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
Elaine Hendrix - FX Networks Upfront Screening Of 'The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story' at AMC Empire 25 theater - Arrivals - New York, New York, United States - Wednesday 30th March 2016
It's nearing the end of summer in Fairbanks, Alaska, and it's almost time to return to school. Vanessa has spent her summer working in an ice cream shack and she's about to be dumped by her boyfriend Philip. To Vanessa, Philip is perfect, THE boy she was meant to be with and after he breaks the news to her, there's only one thing she want to do: win him back.
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When we first meet Celeste (Cho), she's miserable in her '80s-era Illinois high school. As the only overweight Asian goth-punk in school, she's destined to feel like an outsider. Her only friend is the flamboyantly gay Bam Bam (Bruce Daniels), with whom she plans to make a great escape to the big city.
Continue reading: Bam Bam And Celeste Review
That's why Superstar, starring Molly Shannon, is a breath of fresh air. It's the first film in a long while to give a woman the freedom to "get jiggy" with all-out Jim Carrey-esque full body humor.
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Reminiscent of Carl Sagan's PBS series "Cosmos" in its disposition and its tone of wonderment, "What the #$*! Do We Know?!" is a fascinating, nearly uncategorizable movie hybrid. A documentary about the theoretical inter-relationship of spirituality, biology and quantum physics, its intricate existential concepts are wrapped around a fictional story, used to illustrate and make comprehensible all the heavy-thinking wild notions proffered by enthusiastic science wonks and philosophers interviewed in non-fiction portions of the picture.
It's a film that fires the mind with scores of terrific, circular scientific quandaries, such as the fact that experiencing, remembering and imagining an event all trigger the exact same signals in the exact same areas of the brain. So, the movie asks, what is reality and how can one tell? It also delves into under-examined notions of biology (heroin uses the same receptors on human cells as the chemicals triggered by emotions), physics (the fundamental laws of which don't recognize time), and even religion. Jesus' preaching about the mustard seed being larger than the kingdom of heaven is "pure Quantum physics" says one interviewee. Another adds, "We're living on the tip of the quantum iceberg."
By loosely tying all this into the interwoven narrative about a deaf photographer (Marlee Matlin from "Children of a Lesser God") slowly emerging from a deep and bitter post-divorce funk, writer-directors William Arntz, Betsy Chasse and Mark Vicente provide an affecting accessibility that gradually paints a very large picture of a universe more ordered and interconnected -- and yet more mysterious -- than mankind has hitherto imagined.
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Here's a quote from the "Here On Earth" press kit: "The lives of three young people -- a rich student, a girl from the 'wrong side of the tracks' and her boyfriend -- unexpectedly intersect during one fateful summer..." It's enough to make one's eyes roll like slot machines.
So imagine my surprise when this teenage romantic tear-jerker managed to overcome its connect-the-dots script, its paltry romantic chemistry and its endless parade of empty musical montage sequences to become affecting enough to make a whole row of college girls at the preview screening cry. OK, maybe I got a little misty, myself. But just don't tell anybody, will you?
The palatably promising Leelee Sobieski ("Deep Impact") stars as Samantha, daughter of a small town diner owner whose love life has since childhood involved only one boy -- Jasper (Josh Hartnett, "The Faculty"), a hot-headed dairy farmer's son in a John Deere cap.
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The most palatable entry since "Wayne's World" in the seemingly unstoppable onslaught of "Saturday Night Live" sketches turned into feature films, "Superstar" is genuinely funny, for a change.
This time the beaten-to-death, three-minute bit stretched to movie length is about "SNL"-er Molly Shannon's terminally dorky catholic school girl Mary Katherine Gallagher, who is desperate for her first kiss and determined to break into showbiz through performing in the campus "Stamp Out Venereal Disease" talent show.
Dumb? Naturally. But director Bruce McCulloch ("Dog Park") -- an alumnus of the Canadian sketch show "Kids In the Hall" -- gives "Superstar" a different comedic sensibility than "A Night at the Roxbury," "Coneheads," and the rest of the "SNL" big screen tripe.
Continue reading: Superstar Review
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The most palatable entry since "Wayne's World" in the seemingly unstoppable onslaught of "Saturday Night...