Pierce Brosnan

Relativity Media

One of the absolute best spy thrillers of the past three decades is the Kevin Costner-led No Way Out. Seriously. If you haven’t seen it, or haven’t seen it in a while, go watch it again and marvel at its sharp script, fantastic action set-pieces and electric performances from all involved. Plus Iman! Director Roger Donaldson has returned to the genre on occasion since ’87, but while he’s yet to capture that same magic it hasn’t stopped him from trying. Which brings us to The November Man. Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan, himself no stranger to the cinematic spy game) is retired and living the peaceful life of a single parent and shopkeeper when an old friend visits to ask a favor. He needs help with an ex-filtration, and the woman in desperate need of escaping Moscow is someone very close to Peter’s heart and past. He agrees to this [cough] one last job [cough], but the mission goes sideways almost immediately. Forced on the run from both the Russians and the Americans Peter soon realizes he’s stumbled into a history-altering situation. So as I was saying… maybe you should go watch No Way Out.

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Pierce Brosnan in The November Man

It wasn’t until this week that I became aware of The November Man, which opens as early as next Wednesday. Hey, it’s not like I write about movies for a living or anything. But outside of barely paying attention to a commercial for the Pierce Brosnan-led action thriller the other night, I still haven’t given it much thought. I also haven’t heard much buzz or anticipation for the movie, which is directed by Roger Donaldson (reunited with his Dante’s Peak star) and is about an ex-CIA operative who has to take down his former protege while tiptoeing around a compromised agency. Should be interesting to see another evocation of Three Days of the Condor so soon after Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Yet unfortunately it looks more generic than that, like it’s following instead in the footsteps of another movie with the same number in the title: 3 Days to Kill. Today I’ve been made more curious about The November Man, though, thanks to the announcement of a sequel. According to ComingSoon.net, Relativity Studios has already greenlit the follow-up in advance of the first movie hitting theaters. This isn’t that strange considering the prospective film franchise is based on a series of spy novels by Bill Granger. Just think of that author (who died in 2012) as the latest Ian Fleming or Robert Ludlum, especially since the president of production at Relativity is calling this a reinvention of the genre “combining the best elements of James Bond and Jason Bourne while echoing the cool, sleek action movies of the 70s.” […]

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Relativity Media

Are you a semi-bankable action star? If so, take a look around. Are you standing amid the set of an action thriller? An action thriller from someone who clearly saw Taken, and thought to him or herself, “Yes. Yes, I must also make this movie?” If so, there are rules in place. Obvious rules that pertain to filmmaking, yes, but then also one great overarching cultural rule. A rule that Pierce Brosnan, who’s made more than a few action pictures, should know how to follow. When walking calmly away from a fireball, do not, under any circumstances, turn around and look at the fireball. This song exists for a reason. An entirely serious and non-silly reason. And yet, at the 1:08 mark in the first trailer for Brosnan’s The November Man, Brosnan is clearly making eye contact with a great plume of fire. For shame. Especially when Luke Bracey, Brosnan’s spy protégé, sets off his own kaboom a few seconds earlier, and manages to avert his eyes the entire time.

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A Long Way Down

Author Nick Hornby has a good track record with this movie stuff. The bestselling writer has been responsible for the source material – a little thing called “books” – for a number of beloved films that continue to endure as favorites in a crowded movie marketplace. Basically, the man writes good books, and then they become good movies. Hornby’s jump to the big screen so far includes films like About A Boy (which has now spawned its own television series), Fever Pitch (which got both a British and an American version in the span of eight years), and High Fidelity. (Hornby, it must be noted, is also a screenwriter who has found a niche adapting the work of others for the big screen – including An Education and the upcoming movie version of Wild.) But is Hornby’s next film going to hit with fans – both of his movies and of his books, and of any intermingling therein – or has the era of Hornb-tation run its course? Let’s try this – how do you feel about stories about suicide? What if they involve Imogen Poots? Are you interested in seeing Aaron Paul not yelling “bitch” a lot? Are you opposed to crying in movie theaters? Do you need a fairy tale ending?

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salmahayek

Salma Hayek has been one of Hollywood’s go-to leading ladies for decades now, and she’s somehow still just as much of a saucy little firecracker today as she was when Robert Rodriguez first blew all of our minds by casting her as his female lead in Desperado. If anything, she’s grown even sexier and sassier over time, so it’s probably a cause for celebration that she’s just been cast as the female lead in a new film—and one that’s being described as a “sexually charged romantic comedy” to boot. Your mileage for celebration may vary, but Salma Hayek starring in a sexually charged anything is a ticket sold, at the very least. The news comes from Deadline, who report that she’s just been added as the main romantic interest in the upcoming Pierce Brosnan starring vehicle, How to Make Love Like an Englishman. This one is being brought to us by What Happens in Vegas director Tom Vaughan, and it also has Jessica Alba attached in a featured role.

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Every office needs its I.T. person. He or she is always there to lend a hand or suggest that you try turning your computer off and then back on again. But if that friendly neighborhood I.T. consultant had a grudge against you? And ruined your career while threatening your family? Well, in that case the only option would be to wreak bloody revenge against him. And that’s just what Pierce Brosnan will be doing in the upcoming I.T. Billed as a revenge thriller by Deadline, Brosnan will play a book publisher forced to contend with a “disgruntled I.T. consultant” hellbent on destroying his life and livelihood. Who knows to what extent an I.T. person can really destroy one’s entire life, but perhaps all it takes is a few missed memos and server shutdowns for Brosnan to desire the type of full-scale vengeance only a revenge thriller can provide. And I.T. will certainly be worth a watch, if just to see a petty office squabble snowball into something full of death, destruction and heartache. Note that Pierce Brosnan is now old enough I.T. will be helmed by Italian director Stefano Sollima, known mostly for his TV work and last year’s A.C.A.B.: All Cops are Bastards. The screenplay will be written by Dan Kaye.

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Love-Is-All-You-Need

Probably the first thing you need to know about Love is All You Need is that it doesn’t include any Beatles songs on its soundtrack. It’s original title is Den skaldede frisør, which seems to roughly translate to “The Bald Hairdresser,” and Love is All You Need is the arbitrary title it got stuck with in English-speaking markets. It is the kind of movie that unashamedly includes multiple uses of the song ‘That’s Amore’ though, so you can probably guess what sort of demographic it’s aiming to hit. Love is All You Need, in addition to being the new film from co-writer/director Susanne Bier (In a Better World, Things We Lost in the Fire), is a relationship drama about a guy (Sebastien Jessen) and a girl (Molly Blixt Egelind) getting married at a rustic house situated in a lemon grove on the coast of Italy. It’s one of those travelogue movies that’s just as much about showing off an exotic location as it is about digging into all of the neuroses and relationship dramas of the eccentric family members who show up for the wedding. These family members do have quite a few issues though, especially the mother of the bride (Trine Dyrholm), whose husband recently left her for a younger woman after her survival with a bout of cancer, and the father of the groom (Pierce Brosnan), who’s still a prickly, raw wound over the death of his wife, even though it happened many years ago. It’s not a […]

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brosnan-love

What is Casting Couch? It’s a news roundup that’s solely concerned with actors getting cast in movies. Today we have news about the war against the machines as well as the war against the vampires. In a career move that has to be seen as a huge victory for a man the age of Pierce Brosnan, he has just signed on to play a role that will see him impregnating Jessica Alba. It’s a “passion project,” by his own admission. The news comes from Variety, who reports that Brosnan, Alba, and Kristin Scott Thomas will be the stars of How to Make Love to an Englishman, a romantic comedy from writer Matthew Newman and director Tom Vaughn that casts Brosnan as a Cambridge University professor, Alba as a graduate student, and Thomas as the Alba character’s stepsister, a lady who steps in after the miracle of life occurs in order to knock some heads around and straighten everyone out. Sounds like a situation ripe for creating age-appropriate romance.

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Love is all you need

Here’s the deal. Love is All You Need looks a bit too easy, a bit too happy and a bit too formulaic, but Susanne Bier is not your typical director. That alone is enough to make me question this trailer featuring Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm having a meet cute and falling for each other at a wedding. Not that it’ll be Brothers or anything, but there’s almost no chance that it’ll be average. Although, I could have done without the shot of Brosnan on an Italian balcony (not a euphemism) in his black boxer briefs. But who knows. Maybe the guy has still got it. He was Bond after all. Check out the trailer for yourself and duck when the glass of champagne gets thrown in your face:

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And you thought we were done with James Bond articles for a while, didn’t you? Not so. With Skyfall continuing to tear up the box office in both North America and overseas, and with it officially becoming the highest-grossing Bond film in the domestic market, it’s not going away. Add to this the fact that MGM is giving the film a push for award consideration (a long shot, sure, but that theme song by Adele certainly has a chance to win something), and you’ve still got Bond on the brain a month after the film opened. It’s time to look back to one of Bond’s beginnings. Not the books, and not the start of the film franchise in the 1960s. Instead, let’s crack open the DVD of Casino Royale, which rebooted the franchise from the rocky path it was on behind frontman Pierce Brosnan. For the Collector’s Edition of the Casino Royale DVD and Blu-ray, which came out in 2008, director Martin Campbell explains in the then-new how the series was given a new start. He is joined by the film’s producer. There will, of course, be spoilers for Casino Royale below, but you might also want to make sure you see Skyfall before reading this in its entirety, considering there are one or two interesting connections between the films. And on to the commentary…

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Bond 50 Blu-ray

We continue our look at one of 2012’s biggest and most anticipated Blu-ray sets… Bond 50. The set celebrates fifty years of Bond with special feature-filled Blu-rays for each film, and while most have already seen HD releases the collection also includes Blu debuts of You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Diamonds are Forever, The Spy Who Loved Me, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, Goldeneye and Tomorrow Never Dies. The box-set breaks the 22 films into two halves, twelve from 1962-1981 and ten from 1983-2012, each in their own sturdy book. Due to the sheer volume of material this Disc Spotlight will be broken into two halves as well. Keep reading for a look at 1983’s Octopussy through 2008’s Quantum of Solace, and go here for part one covering 1962’s Dr. No through 1981’s For Your Eyes Only.

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The James Bond Files

After wading through the MGM bankruptcy hiatus, pre-production, principal photography, marketing and release anticipation, the latest James Bond adventure is finally upon us. (If you live outside of the U.S., there’s actually a good chance that this wait ended a week or two ago, but we’ll let that go.) Skyfall hits theaters early in IMAX on November 8 and then in wide theatrical release on November 9. Now you have a chance to finally see the brand new, completely original Bond. Sort of. One of the great things about Bond movies is they have a certain level of familiarity. If made well, you can expect some common elements that make it feel like a quintessential Bond film. Sure, we all like originality, but you can trust almost any James Bond film to cover familiar territory. Here’s a James Bond history lesson and how it relates to the upcoming film.

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There are now 23 official James Bond movies, so coming up with only six clips from the entire series for this week’s Scenes We Love was difficult. But where do you draw the line? One scene per film is too many, and if I picked all the scenes I truly love the most from the films, it would add up to even more. There would also be an imbalance, with multiple scenes from some films and no scenes from others. There’d be no focus. So, the best and simplest way to do this (in terms of clarity; I reiterate that choosing the clips was not simple) is to pick one scene I love from each of the six actors’ run as 007. In making the selections, I had to remind myself, and I should remind you, that these are not meant to be the best scenes or even necessarily my personal favorites. They’re simply some scenes that I love that I’d like to spotlight for your pleasure in viewing and discussing. Also, Bond fans are all so different, so it’s very likely that some of these scenes that I love might be scenes that you hate. Let me know your own favorite scene — or just a scene you love — from each Bond down below.

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The James Bond Files

For diehard fans of the James Bond franchise, each and every film is sacrosanct in some small fashion or another. Even those titles that flirt shamelessly with being totally unwatchable will offer at least a kernel of merit for those willing to hunt for it. Yes, even Die Another Day. That being said, an obvious hierarchy exists to stratify these films in terms of both excellence and their overall significance to the franchise. The natural assumption here is that, much like the geological methodology on which this metaphor is predicated, the strata composed of the oldest material would be of most significance. In other words, a Bond film’s recency is inversely proportional to its importance within the franchise. The fact is that one of the franchise’s most important films was released thirty-three years after its inaugural entry. In 1995, Goldeneye relaunched the James Bond film legacy in tremendous fashion. It offered unique balance between Bond’s past (the title being a reference to Ian Fleming’s Jamaica home in which he wrote most of the novels) and his future. Among many, Bond connoisseur and novice alike, Goldeneye is well-regarded, so assigning it underrated status is wholly inaccurate. However, what does often get overlooked is how critical the success of this one movie was to ensuring the series’ continuation.

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The James Bond Files

Not only are FSR’s resident Bond nerds (specifically yours truly and my partner in espionage, Brian Salisbury) gearing up for the release of Skyfall in November, but we are also rubbing our hands together with anticipation of opening our new Bond 50 Blu-ray box sets that came out this week. Since we’re in the movie news business, we can watch all 22 of these films, we can chalk up the 40+ hours of movie watching to a full work week. We bet you’re feeling an extreme amount of jealousy right now (or an extreme amount of pity for us… not quite sure which). But as we prepare to watch all the James Bond movies again, we’ll also reflect upon the different actors who have played James Bond in the past. Here’s a quick breakdown of the legendary (and one not-so-legendary) Bond actors over the years. Fortunately, since Daniel Craig has signed on for some additional post-Skyfall movies, this piece should still be relevant for a while, and that’s a valuable commodity in the ever-changing world of the Internet.

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Daniel Craig Skyfall

The James Bond franchise has been going on for so long now that it’s started to look like an ever-changing monstrosity of different corporate influences, creative strategies, and leading men. But, in its current star Daniel Craig, its current, grittier creative direction, and its current co-financing deal between Sony Pictures and MGM, this series of spy films has seemed to have found a moment of stability; and a report from Bond-centric site MI6 says that a deal has been struck that will keep that stability going, at least for a little while longer.

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Cannes. Day one. And the deals just keep on rolling. Next up from the international film festival is word that Pierce Brosnan’s production company, Irish DreamTime, has signed on for a multi-picture financing and distribution deal with The Solution Entertainment Group. Right out of the gate, the companies have announced their first picture – a film that will put Brosnan make where he should be: with a gun in his hand and someone shady at his back. Brosnan will star in November Man alongside Dominic Cooper. The film will be directed by Roger Donaldson (The Recruit, Dante’s Peak, Cocktail, and The Bank Job) from an adapted script by Michael Finch (Predators) and Karl Gajdusek (Trespass), who will be drawing from Bill Granger‘s 1987 book “There Are No Spies,” one of many espionage novels by the late author. With so much material to draw from, November Man is being viewed as the first film in a potential franchise. The film “tells the tale of an ex-CIA operative who is brought back in on a very personal mission and finds himself pitted against his former pupil in a deadly game involving high level CIA officials and the Russian president-elect.” Intrigue!

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Editor’s note: With our own Junkfood addict Brian Salisbury busy writing through the typhoon that is SXSW, we’ve farmed out his column to similarly-minded Rejects. This time at bat – Kevin Carr! Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema, where our best exercise is lifting food into our mouths and working those jaw muscles. This week, we’re looking ahead to the future by looking into the past. Remember when reasonable people saw virtual reality for its true dangerous potential: to control people’s minds? You don’t? Well, try telling that to the filmmakers from 1992 because apparently it was a real threat. Today, we’re examining the gloriously convoluted dangers of virtual reality in a world of ooey gooey polygons and cybersex. The film that warned us of these dangers: The Lawnmower Man.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr feels the weight of the fall movie season. It’s September, and while the kids are heading back to school, he’s playing hooky with Sarah Jessica Parker chick flicks and yet another not-quite-70s-video-nasty remake. Kevin is consoled by the release of Drive, however, because Albert Brooks as a crime boss makes him chuckle. And his love for 3D and Disney meet head-on in a collision of awesomeness.

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To step out of one’s comfort zone can be a wonderful thing, or a gesture fraught with peril. For evidence of the dangers, look no further than the desperate Salvation Boulevard. A comedy with a religious fundamentalist bent, from a director accustomed to serious fare and starring actors not generally known for their comic chops, the film tries so hard to reach heights of absurdist mania that it falls flat.

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published: 11.26.2014
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