Leonardo DiCaprio stars in The Great Gatsby
By Jon Steely
Photos Courtesy of WARNER BROS.
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic 1925 novel The Great Gatsby has been made into a film before – four other times, in fact – but it’s always interesting when a masterwork of literature reinvents itself on the modern day big screen, particularly when it features megastars like Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire while set to hot tracks from Jay-Z, Kanye West, Florence and the Machine and Jack White. (Director Baz Luhrman has a cool penchant for backing this visually-stunning period piece with a pulsating contemporary soundtrack.)
Set in the Roaring Twenties, Fitzgerald’s tale tells the story of Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire), who arrives on Long Island from Minnesota and rents a home next to enigmatic millionaire Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). At first, Carraway is intrigued by Gatsby’s garish lifestyle, but eventually learns that the grass is not always greener on the other side.
Oscar-nominated British actress Carey Mulligan (Pride & Prejudice, Drive) plays Gatsby’s former lover – and one of literature’s most notable sirens – Daisy Buchanan. Miss Mulligan’s winning this role is a notable Hollywood story in itself, since Keira Knightley, Amanda Seyfried, Blake Lively, Abby Cornish, Michelle Williams and Scarlett Johansson all auditioned for the part. Maybe this highly-anticipated film version of The Great Gatsby will get people interested in reading classic novels again? Maybe.
The Great Gatsby opens May 10.
Michael Shannon and Ray Liotta star in The Iceman
By JON STEELY
Photos Courtesy of MILLENNIUM FILMS
Richard Kuklinski. If that name doesn’t send chills down your spine, it should. At 6’ 4” and 300 lbs., Mr. Kuklinski was a mafia contract killer who spent decades murdering over 100 people (possibly as many as 200) before his capture in 1986. Most were professional hits, but some he did just because he felt like it. Oh, and there’s one more thing: He was a New Jersey family man, whose wife and children had no idea how he was supporting them.
The Iceman, starring an exceptionally unsettling Michael Shannon (Boardwalk Empire), brings Kuklinski’s true and chilling story to the screen. If you love great acting, have an interest in criminal psychology or just feel like watching a wild and crazy story, you definitely won’t want to miss this one!
Based on Anthony Bruno’s book “The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer,” this compelling thriller showcases fine performances from Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta and Chris Evans (The Avengers, Captain America). There’s even a memorable, and pretty disturbing, scene featuring the terrific James Franco praying for mercy.
Richard Kuklinski began his brutal murder streak in 1954, and his story remains fascinating today. He even claimed to be responsible for making Jimmy Hoffa disappear. But he never killed any women or children. I guess everyone, even a mass-murdering sociopath, has at least one redeeming quality.
The Iceman opens in theaters on May 3.
Robert Downey Jr stars in Iron Man 3
By DENNIS PETRONE
Photos Courtesy of DISNEY
Tony Stark, and his alter ego Iron Man, is the Rolls Royce of comic book heroes. He is super rich, super smart and – especially as played by Robert Downey Jr. – super sexy. Combine that with perhaps one of the best actors in Hollywood to play a get-under-your-skin villain, Guy Pearce, and you have a recipe for a true fist-punching-the-air blockbuster.
The central question in Marvel’s Iron Man 3 is, does the suit make the man or does the man make the suit? Stark’s life is ripped apart when his knockout wife Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) and his cliff-top mansion go tumbling into the sea. The parties behind the attack have access to an army of Iron Man suits, perhaps the only situation that could truly, plausibly challenge the all-powerful Iron Man.
There is little doubt that Director Shane Black is adept at creating a cultural cornerstone of a movie, merging adventure with wit, as evidenced by his past directorial gems including Lethal Weapon (1987) and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005). And with a rumored budget of over $200 million, Black had plenty to invest in killer CGI fight scenes. It’s the third movie in a trilogy and yet, this newest installment promises to be touted, by a long, mechanical, metal arm’s length, the best Marvel comic book movie to date.
Iron Man 3 opens nationwide May 3.
Chris Pine stars in Star Trek Into Darkness
By DENNIS PETRONE
Photos Courtesy of PARAMOUNT PICTURES
In the second installment of the rebooted Star Trek franchise, which takes place one year after the 2009 film, the USS Enterprise team returns to fight what is perhaps best billed as the greatest terrorist humanity may ever know.
Captain Kirk (Chris Pines), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and their crew witness a mad man from within Starfleet wreak violence and horror on Planet Earth. Together they travel deep into space to a war zone to capture John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch) who is rumored to actually be Khan, a villain best known by Trekkies from the 1982 film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
With director JJ Abram’s having been chosen to reboot the upcoming Star Wars franchise – delivering six movies over six consecutive summers – the next Star Trek film may well have a different captain at the helm, and a less terrorist-driven motif. Until then, Star Trek fans will no doubt get their innermost geek on for this two-hour, action-packed manhunt of intergalactic proportions.
Star Trek Into Darkness opens nationwide on May 17.