By: Jolie Featherstone With C’mon C’mon, writer/director Mike Mills (Beginners, 20th Century Women) continues to examine and affirm the vulnerable chambers of the heart and psyche that we so often fiercely guard from revealing to others. Reflective and poignant, his films are companions for the parts of us that we struggle to accept, particularly when it comes to reconciling individual experiences within the context of family.
Much like an expert poker player, writer/director Paul Schrader underplays The Card Counter. Instead of a flashier approach that boasts with style, Schrader captures the subdued focus and routine of a gambling sub-culture and its players. One of those players being William Tell (Oscar Isaac), a former serviceman who invests in high-rolling card games to keep himself distracted. It’s an efficient, time-consuming past-time that prevents William from possibly falling back into bad habits.
For as morbid as it is, I had a really good time watching The Comeback Trail, a dark comedy about a scheming film producer banking on the “accidental” death of his leading star. Think Bowfinger or The Producers with more slapstick and cynicism.
By: Trevor Chartrand Demonic is the most recent directorial effort from District 9’s Neill Blomkamp, and it’s a film that takes a fresh look at an otherwise tired and stale genre – the exorcism movie. Set in a contemporary world, Demonic would seamlessly fit into the Black Mirror series as an ominous cautionary tale of technology and its potential terrors. Rather than robotic military dogs or contact lens cameras though, the dangerous tech in this film…
An impressive cast, an experienced screenwriter, a respectable director, and an amazing fight choreographer have collaborated to make the staggeringly dull revenge thriller The Protégé, a film that is reminiscent of so many indulgent knockoffs of Quentin Tarantino’s work.
Zola, to an extent, is experimental with its narrative. While it flows coherently, the film is very much still in tune with its source material – a series of tweets explaining a story that’s “strange yet true” – and presents itself as someone spinning you a wild yarn (intercut with tangents and outbursts).
In the same spirit as the Austin Powers sequels, The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard is almost an exact replica of its crowd-pleasing predecessor that repeats similar jokes and plays on a heightened version of the dynamic that made the first film so memorable. And while a sequel can usually be grilled on repeating itself, this second round is strictly here for entertainment value; knowing exactly what it wants to set out to do and still delivering…
Wrath of Man is a good example of a movie exceeding expectations. Even if it’s just a slight change in elevation, it still counts in the long run.
Nicolas Cage’s cult appeal becomes rusty in Willy’s Wonderland, a tongue-in-cheek horror-thriller featuring the actor squaring off against animatronic creeps in an abandoned children’s play place.
Iron Mask could be used as a weapon – it basically broke me from within.