Tagged: Seth Meriwether

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:

Summary: Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood) has been one of the best scouts in baseball for decades, but, despite his efforts to hide it, age is starting to catch up with him. Nevertheless, Gus—who can tell a pitch just by the crack of the bat—refuses to be benched for what could be the final innings of his career.

He may not have a choice. The front office of the Atlanta Braves is starting to question his judgment, especially with the country’s hottest batting phenom on deck for the draft. The one person who might be able to help is also the one person Gus would never ask: his daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams), an associate at a high-powered Atlanta law firm whose drive and ambition has put her on the fast track to becoming partner. Mickey has never been close to her father, who was ill-equipped to be a single parent after the death of his wife. Even now, in the rare moments they share, he is too easily distracted by what Mickey assumes is his first love: the game.

Against her better judgment, and over Gus’s objections, Mickey joins him on his latest scouting trip to North Carolina, jeopardizing her own career to save his. Forced to spend time together for the first time in years, each makes new discoveries—revealing long-held truths about their past and present that could change their future.

Timberlake is Johnny Flanagan, a rival scout who has his sights on a career in the announcer’s booth…and has eyes for Mickey.

Year: 2012

Australian Cinema Release Date: 6th December, 2012

Australian DVD Release Date: N/A

Country: United States

Director: Robert Lorenz

Screenwriter: Randy Brown

Cast: Amy Adams (Mickey), Norma Alvarez (Grace Sanchez), Rus Blackwell ((Rick), Matt Bush (Danny), Karen Ceesay (Carol), Tom Dreeson (Rock), Brian F. Durkin (Matt Nelson), Clint Eastwood (Gus), Scott Eastwood (Billy Clark), Louis Fox (Lloyd), James Patrick Freetly (Todd), Jay Galloway (Ringo Sanchez), Jack Gilpin (Schwartz), John Goodman (Pete Klein), Bob Gunton (Watson), Clifton Guterman (Neil), Kevin Harrison (Young Gus), Peter Hermann (Greg), Ed Lauter (Max), Matthew Lillard (Phillip Sanderson), Joe Massingill (Bo Gentry), Seth Meriwether (Wilson), Ricky Muse (Jimmy), Robert Patrick (Vince), Chelcie Ross (Smitty), Bud Selig (himself), Tyler Silva (Carlos Sanchez), Raymond Anthony Thomas (Lucious), Justin Timberlake (Johnny), Julia Walters (Young Mickey), George Wyner (Rosenbloom)

Runtime: 111 mins

Classification: CTC

Dave Griffiths’s ‘Trouble With The Curve’ Review:

‘Trouble With The Curve’ desperately wants to be as good as ‘Moneyball’, yet at the same time wants to take a swipe at its main belief… that modern day baseball scouts can now be replaced by a computer. Sadly though the writer of ‘Trouble With The Curve’ hasn’t developed a script just as good, despite that though the film remains a good watch.

Gus Lobel (Clint Eastwood – Gran Torino, Million Dollar Baby) is one of the finest baseball scouts that America has ever had. His track record speaks for himself and he feels that he is safe in his job with the Atlanta Braves despite the fact that he is keeping a big secret – the fact that he is slowly losing his eyesight.

But when the likes of Phillip Sanderson (Matthew Lillard – Deep Dark Canyon, TV’S Criminal Minds) begin to put pressure on Gus’ immediate boss, Pete Klein (John Goodman – Flight, Argo) it seems that Gus’ days in his job may be numbered. Phillip keeps on saying that computers can now determine whether a player should be drafted or not and when Gus’ ideas on a rumoured number one picks seems to be different to everyone else’s it looks like Phillip may be right.

Despite the fact that Gus’ daughter, Mickey (Amy Adams – The Master, On The Road) feels that her father has neglected her over the years she travels to be with him when she learns about his failing eyesight. While the two scope the new recruit they are surprised to find help in the form of Johnny Flanagan (Justin Timberlake – In Time, Friends With Benefits), a player that Gus once scouted but was injured thanks to a mistake by team management.

The major weakness with ‘Trouble With The Curve’ is that screenwriter, Randy Brown has just made too many of the major storylines in the film too obvious to pick where they are going and then in similar fashion made the so called ‘evil’ characters such as Phillip so one dimensional that they just become the token bad guy… almost unbelievable.

But then on the other hand Brown gets a lot of things right. The secret that has caused tension between Gus and Mickey for so many years is brilliant (and certainly can’t be picked early on) while the fact that Brown has also written the scenes between Mickey and Johnny in such a way that the film has a romantic drama storyline rather than making it a stock standard romantic comedy also shows great skill.

Anyone expecting a huge acting effort from veteran Clint Eastwood shouldn’t get their hopes up, he simply plays the grumpy old man role that he has been doing so well over the past few years. Instead the winners here are Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake. Timberlake again shows why he deserves respect as an actor while Adams puts the past sin (known as ‘The Muppets’) behind her with a serviceable performance.

‘Trouble With The Curve’ is nowhere near as good as ‘Moneyball’ but is still a good watch and will be enjoyed my males and females alike even if they know nothing about baseball.

Other ‘Trouble With The Curve’ Reviews By Dave Griffiths: http://www.helium.com/items/2397762-trouble-with-the-curve-review

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

IMDB Rating: Trouble with the Curve (2012) on IMDb