In a dark and corrupt world, the rich and powerful are the bad guys, while those who strive to bring them down are destined to fail. With sin and vice running wild, the dirty police force are pushed into a war with the criminals they have spent so long supporting. Cymbeline (Ed Harris) is a powerful drug lord that one day decides he no longer wants to pay the police for their protection, pushing both sides to put their financial goals aside and embark in a bitter and desperate battle to rid the world of one-another.
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This new version of Shakespeare's romantic farce looks like it was shot on video in the filmmaker's house with his friends over the course of about two weeks, which is exactly the case. It's lively and funny, and occasionally also warm and emotional, but the uneven tone never quite comes together to bring out the passion in the characters. An enjoyable experiment, the film keeps us entertained but refuses to spring to life.
Set in present-day suburbia, the story opens as Don Pedro (Diamond) and his henchmen Benedick and Claudio (Denisof and Kranz) deliver rival gang leader Don John (Maher) to his mob boss brother Leonato (Gregg). A confirmed bachelor, Benedick continues his verbal sparring with Leonato's feisty love-rejecting daughter Beatrice (Acker), while Claudio seeks help in wooing her sweet cousin Hero (Morgese). But Leonato decides to have some fun here, tricking Benedick and Beatrice into falling in love with each other. Meanwhile, the imprisoned Don John is plotting to destroy his brother, while a bumbling detective (Fillion) tries to figure out what's up.
Filmmaker Whedon assembles his cast from actors he worked with in everything from Buffy to The Avengers, creating a loose, relaxed atmosphere that makes the film easy to watch, even though it's in black and white and is spoken in Shakespearean dialect. On the other hand, this kind of mutes the play's romantic highs and tragic lows, evening everything out into a gentle comedy of manners with slapstick touches. Part of the problem is that, if you're unfamiliar with these actors, it's not easy to tell them apart as they are dressed in identical black suits. But the cast is excellent, delivering the dialog with off-handed precision.
Continue reading: Much Ado About Nothing Review
When you qualify your movie as the "last" anything, a sequel seems a bit out of the question, but these new filmmakers have essentially relegated the 2010 original to a mere backstory. They have moved on from the video-cam format and the whole debunking premise to make a much more straightforward horror romp. And while it's packed with cliches, it heads full-speed into a final act that's jaw-droppingly bonkers enough to make this a guilty pleasure.
After the carnage of that farmhouse exorcism, Nell (Bell) is the only survivor. She's taken to a New Orleans halfway house with other battered women, who begin to teach her how to live her life after growing up in isolation. She still has a sense of her religious roots, but learns to enjoy pop music and even starts flirting with a cute handyman (Clark). Even though she wants to believe that her demon-possession wasn't real, it becomes apparent that maybe that previous exorcism didn't quite take. "A piece of him is still inside you," says an occult expert (Jensen), completely without irony. Indeed the demon is back with a vengeance, and he has something awful in mind.
Filmmaker Gass-Donnelly keeps the atmosphere tense, throwing in elements from every horror film in recent memory, including creepy masked figures, staticky broadcasts, insidious phone calls, buzzing houseflies and even a sassy psychic (Riggs). The soundtrack is full of creep-out noises, while the images are intercut with flickers of the previous film. But all of this is done in that bland Hollywood style that makes us jump without actually freaking us out. Thankfully, the film has Bell on board to deliver a performance much better than the movie deserves: she's genuinely unsettling as the tormented innocent.
Continue reading: The Last Exorcism Part II Review
When Don Pedro arrives in Messina with his officers Benedick and Claudio, they meet with the Messina Governor Leonato and Claudio subsequently falls head over heels for his daughter Hero but is too shy to court her. Benedick makes it clear that he will never be married, sharing a similar feeling with Leonato's niece Beatrice with whom he strikes up a fiery relationship. While Don Pedro goes about tricking Claudio into wooing Hero and getting Benedick and Beatrice to confess their love for one another, his bitter brother Don John goes about trying to break up the peace in the group with his own callous plotting. Will a string of nasty lies destroy all harmony in the beautifully blossoming courtships, or will love be strong enough to hold it all together?
Continue: Much Ado About Nothing Trailer
After the last members of her family die in a horrific satanic ritual, Nell Sweetzer is found frightened wandering around Louisiana. Once she is found, she is encouraged to start afresh in New Orleans but wherever she goes, she can't seem to get the memory of her demonic possession out of her life and it is uncovered that her last exorcism was not, in fact, her last at all as the demon Alabam has returned to her body with plans of an ever more destructive and grisly nature. Will her next exorcism succeed in banishing the wrath of the creature taking over her, or will she be doomed to live with him inside her forever more?
This chilling supernatural horror has been directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly ('Small Town Murder Songs' 'This Beautiful City') who co-wrote the screenplay with Damien Chazelle ('Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench'). It follows on from the previous 'The Last Exorcism' film directed by Daniel Stamm whereby a minister who has lost his faith is called to exorcise Nell at her home where she lived with her father and brother. Looking to be just as disturbing as number one, 'The Last Exorcism Part II' is set to hit screens on March 15th 2013.
Director: Ed Gass-Donnelly
Continue: The Last Exorcism Part II Trailer
Against his will, teenager Tommy (Denton) is sent to a Camp Hope by his deeply religious parents (Delany and McCarthy). More like a military bootcamp than a week of summer fun, the camp is run by a cult-like covenant community. The rules Father McAllister (Davison) enforces are painfully strict, although Tommy scores points because he's reading Dante. Fortunately, no one knows about his crush on Melissa (de Angelis). Meanwhile, after a violent demon-related incident, Daniel (Eisenberg) has been in a mental health facility for six months.
Continue reading: Camp Hell Review
Sadly, the answer is neither, though an overexcited populace spoon-fed on a year's worth of hype is likely to lean toward the latter owing to severe disappointment. It's hard to blame them.
Continue reading: Unbreakable Review
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