Stock company IBIS Clear Capital loses $800 million dollars when a trading algorithm “glitches” inexplicably. Lee Gates (George Clooney) hosts a gimmicky, Mad Money-style stock show that gets hijacked by a gunman (Jack O’Connell) as a result of this stock collapse. Our hijacking criminal is trying to reveal the real criminals: the Wall Street bigwigs. How topical.
The film is littered with logical pitfalls and narrative conveniences, but we can let these slide, because Continue reading Money Monster (2016) Movie Review
Sound is a vital part of any horror film. Perhaps the most vital. What happens, then, when you insert a protagonist into a horror-thriller narrative who is deaf. This is exactly the case with Hush, which pits novelist Maddie Young (Kate Siegal), who lives conveniently in the middle of the woods with few people within screaming distance (if she could scream, that is, as she is also mute), against a masked intruder (John Gallagher Jr.).
This premise, in its early stages of execution, makes for a very Continue reading Hush (2016) Movie Review
Two couples move in to a quaint duplex and, coincidentally, both are expecting. Kate and Justin (Clemence Poesy and Stephen Campbell Moore) are unassuming and innocently critical. Theresa and Jon (Laura Birn and David Morrissey) are welcoming and intolerably tidy. Their lives initially appear like mirrors with only the slightest light refracted, but the light starts to bend more and more when they sit down for dinner together. And this light can only hope to continue bending away from center as the film progresses.
The first act, culminating in this dinner scene, is structured with precision. The editing may be standard shot-reverse shots, but the compositions are Continue reading The Ones Below (2016) Movie Review
Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), in the process of leaving her boyfriend, suddenly becomes party to a car wreck. She awakens in a concrete room chained to the wall. An effectively desperate Winstead struggles just to reach her phone in a tense scene that culminates in the menacing introduction of Michelle’s captor Howard (John Goodman).
This early standoff between Winstead and Goodman is fascinating, although it would have played better with Continue reading 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) Movie Review
The Loft begins with distracting shots: intentional blurring and tightly framed, hyper-wide angles. These grotesque wide angles return frequently throughout the length of the film.
A groveling Karl Urban tepidly growls his lines as Vincent Stevens, a man being interrogated by police after a woman is found dead Continue reading The Loft (2015) Movie Review
Cold Deck opens with a jazzy soundtrack and a warmly-lit montage of poker tables being played. The film zooms in on one particular table, where the players engage in emasculating ball-busting, each jab met with the same uproarious laughter.
One player, Bobby (Stefano Gallo), loses out to the clubs owner, Chips (Paul Sorvino), who takes sympathy on him and lends him some cash.
Bobby works in a factory, but his conversations are all on gambling. It is his lifestyle. Strapped for cash, barely able to Continue reading Cold Deck (2015) Movie Review
The main diegesis of Goodnight Mommy begins with two twin brothers being children. They play tag in a corn field and frolic through the woods. They cautiously enter through a dark void of a passageway, referring back to the viewers themselves, who are choosing to do the same by watching this film.
The film opens with an immediate sense of stillness. But there is Continue reading Goodnight Mommy (2015) Movie Review