Jake Gyllenhaal and director Denis Villeneuve have recently set about turning their blossoming cinematic partnership into the kind of professional pairing that cranks out clever, creepy feature films that stick with their audiences long after they end. In short, these two like to make skin-crawling films that freak people out, and it turns out they’re pretty good at it.
Villeneuve and Gyllenhaal premiered both of their collaborations last year at the Toronto International Film Festival, though their bigger-budget (and bigger-named) ‘Prisoners’ hit theaters while the intriguing ‘Enemy’ bided its time before a more low-key release. While ‘Prisoners’ presented a terrifying premise that was still relatable – a pair of suburban couples are heartbroken when their young daughters go missing, and the fallout is very unexpected – ‘Enemy’ goes full throttle on a plot line that’s both bizarre and purposely hard to swallow.
There are 35,000 deaths due to motor vehicle accidents in the United States each year. Every ten seconds someone is given emergency treatment because of a car crash. According to a report by the CDC the financial impact is close to $100 billion on injury care and lost productivity.
I know 'Need For Speed' is just a movie, and movies are entertainment, but it is shocking beyond all reason how much this movie thinks automotive safety is a big joke. I understand loving an outlaw, but when 'Bonnie & Clyde' robbed banks they were “punching up.” When Aaron Paul and his merry band of mayhem mechanics destroy public works and send innocent bystanders careening off of highways, they are “punching down.” 'Need For Speed,' its producers, writers, director and maybe even its stars should all hang their heads in shame.
'Open Windows' stars Elijah Wood as Nick, the nerdy but affable web master of a site dedicated to fictional superstar actress Jill Goddard (former porn star-turned-actress Sasha Grey). When Jill cancels the dinner Nick won with her in a contest, a mysterious hacker named Chord allows Nick the opportunity to spy on Jill and play a little game that quickly turns dangerous and veers into an evening filled with myriad plot twists in this thriller from festival favorite director Nacho Vigalondo. Unfortunately, the film is a bit too ambitious and convoluted from the director, who's been admired for his deft sci-fi indies in the past.
Seven years after the end of the television series, 'Veronica Mars' returns with a full-length feature film (thanks in part to a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign), reuniting star Kristen Bell with all of those familiar faces for a brand new mystery that hits pretty close to home for the former teen detective -- this case hits right in the middle of her hometown, in fact, dragging her back from her new life in New York for one last job ... or is it? Both old school fans and newbies alike will find plenty to love in Rob Thomas' 'Veronica Mars' movie, which blends the series' particular brand of wry humor with an exciting new mystery, familiar faces, and some new blood.
It's something any father would say to his son, provided that the pair regularly traveled through time. In the case of 'Mr. Peabody & Sherman,' Sherman, the adopted tyke just old enough to start attending school and form his own personality, suits up for battle after he has “ran away” from his father – a Nobel Prize-winning polymath and dog.
There is a sex scene in '300: Rise of an Empire' that is an all-timer. Put it right up there on the shelf next to 'Don't Look Now,' 'A History of Violence,' 'Blue is the Warmest Color,' '9 ½ Weeks' and any of the others that make those best-of lists. Actually, put next to that insanity in the pool from 'Showgirls' (you know, with the dolphin statue?), because there's a level of playful absurdity that changes it from a representation of love (or, more accurately, lust) to something of a Broadway choreographer's interpretation of a fight. Like a 'West Side Story' rumble, but with Eva Green moaning and bent over a table with maps and war figurines. A rise of an empire, indeed.
The opening shot of 'Non-Stop' has Liam Neeson pouring whiskey in a coffee cup and stirring it with a toothbrush. He then reaches out to a photo of a young girl to stroke it with his fingertips. After this the phone rings and the caller ID reads 555. In other words, three of the biggest movie cliches, all in about sixty seconds.
Wes Anderson has finally done it. He's gone and created his own country.
Zubrowka, the fictional town at the heart of 'The Grand Budapest Hotel,' is positioned on the farthest Eastern edge of Europe's great empire. It is a melange of stylistic flourishes and decorative signifiers from a make believe 20th Century - a memory of a memory, a fastidious, whimsical take on real horrors - a storybook samizdat that entices with madcap adventure then goes in for the kill with existential dread. It is an incredible place to visit.
Sometimes you have to wonder if writers are aware of just how much of their scripts inadvertently rip off or openly resemble other movies. For example, three writers are credited with ‘Pompeii’ – did it ever occur to any of them that their disaster film was ‘Titanic’ meets ‘Gladiator’ with a ‘Conan’ opening thrown in for good measure? Surely director Paul W.S. Anderson, the auteur responsible for the ‘Resident Evil’ film series, did, not that I imagine he cared.
The promise of '3 Days to Kill': If Kevin Costner can assassinate a laundry list of people in three days, he'll receive the antidote to his terminal illness. The reality of '3 Days to Kill': If Kevin Costner can assassinate an indeterminable amount of people over an indeterminable amount of time while juggling quality time with his estranged daughter, then he'll continue being given treatment to his terminal illness, which he has been receiving since the beginning of the movie. For those who thought 'Taken' needed more filler, this movie.
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