In a different Egypt many years ago, a young, enslaved thief (Brenton Thwaites) meets the defeated god Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and tries to help him get back at his evil uncle (Gerard Butler) who’s stolen the throne. Director Alex Proyas is known for his dark, visual stories, but this adventure involving gods and men faced stiff resistance from critics and accusations of whitewashing characters. Lots of action and grand visual effects in 3D, but rarely engaging and the charm that Proyas seems to be looking for fails to materialize.
2016-U.S.-Australia. 127 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Alex Proyas. Music: Marco Beltrami. Cast: Gerard Butler (Set), Geoffrey Rush (Ra), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Horus), Brenton Thwaites (Bek), Chadwick Boseman, Élodie Yung… Bryan Brown.
War photographer Rebecca Thomas (Juliette Binoche) is seriously injured during a suicide attack in Kabul, and promises her husband (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) back in Ireland to never go back to another conflict. Director Erik Poppe based his drama on personal experiences from when he was working as a war photographer. Apart from asking the usual questions about where the line should be drawn for a person who has a family to lose, he also paints a provocative portrait of a selfish person who not only risks her life but also puts other people in danger. Well-acted, but settles too often for the expected.
2013-Norway-Ireland-Sweden. 117 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Erik Poppe. Cast: Juliette Binoche (Rebecca Thomas), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Marcus Thomas), Maria Doyle Kennedy (Theresa), Lauryn Canny, Larry Mullen, Jr., Mads Ousdal.
When Carly (Cameron Diaz) learns that the new man (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in her life is actually married to Kate (Leslie Mann), the two women reluctantly join forces to get back at him. Nick Cassavetes reunites with his My Sister’s Keeper (2009) star, Diaz, for a revenge comedy that has a lot in common with The First Wives Club (1996). That’s not really its biggest problem; it’s just so frustrating to watch talented performers like Diaz and Mann struggle hard to milk laughs out of a lazy script that’s alternately dumb and predictable.
2014-U.S. 109 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Nick Cassavetes. Cast: Cameron Diaz (Carly Whitten), Leslie Mann (Kate King), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Mark King), Don Johnson, Kate Upton, Taylor Kinney… Nicki Minaj.
After mankind has won a war against alien invaders, Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) and his colleague (Andrea Riseborough) are part of a clean-up operation monitoring what’s left of Earth… but they’re not alone. The Tron Legacy director returns with another sci-fi adventure, just as handsomely shot and technically dazzling; it also has an electronic score that adds to the film’s dreamy qualities. Inspiration comes from more sci-fi sources than there are stars in the sky, and pacing is uneven, but Cruise is easy to take to and the depressing aspects are offset by twists in the story and the film’s visual wonders.
2013-U.S. 125 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Joseph Kosinski. Graphic Novel: Joseph Kosinski, Arvid Nelson. Cinematography: Claude Miranda. Music: Anthony Gonzalez, M83, Joseph Trapanese. Cast: Tom Cruise (Jack Harper), Morgan Freeman (Malcolm Beech), Olga Kurylenko (Julia Rusakova), Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Melissa Leo.
Trivia:Jessica Chastain was first considered for the part of Julia.
Five years after a distraught man kidnaps his two young children and disappears, the girls are found abandoned in an old cabin… but they were never quite alone… In his feature film debut, director Andy Muschietti adapted a short he made in 2008. The results are both scary and even a bit touching, perhaps unexpectedly so since when it comes down to it this is another ghost story that loses steam toward its climax. Still, for the most part the filmmakers are in full command, making us both fear and care for the ghost as well as her potential victims. Good cast, very effective shocks in 3D and well told and staged by the filmmakers.
2013-Spain-Canada. 100 min. Color. Produced by J. Miles Dale, Barbara Muschietti. Directed by Andy Muschietti. Screenplay: Neil Cross, Andy Muschietti, Barbara Muschietti. Cast: Jessica Chastain (Annabel), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Lucas/Jeffrey), Megan Charpentier (Victoria), Isabelle Nélisse, Daniel Kash, Javier Botet.
Trivia:Co-executive produced by Guillermo del Toro.
Last word:“We came up with the story together, over a couple of sessions. But that element, which is strange as hell, came from [the Muschiettis]. They didn’t know I was doing that in ‘Don’t Be Afraid’. I didn’t tell them I would love to do that. The big difference for me was that, from the moment we started, and Jessica [Chastain] was so happy about it, was that she never becomes a mother. She becomes a fellow female. There’s solidarity. But, she never becomes a mother figure. Literally, it’s the story of a woman struggling with motherhood. It’s hand-to-hand combat with motherhood. It’s the idea that there are other alternatives to the love of a mother, in the way we see the world. It’s about her making peace with the fact that she can love someone, and love in a protective way, but not in a suffocating way. It’s really, really interesting that they have similarities, but I think it came from the fact that ultimately I only produce directors and movies that I have a lot in common with.” (del Toro, Collider)