Jennifer Aniston delivers an Oscar-calibre performance in this rather over-worked drama, which tries to emphasise heavy-handed metaphors more than the characters themselves. But it's an involving personal odyssey thanks to Aniston's honest acting, and Daniel Barnz's sensitive direction manages to dodge most of the script's more glaring pitfalls.
Aniston plays Claire, a woman who has been in continual pain, both emotional and physical, following the car accident that claimed the life of her young son. Revelling in her bitter sarcasm, she has alienated her husband (Chris Messina), driven her physiotherapist (Mamie Gummer) to despair and so enraged her therapy leader (Felicity Huffman) that she's been thrown out of the group. The only person who patiently sticks by her side is her maid/assistant Silvana (Adriana Barazza), and she's beginning to waver. Then Nina (Anna Kendrick), a therapy-group member, commits suicide, making Claire question why she's still bothering to be alive. There has to be a spark of hope there, and she decides to stalk Nina's single-dad widower Roy (Sam Worthington) for answers.
While the premise seems to set up the usual story about two damaged souls healing each other, the story thankfully doesn't go down that tired route. Instead, Patrick Tobin's script keeps the interaction prickly and unexpected, even as it layers in so much symbolism that it becomes rather exhausting. Claire's physical scarring is clearly indicative of something deeper, as is her array of cruel defence mechanisms. Thankfully, Aniston plays these scenes with a mixture of black comedy and aching sadness that makes the character thoroughly involving and only slightly likeable. Her interaction with Barraza is the heart of the film, beautifully played because their connection remains mainly unspoken. By contrast, Worthington feels almost superfluous; he sharply matches Aniston's cynicism, but is too nice to register very strongly.
Continue reading: Cake Review
Vroom vroom: new film 'Getaway' is a high-pressured car chase action epic starring Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez.
No, Getaway isn't the title of a new idyllic holiday movie where beach-bodies lounge under palm trees to ukulele music - it's the name of new action-packed crime thriller from joint directors, Courtney Solomon and Yaron Levy.
Perpetually goatee'd Ethan Hawke (Before Sunrise, The Purge) plays Brent Magna, a former racing driver whose mad skills are exploited by a mysterious stranger, who has kidnapped Magna's wife Leanne (Rebecca Budig) who, as reiterated in the trailer repeatedly, is beautiful. Why has she been kidnapped? How on Earth can her kidnappers constantly see what Magna is up to? (We'd love to know what phone network he uses that doesn't cut out when he's in a tunnel, seriously).
Cue a film that gives the impression of a mix between Taken (2008) and Drive (2011) - a man must drive like crazy to save the woman he loves from the evil clutches of an omniscient antagonist with a generic European 'evil baddie' accent.
Continue reading: Getaway: Trailer Released For Driving Action Thriller [Trailer]
Brent Magna is a former racing driver who discovers that his wife has been kidnapped by an unknown man. The man is able to communicate with him (as well as watch him) and assures him that his wife will live as long as Brent does exactly what he's told. Thus, he embarks on a deadly race in a Shelby Cobra Mustang, knocking anything and everything out of his way while building a steady collection of cops on his tail. Things go awry when a young girl with a gun attempts to gain access to the car and Brent is forced to disarm her and take her with him to rescue his wife. Time is running out; he must provide the kidnapper with exactly what he wants while attempting to avoid getting caught on the way - otherwise, the show's over.
Continue: Getaway Trailer
Ex-con Nate (Caviezel) is trying to reconnect with his wife Robyn (Rohm) and sons (Knight and Cherry) on a camping trip in Louisiana. But their paths cross with a gang of armoured-car thieves (Frain, Perrineau, Downho and Baird), who hide their stash in the family's camping gear. Getting it back is trickier than they expect, especially after Nate has a run-in with the law in a backwoods Louisiana town, and Robyn leaves him to fend for himself. And the gang doesn't care who they kill to get their cash.
Continue reading: Transit Review
The movie covers the only recorded event of a human being dying from a spirit, which took place in Red River, Tennessee in the early 1800s. The events unfold after John Bell (Donald Sutherland) is cast off by his church for committing usury. The victim of Bell's shady business practices, an alleged witch, then threatens Bell: "I swear a dreadful darkness will fall upon you, and your precious daughter, too." That statement, by the way, should be amended to include the audience.
Continue reading: An American Haunting Review
The impulse as you sit through Dungeons & Dragons is to close your eyes, thereby shielding yourself from those atrocious computer-generated zooming up and down gaudily-colored castles and cloud-capped palaces. Unfortunately, the sound design is so brutal with those sharp rings as swords clash, glitter dust swirls, and magic spells go WHOOSH that sleep is not a viable option.
Continue reading: Dungeons & Dragons 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.
Jennifer Aniston delivers an Oscar-calibre performance in this rather over-worked drama, which tries to emphasise...
The cast and crew of upcoming car action movie 'Getaway' demonstrate a few vehicular stunts...
Brent Magna is a former racing driver who discovers that his wife has been kidnapped...
Infused with a B-movie vibe, this fast-paced, choppily edited thriller doesn't waste any time on...
Before my showing of An American Haunting, there were projector problems. Ninety-five minutes later, rolling...
You know you're in big trouble when halfway through a movie you ask yourself, "What...