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'West Wing' And 'Cheers' Actor Roger Rees Dies Aged 71


Roger Rees

Welsh-born actor Roger Rees has died aged 71. The actor, who is best known for his roles in ‘The West Wing’ and ‘Cheers’, passed away on Friday after suffering a brief illness, the Hollywood Reporter confirmed. Rees had been appearing in Broadway musical ‘The Visit ‘ but was forced to withdraw in late May due to illness.

Roger ReesActor Roger Rees has died aged 71.

Born in Aberystwyth, Wales, Rees was raised in South London and studied to be a painter at the Camberwell College of Arts and Slade School of Fine Art. His acting career began in the 1960s when, after taking a job painting scenery at the Wimbledon Theatre, he was asked to fill in for a missing actor.

Continue reading: 'West Wing' And 'Cheers' Actor Roger Rees Dies Aged 71

Survivor Review


Good

Unusually gritty and grounded, this terrorism thriller avoids the pitfalls of most overwrought action movies by creating characters and action situations that are unusually believable, even if the plot itself feels badly undercooked. The problem is that there isn't a clear sense of what's at stake here, because screenwriter Philip Shelby insists on continually blurring the mystery by withholding key details until he's ready to reveal them. So the cleverly played old-style suspense never quite pays off.

It opens at the US Embassy in London, where new security chief Kate (Milla Jovovich) has been alerted to the fact that terrorists are trying to get visas to enter America. Working with the ambassador (Angela Bassett) her team leaders (Dylan McDermott and Robert Forster), Kate narrows in on a suspicious doctor (Roger Rees) who's an expert in explosive gasses. But a shocking bombing stops her short, framing her as the villain. Now she's being chased not only by the Americans, but also a British inspector (James D'Arcy) and a ruthless assassin known as The Watchmaker (Pierce Brosnan). And Kate knows that she's the only one who can stop the nefarious plot, whatever it might be.

This is one of those films that enjoyably pushes its central character over the brink, so we can't help but root for Kate to get out of this seriously messy situation and save the day. Jovovich plays her in a plausible way as a capable woman who has no choice but to fight back and try to survive, because she's the only one who knows that she's not the real threat here. Everyone else is extremely shadowy, although McDermott gets to show a heroic side, as does the terrific Frances de la Tour as the only embassy staff member who believes that Kate is the good guy. Meanwhile, Brosnan gives a remarkably effective performance as a cold-blooded killer.

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Survivor Trailer


The world of counter-intelligence has gotten an awful lot more dangerous. When a visa security officer (Milla Jovovich) is posted in the US Embassy in the United Kingdom, she is tasked with ensuring that known or suspected terrorists are unable to make their way to the United States. But when she come under fire from a deadly assassin known only as "The Watchmaker" (Pierce Brosnan), she ends up framed for various crimes she didn't commit and is forced on the run. Now, she must do her best to keep doing her job while being hunted and tracked by not only The Watchmaker, but US Security Services and Marines. 

Continue: Survivor Trailer

Rick Elice and Roger Rees - Snaps of the stars as they arrived at the opening night party for 'It's Only A Play' held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York, New York, United States - Thursday 9th October 2014

Rick Elice and Roger Rees

David Garrison, Jason Danieley, Chita Rivera, Roger Rees and Marin Mazzie - Chita's Back! Opening Night - Backstage at Birdland Jazz Club, - New York, New York, United States - Wednesday 8th October 2014

David Garrison, Jason Danieley, Chita Rivera, Roger Rees and Marin Mazzie
Julie Wilson and Chita Rivera
Chita Rivera and Lisa Mordente
Gianni Valenti and Chita Rivera
Gianni Valenti, Chita Rivera and Jim Caruso
Julie Wilson and Chita Rivera

Roger Rees, Hal Luftig and Rick Elice - Hal Luftig Portrait Unveiling at Sardi's Times Square restaurant. - New York, New York, United States - Wednesday 11th June 2014

Roger Rees, Hal Luftig and Rick Elice

Roger Rees and Rick Elice - Jersey Boys New York Special Screening held at the Paris Theatre - Arrivals. - New York, New York, United States - Tuesday 10th June 2014

Roger Rees and Rick Elice

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Spencer Davis Milford, Roger Rees, Alessandro Nivola, Charlotte Parry, Zachary Booth, Henny Russell and Stephen Pilkington - Opening night of The Winslow Boy, at the American Airlines Theatre-curtain call. - New York, NY, United States - Friday 18th October 2013

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Spencer Davis Milford, Roger Rees, Alessandro Nivola, Charlotte Parry, Zachary Booth, Henny Russell and Stephen Pilkington
Meredith Forlenza, Chandler Williams, Michael Cumpsty and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Cumpsty, Chandler Williams, Spencer Davis Milford and Roger Rees
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Spencer Davis Milford, Roger Rees and Alessandro Nivola
Michael Cumpsty and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Cumpsty, Chandler Williams, Spencer Davis Milford, Roger Rees and Alessandro Nivola

The Invasion Review


Weak
Many will look at Oliver Hirschbiegel's The Invasion, the fourth film treatment of the '50s novel The Body Snatchers, with an eye towards what came from the director of Downfall and what was added later by a series of studio-mandated reshoots, supervised by the Wachowski Brothers and their V for Vendetta surrogate James McTeague. They'll have to look hard, and then hopefully write detailed analyses on the internet. If McTeague and the Wachowskis ran major interference for the studio, they did so with mafia-level efficiency and brutality; hardly a trace of European art-movie evidence remains.

The finished product doesn't even particularly resemble V for Vendetta, which at least gave plenty of screen time over to stylish allegory; frankly, I'm not sure if there was much left to ruin here. McTeague and company may have called a redo on over half the film, as some reports claim, but that figure doesn't match with my own informal statistical data: well over 80 percent of The Invasion is pure (if slick) boilerplate. If Hirschbiegel was up to something smart or thought-provoking, Warner Brothers should have a whole other movie on its cutting-room floor.

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Garfield: A Tail Of Two Kitties Review


Bad
Some movies don't require a review. Watch a commercial for Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties and you know what to expect: An obese, lasagna-loving cat with a ton of attitude, many bad jokes, and Breckin Meyer and Jennifer Love Hewitt (now, sadly, in the Mom haircut phase of her career) generating the sparks of two ice cubes rubbing together. The movie is what you expect, meaning it's a hoot for the slackjawed fans of the comic strip cat and a colossal waste of time for everyone else.

The sequel to the abysmal Garfield: The Movie picks up with Garfield's owner Jon Arbuckle (Meyer) on the verge of proposing to veterinarian Liz (Hewitt). Garfield doesn't like this plan one bit, so he sabotages the special night. Regardless, there's not much to undo, as Liz bolts after announcing she has to travel to London for business. Jon, bummed that he missed his chance, flies to London so he can pop the question, while Garfield, with canine nemesis Odie in tow, sneaks aboard the plane.

Continue reading: Garfield: A Tail Of Two Kitties Review

Robin Hood: Men In Tights Review


Good
Mediocre parody movies are Newton's second law as applied to cinema. For every hit over-the-top drama that paints characters by numbers there's at least one end to end parody that makes the cookie cutters look like Central Park caricatures.

So for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, we have Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Kevin Costner's Hood is aped by Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman's Azeem has turned in Dave Chappelle's Ahchoo. And Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio's ice queen Maid Marion is replaced with Amy Yasbeck's mild, cute, and chaste dolt.

Continue reading: Robin Hood: Men In Tights Review

Robin Hood: Men In Tights Review


Good
Mediocre parody movies are Newton's second law as applied to cinema. For every hit over-the-top drama that paints characters by numbers there's at least one end to end parody that makes the cookie cutters look like Central Park caricatures.

So for Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, we have Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Kevin Costner's Hood is aped by Cary Elwes, Morgan Freeman's Azeem has turned in Dave Chappelle's Ahchoo. And Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio's ice queen Maid Marion is replaced with Amy Yasbeck's mild, cute, and chaste dolt.

Continue reading: Robin Hood: Men In Tights Review

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway Review


Weak
Is it a thriller disguised as a weepy drama or a weepy drama disguised as a thriller?

An amnesiac teen (Wood) struggles to regain his memory... or does he??? By the time the deep dark secret is revealed, you may not care any more. And Janeane Garofalo as an experimental medical researcher is just about as inexplicable as the film's title.

Continue reading: The Bumblebee Flies Anyway Review

Frida Review


Good

Most movies about the lives of famous artists never provide a true sense of what drove the person's creativity. Even in a strongly acted, strongly directed biopic like 2000's "Pollock," for example, the closest it came to explaining why heavily splattered canvases were a breakthrough in modern art was when the painter's wife cryptically proclaimed, "You've done it, Pollock! You've cracked it wide open!"

But in "Frida," a transporting cinematic experience about the life and work of Mexican surrealist Frida Kahlo, director Julie Taymor captures the very essence of Kahlo's creative process through a wondrously rich, freeform visual language that fuses the events of her life with the imagery in her paintings so vividly that the artist's work may take on a striking new significance for anyone who sees the film.

Passionately played by Salma Hayek, who has been personally shepherding this project for seven years, Kahlo comes to life in this picture as a complicated, dynamic, proud and intelligent woman whose frequent hardships informed her art. Opening when she was a plucky high school girl (36-year-old Hayek passes for 16 with remarkable ease), Frida is established as a young woman with a spicy individuality even before the 1925 bus wreck that irreversibly altered her life.

Continue reading: Frida Review

The Emperor's Club Review


Weak

A routine aerial shot swoops down over the grounds of an architecturally classic boarding school while a buoyant, sanguine score bleats with insistently lyrical French horns in the opening moments of "The Emperor's Club." And that's all most moviegoers will need to divine everything there is to know about the picture's musty, fond-memory-styled milieu of plucky, Puckish schoolboys and the dedicated, kindly educator who inspires them.

It's a movie that seems motivated more by a desire to match mortarboards with "Dead Poets Society" and "Good Will Hunting" than by its own story. It's a movie of highly telegraphed archetypes slogging their way through clichés (the off-limits girls' school is just across the lake) and only-in-the-movies moments, like the climactic scholarly trivia contest in which the three smartest boys in school don togas and answer questions on stage about the minutiae of Roman history.

These settings, these characters and this narrative arc -- about a contentious teacher-student relationship -- are so familiar that while the movie is not inept or boring, it never feels real enough to inspire much more than a shrug in response.

Continue reading: The Emperor's Club Review

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Roger Rees Movies

Survivor Movie Review

Survivor Movie Review

Unusually gritty and grounded, this terrorism thriller avoids the pitfalls of most overwrought action movies...

Survivor Trailer

Survivor Trailer

The world of counter-intelligence has gotten an awful lot more dangerous. When a visa security...

The Invasion Movie Review

The Invasion Movie Review

Many will look at Oliver Hirschbiegel's The Invasion, the fourth film treatment of the '50s...

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties Movie Review

Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties Movie Review

Some movies don't require a review. Watch a commercial for Garfield: A Tail of Two...

Frida Movie Review

Frida Movie Review

Most movies about the lives of famous artists never provide a true sense of what...

The Emperor's Club Movie Review

The Emperor's Club Movie Review

A routine aerial shot swoops down over the grounds of an architecturally classic boarding school...

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