FILM: POMPEII (3D)
CAST: Kit Harington, Carrie- Anne Moss, Emily Browning, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jessica Lucas, Jared Harris, Kiefer Sutherland
DIRECTOR: Paul W.S. Anderson
In 79 A.D., the city of Pompeii, a glittering pleasure dome on Italy’s Bay of Naples, was buried by a cataclysmic eruption of the Mount Vesuvius volcano. In just 24 hours, the bustling international port and its residents were obliterated in one of the ancient world’s worst natural disasters. Hauntingly, the city and its inhabitants were preserved virtually intact by the ash and lava showered down by the volcano. The story of a glamorous metropolis destroyed in less than a day has stayed with director Paul W.S. Anderson since he was a curious schoolboy. In his latest film, Anderson turns a lifelong obsession with Pompeii into an epic action movie, complete with a gladiatorial competition, political intrigue, star-crossed lovers and a terrifying fight for survival as hell seems to rain down on earth.
‘Pompeii’ tells the heroic story of Milo (Kit Harington), a slave turned invincible gladiator who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love, Cassia (Emily Browning), the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant who has been unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius erupts in a torrent of blazing lava, Milo must fight his way out of the arena in order to save his beloved as the once magnificent Pompeii crumbles around him. “I’ve been interested in the Roman Empire since I was a child,” says Anderson. “I grew up in the north of England, where there were a lot of archaeological digs. I became quite interested in Roman civilization and, in particular, Pompeii.
The idea that a city and the people who lived in it have been frozen in time still fascinates me.” Anderson and his long-time producing partner Jeremy Bolt, best known for their evocative explorations of a bleak future world in the ‘Resident Evil’ film series, spent over six years researching and developing ‘Pompeii’. They set out to create a detailed portrait of a lost world, as well as an iconic adventure that harks back to the age of the classic disaster films. “When 3D started to explode in the mid-2000s, Paul and I decided that the genre best served by the technology would be the disaster movie,” Bolt says. “He suggested we put together a movie about Pompeii. We decided to make the biggest sword-and-sandal movie ever, but with a volcano.”
‘The Nut Job’ is a 3D animated comedy adventure of nutty proportions. The film follows the travails of Surly (voiced by Will Arnett), a mischievous city park squirrel and his rat friend Buddy, who plan an outrageous nut-store heist and unwittingly get embroiled in a human bank robbery.
Full of heroes and villains, daring rescues, comic mix-ups and classic slapstick, ‘The Nut Job’ features a memorable cast of characters and a thrill-ride ending that should satisfy fans of 3D animated films.
The movie kicks off in idyllic Liberty Park, an oasis nestled within the sprawling 1950s metropolis of fictional Oakton City. The park is host to varieties of winged and footed creatures – mice, ground hogs, rats… and of course, squirrels. Lots of squirrels. “I don’t think there has ever been an animated movie purely about squirrels,” says director Peter Lepeniotis. “Usually, they play supporting roles. They’re fascinating rodents. In large cities, we don’t even notice them.”
Co-written by Lorne Cameron (‘Over The Hedge’, ‘Brother Bear’), this inner city story takes place in only four locations during the autumn season of 1959.
Art Director, Ian Hastings, ensured that the 1959 era would be stylistically present throughout. “Our movie takes place in the fall. I used a palette of autumn color to remind the audience that winter is around the corner and that food is about to become scarce.”
There are three main squirrel leads; Arnett’s Surly is complimented by Katherine Heigl’s Andie and Brendan Fraser’s Grayson. On the funny twist to the classic romantic triangle, Lepeniotis says, “Grayson’s after Andie, Andie is secretly after Surly, and Surly secretly wants to be like Grayson.”