A Most Wanted Man Review

A Most Wanted Man
Directed By: Anton Corbijn
Written by: Andrew Bovell (screenplay), John Le Carre (novel)
Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Willem Dafoe, Daniel Bruhl, Robin Wright, Grigoriy Dobrygin

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The world has changed a lot since the Cold War, but maybe not as much as we think. Legendary British author John Le Carre has been penning some of the most realistic portrayals of espionage since the ’60s, drawing from his own experiences working for both MI5 and MI6. Described as the “anti-James Bond”, his stories often focus on the mundane details of the business, dealing in shades of grey rather than clear cut heroes and villains. This is essentially the same vision that he brings to a post-9/11 world in A Most Wanted Man.

After the acclaim for Tomas Alfredson’s adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Le Carre’s books are seemingly back in demand on screen, but the contemporary setting makes this one all the more relevant. Set in Hamburg, Germany, the very same port city where Mohammed Atta planned the 9/11 attacks, it illustrates the painstaking effort and endless compromise required to stay vigilant against terrorism. The fact that it also happens to feature one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final performances is merely icing on the cake.

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Halo: Nightfall Trailer

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At this point, I think we’re all getting sick of seeing Halo short films and webisodes when what we really want is a big budget feature film. Still, when big names like Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg get involved, it’s at least enough to warrant a look. Halo: Nightfall is the upcoming digital series that will take place between Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians and it is produced by Ridley Scott (which you can probably tell based on the fact that it is ripping its visual style directly from Prometheus). Spielberg is also producing a separate Halo TV series but we still have yet to see anything from that. Halo: Nightfall will be included with Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which arrives in stores on Nov. 11th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Red Band Trailer

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It appears that things have been pretty quiet at Comic-Con so far as most of the big panels (ie. Warner Brothers and Marvel) aren’t happening until Saturday. However, yesterday Paramount had the chance to plug a handful of their upcoming releases including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Interstellar and Project Almanac, not to mention The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. The feather in their cap was the very first trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine 2! Okay, not exactly earth-shattering stuff.

To be fair though, I liked the first Hot Tub Time Machine quite a bit and this time they are going ahead into the future… the year 2024, to be exact. The sequel has the original cast returning minus John Cusack but in his place they have added Adam Scott, apparently playing the same character apparently playing his son (not a bad trade off in my opinion). Hot Tub Time Machine 2 hits theatres on Dec. 25th; check out the first trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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New to Theatres This Weekend: Hercules, Lucy, A Most Wanted Man

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Brett Ratner’s Hercules starring Dwayne Johnson is the second film this year to feature the mythical Greek hero, and while it should be an improvement on Renny Harlin’s earlier film, something tells me that it may disappoint at the box office. Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson is tough competition and seems more likely to come out on top, bringing director Luc Besson back to his ’90s blockbuster heyday. The other film in wide release is Rob Reiner’s latest comedy, And So It Goes starring Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton. In select theatres, keep an eye out for Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone, Anton Corbijn’s A Most Wanted Man starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joe Swanberg’s Happy Christmas starring Anna Kendrick. What will you be watching this weekend?

Young Ones Trailer: A Post-Apocalyptic Thriller Starring Michael Shannon and Elle Fanning

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s brother Jake made his directorial debut back in 2007 with a movie called The Good Sleep, which premiered at Sundance but failed to make much of a splash. Now he’s back with his sophomore effort, the post-apocalyptic sci-fi western Young Ones. Michael Shannon plays a man who is determined to defend his farm and his children (Elle Fanning, Kodi Smit-McPhee) from bandits, but his daughter’s boyfriend (Nicholas Hoult) wants the land for himself. The movie looks more than a little similar to David Michod’s The Rover but perhaps with a few more obvious science-fiction elements. Young Ones hits select theatres on Oct. 17th; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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Weekly Poll Results: Best Stanley Kubrick Film

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I was pretty convinced that The Shining would win last week’s poll based on its cultural cachet and crazy cult following but lo and behold… the groundbreaking 2001: A Space Odyssey pulled off a decisive victory with 31% of the votes. Perhaps everyone else made the same assumption about The Shining and decided to compensate for it (not that 2001 doesn’t deserve it). Either way, you can’t go wrong with most of these options and The Shining still ended up in second place followed by A Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove and Full Metal Jacket. I was a bit surprised that Eyes Wide Shut placed as high as it did, and also that The Killing was so low, but I don’t think anyone will be shocked to see Kubrick’s first two films at the bottom of the list. Do you agree with these results?

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey — 31%
2. The Shining — 21%
3. A Clockwork Orange — 14%
4. Dr. Strangelove — 10%
5. Full Metal Jacket — 8%
6. Eyes Wide Shut — 5%
7. Barry Lyndon — 4%
8. Paths of Glory — 2%
9. Spartacus — 2%
10. The Killing — 1%
11. Lolita — 1%
12. Fear and Desire — 0%
12. Killer’s Kiss — 0%

Movie Poster Round-Up: Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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As we await more substantial announcements from Comic-Con this week, let’s take a look at some of the new posters that have surfaced online as a prelude to the main event. Marvel has revealed exclusive one-sheets for The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ant-Man while Mondo has Comic-Con posters for Jurassic World and the new Heavy Metal movie. If that’s not enough, we’ve also got the first posters for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Mad Max: Fury Road, Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie and Kevin Smith’s Tusk plus a Mike Mignola piece for the new Pixar short Toy Story That Time Forgot.

Looking beyond Comic-Con, we’ve also got a collection of 16 neon character posters for The Expendables 3 that will make your eyes bleed and the first batch of posters for Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings. There is also an amusing poster for Nymphomaniac: Director’s Cut and an inexplicable one-sheet for Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight. I’ll keep adding to the post if any more interesting artwork pops up throughout the weekend. Which ones are your favourites? Check out the full gallery after the jump.

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Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer

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Comic-Con is officially underway in San Diego this morning, and let’s face it, nothing says Comic-Con like kinky erotic fiction. Which is clearly why Universal Pictures and Focus Features have decided wait until now to unveil the first trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey, based on the best-selling book by E.L. James. The movie stars Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, a literature student sent to interview billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan), only to find herself pulled into an… unorthodox relationship with him. Fifty Shades of Grey is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson (Nowhere Boy) and hits theatres on Feb. 13th, 2015; check out the first trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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The Amazing Spider-Man 3 Pushed Back to 2018, Sinister Six Coming in 2016

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There have been a lot of whispers over the past month about the fact that Sony’s recently rebooted Spider-Man franchise might already be in trouble. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the fourth biggest movie of 2014 so far with just over $700 million worldwide but it is also the lowest grossing Spider-Man movie to date and the negative reviews are not helping matters. An early report from Ain’t It Cool News last month indicated that Sony was considering a delay for the next installment, and when Roberto Orci announced that he would be leaving the series to focus on Star Trek 3, he indicated that the schedule was still up in the air. Now this week Sony has finally confirmed the rumours: The Amazing Spider-Man 3 will be delayed, but the Sinister Six movie is taking its place.

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Nightcrawler Trailer Starring Jake Gyllenhaal

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Alright, settle down comic book fans… this is not a previously unannounced X-Men spin-off. Nightcrawler is actually the directorial debut of Dan Gilroy (not to be confused with his brother Tony Gilroy) and the movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a young crime journalist trying to work his way up the ladder as a TV reporter in Los Angeles. It also stars Rene Russo (Gilroy’s wife) and Bill Paxton and it looks like a darkly comedic commentary on what passes for news today. A strange video resume for Gyllenhaal’s character found its way onto YouTube last week and now the first trailer has arrived online to give it some context. Nightcrawler will premiere at TIFF in September before hitting theatres on Oct. 17th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Deus Ex Movie Gets a New Writer, Loses Scott Derrickson as Director

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It’s no secret that Scott Derrickson (Sinister, Deliver Us from Evil) is in high demand these days, having recently signed on to direct Doctor Strange for Marvel while also developing an Outer Limits movie, a sequel to Sinister, a Deus Ex movie and a remake of a Dutch thriller called Two Eyes Staring. Clearly something had to give and it looks like the video game adaptation Deus Ex will ultimately end up getting handed off to someone else. Derrickson already worked on the script for the cyberpunk flick with Sinister co-writer C. Robert Cargill, but now this week CBS Films have hired a new writer as they also prepare to start the search for a new director. Hit the jump for more details.

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Will Ferrell and Adam McKay Take on Manimal Movie

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A couple of years ago, Sony picked up the movie rights to a short-lived ’80s TV show that had been all but forgotten. The brilliantly named Manimal starred Simon MacCorkindale as Dr. Jonathan Chase, a man trained in ancient African techniques that allowed him to take the form of various animals in order to help solve crimes. Unfortunately, even the impressive transformation sequences by Academy Award-winning SFX artist Stan Winston couldn’t save the show… it was cancelled after just eight episodes. Thirty years later, it looks like Manimal is finally ready for a comeback as Will Ferrell and Adam McKay have just signed on to produce a live-action / CG hybrid film. Here’s what McKay had to say about it:

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