Tagged: Charlotte Kirk

Seduced And Abandoned

Summary: Alec Baldwin and filmmaker James Toback are on a mission: to remake Bernardo Bertolucci’s legendary 1972 film Last Tango in Paris by setting it in Iraq in the mid-2000s. Hobnobbing their way around Cannes, the wisecracking duo meet up with a who’s who of the film industry , including Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Ryan Gosling and Bertolucci himself, as they try to find money, a script and a cast for their impossible idea.

Seduced and Abandoned is the delightful and utterly uncategorisable new pseudo-documentary from veteran director James Toback. A riff on the harsh economics of modern film turned unlikely buddy comedy, it’s a glimpse into the funny film business and a gleeful homage to a lost time when film was made for film’s sake.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 8th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: James Toback

Screenwriter: James Toback

Cast: Alec Baldwin (himself), Berenice Bejo (herself), Bernardo Bertolucci (himself), James Caan (himself),Neve Campbell (herself), Jessica Chastain (herself), Francis Ford Coppola (himself), Scott Foundas (himself), Ryan Gosling (himself), Charlotte Kirk (herself), Diane Kruger (herself), Todd McCarthy (himself), Roman Polanski (himself), Ben Schneider (himself), Thorsten Schumacher (himself), Martin Scorsese (himself), Jeremy Thomas (himself)

Runtime: 98 mins

Classification: MA15+

OUR SEDUCED AND ABANDONED REVIEWS & RATINGS:

David Griffiths:

Seduced And Abandoned is a hard documentary to explain. Not just for this lowly reviewer but you get a feeling that even the guys responsible for this film may have some trouble trying to pinpoint what the exact focus of this documentary actually is. This reeks as the kind of film that may have sounded like a good idea when a group of friends got together over a few drinks, but sadly when it reaches the big screen it becomes a meandering film that was well deserved of the walk outs it received at the screening I was at.

At the heart of Seduced And Abandoned are film director James Toback (Tyson, When Will I Be Loved) and actor Alec Baldwin (Blue Jasmine, TV’S 30 Rock) who have come up with the idea of remaking the classic Last Tango In Paris but setting it in Bush-era Iraq. It seems the original concept of the documentary was show them travelling to the Cannes Film Festival on a mission to receive backing for the film, but somewhere along the way the film got railroaded and ended up becoming a look at the history of the Film Festival itself and also how the likes of Ryan Gosling, Roman Polanski and Martin Scorsese got their starts in Hollywood.

One of the things that makes Seduced And Abandoned such a strange documentary is that seems that Baldwin and Toback really wanted this to be the kind of film that really celebrates cinema. Certainly that seems to be what is happening when they sit down and talk to Polanski, Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Bernardo Bertolucci, but during the film it actually begins to show the darkside of the industry – a side where people such as Neve Campbell and Oscar winner  Berenice Bejo find themselves as being described as ‘unmarketable.’

If Toback and Baldwin wanted Seduced And Abandoned to showcase themselves in the realm of a vanity piece then they certainly failed in their mission. Instead Toback comes across as a pushy director who believes that he deserves to be credited alongside the Scorseses and Coppolas of this world while Baldwin seems to be an actor who refuses to acknowledge that he is no longer a Hollywood leading man. At times this comes across as a poorly directed and cheaply edited wank fest, although it is kind of fun to watch as Baldwin gets put in his place by several producers and even an Australian film distributor.

Having said that though there are some highlights during Seduced And Abandoned. Hearing the likes of Ryan Gosling and Diane Kruger talking about what it means to be an actor in Hollywood these days is an interesting piece of cinema, as is hearing some of the legendary directors that we all look up to talking about their careers and what film-making means to them. Those interviews are absolutely priceless for young filmmakers out there.

Seduced And Abandoned ultimately fails at its major goals and is only made watchable by a couple of interviews that touch on some cinematic magic.

Stars(1)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(1)

IMDB Rating:  Seduced and Abandoned (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Seduced And Abandoned′: Nil.

Trailer:

Non-Stop

Summary: An air marshall must spring into action aboard an international flight.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 27th February, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, France

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

Screenwriter: John W. Richardson, Christopher Roach, Ryan Engle

Cast: Jon Abrahams (David Norton), Josh Bodenhamer (Giovanni), Nadia Bowers (Mrs. O’Reilly), Alejandro Cardenas (Arturo Lucci), Edoardo Costa (Herve Philbert), Frank Deal (Charles Wheeler), Michelle Dockery (Nancy), O.T. Fagbenle (Jack Rabbitte), Jason Butler Harner (Kyle Rice), Corey Hawkins (Travis Mitchell), Christine Hitt (Camila D’Agostino), Charlotte Kirk (Amy Harris), Perri Lauren (Stella), Quinn McColgan (Becca), Scoot McNairy (Tom Bowen), Omar Metwally (Dr. Fahim Nasir), Julianne Moore (Jen Summers), Anson Mount (Jack Hammond), Liam Neeson (Bill Marks), Lupita Nyong’o (Gwen), Bar Paly (Iris Marianne), Nate Parker (Zack White), Amanda Quaid (Emily Norton), Linus Roache (David McMillan), Corey Stoll (Austin Reilly), Liz Thomas (Madeline), Michael Thomas Walker (Michael Tate), Shea Whigham (Agent Marenick)

Runtime: 106 mins

Classification:M

OUR NON-STOP REVIEWS & RATINGS

David Griffiths:

Remember the time when you could sit down and watch a good action thriller and you wouldn’t actually know who the bad guy was until just before the end credits? That certainly hasn’t been the case over the past few years when you’ve sat down to watch a Hollywood thriller but the good news is that director Jaume Collet-Serra manages to recapture the thriller feeling of old once again with Non-Stop.

Liam Neeson again seems to have forgotten that he once said he would never make action films and this time brilliantly plays Bill Marks, a jaded former New York cop who is battling an alcohol problem and depression while working as an air marshall.

The day in question starts off just like any other for Bill, he is not only fighting a killer headache as the morning goes on but also feuding with his ex-wife. Then while boarding the flight he sees that he has his usual bunch of suspects to protect – the rude and obnoxious Travis Mitchell (Corey Hawkins) who seems to think the world revolves around him and the nervous child flyer Becca (Quinn McColgan). At least as he settles into his routine he does notice some friendly faces around including his friend Nancy (Michelle Dockery) and the chatty passenger he is seated next to the mysterious Jen Summers (Julianne Moore).

But then shortly after take-off the flight suddenly becomes anything but ordinary when Bill receives a text message telling them that has twenty minutes to place $150 million in a bank account or people start to die. Quickly Bill tries to work out which passenger could be involved – perhaps it is the Muslim gentleman Dr. Fahim Nasir (Omar Metwally), the jittery Austin Reilly (Corey Stoll) or the flight crew member who was rushed onto the flight at the last moment, Gwen (Lupita Nyong’o). However it is they are good at their job and Bill soon realises this when it seems like they are making him look like the person that is behind the hijacking.

Creating the perfect thriller is also a double edged sword for a director or a screenwriter. The fact that they can call upon the fact that nearly everybody has a small hint of being a nervous flyer can really enhance the film but the fact that an entire movie also has to be kept in such a small space can also prove too much for many filmmakers and their films end up lacking that certain something that holds the audience’s suspense all the way through.

The basic criticism that many will level at Non-Stop is that Neeson is playing the same character he played in Taken, and that is true to a certain extent, but there also seems to be more of a sense of realism around his character here. Yes Bill is substance affected while he is supposed to be looking after a plane full of people, but just like you did with Denzel Washington in Flight you quickly warm to the character, which only raises the suspense even further when those on the ground begin to assume that Bill is in fact the hijacker.

Credit also has to be paid to a great script that pretty much leaves the audience with no idea who the real hijacker is until it is supposed to be revealed… the way it should be with a good thriller. The script is further enhanced by director, Jaume Collet-Serra who feeds the audience false paths all the way along, something that works and just makes the elusive hijacker even harder to pick.

Non-Stop further cements Liam Neeson as one of the best action stars going around at the moment. He mixes dramatic acting and action sequences together with absolute ease and he is well supported by the likes of Julianne Moore and Michelle Dockery who also do credible jobs. Kudos also to Scoot McNairy and Corey Stoll who don’t have to do much but still have a couple of screen stealing moments.

Non-Stop is one of the better thrillers to have surfaced over the past few years and if you are a young filmmaker who wants to learn all the ins and outs of this genre then this is one film you just have to check out.

Stars(3.5)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3.5)

IMDB Rating:  Non-Stop (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Non-Stop′: Nil.

Trailer: