REVIEW: While ‘Joker’ is interesting, like it’s character, it’s somewhat lost

In just over a decade there have been three different versions of the Joker on screen. Considering that rate, we’re due for several more in the 2020s. Yay?

The most recent film featuring the Clown Prince of Crime stars Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role. However, he doesn’t start out as the Joker. Instead, the movie opens with Phoenix playing Arthur Fleck, a troubled man working as an entertainment clown who aspires to be a stand-up comedian.

On top of being a mentally ill person who lives in a community comfortable with slashing health services, Arthur is also responsible for caring for his sick mother. One of the only bits of happiness in his life comes from watching a show featuring comedian Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro). Unfortunately, pressure Arthur experiences daily begins to crack him, setting him on a violent path.

Continue reading “REVIEW: While ‘Joker’ is interesting, like it’s character, it’s somewhat lost”

Advertisements

REVIEW: ‘Mother’ Is One Of The Year’s Most Extreme Films, And For The Most Part It Works

Perennial cinematic risk taker Darren Aronofsky, who’s previously helmed films such as “Black Swan” and “Requiem for a Dream,” is at it again with this year’s “Mother!”

The movie opens rather mysteriously before introducing the audience to the two lead characters, named only Mother (Jennifer Lawrence) and Him (Javier Bardem). Their married life is a simple one, Him being a writer and poet who’s trying to find his next breakthrough while Mother works on restoring sections of the house they live in.

Tensions begin to rise as two guests show up on their home’s doorsteps, though, played by Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer. That tension only continues to build as the situation at the house becomes more and more unsettling.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Mother’ Is One Of The Year’s Most Extreme Films, And For The Most Part It Works”

REVIEW: ‘Elle’ Is A Dark, Disturbing Piece Powered By Isabelle Huppert’s Performance

For the first time since 2012 Paul Verhoeven returns to the director’s chair with arguably his most twisted feature film to date.

“Elle” follows the title character who’s more commonly referred to as Michele. A CEO of a major video game development company, Michele is a wealthy and rather powerful business woman living in France.

Her life, already quite complicated, becomes shattered in the opening scene of the film, though, when she’s attacked and raped at her home. What follows is an exploration of how the character deals with such a disgusting act, how it influences her decisions and how it relates to her past.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Elle’ Is A Dark, Disturbing Piece Powered By Isabelle Huppert’s Performance”

Halloween Horror Fest 2016: Honoring Anthony Perkins’ performance

Of all the horror/thriller performances I’m looking at this October, Anthony Perkins’ in “Psycho” is arguably the best.

Credit for the 1960 masterpiece also has to obviously go to the brilliant direction of Alfred Hitchcock as well as Janet Leigh who played Marion. However, it’s undeniable that Perkins’ acting was an integral part of making this a film for the ages.

Continue reading “Halloween Horror Fest 2016: Honoring Anthony Perkins’ performance”

REVIEW: Lackluster Mystery, Dull Acting Sends ‘Girl On The Train’ Off The Rails

A complex murder mystery unravels in “The Girl on the Train,” a movie that starts off with a scene based on the title.

Emily Blunt plays a divorcee named Rachel, a woman struggling with alcoholism who rides a train through New York state on a daily basis in a sort of daze. On a day-to-day basis, Rachel passes by the home she used to share with her husband and reminisces while also watching another couple, Megan (Haley Bennett) and Scott (Luke Evans) with envy.

On one day in particular, Rachel happens to see something after getting off at a train stop, but because of her drunken state, she has trouble remembering.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Lackluster Mystery, Dull Acting Sends ‘Girl On The Train’ Off The Rails”

Ex Machina review

Director:
Alex Garland
Cast:
Domhnall Gleeson
Oscar Isaac
Alicia Vikander
Rated: R

Domhnall Gleeson plays Caleb in “Ex Machina,” a sci-fi film directed by Alex Garland. Caleb works for a company that is more or less the equivalent to Google in our world. The film opens with Caleb being invited to spend a week at the home of the tech company’s founder and owner.

Upon arrival, Caleb learns that the CEO Nathan (Isaac) lives in a subterranean type home and his residence is actually used for research and development.

Currently, Nathan is trying to create an artificial intelligence system and asks Caleb to test the A.I.

Continue reading “Ex Machina review”

Nightcrawler review

Director:
Dan Gilroy
Cast:
Jake Gyllenhaal
Bill Paxton
Riz Ahmed
Rene Russo
Rated: R

Jake Gyllenhaal plays Louis in “Nightcrawler,” a man who lives in a small apartment in Los Angeles and appears to just drift through life, staying up all night and working in whatever jobs he can get. One night while looking for a way to make some money, he comes across a horrific accident and sees a van full of photographers go to the scene and shoot video.

The event gives him the idea to try this himself and sell his videos to a news station. There are moments very early on, though, that show that Louis isn’t just an ambitious young man, he is a mentally unstable person and will stop at nothing for a good video to make the morning news.

Continue reading “Nightcrawler review”

Gone Girl review

Director:
David Fincher
Cast:
Ben Affleck
Rosemund Pike
Neil Patrick Harris
Tyler Perry
Carrie Coon
Kim Dickens
Rated: R

Ben Affleck plays Nick Dunne, a man who lives in the suburbs of St. Louis and is for the most part seems happy in his marriage to his wife Amy (Pike). After coming home from a visit to the bar he owns, though, he finds broken furniture and his wife missing.

Nick immediately calls law enforcement and officers and detectives, including lead investigator Rhonda Boney (Dickens), stop by the house to see what evidence they can find. The only problem, though, is that as a short time passes, both law enforcement and the media start seeing Nick as a potential suspect. And that is just the first of many twists.

Continue reading “Gone Girl review”

Prisoners review

Director:
Denis Villeneuve
Cast:
Hugh Jackman
Jake Gyllenhaal
Viola Davis
Terrence Howard
Paul Dano
Rated: R

Hugh Jackman didn’t need any claws to dish out some pain this time around.

“Prisoners” is a movie that takes the audience on a suspenseful and quite uncomfortable ride. Hugh Jackman plays Keller Dover, a midwestern, middle class father who has brought his family over to a friend’s house to celebrate Thanksgiving.

During the festivities, Keller and his friend Franklin’s (Howard) daughters go outside to play before dinner. However, they end up not coming back.

Continue reading “Prisoners review”

The House at the end of the Street review

Jennifer Lawrence decided not to save her best for last this year.

“House at the End of the Street” follows Elissa, played by “Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence, as a young high school student who has just moved into a new town. Upon arrival at her new house, she and her mother Sarah, played by Elisabeth Shue, are informed about the history of the neighboring house. Years ago, a murder occurred where a mother and a father were killed by their own daughter. The son, who was living out of town at the time, inherited the house and now lives there on his own and the daughter was reported as having gone missing and eventually died.

The son named Ryan, portrayed by Max Thieriot, has now for the most part become a shut-in, young man who doesn’t leave his house much, however, eventually he meets Elissa and the two start a relationship. Ryan is actually hiding a dark secret in the basement of his house.

Continue reading “The House at the end of the Street review”