Posts Tagged ‘Rose Byrne’

This week’s releases include: a Roger Corman monster movie; a breathtaking documentary; a good ol’ fashioned haunting flick; a legal dilemma; a political minefield; a not-so-typical sequel;  a set of films from a legendary starlet; a collection of classic books on film; and England’s national poet recited in moving pictures. (more…)

Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig in a scene from BridesmaidsIt’s not often an in-your-face comedy is created specifically for women. We are usually meant to settle for romantic comedies or dramas alleviated by humour – it almost always has to have a more serious narrative as the dominant factor versus just relating a string of jokes to which women can relate. These types of movies have been produced for men for decades, but ladies get ready to flock to the theatre because it’s finally playing a comedy made just for you. (more…)

A monster from InsidiousThere hasn’t been a good, true haunting flick in a while. Most recent releases have been rehashes of ‘70s and ‘80s films, which leave little room for surprise. The genre has been longing for an injection of originality and it’s finally received a healthy dose. When it was announced the creators of Saw, director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell, were re-teaming AND joining forces with the producers of Paranormal Activity, genre fans were shivering with anticipation. The consequence of this union is far from disappointing. The film’s telling title is Insidious, which is a word used rarely but never more aptly. (more…)

A monster from InsidiousThere hasn’t been a good, true haunting flick in a while. Most recent releases have been rehashes of ‘70s and ‘80s films, which leaves little room for surprise. The genre has been longing for an injection of originality and it’s finally received a healthy dose. When it was announced the creators of Saw, director James Wan and writer Leigh Whannell, were re-teaming AND joining forces with the producers of Paranormal Activity, genre fans were shivering with anticipation. The consequence of this union is finally ready to be seen and results are far from disappointing. The film’s telling title is Insidious, which is a word used rarely but never more aptly.

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As various television series spawn spinoffs, occasionally a movie will do something similar; it’s not a sequel, but rather a branching off to follow a different character. In Get Him to the Greek, the character is a British rocker and the source film is Forgetting Sarah Marshall.

Aaron Greenberg (Jonah Hill) exaggerated his way into his dream job at Pinnacle Records and after voicing an unpopular opinion during a brainstorming meeting, he’s given a career-making assignment. His mission: fly to London and escort the rocked out Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) to L.A.’s Greek Theatre for the first stop on a $100-million tour. But Aaron is warned by his boss (Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs) – do not turn your back on him. Unfortunately for Aaron, Aldous is going to make his task as difficult as possible. The next 72 hours involve bleeding drug dealers, hotel-destroying brawls, drug-addled parties and sex with random women. In between, Aldous attempts to fit reconciling with his ex-wife (Rose Byrne) and estranged father (Colm Meaney) into his schedule.

Writer/director Nicholas Stoller returns to the character that carried most of Marshall, giving him the spotlight that he previously stole. Though the first half of the film relies heavily on one-liners and crass humour while building the characters’ stories, the second half is genuinely funny. The events that take place in at Vegas hotel will still have you giggling the following day. There were more naked women than seemed necessary, but Stoller has already displayed his propensity for nudity (*see* Jason Segal in Marshall).

The comedic chops of Brand and Hill are perfectly matched. Brand is outlandish, but serious; he goes between being a selfish narcissist and lonely victim consistently and competently. Hill is often confused and exasperated; but desperate to prove he’s capable, he repeatedly bends over backwards to fulfill his duty as escort/sitter. Furthermore, the supporting cast is irreplaceable as they strengthen the comedy of all the scenes in which they appear (even Diddy is a fitting contributor).

If anything could be taken from the film, it was this: “When the world slips you a Jeffrey, stroke the furry walls.”


If every fatal disaster in history occurred based on a cryptic schedule, is there a way of preventing them from happening?

In 1959, Lucinda Embry’s (Lara Robinson) class created artwork for a time capsule. Instead of drawing a flying car, Lucinda wrote a series of seemingly random numbers. Fifty years later, the time capsule is opened and Lucinda’s contribution ends up in the hands of single-father and astrophysics professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage). Unsure it means anything at all, John puts it aside. Then by chance, an awkward glance reveals the numbers 0109012996 – September 11, 2001, 2996 victims. Further examination reveals an accurate list of major disasters resulting in loss of life around the world and three that have yet to happen. John decides he has been given the list because he is meant to stop the impending doom that faces humanity.

Knowing is a sci-fi thriller with a very intriguing concept that does not develop very compellingly. The appearance of creepy yet similar men in black gives away the origin of the messages early on but their motivations are never explained. Additionally, the imminence of the future does not carry the emotional weight it should.

The leading female in the film is Rose Byrne, who plays Lucinda’s grown daughter and John’s only connection to the prophet. She believably struggles with the barrage of information John unleashes on her, but once convinced she rides her emotions on the brink of hysterics. Cage is casted well as the science professor, as he has that vague oddness about him (stereo)typical of science-types. However, the delivery of many of his lines is quite inappropriately over-the-top. While everyone else in the film is playing the script straight, Cage utters the phrase “How am I supposed to save the world?” with such false intensity, it’s laughable.

The one shining light in the film is the special effects. A plane crash and its aftermath, which includes burning victims; a subway that derails and crashes into the platform, steamrolling riders; and a fire that consumes everything in its path – each are stunning and horrifying.

The DVD special features include commentary by director Alex Proyas, which is relatively informative regarding technique and storytelling style. “Knowing All,” the making-of featurette, reveals how the major special effects were created and “Visions of the Apocalypse” is an expert discussion about the role of the world’s end in history and faith.


What if there was a listing of disasters that was even more accurate than Nostradamus?

In 1959, Lucinda Embry’s (Lara Robinson) class created artwork for a time capsule. Instead of drawing a flying car, Lucinda wrote a series of seemingly random numbers. Fifty years later, the time capsule is opened and Lucinda’s contribution ends up in the hands of single-father and astrophysics professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage). Unsure it means anything at all, John puts it aside. Then by chance, an awkward glance reveals the numbers 0109012996 – September 11, 2001, 2996 victims. Further examination reveals an accurate list of major disasters resulting in loss of life around the world and three that have yet to happen. John decides he has been given the list because he is meant to stop impending doom that faces humanity.

Knowing is a sci-fi thriller with a very intriguing concept that does not develop very compellingly. The appearance of creepy yet similar men in black gives away the origin of the messages early on but their motivations are never explained. Additionally, the imminence of the future does not carry the emotional weight it should.

The leading female in the film is Rose Byrne, who plays Lucinda’s grown daughter and John’s only connection to the prophet. She believably struggles with the barrage of information John unleashes on her, but once convinced she rides her emotions on the brink of hysterics. Cage is casted well as the science professor, as he has that vague oddness about him (stereo)typical of science-types. However, the delivery of many of his lines are quite inappropriately over-the-top. While everyone else in the film is playing the script straight, Cage utters the phrase “How am I supposed to save the world?” with such false intensity, it’s laughable.

The one shining light in the film is the special effects. The plane crash and its aftermath, which includes burning victims; a subway that derails and crashes into the platform, steamrolling riders; and a fire that consumes everything in its path – each of which are stunning and horrifying. After seeing this, transit riders are sure to watch subway tunnels more closely.