Jeremy Davies, Leslie Mann, Judd Apatow and Emmy Awards - Jeremy Davies, Leslie Mann and Judd Apatow Sunday 23rd September 2012 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, held at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live - Arrivals
Craig (Gilchrist) is a 17-year-old overwhelmed by thoughts of suicide. So one night he heads to the emergency room for help, then talks the doctor into admitting him for observation. He's a bit shocked that he'll be there for at least five days, but quickly becomes friends with Bobby (Galifianakis) and Noelle (Roberts). His parents (Graham and Gaffigan) are supportive, and his doctors (Davis and Davies) help him work through his issues. But the biggest challenge is to sort out his feelings for Nia (Kravitz), the girlfriend of his best pal (Mann).
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This isn't to say Rescue Dawn isn't good. It's often great, and in all the ways that Herzog's cinema can be great. As in Aguirre: The Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo (his undisputed masterpieces) Herzog plunges himself (and the rest of us) once again into the jungle, in all its deceptive beauty. The jungle is that twilight zone, the border between life and death that is the domain of Herzog's cinema, and cinematographer Peter Zeitlinger (who also shot Little Dieter) ably carries the torch that his predecessor Thomas Mauch held aloft so heroically in those aforementioned Conradian tales of men endeavoring to overcome nature (and failing). Herzog lives in awe and terror of the natural world (he goes into this at length in Grizzly Man), and nowhere is that paradox more palpable than in Rescue Dawn, in which the jungle can be jaw-droppingly gorgeous one moment, and a stultifying prison the next.
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Raymond (Jeremy Davies) is prepping himself for a very rewarding medical internship when his father, Tom (Benjamin Hendrickson), insists that he return home to take care of his sick mother (Alberta Watson) who has broken her leg. As all college students are, Ray becomes randy and hormonal with mounting professional frustration, the constant physical contact with his mother and the inclusion of Toni (Carla Gallo), a high school student that he tries to deflower. The rest of the movie is, essentially, leading up to the big climax of Ray getting frisky with his mom in an incestuous, liquor-driven free-for-all. It's easily one of the more interesting films about oedipal relations, but there are problems.
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Secretary explodes with juicy innuendo, even from its opening moments. An extending establishing shot plays against mischievously sensual music as a woman seductively strolls through a business office performing secretarial duties. She approaches a desk, staples a few papers, pours fresh coffee into a mug, and then returns to her employer. Sounds ordinary, except that she does these things while locked inside a weird S&M device.
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CQ stars mostly people you've never heard of in a movie about making movies that were never actually made. Don't worry, it's really not that confusing. Boring, yes, but certainly not confusing. Jeremy Davies plays Paul, a struggling young director, who funds his personal film by working as a film editor on a cheesy, big budget science-fiction movie. But his director doesn't have an ending, and eventually Paul finds himself gifted with the job.
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Dipping back into the world of the micro-indie film - which she seemed to have mostly abandoned after the passing of her cinematic mentor, Derek Jarman - Tilda Swinton plays four roles here, but Dr. Strangelove it ain't. Her primary role is as Rosetta Stone (get it?), a bio-geneticist who, in a strangely-reasoned attempt to help the world by creating robots equipped with artificial intelligence, has discovered how to download her own DNA into a computer and thus create three SRAs (Self Replicating Automatons) in her image. The SRAs are named Ruby, Marine and Olive and dresses them each according to color (red, blue, and green). This doesn't serve much purpose besides being pretty look at, and also giving us an easy way of telling the Swintons apart (aside from the fashion-victim wigs Ruby and Olive wear). Rosetta herself is easy enough to ID: as the nerdy scientist, they put her in the most frightful and unattractive of the wigs and make her goggle out at the world from behind a pair of giant glasses.
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Well, you borrow the oldest trick in the book by putting your characters in the desert, where you can pretty much shoot your movie for free!
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Lars von Trier's peculiar compulsion to humiliate his heroines (and by extension the actresses who play them) has finally crescendoed to a deafening din of indiscriminate, exasperating martyrdom in "Dogville," a daring experiment in heightened performance and minimalist filmmaking that is fatally undermined by the Danish writer-director's conceit as a narrator.
His last four movies ("Breaking the Waves," "The Idiots," "Dancer in the Dark" and now "Dogville") have all dealt largely with the psychological (and sometimes physical) torture of vulnerable female protagonists. While his storytelling and cinematic style are almost always compelling, he's never seemed so arbitrary in his sadism than in this allegory of a beautiful, 1930s flapper fugitive hiding from the mob in a ragged, remote, austere Colorado mountain hamlet, where the tiny populace goes from distrustful to accepting to maliciously cruel on little more than von Trier's say-so.
Played with discernible dedication by Nicole Kidman, Grace is a porcelain enigma of self-flagellation so determined to escape some kind of shadowy past that, in exchange for the skeptical township's shelter, she agrees to indentured servitude -- doing handy work, favors and manual labor one hour a day in each of the seven households. She gradually comes earn the friendship of all -- even those most reluctant to accept her.
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