Tagged: Kai Lennox

Night Moves

Summary: One of the most distinctive and talented directors of contemporary American cinema, Kelly Reichardt (Meek’s Cutoff, Wendy and Lucy; Old Joy) directs Jesse Eisenberg, Peter Sarsgaard and Dakota Fanning in this tense drama. The three play a group of environmental activists who, though from very different backgrounds, are united by their radical politics. Josh (Eisenberg) is a militant who is determined to protect the earth by any means necessary. He leads them in a sabotage plot that will have far-reaching repercussions. In the aftermath, the conspirators are filled with paranoia and dread leading to an inevitable and shocking climax.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 11th September, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Kelly Reichardt

Screenwriter: Jonathan Raymond, Kelly Reichardt

Cast: Traber Burns (Felix), Barry Del Sherman (Corser), Jesse Eisenberg (Josh), Dakota Fanning (Dena), Kai Lennox (Sean), Logan Miller (Dylan), Autumn Nidalmia (Mable), Joel Polinsky (Goose), Peter Sarsgaard (Harmon), Alia Shawkat (Surprise), Katherine Waterson (Anne)

Runtime: 112 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR NIGHT MOVES REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Night Moves review on www.filmreviews.net.au

Stars(2.5)

 

David Griffiths:

It doesn’t take watching many Kelly Reichardt films to realise that she is one of the most gifted filmmakers going around. Films such as Wendy & Lucy and Meek’s Cutoff tell their stories with poetic niceness despite the harsh look at life in general they both have. Now Reichardt tries to do the same her new film, Night Moves, but sadly she doesn’t quite pull it off.

Reichardt takes the audience into the world of eco-terrorism, doing bad for the great good if you will, a journey we previously took in last year’s release The East. This time around we see the shy and uncertain Josh (Jesse Eisenberg) and scheming ex-marine Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard) conjure up a plan to blow up a dam wall and return nature to its original path.

They take the woman with the money Dena (Dakota Fanning) but when the trio’s best laid plans take a turn for the worst they soon find themselves on the run and wary of each other.

With Night Moves you can kind of excuse the slow burn lead up to the actual bombing. Its slow pace actually works here and enhances scenes such as Dena trying to acquire the explosives to complete the mission, but Reichardt’s usual style of filmmaking just doesn’t fit or deliver the intensity that is required for the second half of this film to work. What should have been an intense aftermath just seems to plod along.

Even the screenplay itself doesn’t deliver its payload to the audience. It nicely sets up a seemingly in place relationship between Josh and Dena but then doesn’t capitalise on the jealousy that should have been generated when Harmon beds Dena while he believes that Josh isn’t around. Likewise the near ‘madness’ and breakdown experienced by Josh and Dena in the aftermath of the terrorist attack are never explored enough, and as a result the film along with the audience’s interest in it just seems to slowly peter out.

The people you have to feel sorry for here are the cast. Throughout their careers Eisenberg, Fanning and Sarsgaard have repeatedly shown that they are capable of delivering truly dramatic, intense performances but here they are simply left to flounder by a script that never even gets out of first gear.

Night Moves feels like a film that wants to deliver a strong message but just doesn’t have the power to do so. A weak script and some misguided direction (something I never thought I would ever have to see about Reichardt) leaves this film in the ‘average’ bin. And audience members will mostly likely leave the cinema a little bit peeved that they never got to see the explosion itself or the result of the dam wall coming down.

Stars(3)

 

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

 

IMDB Rating: Night Moves (2013) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Night Moves′: For our full Night Moves review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #96 .

Trailer:

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty

Summary: A timid magazine photo manager who lives life vicariously through daydreams embarks on a true-life adventure when a negative goes missing.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 26th December, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Ben Stiller

Screenwriter: Steve Conrad, James Thurber (short story)

Cast: Marcus Antturi (Rich Melhoff), Jon Daly (Tim Naughton), Craig Dourmashkin (Curtis), Paul Fitzgerald (Don Proctor), Kathryn Hahn (Odessa Mitty), Terrence Bernie Hines (Gary Mannheim), Kai Lennox (Phil Melhoff), Shirley MacLaine (Edna Mitty), Adrian Martinez (Hernando), Nicole Neuman (Rachel), Conan O’Brien (himself), Patton Oswalt (Todd Maher), Sean Penn (Sean O’Connell), Andy Richter (himself), Adam Scott (Ted Hendricks), Ben Stiller (Walter Mitty), Kristen Wiig (Cheryl Melhoff)

Runtime: 114 mins

Classification:PG

OUR THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY REVIEWS & RATINGS

Greg King: Stars(3.5)

Please check Greg’s review of ‘The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty’ that is available on www.filmreviews.net.au

David Griffiths:

Everybody knows Ben Stiller has one of modern days’ top comedic actors. What many don’t realise though is that whenever Stiller had decided to pull on the director’s cap that success has always followed. His debut directional effort ‘Reality Bites’ drew plenty of applause, while his follow ups ‘The Cable Guy,’ ‘Zoolander’ and ‘Tropic Thunder’ were all massive commercial successes.

Now Stiller directrs and stars in the new screen adaption of James Thurber’s classic story ‘The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty.’ Now if you judged this film by its trailer you could see that this is a film that could go either way. It could fall in a heap and be a bore just like too many of Stiller’s recent films or it could be abstract and different enough to be interesting.

Stiller stars the downtrodden, lonely loser in life Walter Mitty. A man who has no personal life but lives for his job – a job that sees him looking after photographer’s negatives at ‘Life’ magazine. He also tends to ‘zone out’ from time to time and take himself on magical journeys that only occur inside his head. However, his life is turned upside down when he soon realises that job may be taken away from him when the ambitious and plain rude Ted Hendricks (Adam Scott) arrives on the scene boasting that ‘Life’ is about to go online and heads will roll. The way he bullies Walter also shows him that his will be one of those rolling heads.

Poor Walter believes his biggest problem is finding a way to impress his work colleague and love interest Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig) but soon finds himself under even more pressure when he realises that the negative that is needed for the front page of the last edition of ‘Life’ has gone missing. This spurs Walter into action and soon he finds himself on a trip around the world trying to find the photographer, Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn).

Like ‘Reality Bites’ did early on his career ‘The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty’ reveals Stiller as a talented director. His directional style takes this film in many different directions, from heartfelt conversations through to an action sequence (thanks to one of Walter’s zone-outs). But Stiller’s directional style really comes to the fore though when he captures some of the stunning environments that Walter visits amazingly well, and the same time lifts this above its closest rival ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’

As a film ‘The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty’ really draws you in. You find yourself drawn to Walter as a character and you feel sorry for him. But as a film it goes deeper than that, the screenplay has created some interesting sub-characters including the hateable Hendricks and also eHarmony phone worker, Todd Maher (Patton Oswalt).

We all know somebody like Walter and that connection takes this film to a different level, however no matter how much human emotion is invested into the film there are times the film’s script lets it down. There are about fifteen to twenty minutes of this film that doesn’t need to be there, and it’s a shame that script editor hadn’t done a little bit of pruning.

Still that can be largely forgotten due to the fact that Stiller and his cinematographer create some amazing visuals throughout this film. They capture whatever environment they are in amazingly well, especially the barren volcanic wastelands that Stiller ends up skateboarding down. While the story does have its odd low point it clearly outguns the film most similar to it – “Eat Pray Love.”

The smooth screenplay does also allow Stiller to produce a mixture of comedy and drama and as we have learned from some of his previous roles Stiller thrives on getting to play emotionally damaged characters, and once again here he comes to the fore.

Kristen Wiig and Shirley Maclaine almost seem wasted in their roles however Patton Oswalt makes a surprising cameo that is a joy to watch but the actor who steals the show here is Adam Scott. Scott puts in one of the best performances of the year as the villainous Hendricks and while he is a source of comedic relief he also brings a sense of evil to the film.

“The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty” may dip at one point but for the most part this is a good film that once again reminds cinema lovers that Ben Stiller is more than capable when he pulls on the director’s hat. As far as feel good movies go this one is a winner.

 

 Stars(3.5)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3.5)

IMDB Rating:  The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘American Hustle′: Please check our American Hustle review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 62.

Trailer:

Hitchcock

Summary: HITCHCOCK is a love story about one of the most influential filmmakers of the last century, Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) and his wife and partner Alma Reville (Dame Helen Mirren). The film is but a snapshot of their journey through the making of Hitchcock’s seminal film ‘Psycho’.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 10th January, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: United States

Director: Sacha Gervasi

Screenwriter: John J McLoughlin, Stephen Rebello (book)

Cast: Jessica Biel (Vera Miles), Gerald Casale (David Kirkpatrick), Richard Chassler (Martin Balsam), Melinda Chilton (Margo), Cinderella (Stanley), Toni Collette (Peggy Robertson), Frank Collison (Henry Gein), James D’Arcy (Anthony Perkins), Leni Ford (Lady Chicago), Spencer Garrett (George Tomasini), David Hill (Leonard J. South), Judith Hoag (Lillian), Anthony Hopkins (Alfred Hitchcock), Danny Huston (Whitfield Cook), Scarlett Johansson (Janet Leigh), Wallace Langham (Saul Bass), Spencer Leigh (Nunzio), Kai Lennox (Hilton Green), Ralph Macchio (Joseph Stefano), Craig Meier (William Russell), Helen Mirren (Alma Reville), Richard Portnow (Barney Balaban), Terry Rhoads (Jack Russell), Paul Schackman (Bernard Herrmann), Kurtwood Smith (Geoffrey Shurlock), Mark Stuhlbarg (Lew Wasserman), Tara Summers (Rita Riggs), London Vale (Myra Davis), Michael Wincott (Ed Gein), Josh Yeo (John Gavin)

Runtime: 99 mins

Classification:M

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Hitchcock’ Review: 

Over recent years ‘My Week With Marilyn’ and ‘Me And Orson Welles’ have both shown that a movie about the making of another movie can make for some great storytelling and can also allow for an actor to step up and brilliantly portray a past cinematic legend.

Now comes ‘Hitchcock’ a film that centres around the life of Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins – 360, Thor) while he is trying to put together his greatest film of all time ‘Psycho’. Hitchcock is at a loss at what to do after the release of his film ‘North By Northwest’. Much to the surprise of his wife, Alma Reville (Helen Mirren – The Door, Arhtur) and assistant Peggy Robertson (Toni Collette – Mental, Jesus Henry Christ) instead of choosing from some of the great stories that are flying around he settles on a trashy novel called ‘Psycho’ and decides to turn it into a film.

With the studios refusing to back the film Hitchcock decides to self-fund the film, but while he is busy working with his cast which includes Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson – The Avengers, We Bought A Zoo), Vera Miles (Jessica Biel – Emanuel And The Truth About Fishes, Playing For Keeps) and Anthony Perkins (James D-Arcy – The Making Of A Lady, The Domino Effect) he is horrified to see how close Alma is getting to fellow writer, Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston – Stolen, TV’S Magic City).

To his credit director, Sacha Gervasi (Anvil: The Story Of Anvil) certainly doesn’t make ‘Hitchcock’ a fluff piece about the great film. Instead he shows a warts and all view of Hitchcock, a man who never paid enough attention to his wife and could be an absolute bastard to his leading ladies… what it did show however was just how determined he was to see a film through and that he was a man that certainly loved cinema.

So good is the writing of ‘Hitchcock’ that it is the kind of film that really captivates its audience despite the fact that most film fans would know that yes ‘Psycho’ did eventually make it to the cinema and became a big success. Audience members beware though you will certainly get a lot more out of the film if you know a little bit about Hitchcock’s career, otherwise things such as the crow landing on Hitchcock will have no kind of meaning at all.

Perhaps the best part of ‘Hitchcock’ though is the acting of the leads. Anthony Hopkins is brilliant as Hitchcock while he is well supported by Helen Mirren. Also impressive is Jessica Biel (who reminds audiences that she can in fact act after the woeful ‘Total Recall) and Scarlett Johansson who seem to both thoroughly enjoy getting to play a couple of screen legends.

‘Hitchcock’ is a great film that is a must see if you are a fan of Alfred Hitchcock and his film ‘Psycho’.

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Hitchcock′: Check Episode #15 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Les Miserables’. You can also check out our other review on Helium

Rating: 3/5

IMDB Rating: Hitchcock (2012) on IMDb