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Jack goes home (2016)

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Jack Goes HomeAfter his father is killed in a car crash, Jack travels home to Colorado to help nurse his mother (who was injured in the crash) back to health. There, he uncovers long buried secrets and lies within his family history, his parents, his friends and his very identity.

Genre : Drama/Thriller
Country : USA

Cast :
Rory Culkin : Jack
Lin Shaye : Teresa
Daveigh Chase : Shanda

Director :
Thomas Dekker

My opinion on “Jack goes home”

“There’s nothing to do or say.
Um… we live, we drive, we crash, we die.
Had to happen sometime.”

Coincidentally, I’ve just seen Marrowbone“. A film about someone who has difficulties in processing the loss of a loved one. And when I was about halfway with “Jack goes home“, I realized that I was watching a similar story. And it might be that the ultimate outcome is identical. I wasn’t far wrong. And to be honest, I thought this intriguing film was slightly better than the previous one. And this only because of the brilliant acting of Rory Culkin. A portrait about how madness takes over someones personality.

Jack Goes Home

Hey, it’s Kevin .. but older … and more confused !

I hadn’t seen the name of the actor who’s playing the leading role. So I was wondering for a long time where I had seen that face before. And when I finally found out his name was Culkin, it hit me. Damn, he looks a lot like his brother who made a couple of burglars their lifes a hell in “Home Alone“. But I must confess that his acting performance surpassed everything that his famous brother Macaulay ever did. As Jack, Rory displays a whole range of feelings and moods. From pride to indifferent. From sadness to calmth. One moment he tries to unravel an old family secret. The next moment he flees into a daze of alcohol and drugs. He even experienced homosexual delusions. And all this after he was forced to return to his parental home because his father died in a car accident.

Jack Goes Home

You’ll notice some strange behavior.

It’s clear from the start that something isn’t right. That indifference with which Jack tells his pregnant wife that his father died. Even though his father apparently was pretty important to him. The way in which he tells in detail about his beheaded father, is strange and frightening. On the other hand though it’s strangely enough also funny in a certain way. The behavior of his mother Teresa (Lin Shaye) is also strange. Perhaps the traumatic effect after the accident? After her outburst during dinner about whether she should or should not mourn about the loss of her husband, you start to think she’s relieved about that loss. Are those dark family secrets real? It results in a complex mother-son relationship which escalates as the film progresses.

Jack Goes Home

Let me say it once more. Rory Culkin is terrific.

Jack goes home” is such a movie that makes you feel uncomfortable. Despite the total lack of bloody or frightening images (even with a creepy attic in the house), there’s this constant feeling of tension. The psychological chaos is a constant in this film. “Jack goes home” balances between a ghost story and a psychological family drama. Jack is involved in a battle with his personal demons and seems to be gradually losing his grip on reality. And even though the characters are of such a nature that there is always the danger of relapsing in overacting, the main actors ensure that they do not fall into that trap. It feels like I’m repeating myself, but the acting of Rory Culkin is fascinating. For me this movie is worthy a watch. In other words, a must see. And if you get the chance to see it, let me know if I’m totally wrong!

My rating 7/10
Links : IMDB

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The Silencing | Great Cinematography From A Low Budget Film

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I need to see that girl.
She could be my daughter.

 

It’s always nice to see how actors from a successful television series cope in a feature film. And especially if the genre is quite different from what they played in that series. Here Nikolaj Coster-Waldau makes a decent attempt to show that he has more to offer than playing a king’s son who prefers to perform gymnastic exercises with his sister between the sheets. His performance here is on a similar level to that of Jaime Lannister in “Game of Thrones”. Convincing enough, but not exactly of exceptional quality. A role that doesn’t annoy you. But every time you see his face somewhere, you have to think for a moment where you know that face from. This is also the case here in “The Silencing”. I was like, “Damn, where do I know this guy from?”. Only after fifteen minutes or so, I could figure it out.

 

 

Where there’s grief, there’s booze.

The Silencing” itself is of the same level. Certainly not a bad movie. But also not a movie that’ll blow you away. The story felt a bit incomplete to me. There were some improbabilities (not to say completely nonsensical decisions). And the denouement with the disclosure of the perpetrator and his motivation, I personally found a bit far-fetched. The film had something “Silence of the Lambs“-ish but then set in an extensive, forest-like nature reserve. An area managed by Rayborn Swanson (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) that has been given the name “Gwen Swanson sanctuary”. A reference to his daughter who has been missing for 5 years. It’s a place where animals can live undisturbed and protected, far from hunters and poachers. Rayborn lives an isolated life far from the civilized world. A way to silently grief about the loss of his daughter. Usually by consuming liters of alcohol. A bit strange because that’s exactly what caused that disappearance.

 

 

There’s a serial killer on the loose.

The story gets a little bit more exciting the moment a serial killer comes into the picture. Someone who probably watched “The Hunt” too much. What follows, is a cat-and-mouse game with the participation of the local female sheriff Alice Gustafson (Annabelle Wallis, series-loving fans will recognize her from “Peaky Blinders”) who herself has her hands full with the stupidities her little brother Brooks (Hero Fiennes Tiffin), a drug addict with a traumatic past.

 

 

Ridiculous things.

Without a doubt, this could have been a much better, coherent movie, provided the script was changed a bit. It’s linked together with hooks and eyes. Full of coincidences and ridiculous twists. Decisions are made that are too ridiculous for words. Alice’s surprising action at one point is understandable on the one hand. But on the other hand completely unreal. And the indifference that those involved show afterward as if nothing had ever happened, made me frown for a moment. Rayborn’s paint pot trick seemed so absurd and stupid that I spontaneously burst out laughing. Not exactly applicable to a serious thriller about a serial killer.

 

Mediocrity rules.

The Silencing” isn’t so great. A mediocre piece of movie. Actually, you could say that you’ve seen it all before in other movies. And much better movies too. Cinematographically it looks professional (despite the low budget) and the general mood is also good. But, when you love watching exciting flicks with nerve-racking suspense, you’ll be disappointed. The only thing I can’t say anything wrong about is Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s acting. Solid and constant. Just like in “Game of Thrones“. Again a pitiful persona. But I’m sure I won’t recognize him in his next feature. Once again.

 

 

My rating 5/10
Links: IMDB

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Tenet – The Movie Mind Puzzle Of The Year

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There were times during ‘Tenet,’ that I wanted to perform a most heinous code violation by ripping off my face mask and declaring to all that “I bloody love Cinema”. Some of the action set-pieces in this film have to be seen on the big screen to do them justice. One particular sequence on an Estonian motorway is the sort of action that makes cinema such a magical and wondrous place.  I realized at this point I had missed cinema enormously over the past 6 months and it was wonderful to be back.

As for the film itself, I was quite nervous going in. I had read from one reviewer that it was “obnoxiously complex”, that a lot of the dialogue was mumbled or drowned by an omnipresent rumble of a score and that the film was incredibly difficult to follow. I won’t pretend that I understood everything that was going on, but it definitely wasn’t the mind dump that several claimed. I certainly followed it better than I do with the average David Lynch film. The sound is an interesting point, and I’ll come back to that shortly. It certainly is easy to write a “spoiler-free” review as I wouldn’t know how to spoil it for people.

The film charges along at a staggering pace, with the 2 and a half-hour run time zipping by. Performance-wise, John David Washington surely can have as good of a leading man career as his father,  while  Robert Pattinson continues to prove all his naysayers wrong with a charming yet enigmatic performance. Kenneth Branagh manages to keep the panto villainy just about under control, but the stand out for me was Elizabeth Debicki, who added a level of grace to the proceedings.

The action never lets up, and more importantly, it all has a purpose. It is not just thrown in there to demonstrate the techniques that Nolan possesses, it is all plot-driven. From the electric prologue at the Kyiv Opera to a Mission Impossible-style raid on an art warehouse at an airport, to the aforementioned Estonian motorway to the climactic showdown at a Soviet “closed city”, this is all part of the topsy-turvy narrative.

People have claimed that they struggled to hear all of the dialogue, which makes a confusing film even more of a challenge to comprehend. I do agree, there were some scenes where dialogue was often drowned out by the surrounding wall of noise. I don’t think this is anything new with Nolan films. I have a theory that Nolan makes films if you take Inception and Interstellar before Tenet, that is designed to have repeat viewings. His films are puzzles that can’t necessarily be understood on the first watch, some trails and thoughts perhaps are designed to make people come back to re-watch. You could argue, why to make a film that once watched can be dispensed with.

I didn’t find the occasionally intrusive score spoiled my enjoyment of the film, as the spectacle more than made up for it.

This is a hugely ambitious, occasionally baffling piece of cinema, packed with some of the most audacious action sequences (all shot with practical effects btw) I’ve seen in a long time. Yes, the plot is convoluted, yes there are sequences where you genuinely need a moment. About three-quarters of the way in, Pattinson asks Washington “Does your brain hurt yet?”, the audience answers for him with a knowing “a little”. It is a feast for the eyes, which is also quite humorous in places.

It’s films like this that make me appreciate the wonder of cinema, an original, standalone, non-franchise piece of searing entertainment. I’m glad I didn’t understand all of it, as it just encourages me to go watch it again.

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No Time To Die | Official Trailer 2 – HD

Recruited to rescue a kidnapped scientist, globe-trotting spy James Bond finds himself hot on the trail of a mysterious villain, who’s armed with a dangerous new technology.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Thriller

Release Date:

November 20, 2020

Director :

Cary Joji Fukunaga

Cast:

Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Léa Seydoux, Rami Malek, Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz, Ben Whishaw

Plot Summary:

Recruited to rescue a kidnapped scientist, globe-trotting spy James Bond finds himself hot on the trail of a mysterious villain, who’s armed with a dangerous new technology.

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