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.
Continue reading: Poker Night Review
Steve Jobs founded Apple Inc. with his techie pal Steve Wozniak after leaving Reed College in Portland, Oregon at which he managed only a 6 month stint. He became a technician for Wozniak and fell instantly in love with the world of computers and his own ideas in revolutionising computers for the public. However, he proved to be a difficult person to work for when Apple became a major business, leading to him leaving the company for some time while he started over on another project. But through all the hardship and controversial leadership skills, Jobs is remembered as a pioneer who built an empire with the brand that everybody loved before passing away from pancreatic cancer in 2011 after an eight year health struggle.
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Steve Jobs is the late founder of Apple Inc. and who was a technological pioneer in terms of computers and general electronics. 'jOBS' is the brand new biopic on this extraordinary and charismatic man who sadly passed away from pancreatic cancer on October 5th 2011 aged just 56. This movie chronicles his career from 1971 to 2011 beginning with his dropping out of the expensive Reed College in Portland, Oregon after only 6 months before going on to his first job as a technician which later saw him work with business partner Steve Wozniak for the first time; a partner who became a major player in the creation of Apple Computers.
This long awaited biopic is soon to be released following a lengthy wait since production began in June 2012; just eight months after Jobs' death. It has been directed by Joshua Michael Stern ('Swing Vote', 'Neverwas'), produced by Mark Hulme and written by Matt Whiteley in his screenwriting debut. Much of the filming even took place at Jobs' actual childhood home in Los Altos, California. The independent flick was chosen to close the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in January 2013 and is set for theatrical release in the US on April 19th 2013.
Director: Joshua Michael Stern
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In 1979 Ohio, Joe (Courtney) is struggling with the fact that his mother has died in an accident. But it's summertime, so he and his pal Charles (Griffiths) decide to make a zombie movie with their friends (Lee, Basso and Mills).
Enlisting the help of their hot schoolmate Alice (Fanning), they are shooting a scene when they witness a train crash and some suspicious ensuing military mayhem. Suddenly the town is under the control of a harsh general (Emmerich), while Joe and his friends know a lot more than he thinks.
Continue reading: Super 8 Review
Joe and his father, the deputy sheriff, live in the small town of Lillian, Ohio; the year is 1979 and like most kids their age, Joe and his friends have always been obsessed with the silver screen. When his friend Charlie asks him to help out on a film he's making with his friends, he willingly accepts. Joe's father wishes his son would take his head out of the clouds and focus on something more productive.
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I'm not sure what director Katherine Dieckmann (best known as an R.E.M. video director) thought she was grabbing hold of here, but this melodrama (tinged with cheap gags) is all atmosphere, broad Lawn Guyland accents, and jokes at the expense of Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford. Even the "crying Indian" makes an appearance.
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Price accepted the challenge of converting his own novel into a shootable screenplay, which is good news. He retains the suspense and social commentary that strengthened his book. Sony then turned the script over to Joe Roth, which should terrify anyone who sat through the director's dippy America's Sweethearts or foul Christmas with the Kranks. Fear not, for Roth lets slip a gritty side as he allows Price to guide us through some darkened passages, literally and figuratively.
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Continue reading: Bash Review
Asking the rest of the film to live up to such a ghastly opening is like asking a rinky-dink tugboat to tow a mammoth ocean liner across the ocean. Ironically, that's exactly what Ghost Ship does. Sean Murphy (Gabriel Byrne) owns the tugboat in question, and he employs "the best damn salvage crew in the business." In reality, they're a tough-talking, hard-drinking cast of carefully handpicked racial stereotypes, from an African-American first mate (Isaiah Washington) to a Mexican engineer (Alex Dimitriades) to an Italian salvage team leader (Julianna Margulies), who's a female, to boot.
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Deep Impact makes no apologies for being a sob-fest. I mean, how else do you smash a comet into the earth without killing off a few hundred million people, and breaking a few hearts in the process? As the first disaster-from-space film of the year, Deep Impact sets the bar at an interesting level. It's not an action film, although it has action elements. It's not a thriller, although suspense is in the mix. It's more a drama than anything else, the main story lines being a reporter (Téa Leoni) estranged from her father, a young astronomer (Wood) who finds he can't abandon his girlfriend, and a codgery astronaut (Robert Duvall) who gains acceptance among a younger crew.
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The title's surely a Mystery and gives you no clues about the film - so what's it all about? Those expecting a schlocky horror flick like Lake Placid will be let down. Is it a surreal and light dramedy like Ally McBeal? That's closer. Reality: Mystery, Alaska is simply a grown-up version of The Mighty Ducks. Hey, this is a Disney film.
Continue reading: Mystery, Alaska Review