Category Archives: Thriller

Passion

Screened at the Provincetown International Film Festival – June 22, 2013 – US premiere

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Passion

 

 

Release Date: August 30, 2013
Runtime: 105 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Entertainment One
Director: Brian De Palma
Cast: Rachel McAdams; Noomi Rapace; Karoline Herfurth; Paul Anderson

De Palma is up to his old cinematic tricks (that’s a good thing) in his latest, a remake of the French noir “Love Crime.”

Rachel McAdams, the best Hitchcockian blonde since Kim Novak in “Vertigo,” plays Christine, the head of an ad agency in Berlin. Noomi Rapace (“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” – Swedish version) is her employee, Isabelle, in what would be a sort of account executive position, I guess. The two have an ideal working relationship, until Christine takes credit for Isabelle’s campaign idea on a major account. Then the tug of war begins, which will include manipulation, humiliation and, eventually, murder. Oh, what fun!
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Jurassic Park 3D: A Reel Podcast

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Release Date: April 5, 2013 (original release June 11, 1993)
Runtime: 127 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Sam Neill; Laura Dern; Richard Attenborough; Jeff Goldblum; Joseph Mazzello; Ariana Richards; Wayne Knight; Samuel L. Jackson

 

 

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Body of Evidence

It’s Flashback Friday!

This Week’s Flashback Movie….

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Release Date: January 15, 1993
Runtime: 99 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: MGM
Director: Uli Edel
Cast: Willem Dafoe; Madonna; Joe Mantegna; Anne Archer; Julianne Moore; Frank Langella; Jurgen Prochnow

Hoo-boy!!! This one’s a doozy! No one in this train wreck could possibly have thought that they were in a good movie. If they did, I have some waterfront property in Kansas to sell them.

In the wake of the success of “Basic Instinct” in the spring of 1992, the erotic thriller was a “hot” commodity. There was “Whispers in the Dark” in August of that year, “Guilty As Sin” in June of ’93, and William Friedkin’s “Jade” in 1995. Even “Basic Instinct” star Sharon Stone got back in the sack for “Sliver” in 1993. Most were lame excuses for big name stars to get naked. But none was more ridiculous than “Body of Evidence,” released in January (nuff said) of 1993. Starring Madonna and Willem Dafoe, this has to be one of the least intelligent movies ever put to celluloid. Continue reading

Side Effects

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Release Date: February 8, 2013
Runtime: 106 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Open Road Films
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Jude Law; Rooney Mara; Catherine Zeta-Jones; Channing Tatum

Instead of going out with a bang, Steven Soderbergh decided to go out with more of a tremble. While his latest, and purportedly last movie, is an entertaining enough social thriller, it is not the big, shiny, mass-market type of movie that has characterized his output in recent years (“Ocean’s Eleven,” “Ocean’s Twelve,” “Ocean’s Thirteen”). While it’s never a bad thing for a director, especially one as talented as Soderbergh, to flex his or her creative muscle and produce an eclectic mix of films, in my opinion, if this is going to be your last movie, why not go out with a grand, splashy piece of entertainment as a send-off?? Critics be damned! Continue reading

Duel

It’s Flashback Friday!

This Week’s Flashback Movie….

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Duel

 

 

Release Date: November 13, 1971
Runtime: 90 minutes
Rating: PG
Studio: Universal Pictures
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Dennis Weaver; Jacqueline Scott; Eddie Firestone

This is the movie that put a young Steven Spielberg on the map. Originally produced for television (released theatrically in Europe), and based on a story by Richard Matheson (“I Am Legend”; “Stir of Echoes”), it has all the Spielbergian trademarks for which he would later become one of our foremost auteurs.

On the surface, this sounds like the dumbest movie ever: man is menaced by a maniacal big rig, driven by a faceless driver. That’s essentially it. Yet in the hands of a young and eager Spielberg, it ends up being one of the most intense movies you’re likely to see, and holds up beautifully in the forty-plus years since it was initially released. Continue reading

When Time Ran Out

It’s Flashback Friday!

This Week’s Flashback Movie….

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Release Date: March 28, 1980
Runtime: 121 minutes
Rating: PG
Studio: Warner Brothers
Director: James Goldstone
Cast: Paul Newman; Jacqueline Bisset; William Holden; Edward Albert; Ernest Borgnine; Burgess Meredith; Red Buttons; Veronica Hamel; Alex Karras; James Franciscus

This is your typical Irwin Allen disaster flick that offers no new surprises and doesn’t stray from his well-worn formula. Continue reading

Zero Dark Thirty*

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Release Date: January 11, 2013
Runtime: 157 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Columbia Pictures (Sony)
Director: Kathryn Bigelow
Cast: Jessica Chastain; Jason Clarke; Kyle Chandler; Jennifer Ehle; Chris Pratt

[POSSIBLE SPOILERS, I guess…]

Goooooooood movie!!

The search for Osama Bin Laden took a really long time. While most of the American public wasn’t aware of the actual behind-the-scenes military machinations of what truly went into the search, “Zero Dark Thirty” attempts, and very much succeeds, in giving us an insider look into what is, undoubtedly, one of the most fevered manhunts of all time. Continue reading

Mama

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Mama

 

 

Release Date: January 18, 2013
Runtime: 100 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Studio: Universal
Director: Andres Muschietti
Cast: Jessica Chastain; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau; Megan Charpentier; Isabelle Nelisse; Daniel Kash

This is a creepy little movie.

Mama tells the tale of two little girls who are brought to a cabin in the woods by their suicidal father.  The father intends on killing the girls (very uplifting), but something gets to him first.  The girls are discovered years later, living in said cabin in a feral and animal state.  They are brought to a psychiatric clinic where Dr. Dreyfuss (Daniel Kash) intends to study their assimilation back into society.  Coming to the girl’s rescue is their uncle, Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and his rock-chic girlfriend, Annabel (Jessica Chastain), who will assume parental roles for the girls, much to the chagrin of their maternal aunt (Jane Moffat).  The older of the two girls, Victoria (Megan Charpentier), has retained some language skills, while the younger, Lilly (Isabelle Nelisse), was barely a toddler when her father died.  After the uncle falls down a flight of stairs and lands in a coma, it is left to Annabel to become a surrogate, single mom and care for the girls, who keep mentioning a seemingly imaginary friend named Mama.

Who or what is Mama?  What happened to Victoria and Lilly in that cabin?  Who or what killed their father?  All questions are answered in due time. Continue reading

The Others

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Release Date: August 10, 2001
Runtime: 101 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Studio: Dimension Films (Miramax)
Director: Alejandro Amenabar
Cast: Nicole Kidman; Christopher Eccleston; Fionnula Flanagan; Alakina Mann; James Bentley

[POSSIBLE SPOILERS]

“The Others” reminds me of how much fun going to the movies can be!  If you’re looking for a scary date movie, look no further.  This one will have couples clinging to each other in fright and delight throughout! Continue reading

Darkness

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Darkness

 

Release Date: December 25, 2004
Runtime: 102 minutes
Rating: R
Studio: Dimension Films (Miramax)
Director: Jaume Balaguero
Cast: Anna Paquin; Lena Olin; Iain Glen; Giancarlo Giannini

[SPOILER ALERT!]

Oh boy, is this ever a mess of a movie.  Basically, the story of a young girl and her family who move into a creepy old house in the Spanish countryside.  Weird things start happening.

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