," the Republic continues to be mired in strife and chaos.... [More]
Critics Consensus: It's nowhere near as inventive as its off-the-wall premise might suggest, but Turbo boasts just enough colorful visual thrills and sharp voice acting to recommend as undemanding family-friendly fare.
Synopsis: Turbo (Ryan Reynolds) is a speed-obsessed snail with an unusual dream: to become the world's greatest racer. This odd snail... [More]
Critics Consensus: With a weaker ending, Unbreakable is not as a good as The Sixth Sense. However, it is a quietly suspenseful film that intrigues and engages, taking the audience through unpredictable twists and turns along the way.
Synopsis: David Dunn (Bruce Willis) is the sole survivor of a devastating train wreck. Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) is a... [More]
Critics Consensus:Mo' Better Blues is rich with vibrant hues and Denzel Washington's impassioned performance, although its straightforward telling lacks the political punch fans expect from a Spike Lee joint.
Synopsis: Financially irresponsible Giant (Spike Lee) manages a jazz group, but his sax player, Shadow (Wesley Snipes), wants to replace him... [More]
Critics Consensus:The Negotiator's battle of wits doesn't wholly justify its excessive length, but confident direction by F. Gary Gray and formidable performances makes this a situation audiences won't mind being hostage to.
Synopsis: Danny Roman (Samuel L. Jackson) is considered the best police hostage negotiator in Chicago. After a friend warns him that... [More]
Critics Consensus:The Hateful Eight offers another well-aimed round from Quentin Tarantino's signature blend of action, humor, and over-the-top violence -- all while demonstrating an even stronger grip on his filmmaking craft.
Synopsis: While racing toward the town of Red Rock in post-Civil War Wyoming, bounty hunter John "The Hangman" Ruth (Kurt Russell)... [More]
Critics Consensus: Offering exhilarating eye candy, solid acting, and a fast-paced story, Kong: Skull Island earns its spot in the movie monster's mythos without ever matching up to the classic original.
Synopsis: Scientists, soldiers and adventurers unite to explore a mythical, uncharted island in the Pacific Ocean. Cut off from everything they... [More]
Critics Consensus: Exuberant and eye-popping, Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as an overstuffed but mostly satisfying sequel, reuniting its predecessor's unwieldy cast with a few new additions and a worthy foe.
Synopsis: When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jump-starts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth),... [More]
Critics Consensus:Big Game's enthusiastic throwback vibe will appeal to fans of low-budget '80s action movies, but co-writer/director Jalmari Helander adds a level of smarts and skill that make it more than just an homage.
Synopsis: The U.S. president (Samuel L. Jackson) must rely on a 13-year-old boy (Onni Tommila) to get him out alive after... [More]
Critics Consensus: Though it occasionally veers into unnecessary melodrama, Mother and Child benefits from a stellar cast and writer-director Rodrigo Garcia's finely detailed, bravely unsentimental script.
Synopsis: The lives of three women have a commonality: adoption. Karen (Annette Bening) is a physical therapist who regrets that, as... [More]
Critics Consensus: A clever parody of cop-buddy action-comedies, The Other Guys delivers several impressive action set pieces and lots of big laughs, thanks to the assured comic chemistry between Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg.
Synopsis: Unlike their heroic counterparts on the force, desk-bound NYPD detectives Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) garner no headlines... [More]
Critics Consensus:Eve's Bayou marks a striking feature debut for director Kasi Lemmons, layering terrific performances and Southern mysticism into a measured meditation on disillusionment and forgiveness.
Synopsis: Over the course of a long, hot Louisiana summer, a 10-year-old black girl, Eve Batiste (Jurnee Smollett), discovers that her... [More]
Critics Consensus:Chi-Raq is as urgently topical and satisfyingly ambitious as it is wildly uneven -- and it contains some of Spike Lee's smartest, sharpest, and all-around entertaining late-period work.
Synopsis: The girlfriend (Teyonah Parris) of a Chicago gang leader (Nick Cannon) persuades other frustrated women to abstain from sex until... [More]
Critics Consensus:Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet --... [More]
Before she became ambassador for vegetarian vampire-and-werewolf relations in the late 2000s, Kristen Stewart had already built a steady career transitioning from child actor roles and into young adulthood. First, she starred in David Fincher’s efficient potboiler Panic Room, then went into space with with Jumanji cinematic universe-adjacent Zathura (directed by pre-Iron Man Jon Faverau), and helped guide a wayward traveler in Into the Wild.
Of course, that all seems like pre-history in the wake of Twilight, the romantic fantasy phenomenon that would make unlikely tabloid stars out of Stewart and Robert Pattinson for years to come. Five Twilight movies released annually for a half-decade, and whatever the benefits of becoming household names through them, there was also the very real threat of a post-career forever in the shadow of the vampire.
Stewart responded, much like Pattinson, by going indie, as she racked up impressive performances in the likes of Still Alice, Personal Shopper, Clouds of Sils Maria, and Certain Women, working with big arthouse names like Olivier Assayas and Kelly Reichardt. She also completed her unofficial “Co-Starring Jesse Eisenberg” trilogy that started with Adventureland, following through with American Ultra and Cafe Society.
Even Stewart’s approach towards mainstream filmmaking come packaged with feminist or revisionist touches, like Charlie’s Angels or Snow White and the Huntsman. She took a dive in Underwater, and ended 2020 on a Happiest Season. And now we’re ranking all her movies by Tomatometer!
Critics Consensus:The Twilight Saga's second installment may satisfy hardcore fans of the series, but outsiders are likely to be turned off by its slow pace, relentlessly downcast tone, and excessive length.
Synopsis: After the abrupt departure of Edward (Robert Pattinson), her vampire love, Bella (Kristen Stewart) finds comfort in her deepening friendship... [More]
Critics Consensus: Small and intimate -- occasionally to a fault -- The Yellow Handkerchief rises above its overly familiar ingredients thanks to riveting performances from William Hurt and Kristen Stewart.
Synopsis: Former con man Brett Hanson (William Hurt) is imprisoned for six years before finally being released on parole. Now he... [More]
Critics Consensus: Viewers expecting an in-depth biopic will be disappointed, but The Runaways is as electric as the band's music, largely thanks to strong performances from Michael Shannon, Dakota Fanning, and Kristen Stewart.
Synopsis: Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning), two rebellious teenagers from Southern California, become the frontwomen for the... [More]
Filmmaker Doug Liman, who wowed audiences with high-octane action films The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Edge of Tomorrow, is equally admired for the storytelling behind his spectacle and in his more moderately paced fare like Swingers, Go, and American Made.
His latest offering, YouTube Premium series Impulse, marries both in a drama that explores personal discovery, trauma, and family bonds. And teleportation.
Maddie Hasson (Twisted) stars as delinquent teen Henrietta Cole in the sci-fi series. When Henry is assaulted by her classmate Clay Boone (Tanner Stine), her deepest instincts kick in, and she flees by inadvertently bending space and time in a violent blink, landing in her bedroom.
(Photo by Erin Keating)
Discovering your superpowers is never an easy journey — ask Peter Parker or Clark Kent. But Henry’s path is even darker and more visceral than some of those fumbling-adolescent tales.
Based on the novel by Stephen Gould, Impulse comes after Liman’s 2008 feature film Jumper, based on the first book in the series and starring Hayden Christensen and Jamie Bell. The film disappointed, which Liman admits, but 10-episode Impulse is different in some fundamental ways.
The series, which debuted on Wednesday, also stars Sarah Desjardins as Henry’s stepsister-to-be Jenna Hope, Enuka Okuma as Deputy Anne Hulce, Craig Arnold as Clay’s brother Lucas Boone, Missi Pyle as Henry’s mom Cleo Cole, and Daniel Maslany as Henry’s biggest fan Townes Linderman.
Rotten Tomatoes spoke to Liman about the new series, his remarkable leading lady, and how he finds inspiration in real-world action sequences YouTube users post.
(Photo by Erin Keating)
Debbie Day for Rotten Tomatoes: I’m so glad to talk to you about Impulse. It was not quite what I was expecting.
Doug Liman: Good. That’s the best. I’d much prefer to hear that than the other.
RT: I was most surprised by Maddie’s performance. She’s incredible. Could you tell me about casting her?
Liman: We were holding auditions for the protagonist, the heroine, Henry. Maddie came in and just lit up the room. We all turned to each other and said, “She’s a huge star.” I said, “Too bad she’s not right for the part.” My producing partner said, “But she’s so amazing.” I said, “Yeah, she’s amazing, but she’s the opposite of what we’re looking for.” I said, “If I cast her, I really would insist on rewriting the whole show to make the protagonist somebody who doesn’t want to be there, who is rebellious, who is — I’d want to change how the superpower is portrayed in the show.” Because the original idea is somebody who desperately wants to belong and be part of the town, and her superpower keeps sending her away. I said, “If we cast her, I’d want to turn it on its head and rewrite the whole script and make it about somebody who doesn’t want to be there and gets the power that keeps sending her back home. She wants to be anywhere but home.” As I’m saying it out loud, we’re looking at each other. We’re going, “You know, actually, that would be a better show.” We cast her and then reconceived the whole show around her and what she brought.
(Photo by Erin Keating)
RT: It’s not too often that you hear about an actor having such an impact on an entire story.
Liman: I’ve always believed in some level of workshopping the part to fit the actor. It’s a two-way street. Sometimes my favorite performances, you realize those couldn’t have been just written in vacuum. They had to have been conceived in conjunction with the actor performing it. Certainly, that’s been my experience. Jason Bourne is a very different character because of the workshopping that Matt [Damon] and I did than was originally on the page.
Never have I done such a wholesale reconceiving of the DNA of a show around one actor. Literally. It changed how I portrayed the superpower, because then suddenly it was going to be a curse. Instead of sending her out into the world, it was going to keep sending her home. It was just way more interesting. That’s what a great collaboration between a filmmaker and a star can do.
You arrive at something really unexpected. That’s why when you said, “It wasn’t what I expected” — I don’t care if you hated it or loved it. I actually do care, because I really care about my audience, but I care most that it was not expected. What I’m aiming for as a filmmaker is unexpected and entertaining, because a lot of times, it’s unexpected. You’re like, “Yeah, it was unexpected, but the expected is better.” Clichés are clichés for a reason because they work. Any time you deviate from the cliché, yeah, you give the audience unexpected, but sometimes you have to work extra hard to deliver unexpected and great.
RT: Can you tell me about the dotted line between Jumper and Impulse, how the show came about, and what its ties are to the film?
Liman: It’s no secret that, of all my films, Jumper‘s the one that I harbor some creative regrets, feel like I could have done better. That’s something that’s hung over me. It dawned on me that rather than live with that regret, why not actually just go and try to do better? I went to secure the rights to a sequel novel. All these years later, with everything I’ve learned, I set out to create a superhero world that is unexpected, smart, grounded, exciting. Even despite all that, I still didn’t figure it out until I cast Maddie Hasson. Despite having all these big illusions about, “Yeah, I can do better,” the reality was until I cast Maddie, what I was going to make probably wasn’t going to be substantially better. It was that collaboration that was the missing ingredient for me. If you look back at my movies, it’s just that I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with exactly the right person.
Swingers: Only Vince Vaughn can make the character of Trent appealing. In anyone else’s hands, he just would have been an asshole. Only Matt Damon could really make you root for Jason Bourne despite his really dark past. That to me is the connection.
The other thing is that because it has been done independently, there were certain restrictions on me because it’s not done by the same people who did Jumper. It made people a little nervous that I’m the same filmmaker and that maybe I would inadvertently copy something I did in Jumper and infringe upon Fox’s copyright on the movie. It actually put me in exactly the situation I wanted to be in, which was people around me saying, “Push yourself and do something different and unexpected.”
Just look at how we portray teleportation between the movie and the series, because that was one of the things where I was told, “You can’t make it look like it looks in the movie.” My response to that was to come up with something that is so much more interesting, which is that it’s destructive to the people around you. As a result of that, the first time she teleports, she gravely wounds Clay Boone, the star of the high school basketball team. Suddenly, you have that story line running through the series that she can hurt people with this power. It makes sense that any time you’re learning to do anything, you’re kind of sloppy. Why wouldn’t the first time you teleport, why wouldn’t it be sloppy?
(Photo by Erin Keating)
RT: When I got to the very last episode of the season, I honestly had the response, “Is that it?” because I wanted to see more immediately.
Liman: So do I, especially in the hands of writer Lauren LeFranc, because I directed the pilot. As I said, when we cast Maddie, we had a looming start date to start shooting. I wanted to reconceive the show and brought in Gary Spinelli, who wrote American Made, who’d never worked in television before, to be in the trenches with me, because we’re reconceiving basically as we’re prepping to shoot. Lauren LeFranc came in to write the series. What was amazing about her is that scripts would come in, and I’d get to the end of the script and be like, “Oh my god. I can’t wait for the next script. I can’t wait to see what happens.” In that case, I had to wait a few weeks because they had to write it.
RT: How did YouTube come to be the show’s home?
Liman: I casually mentioned it to [YouTube Global Head of Original Programming] Susanne Daniels that I’d recently gotten the rights to the book and wanted to develop it as a TV series. Susanne said, “We’re starting a new channel here. We’ll buy it.” I wasn’t even pitching it. It was just like, “Uh,” because normally when I sell a TV show, it’s a whole process with a writer, and pitch out a whole season. This was one of these crazy situations where she said, “You, this world, we’re in.” I called my producing partner, and I was like, “I think I just sold a TV show without — I didn’t mean to.”
Then I thought, “OK, do we want to sell it to YouTube?” I hadn’t gone anywhere else yet. When I talk about myself in interviews, I often talk about myself as being the independent filmmaker in the studio system. There’s no question I’m in the studio system. I live in New York, but I make Hollywood movies. I make commercial TV shows, but I bring an independent ethos to it, kind of a rebellious independent film ethos. Sometimes, I even bring independent film techniques to filming, and run and steal shots. My characters are more anti-heroic than your traditional Hollywood fare. My worlds tend to be a little more grounded — even when they’re high-concept, whether the world’s more grounded or the characters are more grounded, certainly they’re flawed.
A lot of these traits that you see in independent films, and my whole attitude, my rebellious attitude as a filmmaker that makes me a little hard for studios to control, is that I’m happy making independent films. I don’t operate from a place of fear that if I piss off the studios, I won’t work again, because I’d be happy to go back to making independent films. I don’t need them. That makes me very hard to control. I come from this independent-film attitude.
When I thought about Impulse, I thought, “At YouTube? It makes perfect sense that I go make something at YouTube, because YouTube is nothing but independent filmmakers.” In fact, all of the qualities that YouTube stands for are qualities that I myself as a filmmaker have stood for. I’ve even started referencing YouTube when it comes to my movies; for instance, with action sequences, my new benchmark isn’t what are competing movies doing, but what’s on YouTube because people are doing stunts for real and filming them. I’m like, that’s who we’re competing against. We’re not competing against some CG, computer-generated, clearly fake piece of action in a Marvel film. My style of filmmaking, I’m competing against someone who did some outrageous daredevil stunt on YouTube and filmed it and put it up on YouTube. I want to do something with my films and my action sequences that is equally engaging.
Friday’s Gods of Egypt may have drawn early criticism for its mostly white cast, but moviemakers have always viewed the country with a fantastical bent. From biblical stories to historic archaeological delights to springboards into tall science fiction tales, this week’s 24 Frames takes a look at all that, along with modern and true-to-life depictions of Egypt as it is today.
Jamie Bell: A little bit, because they’re both pretty good actors. I had immense admiration for both of them before starting the movie, and even more so after the movie. The great thing about it was realising that they’re incredibly generous with everything; with their ideas, with their acting, with their ability. They’re the actors who, when you stand in front of them, they elevate your performance without really doing anything. So it was daunting, but immediately I was equal, and immediately there was none of that sort of macho stuff that usually happens on movie sets.
Bell (left) with Daniel Craig in Edward Zwick’s Defiance.
Having had no training in acting prior to Billy Elliot, when you’re on sets like these, do you actively seek out advice from the more experienced actors?
JB: I don’t think it’s ever a direct thing. I don’t ever go, “How would you do this?” or, “How would this happen?” It’s more about studying the way that they approach scenes. We would start scenes and Liev would just go, “Hold on a second,” and walk through the pages. And I would just see how he mentally and intellectually goes through every step and every decision that his character makes. When you see someone who is paying that much attention to detail, you start doing these things yourself. I’ve learnt so much from so many of the fantastic people I’ve managed to work with, and these guys were no different.
JB: I think so. I’ve almost been acting for 10 years, and you’re always striving for longevity. I think that there’s no way of ensuring it; everyone does things differently. I often find the smaller, independent films are much more rewarding than the bigger stuff, but you do the bigger stuff because it’s a business, and you’ve got to show your face a bit, get yourself around. So those sorts of things are often very business-driven decisions.
In last year’s Hallam Foe as the odd title character.
Smaller films tend to be much more intimate character stories, and you get to work with directors who don’t follow any set conventions. I mean, I love Ed Zwick, he’s a fantastic director and I think he manages to blend the intimate with the epic incredibly well. But it’s also fantastic working with people like David Mackenzie [on Hallam Foe] or David Gordon Green [Undertow] who both defy convention. And that’s their whole purpose of being, is that they do things completely differently, which is also refreshing. It challenges you in a different way.
Is there anyone you’d love to work with in the future?
JB: Yeah. I think there’s probably a list every actor carries around with them with the same names on it. But I also like fresh, young, different directors too. I’d love to work with some people again actually. I’d like to reunite with some people and do something different. That idea sounds good to me, you know, the familiarity. But they’re all the same people on the same list!
Do you find being a young British actor in the United States an advantage or disadvantage when it comes to landing roles?
JB: I don’t think it makes that much difference really. People have an idea of who you are, and you’re either right for it or wrong for it. The reason I’m living in New York is because most of the work is in the States. While it’s mostly in Los Angeles, I chose not to live in LA because I just didn’t really vibe with it. New York is much more my kind of place, and it’s also in between LA and London, and I love to come back to England all the time, so it seemed to be the perfect place for me now. But that could definitely change.
In Fox’s big-budget action flick of 2007, Jumper.
Any things you are yet to do that you’d like to?
JB: No. I think most of the decisions that always come up are not really thought about that much. It just comes up, you know, “Do you want to make a movie about a kid who climbs rooftops and wears make-up around his nipples?” It just stems from that, and you go, “Well that sounds interesting, lets look into it.” There’s never a grand master plan of what the next thing is. I just usually wait, and turn a lot of stuff down, until the right thing with the right person comes along.
Would you consider taking a role involving dancing again?
JB: I would definitely never cancel it out as an option, I love dancing, and it’s a massive part of my life. I just haven’t seen the right thing yet. There hasn’t been a really good dancing movie for a while, or at least I haven’t seen it, and it hasn’t come through my desk. But I would love to. I would never cancel that out.
As Billy Elliot in the role which made him famous.
Were you offered more dancing roles after Billy Elliot?
JB: Bizarrely not. It’s hard to incorporate dance into movies I think. I think dance has to be seen live or on stage, and I don’t think it really works in the recorded format. If I was to do it again, I’d love to do one of those old musical movies. I usually hate musicals, but they don’t make them any more, so you’re just waiting for the right thing to come along. Maybe Baz Luhrmann will do something good.
Have you got any advice for any aspiring young actors out there?
JB: There’s no right way to do it. I think everyone does it very differently. I look at my contemporaries, and we’re all at different stages and levels, and all choosing different routes, different ways to do things. But, really, I’m crap at giving advice. I’ve 10 years of people giving me advice, and I still need to receive it. Even though I’ve been working for 10 years, I still have no idea of what the hell I’m doing actually, and that’s the reality of it.
Despite only achieving a measly 55% on the Tomatometer, the first Madagascar film was a huge commercial success, and so paved the way for the inevitable sequel. But does the law of diminishing returns apply to the sequel, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa? Currently standing at a Fresh 62% on the Tomatometer it would seem that the film has bucked the trend, with many critics succumbing to its improved animation and more consistent humour, though most of the scribes agreed the film will please more kids than adults. But hey, this is an animation, with zoo animals as the principal characters, so what did they expect?
Lakeview Terrace tells the story of a young middle class couple who move into a seemingly normal neighbourhood, only to be terrorised by their next door neighbour, who just happens to be the sociopathic racist cop Abel Turner, played with bristling menace by Samuel L Jackson. Released in the US back in September, the film was largely passed over by the critics, resulting in a lowly 44% on the Tomatometer. The films seems to have received a better response here in the UK, with 14 of the 17 reviews collated today being positive, meaning the UK-only Tomatometer rating would have been a much Fresher 82%.
Maybe the hard-hitting portrayal of interracial tension in middle-class Los Angeles was a little too close to the bone for the US critics to take Lakeview Terrace into their hearts? The UK critics all agreed that this was Samuel L Jackson’s best role for some time with Tim Evans of Sky Movies saying, “After multiplex clinkers like Jumper and Cleaner, Lakeview Terrace does give Jackson somewhere to move that actually brings the house down.” The film currently stands at a healthier, but still not Fresh, 49% on the Tomatometer.
With Madagascar 2 outshining its predecessor, does this week’s other sequel (or rather threequel) Transporter 3 also manage to outdo Frank Martin’s previous outings? Well, with each respective Transporter receiving 53%, 50% and now 36% for 3, even Jason Statham cannot save the latest from a Rotten rating, although, critical success is probably not something the makers of this franchise care too much for, as they still seem to make a boatload of cash regardless. The UK critics do love Statham though, with most praising his high octane action sequences and deadpan delivery with Rich Cline of Shadows On The Wall website summing it up by saying:
“Besson and Kamen somehow make a film that’s even dumber than part 2, which really takes some doing. But they’ve still got the superbly watchable Statham at the centre, so the script is fairly irrelevant.”
The Children is a home-grown British horror, in which Christmas holidays turn into a nightmare as all the children become infected with a virus turning them into blood thirsty terrors. The film currently stands at a Fresh 67% on the Tomatometer, with critics praising the chilling tension, killer set-pieces and effective suspense throughout, meaning The Children is worthy addition to the genre, and marks director Tom Shankland out as a future star of the UK film industry.
Quote Of The Week
“Tragedies strike and life lessons are learnt, homespun wisdom is dispensed. It’s simplistic to the point of total idiocy.”
As the latest wave of Obamamania sweeps the country, look forward to HBO’s Recount…or peek into the past with HBO’s John Adams. Also clear your calendar for high-def Top Gun action and get over that crippling shyness with an innovative new DVD from Japan. Whatever you do, make sure you check out this week’s new releases!
What went wrong in the 2000 Presidential election? Perhaps everything — or perhaps nothing, depending on your politics. Either way, HBO’s gripping fictional retelling of the Gore vs. Bush vote counting fiasco is coming to DVD August 19, which gives all of you non-subscribers the chance to see Kevin Spacey, Laura Dern, and Tom Wilkinson portray some of the most notorious political movers and shakers in recent history.
Blu-Ray Top Gun to finally satisfy HD fans
If you were disappointed by the extras-free HD-DVD version of Top Gun, we’ve got great news for you. The Blu-Ray release of Tom Cruise‘s career-defining flick is not only headed your way, it’s also loaded with bonus materials — feature and storyboard commentaries by Tony Scott and more, a six-part making-of documentary, and a “Vintage Gallery” of ’80s TV spots, featurettes, Cruise interviews, and, yes, music videos by the likes of Kenny Loggins, Berlin, and Loverboy. Which means you should grab your wingman, Maverick, and take the highway to the danger zone. Because you have the need. The need for speed.
In sadder news, one of two pirate-sniffing dogs donated to the Malaysian government was found dead last week. Manny, a one-year-old golden Labrador, passed away mysteriously; despite recorded doggie bounties put out on previous Malaysian pirate smashers Lucky and Flo, officials do not suspect foul play. Manny and his doggie partner, Paddy, had been donated by the MPAA to form the world’s first-ever DVD-sniffing canine unit.
Get out there and meet new people…kinda
And finally in this week’s worth of DVD news, those crafty Japanese have created a solution for you bashful home theater owners. Cure your shyness with the interactive “Miterudake” disc, in which 50 different women stare directly at you — in the hopes of helping the socially anxious become more comfortable around the opposite sex. Get it for $25 here. Have a sample staring contest below.
Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith) takes one of the year’s most interesting science fiction concepts — space-jumping teenagers hopping all over the world — and turned an incoherent mess into theaters last February. Now you can see that mess for yourself on DVD!
Considerable behind-the-scenes features and a commentary track with Liman, producer Lucas Foster, and co-writer Simon Kinsberg (X-Men: The Last Stand) might make up for the movie itself. A sequel was planned — that is, until Jumper failed to make back its own budget — so if you’d like to see Hayden Christensen frolic across the space continuum again, help Liman out and buy the DVD.
Two Oscar-winning septuagenarians hit the road for one last comic hurrah before they retire in Rob Reiner’s sentimental schmaltzfest. Before you skip to the next release, consider the fact that The Bucket List made more money in theaters than any other title this week. “Life is short — live a little!” Morgan and Jack seem to tell us. But what does the bonus menu have in store…?
A music video for John Mayer’s “Say,” and precious little else? How did they know that was the one thing we had left to do on our bucket list??
Some people like their world history with a healthy dose of soap. (We also like good movies, but that’s just us.) As Anne and Mary Boleyn, Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson give a valiant heave of the bosom, but this version of King Henry VIII’s love triangle with two sisters is bloodless melodrama.
As with Phillippa Gregory’s source novel, The Other Boleyn Girl is more intriguing for the real-life history of Tudor England than for its fictionalized drama. History buffs will get a kick out of features about the real life royals and Gregory’s wildly popular book, but everyone else…is probably already falling asleep.
The first time Michael Haneke made Funny Games in Austria, critics were terrified and impressed. This time around, his tale of home invasion — shot nearly scene-by-scene in English and starring Naomi Watts and Tim Roth — proved too sadistic for the uninitiated. Is America ready for cerebral horror?
Perhaps Haneke wants the film to speak for itself. You’ll have to work through the exercise in complicit viewer sadism yourself, since there are zero features to accompany this disc.
Paul Giamatti and Laura Linney stand out in this handsome HBO miniseries about U.S. President and founding father John Adams in the early days of American independence.
The celebrated series comes in a three-disc release, just in time for Father’s Day. An hour of extras includes documentaries and pop-up trivia that deliver even more history. Shop at HBO.com and pick up nifty “Join or Die” swag.
Indulge in the recent wave of Shaw Brothers re-releases and give this lush, action-packed female revenge pic a go. The story of a courtesan who takes her vengeance with a heart-ripping technique known as “ghost hands” (long before the “Kali Ma” cult in Temple of Doom) combines the best elements of 1970s Shaw Bros.: dazzling sets, wuxia, kung fu, lady fighters, eroticism and a touch of the perverse.
‘Til next week, happy viewing!
It’s almost time to hand out some golden popcorn — the nominations for the 2008 MTV Movie Awards have been announced!
To cast your vote for each category’s winner — and to choose your favorite of the fan-created movie spoofs in the, um, “Best Movie Spoof” category — head to MovieAwards.MTV.com (link below). A complete list of the nominees follows:
Best Movie: Juno Transformers Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End I Am Legend Superbad National Treasure: Book of Secrets
Best Male Performance:
Will Smith, I Am Legend
Shia LaBeouf, Transformers
Denzel Washington, American Gangster
Matt Damon, The Bourne Ultimatum
Michael Cera, Juno
Best Female Performance:
Ellen Page, Juno
Keira Knightley, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Katherine Heigl, Knocked Up
Amy Adams, Enchanted
Jessica Biel, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Denzel Washington, American Gangster
Angelina Jolie, Beowulf
Topher Grace, Spider-Man 3
Javier Bardem, No Country For Old Men
Best Comedic Performance:
Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Adam Sandler, I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry
Jonah Hill, Superbad
Seth Rogen, Knocked Up
Amy Adams, Enchanted
Matt Damon vs. Joey Ansah, The Bourne Ultimatum
Tobey Maguire vs. James Franco, Spider-Man 3
Hayden Christensen vs. Jamie Bell, Jumper
Sean Faris vs. Cam Gigandet, Never Back Down
Chris Tucker & Jackie Chan vs. Sun Ming Ming, Rush Hour 3
Alien vs. Predator, Aliens vs. Predator Requiem
Shia LaBeouf and Sarah Roemer, Disturbia
Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey, Enchanted
Daniel Radcliffe and Katie Leung, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Ellen Page and Michael Cera, Juno
Briana Evigan and Robert Hoffman, Step Up 2 The Streets
Zac Efron, Hairspray
Seth Rogen, Knocked Up
Jonah Hill, Superbad
Michael Cera, Superbad
Chris Brown, This Christmas
Nikki Blonsky, Hairspray
Megan Fox, Transformers
Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Superbad
Best Summer Movie So Far: Iron Man Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Sex and the City: The Movie Speed Racer The Chronicles Of Narnia: Prince Caspian
North American film fans heard the call of the elephant and stampeded to the box office to see the animated Dr. Seuss pic Horton Hears a Who, which enjoyed the largest opening weekend of the year so far. The testosterone flick Never Back Down launched to decent numbers; however, the virus thriller Doomsday was dead on arrival in its debut. But ‘toon power was able to revitalize the marketplace, sending the top 10 above the $100M mark and ahead of year-ago levels for the first time in a month.
Jim Carrey and Steve Carell lent their voices to Horton and ticket buyers responded, spending an estimated $45.1M on the Fox hit for a strong number one premiere. The G-rated tale bowed ultrawide in 3,954 locations and averaged a sturdy $11,406 per theater. The Whoville story generated the fourth best March opening ever, behind 300 ($70.9M), Ice Age: The Meltdown ($68M), and the original Ice Age ($46.3M) and also landed the fifth largest opening in history for a G-rated film.
Horton took advantage of star power, the popularity of the Seuss brand, and an open marketplace with few options for families to help it post the year’s best debut. But the film went beyond just parents and kids — the studio reports that 47 percent of the audience was non-family, with teens kicking in a significant contribution. Budgeted at $85M, the animated feature also garnered glowing reviews from most critics. Horton also bowed in 29 international markets this weekend, and captured an estimated $14.2M tally.
Animated films opening in March usually enjoy strong legs thanks to the Easter holiday and school vacations. Ice Age‘s opening weekend represented only 26 percent of its eventual $176.4M domestic final. Fox’s 2005 film Robots witnessed a 28 percent share, Meltdown played like a sequel and saw 35 percent, and last year’s Disney offering Meet the Robinsons grabbed 26 percent. Horton should follow in the same footsteps, as direct competition in the coing weeks is not too fierce, leading to possibly $150-175M from North America alone.
Trailing the animated elephant were the woolly mammoths of 10,000 BC. The not-so-accurate account of prehistoric times fell 54 percent in its second outing to an estimated $16.4M and pushed the total to $61.2M after 10 days. Given the bad reviews, negative word-of-mouth and the genre, the sharp decline was expected. The Warner Bros. title is playing almost exactly like another spring historical actioner, 2002’s The Scorpion King. The Rock starrer generated similar numbers with a $36.1M debut and $61.3M 10-day take before concluding with $90.5M. 10,000 BC should find its way to the same vicinity domestically. Overseas, the prehistoric pic collected a mighty $38M this weekend as it saw top spot debuts in the United Kingdom, Korea, and Russia and second place launches in France and Italy. The international cume has risen to $73M putting the global gross at an impressive $134M.
So far this year, moviegoers have been showing up in the same numbers, but have spread their dollars across a wider selection of movies than in 2007. Overall domestic box office is up 4 percent compared to the same period last year, and when factoring in the annual increase in ticket prices, total admissions are up only a slight amount. But at this point in 2007, six films had crossed the $50M mark, including three that broke the $100M barrier; this year, none have reached nine digits yet, but a whopping 10 have vaulted ahead of $50M (not including Horton, which is just days away from surpassing that mark).
The Mixed Martial Arts drama Never Back Down debuted to mediocre results and landed in third place with an estimated $8.6M from a wide 2,729 theaters. Averaging a mild $3,155, the PG-13 high school tale is the first in-house production from new distributor Summit and played to an audience of young males. Research showed that 59 percent of the audience was male and 60 percent were under 21. Never was budgeted at $20M.
Martin Lawrence’s second comedy of the year, College Road Trip, dropped a moderate 42 percent in its second weekend,, grossing an estimated $7.9M. With $24.3M collected in 10 days, the G-rated family flick should end up in the neighborhood of $45M.
Sony’s action thriller Vantage Point has been enjoying surprisingly strong legs, and slipped only 27 percent this week, to an estimated $5.4M for a solid cume of $59.2M. Rival actioner The Bank Job posted an even greater hold, sliding only 17 percent in its sophomore frame to an estimated $4.9M, giving Lionsgate $13.1M in 10 days. The high-octane pics should reach about $75M and $27M, respectively.
Universal suffered a dismal opening for its futuristic virus thriller Doomsday, which bowed to just $4.7M, according to estimates, from 1,936 theaters. The R-rated pic averaged a miserable $2,450 and should find its real audience on DVD this summer.
Will Ferrell‘s basketball comedy Semi-Pro fell 49 percent to eighth with an estimated $3M, pushing the total for New Line to $29.8M. Look for a final of roughly $35M, making it the comedian’s lowest-grossing lead performance in a wide release since 1998’s Night at the Roxbury.
Sony’s The Other Boleyn Girl dipped only 28 percent to an estimated $2.9M for a cume of $19.2M. The kidpic The Spiderwick Chronicles rounded out the top 10 with an estimated $2.4M, off 49 percent, for a $65.4M sum. Final grosses should reach $26M and $70M, respectively.
Warner Independent had a mixed weekend with its pair of limited release titles. The Naomi Watts thriller Funny Games opened in 289 theaters and grossed an estimated $520,000 for a dull $1,800 average. But its promising platform release Snow Angels added one Los Angeles site and took in an estimated $26,000 from three sites for a potent $8,667 average. The Kate Beckinsale starrer expands to the top 10 on Friday during its third session.
Three solid box office performers fell from the top 10 this weekend. Fox’s sci-fi flick Jumper dropped 42 percent to an estimated $2.1M, lifting the total to $75.8M. The $85M Hayden Christensen–Samuel L. Jackson actioner should conclude with about $80M. It’s already banked $100M overseas and counting.
The $70M adventure comedy Fool’s Gold collected an estimated $1.7M, off 38 percent, for a $65.4M sum. Warner Bros. looks to end with just under $70M. Step Up 2 the Streets, the latest teen dance drama to score with audiences, took in an estimated $1.5M, down 51 percent. With $55.4M taken in thus far, the Buena Vista release will reach close to $60M, putting it within striking distance of the $65.3M gross of 2006’s surprise smash Step Up.
The top 10 films grossed an estimated $101.3M, which was up less than 1 percent from last year — when 300 remained at number one in its second weekend with $32.9M — and up 13 percent from 2006, when V for Vendetta debuted in the top spot with $25.6M.