Tagged: Wilbur Fitzgerald

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:

The Hunger games Catching Fire Poster

Summary: Katniss and Peeta are dethroned from their respective victory riches and are put back into the arena for the most climatic and menacing of the Hunger Games, known as the Quarter Quell.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 21st November, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Francis Lawrence

Screenwriter: Simon Beaufoy, Michael Arndt, Suzanne Colllins (novel)

Cast: Nelson Ascencio (Flavius), Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket), Bruce Bundy (Octavia), John Casino (Woof), Sam Clafin (Finnick Odair), Lynn Cohen (Mags), Rita Conte (Hob), Stef Dawson (Annie Cresta), Rode Ferland (Marcus), Wilbur Fitzgerald (Cray), Meta Golding (Enobaria), Bruno Gunn (Brutus), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch Abernathy), Megan Hayes (Female Morphling),, Liam Hemsworth (Gale Hawthorne), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee), Maria Howell (Seeder), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta Mellark), Toby Jones (Claudius Templesmith), Bobby Jordan (Blight), Lenny Kravitz (Cinna), Sandra Ellis Lafferty (Greasy Sae), Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen), Jena Malone (Johanna Mason), E. Roger Mitchell (Chaff), Amanda Plummer (Wiress), Jack Quaid (Marvel), Alan Ritchson (Gloss), Elena Sanchez (Cecelia), Stephanie Leigh Schlund (Cashmere), Willow Shields (Primrose Everdeen), Taylor St. Clair (Ripper), Patrick St. Esprit (Commander Thread), Donald Sutherland (President Snow), Stanley Tucci (Caesar Flickerman), Jeffrey Wright (Beetee)

Runtime: 146 mins

Classification:M

OUR THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Adam Ross: You can read Adam’s full The Hunger Games: Catching Fire review on The Crat.

Stars(4)

 

Nick Gardener: You can read Nick’s full The Hunger Games: Catching Fire review on Southern FM

Stars(4)

 

David Griffiths:

The original “The Hunger Games” film left audiences in the middle. On one hand it was a better teenage genre flick than the later “Twilight Saga” films, but on the other hand the fact it was aimed at a younger audience meant that director Gary Ross held back on some of the darker elements that were portrayed in the novel.

Now comes “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” the difficult second film in the trilogy. Some three-part franchises choke when it comes to the second film, the film does nothing to bridge the first to the third film and becomes a dull affair for the audience. That certainly can’t be said for “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” that equals the original film and overcomes a couple of flaws by director Francis Lawrence’s (“Water For Elephants,” “I Am Legend”) decision to allow the film to find its dark side.

Following the series of novels by Suzanne Collins “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is set twelve months after the original film. The young hero Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence – “The Devil You Know,” “Silver Linings Playbook”) is back living in District 12, although this time she is the nicer diggings of the Victor’s Village. Life is far from easy for her though as Katniss is forced to live a double life. Behind closed doors she is sorting out her feelings for good friend Gale Hawthorne (Liam Hemsworth – “Paranoia,” “Empire State”) while in public her fake relationship with fellow Hunger Games winner Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson – “Epic,” “Red Dawn”) must continue.

On the eve of joining the promotional train for the 75th Annual Hunger Games Katniss’ life is further turned upside down when she learns that her’s and Peter’s actions have seen them become the face of a threatened revolution. After a threat from President Snow (Donald Sutherland – “Jappeloup,” “The Best Offer”) Katniss realises that she must ‘tow the line’ but with that not working she soon finds her and Peter having to team up with Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson – “Out Of The Furnace,” “Free Birds”) to survive a new game thought up by Snow and his new right-hand man Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman – “A Late Quartet,” “The Master”).

Francis Lawrence does push the boundaries of this franchise a little more. He makes it a bit bloodier and even enhances the metaphor of Snow’s regime being similar to Nazi Germany but sadly Lawrence and his cinematographer Jo Willems (“Gotham,” “Limitless”) leave the audience a little underwhelmed with the film awash with a bland look.

Still that doesn’t put too much of a dampener on the film because the story really does come to the forefront. This film raising the stakes for most of the main characters certainly brings more suspense to the screen and despite some badly signposted areas of the film there are enough unexpected twists and turns to warrant the audience paying full attention. Unlike most teenage franchises you also get the feeling that this is one series that isn’t too afraid to kill off main characters if the story calls for that, at the end of the day that just enhances the suspense even more.

One disappointing thing about “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is that Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence just seem to breeze through their performances. Lawrence has shown in films like “Winter’s Bone” and “Silver Linings Playbook” that she is one of the finest young actresses going around but she never really gets to show those skills this time around. A real waste of an Oscar winner if I’ve ever seen one.

Liam Hemsworth also doesn’t get any decent screen time but Donald Sutherland is rewarded for his patience with the first film with the chance to really sink his teeth into a really menacing role… something that he seems to grasp with two hands. But stealing the show are Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci (“The Fifth Estate,” “Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters”). Harrelson continues to remind audiences what a fine actor he is with his great portrayal of the alcoholic Haymitch while Tucci shows his versatility by showboating as the energetic master-of-ceremonies Caesar.

There is no doubt that Francis Lawrence certainly lifts this franchise to a different level with his darker approach to “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Sure there will be some out there that simply want to put the film down because it is part of a popular franchise but truthfully this is fairly decent film that certainly isn’t a waste of time to take a look at.

 Stars(3)

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

IMDB Rating:  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire′: You can also read Dave’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire review on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.

Trailer:

Anchorman 2

Summary: With the 70’s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy, returns to take New York’s first 24-hour news channel by storm.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 19th December, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Adam McKay

Screenwriter: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay

Cast: Christina Applegate (Veronica Corningstone), Dylan Baker (Freddie Shapp), Steve Carell (Brick Tamland), Jim Carrey (CBC News Anchor), Tom Clark (Curtis Knightfish), Sacha Baron Cohen (cameo), Marion Cotillard (CBS News Anchor), Kirsten Dunst (Alterius: Maiden Of The Clouds), Lori Beth Edgeman (Tina), Will Ferrell (Ron Burgundy), Tina Fey (Entertainment Tonight Reporter), Wilbur Fitzgerald (Dr. Brangley), Harrison Ford (Mack Tannen), Meagan Good (Linda Jackson), Jennifer Gullick (Diane Yahwea), Greg Kinnear (Gary), David Koechner (Champ Kind), Josh Lawson (Kench Allenby), James Marsden (Jack Lime), Zoe Myers (Sam), Liam Neeson (History Channel Host), Judah Nelson (Walter Burgundy), Dave Pileggi (Donna), Amy Poehler (cameo), John C. Reilly (The Ghost Of Stonewall Jackson), Paul Rudd (Brian Fantana), Clark Sarullo (Jessica), Will Smith (Sports Broadcaster), Vince Vaughn (Wes Mantooth), Kanye West (cameo), Kristen Wiig (Chani), Fred Willard (Ed Harken)

Runtime: 119 mins

Classification:M

OUR ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES REVIEWS & RATINGS

Adam Ross: Stars(3)

Please check Adam’s review of ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ that is available on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 63

 

Greg King: Stars(4)

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

Nick Gardner: Stars(3)

Please check Nick’s review of ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues’ that is available on Southern FM

 

David Griffiths:

It was the sequel we were threatened with (er… I mean promised) for years, the sequel to “Anchorman” that would see the legendary Ron Burgundy (arguably Will Ferrell’s most famous character) return to the big screen. Now it’s happened and sadly you get the feeling that true fans of the franchise may be a little disappointed with “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”

The film begins with Ron working in New York alongside his wife Veronica Corningstone (Christina Appelgate). In Ron’s mind everything is going well, he’s flying with his news reading and the homefront is happy as he and Veronica look after their son, Walter (Judah Nelson). But then comes the crash when veteran newsreader Mack Tannen (Harrison Ford) announces his retirement. Ron and Veronica are sure they have the job but then Mack surprises everybody and hires Veronica and fires Ron. Suddenly things are no longer pretty, not on the work front or the home front.

Then comes a life-line for Ron. The chance to headline a news team at a newly founded 24 hour news station created by Australian media magnate Kench Allenby (Josh Lawson). For that to happen though Ron first of all has to put together his old team. He soon finds that Champ Kind (David Koechner) is running a fast food restaurant with a difference, that Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) is the world’s leading cat photographer and that Brick Tamland (Steve Carell) is farewelling himself at his own funeral.

But that is only the start of the hijinx as the boys soon find out they have a new enemy in the form of the smooth Jack Lime (James Marsden), that their new boss, Linda Jackson (Meagan Good) is.. well… black and that they are hosting the graveyard shift.

Now I’m sure in the back of director and co-screenwriter Adam McKay’s mind “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is a well thought out satire of the news industry. But it’s not, actually it falls well short if you think back to the comedy gold that was “Frontline”, a television show that was like an early version of “The Office” set amongst a news team.

“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” cruises for the first half. The film provides the odd laugh here and there but never really reaches the heights it should with such a formidable comedic acting line-up, then comes the difficult second half. Here the film flounders as much as the shark that Ron tries to nurse back to the health. Excuse the pun but the film well and truly jumps the shark (and this time just like “Happy Days” a real shark is involved) with stupid and unnecessary storylines such as Ron’s blindness, shark nursing and a finale that seems to rip off events of the first film and just become a vessel to introduce a few cameos. Credit where credit is due though the cameos are pretty impressive.

One of the big let downs of “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is the acting. With the likes of Ferrell, Carell and Rudd it’s like the filmmakers have got together some comedy dream team but sadly the script lets them down. They only get to deliver a couple of real laughs each and the second half really becomes the Will Ferrell Show with the others pushed firmly into the background. Even the likes of some heavyweights like Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson being around doesn’t life the film because they are hugely under used.

“Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is a real let down that deserves to be mentioned alongside some of the ordinary stuff that Adam Sandler has released over the last few years.

Stars(2) 

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

IMDB Rating:  Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues′: Please check our Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 63.

Trailer:

The East

Summary: ‘The East’ finds a corporate spy (Marling) attempting to infiltrate a group run by a charismatic eco-terrorist (Alexander Skarsgård). Former FBI agent Sarah, whose job with an elite private intelligence firm sees her going deep undercover with the titular eco-anarchist collective, finds herself torn between two worlds when confronted by the reality that The East are the lesser of two evils when compared to her clients.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 19th September, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, UK

Director: Zal Batmanglij

Screenwriter: Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling

Cast: Hillary Baack (Eve), Lani Bemak (Lani), Bill Boslego (Barry Redman), Patricia Clarkson (Sharon), Shiloh Fernandez (Luca), Wilbur Fitzgerald (Robert McCabe), Anthony Michael Frederick (Randy), David Goff (Skipper), Ryan Grego (Johnny Perkins), Aldis Hodge (Thumbs), Toby Kebbell (Doc), Danielle Macdonald (Tess), Billy Magnussen (Porty McCabe), Brit Marling (Sarah), John Neisler (Rory Huston), Michael Nouryeh (Jim (voice)), Julia Ormond (Paige Williams), Ellen Page (Izzy), Jason Ritter (Tim), Angharad Robinson (Angie), Pamela Roylance (Diane Wisecraver), Jamey Sheridan (Richard Cannon), Alexander Skarsgard (Benji), Billy Slaughter (Trevor ‘The Fed’), John James Tourville (John James)

Runtime: 99 mins

Classification:M

OUR REVIEWS/RATINGS OF ‘THE EAST’:

David Griffiths: Stars(3.5)

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

Greg King: Stars(3.5)

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

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

IMDB Rating:  The East (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The East′: Please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Episode 50 for our more in-depth review of ‘The East’.

Trailer: