Movies

Take a Look at David Tennant’s New Movie “The Decoy Bride”

Former Doctor Who star David Tennant has a new movie coming out! Well, after a somewhat complicated and strange process, he does. But still! The Tenth Doctor in a movie! Who wouldn’t be excited about this? (Personally, I’m still tremendously fond of Tennant, even if he isn’t “my” Doctor.)

The film is called The Decoy Bride and stars Tennant alongside Boardwalk Empire’s Kelly Macdonald. It’s a romantic comedy in which Tennant’s character, a writer, is about to marry a famous movie star (played by Alice Eve) in some small Scottish village. So, to throw off the paparazzi they hire a local girl to serve as a “decoy bride.” And, naturally, romantic hijinks ensue.

Click through for a look at the trailer and an explanation of how you can see the film for yourselves, should you be so inclined.

Telly Visions Goes to the Movies: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

It seems strangely fitting that Cold War spy thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy opened in the States – or at least expanded beyond two cities - the same weekend people started screening Mission Impossible 4 for the first time. Not because the two films are in any way alike, but because of the strong contrast they present to one another. (Full disclosure: I’ve not seen MI 4 yet, but I’m guessing that it’s not probably not moving the needle too far from its three predecessors in terms of tone.)

Tinker Tailor sits firmly on the side of the classic espionage thriller, the kind which does not rely on impressive stunts, nifty gadets or breathtaking explosions to carry the story. Popular mainstream spy films, like the MI franchise and others of its ilk (Looking at you Bond, Bourne) often appear far more interested in the trappings of spycraft than the people who perform it, or the often boring particulars of how they do their jobs. (I imagine it’s a lot more talking than car chases for those folks, most days.) Conversely, Tinker Tailor, as a film, feels a bit like watching a stage play – a good two thirds of it is comprised of various combinations of men sitting in variety of dimly lit rooms and talking, but it’s just as riveting as if things were exploding throughout. It does require you to really pay attention to the many twists, turns, and seemingly throwaway moments that turn out to be anything but.

The film is based on John le Carre’s 1974 novel of the same name, which was also turned into a very popular six-hour BBC miniseries starring Alec Guinness. (Personal aside: I’ve just gotten a coyp of this and can’t want to watch it.) The film’s premise is deceptively simple: it’s the height of the Cold War and there’s a Soviet mole/double agent operating at the highest levels of British intelligence. Gary Oldman plays master spy George Smiley, whose job is it to sort through the Who’s Who of British character actors that comprise the rest of the cast and determine which of them is passing secrets to the Russians.

So what can you expect if you see it? This is not a movie for everyone, first of all. It’s very intricate and a little bit on the slow side, and it actively requires that you, as a viewer, pay (a lot of) attention, because if you don’t you’ll definitely miss something. There’s a great deal of talking - there has to be, if they’re going to condense a 400+ page novel into a two hour movie – and less in the way of action than a typical MI-style spy film. But it’s a densely plotted mystery with many layers that peel back like an onion, and an extremely well done character piece. I loved it, but there will certainly be those that call it boring rather than intriguing. (I also think those people are wrong, but I can see why the argument is being made.)

If you’re curious about the specifics, click through for my take on the film’s highlights and occasionally problematic areas. If you’ve seen this – what did you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

In Case You Missed It: The Hobbit Trailer!

It’s likely that most of you saw this particular bit of awesomeness yesterday, but for those who somehow haven’t – the trailer for the first installment of Peter Jackson’s long-awaited adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit was released this week, and features a star-studded cast full of great British performers.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey opens December 14, 2012, and stars Sherlock’s Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, alongside several members of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy cast including Sir Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, and Elijah Wood. They’ll be joined by a ton of new faces – most of them British – such as Stephen Fry, MI-5/Robin Hood’s Richard Armitage, Being Human’s Aidan Turner, Jekyll's James Nesbitt, Sylvester McCoy, Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch (eventually), Luke Evans, and more.

Click through to watch the trailer for yourself - it's really quite glorious, especially if you're a fan, and I've loved Tolkien since I was a kid. The Hobbit trailer is running in theaters before The Adventures of Tintin, so if you’re heading to the cinema this holiday weekend, you can see it on the big screen.

Ten Movies For Anglophiles to Get Excited About This Winter

You can always count on the end of the year to provide you with two things: Top Ten lists of all varieties (and don’t worry, we’ll probably do one of those in the next couple weeks too) and a plethora of great movies at the box office, as studios scramble to beat the deadline for Academy Awards consideration with any film they think might have a shot at a nomination.

This year, for those of us who are Anglophiles, there are a many fantastic looking films heading our way – whether you’re looking for spy thrillers, family dramas, literary adaptations, or historical biopics. Click through for some of the most interesting looking movies headed our way through the end of the year (and into early 2012). Are you planning to get a little British at the box office in the next few weeks? Is there something missing in this list that’s a must-see? Let us know in the comments.

Meryl Streep is "The Iron Lady"

Is anyone else looking forward to upcoming Margaret Thatcher biopic The Iron Lady with the always amazing Meryl Streep in the title role? I'm actually not sure how accurately I think this film is going to portray the Thatcher era, but I still cannot wait to see it, even if it does have one of the weirdest promotional posters I've ever seen (Why is Westminster growing out of her head?).

Apparently I'm not the only person not quite sure how to feel about this film, as it's already sparking many mixed reactions and some controversy, even when it's a month away from release. The Guardian's Xan Brooks calls Streep's performance "astonishing and all but flawless," but labels the film itself "silly and suspect." The Daily Mail also has many complimentary things to say, one of which being that all those naysayers who were worried about the film "villifying" Baronness Thatcher can calm down. On the flip side, one-time Conservative party chairman and trade and industry secretary Norman Tebbit wrote a fairly blistering dismissal of the film in the Telegraph, claiming that this film version "is not the Margaret Thatcher [he] knew." Other Thatcher allies are similarly upset. I suppose this is what happens when we make biographical films about subjects who are both this recent and this polarizing. I'm willing to see for myself though, if only because I would probably watch Streep read the phone book with no complaints.

The full trailer came out on Monday - take a look below. The Iron Lady will open December 30 in New York and Los Angeles - I presume to make sure Streep is eligible for this year's Academy Awards, as she's probably a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination. The rest of us Yanks will have to wait unti the film's wide release on January 13.

 

What Will Be This Year’s The King’s Speech?

The end of the year is nearly upon us, which inevitably means the transition from “blockbuster”-type films and popcorn movies at your local multiplex to what can most aptly be labeled “Awards Season Movies.” Sure, there are still a few big Fall/Holiday releases slated – the new Twilight film (ummm), Happy Feet 2 (okay, kind of cute), yet another Mission Impossible (why??), along with a few others – but come December, it’s basically Christmas for the more serious film fans all month long.

Last year, drama The King’s Speech opened in December to gushing critical accolades (Rotten Tomatoes still lists it as 95% “fresh”), widespread audience acclaim, and a multitude of awards, including recognition at the Oscars, the British Academy Film Awards, the Screen Actors Guild Awards, the New York Film Critics Circle, the British Independent Film Awards, etc. etc. Star Colin Firth won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and a vertiable bucket of other accolades. Even the Queen liked it.

Now, of course, in the wake of The King Speech’s success, we wonder – what will be the next film to strike it big in America and clean up at awards time? Two upcoming British movies look especially promising, though both are quite different in tone. (And they both have Benedict Cumberbatch in them, which is really just an extra win for me.)

More (including trailers) after the jump!

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