Izabella Miko, Natasha Ren, Leah Pipes, Addison Timlin and Nora Zehetner - Photographs from the audience and atmosphere at the Gavlak Hollywood gallery opening fashion show held at the Gavlak Gallery in Hollywood, California, United States - Monday 27th October 2014
The New York 'Killing Them Softly' premiere was Hollywood star central with numerous movie stars taking to the red carpet including 'Star Trek' star Patrick Stewart with his partner Sunny Ozell, 'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter, Maggie Grace from 'Taken', 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' actress Taraji P. Henson and one of the premiering movie's stars Scoot McNairy.
Dad's lost his job, too, and both his parents think he's gay (thanks to what turns out to be the movie's funniest single moment), so Darren scrambles back to the dorms to figure out how to raise another $1000 so he can stay in school. (Naturally, he's also in love with another resident named Gracie (Kristen Bell), but he can't profess him affections to her.)
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What immediately sets Conversations apart is how, over its 85 minutes, it makes such fun and inventive use of the split-screen technique. The technique's most obvious function is to convey how the story's man and woman (Aaron Eckhart and Helena Bonham Carter), no matter their passion for each other, inhabit disparate and irreconcilable worlds. But it goes brilliantly beyond that, using split-screen also for flashbacks, triggered by memory, in which younger versions of the characters (Erik Eidem and Nora Zehetner), play out the halcyon days of their long-ago romance. What's more, the details of these flashbacks warp and alter, depending on who's doing the remembering. In an intriguing twist, the split-screen projects not only alternate versions of the past, but of the present too -- showing variations on small but important moments either as a character perceives they happened or he/she wishes they had. It's a sensationally expressive use of a tired cinematic device, now revitalized and itself revitalizing a tired genre.
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That's the rub, folks: Brick, as best as you can describe it, is a postmodern mashup of a '90s teen drug drama and a '30s noir. The setup is quite straightforward: A girl named Emily (Emilie de Ravin) is dead, and her ex-boyfriend Brendan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who apparently can't get enough of the indie scene now) wants to find out what happened. He suspects foul play, and he launches an investigation, much like some renegade gumshoe might do, always evading the watchful eye of the chief. Only here, there's no chief, just a principal (Richard Roundtree, of all people). With the help of a brilliant colleague -- er, classmate -- Brendan starts digging into the underworld, such as it exists in a world of letter jackets and parking lot brawls. (Indeed, for all the talk of highschool, not a single class is actually attended in Brick.)
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Not only does the provocative title of Tart mislead us, but the packaging features a lithe Dominique Swain on its covers, her schoolgirl skirt blowing up to expose her panties. The tagline: "Sex, Drugs and Study Hall."
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R.S.V.P. takes the Rope recipe into the MTV zeroes, upping the body count considerably, transplanting the story to Las Vegas (in an apartment worthy of a Real World season), and packing in the sexy young stars (all up-and-comers and relative unknowns) to the point where they're spilling out the windows. Literally.
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If you're going to borrow wholesale from another movie, you could do worse that thieving...