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Shot Review

Very Good

This may be a gimmicky exploration of gun violence, which sometimes feels like a preachy public service advisory, but its story unfolds with raw power. The film's first half is told in real-time, and generates some genuine suspense as it finds complexities in two sides of a gunshot: the victim and the young man who accidentally pulled the trigger. This gives the film a powerful sense of urgency as it moves into an even more pungent second act.

Set in Los Angeles, the film centres on Mark (Noah Wyle), a movie sound mixer whose therapist wife Phoebe (Sharon Leal) is divorcing him. As they meet to discuss the details, Mark is hit by a random gunshot and Phoebe accompanies him to hospital, where doctors try to save his life. Meanwhile, the shooter is revealed to be the sensitive 17-year-old Miguel (Spider-Man: Homecoming's Jorge Lendeborg Jr.), who after being badly bullied got the gun from his cousin and fired it unintentionally. He's now on the run, hiding from the cops and panicking about what to do with the gun. Then several months later, he decides that he can no longer live with his guilt, and sets out to try and make things right.

Director Jeremy Kagan tells the first part of this story using split screen to show both Mark and Miguel in their simultaneous fights to survive. This creates a strong sense of suspense, as well as an intriguing connection between these two men. Mark is conscious through his emergency room ordeal, so understands the ramifications of his injuries. Miguel is smart enough to realise that his hopes for the future could be derailed by this stupid mistake. And both actors dig deep into their characters, revealing inner thoughts and feelings that come surging to the surface in the film's second half. Alongside them Leal's character is just as affected by this errant bullet, and also has to cope with how her life is thrown off-course.

Continue reading: Shot Review

Proud Mary Trailer


There's no-one quite like Mary Goodwin. She's a sexy and totally bad-ass hitwoman with an enormous arsenal of weapons working for a dangerous organised crime unit in Boston, Massachusetts. She's never hesitated to pull the trigger on a mark in her life and very few can match her extraordinary skill when it comes to brutality, but when an attempted assassination goes wrong she she finds herself with a young orphaned boy on her hands. She's not in the business of killing innocent children, but now she feels responsible for leaving him without a mother or a father. She takes pity on him, and is now faced with a choice to make about the boy's future, her own future and the future of her crime family. 

Continue: Proud Mary Trailer

Small Time Trailer


Al Klein is a used car salesman who works with his best friend and business partner Ash Martini at Diamond Motors. Together, the duo utilise every selling method in existence from complimenting the customer to telling white lies - and it's not always morally sound. Klein misses his former wife Barbara and wishes he could spent more time with his high school graduate son Freddy. Luckily for him, Freddy wants the same thing and decides to drop his college prospects and become a salesman like his father. He moves in with Al but the pair soon find themselves under the wrath of Barbara, who wishes for a more successful life for her son than what Al could offer and is desperate that Freddy doesn't turn out like him. As much as Al loves having him around, he is the one that needs to decide what's best for Freddy.

Continue: Small Time Trailer

Seeking Justice Trailer


Wil and Laura Gerard are a married couple who are still very much in love with each other. Shortly after celebrating their wedding anniversary, Wil gets horrifying news: his wife was brutally assaulted and raped while walking home one night.

Continue: Seeking Justice Trailer

Xander Berkeley and Sarah Clarke - Xander Berkeley and Sarah Clarke Tuesday 14th February 2012 Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry Experience – A Parody by Dan and Jeff opening night at the Panasonic Theatre.

Xander Berkeley and Sarah Clarke

Kick-Ass Review


Excellent
The team behind Stardust brings us the superhero movie we always wanted: brazen, raucous and without a single politically correct moment from start to finish. And yes, it's both wildly rude and great fun.

Dave (Johnson) is a shy New York teen who wonders why no one sticks up for each other. So he creates a secret alter-ego, Kick-Ass, and sets out to make a difference. Of course he gets beaten to a pulp. But he also catches the city's imagination. The problem is that gangster Frank (Strong) thinks he's to blame for a series of setbacks and helps his son (Mintz-Plasse) create a rival hero, Red Mist. But Frank's nemesis is actually a man (Cage) who has turned his 12-year-old daughter (Moretz) into a killing machine.

Continue reading: Kick-Ass Review

Kick-Ass Trailer


Watch the trailer for Kick-Ass

Continue: Kick-Ass Trailer

Persons Unknown Review


Weak
While I futilely try to figure out the ending of Persons Unknown means, I'm left to wonder why this film saw no real theatrical release, and why it took 11 years to make it to DVD. Maybe the fact that it's fairly ludicrous or nonsensical? The circuitous plot gives us a kind of cool beginning, with a security pro (Joe Mantegna) being hustled by a girl (Kelly Lynch) who's heading up a big heist. Eventually he tracks her down, figures out what's going on, runs off with their loot, and watches bodies pile up in the mountains. The last half of the film is alternately filled with typical shoot 'em up/run 'em down scenes and kind of silly plot twists. The top shelf cast is uniformly wasted, including Naomi Watts in an early role.

The Cherry Orchard Review


Very Good
Actors understandably welcome the opportunity to perform Chekhov, whose plays are painfully funny in their quiet observation of human folly. In Uncle Vanya and The Three Sisters, we recognize some part of ourselves. Renowned director Michael Cacoyannis, who helmed Zorba the Greek in 1964, assembles a powerhouse international cast for his screen interpretation of The Cherry Orchard, including Alan Bates (Gosford Park), Katrin Cartlidge (Breaking the Waves), and Melanie Lynskey (Heavenly Creatures). That great horror actor Michael Gough is well typecast as an ancient butler, and grand dame Charlotte Rampling's timeless iconic presence lends itself beautifully to the tragic Madame Lyubov Andreyevna Raneskaya.

Despite the remarkable assemblage of talent, Cacoyannis' Cherry Orchard feels self-aware of adapting a renowned classic from stage to screen. The cinematography is handsome and stately, but more appropriate to the colorful orchards and vast family estate, the 1900 costumes, the theatrical entrances and exits, than to the intimacy of Chekhov's vivid characters. (It almost makes one long for the hand-held documentary treatment of Louis Malle's seminal Vanya on 42nd Street.) The stylistic choices here take a while to get used to, especially during a drawn-out prologue, absent in the original text, as Madame Lyubov and her buoyant teenage daughter Anna (Tushka Bergen) make elaborate preparations to return to their Russian estate after a self-imposed exile. Some may be exhausted by this Masterpiece Theater treatment (lingering over every piece of luggage) before Chekhov's social entanglements kick in -- which happens shortly after the dozen major characters have assembled at their estate.

Continue reading: The Cherry Orchard Review

Time Code Review


Good
Sorry, Mr. Lynch, your place at the head of the avant-garde experimental filmmaker table has been given away. Messrs. Jarmusch, Toback, Korine, and Cronenberg, you'll all be eating outside. Mike Figgis will be taking over for all of you, and don't come back.

Figgis, who earned a Best Director Oscar nomination for Leaving Las Vegas in 1996, appears to have gone a little funny in the head last year with his inexplicable and nearly dialogue-free The Loss of Sexual Innocence. Now he's fully gone off the deep end with what may be the most ambitious experiment ever: Time Code.

Continue reading: Time Code Review

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Xander Berkeley Movies

Shot Movie Review

Shot Movie Review

This may be a gimmicky exploration of gun violence, which sometimes feels like a preachy...

Proud Mary Trailer

Proud Mary Trailer

There's no-one quite like Mary Goodwin. She's a sexy and totally bad-ass hitwoman with an...

Small Time Trailer

Small Time Trailer

Al Klein is a used car salesman who works with his best friend and business...

Seeking Justice Trailer

Seeking Justice Trailer

Wil and Laura Gerard are a married couple who are still very much in love...

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Kick-Ass Movie Review

Kick-Ass Movie Review

The team behind Stardust brings us the superhero movie we always wanted: brazen, raucous and...

Kick-Ass Trailer

Kick-Ass Trailer

Watch the trailer for Kick-Ass Dave Lizewski is a normal teenage boy, he's got the...

Time Code Movie Review

Time Code Movie Review

Sorry, Mr. Lynch, your place at the head of the avant-garde experimental filmmaker table has...

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