Director Lasse Hallström and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy have created an oddity in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, an unbalanced yet quite endearing story, which relies a little too heavily on the charisma and talent of stars Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt. Beginning in a very peculiarly endearing manner, the first two acts majorly work despite its unusual premise, as the opening starts off brisk, fun and intriguing but unfortunately completely falls apart, as the final act ruins everything which preceded it.

Adapted from a novel by Paul Torday, the film stars Ewan McGregor as Dr. Alfred Jones, a fisheries scientist who is commissioned by Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt) – acting on behalf of an obscenely rich Sheikh (Amr Waked) – to introduce salmon into the Yemen river. Of course, this is a ludicrous proposal which would have never be attempted, but…After a series of bad publicity over Britain’s war in Afghanistan, the government — represented by Kristin Scott Thomas’ character, Bridget Maxwell– wants a positive story for Britain’s efforts in the Middle East. Their best idea? To make sure the Salmon Fishing in the Yemen project works.

So Alfred and Harriet take on this major project and, along with the Sheikh, attempt to do the impossible by introducing 10,000 salmon into the very foreign world of the Yemen river. This obviously involves a lot of work and commitment, as Dr. Jones deals with an unhappy marriage, and Harriet must leave behind a new relationship with Capt. Robert Mayers (Tom Mison), a soldier himself. These relationship difficulties are much less interesting throughout than the opening feel of the film, which earning a lot of comparison to the terrific British political satire, In the Loop, as the first act or so is absolutely delightful in its portrayal of the ridiculousness of the situation.

While the romantic aspects of the film are fairly straight-forward, the style and wittiness of the opening feels quite the opposite. Unfortunately, this feeling doesn’t last long, as Beaufoy and Hallström seemingly sabotage the film through a series of unnecessary plot excursions and developments that go nowhere and completely fail to bring anything new the film’s genre landscape. Even the impressive cast seems lost within the mess that is the final act, as the completely uninspired and lazy ending ruins all that preceded it.

While not overly long, running at a rather brisk 111 minutes, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen seems like it is just not running on enough plot or substance to earn its running time. If the filmmakers were able to wrap it up after around 85 minutes and avoid much of the malarky which arises in the final act, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen could have been a peculiar, brisk romantic comedy featuring strong performances. Instead the film sabotages itself by attempting to change directions half-way through by adding in pointless and often painfully bad subplots and narrative devices which never work as planned. Director Lasse Hallström adds his typical unusual style and tastes to the film, which works early on but eventually wears out its welcome, as any potential the film shows soon goes by the wayside for the typical and often pointless subplots and conclusion we come to expect from a romantic comedy.

Grade: C-

Rated: PG-13 (for some violence and sexual content, and brief language.)

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is currently playing in limited release.

In interesting but potentially brilliant casting news, comedian Amy Schumer will be taking on the role of Barbie for a live-action film.

Take a moment to soak in the news. Now revel in the idea. This could be awesome.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amy Schumer is not only leading the project on screen, but she’ll also have an influence on the script.

Read full article

In interesting but potentially brilliant casting news, comedian Amy Schumer will be taking on the role of Barbie for a live-action film.

Take a moment to soak in the news. Now revel in the idea. This could be awesome.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Amy Schumer is not only leading the project on screen, but she’ll also have an influence on the script.

Last year, Sony had their pick of three complete scripts for a live-action Barbie movie. Of those three, they chose Hilary Winston’s. Now that Schumer is on board, THR says to expect her and her sister, Kim Caramele, to rewrite Winston’s original idea.

The plot, given that Schumer doesn’t change the major details, “begins in a perfect land of Barbies where one woman slowly awakens to the fact that she doesn’t fit it. She is expelled from the idealistic land and journeys to the real world, where she discovers that being unique is an asset.”

The outlet also addresses the fact that Mattel has had to deal with plenty of criticism regarding body image and race when it comes to the Barbie toys. Schumer’s casting is a great way to speak to some of those issues, and will hopefully provide a positive and uplifting message by the movie’s end.

There will be, of course, some hesitation given Schumer’s previous work. One only has to look as far as Trainwreck and Inside Amy Schumer to see her comedy is often brutally honest and raunchy. Barbie would be shocked.

But Schumer is an actress, after all, and a brilliant comedian. For this “contemporary spin on beauty, feminism and identity,” she seems like just the right fit.

What do you think of Amy Schumer as Barbie?

It’s arguably the biggest day for Hamilton fans since the release of the original Broadway recording: The Hamilton Mixtape has arrived!

Following years of development, the Hamilton Mixtape was released around the world on Friday, December 2. Mixtape features, well, remixes of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton hits, sung by artists both big and small from various genres.

To celebrate the album’s release, a special #Ham4Ham was hosted at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Thursday night, where names like Ashanti, Ja Rule, Regina Spektor, and Andra Day performed their songs from Mixtape:

Read full article

It’s arguably the biggest day for Hamilton fans since the release of the original Broadway recording: The Hamilton Mixtape has arrived!

Following years of development, the Hamilton Mixtape was released around the world on Friday, December 2. Mixtape features, well, remixes of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton hits, sung by artists both big and small from various genres.

To celebrate the album’s release, a special #Ham4Ham was hosted at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Thursday night, where names like Ashanti, Ja Rule, Regina Spektor, and Andra Day performed their songs from Mixtape:

Stream ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’:

Spotify users can easily stream The Hamilton Mixtape below. You can also listen here via Apple Music.:

And you can purchase a physical copy from Amazon here (you know all the Hamilton fans in your life will want a physical copy):

Hamilton Mixtape tracklist

1. No John Trumbull (Intro) – The Roots
2. My Shot (feat. Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz & Nate Ruess) [Rise Up Remix] – The Roots
3. Wrote My Way Out – Nas, Dave East, Lin-Manuel Miranda & Aloe Blacc
4. Wait For It – Usher
5. An Open Letter (feat. Shockwave) [Interlude] – Watsky
6. Satisfied (feat. Miguel & Queen Latifah) – Sia
7. Dear Theodosia (feat. Ben Folds) – Regina Spektor
8. Valley Forge (Demo) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
9. It’s Quiet Uptown – Kelly Clarkson
10. That Would Be Enough – Alicia Keys
11. Immigrants (We Get The Job Done) – K’naan, Snow Tha Product, Riz MC, Residente
12. You’ll Be Back – Jimmy Fallon & The Roots
13. Helpless (feat. Ja Rule) – Ashanti
14. Take A Break (Interlude) – !llmind
15. Say Yes To This – Jill Scott
16. Congratulations – Dessa
17. Burn – Andra Day
18. Stay Alive (Interlude) – J.PERIOD & Stro Elliot
19. Slavery Battle (Demo) – Lin-Manuel Miranda
20. Washington’s By Your Side – Wiz Khalifa
21. History Has Its Eyes On You – John Legend
22. Who Tells Your Story (feat. Common & Ingrid Michaelson) – The Roots
23. Dear Theodosia (Reprise) – Chance The Rapper & Francis and The Lights

What are our favorite performances on ‘The Hamilton Mixtape’?

Chris Pratt is currently on a press tour for Passengers. Jennifer Lawrence may or may not be there too.

Passengers, the new sci-fi epic starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, comes out later this month. The promo tour has kicked off in Europe, with the two stars on hand to answer all our questions.

To entertain himself (and his fans!), Chris Pratt has been updating his Instagram with funny photos and captions from the tour.

Read full article

Chris Pratt is currently on a press tour for Passengers. Jennifer Lawrence may or may not be there too.

Passengers, the new sci-fi epic starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, comes out later this month. The promo tour has kicked off in Europe, with the two stars on hand to answer all our questions.

To entertain himself (and his fans!), Chris Pratt has been updating his Instagram with funny photos and captions from the tour.

There’s some real gold in there, but the best part is when he realizes that fans really want to see some pictures of Jennifer Lawrence — who doesn’t have her own social media accounts — and proceeds to very decidedly not include her!

Update: He did it again.


See some of the hilarious posts from Chris Pratt below:

Finally got that selfie with Jen y'all wanted. #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Just hanging with my bestie Jen. #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Here Jen and I pose with @elrubiuswtf

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Here's an extremely artistic and meaningful video I made in which Jen is heavily featured. #passengersmovie

A video posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Another day down with me and my best buddy Jen. #London #passengersmovie

A photo posted by chris pratt (@prattprattpratt) on

Not going to lie — we’re almost as excited for the press interview videos as we are for the movie itself!

‘Passengers’ hits cinemas on December 21