The Cinema Review: The Assassination of Jesse James / Hitman / The Nines

This week we review The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Hitman and The Nines.

The Cinema Review: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford / Hitman / The Nines

The Assassination Of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – An unusual look at the iconic western outlaw Jesse James with Brad Pitt in the lead role and Casey Affleck as his assassin Robert Ford. Taking a slow and unconventional approach, it examines the myth of James and details the final phase of his life where he tries to evade justice and retreats to his trusted inner circle. Directed by Andrew Dominik (who made Chopper in 2000) and shot by Roger Deakins.

Hitman – Based on the popular computer game franchise this sees Timothy Olyphant (last seen as the villain in Die Hard 4) play Agent 47, a secret assassin who performs hits for a shadowy organisation. Only after a job in Russia he is double crossed and has to find out why with the help of a prostitute (Olga Kurylenko), whilst having to deal with an Interpol agent (Dougray Scott) on his tail. Directed by Xavier Gens.

The Nines – Writer and director John August has made a film split into three sections with Ryan Reynolds, Hope Davis and Melissa McCarthy in the lead roles. The first is about an actor going through rehab in his own house, the second features a reality show about an actual TV show and the third is about a video game designer whose car breaks down on an isolated road.

Listen to the review podcast here:


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> Download this review as an MP3 file
> Get local showtimes for your area via Google Movies
> Check out other reviews of these films at Metacritic

Timothy Olyphant on Hitman

Timothy Olyphant in HitmanWe last saw him as the villian in Die Hard 4.0 but actor Timothy Olyphant is back in a new action movie called Hitman.

Based on the popular computer game it sees him as the enigmatic Agent 47 – an assassin for hire who kills on behalf of a mysterious organisation called The Agency.

We speak about the plot of the movie, the hardest thing about the role, filming in Bulgaria and other projects he has in the pipeline.

Directed by Xavier Gens, Hitman also stars Dougray Scott, Olga Kurylenko and Robert Knepper.

Have a listen to the interview by clicking below:


To download this as a podcast via iTunes just click the image below:

opens in UK cinemas this Friday

> Download this interview as an MP3 file
> Official UK site for Hitman
> Get local showtimes for your area via Google Movies
> Find out more about the Hitman game at Wikipedia
> Timothy Olyphant at the IMDb
> Listen to our Die Hard 4.0 interview with Timothy back in the summer

Sundance Film Festival: Lineup Announced

Sundance 2008 LineupThe line up for the Sundance Film Festival has been announced.

Todd McCarthy of Variety has printed a detailed breakdown of what’s on and the official press release can be found here.

The director of the festival, Geoffrey Gilmore says:

The broad range of cinematic expression in this year’s Festival is found not simply in terms of the volume of submissions or its demographics but in the variety of types of filmmakers and the issues they explore.

This year we are seeing a convergence of storytelling and art that truly illustrates the spectrum of what is possible in film.

John Cooper, the Director of Programming, also said:

The creativity, urgency and passion of this year’s filmmakers are palpable, proving that independent filmmaking is alive and well not only in the U.S. but throughout the world.

The amount of high-quality work submitted from a diverse range of filmmakers made our jobs difficult this year. The Competition program is funny, spirited, human, and at times uncharacteristically optimistic about the world we live in.

There’s quite a few interesting films set to premiere there but here are some that caught my eye:

In Bruges – The opening film is about two hit men (played by Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson) who end up hiding out in the Belgian town of Bruges. Martin McDonagh – who won an Oscar for his short film Six Shooter – directs.

Choke — An adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel directed by Clark Gregg. It purports to be about about mother and son relationship and “the dark side of historical theme parks” with Sam Rockwell, Anjelica Huston and Kelly MacDonald.

The Mysteries of Pittsburgh — Based on Michael Chabon’s novel (the man who wrote Wonder Boys and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay), it explores the summer of a recent college graduate in Pittsburgh. Jon Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, and Sienna Miller star. Rawson Marshall Thurber directs.

Sugar Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck had a startling debut with Half Nelson last year return with this tale of a Dominican baseball player named Miguel “Sugar” Santos, who was recruited from his native country to play in the U.S. minor leagues.

Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired – A documentary about the Polish director by Marina Zenovich which covers examines the scandals and tragedies which led to him fleeing the United States.

Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr Hunter S ThompsonAlex Gibney directs this documentary about the late writer which will apparently explore his drinking, drug taking and writing, focusing on the years 1965 to 1975. Featuring clips of rare home movies, audiotapes and passages from unpublished manuscripts it looks like a treat for fans of the late writer.

The festival runs from the 17th to the 27th of January in Park City, Utah.

> Official website for the Festival
> Find out more about the Sundance Film Festival at Wikipedia
> Check out the Sundance YouTube channel
> Listen to Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck discuss Sugar back in April when I spoke to them about Half Nelson
> Listen to Peter Carlton of Film4 talk about In Bruges when I interviewed him back in March
> Listen to our interview with John Carney who directed Once – one of the big hits of last year’s festival