Category: Crime and Mystery Movies

Trap for Cinderella

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Trap for Cinderella Movie

Taglines: Betrayal burns deep.

Trap for Cinderella is a British crime drama film directed by Iain Softley and starring Tuppence Middleton, Alexandra Roach, Kerry Fox, Aneurin Barnard, Frances de la Tour and Emilia Fox. Based on the novel Piège pour Cendrillon by Sébastien Japrisot, the film is about a young woman who loses her memory after surviving a fire that kills her childhood friend. through reading her dead friend’s diary, she begins to put the pieces of her shattered life back together.

The film starts with Micky (Tuppence Middleton), regaining consciousness in an hospital with Dr. Muller (Erich Redman) asking her if she remembers anything. Micky has suffered severe burn injuries and is suffering from amnesia. Over time she under goes reconstructive surgery and during a session of psychotherapy with Dr. Sylvie Wells (Emilia Fox) we are informed that she is 20 years old and lives in London. Her parents died in an car accident when she was 9 years old. Her late aunt, Elinor (Frances de la Tour) took care of her ever since. Elinor had died recently sometime before Micky’s accident. In the hospital Micky is shown photographs of her friends and relatives but she can’t recognize anybody.

Trap for Cinderella Movie

Sometime later Micky is discharged from the hospital, she has recovered from her injuries but has not regained her memory. Her aunt’s personal assistant, Julia (Kerry Fox) is her guardian now and she takes Micky home. Jake (Aneurin Barnard) calls Micky on her landline but Julia receives the call and informs him that Micky is not ready to meet her friends. Julia informs Micky later that Jake was one of her boyfriends. Micky sees photos of Do (Alexandra Roach) and inquires about her, Julia tells her that Do is a friend and also that Do’s mother (Elizabeth Healey) was a caretaker at Elinor’s house. Julia also informs Micky that when she turns 21, she would inherit the entire estate of Elinor.

Among the photograph she finds envelope sent by Jake, she keeps the envelope. While Julia is distracted by a call, Micky takes a cab and goes to the address mentioned in the envelope. The address turn out to be the office of James Chance (Alex Jennings), who was Elinor’s lawyer. He informs her that Jake works for him. Chance is worried about Micky and tries to inform Julia, but Micky walks out of the office. She meets Jake outside Chance’s office and goes to Jake’s house to talk. Jake informs her that they had broken up the last time they met. They bond and have sex in his apartment. Jake gives her keys to her old apartment. Micky asks Jake about Do, Jake is surprised that Micky does not know it. He informs her that Do died in the accident that burnt her.

Trap for Cinderella Movie - Tuppence Middleton

Micky next visits her old apartment, there she finds Do’s suitcase which contains her letters, clothes and a diary. Micky reads the diary and it is shown in the flash back that Do used to work in a bank and they meet there after a long gap and they exchange their numbers. Micky and Do bond over again and Do informs Micky that after they had last met, her father (Tim Wallers) committed suicide and her mom is dead too. It is also revealed in a flash back that in their childhood, Micky had accidentally almost drowned Do and ran away scared. Do follows her and they see something. This causes Do’s father to take his family away from the Elinor’s home.

Soundtrack

The film’s soundtrack was music supervised by Universal Music Publishing Group and includes music from Cassius, Cat’s Eyes, Crystal Castles, Crystal Fighters, Fixers, Glasser, James Blake, Joker ft. Jessie Ware, Metronomy, Pauline Croze, Peter Sarstedt, The Chemical Brothers and Nouvelle Vague’s cover of Joy Division ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’.

Trap for Cinderella Movie Poster

Trap for Cinderella

Directed by: Iain Softley
Starring: Aneurin Barnard, Tuppence Middleton, Alexandra Roach, Frances de la Tour, Kerry Fox, Elizabeth Healey
Screenplay by: Sébastien Japrisot, Iain Softley
Production Design by: Gary Williamson
Cinematography by: Alex Barber
Film Editing by: Stuart Gazzard
Costume Design by: Verity Hawkes
Set Decoration by: Cathy Cosgrove
Music by: Christian Henson
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: IFC Films
Release Date: December 13, 2013

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How I Live Now

How I Live Now Movie

Taglines: Love will lead you home.

How I Live Now is a British drama film based on the 2004 novel of same name by Meg Rosoff, directed by Kevin Macdonald and script written by Tony Grisoni, Jeremy Brock and Penelope Skinner. The film stars Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, Anna Chancellor, George MacKay, Corey Johnson and Sabrina Dickens. It was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Set in the near-future UK, Saoirse Ronan plays Daisy, an American teenager sent to stay with relatives in the English countryside. Initially withdrawn and alienated, she begins to warm up to her charming surroundings, and strikes up a romance with the handsome Edmund (George MacKay). But on the fringes of their idyllic summer days are tense news reports of an escalating conflict in Europe. As the UK falls into a violent, chaotic military state, Daisy finds herself hiding and fighting to survive.

Filming began in June 2012 in England and Wales. The film was released on 4 October 2013 in the United Kingdom and was set for release on 28 November 2013 in Australia. On 25 July 2013, Magnolia Pictures acquired the US rights to distribute the film.

How I Live Now Movie - Saoirse Roman

About the Production

“The summer I went to England to stay with my cousins everything changed… Mostly everything changed because of Edmond.” – How I Live Now, Meg Rosoff

When Meg Rosoff’s novel How I Live Now was first published in 2004, it was widely greeted with acclaim and blossomed into a word-of-mouth best-seller. The London-based American author’s remarkable debut found itself showered with prestigious literary awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.

Written in the compellingly innocent but acerbic voice of its heroine, an intelligent but angry and anorexic 15-year-old New Yorker named Daisy, How I Live Now deftly and movingly touched on themes of love, loss and loyalty beneath the topical shadows of war, chaos and carnage. Exiled by her father from Manhattan to the English countryside, Daisy’s coming of age is a mixture of bliss and heartache, the former generated by falling in love with her cousin Edmond, the latter by the darkness that falls when Britain is plunged into war. Suddenly, this self-absorbed teenager is solely responsible for her youngest cousin Piper and forced to embark on an epic and courageous journey of survival.

It was the imaginative scope of Rosoff’s story, set in a parallel or not-too-distant future, and the relatable poignancy of Daisy’s detached but sharply ironic observations about love, war, cousins and countryside that made the novel appeal to young and adult readers alike. Among its fans were Charles Steel and Alasdair Flind of Cowboy Films, who secured the option on Rosoff’s best-seller and put the adaptation into development at Film4.

How I Live Now Movie - Saoirse Ronan

Early on, they sent the book to Kevin Macdonald, who Steel had worked with on The Last King Of Scotland. He also read it and loved it but, after The Last King Of Scotland, he was a filmmaker in demand and his schedule rendered him unavailable. Macdonald was always drawn to the prospect of making a serious film about the teenage experience, as well as one that featured a female lead and a love story – both are firsts for the talented director. When the project came back around to him, he grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

“I think Meg’s book is really beautiful,” says Macdonald. “But as is so often the case, when there’s a really beautiful book, you often have to move further away from it than you would if you were adapting what was a mediocre book. So much of what the book did you can’t do on screen. For one thing it’s Daisy’s internal monologue, which meant that the structure of the book was very hard to replicate. And although Daisy’s voice is so strong in the book, we realized she needed to be slightly different in order for the film to work.”

The producers were faced with the challenge of distilling a novel that ventures into both youth and adult terrain in terms of its themes and subject matter, but without losing the poetic vision that made Rosoff’s manuscript such a celebrated success. Different screenwriters with varied skillsets were brought on board: Tony Grisoni (Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas, In This World) was the first to work on the adaptation, before he passed the baton to Jeremy Brock (The Last King Of Scotland, The Eagle). Acclaimed young playwright Penelope Skinner came on last to put the finishing touches on Daisy, who falls in love with one of her cousins and faces extreme challenges throughout the story.

How I Live Now Movie

“We tried so many different voices for Daisy,” explains Macdonald. “The breakthrough was figuring out that the key to Daisy was her willpower. She is somebody who has an amazingly strong sense of self and identity, but she has used that willpower in very negative ways in her life because her life has been very negative. But she ends up using the same thing that’s made her a troubled person to survive.”

Although it’s likely to be classified in the young-adult section of any bookstore, Rosoff’s novel was strongly embraced by both a teenage and an adult audience. The book’s publisher, Penguin Books, even created separate covers to target both markets. Although that crossover appeal is strongly reflected in Macdonald’s adaptation, everyone involved was aware that the more they defined their target audience, the better chance they had of crossing over to reach both groups.

“Driven by Kevin, we’ve fully embraced it as a teenage love story aimed towards a teenage audience,” says Steel.

“What makes the film stand out,” adds Flind. “Is that this is Kevin’s version of a teenage love story. He has the ability to make it real and rough around the edges in all the right ways. He’ll make it stand out.”

Ronan was an actress whose name came up early on in How I Live Now’s development, around the time of Atonement’s release. Although she would have been too young at the time, the Irish actress’ talent and charisma were obvious to all, and she has gone on to become the standout actress of her generation. Call it serendipity but by the time the stars aligned for How I Live Now to move into production, Ronan was the right age to play Daisy.

Initially, Macdonald had considered going with a cast of non-professionals to portray How I Live Now’s group of five, and he arranged open casting calls to find an unknown to inhabit Daisy. Later, he abandoned that plan and began meeting with teenage actresses, but couldn’t find anyone he felt had the edge that Daisy needed. Until he met Ronan and was blown away. “She came in to read and she was just fantastic, I mean jaw-dropping,” says the Glasgow-born director. “The most amazing thing was that she’d come over from Ireland but hadn’t received the new pages we’d sent her so she had literally 10 minutes to prepare when she arrived. But she did it and she was fantastically good.”

The most enjoyable part of the shoot for Macdonald was getting to work with his teenage and younger cast. “They were fun and energetic and obedient, for the most part,” he smiles. “They were just a pleasure to work with and having so many kids around the whole time, even though Saoirse is 18 and George had just turned 20, created a lovely atmosphere for everybody. I was 44 when I shot it so quite distant from those sort of feelings and obviously I’ve also never experienced what it’s like to be a teenage girl so I came to rely on them in different ways than you do when you’re making a film about adults.”

Wartime Mysteries

“No matter how much you put on a sad expression and talked about how awful it was that all those people were killed and what about Democracy and the Future of Our Great Nation the fact that none of us kids said out loud was that we didn’t really care.”

How I Live Now depicts its wartime with frightening realism, and yet, seen through the eyes of its largely oblivious teenage protagonists, leaves a shroud of mystery around what’s actually happening. The unknown enemy that manages to seize control of the nation remains a shadowy force. “The world that Meg created is very much about ambiguity and we wanted to leave it in that world,” says Macdonald. “I’m sure that some people will ask, ‘Who are the enemy? What’s going on?’ But I believe it’s the right decision to keep it as vague as possible because, in a way, it’s all a metaphor. It’s not a political film, it’s not a film about the situation in the world, it’s the story of an unhappy teenage girl falling in love.”

“I don’t think it’s necessarily important for the audience to know everything that Eddie’s been through,” says MacKay, agreeing with his director. “What’s important is that the film is about healing damaged people and Eddie heals Daisy through their love. Sex and true love are new discoveries that come with being with each other and at the end of the film; Daisy is on the path to healing him.”

Macdonald wanted to steep the film in the English romantic tradition, which is why songs by melodic folk-rockers Fairport Convention and English singer-songwriter Nick Drake feature on the soundtrack. “It’s about the beauty of the landscape and the threat of the landscape at the same time,” he notes, “and I want to reflect this magical, melancholic version of England in the music.”

More than any film Macdonald has made, How I Live Now rests on a single character’s journey. Daisy goes on a staggering arc during the narrative, conveyed by Ronan with extraordinary conviction; the novel’s numerous fans will be thrilled to witness her performance. “I know teenage girls who got so excited when they heard I was making this movie,” says the actress. “Having a leading young woman like Daisy who’s very messed up and unsure of herself and insecure, I know as a teenager they’re the kind of characters I relate to more because they’re not perfect and they’re not glorified. Pretty much every teenage girl goes through at least some of what Daisy experiences.”

“What I find interesting about Saoirse’s performance is that she’s not always sympathetic in the film and she did sometimes find that difficult because she is, by nature, such a lovely person,” muses Macdonald. “But that makes it a particularly strong performance because it’s Saoirse as you’ve never seen her before. She’s tough, ballsy and the most grown-up we’ve seen her be. In this film, we watch her becoming a grown-up in front of our eyes and that’s exciting. After this film, you’ll see people start casting her as a leading lady.”

How I Live Now Movie Poster

How I Live Now

Directed by: Director: Kevin Macdonald
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Tom Holland, Anna Chancellor, George MacKay, Corey Johnson, Harley Bird
Screenplay by: Jeremy Brock, Tony Grisoni
MPAA Rating: R for violence, disturbing images, language and some sexuality.
Production Design by: Jacqueline Abrahams
Cinematography by: Franz Lustig
Film Editing by: Jinx Godfrey
Costume Design by: Jane Petrie
Art Direction by: Astrid Sieben
Music by: Jon Hopkins
Studio: Magnolia Pictures
Release Date: November 8, 2013

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American Hustle

American Hustle Movie

American Hustle is a drama film directed by David O. Russell, from a screenplay written by Eric Warren Singer and Russell based on the FBI Abscam operation. It is scheduled to be released on December 25, 2013 (in limited release December 13, 2013) by Annapurna Pictures. The film stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, and Robert De Niro.

American Hustle is based on the true story of a notorious financial con artist (Christian Bale) and his mistress/partner in crime (Amy Adams), who were forced to work with an out of control federal agent (Bradley Cooper) to turn the tables on other con artists, mobsters, and politicians. At the epicenter of the entire tale, is the passionate and volatile leader of the New Jersey state assembly (Jeremy Renner) who is also the local hero and mayor of impoverished Camden.

Originally titled “American Bullshit”, Eric Warren Singer’s screenplay was #8 on the 2010 blacklist. The film was set up at Sony Pictures Entertainment with Charles Roven and Richard Suckle producing through Atlas Entertainment and was initially considered by Ben Affleck to direct, before David O. Russell ultimately signed on to helm the film.

Principal photography started on March 8, 2013 and wrapped in May 2013. The film was shot using locations in and around Boston, Massachusetts (such as in Worcester) and New York. Filming had to be put on hold in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings with the city in lockdown. After lockdown was lifted, the film wrapped its Boston shoot and spent its final few days of production in New York City.

American Hustle Movie

About the Story

In 1978, con artists Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser have started a relationship and are working together. Sydney has improved Rosenfeld’s scams, posing as English aristocrat “Lady Edith Greensly”. While Irving loves Sydney, he is hesitant to leave his wife Rosalyn out of fear of losing contact with their son, Danny. Rosalyn has also threatened that she could report Irving to the police if he leaves her.

FBI agent Richard “Richie” DiMaso catches Irving and Sydney in a loan scam, but offers to release them if Irving can line up four additional arrests. Sydney opposes the agreement. Richie believes Sydney is English but has proof that her claim of aristocracy is fraudulent. Sydney tells Irving she will manipulate Richie, distancing herself from Irving.

Irving has a friend pretending to be a wealthy Arab sheikh looking for potential investments in America. An associate of Irving’s suggests the sheikh do business with Mayor Carmine Polito of Camden, New Jersey, who is campaigning to revitalize gambling in Atlantic City but has struggled in fundraising. Richie devises a plan to make Carmine the target of a sting operation, despite the objections of Irving and of Richie’s boss, Stoddard Thorsen (Louis C.K.). Sydney helps Richie manipulate an FBI secretary into making an unauthorized wire transfer of $2,000,000. When Stoddard’s boss, Anthony Amado, hears of the operation, he praises Richie’s initiative, pressuring Stoddard to continue.

American Hustle Movie - Amy Adams

Richie’s overeagerness to make Carmine accept a cash bribe causes the mayor to leave their meeting. Irving convinces Carmine the sheikh is legitimate, expressing his dislike toward Richie, and the two become friends. Richie arranges for Carmine to meet the sheikh at an airfield, and without consulting the others, has Mexican-American FBI agent Paco Hernandez play the sheikh, a move Irving is not pleased with.

Carmine brings the sheikh to a casino party, explaining mobsters are there and it is a necessary part of doing business. Irving is surprised to hear that Mafia overlord Victor Tellegio (Robert De Niro), right-hand man to Meyer Lansky, is present, and that he wants to meet the sheikh. Tellegio explains that the business needs the sheikh to become an American citizen and that Carmine will need to expedite the process. Tellegio also requires a $10,000,000 wire transfer to prove the sheikh’s legitimacy. Richie agrees, eager to bring down Tellegio, while Irving realizes the operation is out of control.

Richie confesses his attraction to Sydney but becomes confused and aggressive when she drops her English accent and admits to being American. Irving arrives to protect Sydney and tries to stop their deal with Richie, but Richie says if they back out, Tellegio will learn of the scam and murder them both, as well as Rosalyn and Danny.

Rosalyn starts an affair with Pete Musane, a mobster she met at the party. She mentions her belief that Irving is working with the IRS, causing Pete to threaten Irving, who promises to prove the sheikh’s investment is real. Irving later confronts Rosalyn, who admits she told Pete. She agrees to keep quiet but wants a divorce.

With Carmine’s help, Richie and Irving videotape members of Congress receiving bribes. Richie goes over Stoddard, convincing Amado that $10,000,000 is needed to get Tellegio, but only gets $2,000,000. A meeting is arranged at the offices of Tellegio’s lawyer, Alfonse Simone, but Tellegio does not appear. Richie records Simone’s admission of criminal activities.

American Hustle Movie Poster

American Hustle

Directed by: David O. Russell
Starring: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Colleen Camp
Screenplay by: Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell
Production Design by: Judy Becker
Cinematography by: Linus Sandgren
Film Editing by: Alan Baumgarten, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers
Costume Design by: Michael Wilkinson
Set Decoration by: Heather Loeffler
Music by: Danny Elfman
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language, some sexual content and brief violence.
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Release Date: December 25, 2013

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The Wolf of Wall Street

The Wolf of Wall Street

In The Wolf of Wall Street DiCaprio plays Belfort, a Long Island penny stockbroker who served 36 months in prison for defrauding investors in a massive 1990s securities scam that involved widespread corruption on Wall Street and in the corporate banking world, including shoe designer Steve Madden.

The Wolf of Wall Street is a biographical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, based on Jordan Belfort’s memoir of the same name. The screenplay was written by Terence Winter, and the film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Belfort, along with other cast members including Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey, among others. The Wolf of Wall Street marks a fifth collaboration between Scorsese and DiCaprio, and a second with Winter after Boardwalk Empire.

Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) begins a low-level job at an established Wall Street firm. After being taken under the wing of company executive Mark Hanna (Matthew McConaughey) and becoming a licensed stockbroker, he is retrenched due to the firm’s bankruptcy following Black Monday.

The Wolf of Wall Street

Belfort’s wife Teresa (Cristin Milioti) encourages him to take a job with a Long Island boiler room dealing in penny stocks. Belfort impresses his new boss with his aggressive pitching style, and earns a small fortune for the firm and himself. Belfort befriends Donnie Azoff (Jonah Hill), a salesman living in the same apartment complex, and they go into business together along with his accountant parents and several friends. To cloak the fact the firm is a pump and dump scam, Belfort gives it the respectable name of Stratton Oakmont, shortly after which FBI Agent Patrick Denham (Kyle Chandler) begins investigating the firm.

Belfort begins an affair with Naomi Lapaglia (Margot Robbie) resulting in his divorce from Teresa and a second marriage to Lapaglia, buying a mansion and a yacht that he names after her. They have a daughter, Skylar. At work, meanwhile, Belfort, Azoff and colleagues engage in non-stop debauchery and drug use.

Belfort makes $22 million after securing the IPO of Steve Madden Ltd. To hide his money, Belfort opens a Swiss bank account with a corrupt banker Jean-Jacques Saurel (Jean Dujardin) using friends with European passports to smuggle cash. It is opened in the name of Naomi’s aunt Emma (Joanna Lumley), a British citizen outside the reach of U.S. authorities.

Belfort’s father Max (Rob Reiner) and lawyer Manny (Jon Favreau) attempt to convince Belfort to step down from Stratton Oakmont and escape the large number of legal penalties. However, during his office farewell, Belfort changes his mind.

The Wolf of Wall Street

Belfort, Donnie and their wives are on a yacht trip to Italy when they learn that Emma has died so the money in the Swiss bank account is locked up. While Emma left the money to Belfort, he has to go to Switzerland the next day to sign for it. Over his grieving wife’s objections, Belfort sails to Monaco when a violent storm capsizes their yacht. After their rescue, the plane sent to take them to Geneva is destroyed by a seagull flying into the engine, exploding and killing three people. Witnessing this, Belfort considers it a sign from God and decides to sober up.

Two years later, Denham arrests Belfort during the filming of an infomercial after Saurel tells the FBI everything. With the evidence against him overwhelming, Belfort agrees to gather evidence on his colleagues in exchange for leniency.

Belfort expresses optimism about his sentencing to his wife, who promptly informs him she will file for divorce, demanding full custody of their two children. Belfort throws a violent tantrum, gets high, and crashes his car in his driveway during an attempt to abscond with a frightened Skylar. The next morning, Belfort wears a wire to work, silently slipping Donnie a note warning him not to say anything incriminating. The note finds its way to Agent Denham, who arrests Belfort for breaching his cooperation deal; the FBI then raids and shuts down Stratton Oakmont.

Despite the breach, Belfort receives a reduced sentence of 36 months in a minimum security federal prison in Nevada. After his release, Belfort makes a living hosting seminars on sales techniques in New Zealand.

The Wolf of Wall Street Movie Poster

The Wolf of Wall Street

Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Kyle Chandler, Jean Dujardin, Margot Robbie, Jon Favreau, Cristin Milioti, Matthew McConaughey
Screenplay by: Terence Winter
Production Design by: Bob Shaw
Cinematography by: Rodrigo Prieto
Film Editing by: Thelma Schoonmaker
Costume Design by: Sandy Powell
Set Decoration by: Ellen Christiansen
Music by: Howard Shore
MPAA Rating: R for sequences of strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language throughout, and for some violence.
Studio; Paramount Pictures
Release Date: November 15, 2013

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Oldboy

Oldboy Movie

Taglines: Ask not why you were imprisoned. Ask why you were set free.

A provocative, visceral thriller that follows the story of an advertising executive (Josh Brolin) who is abruptly kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his bizarre and torturous punishment only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment.

Oldboy is an American remake of Park Chan-wook’s 2003 South Korean cult film, which is based on the Japanese manga with the same name published 1996-1998. Directed by Spike Lee and written by Mark Protosevich, the film stars Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, and Sharlto Copley.

The film was released on November 27, 2013. It was the last film to be distributed by FilmDistrict, before Focus Features absorbed the company in October 2013. It received a mixed reception from both critics and audiences, with praise towards the acting and visual style, but criticism for the comparisons to the original and adding nothing new to the film. The film was a box office bomb, being one of Lee’s worst-performing films of his directing career.

Oldboy Movie - Elizabeth Olsen

About the Story

In 1993, alcoholic advertising executive Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) ruins a meeting with a potential client, Daniel Newcombe (Lance Reddick), by hitting on his girlfriend. Afterwards, Joe gets drunk, and goes to a bar owned by his friend Chucky (Michael Imperioli), who refuses him entry. While stuck outside, he spots a woman with a yellow umbrella, before being knocked unconscious.

He awakens in an isolated hotel room and finds he is a prisoner. His captors provide him with basic hygiene items and meager portions of processed Chinese food, along with a pint of vodka with every meal to prevent withdrawal. Through the TV, Joe hears that he has been framed for the rape and murder of his ex-wife and that his daughter, Mia, has been adopted. After being prevented from committing suicide, Joe starts writing Mia letters, gives up drinking, and spends the next 20 years planning his revenge. He gets in shape, becomes a skilled boxer by watching televised matches, and compiles a list of everyone who might be responsible for his imprisonment, with Newcombe being the prime suspect.

In 2013, Joe watches an adult Mia being interviewed by a TV show called “Unresolved Mysteries of Crime”, and claiming she would be willing to forgive him if he returns. Suddenly, he is drugged and awakes in a box in a field, with money and a cell phone. He spots the woman with the yellow umbrella, whom he chases to a nearby clinic; there he meets Marie Sebastian (Elizabeth Olsen), a nurse who offers to help him. Joe refuses help but takes her card.

Oldboy Movie

He later visits Chucky and tells him what happened. He receives a mocking phone call from the mastermind behind his imprisonment, The Stranger (Sharlto Copley). After learning Newcombe died in a plane crash, Joe investigates the other names on his list, and learns they are all innocent. He eventually passes out from dehydration, and Chucky calls Marie, who gives Joe medical treatment.

Marie reads the letters Joe has written for Mia and offers to help him. With her, Joe is able to locate the restaurant that provided the food he was given in captivity and follows a man who arrives to take a large order to an abandoned factory, which is where he was held captive. Joe confronts the owner, Chaney (Samuel L. Jackson), and tortures him into giving him a taped conversation in which he discusses the terms of Joe’s imprisonment with The Stranger. Joe is then forced to fight off all of Chaney’s men, one of whom stabs him in the back. Joe then is then returned to Chucky’s bar, where he meets The Stranger himself and his bodyguard Haeng-Bok, the woman with the yellow umbrella, who has kidnapped Mia.

Oldboy Movie Poster

Oldboy

Directed by: Spike Lee
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley, Lance Reddick, Hannah Simone
Screenplay by: Garon Tsuchiya, Nobuaki Minegishi, Mark Protosevich
Production Design by: Sharon Seymour
Cinematography by: Sean Bobbitt
Film Editing by: Barry Alexander Brown
Costume Design by: Ruth E. Carter
Set Decoration by: Maggie Martin
Music by: Roque Baños
Studio: FilmDistrict
Release Date: November 27, 2013

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Runner, Runner

Runner, Runner Movie

Taglines: Play or be played.

Princeton grad student Richie, believing he’s been swindled, travels to Costa Rica to confront online gambling tycoon Ivan Block. Richie is seduced by Block’s promise of immense wealth, until he learns the disturbing truth about his benefactor. When the FBI tries to coerce Richie to help bring down Block, Richie faces his biggest gamble ever: attempting to outmaneuver the two forces closing in on him.

Runner Runner is an American crime thriller film directed by Brad Furman, and written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien. The film stars Justin Timberlake, Ben Affleck, Gemma Arterton, and Anthony Mackie, and was produced by Arnon Milchan, Jennifer Davisson Killoran, Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Shamberg, Stacey Sher, Brian Koppelman, and David Levien.

It was released in Belgium, France and the Philippines on September 25, 2013, and in several other countries on the following days. It was released in the United States on October 4, 2013. Some parts of this narrative are based on the life of Nat Arem, a professional poker player and former accountant at Deloitte Touche who helped uncover cheating in online poker by using statistical methods to analyze thousands of games. The film received generally negative reviews from critics.

Runner, Runner Movie

About the Story

Richie Furst used to have a lucrative career on Wall Street; this history prevents him from receiving tuition assistance at Princeton, so he funds his master’s degree by referring students to online gambling, for which he receives a cut. After the dean threatens to expel him for these activities, Richie tries to win his tuition using his excellent poker skills in online gambling, but he loses all his money to a cheater, something he is able to prove by statistics.

Richie goes to Costa Rica to confront Ivan Block, who runs the biggest empire of online gambling websites in the world, including the one Richie lost his money on. After Ivan sees the statistics, he finds coders have coded the software to allow them to cheat. After firing those involved, Ivan tells Richie he’ll pay him millions per year to stay in Costa Rica and assist with the site.

Richie slowly begins a romantic relationship with Rebecca Shafran, ex-lover of Ivan, who appears to have no objections. Ivan has Richie blackmail a gaming affiliate with videos of his infidelity to force him to sign with Ivan. FBI agent Shavers kidnaps Richie and threatens to ruin his life in various ways if he does not assist in a conviction of Ivan Block. Shavers cannot do anything legally as he has no authority in Costa Rica, but he takes advantage of this to use tactics that would be illegal and unethical for law enforcement inside the United States. Ivan tells Richie that everyone in the organization ends up confronted by Shavers at some point.

Over time, Ivan’s organization is revealed to be less than ethical. He sends Richie to bribe Costa Rica gaming director Herrera with too small a payment, which leads to Richie being beaten. Ivan tells him it comes with the territory of such a lucrative career. Ivan throws Herrera and his bodyguard into a lake of crocodiles, but pulls them out before they are eaten. Richie’s friend Andrew Cronin, who works on the software design for Ivan, finds that Ivan is running a Ponzi scheme; the players’ accounts have no actual money, and Ivan uses the money as his own bank account, keeping just enough to allow players to cash out when they need to. Cronin disappears and is later found nearly beaten to death. Aware that Richie might be wanting out, Ivan buys the massive poker debts of Richie’s father and brings him to Costa Rica, using him as a hostage.

Runner, Runner Movie Poster

Runner, Runner

Directed by: Brad Furman
Starring: Justin Timberlake, Gemma Arterton, Ben Affleck, Anthony Mackie, Ben Schwartz, Diana Laura
Screenplay by: Brian Koppelman, David Levien
Production Design by: Charisse Cardenas
Cinematography by: Mauro Fiore
Film Editing by: Jeff McEvoy
Costume Design by: Sophie De Rakoff
Set Decoration by: Monica Monserrate
Music by: Christophe Beck
MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content.
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: October 4, 2013

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Escape Plan

Escape Plan Movie

Taglines: The most secure prison ever built.

Ray Breslin is the world’s top authority on prison structural security, who finds himself having to put his skills to the test when he is framed for a crime and sent up to a prison he helped design. He must escape and figure out who put him behind bars.

Early reports in 2010 speculated that Bruce Willis was cast as Ray Breslin. It was revealed by producer Mark Canton on The Matthew Aaron Show that Jim Caviezel has signed on to the film and has been revealed to be the main antagonist in the film, the prison warden Hobbs.

It was revealed in April 2012 that British actor Vinnie Jones has been signed on to star in Escape Plan. Vinnie Jones revealed to the newspaper The Sun that there are three inmates escaping from the prison. Jones has been confirmed to be starring in the film, and it has been revealed that Jones is playing the antagonist Drake, the corrupt and ruthless prison guard. Jones stated he starts filming on April 19 in New Orleans.

Variety and other media in the news have stated that Amy Ryan, Vincent D’Onofrio, and 50 Cent, have joined the cast of Escape Plan. It was confirmed in Mid-April that 50 Cent is the computer expert who was once incarcerated for cyber crimes helping Breslin’s character escape, D’Onofrio as the deputy director of the high-tech prison and Ryan as Stallone’s business partner and his potential love interest.

Escape Plan Movie Poster

Escape Plan

Directed by: Mikael Håfström
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, James Caviezel, Vincent D’Onofrio, Sam Neill, Amy Ryan, Steven Krueger, 50 Cent
Screenplay by: Miles Chapman, Jason Keller
Production Design by: Barry Chusid
Cinematography by: Brendan Galvin
Film Editing by: Elliot Greenberg
Costume Design by: Lizz Wolf
Set Decoration by: Bradford Johnson
Music by: Alex Heffes
MPAA Rating: R for violence and language throughout.
Studio: Summit Entertainment
Release Date: October 18, 2013

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The Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate Movie

Taglines: You can’t expose the world’s secrets without your exposing your own.

Following Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl), an early supporter and eventual colleague of Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch), “The Fifth Estate” traces the heady, early days of WikiLeaks, culminating in the release of a series of controversial and history changing information leaks. The website’s overnight success brought instant fame to its principal architects and transformed the flow of information to news media and the world at large.

The Fifth Estate is a thriller film directed by Bill Condon, about the news-leaking website WikiLeaks. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch as its editor-in-chief and founder Julian Assange, and Daniel Brühl as its former spokesperson Daniel Domscheit-Berg. Anthony Mackie, David Thewlis, Alicia Vikander, Stanley Tucci, and Laura Linney are featured in supporting roles.

The film’s screenplay was written by Josh Singer based in-part on Domscheit-Berg’s book Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange and the World’s Most Dangerous Website (2011), as well as WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy (2011) by British journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding. The film’s name is a term used to describe the people who operate in the manner of journalists outside the normal constraints imposed on the mainstream media.

The Fifth Estate Movie

About the Story

The story opens in 2010, with the release of the Afghan War Logs. It then flashes back to 2007, where journalist Daniel Domscheit-Berg meets Australian computer hacker Julian Assange for the first time, at the Chaos Communication Congress in Berlin. Daniel’s interest in online activism has led him to Assange, with whom he has corresponded by email. They begin working together on WikiLeaks, a website devoted to releasing information being withheld from the public while retaining anonymity for its sources.

Their first major target is a private Swiss bank, Julius Baer, whose Cayman Islands branch has been engaged in illegal activities. Despite Baer’s filing of a lawsuit and obtaining an injunction, the judge dissolves the injunction, allowing Julian and Daniel to reclaim the domain name. As their confidence increases, the two push forward in publishing information over the next three years, including secrets on Scientology, revealing Sarah Palin’s email account, and the membership list of the British National Party.

At first Daniel enjoys changing the world, viewing WikiLeaks as a noble enterprise and Assange as a mentor. However, the relationship between the two becomes strained over time. Daniel loses his job and problems arise in his relationship, particularly concerning the BNP membership leak, which also revealed the addresses of the people involved, and caused several to lose their jobs.

The Fifth Estate Movie

Assange openly mocks Daniel’s concerns about these issues, implying his own life has been more troubling. Assange’s abrasive manner and actions, such as abandoning Daniel at his parents’ house after having accepted their dinner invitation, only deepen the strain further. Interspersed throughout the film are flashbacks hinting at Assange’s troubled childhood and involvement in a suspicious cult, and that Assange’s obsession with WikiLeaks has more to do with childhood trauma than wanting to improve the world. Daniel begins to fear that Assange may be closer to a con-man than a mentor.

He also notices that Assange constantly gives different stories about why his hair is white. Assange at first tells Daniel that WikiLeaks has hundreds of workers, but Daniel later finds out that Daniel and Assange are the only members. Most importantly to Daniel, Assange frequently claims that protecting sources is the website’s number one goal. However, Daniel begins to suspect that Assange only cares about protecting sources so people will come forward and that Assange does not actually care who gets hurt by the website, though Assange claims that the harm the website may cause is outweighed by good the leaks create. Daniel’s girlfriend tells him that she believes in his cause, but that it’s his job to prevent Assange from going too far.

The Fifth Estate Movie Poster

The Fifth Estate

Directed by: Bill Condon
Starring: Peter Capaldi, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stanley Tucci, Carice van Houten, Laura Linney
Screenplay by: Daniel Domscheit-Berg, David Leigh
Production Design by: Mark Tildesley
Cinematography by: Tobias A. Schliessler
Film Editing by: Virginia Katz
Costume Design by: Shay Cunliffe
Set Decoration by: Véronique Melery, Lieven Baes
Music by: Carter Burwell
MPAA Rating: R for language and some violence.
Studio: DreamWorks Pictures
Release Date: October 18, 2013

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The Counselor

The Counselor Movie

Taglines: Sin is a Choice.

A rich and successful lawyer, the Counselor, is about to get married to his fiancée but soon becomes entangled in a complex drug plot with a middle-man known as Westray. The plan ends up taking a horrible twist and he must protect himself and his soon to be bride as the truth of the drug business is uncovered and targets are eliminated.

The Counselor (spelled The Counsellor in some markets) is a British – American thriller film directed by Ridley Scott and written by Cormac McCarthy. It stars Michael Fassbender as the eponymous Counselor—who gets in over his head in a drug deal around the troubled Ciudad Juarez, Mexico / Texas border area—as well as Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt. The film deals with themes of greed, death, the primal instincts of humans and their consequences.

The Counselor was chosen as the closing film at the 2013 Morelia Film Festival and also played the Cork Film Festival. The London premiere was held on October 3, 2013 in Leicester Square. The New York City premiere was held on October 9, 2013. The film has received mixed reviews from critics and was theatrically released on October 25, 2013.

The Counselor Movie

About the Story

A man, known only as “The Counselor” (Michael Fassbender), and his girlfriend Laura (Penélope Cruz) are lying in bed and speaking to one another in an increasingly suggestive and erotic manner. Meanwhile, somewhere in Mexico, cocaine is packaged in barrels and concealed in a sewage truck, driven across the border and stored at a sewage treatment plant.

After the Counselor goes to Amsterdam to meet with a diamond dealer (Bruno Ganz) to purchase an expensive engagement ring for Laura, he proposes and she accepts. He has expensive tastes, driving a Bentley and wearing elegant suits. At a party thrown by Reiner (Javier Bardem) and girlfriend Malkina (Cameron Diaz), the Counselor discusses a nightclub he and Reiner intend to run, as well as the Counselor’s interest in an upcoming drug deal, which would be his first.

The Counselor meets with Westray (Brad Pitt), a business associate of Reiner’s. He hears of the deal’s four-thousand percent return rate, but Westray warns The Counselor about becoming involved in such a deal, saying that Mexican cartels are merciless. Afterwards, as the Counselor fully resolves to participate in the drug deal, Reiner describes an execution device called “the bolita” which gradually strangles/decapitates the victim. Reiner also describes how disturbed he was from an incident involving him, Malkina’s vulva and his car’s windshield which reminded him of the fish in aquariums that suck on the glass walls.

The Counselor Movie

The Counselor visits a client, a prison inmate named Ruth (Rosie Perez) who is on trial for murder. Ruth’s son is a biker and a valued cartel member known as “The Green Hornet” recently arrested for speeding. The Counselor agrees to bail him out of jail.

Malkina, a ruthless criminal herself, employs “The Wireman” (Sam Spruell) to steal the drugs. He does this by decapitating the biker with a wire stretched across the highway. After collecting the component that will allow the sewage truck to start, The Wireman drives to the sewage treatment plant, where he steals the truck containing the cocaine.

Learning of this incident, Westray meets with The Counselor to notify him that The Green Hornet is dead and that the cocaine has been stolen, bleakly intoning The Counselor’s culpability. Westray says he is leaving town immediately and suggests The Counselor do the same. Westray explains that the cartel’s ruthlessness extends to creating “snuff films” where murder victims are filmed on camera.The Counselor makes an urgent call to Laura, arranging to meet her in another state, where he will explain.

The cartel has learned that The Counselor bailed out The Green Hornet, which appears as suspect timing and fully blameworthy for the putative purposes of the cartel. In Texas, two cartel members pretending to be police officers pull over The Wireman and his accomplice. The accomplice shoots and kills one of the imposter “police officers” and wounds the other. The wounded cartel member manages to kill the accomplice and The Wireman, also gunning down a passing-by driver.

Reiner is accidentally killed by cartel members while attempting to capture him. Laura is then kidnapped. In a last-ditch effort, The Counselor contacts Jefe (Rubén Blades), a high-ranking cartel member, for suggestions on what to do next. Jefe philosophically advises The Counselor to live with the choices he has made long beforehand.

The Counselor Movie Poster

The Counselor

Directed by: Ridley Scott
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Penélope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Christopher Obi, Natalie Dormer, Paris Jefferson, Rosie Perez, Andrea Deck
Screenplay by: Cormac McCarthy
Production Design by: Arthur Max
Cinematography by: Dariusz Wolski
Film Editing by: Pietro Scalia
Costume Design by: Janty Yates
Set Decoration by: Sonja Klaus
Music by: Daniel Pemberton
MPAA Rating: R for graphic violence, some grisly images, strong sexual content and language.
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: October 25, 2013

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Dom Hemingway

Dom Hemingway Movie

Taglines: Jude Law is Dom Hemingway and you’re not.

Dom Hemingway (Jude Law) is a larger-than-life safecracker with a loose fuse, funny, profane, and dangerous. Back on the streets of London after twelve years in prison, it’s time to collect what he’s owed for keeping his mouth shut. Traveling with his devoted best friend Dickie (Richard E. Grant), Dom visits his crime boss Mr Fontaine (Demián Bichir) in the south of France to claim his reward. But Dom’s drunk and drug-fueled ego decides what he’s lost can’t be replaced. One car accident and a femme fatale later, Dom realizes his priority must be to reconnect with his long-lost daughter.

Dom Hemingway is a British black comedy–crime drama film directed and written by Richard Shepard. The film stars Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demián Bichir, and Emilia Clarke. It was shown at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

About the Story

Safecracker Dom Hemingway (Jude Law) is released after spending 12 years in prison and seeks payment for refusing to rat out his boss Ivan Fontaine (Demián Bichir). He reunites with his best friend Dickie (Richard E. Grant) and they travel to Fontaine’s villa in the French countryside. Dom flirts with Fontaine’s Romanian girlfriend Paolina (Mădălina Diana Ghenea) and becomes angry that he spent 12 years in jail for Fontaine. He begins to mock Fontaine and storms out. At dinner, he apologizes and Fontaine presents Dom with £750,000.

They spend the night partying with two girls, one of whom, Melody (Kerry Condon) strikes up a conversation with Dom. When the group go driving in Fontaine’s car, they crash into another car. While unconscious, Dom has a vision of Paolina asking for his money. He wakes up, resuscitates Melody, and finds Fontaine impaled on the car’s fender. Dom and Dickie head back to the mansion, where they find Paolina has taken Dom’s money, but they see her leaving in a car. Dom runs through the forest and into the road, where he is almost hit by Paolina. She asks him if she looks like a woman who wants to be poor and drives away. Dom meets Melody, who tells him that because he saved her, he shall gain good luck.

A few days later, Dom returns to London and collapses outside the apartment of his estranged daughter, Evelyn (Emilia Clarke). He wakes up and Evelyn’s boyfriend Hugh (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) introduces Dom to his grandson, Jawara. Hugh says that Evelyn is upset that Dom left her and was in prison, missing out on her childhood and his wife Katherine’s death. Hugh suggests Dom visit Evelyn after her concert at a local club and attempt to reconcile.

He goes to the concert, but leaves and meets Dickie. Dom says he wants to work for Lestor McGreevy Jr., the son of Fontaine’s old rival. Dickie says Lestor is even worse than his father, but Dom says he needs work. Dom follows Lestor on his daily jog and learns Lestor holds a grudge for Dom killing his cat when he was a child. Lestor tells Dom to go to his club that night. They make a bet. If he opens an electronic safe he gets work, if he fails to open it in 10 minutes, Lestor will cut off his cock and balls.

Dom Hemingway Movie Poster

Dom Hemingway

Directed by: Richard Shepard
Starring: Jude Law, Richard E. Grant, Demian Bichir, Emilia Clarke, Kerry Condon, Jumayn Hunter, Madalina Ghenea, Nathan Stewart Jarrett, Jumayn Hunter, Kaitana Taylor
Screenplay by; Richard Shepard
Production Design by: Laurence Dorman
Cinematography by: Giles Nuttgens
Film Editing by: Dana Congdon
Costume Design by: Julian Day
Set Decoration by: Ute Bergk
Music by: Rolfe Kent
MPAA Rating: R for sexual content, nudity, pervasive language, some violence and drug use.
Studio: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Release Date: November 15, 2013

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