Steven Soderbergh went on a self-imposed hiatus from directing feature films (his last effort was 2013’s Side Effects), but now he’s back with the August 17 release Logan Lucky. The project once again features a collaboration with Channing Tatum (who starred in Side Effects and Magic Mike), and it features a return of the heist element featured in Soderbergh’sOcean Eleven films. This time out,two brothers (Adam Driver,Tatum) who attempt to abscond with money from a NASCAR race in North Carolina. Riley Keough, who delivered a standout performance in last year’s American Honey, and a scene stealing Daniel Craig co-star.
Coming out August 4 is Columbus, an indie film that centers on a Korean American named Jin (John Cho) who travels to Columbus, Indiana after his architecture scholar father slips into a coma. Haley Lu Richardson gives her finest performance to date as the youth who strikes up a friendship with Jin. Reminiscent of such walking and talking films like Before Sunrise and Lost in Translation, Columbus is a filled with beautiful visual compositions from up and coming filmmaker Kogonada and excellent work from the two leads.
Also covered on the latest episode of CinemAddicts is Detroit and the recent Blu-ray release Black Butterfly. Take a listen below for our August movie preview!!
Directed and written by Trey Edward Shults,It Comes At Night is a psychological thriller/horror hybrid about a family trying to survive through a plague that is seemingly wiping out humanity.
Joel Edgerton is Paul, the father who has a strict regimen to keep his wife (Carmen Ejogo) and son (Kelvin Williams Jr.). Since they live at a boarded up house in a remote section of the woods, they must not expose themselves during the dead of night, as whatever disease (or is it a monster?) that is infecting humans may catch them unawares.
Christoper Abbott, Riley Keough, and Griffin Robert Faulkner is another family that joins up with Paul’s group as they believe pooling their resources increases their chances of survival. Shults shot his nail-biting feature near Woodstock, New York, and Edgerton and Ejogo talked about forming a cohesive family unit within this environment. (Click on the media bar below to hear Edgerton and Ejogo).
It Comes At Night is now playing in select theaters.
Director Steven Soderbergh’s self-proclaimed hiatus from directing movies lasted all of four years, and that’s a good thing since Logan Lucky has the makings of a comedic gem. Soderbergh, whose body of work covers a ton of genre, had his biggest commercial hits with his Ocean’s Eleven films, and now he’s pulling off another cinematic heist with Logan Lucky.
Reteaming with Magic Mike collaborator Channing Tatum, Soderbergh’s first film since 2013’s Side Effects centers on brothers (Tatum, Adam Driver) who attempt to rob the Coca-Cola 600 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Daniel Craig, who should be the film’s funnest character, plays the recently freed prisoner who helps in the brothers’ criminal escapade.
As with his Ocean’s Eleven movies, Logan Lucky features an all-star cast which includes Katie Holmes, Hilary Swank, Katherine Waterston, Riley Keough (she worked on the Soderbergh produced series The Girlfriend Experience), and Sebastian Stan. Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!
Unwieldy, sprawling, and downright ambitious, American Honey introduces us to Star (Sasha Lane), a teenager who’s gradually coming into her own. But as the Lady Antebellum song claims, this “American Honey” is attuned to the “wild, wild, whisper” of adventure, even if that journey is met with its share of adversity.
Spending the day taking care of her half siblings and avoiding the advances of her creepy stepdad, Star wants a break from her norm, and after witnessing a stranger named Jake (Shia LaBeouf) and equally raucous buddies create a ruckus at a supermarket (to the tune of Rihanna’s “We Found Love”), she’s immediately smitten. After joining Jake and his ragtag crew, she learns that they travel the highways and byways of America selling door to door magazine subscriptions. Led by an unscrupulous, hard driving manager named Krystal (Riley Keough, absolutely intimidating in her laser focused fury), these young men and women also earn a little extra coin stealing valuables from various homes on their trip. Star’s lust for Jake, as well as her desire to belong to this extended family, leads her down a morally questionable path, as bilking people for cash is not the way to earn an honest dollar.
Director/writer Andrea Arnold (Wuthering Heights, Fish Tank) didn’t craft American Honey as an indictment on a misspent youth. Rather, she frames her narrative with an unabashedly personal eye, and seeing events unfold through Star’s point of view places even the film’s darker moments into proper context. In her debut role, Lane, who was discovered by Arnold at Florida’s Panama City Beach, is a total revelation. Though her physical beauty may be the first thing you notice, Lane carries the film with more than just a pretty face. She convincingly goes toe-to-toe with Keough and LaBeouf during the story’s more fiery moments, and she’s also able to shine throughout the tale’s more tender chapters (a conversation with a trucker as Bruce Springsteen’s “Dream Baby Dream” plays is subtly affecting).
Along with Lane’s “star” making performance, LaBeouf’s unpredictable yet always interesting approach to acting is the perfect match for American Honey’s oftentimes seductive yet occasionally perplexing story. The film’s 158 minutes may be too much for some viewers and, in fairness, the film could easily have worked as a tight, 95-minute road journey.
If you’re in the mood for a larger cinematic meal, however, American Honey has all the fixings. Whether it’s the frenetic craziness of the aforementioned supermarket incident, Star’s nighttime excursion with an oil worker, or in the cramped confines of the white van that drives Star’s group to their next stop, American Honey is also a visually arresting experience.
By the film’s close, we may wonder if Star, after living in her share of cheap hotel rooms and submerged in a toxic relationship with Jake, will make a change for the better. Still, Andrea Arnold wants us to see beyond her film and possibly soak in America on our own terms (the film is partly inspired by Arnold’s own road trips through the U.S.). Star’s infectious spirit and moxie should make her the perfect travel companion, even if magazine subscriptions isn’t your cup of tea.
American Honey opens in select theaters Friday, and I’ll be discussing the movie on this week’s CinemAddicts podcast.
Director Steven Soderbergh turned his share of heads with the drama The Girlfriend Experience, a 2009 indie feature about a Manhattan call girl (Sasha Grey) who balances her personal life and the demands of her various clients. Soderbergh returns to the “GFE” (girlfriend experience) arena, this time as the executive producer for a 13-episode show that debuts January on Starz.
With this iteration of The Girlfriend Experience, a Chicago-Burnham Law School student named Christine Reade (Riley Keough, last seen in Mad Max: Fury Road) is doing much more than her daily homework. Her career path is derailed when a classmate introduces her into the world where escorts who give the GFE treatment to their customers are in high demand. With the money that comes with each ensuing client, Christine is lured into a seductive world where everything comes with a price.
Soderbergh serves as an executive producer of this series, as co-creators Lodge Kerrigan (he also directed the top notch drama Keane) and Amy Seimetz penned and directed all of the episodes. Starz released their first look trailer of The Girlfriend Experience, and it’s definitely eye-catching.
Are you excited about The Girlfriend Experience? Did you enjoy the original film or is this subject matter simply not for you? Feel free to comment below!!