Filmed against the lush hills of the Czech Republic, writer/director Petr Jákl’s historical action-epic about the early life of Czech national hero Jan Zizka (Ben Foster of Hell or High Water and Hustle) is an intense sensory experience that stumbles on its intricate politics.
Orphan: First Kill, to an extent, pulls off its ambitious goal of being a prequel to a 13-year-old movie using the same leading actor.
I’m not afraid of heights. However, as I watched Fall with bated breath, I felt chills and quivers in my back and my legs which I’ve never felt before. Watching the movie’s climb-savvy leads (wayward friends played by Grace Fulton and Virginia Gardner) scale a 2,000 radio tower in the middle of the desert was enough for me to clasp my armrest. Watching them dangle from the tower after being stranded at the top was…
By: Jolie Featherstone John Michael McDonagh’s grim social drama, The Forgiven, explores the intersections of class, race, and culture. Based on the 2012 novel of the same name by author Lawrence Osborne, the film constructs a world beyond time. Indeed, the story feels as if it could be set today or many decades ago and it would still be just as relevant.
Following in similar footsteps as his previous feature Annihilation, Alex Garland’s Men offers an unsettling premise with visuals to match that are eventually hampered by an unnecessarily cryptic and complicated narrative.
Dual is a nifty near-future sci-fi that starts with an interesting and obviously satirical premise and elevates it to make comments on the dire state of personal interactivity. It’s well-trodden territory for this genre, but writer/director Riley Stearns (The Art of Self-Defense) still finds original ways to keep his audience laughing, entertained, and on their toes.
Each action headliner brings their own qualities to a movie and, unless we’re squaring them off in a fantasy match, movie goers really shouldn’t be comparing these movie stars against each other. But exceptions can be made when the conditions call for it and, since we’re talking about Blacklight and why it fails, let’s blend fantasy with reality.
Zeros and Ones begins with an enthusiastic vlog from Ethan Hawke, who eagerly tells the audience that he’ll be playing a dual role in the movie that we’re about to watch. He also speaks highly of the film’s writer/director Abel Ferrara (Ms. 45, Bad Lieutenant, 4:44 Last Day on Earth), and how the filmmaker has made a truly special movie that speaks “to this moment” and that it’s “Abel’s hit on what we’ve been going through…
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.