NASTY BABY (2015)

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Written & Directed By: Sebastian Silva
Cinematography By: Sergio Armstrong
Editor: Sophia Subercaseaux 


Cast: Sebastian Silva, Kristin Wiig, Tunde Adebimpe, Reg E. Cathey, Mark Margolis, Alia Shawkat, Anthony Chilsom, Neal Huff, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Judy Marte 


A close-knit trio navigates the idea of creating life, while at the same time being confronted with a brutal scenario that causes them to take a life.

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TO THE BONE (2017)

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Written & Directed By: Marti Noxon
Cinematography By: Richard Wong
Editor: Elliot Greenberg 


Cast: Lily J. Collins, Alex Sharp, Lili Taylor, Brooke Smith, Keanu Reeves, Retta, Kathryn Prescott, Leslie Bibb, Carrie Preston, Alanna Ubach, Maya Eshet 


Ellen is a 20 year old woman struggling with anorexia nervosa. In the midst of family problems and her own fears, she is accepted into a group home run by an unusual doctor. Through the people she meets and the journey she takes, Ellen follows a path of self discovery and acceptance that will lead her to a surprising place she never would have thought possible

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CYMBELINE (2014)

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Written & Directed By: Michael Almereyda
Based On The Play By: William Shakespeare
Cinematography By: Tim Orr
Editor: John Scott Cook & Barbara Tulliver 


Cast: Ed Harris, Milla Jovovich, Delroy Lindo, Ethan Hawke, Kevin Corrigan, Penn Badgely, Anton Yelchin, Dakota Johnson, Bill Pullman, John Leguizamo, James Ransone, Vondie Curtis-Hall, J.D. Williams, Spenser Treat Clark 


 A gritty story of a take-no-prisoners war between dirty cops and an outlaw biker gang. A drug kingpin is driven to desperate measures. You would need a big name cast to keep the audiences interest. Unless you have Shakespeare purist fans. As there is no real style and feels closed in and claustrophobic


So with this cast other than Ed Harris, Ethan Hawke. you have actors who are more on the mainstream leading roles. Challenging themselves and trying to show they are more than pretty faces by tackling Shakespeare in a more contemporary way and trying to make it more of a crime story.

Though this is one of few times Ed Harris really get to play a leading role. Even if he is barely in the film his presence is always felt. Where as Ethan Hawke is an accomplished stage actor and leading man. So it is not strange to see him In This film. In more of a smaller but pivotal role. Though both heavily featured on the poster. they seem to leave it a showcase for the other actors. As most of the tale revolves around the younger supporting characters. They still revolve more around Harris’s character.

Though it still comes off as slow and claustrophobic. Throughout the performances feel more forced and never quite natural. I understand the language might be out of place, but usually in successful adaptations the actors still find a way to make it convincingly theirs. The material never seems to come alive. Even with such a violent tangled tale.

It’s a shame as the film has a good recognizable cast and strong material that doesn’t feel like it ever comes full circle and maters by their presence. Small scale can be realistic in a kitchen sink drama way. Here that style adds very little, but is definitely a stylistic choice.

The film offers us glimpses of the underworld they operate in but never quite fully explained. Yet we see constant back deals behind closed doors. That every so often becomes a little confusing. Though by the third act it all becomes more clear.

The film feels like an experiment. While also trying to follow the popularity of Shakespeare and the adaptations of it. It tries to stick to it’s more indie roots by choosing a play that is less well known. So that maybe fewer audience members can find fault with it.

This is Director Michael Almereyda’s second attempt at a modern shapespeare tale. He directed an adaptation of Hamlet with Ethan Hawke that similarly had mixed but better results.

Strangely this is one of the few of Shakespeare’s tragedies that has more of a happy ending. Once you get through some deaths and a general massacre.

The film comes off more as a rich fairy tale. That seems inspired by the show SONS OF ANARCHY, with it’s dirty cops and criminal biker gang. Just as that show was inspired by the tale of HAMLET.

Grade: C

DISTURBIA (2007)

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Directed By: D.J. Caruso
Written By: Christopher Landon & Carl Ellsworth
Story By: Christopher Landon
Cinematography By: Rogier Stoffers
Editor: Jim Page 


Cast: Shai LeBouf, Sarah Roemer, Aaron Yoo, David Morse, Carrie-Anne Moss, Viola Davis, Matt Craven, Jose Pablo Cantillo 


After his father is killed in a car accident, things unravel for Kale Brecht and he is placed under house-arrest for punching his Spanish teacher. Having nothing better to do, Kale occupies himself by spying on his neighbors. But one night, he witnesses what appears to be a murder going on in Mr. Turner’s house. Kale becomes obsessed with uncovering the truth behind these murders but, after a few unsettling run-ins with Mr. Turner, it becomes a matter of life and death. And the ominous question: Who is watching whom?

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BRIGHTBURN (2019)

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Directed By: David Yarovesky
Written By: James Gunn & Brian Gunn
Cinematography: Michael Dellatorre
Editor: Andrew S. Eisen & Peter Gvozdas 


Cast: Jackson A. Dunn, Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Meredith Hagner, Matt Jones, Becky Wahlstrom Steve Agee, Emmie Hunter 


What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister? This film seems to be more about the origin of a supevillian by a kind of reverse morals of Superman. That entices the audience and could have been really strong and powerful, but instead goes more as a fantasy horror film.

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THELMA (2017)

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Directed By: Joachim Trier
Written By: Eskil Vogt & Joachim Trier
Cinematography: Jakob Ihre
Editor: Oliver Bugge Coutte 


Cast: Elili Harboe, Kaya Wilkins, Henrik Rafaelsen, Ellen Doritt Petersen, Anders Mossling 


A confused religious girl tries to deny her feelings for a female friend who’s in love with her. This causes her suppressed subconsciously-controlled psychokinetic powers to reemerge with devastating results.

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LIMITLESS (2011)

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Directed By: Neil Burger
Written By: Leslie Dixon
Based on the Novel By: Alan Glynn
Cinematography: Jo Willems
Editor: Tracy Adams & Naomi Geraghty 

Cast: Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro, Abbie Cornish, Anna Friel, Johnny Whitworth, Ned Eisenberg, Robert John Burke, T.V. Capiro 


With the help of a mysterious pill that enables the user to access one hundred percent of his brain abilities, a struggling writer becomes a financial wizard, but it also puts him in a new world with lots of dangers.

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