10. Waterworld Directed by: Kevin Reynolds It could be the flop of all flops. At the time, “Waterworld” was the most expensive film ever made. Starring Kevin Costner, “Waterworld” is a science-fiction/fantasy film taking place roughly 500 years after the polar ice caps melted in the beginning of the 21st century, effectively covering the entire …
Dan Gilroy’s latest, Nightcrawler, has a lot on its troubled mind. It intertwines our national obsessions with voyeurism and stardom into a sociopathic nightmare from which you can’t awaken. At its churning center is the mesmerizing performance of Jake Gyllenhaal, who charms you with his infectious intensity, even as he ruthlessly manipulates everyone and everything around him. As the blood flows and the crimes accumulate, Gilroy traps us behind the camera as his passive accomplices. Welcome to the world of the Nightcrawler. Showering after you leave is highly recommended.
“Heavy Is the Head” picks up right where “Shadows” left off, with Carl Creel on the run from SHIELD and Hartley presumed dead in the car accident. Hunter, Hartley’s right-hand man (pun unintentional), is picked up by Talbott, who tries to convince Hunter to sell out Coulson in exchange for two million dollars and a proper funeral for Hartley. Hunter decides that Coulson’s team has a better chance of finding Creel, however, and after getting away from Talbott, he rejoins Coulson and the team’s hunt for Creel. Creel has more to worry about than SHIELD agents, though, as he is facing some nasty side effects from touching the dangerous artifact from “Shadows.”
Nightcrawler, the directorial debut of screenwriter Dan Gilroy, has a strong kinship with Sidney Lumet’s Network. Both take a satirical view of broadcast journalism, portraying the profession as a cold-blooded environment where sensationalism takes center stage. If there is one difference that separates the newer film from its 1976 predecessor, though, it is that the former possesses none of the latter’s biting wit. Nightcrawler is incredibly heavy-handed with its message, and the satirical dialogue is far from profound.
Million Dollar Arm Written by Tom McCarthy Directed by Craig Gillespie USA, 2014 There’s a scene roughly halfway through Million Dollar Arm that speaks to the film’s inherently generic nature. In it, our ostensible hero, workaholic agent/pitchman Don Draper—er, J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm) is brought in to talk with USC baseball coach Tom House (Bill …
Season one’s penultimate episode “Ragtag” looks back again into the past when Ward and Garrett first met, and it sets up a mean cliffhanger leading into the finale. In the opening scene, Garrett visits a young Ward in a juvenile detention facility. Ward is facing a hefty sentence for lighting his family’s house on fire with his brother inside, and Garrett is offering a way out with a secret organization that is always looking for young men like Ward. After breaking him out, Garrett abandons Ward in the woods with only a bag of clothes and a hunting dog named Buddy for companionship. If Ward can survive for a few months, Garrett will be back. Ward survives, and Garrett molds him in his own image with the mantra that any emotional attachment is a weakness.
In the aftermath of SHIELD’s destruction, Agents of SHIELD splits “Providence” between the remaining members of Coulson’s team trying to figure out what is next and Ward and Garrett heading off to the Fridge for evil plotting and mustache-twirling. At first, Coulson wants to go completely off the grid, but he rethinks this plan when he discovers glowing coordinates on his SHIELD badge. He believes the coordinates are a clue from Fury himself as to where to go and how to find him. May, however, thinks that Coulson isn’t thinking clearly in the aftermath of SHIELD’s demise, and she worries that his decisions are putting everyone else in danger.
(Warning: After the jump, this review will contain spoilers for the film Captain America: The Winter Soldier.)
“Turn, Turn, Turn” is the first episode of Agents of SHIELD to directly tie in its full story with the events of a Marvel film, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Unlike its last supposed tie-in with Thor: The Dark World in “The Well”, which takes place after the events of the film, the events of “Turn, Turn, Turn” take place in the same timeline of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Without spoiling too much of the film or the episode, it is revealed that SHIELD is full of double-agents, and Coulson no longer trusts that May is on his side. Victoria Hand sends drones to take out Garrett, but Coulson takes out the drones with his sharp-shooting skills. After saving Garrett, Coulson makes his way back to the Hub with Garrett, Ward, Skye, Fitz, and May. Together, they formulate a plan to save Simmons and Triplett and then stop Victoria Hand, who they believe is the real Clairvoyant. As the saying goes, however, the best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry, and in Coulson’s team, there is at least one friend working with the enemy.
Episode 13, “T.R.A.C.K.S.”, ended on a cliffhanger with Skye, shot twice in the abdomen by Quinn, getting rushed to SHIELD for medical attention. “T.A.H.I.T.I.” picks up right where “T.R.A.C.K.S.” left off, and Coulson’s team is faced with a moral dilemma. They can try to save Skye with the same techniques Director Fury’s team used to bring Coulson back to life, but by saving her life, they could cause her immense pain and make her wish she had died instead.
In early 2012, while most of the film world was caught up in Oscar prognostications, one film quietly came and went through theatres, earning less that $20 million domestically, and just over $30 million internationally. That film was Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, with Gina Carano taking on the lead role of Mallory Kane, and its quiet box office reception is in no way indicative of the film’s quality. While it may appear, on the surface, to be a standard action thriller – and there’s certainly no issue with that, as the genre is littered with efforts that fail to even be competent in their execution – in true Soderbergh style, there’s a lot more going on in Haywire than it may appear at first glance.
2 Guns Directed by Baltasar Kornákur Written by Blake Masters USA, 2013 The charm to 2 Guns is that it’s content to not try too hard. This is the kind of movie that will find a home on HBO and cable networks like FX in a year’s time, and play to a wide enough group …