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Contents On the Cover: 30 NO FAULT IN THIS FILM Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort star together in the new coming-of-age love story, The Fault in our stars. We chatted to the stars about the film and what it means to them and others

Features: 24 VISIONS OF FUTURE AND PAST X-Men alum Patrick Stewart talks to us about his role in the latest instalment from the X-Men universe, X-Men: Days of Future Past

36 PART OF TOMORROW In the new sci-fi action adventure, Edge of Tomorrow, Bill Paxton plays Tom Cruise’s superior officer. We chatted to the actor about the role, working with Cruise and the 40 pound exo-suit he had to wear

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Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort cuddle up in a scene from The Fault in our Stars

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Bill Paxton takes cover in

36 Edge of Tomorrow Director Robert Stromberg gives Elle and Jennifer 62 Fanning some tips in Maleficent 24 PatriLawrenceck Stewart pose for X-Men: Days of Future Past

62 DIRECT EVIL

Transformers: Age of Extinction The story of Sleeping Blended Beauty is back on our How to Train your screens this month with the Dragon 2 release of Maleficent. We 9 MY TOP FIVE chatted to director Robert Stromberg about his South African star of directorial debut and stage and screen Carmen working with one of Pretorius tells us about her Hollywood’s biggest names, five favourite films of all Angelina Jolie, and one of its time hottest rising stars, Elle 70 DSTV THROWBACK Fanning Zoom

Regulars:

Reviews:

12 COMING SOON: WHAT 42 RELEASED MAY 16TH TO SEE IN JUNE Edge of Tomorrow Kill your Darlings

Godzilla Filth

46 RELEASED MAY 23RD X-Men: Days of Future Past Under the Skin Grace of Monaco Walk of Shame Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return 52 RELEASED MAY 30TH The Railway Man A Million Ways to Die in the West Transcendence 56 RELEASING JUNE 6TH Maleficent The Fault in our Stars The Quiet Ones

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Editors Letter It’s a new month and a new magazine. We really hope you like our new look, it’s close to the original, but just different enough to keep it interesting, or we hope so. We have a great issue for you. Director Robert Stromberg speaks to us about his directorial debut in the new Disney live action Maleficent. Bill Paxton talks about starring alongside Tom Cruise, and donning a uniform again, in the sci-fi actioner, Edge of Tomorrow. X-Men alum Patrick Stewart talks to us about starring as the mind reading Professor X again in the latest in the franchise, X-Men: Days of Future Past. On our cover Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort tell us about starring together for the second time in The Fault in our Stars. We also have all the reviews for the films that opened in the month of May, as well as looking forward to films that you should go and see in June. We’ll run reviews for those films in our July Issue. We really hope you like our redesign and new Regulars section, but please, we want to hear from you so drop us an email – offthescreenmagazine@gmail.com – and let us know what you think, send us your reviews, comments or complaints, we want to hear it all good, bad or ugly. Also remember to visit us at our website: www.offthescreenmagazine.com for other interviews, and content. Thanks for reading our magazine, and, as always, we’ll see you at the movies.

Editor Jon Broeke jon.broeke@gmail.com

Photo Credits Nu Metro, Ster Kinekor, Getty Images, UPI.com, Google Images, imdb.com

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Best Wishes Jon Broeke Editor Off The Screen Magazine _____________________________________________________ 6


My Life in Movies Best known for her stage work in Mama Mia, the pantomime Cinderella, Jersey Boys and most recently the Sound of Music at the Teatro at

CARMEN PRETORIUS

Montecasino, is breaking onto the big screen as well, most recently in Lien se Lankstaanskoene, and looks to make big waves in our film industry in the near future. She told us about the films that meant something to her in her

Life in Movies

TITANIC: I just remember crying in that film and I was about 9 or so. It was the first real love story that I watched and the first time a film really touched me to the point of tears.

INCEPTION: I adore Edith Piaf

UP: What a heart-warming

and love the use of her song when the characters get called back to reality. Leo Dicaprio is so inspirational! I admire him as an actor. The reason I adore this film is for the genius plot and the way that the writers brilliantly told such an intricate story. Riveting! I love the idea that an idea can be planted into one's head- links in with my fascination with psychology.

story!! I absolutely love this kind of animation. I watched this movie with my boyfriend and it just reminds me of happiness and true love:)

THE SPICE GIRL'S MOVIE: I know it's not the greatest filmic feat known to man but it was this film and this band that really got me wanting to perform. The film gave a glimpse into the band's life and it really inspired me! Haha! I used to watch it over and over. Off The Screen Magazine _______________________________________

MOULIN ROUGE: I absolutely adore Baz Luhrmann because of the fantastical quality he gives all his work. The way the film incorporated the exquisite music and the visuals and bright colours!!! Absolutely adored it.


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Coming Soon: What to see in June

Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Brendan Gleeson Directed by Doug Liman Tom Cruise is Cage, a soldier in the human army trying to turn the tide in a war against an invading alien force. On the day of Judgement, as they call it, the day the human forces mount an allout assault on the aliens Cage, along with every single person on the battlefield, gets annihilated, but he doesn’t stay dead, instead he wakes up back at the beginning of the day, forced to live the same day, the same doomed battle, over and over again. The only help he has in the insanity comes in the form of Rita (Emily Blunt), literally the poster child for the military forces, who has gone through something similar herself and can explain things to Cage. She agrees to train him so he can do the one thing he needs to do to stop the day repeating, win the battle, win the war, and save all their lives. If the trailer is anything to go on this is going to be one rip roaring, edge of your seat,

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rollercoaster ride of a film. The effects look great, especially the exo-suits, massive futuristic suits-ofarmour that the soldiers wear, and the aliens themselves, which look a lot like the sentinels from the Matrix, but a little cooler. Cruise looks at his peak, and he and Blunt look good together, so be sure to be ready for some serious chemistry between these two characters. Supporting is Bill Paxton, who doesn’t feature in the trailer, but looks to make up a large portion of the comic relief in the film, so keep an eye out for him as well. Read our interview with him on page ……… If you like rip-roaring action and futuristic adventure then this is the film for you.

Edge of Tomorrow opens th June 13

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Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Elizabeth Olsen Directed by John Krokidas When Allen Ginsburg (Daniel Radcliffe) starts studying at Columbian University he quickly becomes disillusioned by the stunted nature of the teachings there, especially since he is such a free thinker. He is drawn to fellow poets Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster) and Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston), and they go about creating the poetry of the ages, the thing that will dawn a new age of thinking, of poetry and of life, but when an old professor of Lucien’s, David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall), arrive on their doorstep, only to end up dead soon after everything changes for all of them. I’ve been a keen follower of Radcliffe since his days in the Harry Potter series. I especially enjoyed him in The

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Woman in Black and look forward to seeing him in Horns, which is opening overseas in October and will hopefully be hitting our shores soon after. Him being paired with DeHaan, who I noticed in Chronicle, featured in our Shot on our Shores article, and have followed him since, really enjoying his performances, especially in The Amazing SpiderMan2: Rise of Electro, should be really exciting to see. Add to that mix Foster and Hall and you’ve got the recipe for an absolutely fantastic set of performances. This film does run the risk of being a little too art film for my tastes, especially considering the poetic backstory about the lead characters, but with the addition of the murder and the intrigue involved in who’s responsible I have high hopes for an intense, coming of age feature from some incredible actors.

Kill your Darlings opens June 6th

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Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci, T.J. Miller Directed by Michael Bay Things have changed between the humans and the transformers, even so far as that some governments are hunting them down. A mechanic, Cade (Mark Wahlberg) and his daughter, Tessa (Nicola Peltz) get caught up in the middle of the struggle when he finds a deactivated Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen). Government officials come to his house to get the Autobot, but he reactivates in time to save the day, but only for now. Unbeknownst to Cade, Tessa and Prime human business men have been experimenting with Transformer parts, so much so that they have created a Transformer, Galvatron (voiced by Frank Welker) who quickly takes over as supreme leader of the Decepticons and sets about destroying the thing he hates the most, namely us. With four Transformer films below our belt I really thought that this series was pretty much over, after all, what more could they possibly do to keep it fresh and interesting? Well, I’ve got to say, if the trailer is anything to go by, they have managed to find a way. The

Transformers themselves are the same, and we love them. They do look a little more mean and ready for action though. I love the addition of Galvatron, Megatron was done by now, and the fact that he’s a human creation, that we’ve created our own destruction, is kind of genius, so I look forward to seeing him on the big screen, especially with that huge looking ship of his that’s flying behind him in the trailer. The heroes of this film, though, I’m sure, are going to be the Dinobots. According to Wikipedia the leader of the Dinobots is named Grimlock, and he transforms into a massive Tyrannosaurus Rex. You can see Optimus riding him in the trailer, and there are currently massive stands at cinemas nationwide with Optimus astride Grimlock. How cool is that? With the addition of the Dinobots and Galvatron I think this could revolutionise the Transformers series and Im really looking forward to all the robot on robot action.

Transformers : Age of Extinction opens June 27th

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Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Bella Thorne, Terry Crews Directed by Frank Coraci The fates conspire in the most comedic when, after a disastrous blind date, Jim (Adam Sandler) and Lauren (Drew Barrymore) find themselves in the same resort in Africa along with their respective kids, his, Espn (Emma Fuhrmann), Hilary (Bella Thorne) and Lou (Alyvia Alyn Lind), and hers, Brendan (Braxton Beckham) and Tyler (Kyle Red Silverstein). As they are thrust together time and time again they begin to know each other better, as well as learning about each other’s kids, hers looking for a father figure, and his desperately looking for a female example, especially Hilary who is discovering boys, especially a certain boy at the resort, Jake (Zak Henri), much to Jim’s horror. This is the third film featuring Sandler and Barrymore, the first being The Wedding Singer back in 1998, and the second being

Coming Soon: What to see in June

50 First Dates back in 2004. Both films were critical and financial successes, not to mention being among my favourite all time films, so I have high hopes for this one too. Add to that the fact that film was shot and is set in Sun City, in sunny South Africa and, what more can I say? This has got to be one of the best films of the year. The film co-stars Terry Crews, better known for his action roles, but a great comic actor in his own right. He exulted about shooting in SA. “It was glorious,” Crews says about shooting in SA. “The people were amazing. The food, the culture, the whole thing. We went on safari, we saw the whole deal, it was just one big adventure.” If you’re as big a fan of Sandler or Barrymore, or especially the two of them together, then this is one you must diarise right now.

Blended opens July th 4

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Jay Baruchel, Kristen Wiig, America Ferrera, Cate Blanchett Directed by Dean DeBlois It’s been five years since Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and Toothless united the Vikings and the dragons and changed the island of Berk forever. Since then the other kids Hiccup was training with in the first film have all got their own dragons and challenge each other dragon races, the island favourite new sport, while Hiccup and Toothless travel across the seas searching out new places. Their search leads them to a mysterious ice covered cave, the home of a mysterious dragon rider that turns out to be Hiccup’s mother, Valka (voiced by Cate Blanchett). She shows him things about dragons that he never knew, but also tells him about a menace that’s coming across the ocean. Huge ships with, seemingly, only one aim, to capture all the dragons they’re trying to protect. The latest offering from Dreamworks Studios looks to be a good one. The first film, back in 2010 was smart and sweet and a great story about judging a book by its cover. This sequel looks to be more about the verging

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relationship between Hiccup and Toothless, the discovery that his mother is still alive, and the action when the island of Berk needs to come together to save the day. If

the trailer is anything to go by each aspect is going to be explored really well, and it’s going to be a beautiful film. If you loved the first one, or you have kids that love animated films, which they all do, which is the reason the animated films are the highest earners at the SA Box Office, then you need to diarise to go and see Hiccup and Toothless back on the big screen.

How to Train Your Dragon 2 opens June th 20

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PatricckkStewart Stewart Patri

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Visions Of Future and Past Our Favourite mutants are back battling the forces of evil, but this time those forces aren’t mutants, they are humans, and it may be the one battle they can’t win. X-Men alum Patrick Stewart tells us about his role in the latest instalment

T

he future is not a happy place for Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and his X-Men comrades in their huge new adventure, Days of Future Past. With the world devastated by war, and mutants in particular facing extinction, Xavier and his long-time friend/occasional enemy Magneto (Ian McKellen) hatch a plan to send Wolverine’s (Hugh Jackman) consciousness back in time to his younger self in the 1970s. While there, he must convince the First Class era versions of Xavier and

Magneto to put aside their vast differences and bitter rivalry to work together and stop the dark, dangerous future from coming to pass. But it won’t be an easy job, as Charles Xavier in 1973 is in a dark place himself – and it might take meeting his future self to knock him out of a deep depression… Stewart returns to the role of Charles Xavier he originated in 2000’s X-Men, reuniting with director Bryan Singer and his castmates. He talks about the ease of working with old friends, acting opposite James McAvoy as the younger Xavier and his director’s Twitter fascination…

Was it easy to slip back into the character of Charles Xavier? I would say that it's not too challenging picking up the XMen reins again and stepping into the shoes of Charles Xavier. This time, it's been a little different because the background to our story is such that the X-Men find themselves not at the start of difficult situations, but almost at the climax of them – a time when not just mutants, but all of society is threatened with extinction by these machines, the Sentinels. The drama and intensity really never let up for us in this film; in the past, we've had lighter moments and sometimes even scenes of quite conventional action. But not in this one, because

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Patrick Stewart

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Patrick Stewart with Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique) Off The Screen Magazine ___________________________________________________________________

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Patrick Stewart with James McAvoy (younger Professor X) _________________________________ _______________________

Patrick Stewart

the external threat is so present and so demanding that everything is at a high level of tension.

reunion. Old battle-scarred colleagues coming together to down a few glasses of brandy.

Hugh and Ian McKellen have described working with the classic X-Men cast again as a school reunion. Did you see it that way?

Hugh said he saw you and Ian walking arm in arm to set working on lines for your upcoming plays...

Well, of course they would describe it that way, because they're both very childish people! I, on the other hand, am much more mature and grown up than either Hugh or Sir Ian, and I would say it was much more like a regimental-style reunion than something like a school

Yes, I think at times Bryan, our wonderful director, was irritated to find Ian and myself with our heads in Harold Pinter scripts rather than the film's script! But because Ian and I had many long, complex scenes together in the plays, it was a perfect opportunity, some two months before we started

rehearsals, to get some of the lines down. It was very valuable. But people would come across us running lines and would say, 'What's that? I don't recognize those from Days of Future Past...' Have you noticed any changes in Bryan's directorial style in the years since you last worked with him? Has his style matured? Bryan was already a very mature filmmaker when we started working on the first XMen movie. I think one of the ways he has changed is that Bryan has now become much

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“

Patrick Stewart

_________________________________ _______________________ It was my last day

of work on the movie and his first. So I was in quite a different place and James had to pretty much start cold. But we both found the scene very interesting.�

more sensitive and intimate to an actor's way of working and preparation, and has absorbed that into his directing style and technique. That's something I was very much aware of when we were filming Days of Future Past. James McAvoy said he was a little intimidated filming the scene with you as the two Xaviers. How did you find it? It was challenging because of the nature of the scene that James and I had to play. It was my last day of work on the movie and his first. So I was in quite a different place and James had to pretty much start cold. But we both found the scene very interesting, and it presented an acting challenge as to how we would respond to being face to face with our younger or older self. I found that challenge fascinating and I wish we'd had more time on-

screen together, because I've admired him for many years but never before had an opportunity to work with him until he shot that one scene.

Bryan's films have always carried deeper themes than just the action. What do you think he's trying to say with Days of Future Past? You must understand that I haven't seen the film yet, and the scenes that I shot only represent probably one-sixth or one-eighth of the content of the film. I've read the script, of course, but many things change and grow and develop between the words on the page and the images on a film. I certainly know that, as with the previous two X-Men films Bryan made, that the issues of prejudice and hostility towards those who are different in any way will be very strongly present in this film, because that was always an important theme. That's still present, to a degree, in Days of Future Past.

portion of each film in Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, so I was in a fairly conventional world, except when we were flying around in the X-Jet. That is not the case at all here. We are a long way from the mansion and in an environment that is strange and, at times, very, very hostile. The first set that we worked on was the monastery location, in which the surviving X-Men regroup to create a plan which might help them to survive against the Sentinels, and this was on one of the largest soundstages I have ever been on, and the set filled the entire stage. So large was it that they could set up a wire and fly me in my chair from one end of the studio to the other about eight feet off the ground, which was great fun and made for quite a spectacular entrance for me! I enjoyed that. I had one or two visitors come on the set and they were astonished at the scale of what they saw. There was never any doubt that it was a big movie, and of course the subject and the themes are big themes also: we're looking at the end of civilization as we know it.

Did the film scale feel bigger to you, even given your limited involvement?

You were apparently a dab hand at maneuvering the wheelchair for the scene at the end of The Wolverine. Can we expect more daredevil skills from Professor X here?

It did, yes. For me, certainly, because in the earlier movies, I spent a large

No! For the simple reason that the chair you'll see me in is no longer on wheels but is

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From left: Ian McKellan (Magneto), Michael Fassbender (Magneto) and Patrick Stewart _________________________________ _______________________

Patrick Stewart

a hover chair. One of the three chairs that were made for the film actually hovered; it had a pressure system built into it, which could lift the chair and me off the ground but only an inch or two. And I had no control over it - I was being manipulated all the time. So no I didn't have a chance to get to do my fancy driving from the past. And, of course, it meant that Bryan, who loved racing around in my wheelchair, couldn't. The chairs I had for the second and third movies were extremely high-powered, and had a moderator switch so you could set the speed it could go. We had a lot of fun during breaks, particularly in the shiny corridor outside the Cerebro set, with Bryan in the

chair and the moderator set to maximum speed, racing around as though it were a Formula One track!

X-Men: Days of Future Past opens nationwide May 23rd

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No Fault in this Film Off The Screen Magazine ________________________________________________________________

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This month sees another teen fiction novel adaption hit our screens, but this time it has some differences. This time there are no vampires, no magic and no happily ever after. The Fault in

our Stars is not that kind of film, it’s about love and loss and everything in between. We sat down with co-stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort to chat about the appeal of the film, shooting part of it in Amsterdam and what it was like to work together again

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here have been a flood of teen fiction book adaptions in recent years. From Harry Potter to Twilight to more recently The Hunger Games and The Mortal Instruments. These films have a few things in common, firstly strong female leads, whether it’s a young girl who falls in love with a vampire, or one who gets plunged into a deadly game where others are trying to kill her, or a powerful witch who makes friends with the chosen one, or a young woman who finds out she has to save the world from monsters and demons, each one is a strong role model for girls out there. They also have an

epic love story, each with a romantic, steamy guy that the girl falls for. This month sees another of these stories hitting our big screen. We have the love story, and the steamy leading man in Ansel Elgort, and the strong female lead in Shailene Woodley, but this time the big bad is cancer, and the fight is a losing one. In The Fault in our Stars Hazel, played by Woodley, is a cancer patient trying to come to terms with her diagnoses and her coming death, but it’s difficult when she’s so young. She gets support from her parents and goes to support groups to try and help, but nothing really does, until she meets Gus, played by Elgort. He’s

another cancer patient, in remission, and he opens her eyes to a new world, one where she can actually love someone, and be loved, regardless of how much time they have together. But as they fall for each other hard the spectre of cancer still looms above their heads and sooner or later it rears its head. We sat down with Woodley and Elgort and chatted about the appeal of the film, especially to fans of the book, written by John Green, and themselves. “Oh, my gosh,” exclaims Woodley. She’s sitting with her knees pulled up to her chest in a pair of, what look like, pyjama pants and a cap, very relaxed. “That’s a broad question,” interjects Elgort. He’s a little smarter in a jacket and jeans, but just as relaxed as Woodley. “It has lots of appeal.” “Yeah. So much appeal,” agrees Woodley. “For me it was about just recognising that, how do I

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Far right: Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort share a tender moment Below: Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as Tris and Caleb in Divergent

say this? Nothings guaranteed and it’s all so fleeting, so just appreciate every single moment and be so grounded and be so rooted and wake up every single day and be grateful for every single breath, because you never know when you’re going to have another one. Also, it’s a book that doesn’t victimise death or victimise cancer, it celebrates life and it celebrates existence.” “I think that it so authentically represents a teenage love,” Elgort adds. “And just love in general. It doesn’t seem fake or cheesy at all, which is so refreshing, because in literature, and especially in movies, these things are normally so cheesy and so fake. This one is so real, it’s respectful.”

Elgort and Woodley recently acted together in Divergent, another film based on a teen fiction novel, but in that film they were brother and sister, a very different dynamic than in this film, but they used the experience of working together on that feature to help them in this production. “Of course,” Elgort tells us about the dynamic the two actors brought with them to the set of The Fault in our Stars. “But it’s not like we brought a specific thing, besides us just being so close. Our closeness was so important, because then we become far more comfortable with each other, so right away we can tell each other how we feel, and right away we can be collaborative. It’s great. That

kind of stuff translates onto the screen, us being close because Hazel and Gus are best friends, above being lovers and me and Shailene are also very good friends.” In the film Hazel and Gus take off to Amsterdam to find their favourite author to ask him some questions about his book, and also about their lives. The scenes that took place there were actually shot there so the actors spent a lot of time wandering around the old Netherlands city. “It was amazing,” says Woodley. “I‘ve been there before, but Ansel had never been there. We walked around on our days off. There’s something just so romantic about the city, it was foggy as well, and it was cold. Rain in itself brings a romantic element to life, I

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“I think that it so authentically represents a teenage love.

Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort enjoy dinner

It doesn’t seem fake or cheesy at all.” –Ansel Elgort think. There’s kind of a cosy sort of sensual feeling that you get, so being there, coming from America and going to see all these old buildings and imagining it through the eyes of these sixteen year olds, and it’s probably the last trip they’re ever going on in their lives, which is really sad to think about, but also very realistic for a lot of people. It was so special.” This film covers a lot of topics, love, loss, tragedy and everything that happens in between. Both the actors think that it has real

universal appeal, because love and loss are things we all have to deal with, no matter where we’re born. “I think that there are a lot of universal concepts in this film,” Elgort says. “Just the love, in general. It’s not, like I said, a young person love, or one that only young people would have or one that old people would have, this is like one that every could have, wants to have. Anyone can relate, who has had love, I think. The way that they face death is very universal. It helped me understand, especially as a young person, but even if I wasn’t young I think it really helped me understand death. The way they talk about it. The way it’s presented in the story. It’s just such a truthful and honest look at death. It also doesn’t put death down as like the worst thing in the world, it just talks about how everyone’s going to die,

and that’s just that. That’s just a given. To focus on the good, rather than the bad.” To see the good, the bad and everything else involved go and see The Fault in our Stars in cinemas nationwide June 6th.

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Bill Paxton

Part of Tomorrow Its Groundhog Day meets Aliens in the new science fiction extravaganza Edge of Tomorrow, and Bill Paxton is right in the middle of it. He tells us about his battle with more than one Alien

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ill Paxton first played a marine back in 1985 when he was the older brother to Ilan Mitchell-Smith’s Wyatt in Weird Science. He was at it again in 1986 in James Cameron’s Aliens, playing Private Hudson. He was a Navy Seal in 1990 as Dane in the film Navy Seals, alongside Charlie Sheen and an astronaut in 1995 alongside Tom Hanks in Apollo 13, not quite the same thing, but still military. Well this month he’s back in uniform, and alongside another Tom, Cruise this time, in the

science fiction epic Edge of Tomorrow. The film is a Groundhog Dayesque adventure seeing Cruise’s Cage battling an alien menace only to die over and over again only to come back to live the same day, over and over. Paxton plays his commanding officer, Master Sergeant Farell, and talks about the similarities to Aliens, the exo-suits they wear and working alongside Cruise and director Doug Liman… You famously played a Marine in the classic sci-fi film Aliens. Do you think playing Hudson

came into play when Doug Liman cast you as Master Sergeant Farell in Edge of Tomorrow? I don’t think it hurt me having that Aliens cachet to get cast in this part. This movie definitely has some DNA from Aliens. At the time I was cast for Edge of Tomorrow, I was out in the desert of New Mexico filming 2 Guns. They’d set up an iPod with Skype in my trailer so that the director, Doug Liman, could see me and I could do a conference call with him and Erwin Stoff, the producer. It was the strangest meeting I’ve

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Bill Paxton

“I made some great friendships.

It was a very bonding experience. “

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had with a director in my life, meeting him on Skype. I’d read the script the night before and picked up on a few key things—the idea of honor with this character was paramount. Here was a guy who really believed in the sanctity of battle in terms of a proving ground of true character. When you got into the Exosuit, what was it like to wear? When I arrived to Leavesden Studios in England, I was taken over in a golf cart to say hello to Tom Cruise. He was standing in the middle of this empty sound stage trying out the latest version of the Exosuit. He was doing a show-andtell to see how mobile and durable it was. There he is in this thing, and he turns to me and says, ‘Paxton, I hope you’ve been working out, these suits weigh 75 pounds.’ I remember thinking, ‘Am I ready for this?’ You didn’t wear the Exo-suit—it wore you. They would have to hang us up in these iron frame cages between shots just to take the pressure off our shoulders. But Tom being Tom—he loves a

challenge. With him, the more challenging, the better. In your scenes with Tom, because of the film’s structure and the time loop aspect, you basically do a lot of versions of the same scene. Did you have fun with that? Yes, it gave me a chance to be a reactive character. As Tom’s character starts to be able to anticipate what’s going to happen with each reset of the day, it becomes disconcerting as hell to my character, Sergeant Farell. One of my favorite moments in the movie is when Tom’s character rolls under a truck to make an escape and I look over just in time to see him get flattened. Doug Liman came to me and said, ‘Would you really recoil like that? Your character is used to seeing death in battle.’ I said, ‘I don’t care how much you’ve seen, if somebody gets crushed right in front of you, you’re going to have a kneejerk reaction to that.’ We had a lot of fun with that.

Bill Paxton

From left: Kick Gurry (Griff) and Bill Paxton (Farel)

Did you have to train for your part? Yes. I did some training. You had to learn how to walk in these Exo-suits and all of that. We had to do some stunt training for some specific moments in the film. They had guys there putting us through certain calisthenics that strengthen certain muscles for the suits. It is quite an international cast playing the members of J Squad, your military unit in the film. What were they like to work with? They were all terrific and great actors. Dragomir Mrsic, from Easy Money, is Swedish by way of Serbia. Kick Gurry is from Australia. Franz Drameh, Charlotte Riley, Jonas Armstrong and Tony Way were a lot of fun and we all became good friends. The military aspect of J Squad reminded me of my experience with the Aliens cast as colonial marines.

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The EDGE OF TOMORROW filmmakers were excited to incorporate the world-famous landmark of Trafalgar Square, a major hub of one _________________________________________________________________ of the biggest cities in the world, into their story. With gracious and wide-ranging cooperation from country, city and local officials, the production’s locations team, led by location manager Sue Quinn, accepted the challenge of taking moviemaking at Trafalgar Square where it had never gone before: landing a Eurocopter helicopter in the middle of the Square’s two fountains. The filmmakers had to choose a shooting date well in advance to reserve the Square, as so many events happen there year round. The more planning and advance notification that could be done, the smoother the shooting day would go. A collaboration of so many organizations and minds, preparing for every scenario, joined together to pull off such a major stunt, including London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson, From left: Tom Cruise (Cade) and Bill who has helped make London one of the world’s Paxton (Farel) most film-friendly cities. How many steps does it take to make filming history in Trafalgar Square? There will be a lot of visual became good friends through 1. Locations first spoke with the Mayor’s effects elements in the film, the experience and I look office. Then the request was put in with the aliens and the forward to working with him the hands of the Greater London Authority (GLA). landscapes. Did you have an again. 2. Once the GLA and Mayor’s office were idea of what it would look like in sync, a meeting was called with the during production? Can you talk a little more Westminster Council, which started a domino effect. about working with Tom, and 3. The Westminster Council came on Yes, production showed us what he brought to the film? board. 4. Transport For London (TFL) came on previs [previsualization] of board. some of the action sequences I really enjoyed acting with 5. Westminster Council, the TFL, and the and the prototypes of what the Tom Cruise. He was very Charing Cross Police Department worked with a traffic management aliens would look like. There supportive and enjoyed what I company to come up with a traffic were also extensive models was bringing to the party. I’m and pedestrian plan that would best that the art department had glad he was in the No. 1 suit the community, including coordinating the buses movements built, so it gave me a visual cue position because he for the day of shooting. and an idea as to the huge understands just how 6. Charing Cross Police Department liaised with the department that scale of the movie. painstaking and physically manages the roads. challenging these movies are 7. With the Westminster Council, the Can you elaborate on the because he’s done them. TFL, and the Police Departments all in sync, next up was the participation of experience of working with the Mounted Police. The Horse Doug Liman as he’s Looking back on the Guard’s Major and London orchestrating this giant epic. experience, is there anything Underground were also crucial to implement the plan. Did you find that he welcomed from the production that is 8. Coordination also involved aviation collaboration with the actors? particularly memorable for authorities and the Royal Air Force. 9. Permissions were also obtained from you or that you take away the National Gallery, which is on I found him to be very from this? Trafalgar Square. collaborative and very 10. After all the approvals were complete, the film’s location department handsupportive. I had a lot of fun I made some great friendships. delivered 8,000 letters to all building my character with I reignited a friendship with businesses and residences within 700 him. Considering the scale of producer Erwin Stoff. I made a meters of Trafalgar Square, making them aware of the shooting plans, and this motion picture, I admired friend with Doug Liman and letting them know to be in touch if how he kept his patience definitely with Tom, Emily and they had any questions or concerns. 11. The production scouted rooms in the throughout. He never lost his the rest of the cast. It was a Trafalgar Hotel and Northumberland cool. You can’t really rattle the very bonding experience. Hotel that face the Square for possible guy. He has a very good head camera positions. 12. Both the Canada House and South for logic and ideas about how Africa House embassies agreed to let to pull off different shots. We the filmmakers access their rooftop for shooting, if needed.

Bill Paxton

Edge of Tomorrow opens on June 13th

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Godzilla

RELEASE DATE: May 16th CAST: Aaron TaylorJohnson, Ken Watanabe and Elizabeth Olsen DIRECTOR Gareth Edwards

THE STORY In 1999 a group of miners uncover an underground cavern with mysterious bones in it. They call on the help of scientist, Dr Ichiro Serizawa (Ken Watanabe) and he discovers a huge hole in the side of the cavern, along with massive drag marks leading to the ocean. Soon after a catastrophe takes place at a nuclear power plant nearby causing the death of Sandra (Juliette Binoche), the wife of Joe Brady (Bryan Cranston), an engineer at the plant, and

mother to Ford (CJ Adams). 15 years later Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is getting home to San Francisco after serving in the Navy, to see his wife, Elle (Elizabeth Olsen) and his son, Sam (Carson Bolde), but no sooner has he arrived than he receives word that his father, still in Japan seeking answers about his wife’s death, has been arrested. Ford goes to Japan to help his father, the best he can, and winds up getting pulled into his search for answers, a search that takes him back to the nuclear power plant, but things aren’t what they appear, which becomes apparent when a huge monster is

hatched in front of them and the truth of what happened at the plant is uncovered. But now there’s a bigger problem, there’s a huge monster looking to destroy the planet in search of food, and nothing can stop it, or is there something that can save us all?

THE VERDICT This version of Godzilla takes us back to the Godzilla film hey days of the 1950’s. In the 1998 version, starring Matthew Broderick, Godzilla was made out to be a mistake, a by-product of the nuclear age, and nothing but a monster looking for food. I really enjoyed that film, and,

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not seeing the original versions, this was the version of Godzilla that I knew. Now I’ve seen a couple of the other incarnations of the monster and have a different take on the way they saw the monster back in the day, a way that this new film is showing him to a new audience. This time around Godzilla is not a monster, in fact, he’s the good guy. He is portrayed as a crusader for the balance of nature in our world, and only comes out of hiding when a monster comes out to cause havoc. In short, he is our only hope

against these bad guys and that is just so cool. I love this concept, though it is a little thin on the ground, but it is good fun. The effects are a huge part of this type of film and they don’t let us down. Godzilla himself is a big lizard, looking like the original, and his adversaries are big cockroach looking things that are really creepy. The destruction they cause is devastating, though we don’t get to see much of it until the end, having to make do with news reports and after the fact footage, which is a bit of a downer, but not the end of the

world. The acting is good from a couple of wellestablished names, including Kick-Ass’ Taylor-Johnson and Old Boy’s Olsen. They are both good and give the story a real emotional base, which it actually needs to make it connectable for the audience. If you liked the 1998 version you should enjoy the mayhem and monsters, if you’ve seen the originals then you’ll be glad that they’ve taken Godzilla back to his routes, and made him a bad-ass monster slayer again.

8/10

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RELEASE DATE: May 16th CAST: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell and Eddie Marsan DIRECTOR: Jon S. Baird

THE STORY Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy) is one of several other offices in line for a promotion at the office, among them his partner, who he feels is beneath him, Ray Lennox (Jamie Bell), and the only female officer up for the promotion, Amanda Drummond (Imogene Poots). What the rest of them don’t know is that Robertson is willing to do whatever it takes to get the promotion, and that includes ruining their careers and possibly lives, in the process. Thus begins a game of who’s the bigger bad guy as they stumble around to try and win their prize.

THE VERDICT

Filth

I started off liking this film. It opens as a darkly satirical look into the life of a police officer who is completely free of any kind of morals. He’s vile in the most complete form of the word, and seems to revel in it, and it’s wonderful, the depths he will sink to discredit his coworkers is really astounding. The problem is that this is only the first five or so minutes of the film. It quickly dissolves into, what I can only describe as a really bad acid trip, including seeing pig faced men and hearing very strange voices. We see the sergeant sink deeper and deeper into what becomes an apparent very serious psychosis from which there is no escape, even though he tries to convince himself that the problem is outside of him, and not from within. McAvoy’s acting of this sink into madness is completely

unsettling, and creepy, and amazing. He’s a fabulous actor and this role really gives him something to play with. The supporting cast is good as well, but the entire film is really about putting McAvoy up front and centre, and it works, at least in that regard. The problem is that the filmmakers just take it too far. It becomes intolerably uncomfortable for the viewer, feeling more like a psychological assessment than a feature film. It becomes just too hard to watch and by the end you’re praying for the credits to roll. If you like completely mental and difficult to watch films then you’ll enjoy this one, but if you like your fare more for the sane members of society, then perhaps skip this one.

5/10

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RELEASE DATE May 23rd CAST James McAvoy, Hugh Jackman and Michael Fassbender DIRECTOR Bryan Singer

THE STORY In the future the X-Men and their allies, and even their enemies, are all facing the same terrible foe, the Sentinels. Created by Dr Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), the sentinels are giant machines that have virtually wiped out the

X-Men: Days of Future Past

entire mutant population of Earth, even going so far as to kill humans that may one day have mutant children, or are helping the mutants. All that remains is a small handful including some of our favourites, like Storm (Halle Berry), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Shadowcat (Ellen Page), Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), some new faces like Sunspot (Adan Canto), Warpath (Booboo

Stewart) and Blink (Bingbing Fan), and even someone that was considered an enemy, Magneto (Ian McKellan). At the end of the rope the group decides on an insane course of action. They’re going to send Wolverine back in time, into the body of his younger self, to warn the younger Professor X (James McAvoy) and the younger Magnetto (Michael Fassbender) to team up. Their mission is to stop Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) from killing Trask and setting off a course of events that leads to the future they’re fighting against. This is harder said than done, especially since certain members of the team have their own agenda, and aren’t following the plan.

THE VERDICT This film brings together all the best parts of the first three X-Men films, X-Men, XMen 2 and X-Men: The Last Stand, and adds them to XMen: First Class to make the best X-Men movie yet. It’s slick and smart and well scripted and a great story. Once again the effects are amazing, from the desolated cityscapes that make up the future, to the cities of the

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70’s, which are drastically different. The Sentinels are also really cool. The way they’re put together is both amazing and terrifying at the same time, a great feat of CGI. You also have the big moments, like Magnetto lifting an entire baseball stadium, which takes your breath away. Fans of the effect driven X-Men movies will love that aspect. What the film takes from First Class is the level of performance that made that film as good as it was. McAvoy and Fassbender are both back as the friends turned enemies, turned unexpected allies. They are both so good in their roles, especially McAvoy who shows a different side of the normally so together and

controlled Professor, showing that he is in fact human, more or less, after all. Lawrence gives another stellar performance, which we expect from her at this point, as Mystique. She gives the 2 dimensional character from the first three films serious back story and shows why she became the killing machine who gets stabbed by Wolverine in the first X-Men film. She is simply wonderful as an actor, and the effects of her shape shifting are great. Jackman shines once more in a role that he has established in five previous films. He’s witty and interesting, and a lot is made of the fact that he hasn’t got his adamantium skeleton yet. IT makes for some really

funny moments. A major highlight from the film is the inclusion of Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters. He’s funny and cool and the way they shot his speed power is the coolest thing in the film, especially when he takes out a room full of guards while listening to Jim Croce’s Time in a Bottle. It is simply a brilliant piece of film making. I loved this film, bringing together the best of everything they’ve done before. If you liked any of the other X-Men movies then you’ll love X-Men: Days of Future Past. Also be sure to stay for the clip after the credits to get a first glimpse of Apocalypse, who looks really, really cool.

9/10

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RELEASE DATE May 23rd CAST Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy McWilliams and Lynsey Taylor Mackay DIRECTOR Jonathan Glazer

THE STORY A girl (Scarlett Johansson) is driving around in a van luring men off the road, as long as they’re alone with no real family to speak of. She then lures them to a dilapidated tenement and, once inside, lures them to sinking under a really reflective glass floor into some kind of liquid, before going out at find another victim. She does this several times, but when one of the men get away she has to run from the others that are after her, leading her to a frightening journey and, ultimately, tragedy.

THE VERDICT I have a bit of a conundrum reviewing this film. I’ve been

Under the Skin

talking to the other reviewers about it, and they loved it. They found it haunting and disturbing and beautiful, while I found it, simply, boring. It did very little for me. The first half an hour is her driving around and picking up guys, literally, then taking them to a very strange room, which would have any sane minded person saying, “Um, excuse me? I’m leaving,” but because she’s naked, or part thereof, they don’t even notice the unending room, or the highly polished floor, or the lack of furniture. Johansson has very nice boobs, but I can’t imagine anyone overlooking such obvious things. Then there’s the premise for the move forward of the plot, the guy getting away. I have trouble believing that she lets him go, especially considering that, not five minutes

earlier, she’d left a baby to die on a beach after watching his parents die. This doesn’t exactly endear her into your hearts, so when she runs from the other aliens, because that’s what she is, we don’t really care if she survives or not. The ending is bad too, we all know she’s going to die, it’s a forgone conclusion, but the way they do it is that there is no good guy. She becomes the victim at the end, but after all the bad she’s done, you really just don’t care. I heard one of the other reviewers say that the film makes him think of what it means to be human, but I don’t get that. No one is good, they’re all bad, the hero, who finally destroys her, tries to rape her first, thinking she’s human, and then kills her after finding out she’s an alien. Does that make it okay? Is it okay to kill her because she’s an alien? But after all the bad she did could she really be allowed to live? But he didn’t even know that stuff so… I just don’t get what the film makers were trying to say. Go and see it for yourself and let me know what you thought, maybe you can explain it to me.

6/10

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Grace of Monaco IN C INEM AS

RELEASE DATE May 23rd CAST Nicole Kidman, Tim Roth and André Penvern DIRECTOR Olivier Dahan

THE STORY Based on a section of the true life of Princess Grace of Monaco, Grace (Nicole Kidman) hasn’t been princess for very long and she’s still trying to come to terms with being royal and having people look at and treat her differently, something she doesn’t like very much, but she’s made a vow to be the princess and stand by her husband, Prince Rainier III (Tim Roth). Things are complicated by the seemingly inevitable war with France that is looming over Monaco and the intrigue that follows something that could change the monarchy forever.

THE VERDICT There’s been a lot of controversy about this film overseas, mostly from the

principality of Monaco itself. They are saying that the film is not an accurate reflection of what it was like in the palace at that time in history. The film actually says, right in the beginning, that the events depicted are a fictionalisation of events, based on truth. I don’t know whether or not the principality is correct, I wasn’t there and am not a student of Monacan politics, so I have no issue with that aspect of the film, my issue comes with the fact that it’s boring, pretentious and pompous, to put it mildly. The entire thing doesn’t ring true at all. The directing is too art film for my liking, with long lingering looks at the horizon and extreme close ups on Kidman’s eyes or mouth, and though both are beautiful I would rather see the actor when she’s in the middle of a dramatic dialogue, not just her eyeball. You lose all

emotional connection, because try as you might, you cannot emotionally connect with an eyeball. Then there’s the performance. Kidman stumbles through the piece, starting pretty strong, but then sinking into a bad impersonation of Eliza Dolittle and ending in what was supposed to be a rousing speech, which, according to the filmmakers, stopped France from invading the island, but ends up being tedious and makes you look at your watch and pray for the ending. It’s a real pity that someone as talented as Kidman would end up in something as dismal as this. The same can be said for the supporting cast. Roth, Frank Langella, Milo Ventimiglia, Parker Posey all stumble around a seemingly incoherent blight with no focus. They all try their best, but there is nothing they can do when the director would rather focus on a pane of glass or a flower than on their performance. This is not a film I would recommend and I really hope that at some point someone starts getting this whole biography thing right.

5/10

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back to continue with her life, but it’s not so easy on the street in a rather revealing yellow dress.

THE VERDICT

Walk of Shame RELEASE DATE May 23rd CAST Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden and Gillian Jacobs DIRECTOR Steven Brill

THE STORY After discovering that the big network promotion that she’d been counting on has fallen through, Meghan (Elizabeth Banks) and her girlfriends, Rose (Gillian Jacobs) and Denise (Sarah Wright Olsen) go out on a drinking girls night, Meghan wearing Denise’s very short and revealing yellow dress.

One thing leads to another and Meghan ends up going home with Gordon (James Marsden), the bartender at the club where they go. Things go pear shaped the next morning when Meghan finds out that the job is, in fact, hers, if she can get to work and deliver the news the way she’s supposed to, but a comedy of errors ensues as she’s locked out of Gordon’s apartment without her cell phone and her car is towed. So begins an epic quest to get to the car impound lot and get her car

This film has some very funny moments, but I found that something was lacking. I’ve loved Banks in everything I’ve seen her is, from The Hunger Games to Pitch Perfect and Zack and Miri Make a Porno, going all the way back to The 40 Year old Virgin and her more serious turn in The Next Three Days, but something just didn’t sit right with this film. I’m not sure if it was her character or the way it was written, but she just didn’t carry the film very well for me, which is a pity, because, as I’ve said, I’m a fan. That said the film has some funny moments. The gangsters, Scrilla, played by Lawrence Gilliard Jr, Hulk, played by Da'Vone McDonald, and especially Pookie, played by Alphonso McAuley, are really funny and the moments with them are some of the highlights of the film. Also the cops, Ethan Suplee and Bill Burr, are pretty funny and Marsden is his charming, charismatic self the whole way through. If you like romantic comedies with a twist I’m sure you’ll get something out of this one. It’s worth a laugh or two.

7/10

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Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return

RELEASE DATE May 23rd CAST the voices of Lea Michele, Kelsey Grammer and Dan Aykroyd DIRECTORS Will Finn and Dan St. Pierre

THE STORY Dorothy (voiced by Lea Michele) wakes up in Kansas the day after the big tornado that originally took her to the wonderful Land of Oz It’s been only one day for her and the devastation in her home town is terrible. Meanwhile in Oz years have passed and a new evil has risen up to take the place of the Wicked Witch of the West, The Jester (voiced by Martin Short), the witch’s brother. Scarecrow (voiced by Dan Aykroyd), Lion (voiced by James Belushi) and Tin Man (voiced by Kelsey Grammer) send a rainbow to pick up Dorothy and get her help to save Oz again. She’s

aided this time by an overweight Owl who can’t fly named Wiser (voiced by Oliver Platt), a marshmallow soldier, Marshall Mallow (voiced by Hugh Dancy) and a spoilt china princess (Megan Hilty) as they try to save Oz and all of Dorothy’s friends.

THE VERDICT This film is sweet and fun, but ultimately forgettable. It’s a problem with animated films that aren’t made by Disney/Pixar or Dreamworks. They just

don’t seem to have the impact that their more famous cousins have. They’re sweet enough and interesting and not badly animated, but there’s just some kind of magic that is lacking. It’s the magic that makes the Disney and Dreamworks films Oscar worthy, and these just not. That being said it is a nice film that kids will enjoy, and fans of Dorothy and the Land of Oz will also enjoy going back to the place of their childhood memories. The music, some of it composed by Bryan Adams, famous in the movie world for composing for Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron back in 2002, is also catchy and fun, but also not Let it Go. If you like animated films then you’ll enjoy this one, but don’t expect another Frozen.

7/10

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The Railway Man

IN C INEM AS

th

RELEASE DATE May 30 CAST Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Stella Skarsgård, Tanroh Ishida, Hiroyuki Sanada DIRECTOR Jonathan Teplitzky

THE STORY Eric Lomax (Coin Firth) is a World War II veteran who lives a solitary life. He has few friends, besides the men that served with him who he meets up with at their club. To pass his time he travels to fairs, collecting railway memorabilia, since he’s always been fascinated by the railway, even as a young man. On one such trip he happens to sit opposite Patti (Nicole Kidman) and the two spark up a conversation. Once he reaches his destination, and the two

part, he realises that he’s fallen madly in love with her. He goes out of his way to find her again and soon after the two are married, but as soon as they are ready to start their lives together Patti realises that Eric is suffering from severe posttraumatic stress disorder from his time in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. She goes to his friend Finlay (Stellan Skarsgård), a man who Eric was imprisoned with, and he tells her about Eric’s experiences at the hands of a young Japanese torturer, Takeshi Nagase (Tanroh Ishida), and that Eric’s tormentor is still alive. She tells Eric and he sets off to confront the man that plagues his nightmares, but

finds something he didn’t expect to find.

THE VERDICT We watch a lot of bad films as reviewers. You never really know what to expect when you walk into a cinema, even films made by the best filmmakers and starring the most amazing actors can end up being rubbish. Then you get a movie like this and it makes seeing all the others worthwhile. It truly is a remarkable piece of filmmaking. It’s well written, beautifully acted and directed and just leaves you with a really warm feeling that makes you want to turn right around and watch it all over again. Based on the same time period as Bridge Over the River Kwai, this film looks at the truth behind the

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building of the railway, whereas the older film focused on the nobility and bravery of the British. What that film didn’t really delve into was the brutality of building that railway, and the torture that went on as well, but what I like about this film is that it doesn’t point fingers and say, ‘That side were the good guys and that side were the bad guys’, instead everyone is on an even standing it haunts you. Kidman gives another solid performance as the woman

who falls in love with someone she really doesn’t know, but is adamant to hold her marriage together, not matter what. Her performance is subtle and enchanting and incredible. Firth delivers his best performance since The King’s Speech. He is intense and commands the screen with an ease that very few actors have. The confrontation towards the end between him and his older tormentor, played by Hiroyuki Sanada, is

completely spellbinding. You are the edge of your seat the entire time as these two incredible actors hold you in their hands and hold your attention so completely that a bomb could go off next to you and wouldn’t even notice. If you liked The King’s Speech, or you like war film, or you want to a see a film that will stay with you and acting that will capture your imagination, then this is one you need to go and see.

10/10

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A IN C INEM AS Million Ways to Die in the West

RELEASE DATE May 30th CAST Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman, Neil Patrick Harris DIRECTOR Seth MacFarlane

THE STORY Albert (Seth McFarlane) hates living in the Wild West. He’s scared of being killed all the time, he just moans and gripes and hates the sheep farm he runs with his parents, who don’t especially like him either. The only reason he stays is Louise (Amanda Seyfried), his girlfriend, and his best friend, Edward (Giovanni Ribisi), who’s in a serious relationship with a prostitute, Ruth (Sarah Silverman), but when Louise breaks up with him his life falls apart and he wants to leave. It’s only when he discovers that she dumped him for the moustached cretin, Foy (Neil Patrick Harris) that he decides to stay, but he has no idea what to do. He’s aided in his quest by the new girl in

town, Anna (Charlize Theron) who helps him make Louise jealous, as well as teaching him to shoot when he challenges Foy to a gunfight, but Anna also holds a secret, she’s the wife of the most dangerous gunfighter in the territory, Clinch (Liam Neeson), and he’s coming back to town. So as Albert and Anna’s relationship begins to grow the chances of Albert dying in the West grows too.

THE VERDICT Seth McFarlane got his real start in film and television writing for Cartoon Network on the shows Johnny Bravo and Dexter’s Laboratory. Since then he has created the cult hit shows, American Dad and Family Guy, and the feature Ted, which has a sequel coming sometime in 2015. He has a very specific style of humour and it shows through in all his work. A Million Ways to Die in the West is no exception. Even without knowing it’s a Seth McFarlane film, you know it’s a Seth McFarlane film.

The characters are out there and very strange, the concepts are completely ridiculous and the plot is bordering on something from a mental asylum inmates diary. The comedy is over the top, the swearing is all over the place and the entire thing is a little bit of nonsense. That being said it’s still very funny, if you like this kind of thing. You need to be a McFarlane fan to really appreciate his work, but if you are you’ll really enjoy this one. McFarlane is great as the lead, a depressive, hypochondriac cowboy, and the term is very loose in this case. He’s funny and annoying, but in a sweet, genuine way that makes you actually like him, in spite of himself. The supporting cast is good too, Rabisi is naïve and insane, as is Silverman, and their interactions are really funny, especially the sex thing. Theron gives another solid performance as herself in a Wild West situation, and Neeson has some real fun being the bad guy. If you like McFarlane then you’ll like this film, if not, you’ll still laugh, but it won’t really rock your boat.

7/10

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Transcendence

RELEASE DATE May 30th CAST Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman DIRECTOR Wally Pfister

THE STORY Three scientists, Will (Johnny Depp) and Evelyn Caster (Rebecca Hall) and Max Waters (Paul Bettany) are on the forefront of creating a real artificial intelligence, but not everyone is excited about it, and on the day they give a lecture on their progress a terrorist organization decides to strike. First they bomb their research facility, killing dozens of people, and then someone at the lecture shoots Will. The bullet doesn’t kill him, but they later find out that it was laced with a radioactive substance, and that it’s killing him. Evelyn refuses to let him go so she convinces Max to help her transfer

Will’s mind, everything that makes him, him, into a supercomputer called PIMM, the artificial intelligence that they’ve been working on. Will dies soon after, but the transfer is a success, and the terrorists find out. They come after Evelyn and the computer, but Evelyn downloads the consciousness onto the internet and runs. Will protects Evelyn by buying a town and setting up an entire company underground, but after years of watching the computer evolve and the company grow, developing new and incredible technologies that should be impossible, Evelyn begins to wonder how much of this intelligence is actually Will.

THE VERDICT About half way through this film I started wondering why actors with the pedigree of Depp, Hall and Bettany would get involved in what was simply a horror film, the same kind of ghost in the machine horror film that we’ve seen a thousand times before. There was nothing really about the film, no moralistic message, no deeply resounding meaning that would draw actors like them to this kind of project. Then I looked closer and realised that the filmmaker did try to put a message into the film. I’m still not entirely sure what the message was,

and no one else who’s watched it can tell me either, but I realised what the problem was. The entire film feels like the filmmakers had an idea for a film, wrote it and then, somehow, managed to get Depp and the others involved, and then decided that having these actors on board meant they had to have a deeper meaning in the film, and so forced this meaning onto it, that doesn’t fit, and doesn’t work, and just feels wrong. The entire film probably would have been better if they’d used less known actors and just made a horror film, instead of trying to be clever, and failing. It’s a pity because, as we expect, Depp, Hall, Bettany, Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman and Kate Mara are all strong actors, so anything they do is great, but even they can’t save this film. It’s just too out there, and too forced and not a good film. A real pity because I was really looking forward to it. A let down.

5/10

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Maleficent IN C INEM AS

RELEASE DATE June 6th CAST: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Sharlto Copley, Sam Riley, Isobelle Molloy DIRECTOR: Robert Stromberg

THE STORY In a faraway land two kingdoms exist next to each other. The one kingdom is a kingdom of men full of greed and malice, while the other is a kingdom of magical fairy folk, called The Moors. This land is happy and content, where there lives a fairy named Maleficent (Isobelle Molloy). She is happy in the Moors and wants for nothing, but her life changes when she meets Stefan (Michael Higgins), a young boy who lives in the other kingdom. After an act of selflessness Stefan wins Maleficent’s heart and the two become great friends, before blossoming into more than friends. Years later Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is the protector of the Moors

and Stefan (Sharlto Copley) is working as a squire in the King’s (Kenneth Cranham) castle when the king decides he needs to rid himself of this new force that is growing in the Moors. He attacks, but loses to Maleficent, leading to his death, but before he dies he vows to make whoever kills Maleficent the new king. Not being able to control his ambition, Stefan travels into the Moors to kill Maleficent, but when he has her where he wants her he can’t go through with it, so instead he cuts off her wings and becomes the new king. Filled with hate and revenge Maleficent makes herself the queen of the Moors and tries to come up with an idea for revenge against Stefan. Her chance comes when he and his new wife, Princess Leila (Hannah New) have a baby, Aurora (Elle Fanning). Maleficent curses the child to prick her finger on her 16th birthday and fall

into a death like sleep until she experiences true loves kiss, the very thing she thought she had with Stefan. To protect the child Stefan sends her off with three fairies, Flittle (Lesley Manville), Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton) and Thistletwit (Juno Temple), who raise her as their own, but Maleficent isn’t far behind, hiding in the shadows and watching the child as she grows, but as she does Maleficent begins to regret her actions and grows affectionate of the child, leading to her trying to do anything to save the child as the day of her 16th birthday comes closer.

THE VERDICT Based on the classic tale of Sleeping Beauty, Maleficent tells the same story, but from a different point of view. We get to know Maleficent, the care free, loving child before she’s betrayed by the man she

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IN C INEM AS

think she loves and becomes the bitter, twisted fairy we know from the original film, but there’s more to her than that, as we see as she spends time watching over Aurora. She feeds the child, takes care of her, even saves her life on several occasions, the other fairies not able to care for themselves, let alone a baby, and we see that there is still a glimmer of humanity in the fairy, even if she tries to deny it with all her will. When she finally realises what she’s done she tries to fix it, but can’t, and vows to protect the girl, whatever it takes. It’s at this point that the film takes a bit of a sharp left and changes completely from the original film. Everything is there. Aurora falls asleep, but she’s already met the prince and he kisses her, as he’s supposed to, but his kiss doesn’t wake her, and then things happen that change the concept of the story entirely. If you don’t want any spoilers then stop reading now!! I loved the idea that Maleficent herself actually awaken the child, even though it is totally

against what happened in the original story, but it also gives the impression that the filmmakers are saying that there is no such thing as true love. Yes, a mother can love a child truly and unconditionally, we all know that, but I have to believe in true love between a guy and a girl as well, even first sight. I’m a hopeless romantic, but I don’t think the people who wrote this film do. Even so I liked the change and loved the film as a whole. Jolie is wonderful as Maleficent. She’s fierce and strong, but still with a gentle side, at first, but after being betrayed she becomes twisted and bitter and just plain evil. I love how she revels in the badness, but still has a conscience, even if she tries to deny it. The scenes were she and Fanning interact, Fanning thinking the fairy is her Godmother, are darling. Especially when they first meet and Maleficent wants to hate the child, but simply can’t, because she is so cute. Fanning is lively and full of joy and her smile is simply contagious, making you

want to smile along every time you see it. Copley gives another solid performance as Stefan, but what starts off as an interesting role with real depth becomes a little 2 dimensional, with too much brooding and depression and not enough of anything else. It’s a pity from someone of Copley’s abilities. The rest of the supporting staff are great, including Temple, Manville and Staunton as the other fairies, who are air heads and very funny. The effects when they’re small are very well done and completely believable. Special mentions must go to Isobelle Molloy, who plays the younger Maleficent, who gives a great starting point for Jolie, and is an actress to keep an eye out for, and Sam Riley, who plays Diaval, a crow that Maleficent turns human. He comes across as Maleficent’s conscious and is great. This kind of film relies heavily on the special effects, and they are great in this film, especially Maleficent’s flying. The Moors are beautiful and the castle is great. Everything about this film is great, and it’s going to fit perfectly in with the other Disney films.

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The Quiet Ones IN C INEM AS

RELEASE DATE: June 6th CAST: Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Olivia Cooke DIRECTOR: John Pogue

THE STORY In the 1970’s in England a cameraman, Brian (Sam Claflin), is hired by Professor Joseph Coupland (Jared Harris) and his assistants, Krissi (Erin Richards) and Harry (Rory Fleck-Byrne) to chronicle their experiment. What the professor believes is that demonis possession is nothing more than the human mind manifesting these incredible things, that the demon comes from within the person, not from without, and that he can severe the connection between the person and thing they’ve created, thus healing them. He plans to prove his theory by treating a young girl, Jane (Olivia Cooke) who has been in and out of mental asylums her whole life. At first things go as planned, but when the professor’s funding is cut and he needs to move the whole experiment into an

old house in the middle of nowhere, things start going badly, and everyone involved, except the professor, begin to think that maybe the demon isn’t from in the girl, that maybe they’re dealing with something they can’t stop after all.

THE VERDICT There have been so many possession films. Last year alone there were two of them, so this is not new ground, but what I did like about this concept was the psychological aspect. They never really say whether or not the professor is right of wrong. Is the demon a real demon? Or is it just something created by a very talented, but incredibly unstable mind? By the end of the film you could either way with it, but whether it’s an outside force or from within the girl herself, it can kill you just as easily, and that is what they all seem to forget, and it’s to their peril, because as these things go, they end up having to run

for their lives. The other interesting thing about this film is that it’s actually based on true events, albeit very loosely. There was a professor and there was an experiment, but as to what actually happened, that’s anyone’s guess, seeing as all the footage and notes about the experiment were destroyed in a fire. So, yes they were real, but did it really happen the way the filmmakers want us to believe? Who knows? The performances are good, but only as good as horror film performances ever are. Cooke gives a solid performance as the possessed girl, and Harris, who was so good as Moriarty in Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, gives a solid performance as the professor with questionable motives. All in all it’s not a bad scary film, but not one of the best either.

7/10

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Director Robert Stromberg

Direct Evil In the new film from Disney the tale of Sleeping Beauty comes to live action life as we delve into the depths what makes a bad guy a bad guy. We chatted to director Robert Stromberg about taking the reins on Maleficent

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est known for his work as producti on designer on Avatar and Alice in Wonderland, both films he won Oscars for, Robert Stromberg now sits down in the director’s chair in the latest live action feature to come out of Disney. Maleficent tells the wellknown and loved tale of Sleeping Beauty, the girl who is cursed by a wicked witch to prick her finger when she’s sixteen and fall into a never ending slumber. The girl in question is played by Elle Fanning in this

version, but instead of focusing on the fresh faced little princess, we focus on the witch. A woman named Maleficent, hence the name of the film, and she’s played by the fabulous Angelina Jolie. We see how she goes from a girl who cares deeply about the forests and tries to protect them from all, to someone that wants to punish all around her. Stromberg tells us about hearing of the project, Angelina, Elle and the original Sleeping Beauty… How did you first become aware of the project and what were your first

impressions? When I was growing up, my dad used to take us to see the re-releases of a lot of the Disney films and “Sleeping Beauty” was one of those. I also remember seeing “Pinocchio” and “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Cinderella.” But I’ve always been a fan of Disney films. Actually, a big inspiration for me getting into film at all had to do with those types of films and those experiences I had with my dad. So I’ve known about Sleeping Beauty for forever but never in a million years would I had thought that I would be actually directing

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Stefan (Sharlto Copley) and Princess Leila (Hannah New) face off against Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) at Arora’s (Elle Fanning) christening

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Director Robert Stromberg

“Angelina Jolie is obviously perfect for the role. You can look at Maleficent’s image and see that it is a marriage made in heaven.”

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Stromberg “DirectorMyRobertintention,

___________________________________________________ an adaptation of a version of one of these Disney films. I heard about “Maleficent” through the producer, Joe Roth, who contacted me. We had worked together on many other projects, such as “Oz The Great and Powerful” and “Alice in Wonderland.” We have a relationship that was cultivated over many years. We had talked about directing in the past and I think over time Joe started to realize that perhaps I could talk to actors and come up with ideas that might be beyond the scope of production design. So that’s where it started, meeting with Joe and talking about the possibilities and where we could take this. It was at the right time in my career and a good time in my life to take the next step. How did you feel about taking on this project? I’ve never really been nervous about committing to a film. I think as an artist you’re always looking for the biggest canvas you can find and it was yet another big canvas to conquer. I thought it was intriguing and fascinating to take on something that was bigger than something I had already done; it was a challenge. How would you say this opens up the story?

What I love about this film is that it gives us an opportunity to find out the history of Maleficent and find out where she came from and what pushed her to the point where we all know her to be. So we get to not only see her when she was a child, but what she went through that drove her to the dark side. Could you tell us a little more about Maleficent and how she becomes that character? My intention and the writer’s intention was to start off seeing Maleficent as a young child. We actually get close to her right off the bat in the beginning of the film, and then we see how she meets Stefan. Stefan, who is played by Sharlto Copley, and young Maleficent form a bond together early on in the film and so we get to see how that tragically widens over the film as they split and how they, over time, become enemies. How did you feel about Angelina Jolie taking on that character? Angelina Jolie is obviously perfect for the role. Just looking back on the

and the writer’s intention, was to start off seeing Maleficent as a young child.” character, you can look at Maleficent’s image and see that it is a marriage made in heaven. So I’m the luckiest guy in the world, not only to have great production behind me with Joe Roth and Disney, but here I have this wonderful script written by Linda Woolverton, and one of the best actresses in the world attached to the perfect role. With all of these coming together, it makes me excited every day to work with them and to develop what the movie and the tone of it will be. It’s the perfect marriage of actress and role in my opinion in a long time, and I think that “Maleficent” will take us to a place where the audience will have fun seeing where she came from. There’s a lot of dark and a lot of light and there’s even humor in this film. There's a little bit of something for everybody. Was it interesting to see Angelina work?

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Prince Philip (Brenton Thwaites) prepares to wake Aurora (Elle Fanning) from her sleep

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Director Robert Stromberg Aurora, played by Elle Fanning, is absolutely wonderful and she brings the heart of the movie. Everything is revolving around her and the relationship in our film that grows with Maleficent and Aurora is something that’s unexpected.

Angelina is a really hard worker, very dedicated. She took on this role and just commanded it and took charge. It’s exciting to have someone with that much passion working side by side with me on the character. She embraced it and really became Maleficent. Could you talk about the character of Stefan? We meet Stefan, who is human, early on in the film, when he sneaks into the moors where Maleficent lives, and the two eventually become good friends. Over time, we realize that Stefan lusts for power whereas Maleficent is tied to the moors where she belongs, taking on the responsibility of protecting the creatures that dwell there. We follow Stefan on a journey to the King’s castle, where he begins his quest for power, wealth and money. This is where Maleficent and Stefan are now completely separated in beliefs and over time Stefan’s lust for power

destroys their friendship by an act of betrayal. When Stefan does eventually become king of the human world, he is forced to go up against the force that is Maleficent. And now we have a battle on our hands. Do you think their relationship is accessible? Yes. There’s a tragedy that happens when Stefan makes a decision to go down a road that brings both sadness and vengeance. On the other hand, we see the decisions Maleficent makes and how she finds herself and what she believes in. It’s interesting to see two characters going down the same path initially and then with the choices that they make, see how those choices change both of their lives in radically different ways. Can you talk about Aurora and how she fits into the equation?

The irony is that Aurora is Stefan's daughter but he hasn’t been able to see her or be with her because of Maleficent’s curse. So it’s just really interesting as here we have Aurora the center of all of this that’s spinning around her. Were you pleased that Elle Fanning decided to take this role? Yes, Elle is fantastic and I have nothing but the highest respect for her. She’s not only beautiful but she’s a tremendous actress; she’s going to be doing wonderful things in the future, and she’s a pleasure to work with on the set. Everyone who has the privilege of being around her can’t help but smile. She just has something about her that makes you really happy. What did Sharlto Copley bring to the film? Sharlto Copley is also a very passionate actor who really engages with his character, not unlike Angelina does.

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___________________________________________________ We worked daily on the essence of what his character would be. Maleficent is very well defined but Stefan required a bit more navigating through the relationship he had with Maleficent. But he’s a very professional guy, a very talented guy, who was a pleasure to be around.

really passionate about not only who the character was, but what the character looked like and we worked together to come up with a character that wasn’t that stereotype image but was close enough that people would immediately know her to be Maleficent. We see

Director Robert Stromberg original classic film feel that they can not only see it realized in a new light but also see the genesis of some of those things that they saw in the original film. So it’s a new spin on Maleficent but at the same time we’ve woven in enough elements that people will immediately

Can you talk about Diaval? Diaval, played by Sam Riley, is the conscience in the ear of Maleficent at all times. He helps her down the path of finding out who she is. He comes at the lowest point in Maleficent's life and becomes, in addition to Aurora, the other character that really pulls Maleficent out of her dark hole. So he was a very critical character to steering Maleficent and to understanding her and telling her what she needed to do. Sam Riley’s a really talented guy; I love all the things that he does. He just brings a lot of fun and professionalism to the set. He’s a pleasure to be around as a person and on the set he was very professional. Was Maleficent’s difficult to achieve?

look

We all know what Maleficent looks like; we have this image burned into our heads. Angelina was

Director Robert Stromberg gives Elle Fanning some tips before shooting the next scene

Maleficent through different stages in her life and several types of looks up to the point where we see her as the iconic image that we all know.

recognize it to be from the original film Sleeping Beauty.

Are you satisfied with how you’ve done justice to the original film?

Lesley Manville, Imelda Staunton and Juno Temple play our three pixies. In part of the film, they are themselves as live-action actresses and in the other part of the film they are, with some latest CG technology, just two and a half feet tall and they fly around. So, creatively we’re doing something that I think

Yes. It was important to me as a director to have enough of the elements of “Sleeping Beauty” that people won’t be disappointed when they see this. It was important that those people who recognize and are fans of the

Can you talk about the pixies and how they fit into the scheme of things?

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___________________________________________________ “Maleficent” we’ve started with real and are augmenting after the fact. It’s a new look.

is pushing the edge of technology. But we also have these wonderful actresses bringing a little bit of humor to the film and we’re not in dark places for too long. When we see these three pixies, they not only push the story forward but they also add humor to those moments when we need it. Can you talk a little bit about the world you developed for the film? The other projects that I've done have a certain look to them and what I wanted to do on this film is not only have an element of fantasy and a surreal quality, but also make “Maleficent” a bit more grounded in reality. In my other films, I’ve always taken the surreal elements and made them the strongest points and in

I like to look at a lot of reference. In this case, I looked at a lot of classic paintings done by artists in the 17th century and 18th century, like The Hudson River School artists who just went out and painted landscapes that they heightened a bit. So that became interesting to me, to create this classic look that has mostly realism in it and see where we could push that. It’s actually turned out to be something that’s quite elegant and beautiful but yet you get the sense that there’s fantasy involved.

Were there any aspects of this project that you thought were going to be a challenge? Luckily for me, there are a few big projects in the rearview mirror, so I was actually more excited than nervous about any of this, including working with Angelina Jolie. I’m the luckiest guy in the world to have the opportunity to do a project of this size, so why not take that and make the most beautiful thing that I can make out of it that the world might respond to in a new and exciting way?

Director Robert Stromberg Is there any aspect of the film you found particularly fulfilling? Yes, the christening scene. People won’t be disappointed when they see the christening scene. That’s a classic scene with Maleficent and I think that the fans that know the classic film will be happy when they see what we’ve come up with. I personally had a great time working with the actors, just opening up a new door for myself in communication and how that relates to the timing of other things and how art crosses over into the performances. For the first time, I’ve seen all the colors on the palette and that makes me really happy. What do you hope audiences will get out of “Maleficent”? I hope that people who see this film will be not only thoroughly entertained but also feel that they have been immersed in a world and in a story that they wanted to stay in.

Maleficent opens in S.A. theatres on Off The Screen Magazine ________________________________________________________________ 67 June 6, 2014.


Zoom (Tim Allen) tries to explain to the kids that he just doesn’t care

throwback CAST: Tim Allen, Courtney Cox, Chevy Chase, Kate Mara, Ryan Newman, Spencer Breslin, Kevin Zegers, Michael Cassidy DIRECTOR: Peter Hewitt

THE STORY Team Zenith is a group of teenaged superheroes each with their own unique powers, but the government agency they work for wants them even more powerful, so the expose them to gamma 13 radiation. It works making them even more powerful, but it also warps the mind of Concussion (Kevin Zegers) turning him evil and leading to the destruction of the team. His brother, Zoom

(Tim Allen) manages to trap Concussion in an ultimate dimension, but loses his powers as a result. 30 years later the agency discovers that Concussion is breaking through and coming back so they recruit four new kids to become the new team Zenith, Dylan (Michael Cassidy), who can become invisible, Summer (Kate Mara), who can move things with her mind, Tucker (Spencer Breslin) who can

expand his mass, and 6 year old Cindy (Ryan Newman), who has super strength. They also bring Zoom back in to train the new team, but he has no interest in even knowing the kids, let alone training them, but as he gets to know them and care about them he begins to remember what it was like to have a team, and a family. Then he learns that Concussion is coming back, and that the angency will do whatever it takes to get the team ready for him, even exposing them to the same dangerous element that destroyed him in the first place.

THE VERDICT I really enjoyed this film when I first saw it, and really enjoyed it all over again when I watched it again to write this review. It’s fun and funny and greatly enjoyable. The film was

From left: Spencer Breslin (Tucker), Kate Mara (Summer), Michael Cassidy (Dylan), Courtney Cox (Marsha), Ryan Newman (Cindy) Tim Off The Screen Magazine ________________________________________________________________ Allen (Zoom) prepare for the final showdown

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made when Allen and Cox were both at the height of their screen popularity, Allen with Home Improvements, and Cox with Friends. Since them both have gone on to have stronger careers, and we all know and love them both. Chevy Chase, who plays the comic relief absent minded scientist in the film, was a comic god at the time of making this film, and still is today. He’s at his whacky, insane best in this film and offers a lot of the laughs the whole way through. Of course the heroes of the film, in more ways than one, are the kids. They all carry out their roles with joy and fearlessness and are great. It’s great now to look at them and see where they are now. Kate Mara has just acted alongside Johnny Depp in Transcendence, opening this month. Ryan Newman, probably the one that’s changed the most, is

starring in the Disney show See Dad Run, which is coming to our screens soon. Spencer Breslin hasn’t held the screen too much in recent years, making way for his younger sister, Abigail, who is everywhere, but he has had steady work since Zoom and always delivers good performances. Michael Cassidy has moved mostly to the small screen since his work on Zoom starring in Smallville, Privileged and most recently Men at Work. If you loved this film as much as I did as a kid then you’ll love watching at again, and if you’ve never seen it, do yourself a favour and catch it this time.

ZOOM: ACADEMY FOR SUPERHEROES IS ON M-NET MOVIES ACTION ON JUNE 21ST AT From the 18:30

top: Michael Cassidy (Dylan), Kate Mara (Summer), Spencer Breslin (Tucker), Ryan Newman (Cindy) as they look today Off The Screen Magazine ________________________________________________________________

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Off the screen magazine june 2014