After a breathless car chase on the US-Mexico border, an outlaw (Gibson) is thrown into a Tijuana prison known as El Pueblito, which is more like a run-down favela than a jail. His criminal mind immediately kicks into gear as he finds ways to survive by causing as much mayhem as possible. Soon he befriends a 10-year-old kid (Hernandez) whose mother (Heredia) is being exploited by the power-mad top-dog prisoner Javi (Gimenez Cacho). And our unnamed protagonist will need to use all of his wits to get out of here alive.
Continue reading: How I Spent My Summer Vacation [aka: Get The Gringo] Review
Mickey Haller might not be one of the top lawyers in LA but the service he provides for his clients is an effective one. Generally Mickey defends bike gangs, prostitutes and drug dealers but when he learns of a case that might just give him a huge break, it's something he can't turn down.
Continue: The Lincoln Lawyer Trailer
Dead Silence sucks. It's as simple as that. I like schlocky horror films as much as the next guy, but there's nothing to like about this one. Not one thing. Warming your hands over a burning ten-dollar bill is preferable to watching this film.
It's the sort of bad movie that makes you wonder how it emerged a winner from the studio production lottery. Surely a surplus of terrible ideas exists in Hollywood, so how did this particular steaming pile get made into a movie? I can't say for sure. The inner workings of Hollywood deal-making are beyond my expertise, so I'll confine my comments on Dead Silence to its general awfulness, resisting the urge to speculate on which member of the film's creative team kidnapped and held for ransom which studio executive's infant child -- the only possible explanation for green-lighting a movie this irredeemably bad. (Here's why: The filmmakers made the studio a lot of cash with the Saw series. -Ed.)
If you haven't seen the Dead Silence trailer, you may not know that the film centers on a murderous ventriloquist, whose spirit has risen from the dead, and an army of spooky dummies who do her bidding. It's hard to say whether director James Wan and screenwriter Leigh Wannell, both of whom are credited for dreaming up the story, were inspired by Chucky from the Child's Play movies or the scary clown doll from Poltergeist, but one thing is clear: Dead Silence possesses exactly zero ounces of originality. (The title sequence, for instance, is the filmic equivalent of plagiarism -- unrepentantly stealing from Steven Soderbergh's 2005 film, Bubble.)
The movie starts with some painfully awkward exposition followed by -- what else? -- a murder. One night James Ashen (Ryan Kwanten) and his wife, Lisa, discover a package containing a ventriloquist dummy left in front of their apartment door. Despite their foggy recollections of a ghost story from their childhood involving dummies and a psychotic ventriloquist who cuts out people's tongues, they don't think too much about the mysterious package. James goes to pick up some Chinese food and returns to find his wife dead, her tongue gruesomely removed and the doll lying in a heap next to her corpse. The detective assigned to the case, Jim Lipton (Donnie Walhberg), quickly fingers Ashen as the prime suspect, thus setting the wheels of plot in motion. With Lipton watching his every step, Ashen returns to his hometown to bury his wife and find the answer to her murder. He discovers that long ago a ventriloquist named Mary Shaw was killed by an enraged mob and ever since then certain families in the community have been killed off, one by one, each person's tongue ripped out by the avenging Mary Shaw and her legion of dummies.
In my movie-watching experience, I've seen Superman turn back time, zombies come to life, and Meg Ryan fall in love with Billy Crystal. And in each case, I was onboard, willing and eager to suspend my disbelief. That wasn't the case with Dead Silence. Wan and Wannell are determined not to acknowledge the inherent campiness of a movie featuring killer ventriloquist dummies and a spectral puppeteer. It's as if they think their grim refusal to address the obviously ridiculous makes it less so. Have they not seen the Scream movies? Do they know that self-awareness has been part of the horror genre for more than a decade now?
During the screening I attended, I fought off more than one urge to shake my fist at the screen. This is filmmaking at its wretched worst. At least Child's Play had a sense of humor. All Dead Silence has is dummies.
Now who's the dummy?
The Shawshank Redemption is the story of Andy Dufrense (Tim Robbins); a man accused of murdering his wife and her lover and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. He is shipped to Shawshank Maximum Security Prison, in Shawshank, Maine, to spend the duration of his life. Over the next years (two hours, movie time), he finds his way to inner peace and holds onto great hope in the midst of the terror of the prison system.
Continue reading: The Shawshank Redemption Review
What's new in the music world this week?
'Sounds of Silence' was released on this day (January 17th) in 1966.
Listen to Alex Bayly performing 'Animal'.
Two weeks ahead of Independent Venue Week, Dry Cleaning made 'Britain's Best Small Venue 2015' (NME) the second port of call on their 2020 tour.
'Leave Home' was released on this day (January 10th) in 1977.
For their last gig of the year, The Libertines came back to their adopted hometown of Margate to finish off their latest tour.
Celebrating the birthday of David Bowie with his most legendary songs.
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We all have bad days, but for Driver (Gibson) his day is really taking the...
Mickey Haller might not be one of the top lawyers in LA but the service...
It is hardly a reassuring sign when one of the more interesting things in a...
Dead Silence sucks. It's as simple as that. I like schlocky horror films as much...