Jon Bokenkamp

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Bad Seed (2001) Review


Grim
Despite an atrocious title, I actually held out hope for the direct-to-video Bad Seed's intriguing premise.

The film opens as man (Luke Wilson) confronts by his wife (Mili Avital), who screams in admission that she is having an affair. Enraged, he storms out of the house. When he returns, she is dead, and her now estranged boyfriend (Norman Reedus) is suspect. So our hero takes matters into his own hands, finds the boyfriend, and kills him.

Continue reading: Bad Seed (2001) Review

Taking Lives Review


Good
Taking Lives - it's a title to file under the goofy film names category. It's a pretty obvious name for a thriller about a serial killer taking the lives of his victims, but the subtext is meant to describe the killer's desire to live the life of those he has killed... until a new and exciting life peaks his interest. The film's title failed to excite me, but the movie that bears the name surprisingly did.

Going into the screening for Lives, I had some doubts about the film, primarily because Angelina Jolie has never really found a role that fits her. Since her performance in Gia, her film roles have not demanded anything more than her sexuality (Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Original Sin). In Taking Lives, Jolie's performance as FBI Profiler Illeana Scott is shockingly credible - though she does find a scene to bare her breasts - Jolie is in full command of her character. Her eyes are always moving, thinking, and analyzing her environment. Even when it appears she's reached a dead-end with her investigation, she lets her senses take over. At night, she eats dinner alone, across the table from crime scene photos she has taped to the opposite chair.

Continue reading: Taking Lives Review

Jon Bokenkamp

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