Thursday, 26 February 2015

Gone Girl Film Review

A husband's worst nightmare comes to life when his wife goes missing, but this is anything but straightforward, nor is it any normal missing persons case

Gone Girl - Starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike
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Riveting, extreme, and everything that could possibly leave you satisfied that you chose to watch this particular thriller.

Book to movie adaptations are not exactly new to Hollywood, but this one happens to complete and utterly compliment the book, in most, because it has taken every aspect of what made the book so great and mirrored it into the perfect movie. Book to movie adaptations have never been quite this good (yes, that includes Harry Potter, Twilight and even Drive).

David Fincher has taken directing to a whole new level in this thriller, as he seems to have really harnessed his skills in this project. The ultimate intensity in every single scene is all a result of Fincher's ability to make audiences gasp in surprise at every moment another turn of events occurs. Fischer is known best for his thrillers, and there isn't a single director who could have been better suited to the part of directing this project, as it has all of the marks which would (and did) make it a 'Fincher' directed story to be brought to the big screen.

Even with the unmatched talents of the director, a movie could not be made well without some pretty descent actors, and it is the acting in this movie which was part of the great big package of welcomed surprises. Ben Affleck wormed to his role as Nick Dunne, the lonesome husband with the missing wife, proving yet again that he isn't just a handsome face. Affleck's portrayal of Nick is near perfection which cannot be said often for actors playing roles, but because of Affleck's clear emotion and raw acting skill you really can sit there staring at the screen believing that Affleck is Nick. Nick Dunne is a relatable character, again, adding to the characters capacity to entertain and keep everyones' focus throughout the movie, being especially important as Affleck's character is in most scenes.

However, the gem beneath the stone in this thriller, mystery is Rosamund Pike who plays Amy Dunne, Nick's wife who goes missing in the very early stage of the movie. Pike's portrayal of Amy is intriguingly fresh and twisted in all of the right ways, making her the fitting actress for the part. Pike, again, as with Affleck, plays her role as Amy with a realistic, emotional approach, which done by her was a shock and awe moment whenever the tables turned and things began to change right before your very eyes. It's worth remembering throughout the viewing of this movie that not everything is as it first seems. A thought provoking sentiment, just as the movie is all throughout.

Fans of the "Gone Girl" book will be pleased to hear that the movie also had it's screenplay written by  the "Gone Girl" (book) author, Gillian Flynn, who to no surprise made a great addition to the project, and who clearly wrote one of the best screenplays ever written for a thriller movie. Gillian Flynn has a talent for writing thriller, mysteries, which alone should leave good enough reason to see this movie, that shakes the thriller genre, adding something original and exciting to the ever growing pile.

The storyline has the makings of genius handiwork, thanks to Gillian Flynn. It grabs you, then it grabs you some more, until before you know it there are a dozen invisible hands grabbing you, and you are unable to lose the tightened grip until the end credits begin to role. That is how good the storyline for the movie was, helped of course by the people doing their parts in the movie, but the storyline for the movie (based on the 'same' titled book) cannot be faulted, and trust me when I say that I have tried. The story feels so original, which could be said for a lot of movies, or could it? As thinking about it, most typical movies tend to use a rehashed formula from movies done in the past which have proven to be commercially viable and successful, and at times this is even the case with book to movie adaptations. Although, this is far from the case with "Gone Girl", as this is not just another psychological, mystery, thriller, but an entirely new (in all forms) thriller, which has no problems in leaving audiences gasping and returning for more.

The movie, start to finish, leaves you speculating in your head (or, and you'll know if this is you... out loud) over what might happen next, and even right up until the end when all of the answers have been told, there is still speculation going on in your head (or, out loud) over what could possibly happen next. When a movie is as thought provoking as "Gone Girl" you know you're going to want to watch it again, giving it further reason to be deserving of your undivided attention as it has all of the makings of becoming your next favourite thriller movie sat on the shelf among your DVD collection. The movie quite literally has no errors, which sounds odd (I know), but this all makes sense when watching the movie, as our minds are naturally seeking to judge everything, and movies take the rather blunt end of the stick (myself, being the same), and this truthfully is a flawless movie, turning judgemental eyes into soft candy.

Thank you for reading. This is the first film review written for "AusgustusWorth", and I hope you have enjoyed reading and now have a thirst to watch "Gone Girl".

Have you seen the "Gone Girl" movie? Have you read the "Gone Girl" book? Have you done both, and if so,  how did you find they compared? Let us know in the comments box below.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

The 7 Must Watch Movies and TV Shows on Netflix UK this February

February has some surprisingly great new additions to keep you warm, cosy and all snuggled up on your couch through those cold evenings watching Netflix

Kevin Spacey is back this February in season 3 of House of Cards
We are already on the 21st February, but I felt it was important that there was a list uploaded of the best movies and TV shows which have, and are still due to come out on Netflix UK this February.

This list contends of both movies and TV shows, all of which we have seen for ourselves, other than those listed which have not yet been released onto the service, however, we feel confident are deserving of their place on this list.

Netflix is an ever-changing service with a catalogue of movies and TV shows, varying of genres, age certificates and quality in their making, but one things for sure, that of course being that each and every month has its surprises.

Without further ado, here are the 7 best movies and TV shows which have, and are to be released onto Netflix UK this February. Along with 3 honourable mentions.

The 7 Greatest Movies and TV Shows on Netflix UK - February 2015

7. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

Release Date - Friday 13th February

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A Disney classic addition to Netflix UK selection of Disney's back-catalogue of classic animated feature films. The 90's were jam packed with great Disney animations, and sure enough this is one of those greats, making it a must watch for the whole family.

6. This Is 40 (2012)

Release Date - Tuesday 24th February

Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann in the spin-off to "Knocked Up"
You liked Knocked Up (2007), well here's the spin-off to the hilarious comedy, focusing on the life of  Pete and Debbie who are both about to turn 40 and their lives are falling apart in a series of ways.

A very funny comedy, fakes to the genius comedy director Judd Apatow, who has both written and directed the movie. It is also well led by the two lead actors; Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann who play husband and wife in this must watch comedy. If you remember watching Knocked Up and liked the pair in the smaller roles in that movie, then you're gonna' love them in them in this movie focusing on the same characters.

5. Frank (2014)

Release Date - Sunday 1st February

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An unusually brilliant comedy with singing from Michael Fassbender, that's right, just another thing that Fassbender can tick off his list of his versatility as an actor. The movie follows a group of musicians, all of which are as mad as the other, but it all somehow seems to work.

There are some absolutely hilarious scenes, making the whole movie worth the while, but do remember that Michael Fassbender will not be too easy to place in the movie as he plays a character who always wears a fake head throughout the entire movie. Although, this doesn't affect Fassbender's ability to perfect his performance as the lead character, Frank.

4. Calvary (2014)

Release Date - Thursday 12th February

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Brendan Gleeson is a fitting, but interesting priest in this must see drama directed by John Michael McDonagh (directed The Guard, 2011). It is set in Ireland, an eye catching place as we get some great shots of the Irish coast, perfectly in suit with the mood of the movie.

The mystery behind the psychopath who threatens the priest (Brendan Gleeson) remains a complete mystery right up until the end of the movie, leaving a tasty climax to a beautifully crafted movie that you'll want to see again. Plus, there were oddly a funny scene, or two, which I was't expecting in a seemingly serious drama, which to be clear it is.

3. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Release Date - Sunday 8th February

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The true story behind how the US government found and killed the al-Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, which stretches over a decade since the hunt first took place.

Jessica Chastain steals the screen as the lead is this must see movie, based on the true story that everyone is eager to know about. If you are one of those people, then make sure to catch this movie whilst it is streaming on Netflix UK.

2. House of Cards (season 3)

Release Date - Friday 27th February

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Everyones latest obsession TV show obsession with Netflix continues late February as the House of Cards sees its third season added to the mix for viewing, when and where you please.

Kevin Spacey's back as the US congressman that we can't get enough of as Francis Underwood. Enough said!

1. Better Call Saul (season 1)

Release Date - Monday 9th February
Episodes - 2 (and another released every Tuesday following the series release)

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In the spotlight this month is the prequel to everyones old, or possibly current favourite TV show on Netflix, that of course being Breaking Bad. This time around however we are leaving behind Walter and Jesse, and instead following Jimmy McGill (aka Saul Goodman) as he struggles to stay afloat as a small time lawyer in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The series is a lot of fun to watch, as we get to see just how good Jimmy McGill is as lawyer, and the series will sure get a few laughs as it isn't afraid to be a hoot, as well as telling a serious story.

Do you agree with our list? Are there any movies or TV shows that we have missed from the list? Leave your answer in the comments box below.

Friday, 20 February 2015

Mel Gibson's Career

Taking a look at Mel Gibson's career, past and present, and speculating over whether or not Gibson will be doing a comeback in 2015

Mel Gibson Back in his Hay Day

Career Overview

Mel Gibson is an ex-Hollywood hotshot, having been one of the highest paid actors throughout the 90’s, taking home a paycheque of between $10-20 million per film. Mel Gibson was also Hollywood’s hottest actor throughout the 80’s and 90’s, being adored by women for his looks and on-screen charm and adored by men for his screen presence and versatile acting talent.

However, throughout the 2000’s Gibson took some time away from his acting career to pursue a career as a film director, having seen success with The Passion of the Christ (2004) and Apocalypto (2006). But this was the end of the lucky road that Gibson has been on for so long, as Gibson’s personal life was falling apart at the scenes as his wife left him, Gibson taking the divorce badly went out and said some unsavoury things to a police officer which was recorded and leaked to the public. If this wasn’t damaging enough to the crumbling actors career, he was also accused of beating his new girlfriend, backed by evidence of a drunk Mel Gibson phoning the battered girlfriend saying yet again, more unsavoury words. To sum up, Gibson’s career has taken a stumble from the top shelf, to the lonely floor as Gibson’s large fan-base has near diminished because of his personal life, having shown that he may not be the perfect man that we see in his academy award winning, box office hit movies.

Surprisingly, Gibson is still landing roles in movies as we sit comfortably in the mid 2010’s, but there is little chances of Mel Gibson doing a major comeback anytime soon, based on the slander that has been train-wrecking his career throughout the media talk of Gibson being a woman-beater, a racist, an alcoholic, and a plain unsettling character.

Gibson’s Defence

All being said, Mel Gibson still has the support of his close celebrity friends, with the likes of Jodie Foster and Danny Glover, all of which say that Gibson is a good man, through and through, backing him 100% saying that in his right mind he would never say any of the things that he has been recorded saying in the past. As a matter of fact, almost all of the previous co-stars and co-workers that Gibson has worked with in the past in his movies have stated that Gibson was always kind and thoughtful on-set, being the actor that everyone loved to work with.

Gibson’s History

Mel Gibson has been a major Hollywood star in the movies since he landed the role as Max in the 1979 production of Mad Max. Gibson has admitted to being an alcoholic his early career as an actor, struggling with the addiction, but as he has stated in the past, he has always found a way to keep the addiction under control; however, with all addictions they are a lifelong struggle.

Throughout the 80’s Gibson starred in such hit movies as Lethal Weapon (1987) and Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), being the series that Gibson is best known for throughout his career, as Gibson plays a handsome cop who finds himself and his partner getting into some pretty difficult and dangerous cases.

The 90’s were arguably Gibson’s best decade for his acting career, as he continues on doing the final two Lethal Weapon movies in the series; Lethal Weapon 3 (1992) and Lethal Weapon 4 (1998). Not to forget the timeless classics like Braveheart (1995), which both starred Gibson (as the leading role) and saw Gibson direct, and Payback (1999).

Leading onto the 2000’s, with Gibson’s acting career still going strong, as Gibson is still demanding a fee of $10-20 million for all of the movies that he starred in. Plus, it was in the early 2000’s when Gibson starred in one of his greatest movies to-date, that being The Patriot (2000), which sees Gibson star alongside Heath ledger. Moving swiftly onto one of Gibson’s strangest, but most memorable roles in the psychological thriller Signs (2002), starring alongside Joaquin Phoenix and being directed by M. Night Shyamalan. However, it is at this stage when Gibson makes the decision of stepping away from acting to re-pursue film directing, mostly due to the advise that Gibson received from Shyamalan on the set of the making of Signs. Gibson directed The Passion of the Christ (2004), but due to conflicts over the religious grounds of the movie, Gibson couldn’t get a studio to produce the film so Gibson had to fund the movie himself, although, thankfully this was the best financial decision that he could have made. Gibson produced the film, meaning that he was entitled to 50% of the movies overall gross, which meant Gibson would take home $600 million for his efforts on the project. Gibson’s next motion picture directorial project was another box office success, being Apocalypto (2006), which made  $120 million at the worldwide box office off a $40 million budget.

The 2010’s was where all of the problems begin to emerge for the once shining actor, as Gibson’s first acting role since 2005 in Edge of Darkness (2010) was a disaster at the box office, having grossed $81 million worldwide off a $80 million, meaning that the movie more than likely lost money, as the production budget does not include marketing expenses. Then, a year later, an even greater disaster emerges with Jodie Foster’s’ The Beaver (2011), starring Mel Gibson as the leading man, but the picture only grossed $6 million worldwide off a $21 million budget. Hopes now full upon Gibson’s upcoming release, Blood Father, a revenge thriller, which is due out for release at some point in 2015.

Gibson’s Potential 2015 Comeback

Could 2015 be the year that Mel Gibson does a comeback with his acting career? Doubtful, based on the failures of Gibson’s previous ventures into movies over the past few years, however, revenge thrillers have proven to be popular thanks to Liam Neeson’s powerful performances in the sub-genre.

Has Gibson still got the appeal that he once had? Again, doubtful, based purely on the evidence of the failures that Gibson has had with his previous projects, but then again, maybe Gibson’s fan-base is quietly waiting for the right movie to watch him in. One can only hope.

What are your thoughts on Mel Gibson’s career? Do you think that Mel Gibson is going to do a major comeback in 2015, revitalising his acting career? Let us know in the comments box below.

The 7 Greatest Scary Horror Movies Since 28 Days Later

Listing the greatest scary movies since 2002's 28 Days Later, making this more of a list of the 21st Century's greatest scary movies

The Greatest Scary Movies of the 21st Century
Horror movies play a large role in the movie industry, although, sadly they do not get the same level of box office success as the action, romance and family genres. However, where they may not have the same level of income as the other genres, they make up for this by being the adrenaline rides that you cannot get from any other film genre.

We have seen many scary horror movies from the genre as a whole, spreading from the early days of film-making, right up until the present day, however, it is todays horror movies which are a class above all of the others. This is due to them having the capability of scaring the socks of anyone, no matter how fearless they claim to be, as there is always one horror film which will do the trick of frightening them.

The 21st Century has delivered audiences some of the scariest horror movies ever to set foot on the big-screen, from film-makers like Sam Raimi, the director of "Drag Me to Hell" (2009), being a scary movie, to the horror-remakes like "Friday the 13th" (2009) and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (2010), which were a couple of good Friday night popcorn scare-fests. However, none of these horror movies have made the cut on this list, even though they were frightful, each in their own way.

Today's horror movies are scarier than they have ever been before, being the driving force behind our need to create this list of the 7 best, along with 3 honourable mentions. The list is as follows.

The 7 Greatest Scary Movies Countdown

7. Wolf Creek (2004)

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A haunting horror movie, as backpackers out in the Australian outback fall prey to a dangerous bushman who takes them captive. The fact alone that the backpackers have no immediate help anywhere around them as they are taken captive by an armed bushman with a taste for hunting down helpless victims, makes the movie difficult to watch at times.

Secondly, the terrifying ruthlessness of the bushman as he captures the backpackers is unnerving, adding to the difficulty in watching the movie as the thrills begin to take place. Certainly not a movie to be watched alone, as you'll be given your first reason through visual aid for as to why you shouldn't ever go backpacking in the Australian outback.

6. Sinister (2012)

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Ethan Hawke is brilliant as Ellison Oswalt, a struggling non-fictional crime writer who finds himself living in a house with a sinister history, which slowly unravels as Oswalt looks into the murder which took place in the house that himself and his family are currently living in. Creepy, we know.

The evil lurking within the house is unsettling to say the least, worsened as the days light fades and Oswalt does his research into the murder, so that he can begin writing his book telling the true story of what happened.

The scares will make you jump as the movie masters the mix of being a terrifying horror, thriller and mystery film. The movie focuses on Ethan Hawkes character, Oswalt, being a fitting decision as it allows the audience to delve deeper with the character into the mystery of the murder which took place in the house, and just who the murderer might have been.

5. The Conjuring (2013)

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A magnificent directorial piece by James Wan, the director behind Insidious and Insidious: Part II, as it jumps into a terrifying story of a haunted house and the family currently residing in the residence. This causes the family to seek help from paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren, who are tasked with ridding the dark presence from the family's farmhouse.

Start to finish, the movie is terrifyingly structured, not that this is too much of a surprise as James Wan has proven that he can bring the scares into a horror movie. The paranormal presence in the seemingly normal farmhouse is chilling to the bone, due to the effective use of darkness as a weapon for the ghosts to scare and terrify the family. Worsened by the fact that the family is stuck in the house, as they cannot afford to leave the house, making it all the more dreading as the movie progresses forward.

4. Insidious (2010)

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The movie is one of the scariest, if not the scariest paranormal activity movie ever made, as it takes advantage of humans natural fear of death, and has an unusual storyline which is unlike any other horror movie on the market. The effective use of the right music sets the mood for this tense, edge of your seat horror movie which will remind you why you were once scarred of dark rooms.

Just another horror movie that you'd be a fool to watch alone, as it takes you back to all of your childhood fears, being a triumphant effort as far we are concerned in creating an entertaining, but scary horror movie.

3. The Descent (2005)

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When a caving expedition goes wrong, the explorers find themselves trapped deep into the caves, but the real danger comes when the group are hunted by a strange breed of predators.

This was the last movie that we were expecting to be scary, let alone make it onto this list of the scariest horror movies of the 21st Century (so far). Although, doubts aside, this is one of the scariest and best put together horror movies that we have seen in a long time, especially because of the well executed moments of fear as the explorers wonder deep into an isolated forest, and then into a desolate cave, which let and behold is the residence for a strange, unknown breed of predators.

The movie really brings home the fact that the explorers are all alone, plus, all of the explorers are women, which we feel helped make the movie feel that bit more scary. To watch this movie alone, would mean the result of having nightmares for the next week.

2. Dawn of the Dead (2004)

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This is Zack Snyder's directorial feature film debut, which we guess is something special, to add on top of this that the movie was a complete success, if the success can be determined by the fear-omiter, as we feel that if this is the case the fear-omiter will be going through the roof, meaning a complete success for the director.

Movie remakes get a bad wrap these days, in part because of the large number of horrendous movie remakes that we saw released on a regular basis, but this movie is far from that statistic, as it has all of the elements of what makes a great movie and much more.

This is the movie that added to the viral takeover of the zombie, horror sub-genre, being that it was that good of a movie. Snyder set out to create a movie remake which would be worthy of the big-screen, and wound up creating one of the scariest, zombie infested horror movies of all time. This is the movie that will make you look twice at the news every morning just to make sure that the world hasn't been consumed by a zombie outbreak whilst you were peacefully sleeping.

1. The Ring (2002)

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All that we can think to say after watching this movie is, "thank god that VHS's have been wiped off the face of the earth". Wondering what we mean by this, then just watch the movie, and for those who've already seen the movie, you'll know what we mean.

If you're wondering what Gore Verbinski was doing before he directed Pirates of the Caribbean, well he directed this psychologically tormenting, mystery, horror, which will leave you wanting to watch cartoons before you go to sleep. Yes, it was just that scary.

Honourable Mentions

- 28 Weeks Later (2007)

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Following straight on from where the first (28 Days Later) left off, Britain is now being cleared up, as the American government has sent soldiers to deal with the aftermath operation, which is now safe to do as the zombies have died of starvation. A realistic look into what the world would look like after a zombie outbreak has taken place, but this time around the zombie outbreak has been taken under control, or at least for the time being that is. The zombie pandemic soon starts up again after an unfortunate situation happens, resulting in another survival story, as two young siblings, a medical officer and a US military officer go on the run to escape the zombies which now flood the streets, yet again.

A terrifyingly realistic look at a future where a zombie outbreak has taken place, and the aftermath of the horrific battle between man and the living undead. The zombies are scary in all of their form, making it a feel of deep pain for the survivors, and the less fortunate eaten (by zombies) survivors.

- The Strangers (2008)

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When a couple are alone in a house in the middle of nowhere they are terrorised by 3 mysterious psychopaths, and it is easy whilst watching the movie to feel the distress and fear that the couple are having to go through as the living nightmare begins.

Every scene is an attempt to push the fear further into the couple, and the use of a single location for the majority of the movie's filming was a smart move, as it allowed more time for the couple's terror to escalate. A mastered horror movie, focusing primarily on the couple in the house and the 3 lingering psychopaths.

- The Grudge (2004)

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Another great movie remake which is added to our list, due to its ability to take a simple storyline and make it a movie that you won't forget too soon, mostly due to the jumps and unexpected scares that the movie provides throughout its duration.

The movie's storyline has an edge of darkness to it, even before the creepy appearances start happening of the previous inhabitants of the house where the creepy events took place. A must-watch for any true-horror fan, as it doesn't disappoint.

Do you agree with our list? Are there any movies that we have missed from the list? Leave your answer in the comments box below.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

What Disney Movies are on Netflix UK?

The family favourite Disney and Disney-Pixar movies currently streaming on Netflix UK

Disney and Netflix have had a long-lasting relationship, meaning that Netflix has received licensing rights to stream a number of their catalogued movies, new and old. Netflix UK customers have been lucky enough to watch Disney and Disney-Pixar movies since 2013, with the collection changing from time to time, but thankfully to this very day, we Netflix UK subscribers have access to a selection of Disney and Disney-Pixar movies.

Now that we are comfortably into the new year, it struck as the right time to take a look at the Disney movies available on the number one online streaming service, Netflix, specifically looking at the Disney movies available on Netflix UK.

Netflix UK subscribers have been welcomed with Marvel movies, DreamWorks TV shows, and now Disney movies, leading us all to wonder what's to come next. Although, focusing on Disney, there are some mega-titles from the studio which are currently streaming on Netflix UK, with the live-action adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the catalogue-classic, Aladdin, and the Disney-Pixar family favourite, Monsters, Inc. 

Here's the complete list of the Disney and Disney-Pixar movies available on Netflix UK.

Disney Live-Action
The Cat from Outer Space (1978)
Honey, I Blew Up the Kid (1992)
Cool Runnings (1993)
The Jungle Book (1994)
Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco (1996)
The Princess Diaries (2001)
The Haunted Mansion (2003)
George of the Jungle 2 (2003)
Freaky Friday (2003)
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)
Ice Princess (2005)
The Game Plan (2007)
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
Space Buddies (2009)
Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009)
The Search for Santa Paws (2010)
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)

Disney Animation
Bambi (1942)
Oliver & Company (1988)
Ducktales: The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990)
Aladdin (1992)
Pocahontas (1995)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
Hercules (1997)
Mulan (1998)
Tarzan (1999)
Mickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed In at the House of Mouse (2000)
Lilo & Stitch (2002)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame II (2002)
Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas (2004)
The Three Musketeers (Mickey, Donald, Goofy) (2004)
Kronk's New Groove (2005)
The Fox and the Hound 2 (2006)
Meet the Robinsons (2007)
Tinker Bell and the Lost Treasure (2009)
Winnie the Pooh (2011)
Secret of the Wings (2012)
Frankenweenie (2012)

Disney-Pixar Animation
A Bug's Life (1998)
Monsters, Inc. (2001)
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Brave (2012)

This list is to be updated regularly, so if you're a Disney fan and are currently subscribed to Netflix UK, make sure to check back at our list for the latest Disney additions to the Netflix UK library.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Tom Hanks Net Worth

How much is Tom Hanks worth?

Tom Hanks Net Worth

 Net Worth: $350 Million

 Date of Birth: 9th July, 1956

 Source of Wealth: Film Producer, Actor, Voice Actor, Screenwriter, Film Director, Television Producer, Television Director, Motivational Speaker

Year Standing - 2015: Tom Hanks most anticipated project for 2015 is the untitled cold war spy thriller in which he is set to play the leading man, sounding interesting as far, but to put the icing on the cake the movie is also set to be directed by Steven Spielberg. 

Upcoming Projects (Movies) - 2015: "Untitled Cold War Spy Thriller", "A Hologram for the King", "Ithaca".

How Rich is Tom Hanks?: Tom Hanks is an American actor, producer, director, screenwriter, and motivational speaker, with a net worth of $350 million. Hanks has become a Hollywood icon for his memorable roles playing such characters as Forrest Gump (in "Forrest Gump"), the voice of Woody (in "Toy Story"), and Robert Langdon (in "The Da Vinci Code" and "Angels & Demons"), in major motion picture films. The point is that few people who are familiar with Hollywood around the world will not recognise the actors name as he is such a renowned actor for his extraordinary talent on-screen.

It is quite clear that where there is extraordinary acting talent possessed by a Hollywood star like Tom Hanks, wealth and fortune is sure to follow.

Tom Hanks Acting Career - How Has it Made Hanks Wealthy?: Hanks was nominated for his first Oscar playing Josh in the hit movie, Big (1988),  giving Hank's credibility as an actor in Hollywood, and later for his role playing Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia (1993) Hanks won his first Oscar, then shortly after for his role playing Forrest Gump in the hit classic, Forrest Gump (1994) Hanks won his second Oscar award. This has set in stone a place for Tom Hanks among the finest actors to ever set foot in Hollywood.

Although Hank's is still yet to receive another Oscar award, he has continued to plough his way through one commercially and critically successful movie to another with ease; from "Toy Story" (1995) and "Saving Private Ryan" (1998), to even more all-round successful movies; including "Cast Away" (2000), "Catch Me If You Can" (2002), "The Da Vinci code" (2006), and "Saving Mr. Banks" (2013).

Giving a strong indication as to how much money Hanks has been earning from his movies is with the estimated earnings for his part in playing Forrest Gump in the classic, "Forrest Gump" (1994), as shockingly enough Hanks received a lump sum of $70 million, which is mostly due to him having taken out a gross participation for the movie, on top of a normal up-front paycheque.

Not to mention, Hanks also to this very day earns money from his gross participation in others of his previous movies, which will make him a large sum of money annually which will likely come into the tens, if not, hundreds of thousands of dollars figure.

Tom Hanks Net Worth
Image: Tom Hanks (middle) and Steven Spielberg (left)

Tom Hanks Future Projects - How Will it Affect his Fortune?: Tom Hanks is still very much an in-demand actor in Hollywood, easily demanding a paycheque between $10-20 million per film he does, and with a leading role in an upcoming Spielberg movie (untitled cold war spy thriller, 2015) and two more Robert Langdon movies in the pipeline, one currently in pre-production, there's no doubt that Hanks net worth is going to alter in all of the right ways within the coming year.

Movie Earnings
He Knows You're Alone (1980) - $800 (salary)
Splash (1984) - $70,000 (salary)
Big (1988) - $1,750,000 (salary)
Punchline (1988) - $5,000,000 (salary)
The 'Burbs (1989) - $3,500,000 (salary)
The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) - $5,000,000 (salary)
Forrest Gump (1994) - $70,000,000 (salary, plus gross and profit participations)
Toy Story (1995) - $50,000 (salary)
Saving Private Ryan (1998) - $40,000,000 (salary) plus (gross and profit participations)
You've Got Mail (1998) - $20,000,000 (salary)
Toy Story 2 (1999) - $5,000,000 (salary)
The Green Mile (1999) - $20,000,000 (salary)
Cast Away (2000) - $20,000,000 (salary)
The Da Vinci Code (2006) - $18,000,000 (salary) plus profit participation
Angels & Demons (2009) - $50,000,000 (salary, plus profit participation)
Toy Story 3 (2010) - $15,000,000 (salary)

Sunday, 8 February 2015

The 7 Greatest Spy Movies Since The Bourne Identity

Listing the greatest spy movies since 2002's The Bourne Identity, making this more of a list of the 21st Century's greatest spy movies

Spy movies have been around for as long as the movie business, and for the entirety of this time it has been changing with every decade that passes with the sub genre getting better with every new spy flick release.

The 20th Century is jam-packed with cheesy spy movies, mostly Bond movies, but that isn't to say that they weren't entertaining, as for a fact, Bond movies have become a British national treasure.

In the cross-over from the 20th Century to the 21st Century, we saw in the early 2000's a new spy movie, focusing on a loose CIA agent being hunted down by the CIA and local law enforcement (wherever he goes), The Bourne Identity, which rivals Bond for the spot as the number one spy series of all time. That of course being due to "The Bourne" seeing multiple sequels since the original was released back in 2002, making it a near perfect fitting for the starting point for our list.

Today's spy movies are more thrilling, more realistic, and more commercially credible than they have ever been before, which is why we have decided to honour them by creating a list of the 7 best, along with 3 honourable mentions.The list is as follows.

The 7 Greatest Spy Movies Countdown

7. Hanna (2011)

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This isn't your typical spy movie, although based around the usual shenanigans of the CIA with a loose project on their hands that they want to terminate before it can cause the agency any embarrassment.

This isn't your typical spy movie as it follows the amazing abilities of a young teenage girl who seemingly is just your normal teenage girl, that is until you see her kill like a well-trained professional assassin and escape difficult, near impossible situations like a well-trained professional assassin. Hence, its unusualness as a spy movie.

This may sound like an odd choice for a spy, but as this young teenage assassin's past unveils and truths are spilled later in the story's foretelling, it all begins to make sense, and surprisingly enough you'll want to watch the movie for a second time just to make sure that you understood all that had happened.

6. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011)

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An interesting look into British espionage during the cold war, which had me on the edge of my seat for the entire duration of the movie. This surprisingly very rarely happens in all of my time watching movies.

This is the type of spy movie that has subtle spurts of humour which you'll either appreciate or lack to see, but if you do meet the humour with welcome arms then this will layer the enjoyment throughout the movie, as it did for myself.

Although, clearly not a comedy, as the movie edges into extreme suspense and mystery as the plot thickens and clues are thrown at you with every turn. A well-mastered movie, which was truly helped by strong acting performances from Gary Oldman, John Hurt, Mark Strong and other key cast members in this must-see spy, mystery, thriller.

5. In Bruges (2008)

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Martin McDonagh has produced a masterpiece with his directorial movie d├ębut of "In Bruges", as it is one of the funniest comedies ever produced, as well as subsequently being one of the best spy movies ever produced.

The dialogue, the acting performances, the flow from scene-to-scene, none of it can be faulted. The very fact alone that there were not a whole lot of key cast members in this feature film should make it a little concerning, but in seeing the movie it becomes clear that this was a deliberate effort that makes the movie such an ingenious creation.

The key actors; Colin Farrell (finally using his Irish accent), Brendan Gleeson, and Ralph Fiennes were all perfectly cast for their roles in this instant comedy, spy classic. This is one movie that once seeing it, will make you ask yourself why you hadn't thought to watch it before.

4. Skyfall (2012)

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After "Quantum of Solace" no-one was quite sure what to expect as it put the bar so low, Bond fans were simply hoping for a Bond movie that wouldn't leave them staring at their watches every 10 minutes.

Thankfully, the sequel to the Bond movie ("Quantum of Solace") that left us all questioning the future of the Bond franchise, was more than anyone could have ever asked for. The direction was clear, the acting performances were intense, the storyline was gripping, and best of all we finally had a Bond villain worthy of the title.

Little to say, the movie grossed worldwide more than a billion dollars, the villain was unforgettable, Daniel Craig reprised his role as Bond, and the storyline was the best that we have seen so far from a Bond movie.

3. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

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Just when you thought a Bourne movie couldn't get any better, The Bourne Identity received a sequel that followed straight-on from where the first left off and their was more action, more car chases, and we saw more of Jason Bourne avoiding capture (and death) from the CIA.

(Spoiler ahead) Marie is killed and this turned out to be a key reason for the movies intense excitement and adrenaline rushing intensity, as it was due to her death that Bourne was left with nothing to lose, enabling him to act in a more ruthless manor where before he couldn't risk death quite as often because of Marie.

Karl Urban, playing the assassin on the hunt to kill Jason Bourne was a brilliant addition to the sequel, because he had the ruthless feel of a professional assassin that gets the job done, no matter what the outcome.

An important development to the sequel which begs to be mentioned is the change in directors from Doug Liman (directed The Bourne Identity) to Paul Greengrass for the directing of The Bourne Supremacy is that Greengrass was capable of taking the events and directing style of Liman and keep the flow going, and the intensity of the quick pace from the first to produce a great sequel.

2. Taken (2008)

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When a retired CIA agent's daughter is kidnapped in a foreign country by traffickers, he must use his specific set of skills to get her back in this fast-paced movie proving the love that a father has for his child and the lengths that he will go to in order to get them back (helped by the fact that he has the skills of a CIA super-spy).

A heart-wrenching storyline which is expertly pulled-off by the directorial efforts of Pierre Morel, who brings the whole movie to life. Supported by the expert acting performance from Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, the ex-CIA agent in pursuit of his daughters captors.

This is a spy movie which was overlooked by the majority of potential audiences on its release into movie theatres, due to most people being unaware of its raw magnitude as a spy movie. That being said it did gross worldwide $227 million on a $25 million production budget, but it would hardly be surprising that had potential audiences known of how great that the movie was going to be that it could have had a worldwide gross surpassing the $500 million mark.

1. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

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Again, following straight where the previous instalment led-off, "The Bourne Ultimatum" is the sequel to "The Bourne Supremacy", once again directed by Paul Greengrass who seems to be getting better with every Bourne release, as this third Bourne instalment has to be the best so-far.

Matt Damon has matured as the Jason Bourne character, Greengrass has taken the series to a new level, and the entire movie screamed impressive from the very moment the first scene began.

The most exciting part about "The Bourne Ultimatum" for myself is that it signified that the Bourne series was the first spy series that could rival the Bond franchise, leaving each of them fighting for audiences' undivided attention.

The Bourne Ultimatum exceeded our expectations for as to what could be achieved with a single spy movie, in turn taking the Bourne series to a whole new level, proving that it wasn't going to recycle old rubbish done in previous spy movies, but instead go in its own direction. On top of that also staying true to the Bourne books which were written by Robert Ludlum, which is the real reason that we have the Bourne movie series out to view today.

Honourable Mentions

- Casino Royale (2006)

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The first Bond instalment to star Daniel Craig as James Bond, and what a Bond movie that it was, taking the Bond movies for the first time in a serious, 21st century direction. A great Bond movie, however, it did lack excitement at times as it felt a little slow going- here and there, which is why it didn't make the cut for the greatest spy movies list.

However, it does receive an honourable mention, if nothing else, for taking the Bond movies in a serious direction for the first time.

- Red (2010)

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As far as action, comedies go this is a pretty great movie, especially since it focused on the spy elements that we all love so much, that of course in this case being the CIA.

Bruce Willis does his usual, playing the serious, down to earth ex-CIA agent which is likeable in every way possible, then there's John Malkovich who plays an extremely funny ex-CIA agent who seems to be a little nervous in gun fights, Morgan Freeman once again doing his usual, and some other impressive cast members.

Ignoring the cast members, the story is brilliant, however, it does feel a little recycled, but that's soon forgotten after all of the hilarious moments which make up the entire movie. This is one Bruce Willis movie which you are going to like.

- Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

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Another Doug Liman (also directed The Bourne Identity) movie to make it onto our list, even if it's only the honourable mentions, as this movie took something which could have wound up being a typical spy movie, but winds up being an original romantic, comedy, action, spy movie which you'll have to laugh at.

The chemistry between Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (the two key cast members) makes the movies all the more believable, mixed with Vince Vaughn's fairly small, yet equally as important role as the idiotic (but brilliantly funny) best friend and co-worker of John Smith (Brad Pitt's character).

Do you agree with our list? Are there any movies that we have missed from the list? Leave your answer in the comments box below.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The 7 Greatest Western Movies Since Open Range

Listing the greatest westerns since 2003's Open Range, making this more of a list of the 21st Century's greatest westerns

The Greatest Western Movies of the 21st Century
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Western movies were once Hollywood's biggest hits, but since the age of modern action flicks took over the westerns have taken a back seat. However, westerns are still around, just not released as often as the glory days where every year would be another western year at the box office. 

This list focuses on the 21st Century western movies that we have seen release into movie theatres since the release of Open Range in 2003, which is arguably one of the greatest western movies of the 2000's.

Moving forward since Open Range we have seen some great western movies which have shaken contemporary audiences away from the typical action flick and into something a little different.

Western movies are a welcomed delight these days, especially since they are not released all that often, and when they are we take especial pride in watching them as we aren't always that shore when the next will see the light of day.

Today's western movies are something special, which is why we have decided to honour them by creating a list of the 7 best, along with 3 honourable mentions. The list is as follows.

The 7 Greatest Western Movies Countdown

7. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

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A long but worth while watching movie which managed to craft a very good story into a duration which some would deem as too long. We think otherwise, as the movie was invigorating to watch with stars shining throughout with the likes of Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck, both of which taking front-line roles in the movie.

The title is lengthy but certainly sums-up the entire movie, which given the highly intoxicating feel throughout the viewing makes for little surprise for how the movie concludes. It is the gripping and in-depth storyline that makes this movie such a good viewing, especially since there are a whole lot of outlaws involved, and there is nothing better to watch in a western than outlaws committing unlawful acts. 

6. There Will Be Blood (2007)

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Personally, when entering in to watching this movie I had no idea as to what the story for the movie was about, but what I did believe before seeing the movie was that based on the title there would be a whole lot of blood, in the form of gun slinging violence and what not. However, this was not the case, but to my surprise the whole lack of violence throughout the movie made it such an entertaining viewing with real life struggles, so powerful, mostly because of Daniel Day-Lewis's Oscar winning performance.

Who knew that watching the early days of digging for oil could be so darn interesting, well we can all thank Paul Thomas Anderson for directing this stunning masterpiece and Daniel Day-Lewis for being such as darn good actor.

This certainly isn't the first movie that comes to mind when thinking about western movies, but that doesn't change the fact that it is one of the greatest western movies ever produced, not just in the 21st Century but of all time. 

5. True Grit (2010)

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The Coen brothers never cease to amaze in Hollywood and True Grit is a perfect example of where the pair of seemingly unmatched directors have amazed audiences, including myself, into wanting to watch another western movie again and again (and I only watch good-to-great movies more than once).

True Grit is a remake of a classic and this is one remake you'll want to watch, possibly more-so than the original. True Grit is a modern masterpiece which plays true to the original, is gritty as we'd all expected it to be, and had the feeling of a Coen brothers movie all throughout (again, as expected).

Starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin, this should be a clear indicator to just how great this movie is as they have all been perfectly cast to the right roles. I would even go as far as to say that this may arguably be the greatest movie that the Coen brothers have ever directed to-date.

4. Django Unchained (2012)

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With a storyline as powerful as this one, who better to lead the way than Jamie Foxx, who as per usual gives a breathtaking performance. Supported by Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz this was only ever going to be a must-watch movie, subsequently entering into the hall of fame for being one of the greatest westerns ever produced.

As Quentin Tarantino was directing of course there would be bloody violence throughout, but in the case of this movie it added extra extremity to a time where extremity would have been the reality of life for a lot of people. Tarantino has brought to audiences another all-time great movie which will be watched by people generations from now. It is just that great.

3. Rango (2011)

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It is the modern day time for humans in this animated feature film, however, for lizards and other desert animals it is the wild west era, and what a great movie it is. Gore Verbinski (director) has done a good job at taking a simple idea and turning it into a movie that shall long be known as the greatest animated western movie ever produced in Hollywood (or anywhere else in the world).

Animated westerns, as with live-action westerns, do not come around all that often, which is why this was an interesting release to say the least, and since it was such a entertaining movie, it is given all the more credit. 

2. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)

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A modern western masterpiece remake unlike any other modern western movie out for viewing today. The action is plentiful, the shoot-outs are one hundred percent perfection, and the outlaws are hunting down the law-keepers to find their gang leader. 

This is a tense, action-filled western remake which ticks all of the right boxes for what you'd be looking for in a modern western movie. The movie is well-directed, has some of the best acting performances from some of Hollywood's biggest stars, and the movie flows near harmoniously.

I would even go as far as to say that this movie receives one of the best performances of both Christian Bale and Russell Crowe's careers, which is saying something considering the amount of great movies that the two actors regularly star in.

1. No Country for Old Men (2007)

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The star of the list is another Coen brothers movie, this one a modern western movie which has all of the elements which create a suspenseful thriller that would go down as being one of the greatest thrillers of all time, on top of being one of the greatest westerns of all time.

The Coen brothers have a nag for directing great westerns from the appearance of things, not to mention the fact that the Coen brothers are well-known for directing timeless thrillers, adding to the pleasure of this movies release. 

Audiences will have gone nuts in the cinemas when watching this movie as it had all of the relevant surprises required, mostly due to Javier Bardem's realistic portrayal as an emotionless hitman, and this performance has shot him into stardom in Hollywood.

The 2000's were blessed with great movies and the 21st Century as a whole has seen some timeless western movie releases which will be watched for a long time to come. No Country for Old Men has one of the most thought provoking titles which were truthful if this movie is anything to go by, and it certainly got audiences wondering more about the endless possibilities for western movies as modern technology allows film-makers to create more realistic movies. One thing is for sure, which is that the Coen brothers are maturing as directors, getting better and better with every new project they partake in.

Honourable Mentions

We were hesitant to make this a short list so that we could emphasise the magnitude that these great westerns had in influencing the genre that sees very few releases today. But to include a few honourable mentions to the list, here are some of the other movies that came to mind when brainstorming for the list.

- The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)

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A western both directed by and starring Tommy Lee Jones, one of the best recognised faces in Hollywood, and this movie is one of the lesser-known western releases from the 2000's, but no-less worth mentioning in our honourable mentions than the other two.

The audience goes on a journey about friendship and the power of loss, which are well expressed through the acting performances in this memorable western movie.

- The Proposition (2005)

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Another lesser-known western movie from the 2000's which had audiences looking for more in a movie which received some brilliant performances from a recognisable cast of actors. The landscape alone is something magical, along with performances that stick with you even once the movie is long over. 

- Ned Kelly (2003)

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Firstly, it needs to be stated that Ned Kelly is not technically a western movie as it is set in 19th Century Australia, however, it does feel an awful lot like a western movie, so we have made the calculated decision to add it to our honourable mentions.

The movie is one of a controversial one to add to our list (dismissing the fact that technicality would put the movie out of the western genre) because it was not well received by all audience members. However, we would argue that the movie was a fun one which deserves recognition as it was well directed, with some great acting performances and had an entertaining story which we were surprised to see rated so poorly by audiences who've viewed the movie.

Do you agree with our list? Are there any movies that we have missed from the list? Leave your answer in the comments box below.