CONTROL (2007)

CONTROL

Directed By: Anton Corbijn
Written By: Matt Greenhalgh
Based On The Book By: Deborah Curtis
Cinematography By: Martin Ruhe
Editor: Andrew Hulme
Music By: New Order 


 Cast: Sam Riley, Samantha Morton, Alexandria Maria Lara, Joe Anderson, James Anthony Pearson, Harry Treadaway, Toby Kebbell, Andrew Sheridan, Richard Bremmer

Ian Curtis is a quiet and rather sad lad who works for an employment agency and sings in a band called Warsaw. He meets a girl named Debbie whom he promptly marries and his band, of which the name in the meantime has been changed to Joy Division, gets more and more successful. Even though Debbie and he become parents, their relationship is going downhill rapidly and Ian starts an affair with Belgium Annik whom he met after one of the gigs and he’s almost never at home. Ian also suffers from epilepsy and has no-good medication for it. He doesn’t know how to handle the feelings he has for Debbie and Annik and the pressure the popularity of Joy Division and the energy performing costs him.

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LONDON BOULEVARD (2010)

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Written & Directed By: William Monahan
Based on the novel by: Ken Bruen
Cinematography: Chris Menges
Editor: Dody Dorn & Robb Sullivan 


Cast: Colin Farell, Keira Knightley, David Thewlis, Ray Winstone, Stephen Graham, Ophelia Lovibond, Anna Friel, Ben Chaplin, Eddie Marsan, Sanjeev Bhaskar 


Fresh out of prison, Mitchel wants nothing to do with crime but accepts a kip from Billy, a marginal grafter, and accompanies Billy on rent collection trips. He’s also old school, wanting revenge on two youths for assaulting a mendicant he’s befriended. He’s got a strung-out sister to protect, and he’s offered a job protecting a famous actress from paparazzi. The plot lines join when Michael finds himself attracted to the actress and Billy’s Mob boss, Gant, finds ways to force Michael work for him. He also warns Michael off revenge against the assailants of his friend. What are Michael’s options: is there any way to avoid Gant, protect his sister, and find a path to love?

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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

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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