Showing posts with label Thomas Jane. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thomas Jane. Show all posts

26 March 2015

DVD Review - Sirius (2013)

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Matchbox Films
DVD Release Date:
9th March 2015 (UK)
Rating: 15
Amardeep Kaleka
Thomas Jane, Jack Auman, Corrado Balducci
Buy:Sirius [DVD]

Sirius is indeed a hefty piece of work, just not in terms of the type of extra-terrestrial involvement you’re probably looking for. But as an extensive essay on late capitalist society, it’s pretty conclusive and fairly upsetting to be honest. Steven Greer and Emmy award winning filmmaker Amardeep Kaleka, strip back years of deceit to unearth heaps of alarming info on mindboggling cover-ups.
Sirius, the name given to a six-inch skeleton of unknown origin, is really just the starting point for Greer and his colleagues. Anyone who’s holding out for conclusive info may be somewhat upset by the fact the mini-mystery only bookends this epic portrait of human development- or lack of it. The main point of Sirius is to systematically present evidence and conjecture around governmental cover-ups and attempts to hide the true treasure of extra-terrestrial visitation: the science it would take to achieve space travel.
Yes, its mechanics not biology we’re really interested in here, especially when you go back and start combining religious scripture, atom bombing, and the pyramids. It’s a conspiracy fan’s wet dream and it’s executed with startling clarity, even if it wanders off topic, things usually pull together succinctly.
Sirius is perhaps too big for its boots, gnawing on the oversized bone of American political inadequacies in a kind of roundabout, all-inclusive, history lesson/economics case study. And all this starts with a tiny little, potentially extra-terrestrial, skeleton. It may be hard to remember that though, once the, sometimes whimsical, left-wing call-to-arms presents itself.

Painstakingly, and scientifically, put together, Sirius is an impressive documentary, but its meandering interest curve may prove too much for people simply interested in the origins of a baffling body.

Scott Clark

9 March 2015

Film Review - White Bird in a Blizzard (2014)

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Drama, Mystery
Altitude Film Entertainment
Release Date:
6th March 2015 (UK Cinema)
16th March 2015 (UK DVD)
Rating: 15
Greg Araki
Shailene Woodley, eva green, Christopher Meloni, Thomas Jane, Gabourey Sidibe, shiloh fernandez, Angela Bassett
Buy:White Bird In A Blizzard [DVD]

Gregg Araki is a director who I have a love it/hate it thing with. He started out being one of the founders of “New Queer Cinema” of the ‘90s, making these bisexual teen comedies that have great soundtracks full of shoegaze goodness, with a slightly trippy nature. However his greatest flaw was always the film’s ending, they always seemed rushed or haphazard.

Things changed when he made the out and out masterpiece Mysterious Skin starring a very young Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It was strange, surreal, daring, and finally had an ending that was totally satisfying. He followed it up with the more conventional Smiley, and the enjoyable but deeply flawed attempt to get back to his earlier films Kaboom. This brings us up to his latest film White Bird in a Blizzard.

White Bird in a Blizzard is by far the closest in tone to his undisputed masterpiece Mysterious Skin. Both are mysteries based on novels, which might be why both films have a satisfying beginning, middle and end. It’s about a teenage girl Katrina Connors (Shailene Woodley) whose “perfect” suburban housewife mother, simply disappears one day and is never seen again. The rest of the film is her coming of age and dealing with the disappearance.

The tone of the film is a mixture of Sirkian melodrama and David Lynch strangeness. The lead performance by Shailene Woodley is attempting to channel Winona Ryder circa Heathers, but as my girlfriend said it was more shoegaze Lindsay Lohan which is not necessarily a problem. Eva Green goes full Mommie Dearest as the mother and is one of the best performances she has ever given. To add to the Lynchian connection, Sheryl Lee plays the father’s new girlfriend and it took me two viewings to recognize her.

I have to admit I had pretty much given up on Gregg Araki after Kaboom, coming to the conclusion he will never get back to the filmmaking of Mysterious Skin. I was pleasantly surprised with what he did with White Bird in a Blizzard. It has a twist you won’t see coming from a mile away, and an absolutely fantastic 80s soundtrack full of New Order, Cocteau Twin, The Jesus & Mary Chain, The Psychedelic Furs, Echo & the Bunnymen and The Cure among many others.

Ian Schultz