Tagged: Luke Newberry

The Legend Of Hercules

Summary: The origin story of the the mythical Greek hero. Betrayed by his stepfather, the King, and exiled and sold into slavery because of a forbidden love, Hercules must use his formidable powers to fight his way back to his rightful kingdom.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 20th February, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Renny Harlin

Screenwriter: Sean Hood, Renny Harlin, Daniel Giat, Giulio Steve

Cast: Scott Adkins (King Amphitryon), Kenneth Cranham (Lucius), Dimiter Doichinov (King Galenus/Champion #1), Mariah Gale (Kakia), Saria Givaty (Saphirra), Liam Garrigan (Iphicles), Mihail Georgiev (Hercules), Boris Ivanov (Hercules (Alcides) (New Born)/Hercules’ Son (New Born), Kellan Lutz (Hercules), Liam McIntyre (Sotiris), Roxanne McKee (Queen Alcmene), Luke Newberry (Agamemnon), Radoslav Parvanov (Half Face), Nikolay Petkov (Iphicles – 2 Years Old), Johnathon Schaech (Tarak), Rade Serbedzija (Chiron), Nikolai Sotirov (King Tallas), Dena Stoyanova (Hercules (Alcides) (New Born)), Gaia Weiss (Hebe), Spencer Wilding (Humbaba)

Runtime: 99 mins

Classification:MA15+

OUR THE LEGEND OF HERCULES REVIEWS & RATINGS

David Griffiths:

Sometimes after you watch a film you just have to shake your head. With The Legend Of Hercules it was obvious that there was some good intentions when the filmmakers started out, but along the way some fundamental mistakes were made. It’s just really strange that no one associated to the film ever seemed to notice that those mistakes were about to make it up onto the big screen.

Directed by Renny Harlin (the man who has delivered films such as Cliffhanger, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Die Hard 2) The Legend Of Hercules goes back to the beginning of the mythological legend and sees Hercules (Kellan Lutz) as a young warrior that is an outcast from both his father, King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins) and his brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) whom both know that his mother Queen Alcmene (Roxanne McKee) was unfaithful. What they don’t realise is that Hercules has actually been fathered by Zeus the God of all Gods.

When Iphicles and Amphitryon see that Hercules is developing a relationship with the young princess Hebe (Gaia Weiss) they conspire to send him to a battle that will result in his death. But when Hercules and Sotiris (Liam McIntyre) miraculously live the pair find themselves sold into the gladiator market and try to find a way to get back to Greece to rescue Hebe before she is forced to marry Iphicles and to free the people from the reign of King Amphitryon.

So just how bad is The Legend Of Hercules? Well to be honest there is so much wrong with the film that it becomes laughable. At time the special effects look like somebody left the work experience student have a go at creating them while at times shots have been included that crazily mix up the continuity in a way seldom seen on the screen before. To the naked eye it appears that some hastily put together re-shoots may have been done, but sadly they were pieces that just didn’t fit into this jigsaw at all.

The strange thing is though at times the film’s story does actually capture the imagination of the audience but then that illusion is shattered by an inconsistent script that at times seems like the screenwriter was trying to capture the language of Shakespeare while at other times seems to be lifted straight from dialogue spoken on television shows such as Days Of Our Lives or The Young And The Restless. Something that also seems to shatter the imagination of the audience is the fact that Renny Harlin seems to stoop the very low filmmaking technique of turning to slow-motion whenever a blow is delivered in battle… it happens so often it becomes nauseating.

Last but not least there is the acting. The choice of leading man is a bizarre one. Before this film Kellan Lutz was mainly known as playing ‘the big blonde vampire’ in the The Twilight Saga series of films and now he has been thrust into this film and the new Tarzan film as an action hero. While Lutz may carry of the physicality of Hercules his acting isn’t exactly top notch, but even he looks like an Oscar winner alongside some of the other performances in this film. It soon becomes painfully obvious to the audience that Gaia Weiss was only cast in her role because of her looks while Roxanne McKee’s accent seems to change every time she is on the screen. Then there’s Scott Adkins and Liam Garrigan who badly play token bad guys. At least Aussie actor Liam McIntyre actually tries as he portrays Hercules’ trusty side-kick.

The Legend Of Hercules will no doubt go down as one of the worst films of 2014, but the scary thing about this film is that nobody at the studio seemed to realise what a dog they were releasing.

Stars(2)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2)

IMDB Rating: The Legend of Hercules (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Legend Of Hercules′: Nil.

Trailer:

Anna Karenina

Summary: The third collaboration of Academy Award nominee Keira Knightley with acclaimed director Joe Wright, following the award-winning boxoffice successes Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, is a bold, theatrical new vision of the epic story of love, adapted from Leo Tolstoy’s timeless novel by Academy Award winner Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare in Love). The story powerfully explores the capacity for love that surges through the human heart.

Set in late-19th-century Russia high-society, the aristocrat Anna Karenina (Knightley) enters into a life-changing affair with the affluent Count Vronsky (Johnson). As Anna questions her happiness and marriage to Alexei Karenin (Law), change comes to all around her.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 14th February, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK

Director: Joe Wright

Screenwriter: Tom Stoppard, Leo Tolstoy (novel)

Cast: Marine Battier (Mlle. Roland), Max Bennett (Petritsky), Bodil Blain (Princess Sorokina Senior), Nicholas Blatt (Major Domo), Antony Byrne (Colonel Demin), Tannishtha Chatterjee (Masha), Kenneth Collard (Prince Tverskoy), Sam Cox (Kapitonich), Buffy Davis (Agafia), Cara Delevingne (Princess Sorokina), Michelle Dockery (Princess Myagkaya), Steve Evets (Theodore), Emerald Fennell (Princess Merkalova), Aruhan Galieva (Aruhan), Freya Galpin (Masha Oblonsky), Domhnall Gleeson (Levin), Tillie-Bett Grant (Baby Anya), Carl Grose (Korney), Holliday Grainger (Baroness), Paul Ham (Michael), Byran Hands (Mikhail Slyudin), Hera Hilmar (Varya), Thomas Howes (Yashvin), Giles King (Stemov), Keira Knightley (Anna Karenina), Jude Law (Karenin), Henry Lloyd-Jones (Burisov), Susanne Lothar (Princess Scherbatsky), Kelly Macdonald (Dolly), Matthew Macfadyen (Oblonsky), Eric MacLennan (Matey), Jude Monk McGowan (Tuskevitch), Oskar McNamara (Serhoza), Beatrice Morrissey (Vasya Oblonsky), Cecily Morrissey (Lili Oblonsky), Octavia Morrissey (Tanya Oblonsky), Theo Morrissey (Grisha Oblonsky), Luke Newberry (Vasily Lukich), Raphael Personnaz (Alexander Vronsky), Alexandra Roach (Countess Nordston), Guro Nagelhus Schia (Annushka), Bill Skarsgard (Makhotin), Kyle Soller (Korrsunsky), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Vronsky), Pip Torrens (Prince Shcherbatsky), Alicia Vikander (Kitty), Eros Vlahos (Boris), Emily Watson (Countess Lydia Ivanova), Olivia Williams (Countess Vronsky), David Wilmot (Nikolai), Ruth Wilson (Princess Betsy Tverskoy)

Runtime: 130 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Anna Karenina’ Review: 

Yet another classic masterpiece of literature finds its way onto the big screen with the ambitious project from director Joe Wright (‘Hanna’, ‘The Soloist’) and screenwriter Tom Stoppard (‘Enigma’, TV’S ‘Parade’s End’), a project that has seen them turn Leo Tolstoy’s epic novel ‘Anna Karenina’ into a two-hour film.

For those who have never been forced to read the novel at school the story Based on the classic novel by Leo Tolstoy the film sees Anna Karenina (Keira Knightley – ‘Stars In Shorts’, ‘Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World’) become involved in an intense love triangle with her wealthy husband, Karenin (Jude Law – ‘Side Effects’, ‘Rise Of The Guardians’) and a young soldier, Vronsky (Aaron Taylor-Johnson – ‘Savages’, ‘Albert Nobbs’). While her relationship with Karenin seems steady, Anna must face potential status ruin if she wants to pursue this new exciting love.

Meanwhile Levin (Domhnall Gleeson – ‘Dredd’, ‘Shadow Dancer’) finally plucks up the courage to ask the beautiful Kitty (Alicia Vikander – ‘A Royal Affair’, ‘The Crown Jewels’) to marry him, but because she is also wrapped up in Vronsky she says no, which in turn shatters Levin and has him sadly wasting away.

To his credit Joe Wright doesn’t exactly rest on his laurels and produce yet another period film, no he instead decides to be a little creative and film most of ‘Anna Karenina’ inside a theatre, the end result is a film in the vein of ‘Moulin Rouge!’ that seems to suggest that this is a very public love affair that needs an audience. This inventive style, which includes sets changing in front of the audience’s eyes, does take a little while to get used to but once you feel that you are in line with the flow it actually ends up looking pretty sensational.

Still Wright is let down a little by Stoppard’s work. The original ‘Anna Karenina’ meanders through a lot of characters lives and sadly it seems that Stoppard seems to include too many of these characters in this film version. The main emphasis needs to on Anna/Karenin/Vronsky love triangle, but while the Levin and Kitty romance is entertaining to watch it seems that throughout the film it gets in the way of the main story, especially when those characters are geographically removed from being anywhere near Anna.

The big plus side to ‘Anna Karenina’ is the acting. Keira Knightley puts in one of her best performances in years and she well supported by Aaron Taylor-Johnson who although very removed from the role that made him famous, in ‘Kick-Ass’) puts in a wonderful performance… as does Alicia Vikander who on the back of her performance in ‘A Royal Affair’ indicates that she has a very big future ahead of her.

Sadly these performances are dragged down by Jude Law who surprisingly puts in one of his few poor performances. It seems as though he feels that the character of Karenin should never show emotion on his face, which seems like a poor choice seeing Karenin shows emotion in the film a lot – whether it be sadness or anger.

As far as modern blockbusters go ‘Anna Karenina’ is well worth a look. Wright’s interesting and inventive visual styling certainly brings something to the film, although there are a couple of lulls in the film that have been known to put audience members to sleep.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Anna Karenina′: Check Episode #20 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Anna Karenina’. Dave Griffiths also has another review of ‘Anna Karenina’ available on the Helium Entertainment Channel.

Rating: 3/5

IMDB Rating:Anna Karenina (2012) on IMDb

Quartet

Summary: Cecily (Pauline Collins), Reggie (Tom Courtenay) and Wilfred (Billy Connolly) are in a home for retired opera singers. Every year, on October 10, there is a concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday and they take part. Jean (Maggie Smith), who used to be married to Reggie, arrives at the home and disrupts their equilibrium. She still acts like a diva, but she refuses to sing. Still, the show must go on… and it does.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK

Director: Dustin Hoffman

Screenwriter: Ronald Harwood

Cast: Shola Adewusi (Sheryl), Colin Bradbury (Olly Fisher) Virginia Bradbury (Daisy), Michael Byrne (Frank White), Pauline Collins (Cissy Robson), Billy Connolly (Wilf Bond), Tom Courtenay (Reginald Paget), Sarah Crowden (Felicity Liddle), Alexander Duczmal (Marta), Ania Duczmal (Eva), Ronnie Fox (Nobby), Michael Gambon (Cedric Livingston),John Georgeiadis (Bill),  John Heley (Leo Cassell), Ita Herbert (Regina), Jack Honeyborne (Dave Trubeck), Ronnie Hughes (Tony Rose), Jumayn Hunter (Joey), Dame Gwyneth Jones (Anne Langley), Denis Khoroshko (Tadek), Patricia Loveland (Letitia Davis), Iona Mathieson (Young Violinist Iona), Isla Mathieson (Young Violinist Isla), Cynthia Morey (Lottie Yates), Luke Newberry (Simon), Kent Olesen (Lars), Trevor Peacock (George), Eline Powell (Angelique), John Rawnsley (Nigel), David Ryall (Harry), Andrew Sachs (Bobby Swanson), Graeme Scott (Fred), Maggie Smith (Jean Horton), Sheridan Smith (Dr. Lucy Cogan), Patricia Varley (Octavia), Melonie Waddingham (Marion Reed), Nuala Willis (Norma McIntyre)

Runtime: 98 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Quartet’ Review: 

‘Quartet’ is unashamedly aimed at an older audience, but that certainly shouldn’t put you off if you’re of the younger generation and enjoy a good film. Because age demographic aside ‘Quartet’ is an enjoyable film that is likely to provide a chuckle or two along the way.

Directed by legendary actor, Dustin Hoffman (who hasn’t directed a film since 1978’s Straight Time) Quartet’ finds three members of England’s once-most talented opera quartet living together in a retirement home for retired musicians under the charge of young doctor, Dr. Lucy Cogan (Sheridan Smith – Mr. Stink, TV’S Jonathan Creek).

The first member of the group is Reginald (Tom Courtenay – Gambit, The End Of An Era) who seems  so active and ‘with-it’ it would appear he has gone into the home too early. He is still extremely active and keeps his mind going by passing on his musical knowledge to young students. When asked why he went into the home he always says he is in there to be with his best friend, Wilf (Billy Connolly – Brave, TV’S House) who has lost the ability to censor himself after a stroke affected his brain. Rounding out the group is Cissy (Pauline Collins – Albert Nobbs, TV’S Mount Pleasant) who knows suffers from such severe dementia that she constantly needs to be reminded what she should be doing.

The trio’s world is turned upside down though when the new resident who moves in just happens to be Jean (Maggie Smith – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, TV’S Downtown Abby) – the missing member of their quartet. While Cissy and Wilf thinks it would be great to get Jean to rejoin their quartet so they can perform in a gala night being put together by the extremely bossy Cedric (Michael Gambon – Restless, TV’S Luck). It seems like a good idea however Jean seems like she is reluctant to ever perform again while poor Reginald is at a loss at what to do as Jean once broke his heart.

Hoffman brings together a wonderfully brilliant film that certainly captivates it’s audience, but that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t made a couple of mistakes along the well. On the surface the idea of having the central characters played by actors and the other residents in the home being played by some of the Europe’s finest opera performers and musicians seems like a great idea, however during the film the ‘others’ seem to get dangerously out-acted by what can only be described as an A-List of some of the United Kingdom’s finest actors.

No matter your age you will find yourself drawn to the characters of ‘Quartet’. It’s a heartfelt story and let’s be honest you don’t have to be in this film’s demographic to know what heart ache or the lack of self-worth feels like. Don’t take any notice of the advertising this really is a film that can be enjoyed by all age groups.

Of course as you would expect one of the standouts about ‘Quartet’ are the acting performances. As usual Maggie Smith is brilliant while Pauline Collins also does a fabulous job. But even they seem to be outdone by Michael Gambon who seems to embrace a slight comedic part while Billy Connolly leaves everybody in his wake and he gathers up laughs left, right and centre.

‘Quartet’ is a great little film that reminds us all that you don’t need a big budget, just a great script, to work as a cinema piece.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Quartet′: Check Episode #13 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Quartet’. Dave’s other review of ‘Quartet’ can be found on the Helium Entertainment Channel

Rating: 3.5/5

IMDB Rating: Quartet (2012) on IMDb