Stephen Mchattie

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Mother Review

Very Good

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah). His best films are unforgiving explorations of artistic ambition (Black Swan), addiction (Requiem for a Dream) or mortality (The Wrestler), admittedly big themes. But this bonkers family horror movie perhaps has more in common with his ambitious existential sci-fi epic The Fountain: this is a resolutely symbolic movie that's impossible to take literally. And yet it still freaks us out.

 

It's set in a huge isolated house, which a young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) has been restoring for her older poet husband (Javier Bardem) after it burned down. Just as it's beginning to look good, and she starts thinking about starting a family, the husband invites a stranger (Ed Harris) to stay, and he encroaches on their hospitality by inviting his pushy wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) and their bickering sons (real-life brothers Domhnall and Brian Gleeson). After causing some chaos, they finally leave, the wife falls pregnant and the husband's writers' block finally breaks. But his new book inspires so much adulation from his fans that their happiness is in jeopardy.

Continue reading: Mother Review

Mother! Trailer


A young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) and her older husband (Javier Bardem) have the most perfect solitary life, spending all their time together in their beautiful and peaceful country home. But their paradise is about to be threatened with the arrival of an older couple (Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer), who appear to mistake their home for a bed and breakfast. The young woman's husband is accommodating to them despite their mistake and her serious reservations about letting strangers sleep in their house. Pretty soon this union of two couples turns into a bloody tale of fear, insanity and a whole load of weirdness - more people arrive at the sanctuary and the young woman's husband seems to be somebody else completely. Now it's a game of survival - God help you. 

Continue: Mother! Trailer

Born To Be Blue Review

Very Good

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist Chet Baker, combining the achingly soulful music with an equally resonant performance from Ethan Hawke. Sometimes, the film's artistic flourishes seem to strain to cover up the usual narrative of a musical artist's life. But Baker's story has a striking emotional layer to it that holds the attention. And by focussing on a pivotal period in his life, Budreau draws out some lovely themes.

It opens in 1966 Los Angeles, where Chet is starring in a movie about his life. One actress, Jane (Carmen Ejogo), is playing all of the women he loved, and of course he's now pursuing her as well. There's also the problem that he's not quite sure if he's still a heroin junkie or if he's just playing himself when he was one. Then he gets in a street fight in which thugs knock out his front teeth, and everyone tells him he will never play his trumpet again. But he tenaciously sets out to regain his embouchure, even as his parole officer (Tony Nappo) refuses to give him a break. He decides to take Jane to visit his parents (Stephen McHattie and Janet-Laine Green) back home in Oklahoma, and rebuild his life from there. Then back in California, he approaches his music producer friend Dick (Callum Keith Rennie) to help him make a comeback.

Hawke brings a terrific earthy charm to the role, conveying Baker's effortless musical gifts as well as his inner steeliness in the face of injury and addiction. The darker sides of Baker's personality simmer in the background, increasing his allure. And Ejogo is terrific opposite him. Jane is a woman who sees everything that Baker is, and she knows that she has limits to what she will let him get away with. It's easy for the audience to root for them to succeed as a couple, even though every other musical biopic has told us that a happy ever after probably isn't on the cards.

Continue reading: Born To Be Blue Review

Born To Be Blue Trailer


When Chet Baker first made a real name for himself in the music industry he was labelled as 'The James Dean of Jazz', he was cool and everyone wanted a piece of him. The trumpeter from California soon became the next big sensation and played clubs all around the US. Ten years on, Baker had developed a heroin addiction, had been incarcerated for drug possession in Italy and he was far from the high life he was living years earlier.

When Baker was asked to star in a film about himself, it implanted ideas of a comeback, a new shot at glory, that accompanied by a new romance with his co-star spurted Baker into recording a new album. Whilst battling addiction, we see Baker at one of the most crucial times of his life. 

Born To Be Blue is an anti-biography, it's based on the life of Baker but whilst the actual film Baker was making in the 1960's (with producer Dino de Laurentiis) didn't come to light, Robert Budreau's version of events sees Baker's film be made, a decision he made to help show the true 'improvisational nature of jazz'.

Pay The Ghost Trailer


Charlie and his dad Mike are enjoying Halloween together in New York City. As the crowds engulf the streets, Charlie decides to buy his son an ice cream. As the father and son queue up, Charlie asks his father a curious question, 'Dad, can we pay the Ghost?' those were the last words his son spoke to him.

Charlie case is taken on by the Missing Persons team but the police are at a loss as to what happened to the boy. Committed to his child and not willing to give up on the search, Mike begins his own investigation. His research encourages Mike to looking into the disappearance of all the missing Children in the city. What the father discovers is a horrifying possibility that his son has been taken by an unknown and deadly force.

As the anniversary of Charlie's abduction draws closer, Mike must travel through a virtual labyrinth of clues in the possibility of finding his son or at least finding the truth of what happened to him.

Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal Trailer


Lars Olafssen was once famous in the art world for his breath-taking paintings. However, as his life has progressed, he has lost inspiration and his art dealer Ronny has found him a teaching post at a school in the very small Canadian town of Koda Lake. It is there he meets Eddie; a quiet but mute man with mental problems who the school lets hang around on account that his aunt is their most important patron. In a bid to impress his attractive young colleague Leslie, Lars takes him under his wing and becomes his caregiver despite Leslie telling him that he suffers from a sleepwalking condition whereby he seeks out and eats small animals whilst in slumber following a traumatic childhood event. He soon discovers, however, that is isn't just small animals he's feasting on when he finds human remains near his home. Rather than feeling frightened and wanting to stay away from Eddie, he uses his cannibalism as inspiration for a new set of masterpieces but just how far will he take it?

Continue: Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal Trailer

Ecstasy Trailer


Lloyd lives the good life: he goes clubbing almost every night, is surrounded by beautiful girls and takes ecstasy almost religiously. While Lloyd may act like a twenty something, he is really in his thirties. And he doesn't live in a bachelor pad; he lives with his alcoholic father, who he doesn't get along with.

Continue: Ecstasy Trailer

Immortals Trailer


Immortals follows the epic tale of a blood-thirsty King, Hyperion as his brutal and murderous army travel throughout Greece, destroying everything in their path with a ruthless efficiency. As a string of villages fall to Hyperion's power, the powerful King moves closer to his ultimate goal: to unleash the power of the imprisoned Titans in order that they may triumph over the Gods of Olympus along with the rest of the human race.

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Stephen McHattie and Hockey Thursday 9th September 2010 'Score: A Hockey Musical' premiere arrival at the Royal Thomson Hall during the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. Toronto, Canada

Stephen Mchattie and Hockey
Stephen Mchattie and Hockey

Pontypool Review


Good
This is one of those little films that proves that you don't need a blockbuster budget to make a high-concept movie. McDonald and Burgess create a mass-chaos apocalyptic thriller with essentially just three characters in a windowless room.

On a snowy night in Canada, Grant Mazzy (McHattie) is presenting his early morning radio phone-in programme with the help of producer Sydney (Houle) and technician Laurel Ann (Reilly). Then they begin to hear reports from their traffic reporter (Roberts) about chaos in the town of Pontypool. But what starts as a seeming hostage situation turns out to be a vicious zombie-creating virus. Eventually, the marauding undead converge on the radio station, and Grant, Sydney and Laurel Ann have to figure out a way to survive.

Continue reading: Pontypool Review

Secretary Review


Excellent
Secret desires and dark, unusual fetishes make for great fiction, but few filmmakers have enough courage to tackle ideas that private. However, Steven Shainberg has more than enough audacity and he doesn't hesitate to push the envelope way beyond the norm with his new movie Secretary, a film which appropriately won a Special Jury Prize for originality at Sundance.

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.

Continue reading: Secretary Review

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Stephen McHattie Movies

Mother Movie Review

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