In new crime / thriller Arkansas, Liam Hemsworth and Clark Duke play two criminals who work for Frog (Vince Vaughn), a drug kingpin they’ve never met. When a deal goes horribly wrong, deadly consequences and a meeting with Frog himself suddenly seems far more likely.
Co-written / directed by Clark Duke; additional key cast includes John Malkovich, Vivica A. Fox, Michael Kenneth Williams and Brad William Henke.
The main reason for my interest is John Malkovitch. The second is because this looks like a ‘reckless fools doing crime‘ type of movie that could also be fun. The kind of fun that’s reminiscent of Lock Stock And Two Smocking Barrels (1998). We’ll see what happens next month.
Patrick Muldoon, Eden Brolin, Jacob Zachar, Jeff Chase, Barry Primus, Juston Street, Jared Bankens and Adina Galupa also star.
Arkansas Release Dates: May 5th, 2020 (US) on Apple, Amazon, On Demand Platforms, Blu-ray and DVD.
Ted Bundy, one of America’s most infamous serial killers is very much at the centre of director Joe Berlinger’s film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Yet the story is really told from the perspective of Bundy’s longtime girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer. As such, like Kloepfer, we don’t get to be there with Bundy as he commits his shockingly evil crimes (thank goodness!) We also don’t get to know any real shocking details about the crimes until the trial towards the end. What we do get is a front row seat to watch Bundy some time after he commits a crime and pretends to be as normal and decent as the next guy. It’s sad but like a true psychopath, he succeeded at it. A lot.
Starring Zac Efron, Lily Collins, Jim Parsons and John Malkovich, I watched Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile because of the very interesting subject matter and the new perspective. Another reason is to see Efron succeed in a more serious role than he’s taken on in recent years. I’m happy to say that he does well. I was particularly impressed during the moments he gave the audience a glimpse into the true darkness within his character’s soul. His time at the dog’s home is one such example.
I don’t believe there was a single dull moment during this movie and contrary to what the trailer made many feel, I don’t consider Berlinger’s film to be one that glorifies or celebrates Bundy. It’s instead a movie that portrays Bundy as he was known to be and part of that is that he was sadly almost as charming as he was wicked, evil and vile.
I say watch Berlinger’s movie, Just don’t watch it expecting explanations and / or deep dives into Bundy’s past that highlight what could have led him to such darkness. For this is a film about Bundy but the focus is on Kloepfer’s experience.
Parsons and Malkovich’s characters are memorable. Overall though, it’s really Collins by whom I was most impressed. She may be an actor with a forever youthful face, but the lady has great instincts. Her telling of Kloepfer’s story will have you mad at Kloepfer, sad for Kloepfer and by the very end,a little surprised in general but definitely extremely relieved for Kloepfer.
I had a good time watching writer / director Dan Gilroy’s latest movie, Velvet Buzzsaw. The fact that it’s set in sunny Miami Beach, Florida only has a little something to do with it.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, John Malkovich, Zawe Ashton, Toni Collette and Billy Magnussen, Velvet Buzzsaw is a comedy / crime / fantasy movie about a group of art lovers who become revenge targets for a supernatural force. The catalyst for the vengeance being, the art lovers helped themselves to pieces of art they really shouldn’t have.
I immediately liked the early scenes where the different characters along with all their various motivations are established. Yet, I did definitely watch these scenes while somewhat impatiently waiting for the vengeance to begin. The true extent of my impatience didn’t really reveal itself until after the very first bit of rather thrilling revenge is enacted. Reason being, some of the scenes after that point weren’t always especially engaging.
For me personally, thanks to my favourite characters in the movie, the ones played by Gyllenhaal, Ashton and Natalia Dyer, I feel as though Velvet Buzzsaw had enough to make the nearly two hours I spent watching the movie worthwhile. I mean, I wouldn’t say it’s quite as good as Nightcrawler (2014) – my favourite Gyllenhaal and Gilroy collaboration, but it does have some standout moments that I won’t soon forget. Especially in regards to the creative ways revenge is enacted upon the greedy art lovers. There’s also the moments of gorgeous cinematography featuring rich, vibrant colours.
Another good movie that came to mind as I watched Velvet Buzzsaw is Final Destination (2000), a horror / thriller that did a very memorable job of thrilling and shocking its audience because of the very well executed death sequences – something Velvet Buzzsaw doesn’t do too badly at either.
Watch it if you’re so curious. Other reasons include the ‘funny’ replacement personal assistant, the chance to see Gyllenhaal really having fun in this role.
Last but not least, watch it and be surprised by how much you actually enjoy the very last ‘piece of art’ shown in this movie. I know I did. I really could have looked at it for a while, if I were less busy.
Dan Gilroy, the director of my favourite Jake Gyllenhaal movie Nightcrawler (2014) is back with new crime / fantasy film, Velvet Buzzsaw.
Starring Gyllenhaal, John Malkovich, Toni Collette, Billy Magnussen and set in Miami Beach, Florida, it all begins after a number of art lovers help themselves to a series of paintings by an unknown artist. Soon enough, a supernatural force begins to enact revenge to punish all those involved for their greed…
I’m in for Gyllenhaal’s performance – and who knows, maybe I’ll love what he does in this movie as much as I appreciate his great work in Nightcrawler. I’ll also keep my fingers crossed in hopes that the whole experience isn’t nightmare inducing. At time of writing, Velvet Buzzsaw isn’t categorised as horror, so there is hope.
Zawe Ashton, Natalia Dyer, Rene Russo, Daveed Diggs, Peter Gadiot and Tom Sturridge also star.
Knowing my history with Netflix movies and how I’ve found the vast majority to be quite disappointing, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel after Bird Box. To my surprise, I actually enjoyed director Susan Bier’s post apocalyptic sci-fi thriller more than I expected to.
Intrigued by the story of how a woman and two children were going to escape the mysterious force that compels all who see it to kill themselves right away, I couldn’t wait to see how the characters would survive. Especially since they have to be blindfolded when outside.
As soon as the opening scene in Bird Box started to play, I had a good feeling because of how the scene immediately held my undivided attention. Leading up to the final thirty minutes of the movie there were other very engaging, ‘edge of your seat’ suspenseful moments. However, the best stretch of time and my favourite part of Bird Box is without a doubt the last thirty minutes. It is the scenes when the key characters are truly most vulnerable and there are endless near disasters happening one after the other.
Similar to 2017’s A Quiet Place, Bird Box will likely Have you thinking about parenthood and the gargantuan undertaking that it truly is. I enjoyed leading actor Sandra Bullock’s performance, plus the moments in the story that moved, thrilled and surprised me, especially the last thirty minutes.
As for the parts of Bird Box I wish weren’t quite so, those would include approximately thirty minutes into the film when, instead of being fully engaged, I found myself distracted by the fact that I hadn’t seen the ‘monster’ yet and I really wanted to. Secondly, I think there were too many characters ‘in the house;’ one or two of whom proved quite annoying. There were also others that seemed like props who were just there to play their relatively small parts just to move the story along and sometimes provide a fast thrilling moment.
Thirdly, I understand the reason for the ‘flashback and back to present day’ editing choice. However, it had a little bit of a negative effect on the flow of the story and subsequently had me wondering how different it could all have been if everything had played out in regular order.
Overall I say give Bird Box a chance because it has some great moments and for me personally, it’s definitely an improvement on the last few Netflix movies I saw and some I tried to watch but had to abandon.
The Wilde Wedding, the Damian Harris written and directed movie about a retired actress who remarries for the fourth time had me feeling a tad disinterested immediately. Reason being, I found that I didn’t connect with the narrator at the beginning. I also felt that there were too many characters, none of whom proved particularly interesting.
For me, this film just plodded along and I continued watching in hopes that things would improve. Especially considering the main cast – John Malkovich, Patrick Stewart and Glenn Close.
I’m glad to say that things did get interesting and more dramatic somewhere past the halfway point. And I certainly didn’t anticipate the way it ended. However, is it enough for this to be a movie worth recommending? Not really. It’s Complicated (2009) is more fun, in my opinion.
The thing that stood out most for me overall about this movie actually has nothing to do with the story, but rather the truth about one of the actors. I’m speaking of Australian actor Yael Stone, a.k.a. Lorna Morello from Orange Is The New Black. The lady is a wonderful actor especially in Orange Is The New Black and she’s clearly gifted with accents, for in this movie her character is convincingly British.
In I Love you Daddy, stand up comic Louis C.K. is a successful television writer whose daughter becomes the interest of an ageing filmmaker with an appalling past. Written and directed by C.K.; Helen Hunt, John Malkovich, Chloe Grace Moretz and Rose Byrne also star…
I can try and imagine the various ways Louis C.K.s character is going to try and deal with the situation, but I’m sure that the way he executes will turn out better than what I picture. As a big fan of his stand up comedy and television show – Louie, before even reading the synopsis I’d already decided to watch. Louis C.K. is one of my favourite comics after all.