Posts Tagged ‘Joel Edgerton’

This week’s releases include: the tale of a vengeful killer; a political biopic; Woody Allen’s latest picture; a scary Christmas story; a survival narrative; a vampire-werewolf romance; and a family’s struggle worked out in MMA. (more…)

Advertisements

This week’s releases include: the implosion of an Aussie crime family; an historical epic told through the eyes of an unlikely character; a sketch comedy bonanza; a science fiction drama that takes alternate realities to the extreme; an epic gangster narrative that spans 35 years; countless bloody deaths caused by ancient fish; and an account of a creation that changed the world. (more…)

David Roberts in The Square (photo courtesy of Alliance Films)

When someone in a film is scheming to escape, it’s easy to guess the plan will go awry; but it shouldn’t be as simple to predict the specifics.

Escaping the monotony of a loveless marriage, Raymond Yale (David Roberts) has an affair with the beautiful and troubled Carla (Claire van der Boom). Ray’s moral limits are tested when Carla suggests they use the proceeds from her husband’s (Joel Edgerton) latest crime to runaway and start anew. Fearing he will lose his love, Ray engineers a plan. However, hiring a professional arsonist becomes a fatal error, but no one appears to suspect. Then the first blackmail note arrives. The couple’s nerves are tested as both Carla’s husband and the mystery author threaten to throw open their secret, forcing them to decide just how far they are willing to go for love.

The Australian mystery thriller is bleak, both in appearance and emotion. The colours look washed out and the characters are perpetually drained. They are obviously experiencing deep, intense emotions, but they are rarely enough to truly ignite them. Though the mood is accurate, the evenness of the emotions makes it difficult to engage; it’s not until the latter half of the film that things begin to pick up.

The story follows predictable plot points of a mystery film noir: the initial scheme doesn’t go according to plan; there’s someone that knows your secret; innocent people become collateral damage to your happiness; and situations involving guns never end well. Furthermore, there are even accidents to alert viewers to the fact things are about to take a turn for the worse.

The acting is solid as is the directing. Though the story itself is weak in some places, the players are top notch. Their fear appears genuine as does their individual determination to accomplish their goals. The film’s aesthetic under Nash Edgerton is fitting to the doomed characters and story, though there are no scenes that significantly stand above the rest.

The Square is a very well made film, but it is nonetheless lacking in some fundamental areas.

It turns out the French are not the only ones making waves in the horror pool. Australian director Jon Hewitt has left a significant impression on the genre with his latest feature Acolytes.

Mark (Sebastian Gregory) and James (Joshua Payne) are best friends with a bit of a love, hate relationship; James can sometimes be an asshole and Mark has a not-so-secret crush on James’ girlfriend Chasely (Hanna Mangan Lawrence), the inseparable group’s third musketeer. When they happen upon a buried body in the woods, they decide to blackmail the burier (Joel Edgerton) into ridding them of a childhood bully (Michael Dorman) recently released from prison. But shady deals tend to go awry.

This is a suspense thriller the likes of which has not been seen on the big screen for some time. It’s chilling, unpredictable and startling. Shot on digital Viper cameras, the look is dark but smooth.

The music is a collection of cool pop rock songs. More interestingly, the soundtrack is diegetic, as each song is being played by Chasely within the context of the narrative. It would be a shame if the CD were not released along side the film.

The actors portraying the teens are actually teenagers themselves and they are fitfully frightened and emboldened as required. The murderer has that calm but frightening quality about him and the bully has a wily twinkle in his eye.

There is a mystery to be solved, but by the end of the flick almost everyone is a villain and no one can be trusted.