Screen Junkies » jeremy irons http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:30:46 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 Cannes Casting Round-Up: Quaid, Firth, Bloom, Nolte, Hunt All Lasso Roles http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/cannes-casting-round-up/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/cannes-casting-round-up/#comments Wed, 11 May 2011 16:31:37 +0000 Joseph Gibson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=211515 More casting news than you can shove a spur into.

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Well hello there, cowpokes! I can tell by that gleam in yer eye that you’re a-lookin’ for casting updates coming out of the Cannes Film Festival. Well saddle up, pardner, because here we go! Yee-haw.

First up out of the corral is Dennis Quaid, who’s joining Jeremy Irons and Bradley Cooper in The Words. Quaid will play “Clay Hammond, a celebrated writer, in the tale in which Cooper’s character, another writer, discovers the price he must pay for stealing the work of another man, played by Irons.” Sounds like a rootin’-tootin’ good time, and also a meditation on creativity and plagiarism. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Next up under the branding iron are cowpokes Orlando Bloom and Nick Nolte, who’ve been cast in “coming-of-age road-trip comedy” Idea in America along with Stanley Tucci and Cristiana Capotondi. (The Hollywood Reporter)

The no. 3 spot on this rodeo is held by Helen Hunt, who’s a-gonna direct and star in romantic comedy Ride. A romantic comedy starring and directed by Helen Hunt? YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-HAW!

Finally, we got England‘s Number 1 Wrangler Colin Firth, who will play the lead role in an untitled comedy to be directed by Dante Ariola from a script written by Becky Johnston. Here’s a plot synopsis, which rolls through your field of vision like a tumblin’ tumbleweed: “Firth plays a man who hates his job and is hated by his ex-wife and son. Feeling he missed his one shot at living the dream, he fakes his death and buys a new identity.” (Deadline)

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Review: Showtime’s The Borgias http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-showtimes-the-borgias/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/review-showtimes-the-borgias/#comments Wed, 30 Mar 2011 20:55:19 +0000 Reza F. http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=204557 For any viewer fascinated by the storied heroes of modern-day crime sagas, the unique blood-soaked legacy of the House of Borgia is the ultimate incarnation of that mythos.

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How do you tell a story about an illustrious family steeped in crime and corruption without falling into the same tired patterns that tend to accompany those elements? You go back to the source and you push those elements to the highest iteration possible. You don’t make any claims of originality or posture your story as a groundbreaking new take on the genre. Instead, you make it the first take, the earliest take, the take that all other takes have been based on.

In this case, you start with the House of Borgia — a notorious Renaissance-era family — and you turn what is already a legend into a legend with no boundaries. For any viewer fascinated by the storied heroes of modern-day crime sagas, the unique blood-soaked legacy of the House of Borgia is the ultimate incarnation of that mythos. While the Corleones and the Sopranos of the world may aspire to a place of untouchable power, the Borgias actually had it. At a time when God reigned supreme, they were God, or as close to God as men could be. And that made them deities on Earth, but deities who were still completely vulnerable to the corruptive nature of power. Gods who loved sex, violence, and money? Sounds like a hell of a premise for a TV show. And it is.

“The Borgias” begins in the midst of an important transition. The Renaissance is in full swing, the Pope is dying, and the College of Cardinals has assembled to name a successor. Immediately, the viewer begins to understand what the name Borgia means. Rodrigo Borgia, master of quiet manipulation, wheels and deals his way into the Papacy, buying for himself one of the most influential seats of power in the world. From there, all he has to do is keep that seat. Working against him are his enemies within the church, his enemies abroad, and the unpredictable nature of the European alliance system. Cue the bloody violence. This is going to be a rough ride.

Of course, the ride takes a while to get moving, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, the writers are transporting you several centuries into the past while introducing an enormous story that will literally span continents, and they’re doing it all in a 45-minute pilot episode. That’s not something they want to rush into, nor is it something you want to be rushed into.

Fortunately, the characters you meet should alone be enough to pique your interest. They’re complex, bizarrely likeable, and reek of intrigue. They’re all hiding something or looking to gain something or both. And it’s not just the members of the Borgia family — it’s everyone, from the deceptive holy men to the ambitious heads of state, all the way down to the serfs and servants who inhabit the background of every scene.

From there, you begin to take in the setting. It’s an entirely unfamiliar world, so give yourself some time to get accustomed. Once you get past the frilly language and the dramatic, choir-backed hymns that resonate through each episode, you find yourself appreciating the small details: The costumes and the backdrops and all the subtle references to historical figures and events of the time.

If the characters, the period, and the abundant references aren’t enough to keep you watching, there’s always the sex and the violence. Both are savage, raw, and uninhibited. This is Showtime, so nothing is left unseen. Blood, boobs, and more blood will carry this show even if the story gets murky. Which it probably won’t because there’s more than enough scandal-ridden Borgia history to go off of here.

And that there is the beauty of historical fiction. It’s historical, so there’s a factual basis to derive plot points from, and it’s fiction, so you can do pretty much whatever the hell you want with those points. Request to writers: Please make Leonardo da Vinci and Niccolo Machiavelli fight to the death in a cage match. I will edit their Wikipedia pages to make it legit.

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Sundance Review: Margin Call http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/sundance-review-margin-call/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/sundance-review-margin-call/#comments Wed, 26 Jan 2011 17:16:56 +0000 Fred Topel http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=22414 It’s not really a detailing of the factors in the economic crisis. It’s more of a drama about the people dealing with it.

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Margin Call explains how the economic crisis happened. Basically, one company messed up their formula, so they sold all their asset knowing the value would quickly decline and the buyers would be left with worthless investments. That’s why I always say don’t invest. You don’t actually get to keep the money, you just have to buy something else until it’s over.

In the beginning, a bunch of suits come int the office of an unnamed company and start firing people. That includes Eric Dale (Stanley Tucci), who’s the risk management analyst for the company. Yeah, you don’t need that guy. On his way out, he gives a report he’s working on to young hotshot Peter Sullivan (Zachary Quinto).

Sullivan finishes the report and realizes their whole program is going to lose more than the entire value of their company. He brings it to his boss Will Emerson (Paul Bettany), up to Sam Rogers (Kevin Spacey) and ultimately to Sarah Robertson (Demi Moore) and Jared Cohen (Simon Baker). Then head honcho John Tuld (Jeremy Irons) comes in and says, “That’s it. Just dump it all.”

Each step explains a little more of the program so the audience can follow in baby steps. Both Sam and Jared ask for explanations in plain English, because they can’t understand financial talk. That’s convenient for us, but it also leads to more eloquent dialogue. There are terms like layered investments and leveraging mortgages, but Tuld’s music metaphor brings it home.

It’s not really a detailing of the factors in the economic crisis. It’s more of a drama about the people dealing with it. Sam’s dog has a tumor, so we feel for him. Sullivan has the skills to confirm Dale’s report because he is a former rocket scientist. He says it’s still numbers, just more money.

Once they decide what to do, they all deal with it differently. Tuld is relaxed and full of smiles. Even when he throws Sarah under the bus, he’s calm in that Jeremy Irons way. He advises her not to bring up the fact that she warned him earlier, and he’d just appreciate it if she didn’t fight. Young newbies worry about their prospects and the veterans cover their asses.

First time director J.C. Chandor keeps the visuals interesting. When in the office, you’ll see Sullivan writing on paper or bring in plates of eggs when it approaches the morning. They’ll take break on the roof, and send some underlings off to try to find Dale again.

I think Emerson expresses the real problem. He touts those clichés about how people want to live in houses they can’t afford, so basically he just feeds it. I say let’s rise up against these corrupt tycoons. Let’s minimize so they won’t have the power to play with our money anymore.

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