Showing posts with label Juno Temple. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Juno Temple. Show all posts

18 September 2013

TIFF 2013 Review - Horns

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Rating:
15
TIFF Release Date:
6th & 8th September
Director:
Alexandre Aja
Cast:
Juno Temple, Max Minghella, Joe Anderson, Heather Graham, David Morse

Based on the bestselling novel by Joe Hill (that’s horror maestro Stephen King’s son), Horns is a spellbinding gothic fairy tale that tackles lost love and the pits of human nature to deliver one of the most enjoyable horror flicks in some time. This was one of the highlights of this year's Toronto International Film Festival.

Ig Perrish (Daniel Radcliffe) wakes up one day to find he has grown a set of horns that grant him strange abilities. Haunted by the brutal murder of his girlfriend (Juno temple) and hounded by the people of his town who blame him, he decides to use those abilities to help exact his brtal revenge on the true killer.

As Ig quickly unravels the conspiracy, people can’t help confiding in him- and more often than not acting out- their most primal desires. So matter where he goes he leaves a trail of destruction, at times shamelessly depraved (see Heather Graham’s role as a sadistic waitress) at others touching. The humour is transferred seamlessly from book to screen, encapsulating the most realistic aspects of Ig’s condition and wrapping them with such charm and glee that there are more than just a few laugh-out-loud moments.

It’s not all black comedy though; Alexandre Aja (Switchblade Romance, The Hills Have Eyes 2006) understands the most important aspect of this story: at its heart, under the sharp, devilish humour and zany plot points, Horns is a romance. His attentions towards Ig and Merrin’s relationship, the heart-breaking fate of it and the superb casting of Radcliffe-Temple provides a believable base from which all other facets of the plot can grow from. Radcliffe has here stepped into full fruition as an actor, removing doubts of his post-Potter significance by seizing the down-and-out lover and relaying him with such torment and tenderness that the film often pulls at heartstrings whilst making you laugh and cower at the brutality of its more visceral scenes.

One of the few gripes with the film would be its bombastic and- at points -choppy music choice and editing which shake you out of Aja’s near-masterpiece. When the rest of the film has such a unity of vision, it’s a shame some of those soundtrack choices hit a gimmicky note, but it’s a small gripe in the face of such an enjoyable film. Similarly, the finale gets a bit stretched, but it’s difficult to talk realism on the subject of the Devil.

Consistently brilliant, horrific, and hilarious, Horns flaunts Radcliffe’s best performance to date and the claim to be one of the most touching horror films of recent years. This is a fantastic piece of filmmaking and a great addition to Aja’s repertoire.

★★★★

Scott Clark

18 July 2013

Magic Magic EIFF Review 2

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Rating:
15
Release Date:
25th June 2013 (EIFF)
Director:
Sebastian Silva
Stars:
Juno Temple, Emily Browning , Michael Cera

Tonally speaking Magic Magic hits the nail on the head, achieving from start to finish the truly disconcerting vibe of an oncoming storm. From the word go, things seem to be piling up against Juno Temple’s Alicia, a girl so wrought with anxiety and despair it’s a wonder she was allowed to travel on her own in the first place. It doesn't help that Sarah (Emily Browning) the friend Alicia travels to Chile to visit, has to abandon her for mysterious reasons with her Chilean friends on a lonely island.

When considering psychosis and exotic locations, things never really pan out. The Beach, Lord of the Flies, automatically the situation seems doomed. Mortality and youth, compulsion and human nature seem at the heart of the film, but aren't explored in any particular depth to maximize the impact of the film. This is a film which attempts to show how misunderstandings and over-dramatic, anxious minds can turn even the most innocent actions into purposeful attacks on personal peace. However it’s still a basic attempt at putting across a basically dull story.

                Under all the crossed wires, misunderstood moments, and exaggerated pains, the most unnerving aspect of Magic Magic is how it puts across genuine insanity; Temple does a wonderful job of letting her stability slip away in a way that is understandable yet entirely infuriating. Her unadventurous and cowardly nature are so convincing you’ll pity her more than anything, until she gets a little too kooky.  Special mention goes to Michael Cera’s near-demonic Brink, a creation so utterly loathable you can barely keep yourself from shouting at the screen. He’s prankster, manipulator and quietly closeted to a degree that’s just over the “bromance” line. Together Temple and Cera forge a screen relationship built on unspoken hatred that charges through sinister mannerisms, bird violence, and a different kind of oral rape to what you may have in mind.

Apart from performance and a gloomy aesthetic, not much else can push this slow-burning pscho-thriller into any exceptional ground, even a slap dash race for the voodoo vote. It hits the notes you expect and maintains a level head throughout bar a few brave moments where it musters the courage to show how much an insomniac and a compulsive fool can mess with each other.

★★☆☆☆

Scott Clark


4 July 2013

EIFF 2013 – Magic Magic Review

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Rating:
15
Release Date:
25th June 2013 (EIFF)
Director:
Sebastian Silva
Stars:
Juno Temple, Emily Browning , Michael Cera


Sebastian Silva's Magic Magic is perhaps one of the more enigmatic features of this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival, so enigmatic in fact, that many viewers may be left rather unfulfilled by this South American head trip.

Magic Magic follows timid Alicia (Juno Temple), who is sent on vacation to Chile with her friend Sarah (Emily Browning). However after being introduced to Sarah's friends and becoming an object of ridicule by one of them (Brink played by Michael Cera), Alicia's anxiety begins to takeover and she starts to mentally unravel.

Silva's feature is a slow-building one, opening with Alicia's arrival in Chile and her first meeting with Sarah's friends which immediately crafts an aura of uneasiness. When travelling to their lodgings, Silva soundtracks  the group's journey with growling classic blues music and unnerving dog yelping when they pick up then subsequently abandon an ill puppy. This immediately gives an indicator of the frantic, chaotic style that Magic Magic builds towards. However, the main source of this unease is Michael Cera's darkly camp performance as Brink - his actions around Alicia always seem somewhat sinister with suggestions of ulterior, darker motivations.

Silva continues to suspensefully build this unease when the group arrive at their destination - a Chilean beach house. Here Alicia is pressured into diving, attacked by a dog, hypnotised, and comes face to face with (thoroughly underdeveloped) suggestions of voodoo - all leading to her mental breakdown. However, Magic Magic  does seem to lack a clear narrative direction - Silva's feature has a tendency to loosely drift from one sequence to the next - lacking in any solid thrills or anything disturbing enough to merit Alicia's breakdown.  This is best showcased in the conclusion which uses these underdeveloped voodoo elements in a confusing, frenzied and chaotic style.

Juno Temple provides a mentally stripped back performance that feels so authentic  that it proves a challenge to watch at many points.  This can be seen in her encounters with Brink who appears to manipulate Alicia's fragile state for his own pleasure.

This tendency to drift and lack of clear narrative drive - not to mention the lack of a solid conclusion, may make Magic Magic frustrating for many viewers. However, if willing to embrace the unnerving, drifting style and gradual psychological thrills behind the feature - you may find it a slightly more enjoyable watch.

★★★☆☆

Andrew McArthur



4 November 2012

Killer Joe DVD Review

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It opened the 65th Edinburgh International Film Festival ,iconic director William Friedkin's lastest feature, Killer Joe giving another meaning to the Colenel's Finger Licking Good! Friedkin has arguably never made a bad film (let's just pretend Cruising never happened) and the seventy-six year old proves that he is still at the top of his game with his latest opus.

This pulpy Texan-noir follows the financially struggle, Chris Smith (Emile Hirsch) who plots to have his mother murdered, in a harebrained scheme to collect $50,000 insurance money. After confessing the plan to his father (Thomas Haden Church), sister (Juno Temple) and step-mother (Gina Gershon), the family seek out the services of lawman-meets-hired killer, Joe Cooper (Matthew McConaughey).

Friedkin manages to capture the nerve shredding intensity (similar to that of his previous film, Bug) through his bold, atmospheric direction. From the onset, Friedkin hits us with the ominous sound of Joe's carefully timed lighter clicks, followed by shots of a rain-drenched, derelict trailer park and prescient lighting strikes. This gives us an early impression of the tense and brutal tale that is about to unfold. Friedkin does not hold back when it comes to depicting raw portrayals of violence and dark characters - possibly a device that may leave some viewers feeling somewhat alienated.

Fortunately, between these moments of intensity, Tracy Letts' screenplay presents us with several wonderful moments of darkly comic humour. These perfectly executed moments of deadpan humour and awkward fun provides light relief from the Killer Joe's dark subject matter, proving to be an unforgettable combination. Letts' screenplay may begin with a simple premise, but Killer Joe soon proves to be a highly original and often unexpected and frenzied ride. This is perfectly summed up in the films' outrageous, near-genius conclusion which proves to be both shocking and riotously humorous.

It is particularly nice to see that Matthew McConaughey has escaped from the world of romantic comedies and is once again proving what a wonderful actor he is. His underplayed portrayal of the sardonically smooth, Joe Cooper, is a career best and one of the sheer delights of Friedkin's film. Gina Gershon proves to be on fine form as Chris' trashy, no-nonsense step-mother bringing a convincing slice of Southern gumption to the role. Thomas Haden Church's deadpan comic skills also prove to be a highlight with the star excelling as the bumbling, beer-guzzling patriarch. Younger actors Juno Temple and Emile Hirsch are equally well cast with the pair both able to shine alongside the likes of McConaughey and Gershon.

Killer Joe is a magnificent example of modern-noir, with Friedkin proving to still be one of the most exciting figures in modern cinema. The director's latest feature proves to be one of the most energetic, brutal, tense and darkly comic pictures of the year, featuring an unforgettable career best performance from Matthew McConaughey.

Andrew McArthur

★★★★

Rating: 18 (UK)
UK DVD/BD Release Date: 5th November 2012 (UK)
Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Gina Gershon, Thomas Haden Church , Juno Temple

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2 October 2012

Finger Licking Killer Joe Coming To DVD& BluRay November!

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When Killer Joe arrived in UK&Irish cinemas it left some cinephiles feeling finger licking good for some of the colonel's favourite recipe and in November you will be able to bring home a box that's a DVD or Bluray box of the film.In Killer Joe Matthew McConaughey delivers what many are calling a career-best performance in this violent and darkly comic neo-noir thriller that marks a blistering return to form for “The Exorcist” and “The French Connection” director William Friedkin.

When small-time drug dealer Chris Smith finds himself seriously in debt to his supplier, he hatches a plan to have his estranged mother killed in order to claim the $50,000 life insurance due to be paid to his younger sister, Dottie. To do the job, he hires Killer Joe Cooper, a creepy, corrupt and crazy Dallas cop who Chris is informed moonlights as a professional hit man. Unable to pay Joe’s fee upfront, Chris agrees to provide a “retainer” in the form of Dottie, with whom Joe has immediately become besotted. However, following the murder of his mother, Chris’ plan begins to unravel in a series of unexpected twists involving the interference of his father’s new wife, Sharla, and the development of an unlikely bond between Joe and Dottie.

As pure, unadulterated entertainment Friedkin’s second collaboration with writer Tracy Letts (following 2006’s “Bug”) has it all – steamy sexuality, shocking violence, a compelling storyline, lashings of black humour and, most of all, a killer cast of actors all at the top of their game. McConaughey effectively shakes off his rom-com shackles once and for all, while Juno Temple delivers a scene-stealing performance in a movie likely to leave viewers both exhilarated and shaken at the same time.

Killer Joe is due out in UK&Ireland on November 5th, starring Emile Hirsh, Juno Temple, Thomas Haden Church and Gina Gershon.
Pre-Order/Buy Killer Joe On: DVD / Blu-ray