If you’re in the mood for a modern day film noir, Detour may be your cup of tea. The project centers on Harper (Tye Sheridan), a law student who believes his stepfather (Stephen Moyer) is cheating on his mother. Harper also thinks the stepdad’s car accident, which placed his mom in a coma, is after the family inheritance!
Coming into Harper’s life are two grifters (Brookylyn’s Emory Cohen and Bel Powley from The Diary of a Teenage Girl) who agree to kill the stepfather. Directed and penned by Christopher Smith, Detour is a stylized, visually arresting thriller that evokes the works of Brian De Palma and the hard driving noirs of yesteryear. All three actors give solid performances, but it’s the unpredictable narrative and the Smith’s directing flair which puts Detour over the top.
Also covered this week on CinemAddicts is the documentary They Call Us Monsters, a look at three youths who may be tried for their crimes as adults, and the backwoods action thriller My Father Die. All three films open in select theaters Friday, January 20.
The trailer for Detour, with its split diopter shots and split screen homage to Brian De Palma, promises a film that’s going to give us a heavy dose of visual style. Director/writer Christopher Smith may have an ace up his sleeve with this film, as he’s enlisted three of cinema’s most promising young actor’s (Joe’sTye Sheridan, The Diary of a Teenage Girl’sBel Powley, and Brooklyn’s Emory Cohen) to headline his narrative. This pretty looking film, rife with mayhem, may actually feature a trio of substantive performances.
Harper (Tye Sheridan) is a law student who believes his stepdad (True Blood’s Stephen Moyer) had a part in the car crash that left his mother comatose. After a night drinking whiskey with a grifter named Johnny (Emory Cohen) and his stripper companion Cherry (Powley), Johnny wakes up with the two strangers at his doorstep. After making a drunken deal with the pair, Johnny is caught in a web of deceit and violence, and what started out as a couple of drinks may lead to tragedy.
Running a tight 90 minutes, this R-rated thriller hits theaters and On Demand January 20, 2017. Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!!
Director Bryan Singer’s return to the mutant universe with X-Men: Days of Future Past was met with acclaim in 2014, and now he’s back to up the storytelling stakes with X-Men: Apocalypse. Though his latest film doesn’t reach the emotional resonance of Days of Future Past (who can top an emotionally broken down Professor X?), it’s still a first rate experience that won’t disappoint.
Movie fans were first introduced to Apocalypse during the post end credits sequences of Days of Future Past, where a younger version of the world’s first mutant was seen telepathically constructing pyramids. The opening moments of X-Men: Apocalypse begins with the titular character, played by Oscar Isaac, being buried, along with his four horsemen, in a seemingly endless pile of rubble and stone after a power transference was thwarted by a handful of brave warriors. Though Earth was essentially saved from destruction by this successful operation, Apocalypse’s deep slumber ends in 1983 Cairo, with Moira Mactaggert (Rose Byrne) surviving as one of the cataclysmic event’s witnesses.
Apocalypse plans to reshape the world into his own personal utopia, and that process would entail a complete evisceration of humanity and any mutant who doesn’t fall in line and worship at his feet. Infusing his latest horsemen Angel (Ben Hardy), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Psylocke (Olivia Munn), and a vengeful Magneto (Fassbender) with enhanced powers, Apocalypse is now primed for his seemingly unstoppable mission.
Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) has always been torn between the contrasting philosophies of Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto, but with the world’s safety hanging in the balance, she ends up leading a new ragtag version of the X-Men (which includes Tye Sheridan as Cyclops, Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, and Kodi Smit-McPhee as Nightcrawler),
Though it runs at a hefty 143 minutes, X-Men: Apocalypse has a ton of story to tell,. Whether it’s following Magneto’s failed attempts at leading a normal life with a new family or exploring Professor X’s continued love for Moira (he swiped her memories in X-Men: First Class), the movie juggles a ton of subplots in the air in a solid, efficient fashion. The blending of Cyclops, a young Jean Grey, and a socially awkward Nightcrawler is also seamlessly handled, and fans looking for another scene stealing moment from Quicksilver (Evan Peters) won’t be disappointed.
My only quibble, and it’s a minor one, is that Apocalypse is the least memorable character among the mutants. It’s difficult to add subtle nuances to a character who simply wants to exterminate humanity, and Isaac really isn’t giving too much to work with. That being said, the heart and soul of the X-Men movies has been the lifelong chess match and mutual love that’s shared between Magneto and Professor X, and usually villains in this franchise (unless it’s Colonel Stryker) are usually an afterthought. Though he’s not exactly a game changer in the Marvel Universe, Apocalypse dutifully serves his purpose in moving the story forward.
If you’re craving a ton of action, X-Men: Apocalypse will definitely scratch that itch, as the ending confrontation between Apocalypse and the X-Men brings an entirely new dimension to the proceedings. Without giving anything away, you won’t forget this showdown which puts Jean Grey’s powers to the forefront (Sophie Turner, best known for her work on Game of Thrones, also has the most memorable line in the movie).
X-Men Apocalypse is another excellent addition to an ever evolving franchise, and don’t be surprised if it’s the best movie you’ll see this summer.
There are many takeaways from Joe, a drama that centers on an ex-convict’s (Nicolas Cage)friendship with a hard working yet troubled teenager (Tye Sheridan). Along with first rate performances. the feature is one of filmmaker’s David Gordon Green’s most stirring efforts, as the narrative, which is based on the Larry Brown novel, contains the danger of Undertowand the evocative feel of George Washingtonand All The Real Girls. Even if this film is influences by some of his earlier work, Green turns Joeinto a distinctly singular experience, as it will be hard to find a more memorable character on screen this year than Joe Ransom.
Cage’s work as Ransom isn’t the only standout in the film, as Gary Poulter, who plays the teenage boy’s abusive, alcoholic dad, is also memorable. In the production notes, Green recalled why he hired Poulter, who was discovered by casting director John Willims on the streets of Austin, Texas. “We were looking for drifters who were real and interesting and Gary had just a beautiful look to him. You could see the lost soul behind his eyes. He was missing part of an ear, as he was just as much interrogating John as John was interviewing him. There was something special there.”
Unfortunately, Poulter’s acting career didn’t travel beyond “Joe,” as he died in March 2013. During the press conference, Cage, Sheridan, and Green talked about working with Poulter. Click on the media below to hear their comments:
To hear how Nicolas Cage connects a scene in Joe with Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Häägen-Dazs, and his professor-father, check out my Deepest Dream post.
Joeopens in select theaters and On Demand this Friday.