Tagged: Jaeden Lieberher

It Poster

Summary: A group of bullied kids band together when a monster, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.

Year: 2017

Australian Cinema Release Date: 7th September 2017

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Andy Muschietti

Screenwriter: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, Gary Dauberman, Stephen King (novel)

Cast: Mollie Jane Atkinson (Sonia Kasprak), Stephen Bogaert (Mr. Marsh), Joe Bostick (Mr. Keene), Megan Charpentier (Gretta), Ari Cohen (Rabbi Uris), Neil Crone (Chief Borton), Pip Dwyer (Sharon Denbrough), Sonia Gascon (Mrs. Ripsom), Jack Dylan Grazer (Eddie Kaspbrak), Nicholas Hamilton (Henry Bowers), Stuart Hughes (Officer Bowers), Chosen Jacobs (Mike Hanlon), Tatum Lee (Judith), Jaeden Lieberher (Bill Denbrough), Sophia Lillis (Beverly Marsh), Katie Lunman (Betty Ripsom), Wyatt Oleff (Stanley Uris), Geoffrey Pounsett (Zach Denbrough), Elizabeth Saunders (Mrs. Starret), Jackson Robert Scott (Georgie Denbrough), Jake Sim (Belch Huggins), Bill Skarsgard (Pennywise), Jeremy Ray Taylor (Ben Hanscom), Owen Teague (Patrick Hockstetter), Logan Thompson (Victor Criss), Anthony Ulc (Joe The Butcher), Kelly Van der Burg (Abigail), Steven Williams (Leroy Hanlon), Finn Wolfhard (Richie Tozier)

Runtime: 135 mins

Classification: MA15+

OUR IT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths:

 

Horror fans have had a bit of a mixed bag over the last couple of years. Films like Lights Out and Don’t Speak seemed to suggest that production companies were starting to realise that mainstream horror fans wanted a little bit more grunt when it came to the horrors that were hitting cinemas screens. But then came Annabelle: Creation and Get Out which went back to the tired old, too lame, too tame style of mainstream horror that had been disappointing horror fans for years. It was almost a toss-up on what the remake of Stephen King’s classic tale It would be. Would they take it down the tame horror lane or would they want to take a chance and really impress fans. The good news is that the latter is the case as director Andy Muschietti (Mama, Historias Breves 3) brings back a welcome dose of nastiness to mainstream horror.

This version of It is told through the eyes of the children of Derry. Headed by Bill (Jaeden Lieberher – St. Vincent, Midnight Special) whose younger brother Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott – Skin, Criminal Minds) is the latest child to go missing in the town a group of youngsters starts to piece together the puzzle that has been haunting the town for generations. Bill wants to spend the summer with his friends searching for Georgie and dodging the local bullies but when the troubled Beverly (Sophia Lillis – The Garden, 37) starts to have some terrifying experiences that they can all see and the new kid in town Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor – Ant-Man, Alvin And The Chipmunks: Road Chip) delivers his theory about an evil hitting the town every 27 years all the pieces of the puzzle starts to fall into place.

Soon it becomes obvious that a deadly clown called Pennywise (Bill Skarsgard – Simple Simon, Atomic Blonde) is behind everything and the group of friends which also includes Richie (Finn Wolfhard – Stranger Things, Sonara), Mike (Chosen Jacobs – Cops And Robbers, Hawaii Five-O), Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer – Tales Of Halloween, Beautiful Boy) and Stanley (Wyatt Oleff – Guardians Of The Galaxy, Once Upon A Time) have to overcome their fears and face them head on.

To be honest we probably haven’t seen a director take such a chance with a remake since Rob Zombie worked his magic on Halloween. With It Muschietti has delivered a completely different film to what we have seen with any adaption of It previously. He takes Stephen King’s tale and turns it into a coming age of film… and a damn fine at that. These kids aren’t your stereotypical ‘film kids.’ First he’s got kids that aren’t your average ‘child model’ actor and then has them speaking the way you would expect them to, yes parents kids do use the f**k word, and has given them each their own unique personality, which comes in handy as their fears come to the surface, rather than just simply having all the kids act exactly the same way. And while I’m sure some critics will question the scene with the kids sitting around their underwear but to me it brought a real natural feel to the film.

That natural feel also comes through in other ways throughout the film. Going back to the novel and giving the main character a stutter again makes the film feel incredibly natural and the fact that the team of screenwriters who worked on the film also saw fit to bring in controversial storylines such as child abuse only grounds the film even more in the real world. It would have been very easy to give the kids simple fears such as spiders and what not but to take it that step further and actually introduce things, like child abuse and bullying, that sadly some kids have to go through in their lives is something that not many people would have expected the script to have done.

Of course the best part of what Muschietti has done with this version of It is to remember that he is actually making a horror film and that it is more than okay to actually deliver some horror. Yes there are confronting moments of teens having to get violent with baseball bats, but realistically what are they to do when they are going into battle evil. Muschietti also doesn’t fall into the trap that so many horror filmmakers do and decide to rest his laurels on jump scares to get at his audience, instead he creates truly horrific moments that are really going to impress the hardened horror fans out there.

When looking at the cast you just have to say that the kids do  an amazing job as an ensemble. Having said that though Jaeden Liebehrer and Sophia Lillis do put in performances well and truly beyond their years though. Aside from the terrifying scenes with Pennywise these two youngsters have to conjure up the emotions that a teenager would be feeling after losing a sibling or being sexually abused by their father. No doubt both actors had to go to some pretty dark places in order to tap into that and both need to be congratulated. Billy Skarsgard also does an amazing job playing Pennywise and hopefully if they are able to do the sequel set twenty-seven years into the future that they are able to retain him.

Andy Muschietti has delivered one spectacular horror film with It. The harshness of the horror will keep fans happy while the characterisation and coming-of-age storyline is a welcome change to what could have been. Group that together with a great soundtrack, sadly no Pennywise on it though, and what we are left with is a horror remake that far exceeds what anyone expected for it.

Stars(4)

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(4)

 

IMDB Rating: 

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Wakefield Reviews: Nil

Trailer:

Midnight Special

Summary: A father named Roy (Michael Shannon) goes on the run with his son, Alton (Jaeden Lieberher), after the boy’s special powers attracts the attention of a cult who believes he delivers messages from God and also the CIA.

Year: 2016

Australian Cinema Release Date: 21st April 2016

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Jeff Nichols

Screenwriter: Jeff Nichols

Cast: Lynn Berry (herself), Sean Bridgers (Fredrick), Kerry Cahill (Linda), Bill Camp (Doak), Adam Driver (Sevier), Kirsten Dunst (Sarah Tomlin), Joel Edgerton (Lucas), Lucy Faust (Caroline), Sharon Garrison (Jane Adams), Dana Gourrier (Sharon Davison), Nancy Grace (herself), Scott Haze (Levi), David Jensen (Elden), Allison King (Hannah), Sharon Landry (Merrianne), Jaeden Lieberher (Alton Meyer), Michael Shannon (Roy), Sam Shepard (Calvin Meyer), Paul Sparks (Agent Miller)

Runtime: 112 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR MIDNIGHT SPECIAL REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

Jeff Nichols has really announced himself as one of the best modern day filmmakers over the past few years. To be honest Nichols is yet to make a bad film, and his features which have included Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter and Mud have been gems that have regularly made my Top Ten films lists of the years they were released. Hell, I would go as far as to say that Mud is right up there as one of the best modern day films made. For that reason alone when I heard that his new film, Midnight Special, was a dark edged sci-fi that just happened to star two of my favourite actors, Michael Shannon and Joel Edgerton, I was just as excited as I was about the release of Captain America: Civil War or Batman vs Superman.

Midnight Special begins with Roy (Michael Shannon – Man Of Steel) on the run from the law after he and his childhood friend Lucas (Joel Edgerton – The Gift) snatched his son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher – St. Vincent) from a cult where it is expected that Alton and his supernatural gifts will continue to be the cult’s bridge between themselves and God.

But as Roy and Lucas rush to get Alton first of all to his mother, Sarah (Kirsten Dunst – Melancholia), and then to the co-ordinates that he has been sent, the journey is made dangerous by the fact that they are pursued by henchmen sent by cult leader, Calvin Meyer (Sam Shepherd – Mud) and law enforcement agencies led by Sevier (Adam Driver – Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Then there is the fact that Alton’s supernatural powers seem to be changing all the time, sometimes with catastrophic results.

There is no doubt that Midnight Special is going to frustrate some audience members. The film begins with an amazing opening as Nichols has the courage not to let the audience be able to figure out too much. In fact for the first 20-30 minutes you are led to believe that Alton has been kidnapped and you have absolutely no idea who Lucas is. The film keeps you completely in the dark to key information and that just adds to the suspense as you try to piece everything together like a jigsaw puzzle. That works remarkable well for the beginning of the film but what is annoying is when Nichols decides to do the same thing with the ending the film. There are so many unanswered questions in the end that it almost drives you crazy. In fact there are so many things left open that this is the one time I wouldn’t be angry if they decided to make a sequel to the film just to finish it off.

For the most part though Midnight Special works sensationally well.  The way the film drifts from the cult storyline to a road-thriller shows that Nichols has the maturity to be a filmmaker that doesn’t shy away from throwing all the traditional filmmaking styles right out the window to get his story across. The fact that Nichols also manages to mix tropes from road trip and thriller movies into a film that ends up being a sci-fi also shows why he is one of the most exciting filmmakers of the modern generation.

Nichols’ well written screenplay also allows his cast to shine. As you would expect Edgerton and Shannon at their usual brilliant best while the film also allows Kirsten Dunst to remind audiences that she is still an actress who can really deliver when she is given the right material to work with. The script also lets Adam Driver show those who have been critical since his performance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens just how good he has always been in the indie filmmaking society. But the star here is clearly Jaeden Lieberther who like he did in the Bill Murray film St. Vincent shows the world how is destined to become one of the finest actors Hollywood has ever seen.

Midnight Special is the kind of film that has the potential to frustrate cinema goers who like a simple linear story, but if you like your sci-fi a little left of centre then you are going to adore this film. In fact this is the kind of movie that you’ll go to see and then urge your friends to see because you’ve loved it so much. Sure Midnight Special is not as good as Nichols’ previous films but it is still well worth a look.

Stars(4)

 

 

Greg King:

You can hear Greg King’s full Midnight Special review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #173.

Stars(3)

 

 

Nick Gardener:

You can hear Nick Gardener’s full Midnight Special review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #173.

Stars(3)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(3)

 

IMDB Rating: Midnight Special (2016) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Midnight Special reviews: You can also listen to our full Midnight Special review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #173.

Trailer:

St. Vincent

Summary: When Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) is forced to move house with her son Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher) due to a divorce she doesn’t count on the fact that her new next door neighbour is going to be someone that she will never forget.

On the outside Vincent (Bill Murray) is a grump who has let his house go to ruin, wastes all of his money at the track (which is just one of his many vices), never has a kind word to say to anyone and is usually in the company of his ‘good friend and companion’ stripper-turned-prostitute Daka (Naomi Watts). But when Oliver one day returns home from school after bullies have stolen his key and turns to Vincent for help Maggie finds herself hiring the ‘neighbour from hell’ as her babysitter, something that can only lead to trouble or so it seems.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian DVD Release Date: 19th December, 2014

Country: USA

Director: Theodore Melfi

Screenwriter: Theodore Melfi

Cast: Scott Adsit (David), Dario Barosso (Ocinski), Reg E. Cathey (Gus), Amber Clayton (Amber), Nate Corddry (Terry), Sade Demorcy (Keesha), Ann Dowd (Shirley), Emma Fisher (Bridgette), Niles Fitch (Brooklyn), Alexandra Fong (Rachele), Terrence Howard (Zucko), David Iacono (Jeremiah), Ray Iannicelli (Roger), Jaeden Lieberher (Oliver), Melissa McCarthy (Maggie), Ron McLarty (Principal O’Brien), Donna Mitchell (Sandy), Bill Murray (Vincent), Deirdre O’Connell (Linda), James Andrew O’Connor (Antwan), Chris O’Dowd (Brother Geraghty), Kimberly Quinn (Nurse Ana), Maria Elena Ramirez (Amelda), Lenny Venito (Coach Mitchell), Naomi Watts (Daka), Brenda Wehle (Judge Reynolds)

Runtime: 102 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR ST. VINCENT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg KingYou can check out Greg’s St. Vincent review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(4)

 

Nick GardenerYou can check out Nick’s St. Vincent review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #110

Stars(4)

 

David Griffiths:

Over recent years acting legend Bill Murray has become an actor who really knows how to pick a decent script. Sure he will always be remembered for cult classics like Groundhog Day or Ghostbusters but back then Murray also delivered up a dog of a film quite regularly. Flash forward to recent years when Murray has taken chances on films such as The Darjeeling Limited, Get Low, Zombieland and Moonrise Kingdom and they have resulted in him appearing in some of the top films of the years they were released. Well it seems that Murray’s knack of picking the right script has worked again with a role in new comedy St. Vincent.

There haven’t been many comedy highs over the last year or so, and to be honest Melissa McCarthy has sadly been involved in some of the worst of those but St. Vincent is the one comedy that should remind people that every now and then America still knows how to hit an audience right on a funny bone. Add that to the fact that this film also delivers some thought pondering drama and it is easy to see why St. Vincent should be considered one of the films of the year.

The most surprising thing about St. Vincent is that it comes from a relative newcomer to the directing/screenwriting game. Aside from short films the only time that Theodore Melfi has ventured into feature film territory was to deliver the very average Rachel Hunter led Winding Roads back in 1999. Just one viewing of St. Vincent will quickly tell you that the fact that Melfi has delivered a film in the fifteen years since is an absolute crime because this is a gem.

Melfi’s screenplay is clearly one of the best of the year as it makes a completely unlikable character literally a saint. A brief look at Vincent and you would think that he has all the merits to make him a ‘bad guy’ in a film like this. A foul-mouthed and dirty living old man who is prepared to sue a single, struggling, divorced mother over a small amount of damage to a car and a fence is not the kind of character an audience will normally warm to, but such is the power of Melfi’s script that soon you find yourself laughing out loud at Vincent’s crassness and even ‘barracking’ for him as he tries to outrun the loan shark who is desperate to get his money and break some knees. The fact that Melfi has the sense to use his screenplay to give Vincent real characterisation and not just make him a one dimensional character also goes a long way to making this film work.

Supported by such a well written screenplay it is hardly surprising that the cast also comes to the fore in St. Vincent. Melissa McCarthy puts outside some recent poor performances to put in a credible performance in a role where she isn’t called upon to deliver a laugh a minute. Murray is at his exceptional best mixing comedy and drama into a character that seems like he will become a cult cinema favourite.

Young Jaeden Lieberher also puts in a stunning debut, he certainly seems to be an actor who his acting well above his age range, while the film is further enhanced by good acting performances by actors in the smaller roles. Naomi Watt’s is a standout as European prostitute Daka while Chris O’Dowd also puts in a warm, nice performance even though he is skirting thin ice but almost becoming type cast to play Catholic priests in films these days.

There is just so much to love about St. Vincent that this review could go on forever. From its beautifully written script to the fact that it bravely decides to be different to most either comedies on the market, to the fact that Bill Murray puts in a truly memorable acting performance there is just no weakness with St. Vincent at all. Clearly one of the better films of this year St. Vincent also announces the arrival of a filmmaker who is well worth watching in the future.

Stars(4)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(4)

 

IMDB Rating: St. Vincent (2014) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment St. Vincent reviews: For our full Keep On Keepin’ On review make sure you check out The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #110. You can also read our review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer: