Imagine a world where all your deepest darkest fantasies can be played out with no repercussions. That's exactly what Julian Michaels' new resort Vice offers; a glimpse into the lawless world of crime and illicit sex for the usual casual observers, but where everything is reset at the end of their vacation. Populating the resort are artificially intelligent androids, whose memories are wiped at the end of each day. Heavily against the idea of allowing people to indulge in their most depraved desires is Roy; a vigilante who crashes the resort and meets Kelly - a robot who it appears has become slightly damaged after experiencing a series of flashbacks. As she is taken away for repairs, she escapes the facility and ends up teaming with her designer in a bid to save humanity from destroying itself.
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Frank Parker is a formidable and highly religious man who takes his family traditions very seriously. He, his wife and two daughters Rose and Iris live comfortably in a small shack in a remote part of the Delaware County, but their security is threatened when a disastrous storm strikes and the river begins to flood. Mrs Parker suffers from a rare neurological disease and soon passes away leaving her family devastated. They vow to carry on the family customs, however, as Frank lands Iris with a huge responsibility. They are ritualistic cannibals, and she must be the one to bring in the food this time. However, when bones wash up on a nearby river bank after the floods, the authorities are drawn near and suspicion starts to arise surrounding the mysterious family.
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Even though this is an extremely well-made film, it's difficult to know who will enjoy it, as it's far too arty for horror genre fans and much too grisly for arthouse moviegoers. But those who like something a bit different will enjoy it, especially since this remake takes a very different approach to the original 2010 Mexican film. Both films are about families who indulge in cannibalism as a long-standing tradition, but the similarities end there.
This version is set in small-town America, where an unusual number of young women have gone missing over the years, and a recent flood has unearthed human remains downriver from the Parker family farm. Frank Parker (Sage) is in mourning after his wife dies in the storm, and responsibility for the family's Lambs Day feast now falls to eldest daughter Iris (Childers), assisted by younger siblings Rose and Rory (Garner and Gore). But Iris is reluctant to carry out the gruesome tradition, and would rather hang out with cute young Deputy Anders (Russell). Meanwhile, Frank is increasingly worried about nosey neighbour Marge (McGillis) and the investigations of the local doctor (Parks) and sheriff (Damici).
"This is what we do," the Parkers remind themselves as they prepare their dinner of human stew. And screenwriters Mickle and Damici really dig into the family's past, which stretches to events nearly 240 years earlier, stirring American history into the intriguing cultural subtext. Mickle also remembers to freak us out with hints and suggestions in every scene, from ominous noises in the Parker's shed to a secret journal that outlines the family's traditions. The actors play their roles just below the surface, with muted emotions and subtle glances that tell us more than dialogue ever could.
Continue reading: We Are What We Are Review
The stars of crime comedy '2 Guns' including 'Ted' actor Mark Wahlberg and 'The Book of Eli' actor Denzel Washington attend the world premiere of the movie at the SVA Theatre in New York City. In stark contrast to everyone else, Denzel has decided to dressdown in a black t-shirt, black jeans and trainers.
This jagged, meandering exploration of a Scientology-style movement is hauntingly mesmerising and packed with meaty performances. As he did in There Will Be Blood, writer-director Anderson is exploring how people control and influence each other, this time focussing on a twisted mentor-protege relationship that's strikingly well-played by Hoffman and Phoenix.
The story takes place just after the war, as seaman Freddie Quells (Phoenix) struggles to overcome his physical and psychological injuries and fit back into society. After drifting across America, he stows away on a boat captained by Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman), who is known as the Master to followers of the Cause. He takes Freddie under his wing and coaches him to tap into his eternal soul by exploring who he was in past lives. So Freddie becomes part of the family with Dodd's strong-willed wife (Adams), doubtful son (Plemons) and more gung-ho daughter and son-in-law (Childers and Malek). And Freddie's stubbornness both annoys and challenges Dodd.
It's fascinating to watch these two men develop a tight connection while quietly jostling for power. The cycles of interaction make the film lurch in fits and starts as Freddie tries to elevate himself using Dodd's process, but continually finds another way all his own. In other words, both men are using each other to work out their own inner turmoil. While Hoffman gives a layered performance that bristles with quiet shadows and superficial bravado, Phoenix contorts his body and face into a man who has literally been crumpled up by his past. Meanwhile, the darkly intense Adams sneaks up and steals every scene she's in.
Continue reading: The Master Review
Mickey Cohen is a dangerous Mafia boss with power over the police and the people of Los Angeles in 1949. His mob and his world revolves around drugs, firearms, prostitutes and casinos with power and money being the only consequence in their criminal misdeeds. However, it's not long before some members of the LAPD begin to question their own methods and power and start to realise that they must be the ones to take down Mickey and his gang but to do so they must hang up their LAPD badges and go into this war without mercy. All they need is five or seven men willing to put their lives on the line against this ruthless mob of forty. But it's not just their own lives threatened in this conflict.
'Gangster Squad' is based on the true story of the real infamous Mickey Cohen which was put into the novel 'Tales from the Gangster Squad' by Paul Lieberman. The crime flick has been directed by Ruben Fleischer ('Zombieland', '30 Minutes or Less') and written by Will Beall ('Castle') in his feature film screenplay debut. It was originally meant to be released in September 2012 but it was pushed back to January 11th 2013 following the tragedy of the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting. It was deemed inappropriate for it to be released so soon after given that one scene in the movie was to involve a similar theater massacre.
Director: Ruben Fleischer
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Freddie Quell is a violent and often drunk drifter who, whilst going through some of the most intense struggles of his life, meets a charismatic and scholarly gentleman on a boat called Lancaster Dodd who writes books based on a new religious organisation that he founded following World War II. Quell becomes his main partner and the new religion begins to grab the nation's attention earning it a keen following. However, some of the members believe that Quell's erratic behaviour is beyond the help of the organisation despite Dodd's insistences that he can be helped. Quell begins to question the teachings of the man the calls himself the Master and starts feeling as if everything that he is being made to believe is one big made-up story.
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Another ill-conceived mish-mash of puerile humor and disingenuous sap from Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production company, "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star" features David Spade as a Hollywood has-been trying to recapture the childhood he never had in an attempt to win a comeback role as a "normal guy."
In what should have been a perfect role for his meager talents and snarky, one-note persona, Spade barely even tries to create a character beyond being crass, uncouth and insecure -- in short, his usual schtick -- and wearing gloves all the time as some short-hand attempt at eccentric paranoid psychoses.
The only effort put toward establishing his credibility as a former child star (beyond flashbacks of a young Dickie repeating the amusingly tasteless catch phrase "This is nucking futs!") is to ply the film with cameos by kiddie actors whose careers have faltered in adulthood. Dickie plays poker with Leif Garrett, Dustin "Screech" Diamond, Corey Feldman, Danny Bonaduce and Barry "Greg Brady" Williams, who places bets using "Brady Bunch" tchotchkes he claims are "worth at least $2 on eBay!"
Continue reading: Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.
Imagine a world where all your deepest darkest fantasies can be played out with no...
Frank Parker is a formidable and highly religious man who takes his family traditions very...
Even though this is an extremely well-made film, it's difficult to know who will enjoy...
This jagged, meandering exploration of a Scientology-style movement is hauntingly mesmerising and packed with meaty...
Mickey Cohen is a dangerous Mafia boss with power over the police and the people...
Freddie Quell is a violent and often drunk drifter who, whilst going through some of...
Another ill-conceived mish-mash of puerile humor and disingenuous sap from Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production...