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Ralph Fiennes

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

DIRECTOR: David Yates

CAST:

Daniel Racliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Michael Gambon, Maggie Smith, Evanna Lynch, Bonnie Wright, Tom Felton, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Helen McCrory, Jim Broadbent, John Hurt, Warwick Davis, Ciaran Hinds, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson, Miriam Margoyles

REVIEW:

All things must come to an end.  After ten years and eight movies, one of the most successful fantasy series ever committed to page or screen has reached a solid and satisfying conclusion with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Continue reading

Clash of the Titans (2010)

DIRECTOR: Louis Letterier

CAST:

Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Alexa Davalos, Mads Mikkelsen, Jason Flemyng, Liam Cunningham, Hans Matheson, Nicholas Hoult, Pete Postlethwaite

REVIEW:

I don’t look back on the original Clash of the Titans through rose-tinted nostalgic glasses. I probably watched it a hundred times when I was a kid, and thought it was great, but in hindsight, it’s campy and hokey, with laughably wooden acting, led by a poofy-haired Harry Hamlin and Laurence Olivier on autopilot, and Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion animation was state-of-the-art in its heyday in the ‘50s and ‘60s but compared to 1977’s Star Wars made the 1981 Titans look significantly older than it was.  While unnecessary remakes abound in Hollywood, this is the kind of movie that could actually benefit from a remake with better acting and updated visual effects. Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

DIRECTOR: David Yates

CAST:

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, David Thewlis, Robbie Coltrane, Brendan Gleeson, Rhys Ifans, Bill Nighy, Bonnie Wright, Evanna Lynch, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Helen McCrory, Imelda Staunton, Natalia Tena, Timothy Spall, John Hurt, Richard Griffiths, Fiona Shaw, Harry Melling, Jamie Campbell-Bower, Miranda Richardson, Toby Jones (voice of Dobby), Simon McBurney (voice of Kreacher)

REVIEW:

The seven book Harry Potter series is now nearing its end with this seventh of what will be eight movies. From a financial standpoint, Warner Bros.’ decision to split the seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, into two films is a surefire financial win. Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

DIRECTOR: David Yates

CAST:

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Michael Gambon, Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, Robbie Coltrane, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Brendan Gleeson, Imelda Staunton, Jason Isaacs, Emma Thompson, David Thewlis, Tom Felton, Katie Leung, Evanna Lynch, Helena Bonham Carter, Robert Hardy, Richard Griffiths, Fiona Shaw, Warwick Davis

REVIEW:

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix is one of the longest novels in J.K. Rowling’s seven book series, but this fifth installment of the cinematic adaptation is one of the shortest movies, clocking in at only a little over two hours. Continue reading

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

DIRECTOR: Mike Newell

CAST:

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Michael Gambon, Robbie Coltrane, Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Brendan Gleeson, Gary Oldman, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Timothy Spall, David Tennant, Miranda Richardson, Katie Leung, Robert Hardy, Warwick Davis

REVIEW:

The Harry Potter film series, the cinematic adaptations of J.K. Rowling’s phenomenally popular books, found a life of its own with 2004’s Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban , and the tone continues to grow darker and more ambitious with Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. Continue reading

The Constant Gardener (2005)

DIRECTOR: Fernando Meirelles

CAST:

Ralph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Danny Huston, Bill Nighy, Pete Postlethwaite, Hubert Koundé, Gerard McSorley, Richard McCabe

REVIEW:

John le Carre’s densely plotted thrillers, blending the usual cloak-and-dagger international intrigue with labrynthine plots which unravel bits and pieces at a time, have a reputation for being difficult to adapt to the screen with their essence and fundamental story and message intact. But Brazilian director Fernando Meirelles and screenwriter Jeffrey Caine have condensed the essence of le Carre’s novel into a slow-burn, unconventional thriller which combines the saga of a man’s search for truth with a simmering indictment of government and business corruption in Africa. Continue reading

Maid in Manhattan (2002)

DIRECTOR: Wayne Wang

CAST: Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes, Bob Hoskins, Stanley Tucci, Natasha Richardson, Frances Conroy, Tyler Garcia Posey

REVIEW:

There have been innumerable versions of the Cinderella story, some conventional (the animated Disney version), some fresh, irreverent, and enjoyable (Ever After), some simply redundant, and Maid in Manhattan is surely one of the most uninspired and perfunctory of them all.  Granted, romantic comedies are rarely original, but Maid in Manhattan is such a formulaic, by-the-numbers movie with nary a spark of energy or distinction that it’s one of those most depressing movies to sit through- something completely mediocre.  Continue reading

Red Dragon (2002)

DIRECTOR: Brett Ratner

CAST:

Edward Norton, Anthony Hopkins, Ralph Fiennes, Emily Watson, Mary-Louise Parker, Harvey Keitel, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Anthony Heald, Bill Duke

REVIEW:

Following in the footsteps of 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs and 2001’s Hannibal, 2003’s Red Dragon was purported to complete the Hannibal Lecter ‘trilogy’ (but then came the ill-conceived flop Hannibal Rising, detailing Hannibal’s childhood and thus removing the last shred of the character’s enigma- and whose bright idea was it to try to make a Hannibal Lecter movie without Anthony Hopkins?). Continue reading

Strange Days (1995)

DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow

CAST:

Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Michael Wincott, Vincent D’Onofrio, William Fichtner, Brigitte Bako, Josef Sommer, Glenn Plummer

REVIEW:

A murder-mystery with the backdrop of a vivid and fascinating slightly futuristic sci-fi visionary thriller, Strange Days is entirely worthy of anything with James Cameron’s name attached Continue reading

Schindler’s List (1993)

DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

CAST:

Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes, Embeth Davidtz, Caroline Goodall

REVIEW:

Oskar Schindler was an unlikely hero. German businessman and war profiteer, womanizer, slave laborer, and a member of the Nazi Party with prominent friends within the SS, he happily moved in on the heels of the conquering German Army and set up an enamelware factory in occupied Krakow, taking advantage of cheap Polish-Jewish labor in the service of the Third Reich. Yet coming into such close contact with Jews at a time when his own government was implementing plans for their total annihilation seems to have lit a spark of humanity within the opportunistic Schindler, and by the Nazis’ downfall in 1945, he had bankrupted himself and his factory and endured repeated arrests by the Gestapo to bring nearly 1,200 Polish Jews safely through the war and the simultaneously blazing Holocaust. This German war profiteer and nominal Nazi had saved more Jews than any other individual. And yet, for decades afterward, his story, and theirs, remained largely untold. Continue reading

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