THE RAILWAY MAN Review

by     Posted 107 days ago

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[This is a re-post of my The Railway Man review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The Railway Man opens today in limited release.]

War is an undeniable certainty.  For as long as there is civilization, there will be war.  With conflict comes tragedy, but it does not end when the war concludes; the effects a human being are long lasting and not easily forgotten.  We’ve see countless aspects of war explored onscreen in various films, some focusing on the battles at hand, some zeroing in on the psychological experience, and some chronicling the lasting effects years after the actual conflict.  The Railway Man tries to have it both ways by telling two stories: one of atrocities during World War II and one of the after effects on man’s psyche nearly half a decade later.  By splitting its focus in two, though, the film fails to wholly capture either story, resulting in a disappointing feature all together.  Hit the jump for my full review.

New Release Dates for THE PURGE: ANARCHY, DOM HEMINGWAY, ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS, THE PLAYERS, THE RAILWAY MAN, THE ROVER, & More

by     Posted 149 days ago

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Mark your calendars with the latest release dates for the following films:

  • The Purge: Anarchy – Writer-director James DeMonaco’s horror-thriller sequel starring Cortney Palm, Zach Gilford, Michael K. Williams and Frank Grillo will now open July 18th.
  • Dom Hemingway – Writer-director Richard Shepard’s crime dramedy starring Jude Law and Emilia Clarke will open a couple of days earlier on April 2nd.
  • On the Other Side of the TracksDavid Charhon’s crime comedy starring Omar Sy opens on April 4th for The Weinstein Company.
  • The Players – The Weinstein Company’s collection of comedic vignettes starring Jean Dujardin and Gilles Lellouche also opens April 4th.
  • The Railway ManJonathan Teplitzky’s biographical World War II-period drama starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, and Stellan Skarsgård opens April 11th.
  • The RoverDavid Michôd’s drama starring Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson opens July 18th for A24.
  • Laggies – Also from A24, Lynn Shelton’s drama starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Keira Knightley, and Sam Rockwell opens September 26th.

Hit the jump for more on each film.

First Posters for TRANSCENDENCE and UNDER THE SKIN, Plus New Poster for THE RAILWAY MAN

by     Posted 167 days ago

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A few new posters have landed online.  Briefly:

  • Transcendence – The first poster for director Wally Pfister’s ambitious sci-fi pic visualizes how Johnny Depp’s lead character uploads his consciousness into a dangerous computer.  If you missed it, click here to watch the debut trailer and look for a new trailer tomorrow evening.  The film opens in traditional theaters and IMAX on April 17th.
  • Under the Skin – A wonderfully stylish domestic poster for director Jonathan Glazer’s sci-fi pic, which stars Scarlett Johansson as an extraterrestrial on Earth disguised as a gorgeous woman who uses her “voracious sexuality” to entrap human prey.  Click here to read Matt’s review and check back tomorrow to watch the theatrical trailer.  The film opens in L.A. and New York on April 4th, followed by a limited release on April 11th.
  • The Railway Man – A new poster for director Jonathan Teplitzsky’s drama starring Colin Firth as a former POW who sets out to confront his tormentor.  Click here to read my review.

Hit the jump to take a look at the posters.

New Clip for THE RAILWAY MAN Starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman

by     Posted 198 days ago

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A new clip has been released for the drama The Railway Man.  Based on a true story, the film takes place in 1980 England and stars Colin Firth as Eric Lomax, a former British officer and Prisoner of War who was interred by the Japanese in Singapore.  As he suffers from severe psychological trauma in the present, his wife (Nicole Kidman) attempts to find a way to relieve his suffering.  The domestic trailer was released yesterday, but I haven’t watched it since Adam says it gives away almost the entire film.  Instead, I just watched this new clip where Eric presumably confronts his torturer (Hiroyuki Sanada), and it looks fairly tense and intriguing.  But it’s a brief clip, and I’m far from sold, especially since in his review from TIFF, Adam said that the movie never really comes together.

Hit the jump to check out the clip.  The film also stars Jeremy Irvine and Stellan SkarsgardThe Railway Man opens later this year.

New Trailer for THE RAILWAY MAN Starring Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman

by     Posted 199 days ago

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The Weinstein Company has released a new trailer for director Jonathan Teplitzsky’s drama The Railway Man, and it basically gives away the entire movie.  Based on a true story, the film takes place in 1980 England and stars Colin Firth as Eric Lomax, a former British officer and Prisoner of War who was interred by the Japanese in Singapore.  As he suffers from severe psychological trauma in the present, his wife (Nicole Kidman) attempts to find a way to relieve his suffering.  I caught the pic back in September at TIFF and, sadly, it doesn’t really come together.  The flashback sequences featuring Jeremy Irvine as a young Lomax during the war are excellent, but the rest of the film is pretty unremarkable and predictable.  That being said, if you have any desire to see the pic I would discourage you from watching this new domestic trailer, which sequentially runs through almost the entire film.

Hit the jump to watch the new The Railway Man trailer and click here to read my review.  The film also stars Stellan Skarsgard and Hiroyuki SandaThe Railway Man will open sometime later this year.

TIFF 2013: THE F WORD Goes to CBS Films, Weinstein Acquires ELEANOR RIGBY and RAILWAY MAN, and Lionsgate Nabs LIFE OF CRIME

by     Posted 319 days ago

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We’ve got a number of exciting acquisitions to report on this afternoon from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.  Briefly:

  • The F Word – This fantastic relationship comedy from Goon director Michael Dowse stars Daniel Radcliffe as a young man who strikes up a close relationship with a girl (Zoe Kazan) who has a boyfriend (Rafe Spall).  It was one of my favorite films from TIFF this year and CBS Films has acquired US rights to the pic.  Read Matt’s review here.
  • The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: His/Hers – The ambitious two-part feature about a relationship between James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain is told from each partner’s point of view in two separate portions, and The Weinstein Company is now acquiring the U.S. rights to the Ned Benson-directed 190-minute pic per Deadline.
  • The Railway Man – The Weinstein Company is also acquiring (per THR) this war/post-war drama starring Colin Firth as a former POW suffering from PTSD who attempts to reconcile the events of his capture.  The pic as a whole never really comes together, but Jeremy Irvine stands out in flashbacks.  Read my review here.
  • Life of Crime – Deadline also repots that Lionsage and Roadside Attractions are nearing a deal for this Elmore Leonard adaptation starring Jennifer Aniston, Yasiin Bey, and John Hawkes.

Hit the jump for more details in the full press releases.

First Trailer for THE RAILWAY MAN Starring Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, and Stellan Skarsgard

by     Posted 320 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the first UK trailer for director Jonathan Teplitzky’s drama The Railway Man.  Based on a true story, the film takes place in 1980 England and stars Colin Firth as Eric Lomax, a former British officer and Prisoner of War who was interred by the Japanese in Singapore.  As he suffers from sever psychological trauma in the present, his wife (Nicole Kidman) attempts to find a way to relieve his suffering.  I caught the film at TIFF this past weekend and found it to be pretty disappointing.  In splitting the film up between the PTSD portion in the present and the war portion in the past, Teplitzky fails to tell either story effectively.  By far the best part of the film is a 40-minute flashback sequence featuring Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) as the young Lomax that chronicles his time at the POW camp, but that’s not enough to make up for the rest of the film.  Read my full review here.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, but be warned that it verges on revealing the entire plot, so tread lightly if you’re especially looking forward to this one.  The film also stars Stellan Skarsgard and Hiroyuki Sanada and is currently awaiting a US release date.

TIFF 2013: THE RAILWAY MAN Review

by     Posted 323 days ago

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War is an undeniable certainty.  For as long as there is civilization, there will be war.  With conflict comes tragedy, but it does not end when the war concludes; the effects a human being are long lasting and not easily forgotten.  We’ve see countless aspects of war explored onscreen in various films, some focusing on the battles at hand, some zeroing in on the psychological experience, and some chronicling the lasting effects years after the actual conflict.  The Railway Man tries to have it both ways by telling two stories: one of atrocities during World War II and one of the after effects on man’s psyche nearly half a decade later.  By splitting its focus in two, though, the film fails to wholly capture either story, resulting in a disappointing feature all together.  Hit the jump for my full review.

First Images from LIFE OF CRIME, THE RAILWAY MAN, THIRD PERSON, THE ART OF THE STEAL, and BAD WORDS

by     Posted 1 year, 4 days ago

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This morning, the Toronto International Film Festival announced its terrific line-up for their Galas and Special Presentation programs.  Among the films with new images and synopses are:

  • Life of Crime (Directed by Daniel Schechter) Starring John Hawkes, Yasiin Bey (a.k.a Mos Def), Jennifer Aniston, Tim Robbins, Isla Fisher, Will Forte, and Mark Boone Jr.
  • The Railway Man (Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky) Starring Colin Firth, Jeremy Irvine, and Nicole Kidman.
  • Third Person (Directed by Paul Haggis) Starring Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, James Franco, Olivia Wilde, Maria Bello, Kim Basinger, and Moran Atias.
  • The Art of the Steal (Directed by Jonathan Sobol) Starring Jay Baruchel, Matt Dillon, Kurt Russell, Terence Stamp, Katheryn Winnick, Chris Diamantopoulos, Kenneth Welsh, and Jason Jones.
  • Bad Words (Directed by Jason Bateman) Starring Jason Bateman, Allison Janney, Phillip Baker Hall, Kathryn Hahn, and Rohan Chand.

Hit the jump to check out the images and synopses.  The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.

TIFF 2013 Line-Up Announced; 12 YEARS A SLAVE, GRAVITY, RUSH, THE FIFTH ESTATE, LABOR DAY, and Many More to Debut

by     Posted 1 year, 4 days ago

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The Toronto International Film Festival has announced part of its line-up for 2013.  The festival will kick off with Bill Condon’s Julian Assange movie, The Fifth Estate, and close with Daniel Schecter’s Jackie Brown prequel, Life of Crime.  In between, you have the premieres of Ron Howard’s Rush; Jason Reitman’s Labor Day starring Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet; Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender; Richard Ayoade’s The Double starring Jesse Eisenberg; David Gordon Green’s Joe starring Nicolas Cage; Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis Three movie Devil’s Knot starring Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon; the North American premiere of Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, and many more.  Even the Mike Meyer’s documentary Supermensch that we reported on yesterday will be on hand, so it looks like he’s already completed it.  Unfortunately, I’m sure TIFF will front-load their schedule like they always do, so there will be plenty of tough choices, but Gravity and 12 Years a Slave are the must-sees that immediately jump to mind.

Hit the jump for a list of the Galas and Special Presentations.  Please note that there are plenty of other categories that will be announced soon including the full Midnight Madness, Documentary, and Masters line-up so stay tuned.  The 2013 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 5 – 15th.

Casting Call: Skarsgard and Sanada Join THE RAILWAY MAN; Gad in Talks for JOBS; Geraghty to Lead KILIMANJARO; Ramsey Boards YOU ARE HERE

by     Posted 2 years, 90 days ago

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We’ve got a smattering of casting news to throw your way this morning.  First up, Stellan Skarsgard and Hiroyuki Sanada (the upcoming action flick 47 Ronin) have joined the Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, and Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) in Jonathan Teplitzy‘s drama The Railway Man.  Firth plays real-life World War II British officer Eric Lomax, who was captured and tortured by the Japanese.  Decades later, he’s persuaded by his wife (Kidman) to find and confront one of his captors in order to repair the psychological damage.  Irvine plays the younger Lomax who was in the war.  According to Variety, “Skarsgard will play the best friend who accompanies the older Lomax (Firth) back to the scene of his torture. Sanada plays a Japanese officer from the prison camp whom Lomax tracks down.”  This is turning out to be a terrific cast, and judging by the synopsis, this could be a big role for Sanada, whose previous credits include Speed Racer, Sunshine, and Lost.

Hit the jump for more casting news on the indie flicks Jobs, Kilimanjaro, and You Are Here.

Nicole Kidman Replaces Rachel Weisz in THE RAILWAY MAN Starring Colin Firth

by     Posted 2 years, 146 days ago

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Nicole Kidman has replaced Rachel Weisz to play Colin Firth‘s wife in Jonathan Teplitzy‘s The Railway Man.  Per Variety, the movie is “based on Eric Lomax‘s autobiography about his horrific experiences as a Japanese prisoner in World War II, and his remarkable reconciliation with one of his captors 30 years later.”  Patty Lomax was instrumental in helping her husband deal with his psychological damage and brought him together with one of the Japanese officers who was responsible for his torture.  I assume the reconciliation wasn’t along the lines of a “My bad, man—All good, bro” exchange.  Jeremy Irvine (War Horse) will play the younger Lomax.

Weisz had to drop out of the role due to additional shooting for the blockbuster films The Bourne Legacy and Oz: The Great and Powerful.  Kidman is also attached to star in My Wild Life and The Family Fang, and she will be seen later this year in Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy.

Jeremy Irvine Cast as Young Colin Firth in THE RAILWAY MAN

by     Posted 2 years, 269 days ago

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The Railway Man was one of the first projects Colin Firth signed on to after he won the Best Actor Oscar for The King’s Speech.  Earlier today we received the first synopsis for The Railway Man, based on the memoir of World War II POW Eric Lomax:

“What if all your life, all you had ever wanted was a chance at revenge? If the moment came – would you take it? What if love gave you a different choice?”

The key part for this casting notice is the phrase “all your life.”  Firth is a great actor, with the Oscar to prove it, but the role of Young Colin Firth is beyond even his range.  That part will instead go to Jeremy Irvine, the young star poised for a breakout as the lead in Steven Spielberg’s Christmas offering War Horse.  More after the jump.

Synopses and Info on 2012 Lionsgate Films Including the EVIL DEAD Remake, Spike Lee’s OLD BOY, MURDER OF A CAT, FLIGHT 7500, and More

by     Posted 2 years, 269 days ago

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Each year, a number of films are presented and sold at the American Film Market in Santa Monica. The 2011 AFM takes place this week, and in preparation for the AFM, Lionsgate has compiled production information and synopses for the properties that they plan to sell at the convention to both domestic and international buyers (for the territories that they have the rights). Lucky for us, that info is now public, and we’ve pulled together cast, director, and writer information as well as official synopses for some high profile 2012 Lionsgate films. We’ve got info on the Evil Dead remake, Spike Lee’s English-language adaptation of the now classic Park Chan-wook film Old Boy, Diablo Cody’s directorial debut, the comedy Murder of a Cat starring Jay Baruchel, Alison Pill, and Rob Lowe, and much more. Hit the jump for all the details.

Colin Firth to Star in World War II POW Story THE RAILWAY MAN

by     Posted 2 years, 320 days ago

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What do you do after giving a rousing performance as the struggling King of England? You play a British POW, that’s what you do. The King’s Speech actor Colin Firth is now set to star in the adaptation of the non-fiction book The Railway Man. THR reports that Firth has boarded the drama which tells the true story of British army officer Eric Lomax, who was captured and tortured by the Japanese during World War II. Lomax was forced to work on the construction of the “death railway,” and later reconciled with one of his tormentors.

Jonathan Teplitzky (Burning Man) is directing the adaptation, while Frank Cottrell Boyce (Millions) and Andy Paterson are taking on scripting duties. Lionsgate International is currently shopping the project to buyers at the Toronto Film Festival. Firth will next be seen in the fantastic-looking spy thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, and also stars in the Coen brothers-scripted pic Gambit alongside Cameron Diaz, which is set for release sometime next year. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of The Railway Man.

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