Latest Bill Nighy Items
"Jack the Giant Slayer" _ A big-budget, 3-D retelling of the Jack and the Beanstalk legend may seem like the unlikeliest pairing yet of director Bryan Singer and writer Christopher McQuarrie, but this ends up being smart, thrilling and a whole lot of fun. Singer and McQuarrie's collaborations include, most famously, the twisty crime mystery "The Usual Suspects" and the Hitler assassination drama "Valkyrie," featuring an eye patch-wearing Tom Cruise. They've sort of been all over the place together over the past couple decades _ why not reinterpret a classic fairy tale? "Jack the Giant Slayer" is cheeky without being cutesy. While the look is medieval, the vibe seems more current, but it's not so anachronistic as to be subversive along the lines of a "Shrek," for example. It actually ends up being pleasingly old-fashioned. Shot in 3-D _ rather than one of those muddled 2-D re-dos _ the film looks crisp and clean, much more so than the trailers and ads might suggest. The action sequences are cut in an unobtrusive way as to allow the intricacy of what's happening on screen to shine through. And once it bursts forth from the ground, the beanstalk itself is magnificent. There aren't many surprises here, though; if you know the story, you know what happens. Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Stanley Tucci and Bill Nighy star. PG-13 for intense scenes of fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief language. 117 minutes. Three stars out of four.
Not that it matters, because it's going to be a freakishly enormous success regardless of what critics say, but "Marvel's The Avengers" is kicking off the summer movie season with excellent reviews.
"The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" _ In theory, seeing Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy share the screen should be a delight. In reality, this seriocomic romp merely has its moments, but more often feels heavy-handed, sappy and overlong. Sure, it'll seem warm and crowd-pleasing but probably only to crowds of a certain age, who may relate to these characters who find themselves in flux in their twilight. Handsome as the film is from John Madden, who directed Dench to her supporting-actress Oscar for "Shakespeare in Love," it too often spells out too much, and features painfully literal symbolism like a bird taking flight at just the right time. Still, Dench does some of the loveliest work of her lengthy and esteemed career here as Evelyn, who's recently widowed after 40 years of marriage and struggling to establish an identity on her own. She's one of several elderly Brits who travel to a resort in Jaipur, India, that advertises itself as an elegant destination for retirees. In truth, the place is empty and falling apart, despite the best efforts of the enthusiastic, young manager who inherited the hotel from his father (Dev Patel of "Slumdog Millionaire") to turn it into a palace. Each character experiences an obligatory moment of truth in this colorful, bustling city, but the plot machinations in the script from Ol Parker, based on the novel "These Foolish Things" by Deborah Moggach, feel rather creaky. PG-13 for sexual content and language. 122 minutes. Two stars out of four.
Dame Judi Dench and Dev Patel brought an Indian adventure to a chilly London with the world premiere of their new film, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."
Dame Judi Dench and Dev Patel brought an Indian adventure to a chilly London with the world premiere Tuesday of their new film, "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."
Johnny Depp's "Rango," Anne Hathaway's "Rio," Antonio Banderas' "Puss in Boots" and Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin" are among movies competing for best-animated film at the Annie Awards.