Archive for September, 2013

20th September
written by Adam

In a sleepy Pennsylvanian town Keller Dover and Franklin Birch (Hugh Jackman and Terrence Howard) are pushed to the edge when their young daughters are both kidnapped over the Thanksgiving Weekend. Heading up the investigation is the unflappable and whipsmart Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal). The catch, there’s only one lead, a run down RV driven by Alex Jones (Paul Dano). As minutes turn to days, panic sets in for the Dover and Birch families; worried the police aren’t making headway Keller takes matters into his own hands. But, just how dark will Keller have to go to get answers, and what will Detective Loki find in his searches?prisoners Serving as director Denis Villeneuve’s major directorial debut, great things appear to be in store for cinephiles. In this case, Aaron Guzikowski’s weighty screenplay, fraught with layer upon layer of psychological drama, gritty detail, and tension and release makes for a disturbing and memorable experience sure to spar discussion later. And, with Roger Deakins as the Cinematographer of choice, every shot comes across with poise, staging, and purpose– of note it’s often the dirtiest of shots through glass, water, grease, fog, and darkness that reveal their beauty the most. Meanwhile, performances from the ensemble all pack a punch, and standouts Jackman and Gyllenhaal elevate things even higher. With twinges of Silence of the Lambs, Prisoners will sit with you as the unpleasant houseguest that just won’t leave, but this is a good thing. See this. Prisoners is rated R.

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13th September
written by Adam

Dipping between present and past, the origins of the evil that haunts the Lambert family are further outlined as supernatural/clairvoyant fighter Elise (Lin Shaye) guides Josh, Renai, and Lorraine (Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, and Barbra Hershey) from the grave in hopes of freeing the family from its torment. But, as the layers of this ghost story are peeled back, the Lamberts along with ghost hunters Carl, Specs, and Tucker (Steve Coulter, Leigh Whannell, Angus Sampson) discover an even deeper source of malevolent behavior. Save the souls, stop the darkness, and put an end to the insidious creatures from the beyond, tall orders, who will survive?insidious2 A veritable potpourri of horror, writer/director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell seem to lack focus as every cliché horror gag and location is thrown into the mix in hopes of scoring the perfect scare. Haunted House, check, spooky abandoned hospital, check, other creepy haunted house with many dead bodies inside, check, mother/son psycho plotline, check, possession by evil spirit, check, VHS tapes of spirits, check, portals to the spirit world, check, you get the idea right? A few by themselves might be fine, a few together might also pass, but, all together things get laughable and long in the tooth leaving the question of padding for time? From an acting standpoint, many of the early scenes run hot and cold, but once the film gains momentum there does appear to be some moderation. As for overall fright factor, this one seems lower on the scale, but a dark ride none the less, might I suggest Wan’s other film this summer, The Conjuring, for more consistent scares? Maybe a matinee, but more of a rental, Insidious: Chapter 2 is rated PG-13.

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6th September
written by Adam

Finding himself caught in a political struggle, Riddick (Vin Diesel) is left for dead on a desolate planet inhabited by vicious hyena-esque dogs and poisonous scorpion/cobra/reptile beasts. Of course Riddick, the man, the animal, the warrior is a survivalist skilled at adapting to his environment. But, when he activates an emergency beacon at a mercenary outpost he’ll have to be on his game double time, this as two space ships of bounty hunters come searching for him. Now, keeping his cool and keeping his head have a new meaning, especially in the face of Santana (Jordi Molla), Boss Johns (Matt Nable) and Dahl (Katee Sackhoff). Freedom is just a spaceship away, how to escape?Riddick Following the footsteps of the previous two films of the franchise, Riddick: Rule The Dark functions fine as a standalone with decent back story explained, albeit the overall story isn’t exactly deep, so there’s that. Misogynistic, cocksure, and about as rich as any 13 year old’s fantasy, the screenplay does little to advance subtext or social discourse, but entertain and bamboozle the people well we’ve got you covered. A few gripping action sequences early on perform nicely, but maintaining the thrill seems to be a bit more of a challenge. Still, aliens are blown up and chopped up, Riddick is wise beyond his years and apparently indestructible, and everything seems to be about as mediocre as you’d expect. Then there’s the Katee Sackhoff moment, yup Battlestar fans who’ve been pining to see her topless will finally have reason to go berserk, in a totally nonsequitorial and gratuitous moment there’s a boob. Again, not that I’m complaining; but, far from Ridley Scott’s controversial sexualization of Sigourney Weaver in Alien, Director David Twohy seems more bent on giving the public cheap thrills, so much for high brow sci-fi, but who am I kidding this is Riddick. So, if you’re starved for sci-fi/action, sure, this might make the matinee list. Riddick: Rule The Dark is rated R.

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