Tag: Alan Moore

A roundtable chat with Luke Evans and Dominic Cooper

Tamara Drewe,” the latest from the brilliantly versatile non-auteur directing genius Stephen Frears, is a relationship comedy with tragic overtones based on Posy Simmonds’ graphic novel of the same name, in turn inspired by Thomas Hardy’s 18th century novel, Far From the Madding Crowd. The film pits three not-quite-alpha males against each other for the attention of its mercurial and not always lovable title character, played by the beautiful Gemma Arterton. Two of them, fast rising up-and-comers Luke Evans and Dominic Cooper, were set to meet at L.A.’s Four Seasons with a dozen or so entertainment journalists.

It was therefore more than a little bit amusing when the two fictionally competitive actors entered wearing near identical high-end v-neck fashion undershirts and tight-fitting low-rise pants. It was an apparent complete coincidence or perhaps not so random given the popularity of this ultra-casual look among today’s mod set. In any case, Cooper compared their combined look to “a boy band.”


Dominic Cooper made his first big splash in Alan Bennett’s Tony winning, “The History Boys,” starring in both the London and Broadway productions in 2004 and 2005. His film career, however, goes as far back as a bit part in another adaptation of a British graphic novel: the Hughes Brothers’ 2001 version of Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell’s “From Hell.” Other key parts include a memorable role as disreputable Peter Saarsgard’s business partner/buddy in “An Education” and the lovestruck movie fiance to former real-life girlfriend Amanda Seyfried in “Mamma Mia!” Notable upcoming roles include playing the part of Howard Stark (Tony’s future dad) in the largely World War II-set “Captain America: The First Avenger.” In “Tamara Drewe,” Cooper plays self-involved rock drummer Ben Sergeant of the band Swipe, with whom the gorgeous protagonist dallies for large portions of the film.

With a background in such musicals as “Avenue Q” and the “remixed” “Rent” on the London stage, Luke Evans, who plays all-around good guy and potential once-and-future Tamara Drewe paramour Andy Cobb, has found his way into a number of big budget films, including playing Apollo in “Clash of the Titans” and an upcoming role as no-less than Zeus in Tarsem Singh’s “Immortals.” He also recently completed the role of Aramis in Paul W.S. Anderson’s 3-D version of the oft-filmed “The Three Musketeers.”

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Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter

When Zack Snyder announced that he would be taking on the seemingly impossible task of adapting “Watchmen” for the big screen, the only question that was asked more than “Will the squid be in it?” was “What about ‘The Black Freighter’?” The graphic novel’s story within a story is one of the most famous things about Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon’s groundbreaking comic because of the parallels that can be drawn between the journey of its unnamed protagonist and several of the main story’s characters. It’s all about a shipwrecked mariner (voiced by Gerard Butler) trying to make it back home to Davidstown in order to save his family from an impending attack by a demonic ship called the Black Freighter.

With the film already clocking in at 163 minutes, however, it just wasn’t conceivable to include “Tales of the Black Freighter” in the final cut, and so Warner Bros. decided to release the animated tale as a direct-to-DVD supplement to the film. Unfortunately, when viewed out of context, “The Black Freighter” loses any relevance it might have had to the story. Instead, it’s just a 21-minute pirate cartoon that, while it still retains its basic meaning, fails to serve the purpose it was originally intended for. The addition of a faux news program about Hollis Mason’s autobiography, “Under the Hood,” is a fun little extra that would work great as a DVD special feature, but as the B-side to the main feature, it’s hardly worth paying for. That pretty much sums up the disc as a whole, because if “The Black Freighter” really was as essential as many would lead you to believe, they would have included it in the film. Not even the most diehard fan should waste their money on this cash grab – especially when it will be included on the Special Edition DVD the way it was meant to be seen.

Click to buy “Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter”

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