Tagged: Kelly Reichardt

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 Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show

Recently the hosts of ‘The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show’ came up with their favourite directors here’s who is made their lists.

ADAM ROSS’ LIST

David Fincher

  • Anthony Minghella
  • Shane Meadows
  • Todd Field
  • Bobby Farrelly
  • Peter Farrelly
  • Andrew Dominik
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Rian Johnson
  • John Hillcoat
  • Alfonso Cuaron
  • Steven Spielberg
  • Paul Greengrass
  • Ben Affleck
  • Adam McKay
  • Steve McQueen
  • Ang Lee
  • Matthew Vaughn
  • Christopher Nolan
  • Joe Carnahan
  • Derek Cianfrance
  • Todd Solondz
  • Paul Verhoeven
  • John McTiernan
  • Kathryn Bigelow
  • Peter Weir
  • Michael Mann
  • Sam Mendes
  • Robert Zemeckis
  • Ron Howard
  • Terrence Malick
  • Brian De Palma
  • Alexander Payne
  • Sam Raimi
  • David Cronenberg
  • Ridley Scott
  • Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Darren Aronofsky
  • James Cameron
  • Martin Scorsese
  • David Fincher

 

DAVID GRIFFITHS’ LIST

Steven Soderbergh

  • Rob Zombie
  • Alkinos Tsilimidos
  • Ben Affleck
  • Lars von Trier
  • Danny Boyle
  • Steven Soderbergh
  • Woody Allen
  • Martin Scorsese
  • Larry Clark
  • Gus Van Sant
  • Kelly Reichardt
  • Christopher Nolan
  • Rian Johnson
  • Joss Whedon
  • Kevin Williamson
  • Kevin Smith

 

GREG KING

Quentin Tarantino

  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Sam Peckinpah
  • Stanley Kubrick
  • Christopher Nolan
  • David Fincher
  • Ridley Scott
  • Tony Scott
  • Woody Allen
  • James Cameron
  • Ben Affleck
  • Quentin Tarrantino
  • Clint Eastwood
  • Martin Scorsese
  • Steven Spielberg

 

NICK GARDENER’S LIST

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  • Steven Spielberg
  • James Cameron
  • Ridley Scott
  • Christopher Nolan
  • Errol Morris
  • Ben Affleck
  • Mike Leigh
  • Ang Lee
  • Richard Linklater
  • John Ford
  • Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Roman Palanski
  • Quinten Tarantino
  • David Fincher
  • Peter Weir
  • David Lynch
  • Francis Coppolla
  • Orson Welles
  • Martin Scorsese
  • Stanley Kubrick
  • Woody Allen
  • Alfred Hitchcock

Meek's Cutoff

Summary: The year is 1845 and a wagon team of three families is setting off across the sparse terrain of the Oregon desert, in northwest USA. They are guided by mountain man Stephen Meek, who claims to know a short cut, but when they become lost in the dry rock and sage, their faith in their guide, and in each other, weakens. After days of wandering, suffering the hardships of the inhospitable landscape and unable to find water, a Native American wanderer crosses their path. The pioneers are torn between trusting their guide or a man who has always been seen as the enemy.

Year: 2010

Australian Cinema Release Date: 5th June, 2011

Australian DVD Release Date: 5th October, 2011

Country: USA

Director: Kelly Reichardt

Screenwriter: Jonathan Raymond

Cast: Paul Dano (Thomas Gately), Bruce Greenwood (Stephen Meek), Shirley Henderson (Glory White), Neal Huff (William White), Zoe Kazan (Millie Gately), Tommy Nelson (Jimmy White), Will Patton (Soloman Tetherow), Rod Rondeaux (The Indian), Michelle Williams (Emily Tetherow)

Runtime: 104 mins

Classification:PG

OUR REVIEWS/RATINGS OF ‘MEEK’S CUTOFF’:

David Griffiths: Stars(4)

Kelly Reichardt seems to have done something over the years that has upset those responsible for making sure she wins an Oscar because while it was disappointing that Wendy & Lucy didn’t get nominated it is an absolute crime that Meek’s Cutoff wasn’t. While this isn’t a film for the popcorn set it is a film that will be lapped up by real film lovers. It is a film that will actually make you think… now you can’t say that about much modern cinema, can you?

Meek’s Cutoff follows a group of settlers as they make their way across the harsh Oregon landscape in 1845. The group which is made up of Soloman Tetherow (Will Patton), his wife, Emily (Michelle Williams) as well as the Gately Family and the White Family is being led by Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood) who is supposed to be a great tracker, but seems to have got the group lost. As the continue to wander aimlessly through the un-inhabitated land the realisation that they could die of starvation or thirst becomes reality, while Meek continues to warn them that the only thing they have to fear is the savage Indian tribes that are ‘watching them’. The racist Meek then takes an Indian (Rod Rondeaux) captive which divides the group.

Those familiar with Reichardt’s style will know that she likes to use minimal dialogue in her films. She once again uses this in Meek’s Cutoff and it enhances the film a million times over. It truly gives the audience a real feel of the loneliness that the characters are going through, and while some audience members will be annoyed by her ‘slow-moving’ style scenes such as the opening scene can really only be described as pieces of cinematic brilliance that true film lovers will fall in love with instantly. It is work like this that show just how good of a director Kelly Reichardt really is.

Meek’s Cutoff is penned by Jonathan Raymond (the same screenwriter who wrote Reichardt’s brilliant Wendy And Lucy) and this is one combination that seems to be a marriage in heaven. Raymond’s fine script only enhances Reichardt’s film-making style even more and if it is true that Raymond used the politics of George Bush vs. Barack Obama as a basis for the storyline of this script then he really is a screenwriting genius… and if he didn’t well he should just shut-up and let people think that he did.

This film also once again reminds the world just good Michelle Williams is as an actress. Once again she puts in a faultless performance and it seems that since her Dawson’s Creek days she has continued to grow as an actress and never once put in a bad performance. Those critical of her acting should see her ‘stand-offs’ with Bruce Greenwood in Meek’s Cutoff because they are truly sensational.

Meek’s Cutoff shows that are still some creative films that can surface from the U.S. and only proves the fact that Kelly Reichardt is one of the most important filmmakers of our generation.

Greg King: Stars(2.5)

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

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Meek’s Cutoff′: This review of ‘Meek’s Cutoff’ by David Griffiths originally appeared in Buzz Magazine.

If you’re a fan of director, Kelly Reichardt (Wendy & Lucy, Old Joy) then you are sure to love her new offering Meek’s Cutoff. But like her past work it is hard to see Meek’s Cutoff being lapped up by the popcorn set, instead this is a movie for the film-connoisseur, and one that will be well-loved by those who consider themselves at Reichardt fan.

Meek’s Cutoff is set in Oregon in 1845 as a group of settlers make their away across the country in order to stake a ‘claim’. The group which is made up of Soloman Tetherow (Will Patton – Knucklehead, Waking Madison), his wife, Emily (Michelle Williams – Shutter Island, Blue Valentine) as well as the Gately Family and the White Family is being led by Stephen Meek (Bruce Greenwood – Super 8, TV’S Young Justice) who is supposed to be a great tracker, but seems to have got the group lost. The racist Meek then takes an Indian (Rod Rondeaux – TV’S Comanche Moon & Into The West) captive which divides the group.

Reichardt once again uses her familiar style of ‘very little dialogue but brilliant cinematography’ to get the very important message held in Meek’s Cutoff across to her audience, and this is one film that is really enhanced by her ‘slow-moving’ style. The opening scenes of a wagon crossing a river a brilliant, and only goes to show just how good Reichardt is as a director.

Reichardt’s skills are only enhanced by a terrific script by Jonathan Raymond (Wendy & Lucy, TV’S Mildred Pierce). If the rumours that Raymond uses a metaphor of George Bush vs. Barack Obama are true then he is a screenwriting genius… if they aren’t true then he can simply rest on the laurels of the fact that he has created an amazing film that once again gives actress, Michelle Williams a chance to show off her brilliant skills. Any of the scenes that she does here with Bruce Greenwood are truly sensational.

Meek’s Cutoff shows that are still some creative films that can surface from the U.S. and only proves the fact that Kelly Reichardt is one of the most important filmmakers of our generation.

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

IMDB Rating: Meek's Cutoff (2010) on IMDb

Trailer: