Barbara Hershey

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Insidious: Chapter 2 Review


Good

After his assuredly traditional The Conjuring, director James Wan bounces back with a more playful horror movie that subverts cliches rather than revelling in them. Like 2011's Chapter 1, this sequel allows Wan and screenwriter Whannell to merrily reinterpret the story with events that take place before, after and even right in the middle of that first film. And they are clearly having a lot of fun in the process, which keeps us both entertained and frightened.

It picks up right where we left off: with their son Dalton (Simpkins) rescued, Josh and Renai (Wilson and Byrne) take their three kids and flee to stay with Josh's mother Lorraine (Hershey). But of course, the ghostly nastiness follows them, and extremely creepy things start happening all over again. Now Lorraine realises that this has something to do with an event from Josh's childhood, so she calls in an old family friend (Coulter) to help. But ace ghostbuster Elise (Shaye) isn't readily available this time, so they have to make due with her always-distracted sidekicks (Whannell and Sampson).

As before, Wan deploys every standard haunted house gimmick in the book, filling the screen with freak-out apparitions, scary noises, slamming doors and screaming babies. He also uses plenty of movie trickery to disorient us, including a jarring musical score and suggestive visuals. Meanwhile, Whannell is digging around in the original movie's plot for things he can play with, redefining events with clever revelations while adding a whole new underlying story to the saga. And the film continually shifts tonally, so we never know what to expect in the next scene.

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World premiere of FilmDistrict's 'Insidious: Chapter 2'

Barbara Hershey - World premiere of FilmDistrict's 'Insidious: Chapter 2' at Universal CityWalk - Arrivals - Hollywood, California, United States - Tuesday 10th September 2013

Barbara Hershey
Barbara Hershey
Barbara Hershey

Insidious: Chapter 2 Trailer


Renai and Josh Lambert think that their life is back to normal after a horrific paranormal ordeal involving their son Dalton whose gift of astral projection landed him in a coma and possessed by several malevolent forces. However, Josh is now tormented by his own demon after it succeeded in claiming his body when he ventured into 'The Further' to save his child. His wife and child are unaware of his condition at first, but it soon becomes clear that they have to rope in new ghost-busting help to save their family who are far from out of danger yet. They're no strangers to inanimate objects moving of their own accord and ghostly figures wandering around their house, but what they're facing now could be much more sinister than they ever imagined.

Continue: Insidious: Chapter 2 Trailer

Insidious Review


Good
With a riotous sense of energy and humour, this horror movie continually shifts gears to keep us on our toes. The tone is reminiscent of Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell, but this film is actually more spine-tingling.

Josh and Renai (Wilson and Byrne) have just moved into their new home when strange things start happening. They can explain away bizarre sounds and eerie events, but doctors are baffled when their son Dalton (Simpkins) inexplicably lapses into a perpetual coma. Soon the noises and visions so freak out Renai that she begs Josh to move again. But things get even more terrifying in the new house. So Josh's understanding mother (Hershey) suggests they contact a team of ghostbusters (Shay, Whannell and Sampson), as crazy as that sounds.

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Barbara Hershey

Barbara Hershey Sunday 13th February 2011 Orange British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) held at the Royal Opera House - Arrivals. London, England

Barbara Hershey

Black Swan Review


Extraordinary
Aronofsky takes his usual bravura cinematic approach to this harrowing psychological thriller set in a New York ballet company. Not only is it unlike any film we've ever seen, but it leaves us shaken by its boldly evocative themes.

In a noted ballet company, Nina (Portman) is a rising star who's up for the lead in a new production of Swan Lake. She's fiercely aware of the fact that the previous lead ballerina (Ryder) has been casually discarded while younger newcomer Lilly (Kunis) is already threatening Nina's position. Or is Nina just being paranoid? As opening night approaches, Nina begins to clash with everyone around her, from Lilly to her mercurial director (Cassel) and domineering mother (Hershey). And reality starts slipping out of her grasp.

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Black Swan Trailer


Nina has always strived to be the best dancer in the New York City ballet company she belongs to, driven by the company director and her mother, Nina starts to feel like she's moving in the right direction. When the company decide they're going to perform Swan Lake, the director, Thomas Leroy, must choose a girl to play the innocent White Swan and one to play the Black Swan who's an altogether darker character.

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The Natural Review


OK
Robert Redford is beloved for his roles in numerous films, but his work in The Natural has to rank as one of the few on top, despite the fact that, with a $48 million box office, it hardly ranks as one of his bigger hits.

The film remains, next to Field of Dreams, one of the world's oddest baseball movies. Roy Hobbs (Redford) is a child wunderkind at the game. After playing some ball at a carnival, he's summarily shot in the chest by a femme fatale (Barbara Hershey), who is clearly working for agents that want him not to be the greatest player of all time, which Hobbs says he aims to be.

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Splitting Heirs Review


Grim
No really, that is Catherine Zeta-Jones as the wife of Rick Moranis, an ersatz duke across the pond.

It's not as bad as you're probably thinking. Don't get me wrong -- it's as bad as any Fish Called Wanda/King Ralph wannabe/homage can get. But Idle still has some of his Monty Python instincts, and even if he does sing the songs for the film off-key, it honestly could have been a whole lot worse.

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11:14 Review


OK
Car crashes seem to be ripe material for screenwriters looking for a hook to hang their movies on. From Intersection to Crash to Crash (the other one), this seems to be a well-travelled genre. 11:14 adds another notch in that post, a Rashomon-like story of a half-dozen characters who all intersect on one quiet road at 11:14 PM, which results in the loss of at least one life, one male member, a lot of cash, and endless property damage. The immediate before and after of the event contain even more chaos, including a gunshot wound for Hilary Swank.. The film tells each story in sequence, each time adding a little more context to this bizarre series of events, and each time causing us to care a little bit less about what exactly happened. It's not terrible filmmaking, but the plot's "cleverness" will hardly knock your boots off.

Splitting Heirs Review


Grim
No really, that is Catherine Zeta-Jones as the wife of Rick Moranis, an ersatz duke across the pond.

It's not as bad as you're probably thinking. Don't get me wrong -- it's as bad as any Fish Called Wanda/King Ralph wannabe/homage can get. But Idle still has some of his Monty Python instincts, and even if he does sing the songs for the film off-key, it honestly could have been a whole lot worse.

Continue reading: Splitting Heirs Review

The Pallbearer Review


OK
If you haven't been beaten over the head enough with news of the grand entrance of Friend David Schwimmer into the world of film, here's a little more!

Schwimmer's first outing, The Pallbearer, doesn't venture too far from the Friends tree, as we are presented with a big romantic comedy that borders on television kitschiness, full of screwball humor and plenty of misunderstandings to fuel the plot. In fact, the entire premise of The Pallbearer is driven by one big misunderstanding itself: Tom Thompson (Schwimmer) is asked to give the eulogy at the funeral of Bill Abernathy, a guy from high school who he doesn't even remember. (While The Eulogist might have been a more appropriate title, I figure a name like The Pallbearer will confuse enough stupid American moviegoers anyway.)

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Barbara Hershey

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