Tagged: Josh Pais

 

Summary: With the backdrop of 1950s Brooklyn a young Private Investigator decides to try and solve the crime that led to his boss’s death.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: 27th February 2020

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian DVD Release Date: 30th May 2020

Country: United States

Director: Edward Norton

Screenwriter: Edward Norton, Jonathan Letham (novel)

Cast: Nelson Avidon (Jacob Gleason), Alec Baldwin (Moses Randolph), Bobby Canavale (Tony Vermonte), Willem Dafoe (Paul Randolph), Cherry Jones (Gabby Horowitz), Leslie Mann (Julia Minna), Gugu Mbartha-Raw (Laura Rose), Edward Norton (Lionel Essrog), Joyce O’Connor (Cindy Fleming), Josh Pais (William Lieberman), Dallas Roberts (Danny Fanti),  Fisher Stevens (Lou), Ethan Suplee (Gilbert Coney), DeShawn White (Betty), Bruce Willis (Frank Minna), Robert Wisdom (Billy Rose)

Running Time: 124 mins

Classification: M (Australia), TBC (Thailand), 15 (UK), R (USA)

 

 

OUR MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Motherless Brooklyn Review:

Over the years I have always found myself intrigued by those people in Hollywood whose careers seem to go through weird unexplained ups and downs. Two examples are Keanu Reeves and Ethan Hawke – both actors were at the top their game and then suddenly just seemed to have a string of straight-to-DVD movies, some of which were so good that you couldn’t help but wonder why they never received the cinema release they so deserved.

Another that should be on that list is Edward Norton as a filmmaker. Flashback twenty years ago and on the hunch of a friend I watched a movie with one of the weirdest synopsis of all time. The film was called Keeping The Faith and featured Ben Stiller as a Rabbi and Norton as a Priest, they then both fall in love with the same woman played by then television darling Jenna Elfman. It was an interesting enough film, but was also the only film that Norton had directed right up to this year. That is surprising when you consider that as a filmmaker his debut film was a success and that he has actuallu been linked to a number of other films over the years. Now twenty years later Norton helms Motherless Brooklyn, one of the most criminally under-rated films of 2020.

Based on a novel by Jonathan Lethem (which is now on my must read list) Motherless Brooklyn is set in 1950s New York and follows the story of a lonely Private Detective suffering from Tourettes named Lionel Essrog (Norton – Hulk). When his boss Frank Minna (Bruce Willis – Signs) is killed Lionel decides to take over his case and soon finds himself lost in a world of crime, underground jazz clubs and politics.

For me to give away too much of the plot of Motherless Brooklyn would be criminal. All I will say is that it is a film that contains all the elements that a great noir Detective story should have. Intrigue, suspense, a plot with twists and turns at every point and of course the Femme Fatale that you are never really sure can be trusted or not – here beautifully played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle).

What won me over with this film though is the brilliant plot and an amazing performance by Norton and the cast around him. I love a film that I can’t predict the twists and turns of and that is certainly the case here. As characters like Paul (Willem Dafoe – Spider-Man) and Moses Randolph (Alec Baldwin – The Departed) come into Lionel’s world it is impossible to tell who is telling the truth and who is lying.

I’ll be honest there were times that Motherless Brooklyn had me on the edge of my seat. It felt like Norton may have grown up on the same dose of Humphrey Bogart movies I did as he is the kind of director that has learnt that you don’t a huge action sequence to raise suspense, he can skilfully achieve that same intensity from tipping the audience off to the fact that a character is being untruthful or is concealing a weapon. For me there were times when this was almost heart-in-mouth kind of stuff and that is one of the reasons why this film will stay with me for a long time.

I can only describe this film as the perfect noir thriller. I was stunned at Norton’s brilliant, but reined in performance in which he manages to juggle Tourettes’ ticks with strong suspenseful scenes alongside some of the Hollywood’s elite. Given that he juggles that with directional duties on a film that explores topics as diverse as interracial relationships during the 1950s and Government corruption and I can only concur that Norton is one of the best filmmakers Hollywood has right now.

Very few films have ever made me feel like I wanted to turn around and walk straight back into the cinema to watch it again – but that is exactly how Motherless Brooklyn made me feel. This is a beautiful suspense film that showcases some of Hollywood’s best acting talents while never losing its unique noir feeling.

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:  Motherless Brooklyn (2019) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Motherless Brooklyn Reviews: N/A

Trailer:

That Awkward Moment

Summary: Three best friends find themselves where we’ve all been – at that confusing moment in every dating relationship when you have to decide “So…where is this going?

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 13th February, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Tom Gormican

Screenwriter: Tom Gormican

Cast: Mackenzie Davis (Chelsea), Zac Efron (Jason), Lola Glaudini (Sharon), Rachel Heller (Rachel), Michael B. Jordan (Mikey), Jessica Lucas (Vera), Karen Ludwig (Mrs. Rose), Emily Meade (Christy), Demetrice Nguyen (Michael), Josh Pais (Fred), Imogen Poots (Ellie), Alysia Reiner (Amanda Silverman), Miles Teller (Jason), Addison Timlin (Alana), Evelina Turen (Sophie)

Runtime: 95 mins

Classification:MA15+

OUR ARE WE OFFICIALLY DATING REVIEWS & RATINGS

David Griffiths:

It seems like Hollywood is hellbent on creating an alternative style romantic comedy at the moment. Right on the heels of Drinking Buddies comes Are We Officially Dating which we for our U.S. audience is in fact That Awkward Moment which has been repackaged for the Australian market. So why the name change? It does seem unnecessary but perhaps it was done to avoid reviewers using lines such as ‘that awkward moment when you realise that despite its cast this film isn’t very good’ or ‘that awkward moment when you realise the film’s screenwriter needs to go back to film school.’

Are We Officially Dating follows three best friends who are now out of college and trying to make their way in the big wide world. First off there is attractive artist Jason (Zac Efron) who can have any woman he wants… as long as he doesn’t have to date them or they begin a sentence with the word ‘so…’

Then there is the more reserved doctor Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) who thinks he has the perfect life until his wife surprises him with the news that she wants a divorce and that she has been sleeping with her lawyer. Last but not least there is Daniel (Miles Teller) who is really a lovable loser but thinks he is God’s gift to women.

The film sees Mikey try recover gracefully from his divorce and try to win his wife back while Daniel and Jason try to recruit him into their lifestyle choice of just seeing various women whenever they want and ditching them when they get tired of them.

I’m sure in the mind of screenwriter/director Tom Gormican he was developing an alternative romantic comedy that would be to men what Sex And The City is to women. However, what he has ended up doing is created a clichéd signposted movie that pretty much offers no surprises to its audience at all because he follows the formula to a tee. From the instant these three sprout the lines “let’s stay single” you just know this is going to be one of those romantic comedies where the exact opposite happens. Although I’ve never really seen it happen literally five minutes later in a film like is the case here.

Gormican tries to do what he can to make this film ‘alternative.’ Firstly there is the hipster world of novel front-cover art, there is the fact that he allows his cast to ad-lib most of their scenes (which hits the spot on occasions, but also fails from time-to-time as well) and then there is his failed attempt at trying to make these men seem real by giving them unusual quirks such as the fact that whenever Daniel goes to Jason’s house he has to do a number two in the toilet. Yes Gormican seems to think toilet humor will make up for the weak script, but then what do you expect from a filmmaker whose only previous film experience was that of a producer on Movie 43.

It is hard to work out exactly what audience Gormican would think would fall in love with this film. It’s potentially too lovey dovey for most male audience members while the behaviour and bodily functions of the three leading men would have most women also screwing up their nose. Even the central female characters, Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis) and Ellie (Imogen Poots), seem to not work because on one hand they seem to be screaming “we are strong independent women we can do anything” while on the other hand also adding “but we really need a man by our side no matter how they treat us.”

It is hard to work out why most of the actors featured in the cast aligned themselves to this film. Zac Efron has recently shown that he is above cheesy films with his role in The Paperboy while even Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller come off good performances of their own in films such as Fruitvale Station and The Spectacular Now. All three are way above this kind of film, as is Imogen Poots who is left in a role that just simply flounders along.

Are We Officially Dating? is the kind of film that you watch once, laugh at a couple of the jokes that do work, such as Jason thinking Ellie is a prostitute, and then spend the rest of time dissecting everything that was wrong with the film. Yes, Hollywood still hasn’t managed to create a good alternative love film.

Stars(2)

 

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2)

IMDB Rating:  That Awkward Moment (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Are We Officially Dating′: Nil

Trailer: