Tagged: Sam Shepard

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:

SAG Awards

The 2013 SAG Awards nominations are now in. Here they are:

 

FEATURE FILMS

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Leading Role

  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave)
  • Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
  • Forest Whitaker (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Leading Role

  • Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Meryl Streep (August: Osage County)
  • Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Supporting Role

  • Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)
  • Daniel Bruhl (Rush)
  • Michael Fassbender (12 Years A Slave)
  • James Gandolfini (Enough Said)
  • Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Supporting Role

  • Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)
  • Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave)
  • Julia Roberts (August: Osange County)
  • June Squibb (Nebraska)
  • Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels’ The Butler)

Outstanding Performance By A Cast In A Motion Picture

  • 12 Years A Slave – Bendict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garrett Dillahunt, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Paul Giamatti, Scoot McNairy, Lupita Nyong’o, Adepero Oduye, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Michael Kenneth Williams, Alfre Woodward
  • American Hustle – Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Louis C.K., Bradley Cooper, Paul Herman, Jack Huston, Jennifer Lawrence, Alessandro Nivola, Michael Pena, Jeremy Renner, Elisabeth Rohm, Shea Whigham
  • August: Osange County – Abigail Breslin, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Margo Martindale, Ewan McGregor, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Julia Roberts, Sam Shepard, Meryl Streep, Misty Upham
  • Dallas Buyers Club – Jennifer Garner, Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Denis O’Hare, Dallas Roberts, Steve Zahn
  • Lee Daniels’ The Butler – Mariah Carey, John Cusack, Jane Fonda, Cuba Gooding Jnr., Terrence Howard, Lenny Kravitz, James Marsden, David Oyelowo, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Rickman, Liev Schreiber, Forest Whitaker, Robin Williams, Oprah Winfrey

 

TELEVISION PROGRAMS

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Television Movie or Mini-Series

  • Matt Damon (Behind The Candelabra)
  • Michael Douglas (Behind The Candelabra)
  • Jeremy Irons (The Hollow Crown)
  • Rob Lowe (Killing Kennedy)
  • Al Pacino (Phil Spector)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Television Movie or Mini-Series

  • Angela Bassett (Betty & Coretta)
  • Helena Bonham Carter (Burton And Taylor)
  • Holly Hunter (Top Of The Lake)
  • Helen Mirren (Phil Spector)
  • Elisabeth Moss (Top Of The Lake)

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Drama Series

  • Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)
  • Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad)
  • Jeff Daniels (The Newsroom)
  • Peter Dinklage (Game Of Thrones)
  • Kevin Spacey (House of Cards)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Drama Series

  • Claire Danes (Homeland)
  • Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad)
  • Jessica Lange (American Horror Story: Coven)
  • Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)
  • Kerrry Washington (Scandal)

Outstanding Performance By A Male Actor In A Comedy Series

  • Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
  • Jason Bateman (Arrested Development)
  • Ty Burrell (Modern Family)
  • Don Cheadle (House Of Lies)
  • Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor In A Comedy Series

  • Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory)
  • Julie Bowen (Modern Family)
  • Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie)
  • Tina Fey (30 Rock)
  • Julia-Louis Dreyfus (Veep)

Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Drama Series

  • Boardwalk Empire – Patricia Arquette, Margot Bignham, Steve Buscemi, Brian Geraghty, Stephen Graham, Erik La Ray Harvey, Jack Huston, Ron Livingstone, Domenick Lombardozzi, Gretchen Mol, Ben Rosenfield, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jacob Ware, Shea Whigham, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jeffrey Wright
  • Breaking Bad – Michael Bowen, Betsy Brandt, Bryan Cranston, Lavell Crawford, Tait Fletcher, Laura Fraser, Anna Gunn, Matthew T. Metzler, RJ Mitte, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk, Aaron Paul, Jesse Plemons, Steven Michael Quezada, Kevin Rankin, Patrick Sane
  • Downton Abbey – Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Jessica Brown Findlay, Siobhan Finneran, Joanne Froggatt, Rob James-Collier, Allen Leach, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Matt Milne, Lesley Nicol, Amy Nuttall, David Robb, Maggie Smith, Ed Speleers, Dan Stevens, Cara Theobold, Penelope Wilton
  • Game Of Thrones – Alfie Allen, John Bradley, Oona Chaplin, Gwendoline Christie, Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Mackenzie Crook, Charles Dance, Joe Dempsie, Peter Dinklage, Natalie Dormer, Nathalie Emmanuel, Michelle Fairley, Jack Gleeson, Iain Glenn, Kit Harington, Lena Headey, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Kristofer Hivju, Paul Kaye, Sibel Kekilli, Rose Leslie, Richard Madden, Rory McCann, Michael McElhatton, Ian McElhinney, Philip McGinley, Hannah Murray, Iwan Rehon, Sophie Turner, Carice Van Houten, Maisie Williams
  • Homeland – F. Murray Abraham, Sarita Choudhury, Claire Danes, Rupert Friend, Tracy Letts, Damian Lewis, Mandy Patinkin, Morgan Saylor

Outstanding Performance By An Ensemble In A Comedy Series

  • 30Rock – Scott Adsit, Alec Baldwin, Katrina Bowden, Kevin Brown, Grizz Chapman, Tina Fey, Judah Friedlander, Jane Krakowski, John Lutz, James Marsden, Jack McBrayer, Tracey Morgan, Keith Powell
  • Arrested Development – Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, John Beard, Michael Cera, David Cross, Portia De Rossi, Isla Fisher, Tony Hale, Ron Howard, Liza Minnelli, Alia Shawkat, Jeffrey Tambor, Jessica Walter, Henry Winkler
  • The Big Bang Theory – Mayim Bialik, Kaley Cuoco, Johnny Galecki, Simon Helberg, Kunal Nayyar, Jim Parsons, Melissa Rauch
  • Modern Family – Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Aubrey Anderson Emmons, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Nolan Gould, Sarah Hyland, Ed O’Neill, Rico Rodriguez, Eric Stonestreet, Sofia Vergara, Ariel Winter
  • Veep – Sufe Bradshaw, Anna Chlumsky, Gary Cole, Kevin Dunn, Tony Hale, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Reid Scott, Timothy Simons, Matt Walsh

 

STUNT ENSEMBLE HONORS

Outstanding Action Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Motion Picture

  • All Is Lost
  • Fast & Furious 6
  • Lone Survivor
  • Rush
  • The Wolverine

Outstanding Action Performance By A Stunt Ensemble In A Comedy or Drama Series

  • Boardwalk Empire
  • Breaking Bad
  • Game Of Thrones
  • Homeland
  • The Walking Dead

 

Mud

Summary: Two teenage boys, Ellis and Neckbone, find a strange man (Matthew McConaughey) hiding out on an island in the middle of the great Mississippi river. Describing his involvement in fantastic scenarios and claiming that vengeful bounty hunters are coming to get him, the stranger says he is planning to escape with the love of his life, Juniper (Reese Witherspoon), who is waiting for his signal in town. Skeptical but intrigued, the boys agree to help him in his noble and exciting quest.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 13th June, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Jeff Nichols

Screenwriter: Jeff Nichols

Cast: Michael Abbott Jnr (James), Joe Don Baker (King), Clayton Carson (Pryor), Johnny Cheek (Kyle), Stuart Greer (Miller), Jacob Lofland (Neckbone), Matthew McConaughey (Mud), Ray McKinnon (Senior), Sarah Paulson (Mary Lee), Tye Sheridan (Ellis), Michael Shannon (Galen), Michael Shannon (Galen), Sam Shepard (Tom Blakenship), Paul Sparks (Carver), Bonnie Sturdivant (May Pearl), Reese Witherspoon (Juniper)

Runtime: 130 mins

Classification:M

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

David Griffiths: Stars(5)

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

Greg king: Stars(5)

Please check Greg’s review of ‘Mud’ that is available on www.filmreviews.net.au

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

IMDB Rating:  Mud (2012) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Mud′:Please check our review of ‘Mud’ on Episode 36 of The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show.

Trailer: