ATOMIC BLONDE – July 28, 2017 Oscar® winner Charlize Theron explodes into summer in Atomic Blonde, a breakneck action-thriller that follows MI6’s most lethal assassin through a ticking time bomb of a city simmering with revolution and double-crossing hives of traitors. The crown jewel of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service, Agent Lorraine Broughton (Theron) […]
Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle.
Director: David F. Sandbert
Starring: Miranda Otto, Javier Botet, Stephanie Sigman and Anthony LaPaglia
I had a chat with fellow Wisconsin native turned L.A. filmmaker, Hunter Adams, about his new release, Dig Two Graves, which is available to watch on iTunes and at a theatre near you. His film is a suspenseful thriller that is summed up perfectly by its tagline. ‘A young girl’s obsession with her brother’s […]
Dig Two Graves Directed by: Hunter Adams Starring: Ted Levine, Samantha Isler, Danny Goldring and Troy Ruptash Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Mystery Run Time: 1h 25min 3 ½ Frames out of 5 By Shari K. Green The Chinese proverb, ‘When you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves,’ is where the […]
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz and Nora von Waldstätten
Run Time: 1h 45min
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
4 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
With the roles she’s choosing, Kristen Steward has been redefining herself, and this part was a wise decision made by both she and director Olivier Assayas (Clouds of Sils Maria.) Having worked with her in the past he knew that when he needed an actress to pull off the look of someone pained and tormented and to also be engaging that Stewart was the best choice. She was his supporting character is Clouds but this time she carries the entire film as Maureen. The film is a bit hard to follow at first but give it time.
You’re in the hands of a filmmaker who doesn’t want to reveal anything too soon. Pacing and all things becoming revealed in due time are critically important.
At first, it’s hard to distinguish what exactly is going on with Maureen. She’s dark and distant but at the twenty-eight-minute mark, you learn that her twin brother had died of the heart defect they both have. Not only is she sad, she’s lonely and fears for her own health. When this comes to light it explains the very beginning of the film where she quietly walks through a dark house looking to make contact with a spirit.
She’s a young American woman working in Paris as a personal shopper for a celebrity during the day but at night she’s a brooding sister waiting for her brother who, before he passed away, promised he’d make contact with her after his death. They had a pact that whoever died first, the other would reach out from the other side and give them a sign. She goes to the house she once shared with her brother and hopes to see a manifestation or feel something encouraging so that maybe she can move on with the rest of her life but it doesn’t happen so fast.
The audience is on a psychological journey with someone who may very well be better off in treatment but the way the film is rolled out; you don’t pick up on that too soon. There’s a certain strain put on you to understand Maureen because she seems so fragile but at the same time you’re getting frustrated at some of the decisions she’s making. Like when she receives text messages from a stranger and she begins to engage. What so good about this, outside of the overall tone, is it keeps you wondering, is it her brother or is it no one? Is this happening or is it in her head? With precision, Assayas does an incredible job of leading you into the trap you don’t see coming. He uses sound and music as he takes you on this trip where you’re on the edge of your seat for the entire ride, but he doesn’t really end up showing you much of anything. It’s a refreshing take on the subject and it’s a beautiful piece of art.
Personal Shopper can be creepy at times and those moments are done with a special technique. She becomes more upset, desperate and even frantic. The more she does, the more engaged with her character you become. Maureen, the personal shopper and the girl looking for a spirit, seem to be in two different movies. Kristen Stewart is so good that these two different entities become one in the end. She makes what Personal Shopper is, so special. She keeps you vested with slight changes to her character and Assayas uses everything in his power to keep from exposing the tortured young soul too soon without losing you in the meantime. Personal Shopper is gripping and intense and a movie I’d have to recommend you see as soon as you can.
Written and directed by: Hunter Adams Starring: Ted Levine (Shutter Island, Silence of the Lambs) Samantha Isler (Captain Fantastic, TV’s “Supernatural”) Danny Goldring (The Dark Knight, The Fugitive)
Ann Sonneville (“Chicago P.D.,”) Troy Ruptash (TV’s “General Hospital,” “Prison Break,”) After 13-year-old Jacqueline Mather (Samantha Isler) loses her brother in a mysterious drowning accident she is soon visited by 3 moonshiners who offer to bring her brother back to life, but at a grim cost. As the dark history of her grandfather, Sheriff Waterhouse (Ted Levine) is unearthed, the true intentions of the moonshiners come to light.
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Elena Kampouris, Cynthy Wu, Medalion Rahimi, Diego Boneta and Jennifer Beals
Run Time: 1h 39min
Genre: Drama, Mystery
3 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was the king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth). He was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it come back to hit him, repeating this action for eternity. Through the classical influence on modern culture, tasks that are both laborious and futile are therefore described as Sisyphean. Why is this English lesson pertinent to this review? It’s not but it’ll help you better understand why it’s used in the movie and will help you grasp the intent behind the yarn.
Before I Fall starts with a voice of a young woman, Sam (Deutch), explaining that, ‘people may have a lifetime of days to waste but…’ and then throws some wisdom out that anyone only truly has today and warns that wasting time isn’t how one should see any moment they’re in. I try not watching the trailers of, or read too much about, movies before I screen them for review so that I don’t have any preconceived notions of what I’m about to see but it was obvious very quickly that I was in for the teenage dramatic version of Ground Hogs Day with this one. That being the case and not minding the idea, I got comfy and watched the story unfold.
Alarm clock belonging to Sam goes off and we meet Sam. Sam loves her friends Lindsay (Sage), Ally (Wu) and Elody (Rahimi). She is always with them and them her. They’re rich, spoiled and have no respect for anyone, including one another, but outside of sleeping, they’re pretty inseparable. Like any group, there is a pecking order and though rather high in position, Sam isn’t at the top. That honor goes to Lindsay who is anything but a likable person. She’s mean-spirited, loves to watch people squirm as she puts them in their place and enjoys gossiping behind their backs the moment they turn around. Unaware it happens to them, the pack ignores yet allows Lindsay to say and do as she pleases, as long as she’s nice to them. As she does every morning, Lindsay picks Sam and the others up one by one and off to school they go. However, this day is special; it’s different. It’s Cupid’s Day and they can’t wait to see who receives the most roses throughout the day as this determines who is the most popular.
They go through their day as they usually do, being petty to parents and being mean to students. Sam gets an invite to a party being thrown by her old friend, and the films nice guy, Kent (Miller) and the girls decide to attend. At the party, Sam plans to lose her virginity to her boyfriend, Rob. While there, however, she watches Rob get horribly drunk and act like a fool and decides not to go through with it. Before leaving, the foursome drinks, do their usual teasing of a favorite victim named Juliet (Kampouris) and get in the car and go home. An accident occurs and then; cut to alarm clock… and the day starts over. Knowing the things that had happened throughout the day, you see where this is leading. Sam isn’t Lindsay. She isn’t mean at her core. She’s more of an obliging witness where she may play a hand on occasion but would rather not. If she isn’t dreaming, can she change things about her life?
The movie continues in this fashion for the rest of it. Sam learns a little each time she wakes up to the same ugly day that awaits her. Is she in hell? Can she do the right thing and be redeemed? Eventually, you notice one situation that she hasn’t necessarily made a big effort at correcting. A slight attempt at a stand but not the true attack it needs. Why? Could be because she’d see where she was at fault for having created it in the first place. Well, why is she on this day to begin with? By the end of the film, she gets it but is it too late? Are the answers in the actions she herself has made or in those of other people? Will she now pay a price for not being a virtuous soul? Will she have to sacrifice something herself to correct the course she’s now on?
I like that you don’t know these answers and that’s why I enjoyed the movie. I would hate to categorize it as a chick flick but I think I have to. The length of time spent with the teenage girls in the car, listening to music, hating on people and talking about boys makes it abundantly clear that the film wasn’t made for adult males. The audience it was made for, the teenagers will absolutely love it. Zoey Deutch is a good choice to play the sweet-faced martyr and Halston Sage does a good job of reminding us what we hated about high school more than even the homework. If you’re a fan of dramas packed with mystery and wouldn’t mind the Mean Girls vibe, check out Before I Fall and look for all of the answers to the questions above. Is she dead? You tell me.
A24 MOVES UP RELEASE DATE FOR THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED HORROR FILM IT COMES AT NIGHT, STARRING JOEL EDGERTON, RILEY KEOUGH, CHRISTOPHER ABBOTT AND CARMEN EJOGOA24 will now release IT COMES AT NIGHT, Trey Edward Shults’ follow-up to the critically acclaimed KRISHA on June 9th. Imagine the end of the world— Now imagine something worse. Award-winning filmmaker Trey Edward […]