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August 2021

NEWS! Empire brings you world-exclusive movie news and first-look pictures of the films you want to watch and care about. REVIEWS! Empire delivers the most independent and authoritative movie reviews in the world - period. ACCESS! Empire's incredible insider-access brings you the interviews with A-list Hollywood stars that no-one else can get. All served with an irreverent sense of humour and unparalleled movie knowledge...

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United Kingdom
12 Issues

in this issue

1 min

PLATOON As Oliver Stone pursued Charlie Sheen for the role of Chris Taylor, he was asked to consider Reeves instead. But Stone says the actor told his agent he “hated the violence in the script”. BATMAN FOREVER “I always wanted to play The Dark Knight,” Reeves said in 2014. “But I didn’t get that one.” It’s perhaps just as well: the film was the Joel Schumacher one that opens with a close-up of Batman’s Bat-crotch. HEAT Yes, Reeves lost two parts in 1995 to Val Kilmer. Although this one he turned down, unable to play Chris Shiherlis because he was playing Hamlet on stage in Canada. It was... not to be. WATCHMEN The role of Doctor Manhattan was, for a while, envisioned with Reeves in mind. It didn’t work out, but the actor did pop over to…

1 min
animal crackers

BAMBI BAMBI, 1942 “Bambi was a movie I saw as a very young boy. Very, very young. It could have been the first one I ever saw in the movie theatre. Man, what a great character. Bambi’s tenderness was something that influenced me a lot.” UNDERDOG UNDERDOG, 1964–1973 “My first love affair with any character in my life was Underdog. It’s funny: I’ve made my career creating these outside-of-the-margins superheroes, and that’s exactly what Underdog is. All my creations are connected to Underdog in that way.” BRUCE JAWS, 1975 “He’s a monster, but I love him. He’s there, but he wasn’t there. I mean, we don’t see much of him in the movie and when we do, he borders on problematic. He’s created by the silhouette of what’s happening in the movie through the emotions…

3 min
the handmaid’s tale: season 4

OUT NOW (CHANNEL 4) EPISODES VIEWED 10 OF 10 SHOWRUNNER Bruce Miller CAST Elisabeth Moss, Joseph Fiennes, Yvonne Strahovski PLOT Picking up directly after the rescue mission that closed Season 3, June (Moss) is recovering from a gunshot wound under the care of her fellow fugitive handmaids. Meanwhile, her husband Luke (O.T. Fagbenle) and best friend Moira (Samira Wiley) continue their search for June and her daughter, Hannah (Jordana Blake). THERE’S AN EERIE timeliness that comes with each new phase of The Handmaid’s Tale. Its first season premiered mere months after Donald Trump’s inauguration, which only served to bolster the show’s themes of female degradation and swelling conservatism. Fittingly, the fourth season takes a deep dive into the psyche of someone who has lived through the worst and come out the other side (or…

3 min
nowhere special

OUT 16 JULY CERT TBC / 96 MINS DIRECTOR Uberto Pasolini CAST James Norton, Daniel Lamont PLOT Northern Ireland. Window cleaner John (Norton) has built his life around raising his four-year-old son, Michael (Lamont). After John is diagnosed with a terminal illness, he must find the perfect family to continue to raise his son. NOWHERE SPECIAL HAS a ten-tissue set-up. Similar in tone and theme to his Still Life, another film that deals thoughtfully with death, Uberto Pasolini’s inspired-by-true-life drama is built on such a saccharine premise – a dying father trying to find new parents for his child – that it makes a Hallmark Christmas movie look like Scorsese at his darkest. But Pasolini’s film is much more controlled and moving than the TV film-of-the-week logline suggests. Intelligently scripted (save one misstep), beautifully…

1 min
hitman’s wife’s bodyguard

★★ OUT NOW / CERT 15 / 100 MINS DIRECTOR Patrick Hughes CAST Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas The funniest joke in Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard occurs at the last gasp of the end credits. It’s just a shame, then, that you have to sit through 100 minutes of a knackered action-comedy to get there. Patrick Hughes’ follow-up to his lacklustre 2017 mismatched-buddy flick sees the bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds), the hitman (Samuel L. Jackson) and his wife (Salma Hayek) embroiled in a plot to stop a Greek tycoon improbably named Aristotle Papadopolous (Antonio Banderas) wiping out a power grid to bring Europe to its knees. The blood-splattered action is average — laced with Reynolds and Jackson’s unfunny bickering — and familiar, the film’s only surprise revolving around Morgan Freeman. Hayek gives…

2 min
no./20 why donnie yen will supercharge john wick

IN ONE OF the coolest casting moves in recent memory, Donnie Yen has joined John Wick: Chapter 4. Yen will play an old friend with a similar past – and the same enemies. Though betrayals are par for the course in this universe, it sounds like he’ll be an ally. Which is fortunate for John; otherwise, he might not make it to Chapter 5. American movies have largely wasted Donnie Yen, but the John Wick saga respects its guests, and the legend will get his due. It’s not just about what Chapter 4 will do for Donnie Yen, though – it’s what Yen himself has to offer. You might already know him from Rogue One or Blade II, or for playing Ip Man, Wing Chun grandmaster and Bruce Lee’s mentor. For…