Despite a bunch of cold characters and a deeply contrived plot, this film is so infused with hot topicality that we are held in its grip all the way through. The issue is corporate irresponsibility and grass-roots activism, both of which feel ripped straight from the headlines to give the movie an edgy, almost documentary urgency. On the other hand, it's nearly impossible to get involved in the story's inter-personal dramas.
Director Batmanglij is reteaming with Sound of My Voice actress-cowriter Marling, who this time plays Jane, a corporate-security spy assigned by her shark-like boss (Clarkson) to infiltrate the eco-terrorism group The East. The goal is to prevent them from attacking any of her clients. It takes Jane awhile to worm her way into the anarchists' inner sanctum, where she immediately finds an affinity with leader Benji (Skarsgard), medically trained Doc (Kebbell) and flamboyant Luca (Fernandez). It takes longer to warm to the prickly Izzy (Page), but eventually Jane finds herself part of the core team, invited to participate in a series of jams in which The East gives company bosses a taste of their own toxic medicine.
In the cast of a pharmaceutical giant, this is quite literally the case: they infect the executive (Ormond) with the dangerous drug she's selling to the developing world. And the gang also stages assaults on oil companies in ways that are eerily easy for us to identify with, because the activists are making an important point. Indeed, we never really doubt where the filmmakers' sympathies lie: even if their actions are illegal and rather nasty, these "terrorists" are the good guys. At least this moral complexity gives the film a brainy kick.
Continue reading: The East Review
At age 23, Colin (Redmayne) is struggling to break into the movie business, camping out at the production offices of Laurence Olivier (Branagh), who is just about to start filming the 1957 comedy The Prince and the Showgirl with Marilyn Monroe (Williams). While Marilyn's diva behaviour and strict acting coach (Wanamaker) enrage Laurence, he can't deny that when she gets it right, she's magic. Meanwhile, Colin is assigned to help Marilyn make it through the shoot. And of course he can't help falling for her.
Continue reading: My Week With Marilyn Review
Colin Clark is an aspiring film maker and his first job upon leaving university is the role of assistant on a new film, called The Prince and The Showgirl. It stars a young Laurence Olivier and Marilyn Monroe, the blonde bombshell who shocks with her implications that she sleeps in the nude.
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Jonathan and Joa (Koch and Ormond) constantly bicker as they run their seaside B&B, mainly because they have failed careers as an author and actress, respectively. Meanwhile, daughter Beth (Jones) is preparing for her Oxford entrance interview. Enter a new cleaner, 17-year-old Emilia (Brown Findlay), who befriends Beth and shows her that there's more to life than studying. But Emilia's relentless flirting also distracts Jonathan from his writing. And as the potential for trouble rises, everyone will need to realise that who they are has nothing to do with their pasts.
Continue reading: Albatross Review
An intelligent director, Fincher cut his teeth on television commercials and music videos before making his feature debut in 1992 with a forgettable and regrettable installment in the Alien franchise. It was all uphill from there. Fincher's next five films arguably are modern classics, each impressively different from its immediate predecessor. Gen X fanboys idolize him for the basement-dwelling aggressions of Fight Club. The director brought flash -- and a needed backbone -- to pulp thrillers like The Game and Panic Room. And cineastes found plenty to appreciate in the meticulous musings of Fincher's cold-case police procedural, Zodiac.
Continue reading: The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button Review
When her dad (Chris O'Donnell) loses his car dealership and heads off to Chicago to look for work, Cincinnati's own Kit Kittredge (Breslin) helps her mother (Julia Ormond) turn the family home into a boarding house. There, they take in several guests, including the snooty Mrs. Howard (Glenne Hedley) and her son Sterling (Zach Mills), wacky mobile librarian Miss Bonds (Joan Cusack), doe-eyed dance instructor Miss Dooley (Jane Krakowski), and struggling magician Mr. Berk (Stanley Tucci). When a string of crimes is linked to a rise in the transient population, Kit puts on her wannabe-reporter's hat and investigates. Her goal: to become the youngest journalist on the city paper and discover the truth of what's going on.
Continue reading: Kit Kittredge: An American Girl Review
The aforementioned tradition, though, doesn't say anything about that titular line actually making any sense. I wouldn't want to give away plot details to I Know Who Killed Me that might spoil any plans to Netflix and heckle it with friends (or to stumble across it on cable and heckle it alone), but suffice it to say that this line is delivered with utter seriousness by someone who is in no way dead, even by the movie's own convoluted stretches of imagination (granted, a limited one in this case).
Continue reading: I Know Who Killed Me Review
The rest of the cast is not so lucky. Henry Thomas (the kid from E.T.) still looks like he did ten years ago, Aidan Quinn is out of his league, Julia Ormond spends the majority of the film in tears, and even Anthony Hopkins has a dismal role, half of which he plays as a stroke victim.
Continue reading: Legends Of The Fall Review
Is it Vince Vaughn's Penny, a distrusting telemarketer with questionable morals? Or is it Ed Harris's Kelly Grant, a kingpin of telephone sales who recruits Penny to help him sell $2.5 million worth of investment shares in a gold mine? Or something else altogether? Penny takes this "prime gig," mainly because it gets him closer to Kelly's girlfriend (Julia Ormand), which, combined with his inability to sell anything on the floor, starts to land him in hotter and hotter water. Is any of this legit? Who's conning who? The Prime Gig takes its sweet time in getting to the answer, but it's definitely a worthwhile trip to take.
Continue reading: The Prime Gig Review
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