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Archive for January, 2010

Edge of Darkness – Movie Review

Friday, January 29th, 2010

Edge of Darkness DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster -Style A

“Edge of Darkness” is a must see this weekend. Read the review and let us know what you think.

Director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale, Green Lantern) revisits the Edge of Darkness in this truncated, Americanized retelling of the award-winning British TV miniseries he directed back in 1985. The original miniseries was one of a number of UK political thrillers, including Defence of the Realm and Hidden Agenda, made during and commenting on the Thatcher era. The feature film remake keeps the basic premise of the small screen original — a cop uncovers political intrigue and corporate corruption while investigating the murder of his daughter — while updating what the villains are up to.

Veteran homicide detective Tom Craven (Mel Gibson) is delighted when his twenty-something daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic) comes home to Boston for the weekend, but she’s fatigued, sick and somewhat aloof. Something is clearly wrong with her, but before Tom can learn what that is she is gunned down in what everyone initially assumes was a hit meant for him. Everything changes, however, when Tom finds a Geiger counter and handgun among Emma’s belongings. She worked for Northmoor, a private firm with shady government contracts, and Tom comes to suspect that they were behind her death.

Tom is soon visited by Darius Jedburgh (Ray Winstone, who replaced Robert De Niro), a British “cleaner” for the U.S. government who is, curiously, as helpful in Craven’s search for the truth as he is vaguely threatening. What did Emma find out about Northmoor that got her killed? And who else was she mixed up with? These are the questions that drive an increasingly desperate and violent Craven to take the fight right to the bad guys’ door.

Mel Gibson hasn’t been seen on-screen as a leading man since 2002’s Signs, but you’d never know he hadn’t acted in front of a camera for the better part of a decade while watching Edge of Darkness. Gibson delivers one of his most restrained and potent performances here, channeling the righteous, vengeful fury we’ve come to expect from “Mad Mel” while also conveying a world-weariness befitting the role of an aging single dad mourning the loss of his only child. Gibson’s subtle performance helps elevate the film from being just another revenge movie or political thriller. (And, as a native Bostonian, I can attest that Gibson does a fine job with the accent, nailing the inflections and attitude.)

The rest of the cast is solid. Winstone is both gruffly sophisticated and subtly sinister as the enigmatic Jedburgh, whose loyalties and agenda are almost as murky as his past. Winstone damn near the steals the show from Gibson. Danny Huston plays his latest villain with a sense of entitlement and white collar aloofness that epitomizes the old line about the banality of evil. Ditto Denis O’Hare as a government stooge and Damian Young as a soulless senator. Jay O. Sanders delivers in his few scenes as a cop colleague of Craven’s. Novakovic isn’t in the movie quite enough to really make too much of a lasting impression, while Shawn Roberts, who is a dead ringer for young David Keith, is a bit forced as Emma’s paranoid boyfriend-colleague.

The screenplay adaptation by Oscar-winner William Monahan and Andrew Bovell has more shadings and nuanced characters than other genre movies of this stripe. (Monahan, a Boston native who scripted The Departed, also brings a lot of local flavor to the piece.) There’s a shorthand used in the depiction of Craven’s relationship with his daughter that’s simple but effective; his flashback to teaching a very young Emma how to shave is both sweet and moving, and will surely pull on the heartstrings of daddy’s girls everywhere. This becomes all the more poignant when Craven finally realizes he didn’t really know her as well as he thought.

Also especially effective are the exchanges between Craven and Jedburgh that mix tension, humor and even a bit of pathos as the latter begins to take stock of his own life while learning more about the former. The dialogue, especially Jedburgh’s doublespeak, is brandished like a weapon by hero and villain alike to threaten people and “clarify” increasingly complicated situations for them. But when words aren’t vicious enough, there are moments of brutality here that prove screen violence can still have genuine emotional impact and shock value.

With Edge of Darkness, director Martin Campbell, the screenwriters and Mel Gibson have delivered a thriller that is, oddly enough, as energetic as it is melancholy, a film that’s rife with political intrigue, populated with captivating characters and punctuated by sporadic bursts of startling violence.

New Movie Releases – January 29, 2010

Friday, January 29th, 2010

These are the movies opening in wide release this Friday. Mel Gibson returns in “Edge of Darkness” and Kristen stars in the romantic comedy, “When in Rome“.

Edge of Darkness

Edge of Darkness DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Style A

Synopsis: CASINO ROYALE filmmaker Martin Campbell directs a remake of his own BBC miniseries with this thriller. Mel Gibson stars as Thomas Craven, a man who has spent years as a detective in Boston. When his own daughter is killed near the door of his home, Craven realizes that her death is only one piece of a puzzle filled with corruption and conspiracy, and it falls to him to discover who is behind the crime. Written by Oscar-winner William Monahan (THE DEPARTED) and screenwriter Andrew Bovell (LANTANA), EDGE OF DARKNESS also stars Ray Winstone and Danny Huston.

Cast: Mel Gibson, Danny Huston, Ray Winstone, Shawn Roberts, Denis O’Hare, Bojana Novakovic; Directed By: Martin Campbell

When in Rome

Synopsis: Kristen Bell (HEROES, VERONICA MARS) stars in this comedy as a young woman with an enviable problem: she has multiple men after her heart! She takes a trip to Italy to escape New York City, and there she makes the questionable decision to take coins from a fountain of love. Soon, a number of men (played by Danny DeVito, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard, and Will Arnett) are a-wooing, and she doesn’t know what to do. Making things even tougher is the presence of a journalist (Josh Duhamel), who seems to display a real affection for her.

Cast: Kristen Bell, Josh Duhamel, Will Arnett, Alexis Dziena, Jon Heder, Dax Shepard, Danny DeVito, Anjelica Huston, Kate Micucci, Bobby Moynihan, Lee Pace, Art Malik; Director: Mark Steven Johnson

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Advance Style A

Release date: Wednesday June 30, 2010
Genre: Horror/Thriller/Drama/Fantasy
Director: David Slade
Studio: E1 Entertainment Canada
Screenplay: Melissa Rosenberg
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Billy Burke, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Bryce Dallas Howard
Official Site: Not available
Rating: Not yet rated
Available film art: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse movie posters

The third chapter in the “Twilight” franchise. As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob—knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

New DVD/Blu-Ray Releases: January 26, 2010

Monday, January 25th, 2010

These are the movies being released on DVD and Blu-Ray: Bright Star, Michael Jackson’s This is It, Saw VI, Surrogates, and Whip It.

Bright Star

Bright Star DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Style A

Synopsis: London 1818: a secret love affair begins between 23 year old English poet, John Keats, and the girl next door, Fanny Brawne, an outspoken student of fashion. This unlikely pair started at odds; he thinking her a stylish minx, she unimpressed by literature in general.

It was the illness of Keats’s younger brother that drew them together. Keats was touched by Fanny’s efforts to help and agreed to teach her poetry.

By the time Fanny’s alarmed mother and Keats’s best friend Brown realised their attachment, the relationship had an unstoppable momentum. Intensely and helplessly absorbed in each other, the young lovers were swept into powerful new sensations, “I have the feeling as if I were dissolving”, Keats wrote to her. Together they rode a wave of romantic obsession that deepened as their troubles mounted. Only Keats’s illness proved insurmountable.

Consensus: Jane Campion’s direction is as refined as her screenplay, and she gets the most out of her cast — especially Abbie Cornish — in this understated period drama.

Cast: Ben Whishaw, Abbie Cornish, Thomas Sangster, Paul Schneider, Kerry Fox, Samuel Roukin, Samuel Barnett; Directed by: Jane Campion

Michael Jackson’s This is It

Michael Jackson's This is It DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Style A

Synopsis: Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT will offer Jackson fans and music lovers worldwide a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the performer as he developed, created and rehearsed for his sold-out concerts that would have taken place beginning this summer in London’s O2 Arena. Chronicling the months from April through June, 2009, the film is produced with the full support of the Estate of Michael Jackson and drawn from more than one hundred hours of behind-the-scenes footage, featuring Jackson rehearsing a number of his songs for the show. Audiences will be given a privileged and private look at Jackson as he has never been seen before. In raw and candid detail, Michael Jackson’s THIS IS IT captures the singer, dancer, filmmaker, architect, creative genius and great artist at work as he creates and perfects his final show. Kenny Ortega, who was both Michael Jackson’s creative partner and the director of the stage show is also directing the film, which is being produced by Randy Phillips, Kenny Ortega and Paul Gongaware. Executive producers are John Branca and John McClain. The film will be distributed worldwide by Sony Pictures Releasing. Tickets for the limited two-week engagement of the film go on sale beginning September 27.

Consensus: While it may not be the definitive concert film (or the insightful backstage look) some will hope for, Michael Jackson’s This Is It packs more than enough entertainment value to live up to its ambitious title.

Cast: Michael Jackson; Director: Kenny Ortega

Saw VI

Saw VI DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Style A

Synopsis: The makers of the Saw films continue to make Rube Goldberg roll over in his grave with this sixth film in the series. SAW VI finds Detective Hoffman (Costas Mandylor) the target of a FBI investigation, but that won’t stop him from continuing the murderous mayhem started by Jigsaw.

Consensus: It won’t earn the franchise many new fans, but Saw VI is a surprising step up for what has become an intricately grisly annual tradition.

Cast: Costas Mandylor, Mark Rolston, Betsy Russell, Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Peter Outerbridge, Shauna MacDonald, Darius McCrary; Director: Kevin Greutert


Surrogates DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Advance Style A

Synopsis: FBI agents (BRUCE WILLIS and RADHA MITCHELL) investigate the mysterious murder of a college student linked to the man who helped create a high-tech surrogate phenomenon that allows people to purchase unflawed robotic versions of themselves – fit, good looking remotely controlled machines that ultimately assume their life roles – enabling people to experience life vicariously from the comfort and safety of their own homes. The murder spawns a quest for answers: in a world of masks, who’s real and who can you trust?

Cast: Bruce Willis, Radha Mitchell, Rosamund Pike, Boris Kodjoe, James Cromwell, Ving Rhames, James Francis Ginty; Director: Jonathan Mostow

Whip It!

Whip It DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Style A

Synopsis: Drew Barrymore makes her directorial debut with this feisty, female-friendly action-comedy. JUNO’s Ellen Page stars as Bliss Cavendar, a young woman who longs to break free of her small-town bonds by joining the rough-and-tumble sport of roller derby in nearby Austin, Texas.

Consensus: While made from overly familiar ingredients, Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut has enough charm, energy, and good-natured humor to transcend its many cliches.

Cast: Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig, Drew Barrymore, Juliette Lewis, Jimmy Fallon, Daniel Stern, Alia Shawkat, Eve; Director: Drew Barrymore

New Movie Releases: January 22, 2010

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

These are the movies being released in wide release ths Friday: Extraordinary Measures, Tooth Fairy, and Legion.

Legion DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Advance Style A

Synopsis: Scott Stewart’s supernatural thriller Legion, scripted by Peter Schink, concerns a group of strangers in an out-of-the-way eatery who become the first line of defense when God, believing the human race is no longer worthy of Him, decides to end their existence. This motley crew’s only spiritual ally is the archangel Michael, played by Paul Bettany. Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson, Charles S. Dutton, and Lucas Black co-star in the Screen Gems production.

Cast: Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson, Doug Jones, Jon Tenney, Charles S. Dutton, Lucas Black, Kate Walsh, Adrianne Palicki, Kevin Durand, Willa Holland ; Directed By: Scott Stewart

Mel Gibson Returns from the Edge of Darkness

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

Mel Gibson in Edge of Darkness
Mel Gibson stars in “Edge of Darkness.”

Everybody knows the trouble Mel Gibson has seen. Through it all, the 54-year-old persevered, then bounced back.

Edge of Darkness is his latest thriller, which opens on Jan. 29. An adaptation of Martin Campbell’s 1985 BBC series, the Campbell-directed film marks Gibson’s return as a movie star, his first major role since 2002’s Signs.

Certainly, the Hollywood industry will be watching to see how fans react to him in front of the camera post-controversies. They include allegations of racism associated with his 2004 worldwide independent hit film, The Passion Of The Christ, and his Malibu drinking-while-driving incident in 2006.

In Edge Of Darkness, Gibson portrays a Boston police detective who investigates the murder of his activist daughter. He ends up confronting an operative (Ray Winstone), and U.S. government agents, when he uncovers a string of conspiracies, all pointing towards the illegal production of nuclear weapons.

The revenge part is vintage Gibson, who comes across like a mature version of his classic roles defining the unpredictable action hero – from Mad Max to the Lethal Weapon films. And there’s more to come.

Besides, Edge of Darkness, Gibson headlines the upcoming comedy-drama called The Beaver with Jodie Foster directing and co-starring. “She’s a ballsy girl,” he says of his friend from their Maverick days.

By March, he’s set to start shooting How I Spent My Summer Vacation

. He’ll star in the picture and direct it, as he did with his Oscar-winning Braveheart.

“It (How I Spent My Summer Vacation) is something that I wrote with the first and the second AD (assistant director) on Apocalypto,” confirms Gibson, referring to his 2006 directorial effort. “We wrote this story about a gringo in a Mexican prison.”

He has lots more on his to-do list, which the affable and always hyper Gibson was enthusiastic to discuss during a recent sit down at a Santa Monica beachside hotel.

Q: Why did you take a break from acting?

A: I was a bit stale and I thought that it wasn’t ringing my bells. So I focused on directing and writing and producing and all that kind of stuff, and then it was time to come back. I got the acting bug back.

Q: Did you feel rusty on Edge of Darkness?

A: A little bit. Martin (Campbell) had to tell me to tone it down a couple of times because you forget levels. But I mean you don’t do something for thirty years, and just forget it.

Q: So do you feel the time away from acting was worth it?

A: Yeah, pretty much. Somebody told me once, ‘Go away, dig a hole, do something else.” I cannot qualify how exactly but I know that something happened. There’s nothing better than a vacation sometimes.

Q: There were some tough fight scenes in Edge Of Darkness. Did you have to prepare?

A: I ordered a chiropractor for the day after because I knew how I was going to feel. I knew that I was going to wake up (feeling) like roadkill, and I did. You don’t pop back the way you used to, but that’s OK so long as it looks good.

Q: Do you work out on a regular basis?

A: I don’t. I quit smoking so that’s something in the right direction. There are no more fun things left. I just don’t do anything fun anymore.

Q: Were you a big smoker?

A: My mother smoked, I think, when I was in her womb. When I first had one, when I was nine, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, yes. I missed this.’ Then 45 years later, after every single artistic decision, or any decision, I’ve done them with a cigarette.

Q: Back to Edge of Darkness. Were there other challenges besides the action sequences?

A: Look, every time you do something you wonder if you can do it. There’s no secret recipe for success. You’re either going to be excoriated or praised or somewhere in between – or both sometimes. It’s all a challenge, the whole gig is a challenge.

Q: Especially your Viking film. Is that still in the development phase?

A: Yeah. My first thought ever about being a filmmaker was when I was 16, and I wanted to make a Viking movie. I wanted to make it in Old Norse which I was studying at that time.

Q: Are going to do it in Old Norse?

A: I think it’s going to be in English that would’ve been spoken back then and Old Norse. I’m going to give it to you real, man.

Q: And the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio?

A: Oh, he’ll be great. He’s an amazing actor, this kid.

Q: And what about another Mad Max with director George Miller. Have you ruled out a cameo?

A: I’ve talked to George, yeah. We had a good chin wag. I kind of dropped out a bit, but I can’t wait to see it.

© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

Movie Review: The Book of Eli

Friday, January 15th, 2010

The Book of Eli DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Advance Style A

Thirty years after the flash, a man named Eli cuts across the desert — a speck against the sun-bleached horizon. He is dressed in tattered rags and well-worn shoes. Above him, bomb-blasted freeways dead end in piles of rubble and exposed girders. A dying car battery powers the last iPod on Earth, the final notes of music in a world devoid of life or color. In his bag, beside the shotgun and long-blade, is a book. The only book that matters. And in a lawless town of mindless marauders, a civilized man named Carnegie has been searching for that book for a long, long time.

The book, of course, is the Bible — perhaps the last of its kind since the war saw them all hunted down and burned — but in a scorched world of lost souls, such a book would have the power to either liberate or control.

In a strange way, The Book of Eli is really one movie disguised as another, presenting a lyrically filmed story about the importance of religious faith wrapped in the guise of a post-apocalyptic, quasi-western action film. There is a sense as Eli progresses that beyond the awesomely constructed wasteland, the sharply choreographed action sequences and the dynamic performances by Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman, there’s something far deeper and more dramatic passing itself off as popcorn genre entertainment. It’s the very opposite of heavy-handed, subtly layered to be about something, and that’s a rare quality in a film that could deliver just as well on the merits of its action and visuals.

The Hughes brothers return to the big screen to tell the story of one man’s journey of faith, sheparding the Bible across America until chance or divine intervention delivers him to its purpose. That said, Washington’s Eli is still an apocalyptic bad-ass who can easily take down a gang of rapists and thieves with a single blade or win out in a gunfight against 25 fully-loaded shooters. He’s not much of a talker and Washington’s biggest challenge in the role is to maintain a quiet and believable presence throughout. Most of the dialogue belongs to Oldman as the black-hatted Carnegie, delivering a well-balanced performance that’s consistently engaging without ever spilling into the overly eccentric territory that Oldman has been known to explore. In many ways, Carnegie is a more complex character than Eli, played with occasional notes of sympathy and suggesting a past that might render him more than just a one-note villain.

Washington, however, plays many of his later scenes against Solara, the daughter of Carnegie’s mistress, played here by Mila Kunis in the film’s least effective performance. Kunis plays the role of Eli’s companion in the most straightforward fashion possible, never suggesting any real depth or emotional connection beyond what’s scripted on the page. She’s hardly bad in the role so much as she’s mechanical, serving the story in such a way that never pulls you out, but quite never invites you into the material. The deficiency isn’t tremendously noticeable until the closing moments when the character’s fate is finally revealed and the audience discovers that they simply don’t care. Thankfully, Washington is around to help elevate each sequence and does so with his typical bravado.

The performances are also informed by the wonderfully visual world that the Hughes brothers have created. The Book of Eli is a painterly film, crafted with style and nuance as opposed to more grounded, realistic depictions of the Apocalypse as seen in The Road. The action is fast and the camera moves — the shots — are meticulously framed. One pivotal shoot-out finds the camera floating into and through the ruins of a bullet-ridden house in a singular movement, illustrating the brothers’ distinct style and penchant for visual flare. But Gary Whitta’s script — with some help from Anthony Peckham — offers the pair a strong balance of action and substance, as does the very premise of the film itself.

Make no mistake, however, The Book of Eli is a film about religion. Or at the very least, faith. One gets the sense from various cultural references scattered throughout the movie that the filmmakers hope that viewers of any belief system might be able to make the mental switch from the Bible, to the Koran, to the Torah… That Eli isn’t carrying the Bible so much as he’s carrying a representation of the very notion of faith itself. But the fact that the set-up demands that the story choose one particular book will no doubt make the film feel very Christian to many audiences. While one gets the impression that other Eli’s may exist within this world, carrying the sacred texts of any number of religions, it’s never communicated quite so clearly as to satisfy those who are likely, perhaps fairly, to inquire, “Why is it only the Christian God who speaks to the post-apocalyptic world?”

With all that in mind, Eli is a surprisingly moving film. The action and the visuals are superbly entertaining, but there are several moments, however stylized, when the more philosophical subtext rises to the surface and elicits an actual emotion out of the audience. Sophisticated, exciting and particularly well-crafted, The Book of Eli is worth a read, cover to cover.

New Movie Release – January 15, 2010

Friday, January 15th, 2010

These are the movies opening in wide release this Friday: The Book of Eli and The Spy Next Door.

The Book of Eli DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Advance Style A

Synopsis: In the not-too-distant future, some 30 years after the final war, a solitary man walks across the wasteland that was once America. Empty cities, broken highways, seared earth–all around him, the marks of catastrophic destruction. There is no civilization here, no law. The roads belong to gangs that would murder a man for his shoes, an ounce of water…or for nothing at all.

But they’re no match for this traveler.

A warrior not by choice but necessity, Eli (Denzel Washington) seeks only peace but, if challenged, will cut his attackers down before they realize their fatal mistake. It’s not his life he guards so fiercely but his hope for the future; a hope he has carried and protected for 30 years and is determined to realize. Driven by this commitment and guided by his belief in something greater than himself, Eli does what he must to survive–and continue.

Only one other man in this ruined world understands the power Eli holds, and is determined to make it his own: Carnegie (Gary Oldman), the self-appointed despot of a makeshift town of thieves and gunmen. Meanwhile, Carnegie’s adopted daughter Solara (Mila Kunis) is fascinated by Eli for another reason: the glimpse he offers of what may exist beyond her stepfather’s domain.

But neither will find it easy to deter him. Nothing–and no one–can stand in his way. Eli must keep moving to fulfill his destiny and bring help to a ravaged humanity.

Cast: Denzel Washington, Gary Oldman, Mila Kunis, Ray Stevenson; Directed by: Albert and Allen Hughes

Denzel Washington gets fierce

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

The Book of Ei DS 1 Sheet Movie Poster - Advance Style A

Despite Denzel Washington’s inclination to do the right thing in his personal life, he knows how to define violence as an actor.

He was a convincingly conniving heroin dealer in American Gangster, a dangerous avenger in Man On Fire, and he won an Oscar for his out-of-control corrupt cop in Training Day.

“I always say, you can’t be considered (for an Oscar) unless you have a good role, and good roles are hard to come by,” says the 55-year-old. “So I keep looking for them.”

He thinks he may have found another one. Washington has to dig deep to find his brutal side for his role in the post-apocalyptic action flick, The Book Of Eli.

Opening on Friday, the Hughes Brother film features Washington as Eli, the fierce and deadly guardian of a book that might lead to the resurrection of an anarchistic society, which has deconstructed into a wasteland of roving gangs and mobster fiefdoms.

On his walking journey to deliver the book, Eli battles thugs, cons and tricksters, but is tested the most severely by Carnegie (Gary Oldman) whose posse of bad guys captures, then tries to track down Eli after he escapes with his book and a member of the tribe (Mila Kunis).

Along the way, Eli’s savagery is intense, but Washington refuses to worry about his image, or expectations from fans, when he chooses a part. “Some of the characters I’ve played killed, but they’re not necessarily killers,” he says.

Some are, though. And he’s fine with that, too. He’s also comfortable doing what it takes to get prepared, and that was especially true for The Book Of Eli.

Washington suffered through six months of martial-arts conditioning and sword-and-knife training to look as lethal as his Eli character.

Still, there’s no question the part is a departure for the actor. He shared the screen last year with John Travolta in the subway thriller The Taking of The Pelham 123. But Travolta defined the sneering bad guy, while Washington played an average dude embroiled in the caper.

Before that, he directed and co-starred in The Great Debaters, playing a 1930s activist educator who leads an all-black college debating team to the U.S. finals. That was his second directorial foray. His first was Antwone Fisher in 2002.

Acting is his first love, however. And his acclaimed role as Brutus in the Broadway production of Julius Caesar showed his versatility, as did his breakthrough in the 1980s groundbreaking medical series St. Elsewhere.

While working on that series, he took breaks to make movies. Some of them, such as Carbon Copy, Hard Lessons and Power, didn’t quite work.

Others did, including Washington’s portrayal of the anti-apartheid political activist Steve Biko in director Richard Attenborough’s Cry Freedom, which earned the actor his first Oscar nomination for his supporting-actor effort.

A few year’s later, he scooped up an Academy Award for his supporting role as the defiant ex-slave soldier in Ed Zwick’s civil-war epic, Glory. And he never looked back.

“I’m about doing,” Washington says. “I don’t need to talk about it, because I am usually about to do it.”

That includes re-upping with director Spike Lee for another Inside Man heist flick. The first one received decent notices and a solid box office of $184 US globally.

Washington admits he rarely rejects an offer from his director friend, which has worked out nicely for the actor and director.

Their relationship has inspired both of them since the beginning, with 1990’s Mo’ Better Blues, then 1992’s Malcolm X, which earned Washington another Academy Award nomination for his title role, followed by 1998’s He Got Game.

Director Tony Scott knows a little bit about the Washington persona, too, having directed the actor to great success in 1995’s Crimson Tide, 2004’s Man On Fire and 2006’s Deja Vu.

Right after Deja Vu, he did the crime saga American Gangster with Tony’s brother Ridley Scott. “I must be the first person in the business to work with Tony Scott and Ridley Scott in the same year,” says Washington.

Still, Lee puts him in his comfort zone. In 2005, their collaboration on Inside Man let them pick up where they had left off, with impressive results. Washington remembers having to be a quick study for Inside Man as he was just wrapping his Broadway run of Julius Caesar.

“I had about five days off in between,” says the actor, who admits he probably wouldn’t have pushed himself for any other filmmaker.

For Inside Man 2, it will be more of the same trust. And Lee and Washington will continue to borrow from each other’s instincts.

“I started improvising with Spike (Lee) on Mo’ Better Blues,” says Washington. “He said, ‘Go ahead do it’, so I did.”


Monday, January 11th, 2010

Release date: Friday July 16, 2010
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
Director: Christopher Nolan
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Screenplay: Christopher Nolan
Producer(s): Emma Thomas
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine
Official Site:
Rating: Not yet rated
Available film art: Inception movie posters

The film is describe as a contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind from “Dark Knight” director Christopher Nolan. Nolan wrote the original screenplay and hopes to shoot the sci-fi action film in the summer for a release during summer 2010.

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