Cast: Tamara Lawrence, Fiona Shaw, Jack London, Edward Holcroft, Chloe Pirrie, Anton Lesser Director: Joe Marcantonio Screenwriter: Joe Marcantonio, Jason McColgan Distributor: IFC Midnight Running Time: 101 min Rating: NR Year: 2020.
Following the death of their son after he’s thrown from his horse—in a scene that Thomas Bezucha’s Let Him Go repeatedly flashes back to, and to diminishing returns—Margaret and George Blackledge (Diane Lane and Kevin Costner) plan to devote themselves fully to their grandson. Triggered aims for satire, namely at the expense of millennials, Gen Zers, and woke culture. Reportedly an animated project based on the long-running Pawn Shop Chronicles video game franchise. Such details are highly self-conscious, as Winkler is striving for a broadly mythic kind of American strife that will allow him to eventually honor the indomitability of the human spirit, but he initially handles this kitsch confidently. Even without much in the way of actual pocket cash, Connie and her friends become different people while roaming stores. The Dark and the Wicked tries so hard to transcend its genre that it feels starchy, over-considered, emotionally freeze-dried. The remaining tales, however, have a sick-joke grandeur that suggests what might have happened if O. Henry had ever written for EC Comics. The second story is a perverse wowzer that follows a recently married man (Matt Dillon) as he stumbles upon the truth of his first wife’s disappearance, which sends him on a surreal journey that eventually leads to the home of a very disturbed individual played by Elijah Wood. As Johnny, an ominous figure with a dark secret, Elijah Wood joins the coterie of recognizable names and faces jumping at the opportunity to roll around in filth at Kramer’s behest. How solid is the line dividing gothic suspense from trauma porn? Next up is 'The Ring.' Marcantonio effectively creates an imposing environment with the brooding presence of the ravens and other pieces of moody mise-en-scène, but there’s a creakiness to the story that often makes it more aggravating than horrifying or unnerving. Through the decades—and subsequent crazes for color and sound, stereoscopy and anamorphosis—since that train threatened to barrel into the front row, there’s never been a time when audiences didn’t clamor for the palpating fingers of fear. Kramer is clearly a gifted filmmaker but based on his work here, he seems to be doing a very good job of hiding those gifts. Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton, Emma Roberts, Lauren Holly, and James Remar are poignant in their minimalist roles, and writer-director Oz Perkins arranges their characters in a cleverly constructed narrative prism that simultaneously dramatizes violence and its aftermath in an endless chain reaction of perpetual cause and effect. Or, rather, he blasted the 1980s specifically for its return to a 1950s-reminiscent moral and political agenda. Joel’s memories go backward in time from the last gasp of their love to their initial spark, but there are sideways detours along the way that take him to infancy and memories of his first childhood humiliation. Chopra’s direction, comparatively matter-of-fact and tranquil up to this point, suddenly embraces the visual language of horror during this stretch of the film, employing angled shots and alternately placid and arrhythmic editing to emphasize the distance between the teenage Connie and the thirtysomething Arnold and how quickly it can be closed. The film’s early scenes, set in a hardscrabble Fall River, Massachusetts, have a commanding dreariness that’s counterpointed by Hunnam’s fidgety energy and O’Connell’s stoic sense of loneliness. This “feeling” is very much what director Max Winkler is aiming for in his own Jungleland. Kingpin comes to haunt Jungleland, as the Farrellys mined this premise for more suspense and pathos than Winkler does while simultaneously ribbing the ridiculousness of such a setup. Cast: Sean Cameron Michael, Liesl Ahlers, Reine Swart, Steven Ward, Suraya Rose Santos, Craig Urbani, Kayla Privett, Michael Lawrence Potter, Russell Crous, Cameron Scott, Paige Bonnin Director: Alastair Orr Screenwriter: David D. Jones Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films Running Time: 90 min Rating: NR Year: 2020. 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Chopra homes in on how vast an age difference of even a year or two can seem when, for example, Connie’s friends want to go to a movie, only for the youngest among them to become exasperated when the others are willing to bail on the movie that she now wants to see due to their learning that a group of cute guys are seeing something else. In the first, paranoid, gun-wielding, white-supremacist tweakers (Lukas Haas; Paul Walker; and Norman Reedus, also of “The Walking Dead”) who are so strung out that they can’t see straight risk blowing themselves up while trying to rob a meth lab. Nichols has an easy mastery of pacing and tension, employing a churning sound design (and a pulsing score by David Wingo) that allows moments of occasionally bloody action to arrive with a frightening blast or a deep, quaking rumble of bass, and the film moves with purpose to its final destination. Tellingly, Jungleland only comes back to life at its conclusion, when the film’s soundtrack makes way for, yes, a Springsteen song (his cover of “Dream Baby Dream”). They are, in what amounts to a particularly delicious irony, a “safe space” in which we can explore these otherwise unfathomable facets of our true selves, while yet consoling ourselves with the knowledge that “it’s only a movie.”, At the same time, the genre manages to find fresh and powerful metaphors for where we’re at as a society and how we endure fractious, fearful times.
Jaime Christley. Rating (0) (No Ratings Yet) Cast: Paul Walker, Norman Reedus, Elijah Wood, Brendan Fraser, Vincent D'Onofrio, Thomas Jane, Matt Dillon, Lukas Haas, DJ Qualls, Chi McBride, Ashlee Simpson Director: Wayne Kramer Screenwriter: Adam Minarovich Distributor: Anchor Bay Films Running Time: 112 min Rating: R Year: 2013 Buy: Video, Review: Capone Superficially Keys Itself to a Gangster’s Rattled Mind, Review: Lars von Trier’s The House That Jack Built on Shout! But the family of The Dark and the Wicked isn’t interesting and doesn’t appear salvageable, especially Louise and Michael, who pace around and mutter nearly indecipherably while maintaining a monotonously futile death watch over their old man. And by then, it’s hard to find horror or pleasure in its repetition. Ever since his son died years ago at one of the group’s high school parties, Mr. Peterson has held each one of them personally responsible. Tobias’s casual cowardice suggests his sense of failing his family, while Elin’s quick death scenes embody her feelings of being abandoned by Tobias. Such things are precious, and Gondry revels in that world in all its fleeting, flickering, ever-mutating joys. Early on, Kindred offers up some effectually unsettling sights and sounds, but it’s difficult to shake the feeling that it has nothing left to say long before it staggers, alongside its very pregnant heroine, toward the finish line. The ending, which parodies the suggestion of ownership that’s latent in the classic marriage arrangement, has unexpected bite. Some of these depictions are humorous, others haunting. The racial dynamics of Margaret’s resentment and kidnapping are plain enough, and for a while Kindred is a genuinely unsettling horror allegory about the ease with which a powerful white woman can strip autonomy from a black woman.
Chase introduces two new wrinkles to this formula: The first is that the monster’s home dimension is the electronic realm of smartphones, tablets, and the electrical system, and the second is that the child, Oliver (Azhy Robertson), has autism and is nonverbal. It is, as Mr. Peterson states, his “one final lesson.”. Pawn Shop Chronicles Directed by Wayne Kramer , Starring Wayne Kramer , Michael Cudlitz , Vincent D'Onofrio , Matt Dillon , Brendan Fraser , Lukas Haas , Sam Hennings , Bernard Hocke , Marc Macaulay , Elijah Wood , Chi McBride , Thomas Jane , Norman Reedus , Paul Walker , DJ Qualls , Matthew O'Leary , Pell James , Kevin Rankin , Ashlee Simpson , Adam Minarovich , Kaitlin Ferrell For one, why would a child’s toy beckon a nightmare world? We’re seemingly caught up alongside the protagonists in a temporal loop, a la Harold Raimis’s Groundhog Day and its many imitators. More importantly, it has a reasonably winning performance by Fraser, who throws himself into the role of a faux-Elvis with obvious zeal, and its climax, in which all three stories finally tie together (to the strains of "Amazing Grace," no less), achieves, if only for a few moments, the kind of demented grandeur that it otherwise fails to achieve the rest of the time. Hooper’s Grand Guignol flourishes are occasionally evident, particularly when a paranormal investigator pulls his own face off, but the technical proficiency is all Spielberg’s, as is the abiding interest in families and the influences (supernatural or otherwise) that disrupt them. As a drunk says to Alex (Malcolm McDowell) right before taking a vicious beating: “I don’t want to live anyway!
(Tellingly, the death of the livestock here is more moving than the brutal demises of any of this film’s humans.) The Weboys aren’t people so much as armed obstacles to the Blackledges’ family reunion: Except for the pungent Blanche and lewd Uncle Bill, played with over-the-top menace by Jeffrey Donovan, the rest of the gang blends together as nondescript thugs. The pawn shop of the title sits tucked under a highway somewhere in the Deep South (filming was done in Louisiana), watched over by laconic … The titles below (all presently streaming on Netflix) have shown us utopias, dystopias, distant planets, and our own Earth destroyed.
What would you get if you pawned “Pawn Shop Chronicles”?
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