Michael Eklund

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Poker Night Review


OK

This dark thriller is so relentlessly stylish that it's distracting. Refusing to settle down to focus on its intriguing central story, filmmaker Greg Francis whirls around through a series of whizzy flashbacks that layer in all kinds of subtext and interest. But it's so fragmented that the film never quite builds any suspense, instead becoming a grotesque horror movie featuring a slasher who tortures and kills with Saw-like maniacal glee.

It centres on young rookie Detective Jeter (Beau Mirchoff), whose recent bust has elevated him to the ranks of the elite cops (Ron Perlman, Titus Welliver, Giancarlo Esposito, Ron Eldard and Corey Large) who meet for a weekly poker game. At his first night with them, each recounts his most iconic case, and afterwards Jeter staggers out a bit tipsy, running into his underaged girlfriend Amy (Halston Sage) who is being menaced by a man (Michael Eklund) in a terrifying mask. Next thing Jeter knows, he's drugged, tied up and being held by this self-proclaimed paedophile who clearly has some sort of agenda here. Jeter can hear Amy in the next room, but every time he tries to escape their captor seems to be one step ahead of him.

All of this plays out of sequence, constantly interrupted by the other five cops' stories and even the masked man's own past, all played out in with flashy visuals and a clever integration of Jeter into past events as he watches them unfold. Sometimes the film also goes into his mind as he plays out a scene hypothetically. All of these fragments weave into the central story in some way, but filmmaker Francis never quite brings it into any sense of focus. It's so hyperactive that all the audience can do is sit back and enjoy the inventive visuals and up-for-it cast, while being horrified and/or entertained by the brutal violence.

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Picture - Michael Eklund - A&E's 'Bates... Los Angeles California United States, Wednesday 26th February 2014

Michael Eklund - A&E's 'Bates Motel' and 'Those Who Kill' Premiere Party at Warwick - Arrivals - Los Angeles, California, United States - Wednesday 26th February 2014

The Call Review


Good

After this unusually well-made thriller builds suspense to almost unbearable levels, the filmmakers nearly throw everything away with a gear-change so contrived that we can't help but laugh. It's one of those ill-conceived final acts that seems to have been written by a focus group that wanted to see something "satisfying" on screen even if it violates the integrity of the entire story. Fortunately the cast is good enough to get away with it.

Most of the story takes place in a Los Angeles emergency call centre, where Jordan (Berry) receives a horrific call from a teen girl who's being stalked in her own home. And Jordan blames herself for the violence that follows. Six months later, she has removed herself to a training job, but gets roped in when another teen, Casey (Breslin), calls in panic from the boot of a moving car. This is clearly the same villain (Eklund) as before, and Jordan does everything she can to help Casey both survive and reveal her location. Along the way Jordan's assisted by a passerby (Imperioli) as well as her cop ex-boyfriend (Chestnut).

So far so good, as both Jordan's and Casey's perspectives ratchet up the emotional intensity. The kidnapper is seriously deranged and oddly difficult to track as time runs out. And here's where the film jumps the rail: Jordan takes matters into her own hands, heading out into danger without bothering to call for back-up. This sets up a rather terrifying final showdown that would have been much more involving if we could believe it.

Continue reading: The Call Review

Halle Berry News Story About 'The Call' Knockout Finally Explained


Halle Berry Michael Eklund Abigail Breslin

Remember the Halle Berry news story about getting knocked out on the set of thriller The Call? Well, the Oscar winner never commented at the time, though has finally revealed the true extent of her injuries, which left her hospitalized in Los Angeles.

At the time, it was widely reported that Berry had tipped and hit her head, though she now admits to requiring treatment following a fight sequence with Michael Eklund

Berry, currently pregnant with her second child, explained, "The bad guy in the movie accidentally slammed my head into the concrete. He misjudged how far the ground was and he slammed my head into it so I got knocked out," according to the Express.

Continue reading: Halle Berry News Story About 'The Call' Knockout Finally Explained

The Call Trailer


Jordan Turner is a 911 emergency call operator whose life is turned upside down when one distressed girl's call complaining of an intruder in her house ends in a brutal murder. Shaken and traumatised, Jordan contemplates taking a different career path as she struggles to come to terms with what happened when she recognises that her own actions could have been a catalyst in the girl's fate. With the support of her cop boyfriend, she finds the strength to remain as that steady, calm figure that has helped so many people in the most devastating of situations.  However, when another girl dials 911 from the trunk of a kidnapper's car, she realises that, through several disturbingly familiar similarities, they are dealing with the same killer and this time she is determined not to let another girl die. Passing on a series of careful instructions to the victim, she takes matters into her own hands and goes from operator to rescuer in a matter of hours.

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The Day Trailer


Five people who have survived the almost total destruction of humankind through relentless warfare, set out together armed with firearms and blades in a quest for their continued survival. The group discover an uninhibited farmhouse in which they immediately find shelter, however they soon begin to feel uneasy and decide to salvage whatever they can find within the building with the intention of leaving immediately after. However, when one of them accidentally sets of an alarm in the house, they realise they are trapped and will very soon be ambushed by a group of ruthless savages. Suspicions are aroused when one female in the group seems to have a lot of information about them and she herself shows little fear or mercy as the savages attack. She admits to being 'one of them' but is still determined to destroy them all. A day of brutal battling ensues; will the survivors be so lucky this time with their ever-decreasing store of food and ammo?

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The Divide Trailer


Set in New York in the not too distant future, a sudden nuclear explosion happens in the city. In an apartment block near the explosion, the residents are hurrying down to the basement, which was converted from a fallout shelter. Only eight manage to make it inside - the rest are left to die in the blast.

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