There's an unusual honesty to this film, which is an odyssey into the inner life of a teen girl. Gregg Araki has made a career out of understanding the often tortured inner workings of the adolescent mind, and this is one of his most beautifully crafted films yet, artfully circling around a central mystery while digging deeply into each of the characters. And while it seems a bit straightforward for an Araki movie, it's packed with his usual darker corners, especially in the surprising final act.
It's set in the autumn of 1988, when Kat (Shailene Woodley) feels her life fall apart. She's just 17, on the verge of womanhood when her mother (Eva Green) inexplicably vanishes, leaving her dad (Christopher Meloni) struggling to help her through puberty. Her best pals (Mark Indelicato and Gabourey Sidibe) are some help, but at the same time she begins to feel a growing distance from her boyfriend Phil (Shiloh Fernandez). Is all of this connected, or is this because of Phil's own family issues? As she plays through the various clues in her mind, the answers are also eluding the local tough-guy detective (Thomas Jane). A few years later, Kat returns home from her studies at Berkeley to visit her dad. And maybe this time she'll finally find out what happened.
The film is a beautiful depiction of the awkwardness of being a teenager, when everything seems wrong but feelings are so strong. Araki fills the screen with sumptuous imagery including dreamy sequences set in a snowy landscape where Kat mentally searches for her mother. And flashbacks offer more earthy glimpses into this difficult mother-daughter relationship, especially as Kat and her once-glamorous mother begin to shift in their roles. Clearly, Kat suspects that her mother ran away after seducing Phil, but the truth isn't quite this obvious.
Continue reading: White Bird in a Blizzard Review
'White Bird in a Blizzard' appears to be a misstep from Shailene Woodley.
Shailene Woodley has made a varied start to her career in Hollywood - breaking through in Alexander Payne's superb comedy-drama The Descendants before making two of the teen-dramas of the decade, The Fault in Our Stars and The Spectacular Now. However, she's already committed to numerous movies in the Divergent franchise - the first of which suffered poor reviews last year - and her latest movie, White Bird in a Blizzard isn't exactly setting preview screenings alight.
Shailene Woodley in 'White Bird in a Blizzard'
Woodley stars as Kat Connors, a 17-year-old whose perfect mother Eve suddenly disappears. However, after discovering her newfound sexuality, Kat barely registers her mother's absence and regards it as somewhat of a relief. When times passes, she begins to come to terms with the disappearance and eventually becomes confronted with the truth.
Continue reading: 'White Bird in a Blizzard' Is Sort of a Bad Version of 'Gone Girl'
It is a time for sexual awakening for Kat Connors (Shailene Woodley). The 17-year-old is born again into a new world of desire and pleasure when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, her mother, Eve (Eva Green) mysteriously vanishes. Kat tries to ignore it, and continue enjoying the moment that she has created for herself, although she steadily discovers that her mother's disappearance has affected her more deeply than she originally thought. Thinking that her mother, a stunningly beautiful yet clearly haunted woman, left the family to pursue an affair, Kat finds herself seducing her way to the truth, in an attempt to find out if her mother is still out there, somewhere.
Continue: White Bird In A Blizzard Trailer
How do you spoof a genre that's already a joke? Filmmakers David Wain and Michael Showalter clearly think the answer is to go for broke with a nonstop barrage of silliness, because some of the jokes are bound to stick. They did the same thing for teen summer-camp comedies more than a decade ago with Wet Hot American Summer, which stars many of the same actors. And while this movie is just as hilarious, it never quite transcends its own jokiness. Because as a rom-com it's never very engaging.
The story plays out as Joel and Molly (Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler) meet up with their friends (Bill Hader and Ellie Kemper) and regale them with the story of their romance. Everything about their courtship is just like in the movies, from the meet-cute to the fact that New York is another character in their story. Molly runs an adorable candy shop, while Joel is a "not too handsome or too Jewish" corporate raider sent to shut her down, but they hit it off, engage in a wildly energetic first sexual encounter, then go through the usual montage sequences on their way to the usual rough patches ("Your dreams don't pay the rent!"), breakups and mad-dash reunions.
Since it's told in flashbacks, the film feels almost like a collection of comedy sketches, most of which are ridiculously funny. The jokes are clever and pointed, with riotous side characters including sassy best friends, inappropriate relatives, idiotic coworkers and clingy ex-lovers. So every scene is a zany mixture of goofy slapstick, surreal visual gags and hysterically overstated emotion. Thankfully, the cast is more than adept at wringing every moment for laughter. Rudd and Poehler have impeccable timing, and they're supported by a terrific cast of seasoned comical actors, including amusing cameos from the likes of Adam Scott, Michael Shannon and Norah Jones.
Continue reading: They Came Together Review
Christopher Meloni - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit' actor Christopher Meloni takes the time to sign autographs for fans who wait for him as he arrives to have dinner at Craig's American restaurant in West Hollywood - Los Angeles, California, United States - Saturday 30th August 2014
It's all about revenge in Sin City now as the wounded (both physically and mentally) set out on a trail of death and destruction in a bid to make sure justice is served in their town. Dwight McCarthy is on another rescue mission to save an abused wife as Ava Lord claims she is a prisoner at the hands of her wealthy husband Damien. Unfortunately, it seems her intentions are of the dishonest kind. Thought to be have been executed, Marv wakes up among several corpses with little memory of his alleged crimes, but a strong desire for vengeance. Nancy is heartbroken to the point of insanity following police officer John Hartigan's suicide, and there's no stopping her when she decides to sentence the father of child-killer Roark Junior, Senator Roark, to death. Notorious gambler Johnny is a newbie in the town with his own scores to settle, but it isn't long before he realises he's messing with criminals much bigger than him.
The second instalment of the 'Sin City' film franchise 'Sin City: A Dame To Kill For' is due for release nearly ten years following the 2005 original. Author of the original graphic novel Frank Miller ('300', 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns', 'Daredevil: Born Again') has adapted the screenplay and co-directs the movie with Robert Rodriguez ('Machete', 'Once Upon a Time in Mexico', 'From Dusk Till Dawn'). 'Sin City 2' is set to hit UK screens on August 25th 2014.
Christopher Meloni and Sherman Meloni - Keep Memory Alive's 18th Annual "Power of Love" Gala held at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV on 4/26/14 - Las Vegas, Nevada, United States - Sunday 27th April 2014
24” co-creator Joel Surnow's feature film debut focuses on the a teenage boy wanting to join his father's used car business rather than pursuing a college education, but his mother isn't about to let that happen.
Joel Surnow, the co-creator of one of the most successful action-packed television series of all time '24,' is preparing himself for the release of his first full length feature film, the drama 'Small Time'.
Devon Bostick, Christopher Meloni and Dean Norris star in 'Small Time'
The low budget film, which Sparrow paid for himself, follows the story of Freddy Klein, played by Devon Bostick, a teenager who chooses to not go to college in favour of working on his father's (Christopher Meloni) used car business.
Al Klein is a used car salesman who works with his best friend and business partner Ash Martini at Diamond Motors. Together, the duo utilise every selling method in existence from complimenting the customer to telling white lies - and it's not always morally sound. Klein misses his former wife Barbara and wishes he could spent more time with his high school graduate son Freddy. Luckily for him, Freddy wants the same thing and decides to drop his college prospects and become a salesman like his father. He moves in with Al but the pair soon find themselves under the wrath of Barbara, who wishes for a more successful life for her son than what Al could offer and is desperate that Freddy doesn't turn out like him. As much as Al loves having him around, he is the one that needs to decide what's best for Freddy.
Continue: Small Time Trailer
Christopher Meloni's 'Surviving Jack' is actually pretty good.
Based on Justin Halpern's book I Suck At Girls, HBO's new comedy Surviving Jack stars Christopher Meloni as a guy left in charge of his teenage kids Frankie and Rachel after his wife enrols in law school.
Surviving Jack Premieres on Fox Tonight
Set in 1990s Southern California, Meloni plays Jack Dunlevy, an ex-military man and no-nonsense guy who - surprise, surprise - takes an unorthodox approach to keeping his children in line.
While this sibling comedy makes some sharp observations about the push and pull of family relationships, it's also one of those deliberately wacky movies that wears us out with nonstop gags that are utterly unconvincing. Filmmaker Todd Sklar is clearly more amused by letting each scene spiral out of control than by developing the characters into properly comical figures.
The story centres on brothers Dave and Jim (Rennie and Pumphrey). After their dad dies, the married and sensible Jim finds Dave naked and unconscious in a South Dakota teepee. An unapologetic slacker, Dave's relentless irresponsibility drives Jim crazy. But they need to travel to Branson, Missouri, to sort out the details of their father's lake house, which they've inherited. After a brief and chaotic road trip, they arrive to find the cabin in need of basic repairs. Working with their dad's agent Jon (Meloni), they decide to stick around and do the work themselves, hoping it might help them bond as brothers. If they don't kill each other first.
The film's improvisational style allows actors Rennie and Pumphrey to run wild with their characters, which means they have little consistency. We never quite believe them as brothers, mainly because Dave is simply too random and ridiculous for words. His antics mean that each scene feels like a contained sketch, disconnected from anything else, including reality. So even though the performances are strong, the film veers wildly from slapstick to emotion to absurd gross-out wackiness. And each moment these brothers are together feels like it will quickly descend into a fist fight.
Continue reading: Awful Nice Review
The everlasting trail of violence, death and deceit continues with the return of several characters from the original ‘Sin City’ movie. Dwight McCarthy is back, this time running to the rescue of his ex-girlfriend Ava Lord who claims she is being abused by her wealthy husband Damien; he has his own reasons for wanting to help her, but he could be in for a nasty surprise. The framed and punished Marv wakes up after supposed execution by electric chair only to find that he is lying amongst several dead bodies and can’t remember how he ended up there. Following, her near miss at the hands of serial child-killer Roark Junior, Nancy struggles to deal with the painful death of her rescuer, police officer John Hartigan. Plus, a new face shows up in Sin City, a gambler named Johnny who lands himself in mortal danger when he tries to take on the town’s most formidable villain.
Continue: Sin City: A Dame To Kill For Trailer