Tagged: Kerry Cahill

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:

Terminator Genisys

Summary: Terminator Genisys sees John Connor (Jason Clarke) about to defeat Skynet and its machines so to ensure the victory he sends his dedicated right-hand man Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect his mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) from a potential attack.

However this is where everything changes from the original Terminator storyline. Yes when Kyle arrives back in 1984 to protect Sarah the T-1000 (Byung-hun Lee) is waiting for him but many other things are a miss. Sarah Connor is not the innocent waitress he is expecting – instead she is ready for the Armageddon that is about to happen and already has a protector, a Terminator named Pops (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who has been looking after her since she was nine years old.

Year: 2015

Australian Cinema Release Date: 2nd July, 2015

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Alan Taylor

Screenwriter: Laeta Kalogridis, Patrick Lussier, James Cameron (characters), Gale Ann Hurd (characters)

Cast: Brett Azar (Guardian – young/T-800), Wayne Bastrup (Young O’Brien), Patrick Constantine Bertagnolli Jnr. (Officer Cazzuto), Kerry Cahill (Lt. Whitley), Emilia Clarke (Sarah Connor), Jason Clarke (John Connor),  Kyle Russell Clements (Commander Pike Sumner), Jai Courtney (Kyle Reese), Ian Etheridge (Skynet – 10 yrs old), Matty Ferraro (Agent Janssen), Griff Furst (Agent Burke), Michael Gladis (Mt. Matias), Douglas M. Griffin (Garber), Nolan Gross (Skynet – 12/14 yrs old), Sandrine Holt (Detective Cheung), Johnny La (Harry Lu), Byung-hun Lee (Cop/T-1000), Seth Merriwether (Skynet – 18 yrs old), Dayo Okeniyi (Danny Dyson),  Afemo Omilami (Perry), Bryant Prince (Young Kyle), Otto Sanchez (Detective Timmons), Arnold Schwarzenegger (Guardian) J.K. Simmons (O’Brien), Douglas Smith (Young John Connor), Matt Smith (Alex), Nathan O’Neil Smith (Officer Schanker), Willa Taylor (Young Sarah), Courtney B. Vance (Miles Dyson), Joseph Velez (Special Agent Romero), Gregory Alan Williams (Detective Harding), Teri Wybble (Mariam)

Runtime: 126 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR TERMINATOR GENISYS REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

After hearing critics and fanboys alike talking about Terminator Genisys after the screening I attended I have ended up believing that you will never ever make a fanboy happy. Over the years I have heard people complain that the latest film in the franchise ‘never does enough to tap into the earlier films in the series.’ Well that certainly isn’t the case for Terminator Genisys, here director Alan Taylor (most noted for being the man at the helm of Thor: The Dark World) takes the film right back to the happenings of Terminator and T2 and then simply doesn’t a little (okay a major) reset. So here was I thinking the fanboys would be in the same rapture I was, that was cool? Right? Wrong!!!

It seems the major problem that most fanboys are having with Terminator Genisys is that a certain character (if you’ve seen the trailer you’ll know who I am talking about) makes a massive switch of sides, through no fault of his own I should point out. Well I’m sorry but a character’s destiny isn’t exactly something that a fan of a series gets a say about. If they did then Dumbledore probably wouldn’t have died in Harry Potter and Jar Jar may have been killed off painfully in Star Wars. No what happens to characters in any franchise lies solely with the creative team behind it, so we have no right to complain. Keeping that in mind both Arnie and the man himself James Cameron gave the script for Terminator Genisys a huge thumbs up so let’s just relax and judge this film on what ended up on the big screen and not what we wanted it to be in our daydreams.

For a start the storyline of Terminator Genisys ain’t that bad. Just as I was getting déjà vu from Taylor’s re-created Terminator scenes I was suddenly jolted into a realization that while he hadn’t exactly rebooted the franchise he had delivered a pretty decent mind-wreck that had me suddenly more interested than anything in Terminator Salvation or Rise Of The Machines had. And that interest remained for the rest of the film as Taylor constantly put his characters at risk and messed with timelines. Once you have realised that the screenwriters here were only too happy to mess with existing timelines you suddenly also realise that the suspense level was raised to extreme… after all what stops them from bumping off someone major to the franchise as well?

At times the CGI in Terminator Genisys makes you suspend belief a little too much, but that is more than compensated by the fact that the screenplay gives this film a little bit heart as well. While I’m not 100% sure I enjoyed the so-called humor put into the film, Arnie pushing the point ‘old doesn’t mean obsolete’, I did enjoy the fact that suddenly questions were raised over whether or not a robot like ‘Pops’ could develop human feelings after a while. We’re kidding ourselves if we didn’t believe that Pops was seeing Sarah at his daughter for most of the film.

When it comes the cast things were a little up and down. Firstly Arnie does absolutely nothing wrong and I can only hope that when I’m nearly seventy years old that I am still wanting to jump off helicopters and get into physically demanding fights with stuntmen. Terminator Genisys shows that bar Sylvester Stallone Arnie is one of the fittest near-pensioners going around. He is also well supported by Emilia Clarke who shows that she has more than just looking pretty in Game Of Thrones in her arsenal. Here in Terminator Genisys she steps into the role of Sarah Connor with complete ease showing that she has the skills to be both a dramatic actress and an action star when she wants to be.

But there are some problems with the casting of Terminator Genisys as well. Jason Clarke is passable as John Connor, although fans of the series beware he does take some getting used to. The same can’t be said for Jai Courtney though. With all credit to Courtney we have seen in films like Jack Reacher and Divergent that this is a guy that can act and be the action hero, but here something is badly amiss. He just simply doesn’t fit into the role of Kyle Reese at all and at times his acting seems well below the par set by Emilia Clarke and yes even Arnie. If he wants to retain his role in any further Terminator films you get the feeling that Courtney is really going to have to try and step up a little.

At the end of the day Terminator Genisys is an entertaining and very different Terminator film that grew on me more and more the longer it went. Given it is nowhere near as good as Terminator or T2, but then did any of us expect it would get close to their perfection, but is a lot better than the very bland Rise Of The Machines. Yes, some people may not like the changes to the timeline but hey this could have been a lot worse and to give Terminator Genisys credit I never once grew bored of it all and that isn’t something I can say about some of the action films that have been around recently. Terminator Genisys is a pretty decent effort that I can’t wait to explore again.

 

Stars(4)

 

 

Adam Ross:

You can hear Adam’s full Terminator Genisys review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #136

 

Stars(2)

 

 

Greg King:

You can read Greg’s full Terminator Genisys review on www.filmreviews.net.au

 

Stars(3)

 

 

Nick Gardener:

You can hear Nick’s full Terminator Genisys review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #136

 

Stars(3)

 

 

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

 

IMDB Rating: Terminator Genisys (2015) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Terminator Genisys reviews: You can also read our Terminator Genisys review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt. You can also hear our Terminator Genisys review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #136.

Trailer:

Devil's Knot

Summary: Based on the true crime and novel by Mara Leveritt, Devil’s Knot explores the murder and trial of three boys that went missing in Memphis in 1993. The crime brings three teenagers to trial and despite pleading innocent and the mounting forensic evidence to support their innocence, the teenagers are persecuted without question and left at the mercy of lawyer Ron Lax who continues to probe deeper into the case and the prejudices that exist within the court of law. The film explores the lives of deeply misunderstood outsiders, their families and communities, and their darkest fantasies. The conviction of the West Memphis Three – Damien Echols, Jesse Misskelley, Jr., and Jason Baldwin – riled the American justice system, shocked a tightly knit religious town and outraged the nation.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 24th July, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Atom Egoyan

Screenwriter: Paul Harris Boardman, Scott Derrickson, Mara Leveritt (novel)

Cast: Robert Baker (Detective Bryn Ridge), Paul Boardman Jnr. (Michael Moore), Kerry Cahill (Jo Lynn), Brandon Carroll (Bobby DeAngelo), Jack Coghlan (Aaron Hutcherson), Dane DeHaan (Chris Morgan), Kevin Durand (John Mark Byers), Mireille Enos (Vicki Hutcheson), Colin Firth (Ron Lax), Wilbur Fitzgerald (Tom), Michael Gladis (Dan Stidham), Bruce Greenwood (Judge Burnett), Gary Grubbs (Dale Griffis), James Hamrick (Damien Echols), Martin Henderson (Brent Davis), Kristopher Higgins (Jessie Miskelley), Stan Houston (Detective Donald Bray), Brian Howe (Detective McDonough), Ted Huckabee (Steve Jones), Julie Ivey (Melissa Byers), Jet Jurgensmeyer (Stevie Branch), Elias Koteas (Jerry Driver), Matt Letscher (Paul Ford), Rex Linn (Chief Inspector Gitchell), Seth Meriwether (Jason Baldwin), Stephen Moyer (John Fogelman), Bill Murphey (Marty King), Alessandro Nivola (Terry Hobbs), Kristoffer Polaha (Val Price), Anessa Ramsey (Rosie), Amy Ryan (Margaret Lax), Lori Beth Sikes (Annie), Brad D. Smith (Todd Moore), Brandon Spink (Christopher Byers), Matthew Stanton (Detective Durham), Clay Stapleford (Detective Mike Allen), Stephanie Stewart (Domini Teer), Brooke Jaye Taylor (Officer Regina Meeks), Reese Witherspoon (Pam Hobbs), Collette Wolfe (Glori Shettles), Isabella Zentkovich (Amanda Hobbs)

Runtime: 114 mins

Classification: M

 

OUR DEVIL’S KNOT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

David Griffiths:

The story of The West Memphis Three has been itching to be turned into a feature film for a great deal many years now. Countless documentaries have been made around the case over the years, and so powerful is the story of injustice that it has been impossible for anyone to sit through them without some kind of anger building up inside them. To be brutally honest the whole story (or should that be saga) is really a screenwriter and director’s dream.

Devil’s Knot looks at the case of The West Memphis Three told through the eyes of a private investigator, Ron Lax (Colin Firth) and one of the grieving mothers, Pam Hobbs (Reese Witherspoon). As Hobbs desperately tries to work out what happened in her son’s murder Lax concentrates on the theory that the three accused, Damien Echols (James Hamrick), Jason Baldwin (Seth Meriwether) and Jessie Misskelley (Kristopher Higgins) are innocent.

Oscar nominated director Atom Egoyan decides to tackle the case head-on in his latest film Devil’s Knot. Now a rookie filmmaker may have simply decided that this film should be told through the eyes of one of the accused but Egoyan is smarter than that and instead digs up the story of one of the case’s lesser known players, the private investigator hired by the three accused’s legal team to try and clear their clients name. So not to make the film too one sided Egoyan also tells part of the story through the eyes of Pam Hobbs, a grieving mother who seems more open to the fact that injustice is being done than anyone else involved in the case.

Early on Devil’s Knot is a promising film. It digs up certain parts of the case that are naturally overlooked in most explorations into the case including the mysterious ‘muddied and bloodied black man’ who was spotted in a fast food diner on the night of the murders. But it’s not long after that revolution that Egoyan seems to let Devil’s Knot dangerously let itself down. Just as Lax beguns to uncover series leads that suggest a Police cover-up and Police corruption the film pulls back from how hard-hitting it should have been and instead becomes a court room drama in the vein of a television show like Law & Order.

The second half of Devil’s Knot shows why a director of the class of David Fincher needs to get hold of this story and do something with it. The links of the boys to the occult and Satanic rituals could have taken the film into some dark places while the whole Police corruption element and them deciding to investigate Ron Lax needed to have a lot more suspense put into it then what it shown here. For Devil’s Knot to work there needed to be less of Lax sitting around in an office and talking to the lawyers and more of him actually out on the street doing the leg work – after all he had to be getting these leads from somewhere, right? Perhaps the most ironic thing about how much the screenplay lets down the film is that it comes from the same pen as Deliver Us From Evil, Scott Derrickson.

As a result Egoyan really under uses his two leads. Colin Firth seems like an actor champing at the bit for a dramatic scene right throughout Devil’s Knot while Reese Witherspoon plumps up and heads into the similar character territory she explored in Mud but again she is let down. Instead of allowing her character to deliver some powerful scenes when she starts suspecting her own husband, Terry Hobbs (Alessandro Nivola), as being involved in their son’s murder. It’s a sad point to make but the screenplay here really does let down both Firth and Witherspoon.

Devil’s Knot could easily have been one of the best films of the year, but sadly it is let down by a director and screenwriter who seem reluctant to tap into the suspense that is handed to them on a plate. Instead the second half of the film becomes a slow court room drama that never really lives up to its potential. Colin Firth and Reese Witherspoon try in vain to deliver something but even they are let down dangerously by a script that needed to be much better.

Stars(2.5)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5):  Stars(2.5)

 

IMDB Rating:  Devil's Knot (2013) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Devi’s Knot′: For our full Devil’s Knot review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #89. You can also read Dave’s review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Snitch

Summary: In the fast-paced action thriller Snitch, Dwayne Johnson stars as a father whose teenage son is wrongly accused of a drug distribution crime and is looking at a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 10 years. Desperate and determined to rescue his son at all costs, he makes a deal with the U.S. attorney to work as an undercover informant and infiltrate a drug cartel on a dangerous mission – risking everything, including his family and his own life.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 16th May, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA/United Arab Emirates

Director: Ric Roman Waugh

Screenwriter: Justin Haythe, Ric Roman Waugh

Cast: Jon Bernthal (Daniel James), Benjamin Blankenship (Agent Torres), Benjamin Bratt (Juan Carlos ‘El Topo’ Pintera), Richard Cabral (Flaco), Kerry Cahill (Jane Kemp), Kyara Campos (Isabelle Matthews), Jason Douglas (Wayne), Jason Floyd (Agent Thompson), Rafi Gavron (Jason Collins), David Harbour (Jay Price), Kym Jackson (Agent Sims), Dwayne Johnson (John Matthews), Melanie Kakakaredes (Sylvie Collins), Lela Loren (Vanessa), Sione Ma’umalanga (Manny), James Allen McCune (Craig), Spencer Miller (Anthony), Joe Nemmers (Terry Green), JD Pardo (Benicio), Barry Pepper (Agent Cooper), Harold Perrineau (Jeffrey Steele), Ashlynn Ross (Amanda), Susan Sarandon (Joanne Keeghan), Tim J. Smith (Lazy), Darnell Trotter (Bones), Nadine Velazquez (Analisa), Michael K. Williams (Malik)

Runtime: 112 mins

Classification:M

SUBCULTURE MEDIA/THE GOOD THE BAD THE UGLY FILM SHOW REVIEWS/RATINGS OF ‘SNITCH’:

David Griffiths: Stars(3) 

Please check Dave’s review of ‘Snitch’ that is available on The Helium Entertainment Channel.

Greg King: Stars(2.5) 

Please check Greg’s review of ‘Snitch’ that is available on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show.

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2.5)

IMDB Rating:Snitch (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Snitch′: Check Episode #32 of our The Good The Bad The Ugly Podcast for a more in-depth review of ‘Snitch’.

Trailer: