We all have bad days, but for Driver (Gibson) his day is really taking the biscuit. It's not all bad; he's just made off with a big haul worth millions, something that would be able to secure that nice summer vacation he's been after for a while, however after the haul things begin to head south - literally!
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John Crowley (Fraser) is a manager at a pharmaceutical company who hears about the innovative theories of Dr Robert Stonehill (Ford) for the treatment of Pompe Disease, a variation on muscular dystrophy. John and his wife Aileen (Russell) have two wheelchair-bound children (Droeger and Velazquez) with the condition, plus an older son (Hall) without it. So they all have a special interest in Stonehill's work. But the eccentric doctor isn't so easy to get on board, mainly because he needs a lot of money to continue his research.
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Our narrator, who calls himself X (Derek Magyar), is a smoldering 25-year-old Seattleite who maintains a roster of one dozen high-end clients. Deeply cynical and totally self-aware, he does the job ("It's the only thing I'm good at," he says) and banks the money while fully understanding that his work has damaged his ability to have relationships, since relationships demand feelings and reciprocity.
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David Fincher directs this long-awaited follow-up to his groundbreaking Fight Club, with Jodie Foster in her first lead role since 1999's Anna and the King. The story is deceptively simple: Imminent divorcee Meg (Foster) is gaining a boatload of a settlement and, with her bratty, diabetic daughter Sarah (newcomer Kristen Stewart), decides to buy a cavernous, four-story brownstone in Manhattan's upper west side. The night they move in, three burglars pay a visit, searching for an alleged $3 million hidden somewhere in the house. Meg and Sarah hightail it to the secret "panic room," an impenetrable safe room off the master bedroom - only to learn that the money is secreted inside the panic room as well. A game of cat and mouse ensues - only the mice are definitively trapped in one tiny room.
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Secretary explodes with juicy innuendo, even from its opening moments. An extending establishing shot plays against mischievously sensual music as a woman seductively strolls through a business office performing secretarial duties. She approaches a desk, staples a few papers, pours fresh coffee into a mug, and then returns to her employer. Sounds ordinary, except that she does these things while locked inside a weird S&M device.
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Ever since Breaking the Waves, von Trier has been imposing his own self-made limitations on his movies with varying levels of success. Indeed, he comes off in The Five Obstructions as the bad guy, a carefully cultivated image that's more annoying because it's so calculated. Von Trier's sadistic glee is the least interesting part of Obstructions, and Leth is the more compelling subject: an artist grappling with the art of making movies. When faced with the first obstruction-- where no clip must last more than 12 frames, the movie must be shot in Cuba, the questions posed by Leth's experimental short must be answered, and so on -- Leth creates a vivid, collage-poem where the 12 frame structure creates beautiful, dreamlike swirls of movement and daring editing jumps. When faced with Leth's stunning and beautiful completed work, von Trier seethes in mock exasperation: "The 12 frames were a gift!"
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Literal and symbolic duplicity are only the simplest of character traits in the people that populate "Twin Falls, Idaho."
So much goes understood yet unspoken in every relationship of this densely cerebral story that as Michael and Mark Polish -- twin brothers and the movie's writers, directors and stars -- were developing the script, they must have boiled it down to its most engrossing base elements between each revision before adding back in only elements necessary to advance the plot, which is about the unique relationship between reclusive conjoined twins.
Opening in an atmosphere that recalls the dark, freak show flavor of David Cronenberg or David Lynch, "Twin Falls" finds its title characters, Blake and Francis Falls, quietly holed up from a gawking world in a seedy New York hotel room (on Idaho Street -- the title has nothing to do with the Northwestern city it's named after). The mood is bizarre as they wait for a hooker, who subsequently runs away when she sees she'd be pulling a rather macabre double duty.
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