Tag Archives: russell crowe

Not Great but Not Terrible | Review of ‘The Mummy’ (2017)

By Cynthia Ayala

The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance & Russell Crowe
Universal Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“An ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.”


Where to start. Okay, so as a fan of the Brendan Fraser Mummy from back in the day, like many I was skeptical. But at the end of the day, I have to appreciate that this film was not a copycat. And it’s still funny. Tom Cruise has proven that he is a very versatile actor, and like many actors, he’s going to have some bad movies under his belt. This certainly isn’t his worst film but it’s not his best either, I’ll admit to that. Was the story the best? Certainly not. I’m going to go ahead and agree with some of the critics who question if the film would have been better had it not been so set on establishing the Dark Universe. Continue reading Not Great but Not Terrible | Review of ‘The Mummy’ (2017)

A Hope Filled Fairy Tale…almost | Cyn’s Movie Review of Winter’s Tale

By: Cynthia A.

Directed By: Akiva Goldsman

Screenplay by: Akiva Goldsman

Based on Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

Starring: Colin Farrell, Jessica Brown Findlay, Jennifer Connelly, William Hurt, Eva Marie Saint, Russell Crowe & Will Smith

Set in 1916, Peter Lake, an Irish thief is on the run from the demon who raised him, the gangster Pearly Soames, after deciding to leave.  Rescued by a mysterious white horse that soon becomes his guardian angel, the pair try to settle some scored before running off to Florida and escape those hunting him.  But then, while trying to rob a house, he meets Beverly Penn, a young woman dying of tuberculosis, who steals his heart and offers his hers.  Then, as events take a toll and Beverly is taken from him, but the gift of love, the miracle that Beverly gave him, offered him a chance to save the life he was unable to save before.

Not your typical romance flick, if it’s that at all.  Winter’s Tale begins in the early 1900’s with one Peter Lake running for his life from the crook who raised him, the man who taught him how to steal.  But of course, Pearly, played by Russell Crowe, is more than just some bad guy, he’s actually a demon a hell.

The underlying theme of the film is hope captured in the romance between a dying girl and a no-good thief who loves her.  It displays that, although there is darkness and light in the world, as long as humankind does not give up hope, the heavens will continue to thrive and the light in the world will never be snuffed out.  Over all it’s a beautiful message in the movie that may viewers may miss as the movie is marketed as a love story when it’s more than that.  Of course, love is the drive here, through love miracles can happen and the hearts touched by such love impact people in such miraculous ways that it’s impossible to focus on the mystical of the film.  In fact, the added faith based mysticism that turns this story into a fairy tale serves to drive audiences’ away viewers away as they try to grasp what Will Smith is doing in this film as Lucifer and why there is a horse with angelic wings.

The fairy tale aspect, while not entirely convoluted, distracts from the original premise of love in this film, throwing viewers down a rabbit hole, so to speak.  While not convoluted, the dialogue and context of the film doesn’t flush out all the necessary details that would allowed for better understanding as well as enjoyment.  Marketing closed off a lot of people targeting the wrong audiences inadvertently misleading them.  Just remember to keep an open mind and open heart about this film and anyone watching it will be sure to enjoy it.  Remember: it’s not a love story, it’s a fairy tale about hope.  ★★½ (out of 4 ☆’s | B-)

Russell Crowe May Finally Make Directorial Debut With Historical Drama The Water Diviner

By: Nick Venable

russell_crowe_38133It’s been a pretty solid year already for Russell Crowe, having starred in Allen Hughes’ so-so crime thriller Broken City as well as Zack Snyder’s summer blockbuster-on-kryptonite-crackMan of Steel, where he found his inner Marlon Brando to play Superman’s father. I’m pretty sure if a Justice League movie ever gets made, they’ll figure out a way to get Crowe involved. Perhaps by hologram and voiceover a la Superman Returns?

But before any of that other superhero madness makes it to the big screen, Crowe is interested in directing his own film, which Deadline reports would be the historical drama The Water Diviner, which will be produced by Hopscotch Features and Fear of God Films and written by Australian screenwriters Andrew Anastasios and Andrew Knight.

Let’s take a brief detour to list the films that Crowe has already aimed to make his directorial debut with. There was the surfer drama Bra Boys back in 2007, the cop drama 77 in 2011, and a Bill Hicks biopic, which he was reportedly interested in making last year, after being attached to star as Hicks back in 2008. He’s also supposed to direct a segment of the anthology filmSydney Unplugged. If The Water Diviner ends up going the way of Hicks – i.e. dying an early death – I don’t think anyone would be surprised.

But we’re not trying to be discouraging here, even though this project sounds arguably less interesting than any of those other ones. The Water Diviner takes place in 1919 and would tell the story of an Australian father – who would be played by Crowe himself – who travels to Turkey to find his two sons who go missing after the World War I battle of Gallipoli. Should it actually make it to production, Crowe would shoot the film later this year in Australia and Turkey, which might add that layer of needed realism to a project that will have to go a little farther in order to gain my rabid interest. I need phrases like “depressing drama” or “action-tinged hunt” for a movie like this. Otherwise, it just sounds like something that will feature Crowe mugging for the camera in nice locations.

It’s assumed that the film would go into production once Crowe is finished with all of the promotional material for his next film, Darren Aronofsky’s religious epic Noah, where he’ll be playing the titular character. Perhaps in all of the pairs of animals taken into Noah’s ark, there is another Crowe that’ll be able to do the directing thing while the other one does the promo thing.

There isn’t any clear sign that Crowe will be singing anything for this movie like he did for Les Miserables, but that doesn’t mean we can’t listen to some of that right now.

Source: Cinema Blend

Les Misérables


Breathtaking, wonderful amazing! I absolutely loved this movie so much. The artistic design of the movie was breathtaking and the rawness of the music, the way it vibrated in the theater was amazing. Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised at how the movie was developed as well as the casting choices. Granted I spent half the movie remembering that these were The Dictator, Bellatrix, Wolverine, Catwoman and the Gladiator. I know, it’s annoying that I made those comparisons but it is true. That being said, despite those thoughts intruding into my head, I loved this movie and was completely entranced and pleased with the actors’ ability to sing.

The score was amazing, the choreography was spotless and made the movie flow. Having never reading Les Misérables I cannot comment on the adaptation, but I don’t think it butchered the story. In this movie, there was truth, the relentless truth of the matter, the truth of war and the cost of revolution. Unpleasantness happened and this movie did history proud by not shining away from it. Honestly a beautiful movie. 4/4 ★‘s and an “A+”.

The Man with the Iron Fists

It saddens me to say this but this was not that great of a movie, which was disappointing.  The opening sequence and narration was slow and took me out of the movie. I understand the nostalgia feeling that the RZA and Quentin Tarantino were going for but it didn’t work.   This is supposed to be a martial arts movie and it was a very slow beginning into one with not much build of a story to initialize it.  However, as soon as the speed picked up so did the movie and the special effects.

Another problem was the time of the movie.  There is no clear establishment that the movie takes place in the 19th century.   So the whole inclusion of the runaway slave was incredibly, I’m sorry, stupid and took me out of the film.  All we needed to know was that he washed up on the shores of China, that was all we needed to know, nothing else.  Given the time of the movie, we can assume that he was a slave at one time.  The whole sequence was unnecessary.

Now, I am sorry to add insult to injury, but RZA, he cannot act.  I’m sorry, but he can’t.  His diction, his tone, it was so out-of-place.  I mean, I just wish he had gotten a more experienced actor for this movie.  There are plenty of amazing and talented African-American actors.   Another thing, he had no chemistry with Jamie Chung.  Together, they were just the most awkward couple and it was awful.  Lucy Liu, Byron Mann and Russell Crowe were awesome but everyone else felt a little awkward and what was the deal with Poison Dagger?  Wasn’t feeling it.

Most of the dialogue felt like empty dead dialogue and the  plot was often jagged and confusing. 1/4 ‘s and a “D”.

Aaron Paul Wants To Play Eddie Dean In Stephen King’s The Dark Tower

By: Sean O’Connell

Warner Bros.’ planned adaptation of Stephen King’s massive The Dark Tower series has stalled. Last we heard, the studio passed on an elaborate plan that would have spread King’s story across multiple feature films and a television series. But even though the project’s on the shelf, that hasn’t stopped fans in high places from speculating on the franchise’s future.

Case in point: Breaking Bad Emmy winner Aaron Paul took to Twitter last night to claim that playing reformed junkie Eddie Dean in King’s story is a “HUGE dream of mine.” Those of us who’ve read King’s story promptly had our brains melted by the mere suggestion of Paul playing Eddie. It’s so perfect a casting choice that Damon Lindelof chimed in with the Tweet, “You would be the best Eddie ever.”

And he would. Dean is a New York junkie pulled into a fantasy world by rambling gunslinger Roland of Gilead. He’s a deeply flawed but ultimately heroic character, and he’s characterized by his bravery and sarcasm. Paul would be so perfect in the role. And as Breaking Bad has proven, this powerful actor easily could hold his own alongside Russell Crowe, Javier Bardem, or any other actor cast as Roland.

Unfortunately, as far as we know, the movie isn’t happening. The budget might have been too high. Ron Howard’s vision might have been too unwieldy. But King’s Dark Tower story is so amazing, you can understand why Hollywood’s reluctant to let it go. And with casting suggestions like Paul for Eddie, now I’m refusing to let it go, as well. How about you?

Source: Cinema Blend

Anne Hathaway Gets A Dramatic Haircut For Les Miserables

We’ve been lucky enough to catch glimpses at Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables leads, giving us an idea of what they might look like in character. First, there was Russell Crowe’s hat. Then, Hugh Jackman’s beard. And now, a suggestion of Anne Hathaway’s haircut, which actually ends up being more drastic than it sounds. See for yourself:

The photo, published on People.com, was snapped in London’s SoHo neighborhood as Hathaway exited The Box, a nightclub, with her fiancé Adam Shulman. Though she tried to hide her shorn locks, this appears to be the first shot of Hathaway’s look for Fantine. I wonder if the studio will respond with an official shot once this photo makes the rounds? If you are unfamiliar with Victor Hugo’s story, Fantine will have to sell her hair at one point to raise money for … well, I’ll let plot twists be discovered by the audience.

Hooper, of course, is coming off of an Oscar win for his movie The King’s Speech, and is tackling this screen adaptation of the stage musical that is based on Hugo’s novel. His cast is stellar. In addition to the three leads, he has booked Amanda Seyfried (as Cosette), Sacha Baron Cohen (as Monsieur Thénardier) and Helena Bonham Carter as Madame Thénardier. They are racing the clock to reach a Dec. 14 release date for Universal Pictures, which no doubt hopes that Hooper’s Oscar luck will extend over this Miserables and power the musical through next year’s awards race.

And now you won’t be so surprised when Hathaway makes the press rounds on behalf of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises and looks more like a New Wave rocker than Selina Kyle.