We Need To Talk About Kevin – Review

Screenshot 2016-01-11 20.47.33.pngNow this is a horror movie (in perhaps the truest sense of the term).

Lynn Ramsey’s We Need To Talk About Kevin isn’t necessarily a scary film, though don’t let the seemingly placid facade fool you, because here lie monsters.  Though, unlike in most horror movies, these creatures don’t wear hockey masks or look like an experiment in acupuncture gone awry.

Instead they look like you and me, and by the time they reveal their true nature, it’s too late.

Tilda Swinton is Eva Khatchadourian, and you can tell by the way people react to her that she’s was somehow involved with something really terrible.

(The movie doesn’t for most of its running time let on why it is that she’s so reviled by most people in her community, though it becomes abundantly clear soon enough).

The movie flashes forward and backward in time, and it’s apparent that Eva was in a much better place in the past and the movie navigates an uncharted middle ground.

In that perhaps idealized place we meet her husband Franklin (John C. Reilly), her son Kevin (Rock Duer, as a toddler; Jasper Newell, from 6-8 years old and Ezra Miller, as a teenager) and daughter Celia (Ashley Gerasimovich).

From the outside looking in Eva’s family probably seemed an ideal one, though under closer scrutiny you could see faults undermining their supposedly happy lives.

Though there’s something about Kevin that’s a bit off, and the challenge is to see if you can spot where he goes off the rails.

And that moment never quite arrives, though the movie doesn’t spend too much time speculating as to why Kevin does what he does, but when he cries for attention, he makes sure that everyone pays attention.

And We Need To Talk About Kevin will do the same to you.

 

We Need To Talk About Kevin is currently on Netflix,

 

Marvel’s Daredevil – Official Season Two Trailer

Screenshot 2016-01-07 19.25.43.png

The first season of Marvel’s Daredevil had a huge hurdle to overcome.

When Fox released the 2003 movie based on the character, he was treated pretty much as a red-suited Spider-Man, which anyone familiar to the character could tell you isn’t the way to go.

In any case, the movie didn’t do badly from a financial standpoint, so Fox intended to proceed with a sequel (though likely without Ben Affleck) and were gearing up to do just that when they lost their director (David Slade, who went on to direct Hannibal on NBC).

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The Enterprising Mystery of LeVar Burton

Screenshot 2015-12-18 22.43.10.pngI’ve written on this topic before, though I have yet to find an answer–satisfying or otherwise.

Lately I have been watching a bit of Star Trek: Enterprise, and I have to say–particularly with the introduction of the Xindi storyline in Season 3–the series really began to come into its own.

I just watched the episode Similitude from that season and noticed that it was directed by LeVar Burton.

He’s also helmed episodes of Star: Trek VoyagerStar Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: The Next Generation and numerous other projects.

Despite his wealth of experience behind as well as in front of the camera, (as far as I am aware) he was never on the short list–or any list–to direct any of the Star Trek movies.

For instance, before Justin Lin was chosen to direct Star Trek: Beyond, Roberto Orci was going to helm, though luckily someone came to their senses and found Lin.

Now, it’s entirely possible that LeVar Burton doesn’t want to direct features, and that he’s content with other projects, such as Reading Rainbow, which had a successful Kickstarter in 2014.

Though that’s hopefully the only reason that a director of his obvious talent isn’t working on much bigger projects.

The Ridiculous 6 – Review

“Not Nearly As Bad As It Could’ve–Or Even Should’ve–Been.  Satire!”

Harvey Keitel, Luke Wilson, Sam Buscemi, Nick Nolte, John Turturro…I don’t know how Adam Sandler did it, but his Netflix movie, The Ridiculous 6, has an insane amount of cameos by some really good actors (at this point I wouldn’t be shocked if Sam Jackson or Quentin Tarantino–who’s a mediocre actor but a renown director–showed up).

And speaking of The Ridiculous 6, it’s got some pretty funny moments.  It’s no Blazing Saddles–it’s greatest problem in that department is that it doesn’t know when to rein it in–but it’s not terrible either.  In fact, there are more laugh-out loud moments that I anticipated finding in an Adam Sander movie.

And as far as being offensive to Native Americans, they’re pretty broad caricatures–a trait shared with everyone else in the movie–Native American or not, but they’re also treated more dignity than just about any other group in the movie (which is admittedly not saying a lot).

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Jessica Jones-A-Thon: AKA Sin Bin

“I wish that I had a Mother of the Year award, so I could bludgeon you with it.”

-Jessica Jones

Now that’s some snappy writing!

Welcome to what is likely the culminating day of the Screenphiles Jessica Jones-A-Thon!  We’re currently on the ninth episode of a thirteen episode 1st season.

Jessica has Kilgrave trapped, and tries to get a confession from him, while Trish tries to get Will to the hospital.  And speaking of Will, there’s more to this guy than meets the eye.  I don’t know if he has an analogue in the Marvel Universe, but I get the feeling that he’s someone I ought to know.

They’re also implying that something other than Kilgrave’s voice is the source of his abilities, mainly because he can’t influence anyone over a microphone–so he can’t call you and compel you to do something–which implies that they are very much sticking to the comics (which make pheromones the source of his abilities).

Whether or not Kilgrave was born bad or learned, he is what he is, a monster without remorse or regret:  a sociopath with the ability to make whatever he wasn’t reality just by saying it.

The title AKA Sin Bin refers a childhood hero of Kilgrave’s.

 

Results – Review

Results movie poster

Results Is Like A Spotter That Doesn’t Know What They’re Doing: They’re Potentially Dangerous, And To Be Avoided.”

I happen to be one of those people who are genetically predisposed to physical activity.  I love working out, and when I can’t do so on a regular basis I tend to get a little antsy.

So I was jazzed when I found Andrew Bujalski’s Results on Netflix.  At first glance I assumed that the movie revolved around the lives and relationships of a bunch of trainers at a fictional gym called Fit4Life (though ironically there is a gym called Results, which is also a much better title than Fit4Life)–an impression the movie encourages, at least early on.

And when the movie revolves around the gym, it’s pretty interesting seeing the clashes between oftentimes divergent personalities.  There seemed to be a lot of options for drama and humor there, though the problem is that most of the movie doesn’t take place there (at least not directly).

Now, if things outside the gym were as interesting as they had the potential to be inside, I’d have no issue, though it’s just not the case.  So things begin promisingly, get a bit chunky around the middle, then firm up in the last half hour (which is interesting because Guy Pearce and Cobie Smothers are genuinely good actors, as are Kevin Corrigan and Giovanni Ribisi, yet here very little of what makes them so comes through–though Pearce speaks is his native accent (he’s Australian), so there’s that).

In fact, at least initially, many of the characters come off pretty unlikeable, an impression that never really goes away.

As i said earlier, things firm up toward the end, but I am not too sure that most people have the endurance to stick it out that long.

Get the Results you’re been seeking on Netflix.

The Beast Of XMoor – Review

Moor

Luke Hyams’ (no relation to Peter HyamsThe Beast of XMoor (X Moor) at first glance reminded me of Daniel Nettheim’s far superior The Hunter, which also revolves around the hunt for a cryptid (according to Wikipedia, an animal or plant who’s existence had been suggested but not discovered by the scientific community).

In the case of Nettheim’s movie the animal in question was a Tasmanian Wolf–which actually may still exist–while The Beast of XMoor‘s seek some sort of panther they suspect is hiding out on the moors.

The most immediate problem with the movie is that it doesn’t quite know what it wants to be.  It begins as a search for an a cryptid, then makes a Wrong Turn, with two very rapey Scottish folk, then turns to a confusing serial killer story.

What’s worse–if that were possible–is that the killer is less a threat to the aspiring cryptozoologists than they are to each other.

The Beast of XMoor isn’t a terrible movie, it’s just very unfocused.  If it were just about a cryptid–an interesting subject in and of itself–then it would have probably been a much better movie.

If the director had jettisoned the whole cryptid storyline, and instead made a movie about a serial killer, then it might have been a much better movie.

Or if the cryptid and serial killer storyline were abandoned, and instead the story revolved about a bunch of mad Scots, then it would have probably been much better movie.

But all three?  It’s a bit too much.

Brave the moors of X Moor via Netflix, because otherwise there are too many ways to die.