The blog of Amon Warmann: Film Journalist and Writer.

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Film Review | Hector and the Search for Happiness

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★★½☆☆

Just last year audiences were treated to The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which saw Ben Stiller undertake a world-traversing voyage to understand the meaning of life. This time it’s Simon Pegg trying to get in touch with his happy-self in Hector and the Search for Happiness. Based on French psychiatrist François Lelord’s best-selling novel of the same name, and directed by Peter Chelsom, Simon Pegg plays our dissatisfied protagonist Hector; a quirky psychiatrist who realises his methods aren’t helping his patients, and so embarks on a trip around the world in a bid to discover the secret of happiness.

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Interview | Frank Grillo Talks Captain America, Crossbones and The Raid Remake

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Frank Grillo has made a career out of strong supporting roles, but that’s set to change. Earlier this year he earned praise for his performance in The Purge: Anarchy, and the actor also left an impression as Brock Rumlow in Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Comic book fans will know exactly what’s in store for the character, and the closing minutes of Winter Soldier all but confirm that we can look forward to seeing Grillo develop Rumlow further.

Ahead of the home entertainment release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we got a chance to quiz Grillo on how he’d like Rumlow to evolve in future instalments, other Marvel characters he’d like a chance to play, and his role in the upcoming remake of The Raid. Have a read below.

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Film Review | Boyhood

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★★★★★

Richard Linklater is no stranger to portraying the passing of time on screen. While the rightly heralded ‘Before…’ trilogy saw the auteur return to his protagonists at nine year intervals, here he takes the concept even further. Shot over a period of 12 years, Boyhood is a gamble of epic proportions, and its paid off in near-miraculous fashion.

Boyhood is told from the perspective of star-gazing six-year old Mason (Ellar Coltrane, in the mother of all breakthrough roles), and over the course of 166 engrossing minutes we watch as he grows from kidulthood to adulthood. Along the way he gets visits from his estranged Father (Ethan Hawke), while his Mother Olivia (Patricia Arquette) goes through a string of tumultuous relationships.

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Film Review | Guardians of the Galaxy

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★★★★☆

Before Marvel Studios released Iron Man in 2008 it was considered a risk. Few non-comic book readers knew of the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist before Robert Downey Jr. swaggered his way onto the big screen, and the rest is history. Risk has once again been the watchword in the build-up to Guardians of the Galaxy, the tenth film in Marvel’s ever-expanding cinematic universe. Granted, it’s a lot stranger than a man in a metal suit, but Marvel have since proven how adept they are at realising their characters on the big screen. Guardians is their reward for those previous nine pictures, and as directed by James Gunn it’s a delightfully fun ride.

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Interview | Jack Reynor talks Transformers: Age of Extinction

TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

I was lucky enough to be sent to chat with Jack Reynor ahead of the Dublin premiere of Transformers: Age of Extinction. Check out our fun conversation below.

Interview | Andy Serkis talks Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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Set 10 years after its predecessor Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sees Andy Serkis reprise his role as Caesar, leader of a genetically evolved ape colony that is threatened by a band of human survivors. We’re not monkeying around when we say Serkis delivers one of the finest performances of the year, and when combined with WETA’s phenomenal CGI effects the result is something truly special.

Along with a handful of other journalists I was fortunate enough to sit down with the actor ahead of the film’s UK release, and an enjoyably chatty Serkis talked about how far performance capture has come in addition to developing Caesar’s voice and where the series might be headed in future instalments. It’s all been transcribed for your reading pleasure below.

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Film Review | Transformers: Age of Extinction

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★★★☆☆

Picking up four years after the Battle of Chicago in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Age of Extinction sees amateur robotics inventor Cade Yaeger (Mark Wahlberg) discovering Optimus Prime (voiced superbly once more by Peter Cullen) while searching for junk to refurbish. The gravely wounded Autobot commander has been in hiding from a covert black ops team led by Harold Attlinger (Kelsey Grammer), who has teamed up with Cybertronian bounty hunter Lockdown (voiced by Mark Ryan) in a bid to destroy all shape-shifting robots. Meanwhile, tech tycoon and billionaire inventor Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci) is busy reverse-engineering his own Transformers with a view to having an army of robots under human control.

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