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Movie Watch

Just opened in USA -wide cinemas - thriller movie Limitless starring Robert de Niro, Bradley Cooper and Welsh actor Andrew Howard.

The ultimate you-can-have-it-all fantasy -- a pill allowing users to harness 100% of their brain power -- turns into something close to a nightmare for a rags-to-riches author in the propulsive, unexpectedly funny thriller "Limitless." (Robert Koehler writing in Variety)

"It's actually Howard who gets the best (and funniest) material as the brainless thug hiding surprising ambition. He winds up as living proof that, like Limitless's entirely possible to be dumb and smart at the same time. Simon Howell Sound on Sight

"Howard is exceptional in the role; his in-character performance stands out over the other actors" 28dayslater.com

"Howard registers strongly as a thug who maintains a disturbing credibility even at his most over-the-top" Variety

Picture: Andrew Howard with businessman and ex Welsh rugby international player Lyndon Faulkner at the Welsh Assembly's launch of Talking Pictures in Los Angeles on March 1


On general release in the USA in May, the movie '˜Thor' with Sir Anthony Hopkins as Thor's father Odin.

The powerful but arrogant warrior Thor is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, where he soon becomes one of their finest defenders.

Directed by Kenneth Branagh starring Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins and Natalie Portman

 


Opening January 28 in the USA , Welsh actor Sir Anthony Hopkins stars as father Lucas in the horror movie 'The Rite'

An American priest travels to Italy to study at an exorcism school.

Director: Mikael Hafstrom
Writers: Michael Petroni, Matt Baglio
Stars:Colin O'Donoghue, Anthony Hopkins and Ciaran Hinds


Ioan Gruffudd stars as Carl - an entrepreneur who funds a cave diving expedition in Universal Pictures' Sanctum, a 3-D adventure film produced by James Cameron.

Sanctum follows a team of underwater cave divers on a treacherous expedition to the largest, most beautiful and least accessible cave system on Earth. When a tropical storm forces them deep into the caverns, they must fight raging water, deadly terrain and creeping panic as they search for an unknown escape route to the sea. Master diver Frank McGuire has explored the South Pacific's Esa-ala Caves for months. But when his exit is cut off in a flash flood, Frank's team-including 17-year-old son Josh and financier Carl Hurley are forced to radically alter plans. With dwindling supplies, the crew must navigate an underwater labyrinth to make it out. Soon, they are confronted with the unavoidable question: Can they survive, or will they be trapped forever?

In US cinemas now


News

Rhys Ifans cast as villain in new 'Spider-Man'

Rhys Ifans is playing the bad guy in the next "Spider-Man." But the filmmakers aren't saying yet which character he'll be.

Sony Pictures announced that Ifans, widely known as a comic actor in such films as Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant's "Notting Hill," will co-star as the villain in the superhero adventure due out July 3, 2012.

The studio's announcement notes that the "filmmakers prefer to not reveal which character Ifans will be playing."

The 43-year-old Ifans played Grant's offbeat roommate in 1999's "Notting Hill." He costarred in this year's "Nanny McPhee Returns" and Ben Stiller's comic drama "Greenberg," along with 2009's disc jockey romp "Pirate Radio." He also costars in next month's "Harry Potter" film.

(from the Associated Press)

(Image Credit - Rhys Ifans by Cambridge Jones)

Welsh movie 'Sleep Furiously' showing in New York, Chicago, Cleveland and San Francisco

'Sleep Furiously' is a 90-minute documentary art film by Welsh director Gideon Koppel set in Trefeurig, Mid Wales where he grew up. Gideon won the coveted 'Guardian First Film Award' for the film.

The film has received glowing reviews so far and we had the opportunity to interview director, Gideon Koppel:

Q: What are your connections to Wales?
A: After the war my father - the painter Heinz Koppel - was living in Dowlais, South Wales, where he set up an ran a painting school for the local community of miners which was known as The Merthyr Settlement. He was visited by a friend of his - the painter Sir Cedric Morris - who brought with him a student Renate, who like Heinz was a German Jewish refugee. They fell in love and apparently married two weeks later. Although my older siblings were born in Dowlais, I was born in London and grew up in Liverpool and then Aberystwyth.

Q: Did you enjoy growing up in Wales?
A: I have very strong and significant childhood memories of spending time on one of the local farms in Trefeurig - Trawsnant - which belonged to Edwin and Elinor Hughes and their family. Having said that, I am reminded of an expression that I had often heard in this part of Wales - that people don't 'own' the land, they 'belong' to it... so perhaps I should correct myself and say that the Hughes belonged to Trawsnant. That phrase always interested me - it seemed to be a profound reflection on the relationship between people, the land and time. I think that even as a child, I (albeit unconsciously) recognised how my parents found a place in the community of Trefeurig and with that a real sense of home. So Trefeurig became my home too.

Q: Why will Welsh-Americans enjoy this film?
A: I don't know if they will....

Q: Is your movie about Welsh communities dying?
A: For some people 'sleep furiously' might be 'about' Welsh communities dying... but not for me. I don't really experience the world in that way and am not really interested in making work around polemics like that. That is to say, I am not a journalist. I see the world as constantly evolving and this is reflected in the film: most of the stories told suggest both beginning and ending- the circularity of life. For instance the owl dies but then becomes something else- a sculpture; the piglets are cute and loveable but will be equally appealing when unrecognisable - grilled with a little salt and pepper. I guess that the paradoxical and contradictory in life, however difficult and sometimes painful, are important for me.

Q: Explain what a mobile library is and how this contributes to a community
A: Once a month the library van goes through the Trefeurig area from farm to farm, collecting and delivering books. This is a culture where, despite a history of poor educational facilities, books - particularly factual books - are valued. The library van fulfils that interest, but it also acts like a traveling confessional. It is both literally and metaphorically the vehicle for stories: stories of the community and its population. The traveling librarian therefore becomes a narrator for the community, or rather a narrator for a certain portrait of the community. John Jones has run the local council funded traveling library service for nearly two decades. John is an important and deeply respected part of the community. He parks his van outside a house and is 'visited' by one or more members of that household- some people even dress up in their best to go to the library van.

Q: How important is the school to a community?
A: I think that schools have been vital to the life of a rural community and have provided the community with a building large enough for groups of people to meet. Perhaps in the second decade of this century new kinds of community will evolve which will require different kinds of organizations and space.

Q: How much did the music contribute?
A: Music and sound are a vital component of the film. I originally trained as an sound recording engineer at Utopia Studios in London, working on all kinds of music projects from the Queen soundtrack for the feature film 'Flash Gordonâ' to 'Neutronica' an album by Donovan - an experience which has informed the way I work with sound and music in film. In 'Sleep Furiously' music was important from the outset- not as an accompaniment, but as the different 'voices' of the key characters. My mum has her piece of music, John Jones has his, the school also has its own 'voice'. And all the music is by Richard James who works under the name Aphex Twin... he is a really extraordinary artist with a rare courage to explore the possibilities of his medium with absolute autonomy and a complete disregard for what might be called fashion or public opinion.

Q: Was it important to have some people speaking Welsh?
A: It was important for me to listen to and work with the different languages, sounds and rhythms of the environment.