On this week’s episode of CinemAddicts, we cover Triple 9, a riveting heist thriller/crime drama which features a top-notch cast (Kate Winslet, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Anthony Mackie, and Chiwetel Ejiofor). Directed by John Hillcoat (The Road, Lawless), the picture has a ton of narrative ambition and a healthy share of action scenes that should keep viewers enthralled.
After Triple 9, Anderson Cowanand I chime in on Standoff, a tight-fisted feature that centers on a down and out military vet named Carter (Thomas Jane) who is attempting to protect a 12-year-old girl (Ella Ballentine) from a hitman (Laurence Fishburne, deliciously chewing scenery). Mainly set inside Carter’s out in the middle of nowhere, two story home, Standoff runs just 86 minutes and opens Friday in limited release (it is also currently available on VOD).
Last but definitely not least, my personal pick of the week is the subtle yet evocative A Country Called Home, an indie drama which marks the directing debut of writer/filmmaker Anna Axster, centers on Ellie (Imogen Poots), a woman who’s adrift and a bit frustrated living in Los Angeles. After her estranged father’s death, she travels to a small town in Texas to bury her dad and meet his extended family, which includes his irresponsible, alcoholic companion Amanda (Mary McCormack) and her hard working son Jack (musician Ryan Bingham). Halt and Catch Fire’s Mackenzie Davis is Reno, a wannabe country singer who bonds with Ellie during her stay. June Squibb (Nebraska) plays Ellie’s loving grandmother.
Lastly, my personal Blu-ray selection this week is the horror-thriller Estranged while Anderson chimes in on the 2014 documentary The Seven Five.
To hear this week’s episode of CinemAddicts, click on the Soundcloud bar below and please make sure to subscribe to this Hollywood Outbreak/Cold Cockle Productions podcast by clicking here.
Bryce Dallas Howard, last seen in the box office hit Jurassic World, headlines the highly anticipated family film Pete’s Dragon. A reimagining of the Disney classic, the storyline centers on Pete (Oakes Fegley), a 10-year-old who claims he lives in the forest with a green dragon named Elliott. Although Pete’s claims are too fantastical to believe, forest ranger Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard) remembers the tales that her father (Robert Redford) would weave about a dragon that lived in the Pacific Northwest.
With the help of an 11-year-old girl named Natalie (Oona Laurence), Grace embarks on a journey to determine if the dragon truly exists or if Pete is simply making up a tall story. Along with a top notch cast, Pete’s Dragon has the directing talents of filmmaker David Lowery, whose 2013 feature Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, a feature that was filled with visually evocative cinematography, was widely praised by critics.
Pete’s Dragon, which also stars Wes Bentley, opens nationwide August 12, 2016. Check out the teaser trailer below and tell us what you think!
If you can’t get enough of Kit Harington (Jon Snow from Game of Thrones), the recently Blu-ray MI-5 is worth a look, especially if you’re a fan of action driven, twist filled thrillers.
The movie is based on the hit British TV series of the same name, with the storyline centers on the attempts to track down a terrorist who escapes during a seemingly routine transport. This operational mistake leads MI-5 Intelligence Chief Harry Pearce (a steely Peter Firth) to disappear off the face of the earth in search of the terrorist. His decision leads to his initial blackballing from MI-5’s top brass (which includes Jennifer Ehle,David Harewood, and Tim McInnerny), and with the organization hot on his trail the only man he can trust is Will Holloway (Harington), the agent he dismissed several years ago. Holloway has trust issues with Pearce, but if the two patch up their differences and focus on the task at hand, a huge terrorist attack in London is imminent.
Harington, who spends much of the storyline running from one intense sequence to the next (when he’s not chasing down Pearce, he’s attempting to stop snipers and a collection of terrorists), proves that he’s adept in the action genre. Firth, whose character seems to always be one step ahead of the game, brings a refreshing sense of gravitas to the film, which also keeps viewers guessing on the motivations of each agent. The ending, which focuses on the verbal showdown between two of MI-5’s top officials, is a memorable one (especially if you love twists).
The special features on the Blu-ray include “The Making of MI-5” featurette and two deleted scenes. The deleted segments are actually extended scenes from the movie, and they bring out a huge twist concerning Will Holloway’s father. Both scenes are worth watching, and one wonders why they were actually excised from the theatrical cut.
Counting the days until the new season ofGame of Thronesstarts? You are definitely not alone. It feels like every time one season ends, it takes even longer for the next to begin. Thankfully, there are ways to satisfy your craving, at least a little bit. You could of course re-watch all of the previous seasons, or possibly even delve into the books if you haven’t already.
But if you want to get a little more interactive, there are some excellent Game of Thronesvideo games you can play. Telltale recently came out with a very popular GoT video game, and another one is in the works. There’s even a slots game that lets you pick which house you want to serve as you attempt to sit on the Iron Throne. Find out more about that (and other, similar titles) here.
If you are like a lot of fans, you’ve spent some time scouring the Internet for clues on what to expect for season six. Well, there are some more tidbits in this article that will help whet your appetite. If you missed Bran Stark in the last season, he will almost certainly make an appearance in season six. Actor Isaac Hempstead, who plays him, said that Bran will have “interesting visions.” We will just have to stay tuned to learn exactly what those may be.
We may even see the return of Ned Stark. No, not as a White Walker, but in flashback-form. Some sharp-eyed fans noticed that there was a casting call for two young boys that fit the descriptions of younger versions of Ned and Benjen Stark. While showrunners have been loathe to use flashbacks (though one was utilized last year for Cersei), it seems as though we will get a glimpse into the history of the Starks.
Of course, the big question on everyone’s mind is whether or not Jon Snow is actually dead. Producers have insisted that he is, though that might not mean anything. That HBO poster appeared to show him still alive, which may be more of a hint. On top of that, actor Kit Harington has been spotted around the set many times. We probably won’t get a clear answer until the new season starts.
In addition to all of the political intrigue, memorable characters, and compelling storylines, Game of Thronesalso has excellent fight scenes. These will only be better in the new season, as a leaked casting document claimed to be looking for the best swordsman in Europe. Fans are speculating that this could be character Ser Arthur Dayne.
Daenerys’ dragons are another thing that has fans drooling, and we can expect them to be bigger, much bigger, according to Joe Bauer, the man responsible for the visual effects used on the show. “For season six, the dragons will again be double in size, spanning 120 feet from wingtip to wingtip,” he said.
But the question remains: How will Khaleesi keep them under control?
For more things we can (possibly) expect in the new season, check this out. What do you think is going to happen?
The Witch is described, upon it opening moments, as a “New England folktale,” and by the film’s closing moments it will be hard to shake the mesmeric and ultimately horrific story crafted by writer-director Robert Eggers. Set in 1630 New England, the storyline focuses on William (Ralph Ineson), a devout family man who, after refusing to bend to his village’s common law, is banished along with his family to a remote forest. With his children and wife Katherine (Kate Dickie) in tow, William is determined to make a new life in the wilderness and practice his faith without the suffocating presence of social pressure.
When William’s eldest daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy, in a breakthrough performance) journeys into the forest with the family’s newborn baby, her brother disappears without a trace. This tragic incident leads to Katherine’s suspicion that Thomasin may actually be a witch, and her fervent desire to return to the village leads to a understandable dip in the family’s morale. With his crops unexpectedly failing and children acting in a strange manner, William attempts to weather the storm through faith and prayer. But evil continues to thrive in the wilderness.
Though The Witch is downright chilling to the bone, Eggers doesn’t resort to quick edits and cheap scares to scare the audience. Whether it’s effectively utilizing Mark Koven’s unsettling and hypnotic score or crafting a claustrophobic possession sequence, the director is in full command of his story. Clocking in a a taut 90 minutes, there’s not an ounce of fat or wasted space in this narrative, and the pinpoint performance of the relatively unknown ensemble cast (Harvey Scrimshaw, who plays Thomasin’s loving brother, is particularly affecting) should keep you glued to the silver screen.
The film’s visual look of gloom and doom wasn’t achieved in post-production color correction, as Eggers and cinematographer Jarin Blaschke would mainly shoot on the bleakest of days. This decision inevitably lead to reschedule a healthy share of exterior shots, and one would assume it’s one of the many sacrifices which helped The Witch attain a higher creative level.
The story is mainly seen through Thomasin’s viewpoint, and The Witch wouldn’t be half as good if Taylor-Joy’s performance didn’t ring true. A huge reason for our continued investment on whether or not Thomasin is a witch rests on her subtly self-assured work.
While it offers up scares like there’s no tomorrow, The Witch also provides an immersive story that’s hard to shake. To hear more about our review of The Witch, check out this week’s episode of the iTunes movie podcast CinemAddicts.