MA MERE (2004)

Written & Directed By: Christophe Honore
Based On The Novel By: Goeroges Bastille
Cinematography By: Helene Louvart
Editor: Chantal Hymans

Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Louis Garrel, Emma de Caunes, Joana Preiss, Jean-Baptiste Montagut, Dominique Reymond


Pierre, a youth, comes from his grandmother’s in France to stay with his parents in the Canary Islands. His father talks oddly about his lost youth and leaves abruptly for France. Mom promises to take Pierre to a nightclub, remarking that people will think he’s her lover. He prays. His father dies in France, and his mother wants him to empty his father’s office; Pierre finds it full of pornography. His mother takes him in tow into a night world without morality, a world of sexual exploitation, exhibitionism, and wildness. What will Pierre make of this, and what, ultimately, will he make of his mother?

Rated NC-!7

Is it art or is it pornography? Hobos to say, but this is a bad film that the only reason to watch the film is to see the beautiful euro-trash females in the hide and in sex scenes that seem realistic.

I just can’t get into a film about a mother and son who feel sexual feelings for each other. But don’t act on them.


The film is certainly erotic and has plenty of fetishes for the characters to act on and live out. As we watch the characters on their increasingly ridiculous erotic adventures.

From here on are spoilers. As this film is one you would watch more as an x-rated porn film than an actual art film. At least in my opinion as the film seems like those that as a child I would watch on cable dubbed never really knowing or paying too close attention to the plot. Though knowing nudity was involved and just sitting through the sort to get to the sex and nudity. The rest of the film feeling like filler. Now as a teen that was great, but now as an adult while it brings back a certain nostalgia. If that is all the film is really about it is disappointing or should have advertised that fact originally. Especially with such major actors cast in the film.

The story is about a son who comes home from boarding school after the death of his father. His mother, now a widow starts hanging out with some Eurotrash women, and together, they go out at night, seduce and prostitute themselves. Then the Eurotrash friend seduces the sexually frustrated son. That the film lets us know is sexually Frustrated by showing him constantly masturbating to his father’s porn collection. Not only does she seduce him. She has sex with him in public, then participates in an orgy with him. Which his mother constantly watches him and her and then actually congratulates him after. Then his mother leaves him. So he and a new girl he has met at the orgy and his mother has left him with start To date and have more adventures.

Major spoilers

The rest of the film involves beating a man half to death with a riding crop in as an S & M game. A man masturbating to his mother’s corpse. The mother slicing her own throat while giving her son a hand job.

End major spoiler

I’m sorry I just really couldn’t get into this film. I just don’t want anyone to has to sit through this film expecting something that is never coming. It was more like porn with a plot that had to include every fetish to appeal to every market out there.

This movie is based on a book. Why would anyone want to make it into a film? Maybe it sounded better on paper than it is in live-action. I don’t have European sensibilities. I’m just an ignorant American. So I don’t have too much Of an opinion on it.

For those of you who insist on sitting through it. Just to see if you can make it to the en as some kind of endurance test, why? You paid to see this for some kind of entertainment or at least to e intrigued.

I can admit the women in this film are fetching, but be warned there are not really three women to look at.

One of the problems with reviews in foreign films at times is that since they are in another language, a language you don’t really speak. Is that it is harder to tell if the acting is really good or bad. You just assume they are doing a good job as they seem believable with the text on the bottom of the screen. Or you go by the way they are saying things and the physicality.

Half the time you are reading subtitles so you look up after and may have missed a subtlety or a shot.

I give Isabelle Huppert credit as he mashes I keep her head held high and comes out of the film unscathed.

If you are looking for what amounts to erotic porn rent it. If not skip it.

 Grade: D

THE ULTIMATE PLAYLIST OF NOISE (2021)

Directed by: Bennett Lasseter
Written By: Mitchell Winkie
Cinematography: Vincent Patin 
Editor: Robin Gonsalves 

Cast: Keean Johnson, Madeline Brewer, Bonnie Hunt, Ian Gomez, Rya Kihlstedt, Oliver Cooper, Carol Mansell, Emily Skeggs, Ariela Barer, Jake Weary 

Marcus, an audio-obsessed high school senior, learns he must undergo brain surgery that will render him deaf, and decides to seize control of his fate by recording the Ultimate Playlist of Noise.


As it goes down like a nice teen drama. It’s dramatic, funny, and heartwarming by the end. If this wasn’t already a young adult novel, it should have been.

We watch the natural growing pains, trials, and tribulations that most of us go through. Only here the main character is kind of an obsessive nerd. Whose main interests are music and putting together playlists. 

Then his passions come together in a cute young lady who is a musician and sends his heart flutter. Which happens to come into His life when he has learned of a condition that will rob him of his hearing and separating him from his favorite thing music.

While the film plays on romance it also becomes a road trip movie. So we get the eccentric, strange whimsy of the characters and traveling.

What is refreshing about this film is that it’s not a typical love story. As it has romantic moves but cuts them short offering genuine surprises from where you might think some moments are going in a good way. Like him having his first kiss.

It does try to show the beauty in supposedly the mundane. 

The film is more about bonding with a stranger and becoming so close that you can open up to them. The story more or less comes across as one of the connections between two people and inspiring one another to go face their fears and also learn to accept things. Deal with them and learn to live with it.

Even if staying somewhat predictable story-wise. There will be love involved, not romantic and not the kind where even if there was it could save you from yourself or help you outrun your problems. 

The film doesn’t offer a false or empty story. Where we are left to wonder what happens next or after that but should feel rest assured in just the here and now. 

Grade: B-

WHITEBOYZ (1999)

Directed by: Marc Levin 
Written by: Danny Hoch, Garth Belcon, Marc Levin & Richard Stratton 
Story By: Danny Hoch & Garth Belcon 
Cinematography: Mark Benjamin 
Editor: Emir Lewis 

Cast: Danny Hoch, Dash Mihok, Mark Webber, Piper Perabo, Eugene Byrd, Lisa Jane Todd, Bonz Malone, Reno Wilson, Jaqueline Williams, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Kim Wozencraft, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Fat Joe, Dead Prez

In a virtually all-white Iowa town, Flip daydreams of being a hip-hop star,. He practices in front of a mirror and with his two pals, James and Trevor. He talks Black slang, he dresses Black. He’s also a wannabe pusher, selling flour as cocaine. And while he talks about “keeping it real,” he hardly notices real life around him: his father’s been laid off, his mother uses Food Stamps, his girlfriend is pregnant, James may be psychotic, one of his friends (one of the town’s few Black kids) is preparing for college, and, on a trip to Chicago to try to buy drugs, the cops shoot real bullets. What will it take for Flip to get real?


This feels like a film that tackles a cultural phenomenon movement but feels a little late. So it also feels stale and a bit out of step. 

While it offers lead actor (and Co-Writer) Danny Hoch a cumulation of his work (as a Caucasian obsessed with the stereotypes of African Americans and their culture) even as he looks too old to play the lead role of a teenager just beginning his post-high school life. 

The same when it comes to dash Mihok even though a little closer to the right age, but it becomes more obvious their age when next to Mark Webber, who actually still looks like a teenager. 

The film starts off being more satirical before becoming more dramatic and serious in the third act. Where it tries suspense and ends in violence. When due to that violence characters finally break out of their fantasy and reveal themselves good and bad as one shows his racism, but it finally adds the edge the film seeks.

As before the third act, the film jumps from Social realism where we laugh at the characters to more juvenile comedy that comes off as goofy. 

This was director Marc Levin’s next film after the Sundance award-winner SLAM. Like that film this film stays rooted in African American culture but whereas that film felt artistic. Even though it was independent also. This seems to go more for a mainstream audience. As well as taking on the story more from a Caucasian point of view trying to look in.

Soon the way to its inevitable end. It tries to provide insight but can’t help but feel a bit preachy while sticking to its small-town roots.

It seems to want to play into its own fantasy world.

Maybe if the film stayed with the character base and let the comedy come naturally from there and their ridiculousness. This film could have been stronger.

As it tries to present a microcosm it doesn’t offer up anything to say. So that it seems like posturing while presenting a subject that seems more comedic and like a news report that never probes any deeper. 

It might have been more interesting if the film opened itself up and explored other characters a little more than the less. Working fine when it decides that I have more of a plot. While it tries to offer insight. It just feels stale and where it’s missing some points

Grade: C

CACHE

Written & Directed By: Michael Haneke 
Cinematography By: Christian Berger 
Editor: Michael Hudecek & Nadine Muse 

Cast: Daniel Auteuil, Juliette Binoche, Maurice Benichou 

Georges, who hosts a TV literary review, receives packages containing videos of himself with his family–shot secretly from the street–and alarming drawings whose meaning is obscure. He has no idea who may be sending them. Gradually, the footage on the tapes becomes more personal, suggesting that the sender has known Georges for some time. Georges feels a sense of menace hanging over him and his family but, as no direct threat has been made, the police refuse to help…. 


I’ll be the first to admit. I consider myself a film academic (Mostly Home Schooled) and I don’t get this film. There is supposed to be some kind of secret to this whole film. I just didn’t see it or if I did see it, I didn’t understand it. What I can say is I think the theme of this film is about personal history. What your memory of it is vs. what the actual facts are. Just because you change and become a better person doesn’t change any evil or pat crimes. There are still victims out there who will not only never forget, but can’t forget because what may have been just an incident to you could have been catastrophic to another person completely with tremors still being felt and only getting more violent with age. 

The film begins slowly then as it get’s going it picks up some speed with shocking moments and deeply felt emotional mystery That becomes a spiraling tragedy. There isn’t even a soundtrack, nor music. Which heightens the scenes and also never leads you anywhere so you have to take the scenes as they are presented and make up your mind and piece things together yourself. No real universal truth only what you believe compared to what might have actually happened, As it is never fully explained. 

Director Michael Haneke is like a modern-day Hitchcock only more of a masochist. He has a quirk for misery and human suffering. He is masterful with pace, timing, Settings, and camera work. Nothing is ever rushed nor feel that way. The performances he gets out of the cast are deep. 

This is a foreign film so it moves slower and is more about emotions than anything else. It plays like a thriller and it is, Though not in a conventional sense really it’s more of a drama. 

Check it out But as a rental and only if you enjoy a film that really makes you think and put together its pieces. 

GRADE: B-

PIECES OF A WOMAN (2020)



Directed By: Kornel Mundruczo
Written By: Kata Weber
Cinematography: Benjamin Loeb
Editor: David Jancso

Cast: Vanessa Kirby, Shia Lebouf, Molly Parker, Ellen Burstyn, Iliza Shlesinger, Benny Safdie, Sarah Snook, Jimmie Fails 

When a young mother’s home birth ends in unfathomable tragedy, she begins a year-long odyssey of mourning that fractures relationships with loved ones in this deeply personal story of a woman learning to live alongside her loss.


This film has a tour de force lead performance by Vanessa Kirby. We see her in all of her glory and despair. The rest of the cast is great.

The opening third of the movie is intense emotionally and amazingly acted. Then in the second act while we see how each member of the couple deals with grief and the effect it has on those around them. In the background the film has a little courtroom drama brewing.

Then in the third act, we deal with only the aftermath but acceptance, especially of secrets revealed and acts that can’t be taken back. All the whole the film never wants to release the tension. As the film stays a docudrama in every sense of the term that it becomes Cassavetes-Esque in trying to expose raw nerves.

The problem is that it feels that way it feels more set up and more like an acting exercise than what it is trying to be. 

So much so that while you are watching it you can’t help but wonder if this is artistic storytelling it is it more trying hard to get awards. As this is a story that needs to be told, it is one that is told to conjure up an emotional story and conflict. 

Just as one character has an affair and it just so happens to be the other’s, family member. We are introduced to how they met, but it just feels more convenient to the film. Rather than natural. For all the naturalness emotionally the film tries to present. The situations feel more set up and false. Especially In What they are trying to present.

Even as another character seems to have an affair, but doesn’t make a show about it. It gives us enough information that we know what is going on and hints at the reasons why. Without spelling it out for us. Whereas the other is sloppy and we witness not the act and conversations afterwards. Though in each case it more matches the style of the characters. 

As the film doesn’t offer much happiness and joy. Let our characters make their mark or presence felt. Usually through despair.

The film’s piece-de-resistance is the 25 minute unbroken shot of Kirby’s character giving birth.

In the end this film is about painful truths and emotional intensity. That by the end does offer a release.

Grade: B

SYSTEM CRASHER (2019)

Written & Directed By: Nora Fingscheidt
Cinematography: Yunus Roy Imer
Editor: Stephan Bechinger & Julia Kovalenko

Cast: Helena Zengel, Albrecht Schuch, Gabriela Maria Schmeide, Lisa Hagmeister, Melanie Straub, Maryam Zaree 

She is small but dangerous. Wherever Benni ends up, she is immediately expelled. The wild 9-year-old girl has already become what child protection services call a “system crasher”. And she is certainly not looking to change her ways. Because Benni has one single goal: to be back at home with her mommy. But Bianca is scared of her own daughter. Mrs. Bafané from child protection services is trying her best to find a permanent placement for Benni. She hires the anger management trainer Micha as Benni’s school escort and suddenly there is a seed of hope. Will Micha be able to succeed where all others despaired?


At first, wasn’t sure what to expect from this film. Seems basic at first watching a girl go through the Foster care system, but she is particularly violent and disruptive.

The film soon starts to show its hand with a character new to the case and situation. Who is tough yet caring but like the main character can’t seem to save her from herself. Even as he continuously tries and makes progress. 

When it comes to this film what is so heartbreaking is that every time it looks like the young female main character will be saved. Circumstances end up making the situation worse. 

Where it happens so many times it could almost be a running joke. Though each time it is presented it seems to be at a different level of desperation and rising emotional unraveling.

She is the major problem most times in all of these situations, but she is just a child, but more than A handful and violent who can’t seemingly calm down or manage her emotions. She is more a product of her environment and where she has been pushed by the adults in her life. 

We see what maybe inspires her. In her mother’s overwhelming false promises and keeps on taking in the obviously wrong men. Who seems more important to her than her kids.

This movie takes you on a journey with her, an emotionally raw one by the end you feel worn out and exhausted.

The only Person she bonds with is her Walker who had an anger problem himself and after some success, she eventually becomes too much for him a grown man. Though we learn more about her through their time together. He is constantly trying to protect her though he isn’t that conventional himself 

Throughout the film, it is a wild ride. As always there seems to be hope and some peace. Through a parent or savior, something goes wrong, usually through the behavior of the child. That she ends up living up to the title of the movie as her file. Where despite the many phases and programs for different types of children meant to save her. She fails through them all and is too young for others even the rock bottom last resort she seems too strong for.

Even though she can be innocent and charming. Like with her school walker’s wife. Soon enough she presents her scary angry side. This ends up leading to one of the more nail-biting scenes of the soon 

The film presents an ending that is ambiguous but seems like she will never stop or learn her lesson. As what starts out as a tantrum shows she kind of takes joy in causing trouble.

Grade: A-

JEFF OF THE CINEFILES & UNFINISHED BUSINESS: HALL OF FAME – FILE #0067 – IVANS xtc (2000)

Directed & Edited By: Bernard Rose
Written By: Bernard Rose & Lisa Enos
Based on the novel “THE DEATH OF IVAN ILYICH” By: Leo Tolstoy 
Cinematography: Bernard Rose & Ron Forsythe 

Cast: Danny Huston, Peter Weller, Lisa Enos, Angela Featherstone, Valeria Golino, Joanne Duckman, James Merendino, Tiffani Amber Theissen, Heidi Jo Markel 

Ivan Beckman, Hollywood’s most sought-after talent agent, the darling and the crown prince of La-La Land is dead. How and why did it happen? Was it drugs, murder or excess, or perhaps something altogether more mundane? We begin with an ending and then catapult back a number of days to the apex of Ivan’s brilliant career as he bags international megastar Don West onto his company’s books, and then charts the highs, lows (and they are so very low), and extreme excesses of his final days.


This is purely an exclusively Hollywood type of excess and burning out on overindulgence. As we watch a character. An agent self implodes starting with the aftermath then we watch as we are taken to the beginning of what leads to this all those enablers and so-called friends.

Danny Huston gives a career-best performance (so far) in the lead 

This is an early example of experimental filmmaking used by a major director (Bernard Rose) where it seems like the filming was done with shaky camcorders at the time. This gives the film and performances an intimacy that makes it feel claustrophobic but also everything more plain abs basic without any kind of Hollywood shine. As most of the characters are shallow, selfish, or scuzzy with a shiny veneer to themselves.

This experimental quality is a style that fellow filmmaker Mike Figgis used so many times that it is partially shocking he not only never made this film, Nor did he ever make a film using this style that made as much as an impact as this film does  

One reason this film is less known and buried is that it might have hit a little too close to home for some in Hollywood. As it feels way too true and like it’s Hollywood holding a mirror to itself or aspects of itself and hating that raw image not made up. 

This is a film I heard about over the years. It seems to disappear but I heard it was highly recommended. Luckily when re-released on Blu-Ray finally got a chance to watch it and can see why it was so hard to find a great movie but also marvel as for what was made at the time and being kind of honest about parts of the industry.

an early example of using (then) modern cutting edge technology to your advantage. As it saves money but also gives the film an extra dimension you don’t expect. 

Seeing the characters at the beginning and their relationships than seeing how they fit into his life before. Feels more real than THE PLAYER not as self-congratulatory. As an inside Hollywood tale more about power.

This film goes well with the film TIMECODE though this is an infinitely better film that feels like its film is less of a gimmick. They match as the year 2000 experimental film. That looked at the Hollywood establishment with a more artistic look that takes the glitz out of Hollywood and offers a pitch black character study. That could easily be seen as a horror film. As we watch the main character break down and essentially torture himself. 

In the debauchery, it quickly cuts Shields from most of the actual action. Though an addict seems to go on a bender after being diagnosed with cancer. We get to know the person, so far we only know or hear about In Passing.

An internal conflict coming from a family of artists. While he only represents supposed artists and stars and what they make can barely be considered art 

How when he needs the most care and attention he is all alone and lost. 

The film is oddly affecting considering one thought it was going to be stronger or worse when it came to content.

The film is a little indulgent towards the end. It is too much of an artistic statement as a kind of signature to the whole endeavor. Though considering what and who they are portraying it might be expected. 

This might be why the beginning is the end. So more like an epilogue. Leaving him to his own bell after the loss of death. The last indulgence he might get. As he buried himself and now must be In his own purgatory.

A cautionary tale that feels like an indictment. 

GRADE: B+

VICKY CHRISTINA BARCELONA (2008)


Written & Directed By: Woody Allen 
Cinematography By: Javier Aguirresarobe 
Editor: Alisa Lepselter 

Cast: Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Patricia Clarkson, Kevin Dunn, Zak Orth, Chris Messina

 

Sexually adventurous Cristina and her friend Vicky, who is bright but cautious, holiday in Barcelona where they meet the celebrated and wholly seductive painter, Juan Antonio. Vicky is not about to dive into a sexual adventure being committed to her forthcoming marriage. But Cristina is immediately captivated by Juan Antonio’s free spirit and his romantic allure is enhanced when she hears the delicious details of his divorce from fellow artist, the tempestuous Maria Elena. 


This is a partially unusual film for Woody Allen maybe it’s because it is set in Spain and the country is both artistic and romantic and sensual. This film is one sexy movie now all the leads are of course good looking and have been in tons of other films. Where they have been sex symbols and objects and that is what most films are there to do to make the actors look the best they can but in this film, they practically sizzle the film shows them at their best. 
 

Now in the Woody Allen canon of movies, it’s not the best but it is better than some of his others but it still seems slight this one as usual revolves around artists and muses and the philosophy of relationships. As Rebecca Hall’s character goes to Barcelona to finish her thesis and is engaged she brings her friend Scarlett Johansen who is a flight sexy beauty and they meet Javier Bardem and both end up falling for him though Rebecca Hall tries very much not to so Scarlett Johanssen ends up staying with him trying to find her own identity but problems soon arise as his ex played by Penelope Cruz comes back into his life.  

This is pretty much Penelope Cruz’s movie even though her character comes is not in the film until halfway in. She is talked about so much that when she finally shows up she is everything you expect and worse. Javier Bardem is good as the lothario with sex appeal. Which he should be since Woody specifically wrote the role with him in mind and had no other choice lined up to play the role. 


Scarlett Johansen gives a good experience but she still suffers from the Rosario Dawson syndrome. Where a star actress is always stuck in the girlfriend role. Only here Scarlett is sexy given tons of screen time but not too much to actually do other than be almost a prop in the background always she isn’t given a real character to play. On the other hand, Rebecca Hall makes a deep impression maybe it’s because she is in a way playing the Woody Allenish character the nebbish only this time female. The film is the best-looking cast Woody has ever worked with. 

This is a film that shows the bohemian ideals that seems to be at war with the nouveau riche the establishment represented by Patricia Clarkson and Kevin Dunn. Clarkson’s character is a romantic dreamer who always wonders what if she would have run off with a poor lover years ago. She imagines her life could have been more exciting and fulfilled, Whereas now she has money but is bored she loves her husband, but he doesn’t seem to return the favor he cares more about business than objects. He views her as just another possession I don’t know if that was intended but that is how I felt watching the film. 


 In essence, this is a film about the What If. The ideals and problems you could have by running off with that smooth talker. It is also the nightmare story of the ex-girlfriend who never leaves and haunts and stalks you who takes things to the extreme to try and get you back and intimidate your new girlfriend. Though the film doesn’t go the thriller way it chooses to be a little more realistic in a dramedy romantic comedy way.


The film is a good movie to watch it is a good time waster. I’d say it is worth buying if it was 14.95 and would be a lot more interesting if Woody Allen gave a commentary just to see what his thought process was since this is such a big departure from his other films around that time. Which at that point was an improvement. 

 GRADE: B

MI VIDA LOCA (1993)

Written & Directed By: Allison Anders  Cinematography: Rodrigo Garcia  Editor: Richard Chew, Tracy Granger & Kathryn Himoff

Cast: Angel Aviles, Seidy Lopez, Jacob Vargas, Christina Solis, Neilda Lopez, Arthur Esquar, Jesse Borrego, Monica Lutton, Salma Hayek, Eddie Perez, Guy Boyd, Spike Jonze, Jason Lee, Kurt Voss, Nicole Holfcener 

Mousie and Sad Girl are childhood best friends in a contemporary Los Angeles poor Hispanic neighborhood. But when Sad Girl becomes pregnant by Mousie’s boyfriend, a drug dealer named Ernesto, the two become bitter enemies. While their dispute escalates towards violence, the violence of the world around them soon also impacts their lives.


This is not The movie I expected. I give Alison Anders a lot of love and props for This film. As it is not what one would expect as a follow-up to her debut GAS, FOOD, AND LODGING. 

This film takes a look at gang life in California more from a female point of view. Taken from anecdotes of real female gang members.

The film Humanizes the characters more about personal lives. Not so sensationalistic in depicting crime and violence. Whereas when it does happen more treated as tragic and surprising than everyday 

The film is more a slice of life looking at the characters and their culture. As it works as an ensemble where we see different points of view of those in that life. But we also see different stories.

More of a look at a culture and community. Where you want to see more of the stories continue. An ensemble plus more from a female point of view. 

The film offers Hispanic/Mexican representation though focused on gang life. It doesn’t speak down to the audience or the characters. Doesn’t make any judgments. Not so much stereotypical gang life, it is more in the background. Not so much matter of fact. It explores the neighborhood and might not be the film some are looking for 

Even if the first half revolves mainly around two characters who are best friends and the troubles in their friendship and how it gets destroyed over a guy. Where it almost comes to them killing one another.

The characters aren’t Painted as one. Not as usually shown in cinematic depictions. Here they are more nuanced, recognizable, and identifiable. 

Some might be disappointed the true film isn’t your typical life in the streets gang film. Choosing instead to focus on characters and emotions. It might even seem a bit melodramatic at first like a soap opera. 

You have characters like Whisper who you want to see more of and learn more about. As she is used more as a connection and a recurring character. Who is more in the lifestyle as it is more natural and part of survival

More on the female sides of the fence was raised in this environment.  It is exactly cut out for the normal 9 – 5. 

The film does focus a bit on characters, not in the life, more related to the main characters but unfortunately still violence and the streets affect them. The film offers some cinema verite. As some of the actors and extras are real gang members.

What is remarkable about the film is that it’s not a film that aims to be downtrodden or condemn the life of the characters. It more humanizes them and shows their trials and tribulations. Just as any other.

There is no overarching narrative about saving anyone or trying to get themselves out of their life. They are dealing with what they have always known and will always be around as at this point it is more comfortable than anything else.

It might not be the film you are looking for but it is the film you need. 

GRADE: B-

WEAPONS (2007)

Written & Directed By: Adam Bhala Lough Cinematography: Manuel Alberto Claro Editor: Jay Rabinowitz 

Cast: Nick Cannon, Paul Dano, Mark Webber, Riley Smith, John Campo, Regine Nahu, Brandon Mychel Smith. Arliss Howard, Aris Mendoza,  Amy Ferguson, Serena Reeder, Jade Yorker 

Weapons present a series of brutal, seemingly random youth-related killings over the course of a weekend in a typical small town in America, and tragically reveals how they are all interrelated.


The film’s structure is Tight and how it begins with a shocking and graphic scene. Then the rest of the film explores how we got to that event by following different characters’ experiences or their own points of view. Leading up to one event where it is handed off to a character who was more in the background of the last character P.O.V.

I don’t like the film but I can’t Lie. It has you as an audience member thinking about it a lot for a few days after. But I can’t say if I didn’t like it because it’s a gruesome story that I felt didn’t need to be told and had no real desire to ever see again or did one just not like the film. 

In its own way. The film tries to have a message of what is going down on the streets with teenagers at the time. it makes no real decisions. It doesn’t condemn nor does it celebrate these kid’s behavior, but tries to show it in simple terms. No gloss, no glory but it still feels wrong.

It’s like wanna-be kids but with more violence and a lot less sex. It just ends up being very disturbing.

It bothers you the way the characters really don’t care about anything or have no fear of the future. Where their actions might lead. The only time we get a glimpse is when Nick Cannon’s character has second thoughts about a decision he has been dead set to do. Then another person takes the decision out of his hands and does it for him. 

You truly feel sorry for most of the characters. Except two by the end. The kids seem so narcissistic. They are impervious to dangerous and shocking things that lie before them.

Plus the director attempts a gritty realism. Which he gets but some scenes could be easily cut down. I’m all for realism but they go on long. Where the characters do absolutely nothing and don’t add to the film overall or characters unless they are supposed to be as bored as the audience.

One question that was left with where are all the parents The whole time? That bothers you and no answers are offered.

What worked against the film was seeing established actors mixed in with the novices. You could tell the difference. It seems real but when you see nick cannon or someone else familiar. It instantly takes you out and reminds you that it’s a movie. No matter how good and believable he is, which is shocking.

This is definitely not a movie teenagers should see, but maybe parents should at least scare them To pay more attention to their kids.

So this worst-case scenario doesn’t happen to them. As this film keeps leaning towards the artistic

This film feels like it goes overboard to be shocking and provocative. It ends up coming out more exploitive. that’s educating the audience and trying to confirm the worst fears of the viewers 

GRADE: C-