Tag Archives: Bryan Cranston

Gingers Invade Hollywood

29 Aug

For years, I believed everything South Park told me about gingers. Gingers were vile, vampire-like creatures that had to be stopped. I feared for the sanctity of Hollywood as more and more gingers congregated in the famous city; however, that fear subsided when I realized that many of these gingers were surprisingly talented actors. Maybe it’s the lack of a soul that allows them to transform so easily and believably into different characters? We may never know, but it’s important that you recognize some talented and potentially dangerous gingers.

Jessica Chastain

In 2011, Jessica Chastain starred in six movies, including her Oscar-nominated turn in The Help and the actress’s popularity only continues to grow. Unlike other new celebrities, Chastain is serious about acting and has the same credibility and presence as respected actresses like Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman. This month she stars alongside Shia LeBeouf and Tom Hardy in Lawless.

Christina Hendricks

You probably know her as the saucy and tough Joan from AMC’s Mad Men, but Christina Hendricks starred in Nicholas Winding Refn’s critically acclaimed drama Drive alongside Ryan Gosling, Bryan Cranston and Ron Pearlman. It’s unfortunate that she’s only in Drive for about 20 minutes, but its obvious that Hendricks can pull off roles on the big screen.

Amy Adams

I didn’t like Amy Adams for a long time and then I saw Sunshine Cleaning. Adams plays a struggling single mother who’s having an affair with her married high school boyfriend. Normally, extramarital affairs don’t inspire much sympathy, but her character was surprisingly well-rounded and seemed more lost and desperate than a home-wrecker. Watching her sing and dance in the new Muppet movie is what completely won me over. Next she’ll star with Clint Eastwood and Justin Timberlake in the baseball drama, Trouble With the Curve.

Caleb Landry Jones

To date, Caleb Laundry Jones has starred in a couple of movies, most notably as Sean Cassidy/Banshee in X-Men: First Class, but apparently the 23 year old is a talented musician and can play the drums, guitar, bass and harmonica. He’s also a true ginger – red, RED hair, pale as the moon and covered in freckles. This convinces me he’s soulless along his ability to transform himself from adorable (see above) to downright creepy (see below).  Next you can see him in Brandon Cronenberg’s murder mystery, AntiviralAntiviral will be screened at the Calgary International Film Festival’s Black Carpet Gala on Friday September 28th. Buy tickets online at calgaryfilm.com

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Total Recall: Review

6 Aug

The reboot of 1990′s Total Recall opened in theatres this weekend. Unlike its predecessor, the new Total Recall has a family friendly rating, huge production budget and loads of CGI. Mutants and Martians have been replaced by beautiful women, sleek new robots and highly advanced technology.

Colin Farrell plays Douglas Quaid, a dissatisfied factory worker who may be a secret agent under the employ of the evil Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston) or working for resistance leader, Matthias (Bill Nighy). This version takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where only the UK (the United Federation of Britain) and Australia (the Colony) remain after another world war and chemical warfare. The two land masses are connected by a huge elevator called “the Fall” that transports workers from the poor crowded Colony to the rich and affluent United Federation of Britain (UFB).

Quaid lives a one room apartment in the Colony with his wife, Laurie (Kate Beckinsale). Though Quaid’s marriage seems solid and stable, he finds himself dreaming about another woman (Jessica Biel). Trying to add some excitement to his life, Quaid goes to Rekall – a company that can implant a variety of fake memories into clients’ minds. Quaid decides to implant memories of being a secret agent, but before the procedure can start federal agents break into Rekall and everything goes wrong.

Acting on instinct, Quaid kills all the federal agents and escapes home to his wife. While comforting her distraught husband, Laurie attempts to suffocate him. After an intense fight scene, Laurie reveals that she’s a federal agent employed by Cohaagen to pose as Quaid’s wife. A confused Quaid manages to outrun Laurie and begins to unravel the mystery of his identity.

The first twenty minutes of the movie are promising. Farrell seems immersed in the character and is believable as an unhappy Douglas Quaid. He spends his nights shuffling around a dirty overcrowded city contemplating how and why his life has turned out this way. Unfortunately, once Quaid heads to Rekall, director Len Wiseman abandons the characters in favour of making a full-fledged action movie.

The explosions, shoot-outs and fight scenes dominate the movie and there’s every kind of chase scene imaginable. Beckinsale relentlessly pursues Farrell and Biel through city streets, in an elevator, in a car, in “the Fall” and then some more. Len Wiseman obviously thinks very highly of his lovely wife because throughout Total Recall, Beckinsale is kicking ass, taking names and looking smoking hot while doing it.

In comparison, resistance fighter Melina (Jessica Biel) seems infinitely boring and bland. Though she desperately wants Quaid to remember his role with the resistance and their relationship, her character’s sad and slightly pathetic. She’s a far cry from Rachel Ticotin’s tough as nails Melina in the original.

After a solid hour of explosions and fight scenes, Quaid meets Matthias and audiences finally start to learn more about Douglas Quaid, whose real name is Carl Hauser. Our hero learns Hauser was a UFB agent that switched sides and joined the resistance after meeting Melina. Rather than discuss Hauser’s role with the resistance or why he switched sides, Farrell and Nighy have a trite and tiring conversation about what really defines a person – their memories or their present actions. Forced and tacked on, the conversation leads to nothing and Nighy seems as bored and uninterested by the dialogue as the audience is.

Despite its production value, talented actors and special effects, Total Recall is uninspired and lacks the charisma, fun and flamboyance of the original movie. Ultimately, Total Recall will turn a good profit, but disappear into the realm of forgettable action movies.

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