That nasty ol’ internet cyber terrorism is at the black heart of The Circle starring Emma Watson, John Boyega and Tom Hanks and featuring Bill Paxton in his final film performance.Watson’s hired by a powerful internet corporation run by a cosy and comfy Tom Hanks in casual sweaters.Her star rises quickly, so what could go wrong? Well, it’s all good until she realises that the company has an agenda that poses a threat to the world order. Not to mention her family as the tech giant messes with them to get to her.I think films that dabble in paranoia are oddly comforting; it’s happening to the folks onscreen, so their extreme emotions are at a remove so it’s fun. And if pressed most people will admit to mistrusting the internet and the folks who control it.
Richard Gere plays a character he hasn’t tackled before – a crafty, manipulative and indefatigable businessman who just can’t seem to win for losing. He isthe titular character in Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer, and his story isn’t pretty. He’s a loser the risky business of New York wheelin’ and dealin’, and dreams up projects that always fail.He humiliates himself by fabricating friendships with potential investors who usually dump him. Norman buys a pair of ridiculously expensive shoes he can’t afford for an Israeli politician played by Lior Ashkenazi. He hopes to cash in when the man’s career rockets to the top but he’s tangled up in an international political storm.It’s funny and sad and aggravating but Gere navigates this poor fellow with compassion.
How to Be a Latin Lover is a satirical comedy that teems with big stars of yesteryear. A married Lothario played by Eugenio Derbez is dumped by both his wife and his sugar mama Renee Taylor who has moved on to a twenty something (Michael Cera). The ageing roué moves in with this sister (Salma Hayek) and while he mourns the loss of his luxurious lifestyle he instructs his young nephew on the ways of being a cad for cash. When he meets a wealthy Raquel Welch he must face the fact that he’s over the hill. Rob Lowe, Kristen Bell and Linda Lavin add mild star power.
NBC’s Great News produced by Tina Fey and starring Andrea Martin is a newsroom comedy about a mother and daughter thrown together in a busy TV newsroom. Kate (Briga Heelan) is a reporter on the appropriately named The Breakdown who is doing ok in the job but her sexist male boss won’t give her lead stories.Guess who shows up as the new intern?Kate’s retired and bored helicopter mom! Their relationship is fragile at best so their zany exchanges are really uncomfortably funny!Nicole Richie has found a niche in comedy as co-anchor with the ageing male top dog (John Michael Higgins) with an ego – and mouth – as big as the Ritz.Sample:“Who’s that old man staring at me?” “It’s a mirror sir” “Smash it then!” Mom humiliates Kate who reverts to being that little girl with the domineering mom.BTW the show is “Secaucus, N.J.- based The Breakdown, the No. 2 rated 4 o’clock cable news hour in the entire country, not counting the South, Midwest or top parts.” Airs Tuesday nights.
Netflix debuts the artfully imagined and enhanced documentary Casting JonBenet and it’s a thing to behold. Dozens of actors audition to play the parts of the Ramsey family, local pervs, Sana Clauses, police and operators and others who were in play the night six year old beauty pageant devotee JonBenet Ramsey was murdered. Strangely over the course of casting interviews and a final chapter re-enactment of the crime the actors reveal why they wanted to appear in the film as the character they chose and what the crime meant to them and most of it is weird, weirder and weirder. There are people who committed crimes, saw crimes committed, were fascinated by the murder even obsessed by it and knew all the published details. What a weird stew of people.It’s an all new kind of documentary storytelling as the murder and speculation is played out, on a constant loop of confession and emotion.In essence it is an artifice from which comes truth, a two set art instalment.I’ll never understand why this case in particular made such a lasting impression. This little girl sexualised by her parents and the media and adored in death?
The original Netflix film Small Crimes, starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, concerns a cop who served time for the attempted murder of a District Attorney who returns home to a fresh hell. His wife has left him and his parents are annoyed and embarrassed that he’s back and his past stands up to slap him. The DA, the mafia and crooked local law enforcement have him in their sights.
Stratford Festival’s lavish production of Love’s Labours Lost screens at Cineplextheatres as part of their Front Row Centre events across Canada on April 29. Shakespeare’s poetic love story explores naïveté and reality as youngsters explore this brand new world. This is part of the Stratford Festival’s ambitious project to film all of Shakespeare’s plays over 10 years. Captured with 10 cameras and 128 channels of sound during a single live performance, each production is grand yet intimate.