With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic story of a rather odd 9-year-old boy and the adults caught in a twisted vortex around him. Emotive acting helps make the characters come to life, and the story's secrets keep the audience hooked as what's actually happening becomes horrifyingly clear.
Louis Drax (Alden Longworth) has had several close encounters with death in his first nine years. Is he immortal? Or just accident prone? His mother Natalie (Sarah Gadon) protects him fiercely, while his father Peter (Aaron Paul) clearly adores him. So what happened on his birthday, when Peter went missing and Louis ended up in a coma after falling from a cliff? While treating him, Dr Pascal (Jamie Dornan) becomes entangled in the drama of their life. He meets Louis' sardonic therapist (Oliver Platt) and Peter's manic mother (Barbara Hershey), and he also gets perhaps a bit too close to Natalie than he should.
Director Alexandre Aja and writer Max Mingella have a lot of fun stirring in references to Hitchcock films, including the San Francisco setting, switching identities, vertiginous heights and a dangerous blonde. They add so many mysteries and red herrings into the plot that the audience is kept happily off-balance for most of the film, waiting for the other shoes to drop. This means that everything feels somewhat overcooked, complete with fantasies, dreams and even some magic. But this gives the cast a lot to play with. Dornan is his usual charming, seductive self, haplessly wooing Natalie even though he already has a hot wife (McGregor). But then Gadon oozes vulnerable lustiness in her role, so he doesn't have much of a chance. And despite the obvious set-up, Paul creates a surprisingly complex character out of Peter, while Hershey has fun chomping on the scenery.
Continue reading: The 9th Life Of Louis Drax Review
With his most stylish film yet, horror specialist Alexandre Aja takes a wildly irreverent approach, packing the screen with rude humour, visual flourishes and spiky characters. But it's assembled in such a rapid-fire way that it's difficult to get a handle on anything, which makes the movie feel like a series of outrageous set-pieces without a coherent plot to hold them together. The likeable actors help bring their characters to life, but the film is too hyperactive to let us engage with any of them.
It's set in a small town near Seattle, where Ig (Daniel Radcliffe) is in shock after his childhood sweetheart Merrin (Juno Temple) was violently murdered. Then he becomes the prime suspect, and the media have a field day. So he hires his lifelong pal Lee (Max Minghella) as his lawyer, partly because he's the only person in town who believes he's innocent. This includes Ig's parents (James Remar and Kathleen Quinlan) and brother (Joe Anderson). As the situation continues to deteriorate, Ig suddenly discovers that horns are growing on his head and no one seems very shocked by this. They also seem unable to lie in his presence, so he decides to use this to find out who really killed Merrin. Along the way he gets a shocking glimpse into what everyone in town really thinks about each other.
The film is an assault on the senses, as Aja packs every moment with outrageous sights and sounds, encouraging the actors to sometimes drift over the line into broad slapstick. He also fills the screen with religious imagery, including churches, crosses, pitchforks and snakes, all hinting that Ig's transformation is connected with his loss of faith. Or maybe it's just part of the film's jokey attitude. But as pieces of the central mystery slowly fall into place, the movie seems to become looser and less coherent. Even when the real villain is identified, there's still at least half an hour of flashbacks and revelations, confrontations and conclusions, none of which are particularly surprising or satisfying.
Continue reading: Horns Review
A riff on the 1983 classic The Big Chill, this ensemble drama's reunion of old friends differs because Alex's suicide fails this time. It's also, of course, filtered through a very different cultural landscape, with characters born at about the time the earlier film was released. This is a strikingly warm exploration of friendship, with light comedy and very dark emotions along the way. And even if it sometimes feels a little sloppy about its big themes, it has a lot to say.
After Alex (Jason Ritter) attempts suicide, his best pal Ben (Nate Parker) calls the old gang and asks them to come to Upstate New York and offer some support. Ben brings his girlfriend Siri (Maggie Grace), who's also part of the group. But they're grappling with some big issues in their relationship, since he's a blocked writer and she has just had a job offer in Los Angeles. The cynical Josh (Max Greenfield) arrives at the same time as the charmer Sarah (Aubrey Plaza), and they can barely conceal the waves of loathing and lust between them. Finally, Isaac (Max Minghella) brings his younger girlfriend Kate (Jane Levy). As these people reconnect, the awkwardness is made even more intense by the question of how they can help Alex.
It's intriguing to see a movie made about 30-ish characters by 28-year-old Jesse Zwick, son of filmmaker Edward, who made the seminal TV series Thirtysomething. The film refreshingly avoids stereotypes, populating scenes with realistic people who are still hung up on the same issues they faced while in university, including quite a lot of soapy "he likes her but she likes him" melodrama. But as the weekend progresses, the thoughtful conversations lead to revelations and confessions, spurred on by some pot-smoking, game-playing, dancing and noisy sex. All of which gives the actors plenty to play with.
Continue reading: About Alex Review
Following the mysterious death of his girlfriend, Merrin Williams (Juno Temple), Ig Perrish (Daniel Redcliffe) wakes up from with a hangover and no recollection of the night before. When horns begin to steadily grow out of his head, and the local people begin to believe that Perrish is guilty of raping and murdering Williams, Perrish decides that the time has come to find his girlfriend's killer, once and for all - so that she may finally rest in peace, and he can save both his name and his soul from eternal damnation.
Continue: Horns - Alternative Trailer
Ig Perrish wakes up after a particularly drunken night with a very sore head - though, as it turns out, this is no ordinary hangover. He finds that he is somehow growing horns from his tempes, following the brutal murder of his girlfriend. Having been the prime suspect in the case, the media are swamping him everyday since he was absolved, and it seems no-one actually believes he was really innocent. Checking out his new growths, he visits one of the few friends he still has but is amazed to see that she neither looks surprised or troubled by them. As the day goes on, he visits a doctor, but soon discovers that everyone appears to be being painfully honest with him about their private thoughts - and not only that, but he seems to have to power to control their actions too.
Continue: Horns Trailer
The rockers return with a new single and the promise of a singles compilation album.
'Shot At The Night' marks The Killers return ahead of the release of their upcoming singles compilation album, Direct Hits, that will include all their hits from 2003 to 2013. The Las Vegas rockers are heading home for their latest song, with a video that celebrates the romance and thrill of night time in Sin City with a modern Cinderella story.
Brandon Flowers Unveils A New Look.
During the video, we're given shots of Brandon Flowers' new look. Gone are the flamboyant suits, wee moustache and the embellished shoulders as the lead singer eschews his Day & Age attire in favour of slicked back hair and a leather jacket.
Continue reading: The Killers Are Back With 'A Shot At The Night' In Sin City [Video]
This Wedding Crashers reunion has enough snappy dialog to keep us laughing even if the film itself feels like little more than a two-hour Google advert. Thankfully, Vaughn and Wilson are back on form after a number of flabby roles, and they keep the energy levels high enough to distract us from the fact that there's virtually nothing to either the character or the plot.
They play Billy and Nick, salesmen who are left unemployed when their company closes down. Nick finds a new job with his tattooed brother-in-law (Ferrell), but Billy talks him into ditching it for a summer internship at Google, where they join a mob of teen brainiacs in a battle for permanent jobs. Their ethnically diverse team of misfits (including O'Brien, Sircar and Raphael) is led by 23-year-old Lyle (Brener), and after a series of mishaps they begin to work together, surprising their aggressive rival (Minghella) and the intern programme director (Mandvi). Meanwhile, Nick flirts comically with Google exec Dana (Byrne).
This is a deeply lazy script that can't even be bothered to differentiate between the personalities of Billy and Nick, let alone anyone else on screen. Each person is defined by a couple of superficial characteristics, so there are no actual relationships between anyone. Billy and Nick aren't even allowed a hint of bromance. And it's simply insulting how the screenplay makes these two "old" men illiterate about both computers and culture (they've never heard of X-men?). Of course, they also teach the kids a lot about partying away from computer screens.
Continue reading: The Internship Review
Billy and Nick thought they were the perfect sales team, but their careers hit rock bottom when the owner of their company shut up shop due to the ever increasing internet preference among consumers. However, Billy soon manages to find a way for them to pick up a new, more stable job in the world of technological advancement and lands them an interview for an internship with global internet giant Google. As interns, they are made to compete for a full time job with an army of young, genius students who way out-geek Billy and Nick and whose expertise in technology is formidable. As much as they try and fit in with them, the students just can't help themselves and find every opportunity to take advantage of their computer naivety.
Continue: The Internship Trailer
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This heavy-handed drug-war thriller proves that Oliver Stone has lost the ability to tell a balanced story. And the all-star cast seems clueless about why they're here. Except a vamping Salma Hayek.
Continue reading: The Ten Worst Films Of 2012
Sean (Hirsch) has accompanied his pal Ben (Minghella) to Moscow for a work pitch that immediately goes awry. Drowning their sorrows in a hip bar, they meet hot tourists Natalie and Anne (Thirlby and Taylor). But a citywide blackout signals the arrival of alien creatures that aren't much more than pulses of light and energy. And they're intent on obliterating humans. So these four young people start an odyssey of survival, meeting a variety of colourful characters along the way.
Continue reading: The Darkest Hour Review
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