Today, Disney+ debuted the trailer and announced the Japanese and English dub voice casts for “Star Wars: Visions,” an upcoming anthology series from Lucasfilm that tells new Star Wars stories through the singular style and tradition of Japanese anime. Disney+ also released four exciting images from the trailer.
The new trailer provides a glimpse of the captivating tone and stunning visuals from each of the animated shorts, which can all be viewed both with the original Japanese voice cast or the English dub cast when the series launches on Disney+ on September 22.
“Lucasfilm is partnering with seven of the most talented anime studios in Japan to bring their signature style and unique vision of the Star Wars galaxy to this inspired new series,” says James Waugh, executive producer and Lucasfilm Vice President, Franchise Content & Strategy. “Their stories showcase the full spectrum of bold storytelling found across Japanese animation; each told with a freshness and voice that expands our understanding of what a Star Wars story can be, and celebrates a galaxy that has been such an inspiration to so many visionary storytellers.”
The English dub cast includes the voice talents of returning Star Wars actors and talent new to the Star Wars universe:
The Duel: Brian Tee (Ronin), Lucy Liu (Bandit Leader), Jaden Waldman (Village Chief)
Tatooine Rhapsody: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Jay), Bobby Moynihan (Geezer), Temuera Morrison (BobaFett), Shelby Young (K-344), Marc Thompson (Lan)
The Twins: Neil Patrick Harris (Karre), Alison Brie (Am), Jonathan Lipow (B-20N)
The Village Bride: Karen Fukuhara (F), Nichole Sakura (Haru), Christopher Sean (Asu), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Valco), Andrew Kishino (Izuma), Stephanie Sheh (Saku)
The Ninth Jedi: Kimiko Glenn (Kara), Andrew Kishino (Juro), Simu Liu (Zhima), Masi Oka (Ethan), Greg Chun (Roden), Neil Kaplan (Narrator), Michael Sinterniklaas (Hen Jin),
The studios creating the nine shorts include Kamikaze Douga – “The Duel”; Geno Studio (Twin Engine) – “Lop and Ochō”; Studio Colorido (Twin Engine) – “Tatooine Rhapsody”; TRIGGER – “The Twins” and “The Elder”; Kinema Citrus – “The Village Bride”; Science Saru – “Akakiri” and “T0-B1”; and Production I.G. – “The Ninth Jedi.”
For more on “Star Wars: Visions,” visit StarWars.com.
Summary: The epic next chapter in the cinematic Monsterverse pits two of the greatest icons in motion picture history against one another – the fearsome Godzilla and the mighty Kong – with humanity caught in the balance.
Cinema Release Dates: 25th March 2021 (Australia), 25th March 2021 (Thailand), 31st March 2021 (USA)
VOD Release Dates: 1st April 2021 (UK), 31st March 2021 (USA)
Country: USA, Australia, Canada, India
Director: Adam Wingard
Screenwriter: Eric Pearson, Max Borenstein
Cast: Demian Bichir (Walter Simmons), Millie Bobby Brown (Madison Russell), Chris Chalk (Ben), Kyle Chandler (Mark Russell), Ronnie Chieng (Jay Wayne), Julian Dennison (Josh Valentine), Eia Gonzalez (Maya Simmons), Rebecca Hall (Ilene Andrews), Brian Tyree Henry (Bernie Hayes), Kaylee Hottle (Jia), Hakeen Kae-Kazim (Admiral Wilcox), Daniel Nielson (Hayworth), Shaun Oguri (Ren Serizawa), John Pirruccello (Horace), Lance Reddick (Guillerman), Alexsander Skargard (Nathan Lind)
Running Time: 113 mins
Classification: M (Australia), G (Thailand), 12-A (UK), PG-13 (USA)
OUR GODZILA VS KONG REVIEWS
David Griffiths’ Godzilla vs Kong Review:
There is perhaps no bigger way to announce that blockbusters are back in post-COVID cinemas then to let two titans like Godzilla and King Kong go head-to-head. The Godzilla/Kong franchise has bubbled along nicely for Warner Bros over the past seven years and now it roars back to life as the two titans come to some pretty impressive blows in Godzilla vs Kong.
Directed by Adam Wingard (Blair Witch) the film sees the giant creatures go to war after Kong expert Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall – The Town) and her adopted daughter Jia (newcomer Kaylee Hottle) are persuaded by scientist Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard – The Legend Of Tarzan) to bring Kong out of his protected environment in a bid to help with a scientific discovery that could save humanity.
Meanwhile on the other side of the world the determined Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown – Stranger Things) and her friend Josh Valentine (Julian Dennison – Deadpool 2) have joined forces with conspiracy theorist Bernie Hayes (Brian Tyree Henry – Widows) to try and clear Godzilla’s name after it appears that he attacked a city for no apparent reason.
However, once Godzilla realises that Kong is out and in the open he proceeds to attack the giant beast in a bid to become the ‘alpha’ placing the lives of all on Earth at risk.
The plotline of Godzilla vs Kong is pretty thin but of course nobody is going into this film expecting an Oscar-worthy script – no this is a film that is designed to be a visual spectacular and that is certainly the case from start to finish. If you want action then you’ve come to the right place because Godzilla vs Kong delivers it in spades.
The one thing you do very quickly realise with this film is that it is very much a Kong film. The film is largely told through the eyes of those who surround Kong ie. Ilene Andrews, Nathan Lind and Jia, and for the most part Kong is the hero of the tale and Godzilla the villain. That also results in strong storylines developing around those characters and Kong while the interest in the team trying to ‘clear’ Godzilla at times wanes as it is mainly one dimensional.
What saves the film though is the brilliant action sequences that see the two kings of the Monsterverse go head-to-head. To the credit of the filmmakers they don’t hold back on those scenes and the two epic battles are more than enough to fulfil those who criticised Godzilla: King Of Monsters for its lack of action. And yes the rumours are true – both battles easily last longer than 10 minutes on screen each. With some amazing special effects and the brilliant eye of Wingard and cinematographer Ben Seresin (World War Z) these battle sequences come to life in a way that fans of the franchise could only dream they could. They also have the sense not to be cutting away to minor characters during the battles and instead just let the beasts host their own version of Smackdown.
When it comes to the acting side of things you get both good and bad with Godzilla vs Kong. The talented Kyle Chandler (Super 8) feels wasted with his limited screen-time but both Rebecca Hall and Kaylee Hottle shine as the carry most of the ‘human’ side of the film. You expect that someone with the experience of Hall could do that fairly easily but huge credit must be paid for Hottle for doing so. This is the first acting performance for the young hearing-impaired actress and her performance brings back memories of Drew Barrymore in E.T. or Kirsten Dunst in Interview With A Vampire. Like them she never seems to be over-awed by the scale of the film or by the experience of the actors around her and instead she makes her own mark as a star.
Godzilla vs Kong is the kind of film where you are willing to overlook some pretty obvious continuity errors and weak storyline simply because of the amazing special effects and action sequences. While the film is not likely to be an award winner it will certainly win over fans of this franchise with ease.
Legends collide in “Godzilla vs. Kong” as these mythic adversaries meet in a spectacular battle for the ages, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. Kong and his protectors undertake a perilous journey to find his true home, and with them is Jia, a young orphaned girl with whom he has formed a unique and powerful bond. But they unexpectedly find themselves in the path of an enraged Godzilla, cutting a swath of destruction across the globe. The epic clash between the two titans—instigated by unseen forces—is only the beginning of the mystery that lies deep within the core of the Earth.
Godzilla vs Kong stars Alexander Skarsgård, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, Brian Tyree Henry, Shun Oguri, Eiza González, Julian Dennison, Kyle Chandler and Demián Bichir. It is directed by Adam Wingard.
A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 11th October 2018
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: United States
Director: Damien Chazelle
Screenwriter: Josh Singer, James R. Hansen (based on the book by)
Cast: Christopher Abbott (Dave Scott), Mark Armstrong (Paul Haney), Chandler Barron (Scott Carpenter), Skyler Bible (Richard Gordon), Connor Colton Blodgett (Mark Armstrong), Leon Bridges (Gil Scott-Heron), Callie Brown (Young Bonnie White), Kyle Chandler (Deke Slayton), Jason Clarke (Ed White), Steve Coulter (Guenter Wendt), Ethan Embry (Pete Conrad), J.D. Evermore (Chris Kraft), Ryan Clay Forbes (Bill Anders), Claire Foy (Janet Armstrong), Patrick Fugit (Eliott See), Matthew Glave (Chuck Yaeger), Ryan Gosling (Neil Armstong), Edmund Grant (Older Ed White Jnr.), Choppy Guillotte (John Young), Lukas Haas (Mike Collins), Oliver Hamilton (Pat White), James R. Hansen (Dr. Kurt Debus), Robert Hatch (Joe Schmitt), Braydyn Nash Helms (Young Eddie White Jnr.), Ciaran Hinds (Bob Gilruth), Helen S. Jackson (Louise Sheron), Brian d’Arcy James (Joe Walker), Shaun Eric Jones (Wally Schirra), Jonathon Kankolenski (Young Edward Higgins II), John F. Kennedy (himself – archive), Michael Lee Kimel (Bill Moon), William Gregory Lee (Gordon Cooper), Dutin Lewis (Ralph Morse), George Linkenback (Col. Frank Borman), Ben Owen (John Hodge), Greg Puckett (Charles Berry), Willie Repoley (Jim Fucci), Kermit Rolison (George Mueller), Pablo Schreiber (Jim Lovell), Margo Schroeder (June Hoffman Armstrong), Brady Smith (Butch Butchart), Claire Smith (Older Bonnie White), Corey Michael Smith (Roger Chaffee), Lucy Brooke Stafford (Karen Armstrong), Andrew Stahl (Ken Mattingly), Jim Stearns (David Hammock), Corey Stoll (Buzz Aldrin), Kris Swanberg (Marilyn See), William G. Tomek (Donald Babbitt), Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (himself – archive), Kent Wagner (Fred Haise), Gavin Warren (Young Rick Armstrong), John David Whalen (John Glenn), Shea Whigham (Gus Grissom), Luke Winters (Older Rick Armstrong), Perry Zulu Jnr. (Robert Lawrence)
Runtime: 141 mins
OUR FIRST MAN REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths Review:
When you think of space exploration we now days think of the romanticised Hollywood version of space travel. Unless you can think back to realistic movies like Apollo 13 it is easy to forget that it only takes a second for space exploration to become a nightmare for all involved. Sure we have sci-fi movies like Aliens that enhance the extra-terrestrial horror that many believe might be out there, somewhere, but very few films capture the horrors of the unknown and the impact it had on its first explorers like First Man does.
Director Damian Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land) doesn’t have to develop scary looking aliens in order to create horror for intrepid test pilot and engineer Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling – Drive, Blue Valentine) and his wife Janet (Claire Foy – Season Of The Witch, Vampire Academy). Like he did with Whiplash Chazelle just shows human life in its purest form… which for this family provided more horror than most couples could withstand. From the loss of their daughter which led to Armstrong joining the NASA Space Program in the first place, dangerous test missions that place Neil’s life in danger nearly every day through to the anguish that Janet endures on the days she knows that her husband is doing such tests. Chazelle just stirs the pot and lets the human emotions in the film bubble and boil until they explode.
Neil and Janet’s solace come from their best friends Ed White (Jason Clarke – Zero Dark Thirty, Terminator Genisys), his wife Pat (Olivia Hamilton – Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far On Foot, The Last Tycoon) and Neil’s immediate boss the caring yet determined Deke Slayton (Kyle Chandler – Friday Night Lights, Argo). Even so Pat and Janet’s ‘talking’ is normally disguised as children’s play dates, Neil seems happy to talk to Ed about the mission but pushes him away when the talk turns personal and while Deke does what he can to help his test pilots at the same time he is the man who has to make tough calls like switching off intercoms so wives can’t hear their husbands in peril and writing death announcements for missions he has to appear to be ‘confident’ for.
First Man could have easily suffered from Titanic-syndrome, a film where the audience knows the ultimate outcome and therefore just sits on the edge of their seat waiting for the expected finale but here Chazelle, who is aided brilliantly by his screenwriter Josh Singer (The West Wing, The Post), takes the audience on a different kind of journey. He captures moments they never told us about during our High School science classes. The raw, claustrophobic feel a test pilot feels as he hurled into orbit in what seems like a sardine can that they aren’t even sure will make the journey, the moments that wives find out that their husbands haven’t returned from a flight and the protests that occurred in America when the loss of life made people realise that these test pilots were really guinea pigs in what seemed like a cruel experiment. Then of course there is the tension an astronaut’s job puts on his family life and here we see painful moments such as the one where Janet has to plead with Neil to tell his children that he may not come back from his moon mission.
Just like he did with Whiplash Chazelle also brings out the best in his cast and helps them bring their character’s pain and anguish to the fore. Claire Foy delivers her best role to date and if she doesn’t at least receive an Oscar nomination for this performance then something is seriously wrong. As an actress she delivers on every level as Janet is put through an emotional ringer and these are the kinds of performances that the Academy should be applauding – ones that test an actress and her acting abilities. Equally good is Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong. When cast as an All-American hero, a real life Captain America if you will, you wouldn’t expect an actor to have to become emotional dark and foreboding, but that is exactly what is expected of Gosling here. Forget his pretty boy looks because here Gosling calls on the acting skills that saw him create memorable characters in films like Drive or The Place Beyond The Pines… he is absolutely brilliant.
First Man is the first film of 2018 that I have seen where my thought throughout was ‘this needs to be an Oscar film.’ From start to finish it felt like the film was taking me on a claustrophobic ride with its characters. The sequences in which the pilots are conducting test flights are moments of sheer cinematic masterpiece, where visuals and sound effects come together in a way that creates a horror that you never expected. This combined by outstanding dramatic acting performances from its leads and again I find myself putting the five stars down on a Damian Chazelle film. First Man is sheer brilliance, a lesson in dramatic filmmaking.
Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):
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Summary:A group of friends who meet regularly for game nights find themselves entangled in a real-life mystery.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 22nd February 2018
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: United States
Director: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Screenwriter: Mark Perez
Cast: Jason Batman (Max), Kylie Bunbury (Michelle), Kyle Chandler (Brooks), Camille Chen (Dr. Chin), Michael Cyril Creighton (Bill), John Francis Daley (Carter), R.F. Daley (Tats), Abigail Ford (Mrs. Anderton), Jonathan Goldstein (Dan), Michael C. Hall (The Bulgarian), Natasha Hall (Madison), Sharon Horgan (Sarah), Malcolm X. Hughes (Not Denzel), Danny Huston (Donald Anderton), Candy Ibarra (Rachel Burns), Jessica Lee (Debbie), Daniel Lucente (Dan Steele), Curtis Lyons (Logan), Billy Magnussen (Ryan), Rachel McAdams (Annie), Joshua Mikel (Colin), Lamorne Morris (Kevin), Tony Ohara (Kramer), Olivia (Bastian), Chelsea Peretti (Glenda), Jesse Plemons (Gary), Brooke Jaye Taylor (Linda), Michael Twombley (Michael Bates), Zerrick Williams (Val)
Runtime: 100 mins
OUR GAME NIGHT REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Dave Griffiths Review:
To listen to some film journalists talk the state of the comedy genre is in tatters. Apparently unfunny comedy after unfunny comedy floods our cinemas screens. The notion is ridiculous though. It seems that films like Horrible Bosses and We’re The Millers have been completely forgotten about… hell even the local comedy Swinging Safari was a lot funnier that most journos gave it credit for. Now comes Game Night a film that certainly shows that comedy is back – not only does the film’s twists and turns keep the audience guessing but it’s sassy comedy and modern edge make a film worthy of more than one viewing.
The plot of Game Night is unique in itself. Max (Jason Bateman – Arrested Development, Juno) and Annie (Rachel McAdams – The Notebook, Mean Girls) are a regular couple with a big difference – they are driven by a competitive spirit that makes their frequent games’ nights a must attend for their friends.
However their games nights are changed forever when the couple realise that their inability to conceive a child is caused by Max’s competitive streak with his rich and popular brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler – Argo, Manchester By The Sea). With Brooks coming to town and deciding to host the latest games night… a night that he says nobody will forget… Max and Annie are already on edge. To make things worse they are trying to hide the night from their creepy, ex-friend and Police Officer Gary (Jesse Plemons – Battleship, Black Mass) so he doesn’t turn up, but that all pails into insignificance when Brooks’ real life makes the night potentially deadly.
Universally panned for their work on Vacation directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein bounce back here largely thanks to a witty script written by Mark Perez (Accepted, Herbie: Fully Loaded). While the premise of the film seems basic Perez’s screenplay makes this film stand-out. Game Night has everything that a good comedy should have – witty one-liners plus memorable characters like the dry and dull Gary and the extremely dumb himbo Ryan (Billy Magnussen – Into The Woods, The Big Short).
But Game Night also has more than that. The suspense of the plot is only enhances with a serious of twists and turns that soon has the audience realising that they can’t predict what is going to happen in the next minute let alone for the rest of the film. The fact that Perez is smart enough to have Max almost narrate what some would call film flaws with lines like ‘great two guys show up that haven’t been revealed in the plot earlier’ makes the decision to include such risky choices in the film pay off with laughter. The screenplay also gives a nod to other films, again with a smirk to the audience as Rachel McAdams declares ‘like Liam Neeson in Taken 3.’
In fact it is the chances that Game Night makes that ends up letting the film work. The decision to tone the adult humour down when compared to a film like Horrible Bosses means that this becomes the perfect date movie for both men and women while the interesting choice of cast all works. Batman and McAdams gel well as an on-screen couple while Jesse Plemons steals just about every scene he is in with some brilliant deadpan character acting. The other big surprise here is Kyle Chandler. Known more for his gritty dramatic roles in productions like Friday Night Lights Chandler here shows the world his comedic skills as he makes sure Brooks is one of those characters that the audience will love one moment and hate the next.
Game Night is one comedy that is well worth a look. Its great screenplay allows for a little more storyline and suspense then what we expect from most comedy films while Jason Bateman once again shows why he is the current king of comedy. As you sit down to watch Game Night be prepared for a wild ride with more than enough laughs to keep the comedy fans happy as well.
Greg King’s Review:
This enjoyable mix of action and comedy from the team behind films like Horrible Bosses is like David Fincher’s The Game crossed with Date Night.
A group of friends regularly meet every Saturday night for some old-fashioned fun, playing old school board games and charades. The games are held at the home of Max (Jason Bateman) and his wife Annie (Rachel McAdams), both very competitive gamers who met a trivia night. The players include bickering high school sweethearts Kevin (Lomorne Morris) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury) and dim-witted ladies’ man Ryan (Billy Magnussen, from tv series Get Shorty, etc), who brings along a different shallow empty-headed date each night.
But this time, Max’s supposedly much more successful and wealthy older brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler, Emmy winner from Saturday Night Lights, etc) arrives for a surprise visit and decides to up the ante when he hosts his own game night. He has chosen an interactive “mystery” theme around the concept of a kidnapping. But things quickly go pear shaped when real life crooks invade the house, beat up Brooks, duct tape and drag him from the house. Max and the gang initially think it was all part of the game.
But when they realise that it was real, Max and his friends embark on a cross town chase to try and rescue Brooks. Their competitive spirit though means that they try to race each other to find Brooks and their efforts are driven by their natural one-upmanship. They soon discover that neither the game nor Brooks are what they seem. The chase also sees them having to find a Faberge egg, which is something of a McGuffin.
For the most part Game Night is an energetic and light-hearted action comedy with thriller elements as it mixes some car chases, fight scenes and the odd angry shot. But the plot is also very convoluted and there are a couple of last minute twists that defy credibility. The script comes from Mark Perez (the more family friendly Disney film Herbie Fully Loaded, etc). The film has been directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who are best known for writing comedies like Horrible Bosses, etc. They made their feature film directorial debut with 2015’s disappointing Vacation reboot, and here they bring their own comic sensibilities to Perez’s screenplay and make the most of the thin premise.
The film is slickly paced, and cinematographer Barry Peterson suffuses the material with a noir like palette. There are some nice visual gags as well, including establishing shots of various neighbourhoods that initially resemble a board game community.
Bateman often has a nice everyman quality that shapes his performances. Here he seems far more comfortable than in some of the crass comedies like Office Christmas Party that he has appeared in. He and McAdams develop a wonderful chemistry that lifts the film, and they play off each other well. It seems that she has allowed Bateman to lift his game. McAdams also shows a nice flair for comedy. The cast also features Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale, etc), and Danny Huston and Dexter star Michael C Hall in small roles as shady underworld figures.
Everyone in the cast is given their own moment to shine. But the stand out of the ensemble is Jesse Plemons (American Made, etc) who plays Gary, Max and Annie’s somewhat creepy and obsessive neighbour. Gary used to be a regular part of their game night crowd until he and his wife Debbie divorced, and he became too moody and depressed for their liking.
Game Night is uneven, but with a brisk running time of 100 minutes it never quite outstays its welcome. And it is a lot more fun than many other recent Hollywood comedies.
Nick Gardener’s Review:
The amiable if at times flat Game Night is a little like David Fincher’s The Game done in the style of contemporary comedies like Horrible Bosses. It also falls into that cinematic sub-genre the Jason Bateman movie in which Bateman plays the put-upon, every-man, nice guy schlub forced into a dangerous situation that inevitably provides some necessary jolt to his staid suburban life.
Here Bateman plays Max who, despite a comfortable life and marriage to the gorgeous Annie (Rachel McAdams), is perpetually stressed, a condition that seems to be impeding his ability to conceive a child. The source of his anxiety seems to be his arrogant Wall Street trader brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) who has always taken sadistic delight in trouncing Max at games and competitions throughout their lives. When the obnoxious Brooks invites Max and Annie and their friends to a murder mystery party the night unexpectedly turns into a battle against kidnappers and sleaze-ball gangsters.
The film attempts to weld a typical Bateman middle class suburban rom-com to a crime thriller but the results are at best middling. Bateman’s easy charm and comic timing work about as well as they do in other films where he’s played essentially the same character and McAdams’ cheery, live-wire performance is typically fun and endearing. Add an amusingly creepy performance from Jesse Plemons as a weird, angry cop neighbour who’s determined to inveigle himself into Max and Annie’s life and at least in its early stages, this is an enjoyably perky comedy.
As the film attempts to entangle Max and Annie in a twist-laden action/crime/ caper/ story, though, it begins to lose its appeal. The film lacks the necessary thrills, intensity and drama for this part of the movie to work. Add to this a few dud gags, predictable story threads, sub-plots about characters misfiring relationships that don’t really go anywhere and some completely unbelievable scenarios including a ludicrous sequence at a gangster’s mansion and Game Night becomes a little laboured.
Thankfully, Game Night eschews much some of the grubbiness and nastiness of contemporary raunch comedies but it doesn’t replace this with enough genuine wit, energy or clever story-telling.
Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):
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The bells rang at the close of trade yesterday and there was one clear winner: Martin Scorsese’s THE WOLF OF WALL STREET soared its way to the top of the Australian box office. Grossing $1.016m across 228 locations, the critically acclaimed black comedy had the biggest opening day for an R18+ film in Australian history.
“The Wolf of Wall Street has had an extraordinary first day in cinemas across Australia, grossing over $1m, becoming the biggest ever opening day for a Martin Scorsese film. Since it began opening around the world, The Wolf of Wall Street has enjoyed amazing box office success and now Australia joins the growing number of international markets where the film has proven incredibly popular with audiences,” Roadshow Films managing director Joel Pearlman said.
Director Martin Scorsese has excavated the terrain of the American crime drama from multiple angles – but with The Wolf Of Wall Street he goes straight to the edge with a tale from the outrageous and darkly comic realm of our most contemporary variety of criminal extortion: high finance.
Nominated for five Academy Awards and four BAFTAs, the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio in his Golden Globe winning role, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler and Rob Reiner.
Based on a true story, The Wolf of Wall Street follows the outlandish rise and non-stop pleasure-hunting descent of Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio), the New York stockbroker who, along with his merry band of brokers, makes a gargantuan fortune by defrauding investors out of millions.
The film follows Belfort’s wild ride as he transforms from a righteous young Wall Street newcomer to a thoroughly corrupted stock-pumper and IPO cowboy.
Having quickly amassed an absurd fortune, Jordan pumps it back into an endless array of aphrodisiacs: women, Quaaludes, coke, cars, his supermodel wife and a legendary life of aspiration and acquisition without limits.
But even as Belfort’s company, Stratton Oakmont, soars sky-high into extremes of hedonistic gratification, the SEC and the FBI are zeroing in on his empire of excess.
The Wolf of Wall Street was released nationally on January 23 and is rated R18+
Summary: Jordan Belfort (DiCaprio) is the son of an accountant, hoping to make it big on Wall Street as a stockbroker. Following the crash of 1987 Belfort reinvents himself with the help of Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill) and close group of unscrupulous friends, starting brokerage firm Stratton Oakmont. Rapidly becoming wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, Belfort develops a hard-partying lifestyle that soon attracts the attention of federal government.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 23rd January, 2014
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Martin Scorsese
Screenwriter: Terence Winter, Jordan Belfort (book)
Cast: Ashlie Atkinson (Rochelle Applebaum), Jon Bernthal (Brad), Loretta O. Booz (Wendy), P.J. Byrne (Nicky ‘Rugrat’ Koskoff), Chris Caldovino (Rocco #1), Katarina Cas (Chantalle), Aya Cash (Janet), Kyle Chandler (Agent Patrick Denham), Kenneth Choi (Chester Ming), Robert Clohessy (Nolan Drager), Shea Coleman (Skylar Belfort (14 months old)), Carla Corvo (Pam), Dan Daily (Honorary Raymond Samitz), Leonardo DiCaprio (Jordan Belfort), Bo Dietl (himself), Jean Dujardin (Jean Jacques Saurel), Christine Ebersole (Leah Belfort), Giselle Eisenberg (Skylar Belfort (4 Years Old)), Michael Engberg (Smith), Jon Favreau (Manny Riskin), Danny Flaherty (Zip), Marcus Antonio Gonzalez (Rocco #2), Ted Griffin (Agent Hughes), Jonah Hill (Donnie Azoff), Jake Hoffman (Steve Madden), Christina Jeffs (Venice), Spike Jonze (Dwayne), Dustin Kerns (Ben Jenner), Stephen Kunken (Jerry Fogel), Stephanie Kurtzuba (Kimmie Blezer), Aaron Lazar (Blair Hollingsworth), Ben Leasure (Brantley), Fran Lebowitz (Honorary Samantha Stogel), Joanna Lumley (Aunt Emma), J.C. MacKenzie (Lucas Soloman), Johnnie Mae (Violet), Rizwan Manji (Kalil), Matthew McConaughey (Mark Hanna), Madison McKinley (Heidi), Mackenzie Meehan (Hildy Azoff), Cristin Miliroti (Teresa Petrillo), Ron Nakahara (Rocky Aoki), Michael Nathanson (Barry Kleinman), Sandra Nelson (Aliyah Farran), Dierdre Reimold (Nicole), Rob Reiner (Max Belfort), Margot Robbie (Naomi Lapaglia), Barry Rothbart (Peter DeBlasio), Brian Sacca (Robbie ‘Pinhead’ Feinberg), Jon Spinogatti (Nicholas the Butler), Ethan Suplee (Toby Welch), Natasha Newman Thomas (Danielle Harrison), Emily Tremaine (Cristy), Shea Whigham (Captain Ted Beecham), Joe Zaso (Bernardo), Henry Zebrowski (Alden ‘Sea Otter’ Kupferberg)
Please check Nick’s The Wolf Of Wall Street review that is available on Southern FM
First I do have to admit a real bias when I am reviewing The Wolf Of Wall Street – I am an avid Martin Scorsese film and also an avid Leonardo DiCaprio, yes I have been in heaven for the past few years while they are collaborated together on five films. And yes while films such as Shutter Island and The Departed would make my ‘Greatest Films Ever Made’ list, I am not biased enough to admit that these two have made some ordinary films together, especially The Aviator.
So where does The Wolf Of Wall Street fit on the Leonardo DiCaprio/Martin Scorsese scale. Well to be honest it is pretty bloody high up, because this is a good… no make that… great film. But to preface that I should say this film does go above and beyond to get its R18+ rating because Scorsese has pretty much made a film about a world of sleaze.
Under Scorsese’s wonderful direction DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a young man who is introduced into the world of Wall Street finance by the ‘out there’ Mark Hanna (Matthew McCounaughey) who teaches Jordan the things he needs to succeed are cash, drugs and sex… and that you get them anyway you can.
Jordan’s first journey into Wall Street though doesn’t last after the crash of 1987 and soon Hanna disappears out of the picture and Jordan is left to resurrect himself, this time through a backyard operation that pretty much just sells worthless penny deals. But Jordan sees promise in that and soon he, and his new found buddy the loud Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), begin their new operation that has the sole aim of making them money.
Once Jordan is once again wealthy he again reaches Wall Street doing illegal deal after illegal deal while his weaknesses are still cash, drugs and sex… this time with his future wife, the beautiful Naomi Lapaglia (Margot Robbie). Everything is going well until a Federal Agent (played by Kyle Chandler) starts sniffing around Jordan and aims to bring him down.
With The Wolf Of Wall Street Scorsese is once again at the top of his game. He is cunning with the way that he tells this story – yes at times he glorifies the sick lifestyle that Jordan lives, but he also dramatically shows the downside of this lifestyle to the point where anybody watching the film would be an idiot to want to get involved in the finance world. At times Jordan appears to be a God, but that image is shattered when Scorsese allows the grime to reach the surface in shocking acts such as seeing Jordan punch his wife in the stomach. Those that criticize The Wolf Of Wall Street and point out that Scorsese is trying to glorify this film are on the wrong track completely because he is trying to do anything but that.
The critics that have pointed out that Scorsese goes back and reuses some of his old Goodfellas style are right, but always the inventor Scorsese also uses comedy to full affect in The Wolf Of Wall Street… perhaps to give his audience a rest from the onslaught, while he is also creative in the way that he allows Jordan to narrate this film, especially in the sense that Jordan seems to be able to pick and choose what he feels the audience will understand. He may be in his seventies but at least Scorsese is still a director willing to try new things.
Once again Scorsese also gets the best out of Leonardo DiCaprio. Just like he did in Django Unchained DiCaprio relishes the fact that he gets to play an unlikable character here and he is well deserved of all the awards he has been nominated for. But this isn’t just the DiCaprio show, oh no Matthew McConaughey steals the show with his brief performance, Kyle Chandler is once again smooth in his role while Jonah Hill provides more than just comedic relief showing that he is a genuine dramatic actor these days. However the person that deserves a big tick for The Wolf Of Wall Street is Australian actress Margot Robbie who shows that she is more than just a pretty face and delivers some intense acting during her sometimes vicious scenes with DiCaprio. Yes she well and truly deserves her ‘star on the rise’ label.
As previously mentioned The Wolf Of Wall Street is not a film that will be enjoyed by all. It is a powerful, and yes at times graphic film. It may be a little long (some of the scenes wouldn’t have suffered if the editor had been a bit more brutal) but this film once again shows why Martin Scorsese is a living legend when it comes to filmmaking.
A new featurette for the film ‘The Spectacular Now’ has just been released. The film is directed by James Ponsoldt and stars Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley and Kyle Chandler – it will be released on the 5th December in Australia.
With amazing performances in ‘Argo’, ‘Broken City’ and ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ we decided to take a look at the talented actor, Kyle Chandler. You can check the Biography at the Helium Entertainment Channel.
Summary: In a broken city rife with injustice, ex-cop Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) seeks redemption – and revenge – after being double-crossed and then framed by its most powerful figure, the mayor (Russell Crowe). Billy’s relentless pursuit of justice, matched only by his streetwise toughness, makes him an unstoppable force – and the mayor’s worst nightmare.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th March, 2013
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Director: Allen Hughes
Screenwriter: Brian Tucker
Cast: Sharon Anglea (Amber (voice), (Michael Beach (Tony Jansen), Justin Chambers (Ryan), Kyle Chandler (Paul Andrews), Ambyr Childers (Mary), Russell Crowe (Mayor Hostetler), Griffin Dunne (Sam Lancaster), , Shawn Elliott (Raul Barea), Frank Forunato (Body Man Kevin), James M. Jenkins (Jimmy (voice)), Chance Kelly (Murdock), Natalie Martinez (Natalie Barrow), Barry Pepper (Jack Valliant), Reynaldo Piniella (Bolton Teen Alex), William Ragsdale (Mr. Davies), James Ransone (Todd Lancaster), Ric Reitz (Mitch Rappaport), Alona Tal (Katy Bradshaw), Britney Theriot (Valerie), Luis Tolentino (Mikey Tavarez), Mark Wahlberg (Billy Taggart), Jeffrey Wright (Carl Fairbanks), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Cathleen Hostetler)
Runtime: 109 mins
Dave Griffiths’s ‘Broken City’ Review:
While they might not be everybody’s cup of tea, sometimes it is nice to sit back and enjoy a good story that centres around political espionage and fraud. While ‘Broken City’ promises to be this years ‘Arbitrage’ it isn’t quite up to scratch.
‘Broken City’ begins with New York Police Department Detective Billy Taggert (Mark Wahlberg – ‘Ted’, ‘Contraband’) being found not guilty after he guns down a rape suspect, the ‘not guilty’ verdict is largely hated by the population who believes that Taggert should be charged with murder. While Police Commissioner Carl Fairbanks (Jeffrey Wright – ‘A Single Shot’, ‘The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister And Pete’) decides to stand Taggert down he finds a fan in Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe – ‘Les Miserables’, ‘The Man With The Iron Fists’) who congratulates him on his work.
Time passes and now Taggert is dating actress Natalie Barrow (Natalie Martinez – ‘End Of Watch’, ‘The Baytown Outlaws’) who is the rape victim’s sister and he is running a Private Investigation company with the help of his assistant Katy Bradshaw (Alona Tal – ‘Powers’ TV’S ‘Cult’). With the company running at a loss Taggert jumps at the opportunity when Mayor Hostetler hires him to investigate his wife, Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones – ‘Side Effects’, ‘Playing For Keeps’). But while Taggert believes it is a simple case of Cathleen is having an affair with Paul Andrews (Kyle Chandler – ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, ‘Argo’) he soon finds himself engulfed by a deadly game of politics and corruption.
While director Allen Hughes (‘The Book Of Eli’, ‘New York I Love You’) has the sense to make sure that this film doesn’t become your stock standard action film just because one of the supposed modern day action stars, Mark Wahlberg, is the leading man, you can’t help but feel that Wahlberg’s presence does indeed taint the film. Inside ‘Broken City’ is a great story waiting to come out but it is like Hughes knows that Wahlberg will be ripped to shreds if it comes down to an acting duel between himself and Crowe so instead he chooses to dumb the script, the result is a film that offers a little bit of suspense but nowhere near as much as it needed.
The cast are also badly let down by the weakened screenplay. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Kyle Chandler are dangerously underused while Jeffrey Wright is horribly miscast as the Police Commissioner, it is a strange casting decision and one that leaves an actor in a role that he certainly isn’t believable in. Also distracting is Crowe’s bad wig and tan which is too much of a distraction not to be noticed.
‘Broken City’ does offer up the occasional twist and turn but sadly the script is a lot tamer than it should be.