The blog of Amon Warmann: Film Journalist and Writer.

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Interview | Director Steven Knight Discusses Locke

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When I asked Steven Knight, the writer and director of gripping British drama Locke, whether or not he would consider directing from a script that wasn’t his own, his response was immediate; “No, I couldn’t conceive of doing that, I’d feel for the writer!” With a screenwriting résumé that includes Dirty Pretty Things, Eastern Promises, and Peaky Blinders, it’s a position that Knight has often been in. Last year saw his first foray into life behind the camera with the underwhelming Jason Statham vehicle Hummingbird, but his sophomore effort is anything but. Bolstered by a knockout performance from Tom Hardy, Locke is a fascinating and clever opus that gets the most out of its simple premise.

I got a chance to speak with Knight ahead of the film’s UK release this week, and he talks to us about cutting down 30 hours of footage, his directorial experience on the film, and Hardy’s Welsh accent. Have a read below.

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Film Review | The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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★★★½☆

Freed from the burden of a seen-it-all-before origin story, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a marked improvement from its predecessor and gets more right than it does wrong, but it is still unworthy of its title.

After a flashback gives us more details on Peter Parker’s parents (more on that later), the narrative picks up from where the first left off. Peter (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) are very much in love, but Peter is still haunted by the promise he made to Gwen’s Father to stay away from her. Elsewhere, an industrial accident sees Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) transform into dangerous villain Electro, whilst Peter’s childhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) re-emerges with secrets of his own.

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Film Review | Rio 2

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★★½☆☆

Few would have predicted that Blue Sky Studios’ Rio would go on to be one of the highest grossing films of 2011. Directed by Carlos Saldanha, it was well-liked by both critics and audiences, flapping its way to $483 million worldwide. As such, it’s no surprise we’re getting a second instalment of the franchise, but the assurance that this is a product which a demographic is guaranteed to respond to may have contributed to the overly safe vibe the sequel emanates.

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Film Review | Khumba: A Zebra’s Tale

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★½☆☆☆

As the recent critical and box office success of both the Oscar-winning Frozen (2013)  and The LEGO Movie (2014) can attest to, animated movies have seldom been more popular than they are today. Though noble in its intentions, Anthony Silverston’s Khumba (2014)  - the sophomore effort from the Cape Town-based Triggerfish Animation Studios – is a substandard digimated excursion that’s all the more dissatisfying when compared to the films that inspired it.

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Interview | Richard Armitage Talks The Hobbit Trilogy

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Few characters benefitted more from Peter Jackson’s second instalment of The Hobbit trilogy than Thorin Oakenshield, leader of a dwarf clan intent on reclaiming their homeland. As portrayed by Richard Armitage, it’s a subtle performance of a layered character, one we’re looking forward to seeing more of when The Hobbit trilogy comes to an end later this year.

When I sat down with Armitage ahead of the home entertainment release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, I asked him about his fondest memories of Middle Earth, which scene from The Lord of the Rings trilogy he would have liked to see in 3D, and what he’s most excited for audiences to see in trilogy-capper There and Back Again. Have a watch below.

 

This article was originally published at HeyUGuys

Interview | Director Carlos Saldanha Talks Rio 2

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With its catchy music, colourful visuals and perfectly pitched performances from its star-studded cast, Rio struck a chord with audiences back in 2011. Indeed, it amassed over $480 million worldwide and was the thirteenth highest grossing film of that year. Directed by Carlos Saldanha, it’s no surprise that a sequel will be gracing our cinema screens later this week, offering more of the same family-friendly fun.

When I caught up with Saldanha, I asked him about the challenges of making a sequel, what animated film from his younger years he would have liked to have directed, and whether or not he has any ideas for Rio 3. Additionally, I asked him to draw me as an animated character in the Rio universe, with amusing results! Have a watch below.

Film Review | Noah

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★★★½☆

Any notion that Noah, the latest film from Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky, is going to be a Sunday school retelling of the well-known Genesis tale is utterly obliterated once we see fallen angels – termed ‘The Watchers’ – envisaged as giant rock monsters. It’s the weirdest liberty in a film teeming with them, and it’s not hard to see why there’s been much controversy surrounding the reimagining leading up to its release. For those willing to roll with Aronofsky’s ambitious endeavour, there is a thoughtful and entertaining film to be found. At least, up until the final act.

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