Jonathan King

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Shot Caller Review

OK

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the interest as it follows a fine, upstanding man behind bars and transforms him into a criminal mastermind. If the premise sounds familiar, perhaps you've seen Jacques Audiard's soulful 2009 masterpiece A Prophet. Well, this is more like a blow to the head. And by emphasising the characters' thuggishness over anything more nuanced, filmmaker Ric Roman Waugh (Snitch) seems to betray the fact that he thinks brutality is inherently entertaining.

The story centres on Jacob (Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), a successful banker with a happy home life with his wife and son (Lake Bell and Jonathan McClendon). Then he's involved in a drunk-driving incident and convicted of manslaughter. And in jail he's adopted by the white supremacist gang, pushed to commit such nasty violence that he cuts off all contact with his family when he's finally released a decade or so later. But he also clearly has a plan now, hiding from his tough-guy parole officer Kutcher (Omari Hardwick) to set up a dodgy operation with former prison-mate Frank (Jon Bernthal) and young military veteran Howie (Emory Cohen). Orchestrating all of this is the big boss (Holt McCallany), who is imprisoned for life.

Thankfully, the actors all add texture to their characters, bringing them to life even if the movie itself seems uninterested in anything beneath the surface. Coster-Waldau is terrific at capturing Jacob's inner decency and steely survival instinct as he transforms from a slick financial analyst into a muscled killing machine. But of course it's his internal journey that is far more interesting. Hardwick and Bernthal are solid as tough guys who feel a bit simplistic. But Bell has some properly steely moments as a woman who simply won't give up on her man even when he tells her to, and Cohen finds some intriguing layers in the quirky, shell-shocked Howie.

Continue reading: Shot Caller Review

Snitch Review


Very Good

Dwayne Johnson tries to flex his acting muscles in this smarter-than-usual action movie, based on a true story that gets under our skin. He's never played someone as fragile as this, which is fascinating even if the film ultimately can't resist cranking up the action while turning rather preachy.

Johnson plays John, a construction company owner whose bright 18-year-old son Jason (Gavron) is caught in a drugs sting by an undercover agent (Pepper). Jason is facing 10 years in prison, and offered a way out if he can finger another drug dealer. But he doesn't know any, since he was set up himself. So John makes a deal with a federal prosecutor (Sarandon) to find a big dealer himself. He convinces reluctant ex-con employee Daniel (Bernthal) to work with him, contacting a local dealer (Williams) before going after the kingpin (Bratt). But of course things get increasingly dangerous the deeper they go.

While Johnson's acting chops aren't terribly subtle, he's such a charismatic screen presence that we are fully engaged with him from the start. The tender scenes between him and Gavron add weight to the whole story, while the tetchy connection between him and Bernthal keeps the film on a knife edge. By contrast, Sarandon and Pepper are pretty much just scene-stealing sharks using innocent people to do their dirty work.

Continue reading: Snitch Review

Jonathan King, Nikohl Boosheri and Reza Sixo Safai - Jonathan King, Eric d'Arbeloff, Kim Yutani, Keon Mohajeri, Nikohl Boosheri, director Maryam Keshavarz, Reza Sixo Safai, Kirsten Schaffer and Ricky Strauss West Hollywood, California - The 29th Annual Gay & Lesbian Film Festival Screening of 'Circumstances' held at The DGA Theater Tuesday 12th July 2011

Jonathan King, Nikohl Boosheri and Reza Sixo Safai
Jonathan King
Jonathan King, Nikohl Boosheri and Reza Sixo Safai
Jonathan King

Jonathan King - Paul Wiffin, Henry Stansell, Scarlett Windle, Rupert Stansell, Jonathan King London, England - ME, ME, ME press preview Thursday 5th May 2011

Jonathan King
Jonathan King
Jonathan King
Jonathan King
Jonathan King
Jonathan King

Black Sheep (2007) Review


Good
You count them to put you to sleep and you broil them to munch on after a lazy church Sunday. They get sheared to make quite a bit of your clothes and are fluffy and innocent enough to let your toddler give them a big, soft hug. But in New Zealand, they'll eat you, your family, and the man who had the audacity to try and cut off their fluff. Yes, even sheep now enjoy a place in the human-devouring field of horror films. Feasting on endless intestines, faces and even ear lobes, the bloodthirsty ewes of Jonathan King's Kiwi cocktail Black Sheep should not be trifled with.

Absurdist to the nth degree, King dabbles in werewolf and zombie constructions to create this gooey, gross concoction of horror ethos. Per Danny Boyle's instructions, it all starts with those PETA bastards. An animal rights dope named Grant (Oliver Driver) and his groove-appropriate gal-pal Experience (Danielle Mason) hijack a flesh-hungry lamb from a laboratory that was due for destruction only moments later. Soon enough, the sucker gets loose and digs in on Grant's ear before spreading the hunger to the rest of the herd.

Continue reading: Black Sheep (2007) Review

Black Sheep Review


Good
You count them to put you to sleep and you broil them to munch on after a lazy church Sunday. They get sheared to make quite a bit of your clothes and are fluffy and innocent enough to let your toddler give them a big, soft hug. But in New Zealand, they'll eat you, your family, and the man who had the audacity to try and cut off their fluff. Yes, even sheep now enjoy a place in the human-devouring field of horror films. Feasting on endless intestines, faces and even ear lobes, the bloodthirsty ewes of Jonathan King's Kiwi cocktail Black Sheep should not be trifled with.

Absurdist to the nth degree, King dabbles in werewolf and zombie constructions to create this gooey, gross concoction of horror ethos. Per Danny Boyle's instructions, it all starts with those PETA bastards. An animal rights dope named Grant (Oliver Driver) and his groove-appropriate gal-pal Experience (Danielle Mason) hijack a flesh-hungry lamb from a laboratory that was due for destruction only moments later. Soon enough, the sucker gets loose and digs in on Grant's ear before spreading the hunger to the rest of the herd.

Continue reading: Black Sheep Review

Guinevere Review


Very Good
A curious May-December romance involving a bohemian San Francisco photographer (Rea) who builds a kind of teacher-lover-father-figure relationship with the far-younger Harper (Polley), whom he dubs Guinevere. Think of it as The Professional without all the killing. Turns out our shutterbug has a history of Guineveres, and soon his teeth are falling out and he's dying, and suffice it to say this is where the movie turns bizarre. Poetic, if not altogether meaningful. Jean Smart is particularly apt as Harper's prissy and snobbish mother.

Judas Kiss Review


Good
Intrigue and sexiness mix together in Judas Kiss, just not very well. Carla Gugino, Gil Bellows, Simon Baker, and Til Schweiger make an unlikely band of scam artists-cum-kidnappers, but it's cop partners Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson (both with outrageously bad New Orleans accents) that really make you wonder who the hell cast this thing. Tons of stars, including Hal Holbrook in an exceptionally over-the-top role, make this movie fun but unspectacular.

Slap Her, She's French Review


Very Good
Slap me, I liked it.

If the farcical title for actress-turned-director Melanie Mayron's Slap Her, She's French doesn't scare you away, there's a chance the worn-out premise will. Don't let it. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Mayron and her bubbly cast of newcomers deliver a delectable little treat that's sunny, funny, and far more intelligent than you'd expect.

Continue reading: Slap Her, She's French Review

Jonathan King

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Jonathan King Movies

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Snitch Movie Review

Snitch Movie Review

Dwayne Johnson tries to flex his acting muscles in this smarter-than-usual action movie, based on...

Black Sheep Movie Review

Black Sheep Movie Review

You count them to put you to sleep and you broil them to munch on...

Slap Her, She's French Movie Review

Slap Her, She's French Movie Review

Slap me, I liked it.If the farcical title for actress-turned-director Melanie Mayron's Slap Her, She's...

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