all is true trailer

Although he has tackled roles and projects varied in scope, both on the stage and screen, actor/director Kenneth Branagh made his name by bringing the plays of William Shakespeare to the masses (much like his hero, Lawrence Olivier) through a series of films that attracted an array of well-known faces, staged in ways that made the sometimes impenetrable words of the Bard accessible and joyous. Beginning 30 years ago with his triumphant Henry V, Branagh moved through a series of filmed adaptations (both as an actor and director, although not always both) in such works as Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, Love’s Labours Lost, Othello (directed by Oliver Parker), and As You Like It.

Of course, he’s also acted and directed in non-Shakespeare works as well, most notably behind the camera for films like Dead Again, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Thor, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Cinderella, and 2017’s star-studded Murder on the Orient Express, as well as acting roles in The Gingerbread Man, Wild Wild West, Valkyrie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Dunkirk.

It seems only fitting that he would eventually star and direct a work in which he played Shakespeare. But All Is True is not your typical biopic. Commissioning a screenplay by Ben Elton, the movie examines the playwright’s later years, after he has retired from writing, as he struggles to blend back in with a wife (Judi Dench) and grown daughters whom he essentially abandoned 20 years earlier for the life of a celebrity. But he struggles with his return to Stratford with memories of a son who died too young and a family who doesn’t know what to do with him as he plays the part of a caring father. The film reveals a great deal about how Shakespeare attempted to deal with certain life struggles through his works, and Branagh delivers one of the most engaging, understated, and moving performances of his career. And if you can’t get enough of Branagh the director, he’s also got a little Disney project called Artemis Fowl on the way, based on the exceedingly popular series of books by Eoin Colfer.

/Film spoke with Branagh recently to discuss the importance of Shakespeare in his life and career; working with McKellen for the first time; his voice cameo in Avengers: Infinity War and playing detective Hercule Poirot once again in Death on the Nile (which he’ll also direct, with a cast that includes Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, and Letitia Wright). All Is True is currently playing in select cities and opens nationwide on Friday, May 17.

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Detective Pikachu and Nostalgia

Like many, many people, I grew up absolutely obsessed with Pokémon. I watched every single episode of the anime, wanting to be the very best. I played the games, and catching them was my real test, and of course I had way too much merchandise. With time, I stopped caring about the franchise, and moved on to other things.

Then the trailer for Detective Pikachu dropped and I could not believe what I was seeing. It was like they took every daydream I had as a kid and turned it into a multimillion-dollar blockbuster. The movie looked fantastic, and the design of the Pokémon is perfect, even if we weren’t prepared for a furry Pikachu. But the most surprising part of the movie was the main character, Tim (played by Justice Smith). And it awakened something in me.

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Robert Pattinson will make a great Batman

While nothing is finalized yet, all signs point to Robert Pattinson donning the cape and cowl to become the next Batman. Pattinson would play the Caped Crusader in Matt Reeves‘s The Batman, a fresh start to the character not connected to Ben Affleck‘s most recent incarnation. This casting is excellent, and many seem to agree. But there’s already some backlash. This backlash appears to be coming from fans who only know Pattinson in regards to his role as sparkly vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight franchise.

However, Twilight ended many years ago, and since then, Pattinson has been delivering captivating performances in challenging films.

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John Wick 3 costume designer interview

The John Wick franchise isn’t just loaded with action – it’s dressed to the nines as well. Every character, from John Wick on down, is impeccably tailored, each with their own unique aesthetic. Those character looks come from franchise costume designer Luca Mosca, who continues his work in the latest entry, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.

In our John Wick 3 costume designer interview below, Mosca breaks down the styles of several of the sequel’s key players, as well as revealing what it takes to keep everyone looking so fashionable while engaged in big fight scenes.

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Game of Thrones Final Season Problems

Now that the dust has settled around what’s left of King’s Landing, there is room to examine why some fans have felt betrayed by season eight of Game of Thrones. The fan reaction to the episode has been divisive, with some overzealous and misguided fans petitioning for a “redo” of this season. While I’m certainly not among those folks, I found myself very angry at my favorite dragon show more than once this season. While it’s not uncommon for a series to drop the ball in the last inning, Game of Thrones final season has felt spectacularly disappointing.

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rocketman trailer

The tile caption for Dexter Fletcher’s Rocketman is clear enough – “Taron Egerton is Elton John”. It’s a simple caption, indicating a performer who’s focused on bringing a role to life. The same of course could be said about Reginald Dwight, that slightly portly kid from England with an ear for music who had to reinvent himself decade after decade, inhabiting his larger-than-life persona as he conquered the world.

For many, the decades-long career of Sir Elton is easy enough to take for granted, but in the ’70s, particularly in the U.S., he was preposterously successful, claiming some 5% of the total global musical revenue. He made a fortune for himself and those around him, all while struggling with his own demons that can be traced to his childhood.

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see you yesterday review

Ever since Back to the Future hit theaters in 1985, time travel has become, for lack of a better phrase, old news. Time travel and all of its quirks and reality-altering consequences have become a part of the cultural language, with even the casual moviegoer knowing what happens if you step on a butterfly in the past. But See You Yesterday, which comes from Spike Lee protégé Stefon Bristol, adds a fresh and timely twist to the well-worn time travel movie.

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Bacurau Review

There’s an area of Brazil dubbed the sertão, the “backlands” of the North East far removed from the urban congestion of the megalopolises like Rio. The dry, deserted, desert land feels like it’s off the map, the kind of vista appropriate for a Leone or Ford film as anything. It’s all the more fitting that award-winning filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho, along with co-director Juliano Dornelles, sets up his latest film Bacurau, as a kind of neo-Western, near-future speculative fiction in these lands, finding in its isolation opportunity to show the power of community and the brutality of humans.

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burning cane review

Burning Cane is a movie that flows over you: It’s less a structured narrative than a series of arcane images, each more beguiling and haunting than the last. The film, which deservedly won the Founders Award for best narrative feature at the Tribeca Film Festival, is an incredible debut for a 19-year-old filmmaker just out of high school — Burning Cane feels like the product of decades lived, of tragedies untold. But Phillip Youmans, who made this film at the age of 17 with Benh Zeitlin of Beasts of the Southern Wild as executive producer, proves to be an assured director who beautifully delivers a sprawling, hypnotic Southern Gothic drama about the last gasp of a disappearing world.

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mark dacascos interview

“What does your name mean?”

Those are the first words to come out of Mark Dacascos‘ mouth when he greets me during the John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum junket ahead of the third film’s theatrical release. I tell him it means “Forever precious” in Vietnamese, and he launches into an excited monologue about the importance of retaining one’s cultural roots, something he’s trying to teach his kids. It’s a fitting start to our conversation about his villain, Zero, in the upcoming action film sequel starring Keanu Reeves as the titular assassin.

The John Wick series has grown to become a bonafide cultural phenomenon for its blending of Hong Kong-influenced martial arts with rapid gunfire, in a new style that director Chad Stahelski has cheekily coined “gun-fu.” Stahelski has described the style to be a combination of “Japanese jiu-jitsu, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, tactical 3-gun, and standing Judo” — a blending of rich and varied cultures, much like Dacascos’ own cultural identity.

Born to a Hawaiian father of Filipino, Spanish, and Chinese ancestry and a mother of Irish and Japanese ancestry, and trained in martial arts by his parents from a young age, Dacascos is the embodiment of the John Wick franchise’s cross-cultural mix. He’s starred in a number of martial arts film in his 34-year career, often as the one token Asian fighter. But in John Wick: Chapter 3, he’s not alone. His villainous assassin Zero has a whole entourage of fighters of Asian ethnicity, while the film features cameos from the Indonesian martial arts hit The Raid as well as Tiger Hu Chen from Reeves’ Man of Tai Chi.

/Film sat down with Dacascos to talk about everything from representation, to Iron Chef America, and how he improvised one of the funniest scenes in the John Wick franchise.

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