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‘Knuckleball’ Review

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Genre : Horror-Thriller
Rating : R
Director: Michael Peterson

Cast:
Michael Ironside
Munro Chambers
Luca Villacis

Looking back, it’s hard to explain just how big Home Alone was when it came out. Released in 1990, not only did it turn Macaulay Culkin into a superstar but it would be the highest grossing live action comedy for over two decades. It would not only spawn four sequels but multiple imitators with movies like Baby’s Day Out, Dennis the Menace and 3 Ninjas all trying, and failing, to catch lightning in a bottle. It wasn’t just family films that tried either. You can see glimpses of Home Alone DNA in a variety of different movies, particularly in the horror genre. With an array of death traps and home invasions scary movies like Better Watch Out, Don’t Breathe and The Collector are basically Home Alone on speed. It’s practically a horror subgenre by itself at this point adn latest to follow in the footsteps of Kevin McCallister is Henry in Knuckleball.

Due to an unexpected funeral 12-year-old Henry (Luca Villacis) is sent to stay with his grandfather Jacob (Michael Ironside). Living on a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere the two are surrounded by forest with the only person nearby being weird neighbor Dixon (Munro Chambers). Not getting along at first the two begin to bond over a shared love for baseball. Things between the two are looking up when Jacob suddenly dies. With nowhere else to turn Henry is forced to go to Dixon who has secrets of his own.

 

 

Opening with a Shining-esque overhead shots of the icy plains of Canada I knew my expectations were off. Mostly known for Canadian comedies, this is director Michael Peterson’s first feature length foray into horror. Surprising considering how good he is at building tension. With co-writer Kevin Cockle the two put together a unique take on the home invasion thriller. Instead of focusing on the horror aspects they focus more on developing our three main characters. In the first half of the film relying on mystery and the innate uncomfortableness of staying alone with a grandparent. They may be scenes we have seen before but Peterson makes them feel new again. With Knuckleball taking place in such a desolate location the movie mainly focuses on Henry, Jacob and Dixon who each bring something different to the movie.

In his first lead role young Luca Villacis is more than holds his own. Relying less on a verbose script for exposition, Villacis uses subtle mannerisms and vocal inflections to sell the situation masterfully. Little touches like Jacob insisting he touch everything and going into locked rooms are the kinds of direction that make the character feel real. It’s especially impressive to watch the young man play off of Michael Ironside. A veteran of the horror world Ironside brings the kind of tough and grizzled performance audiences have grown to love. And with that voice he could make reading the phone book intimidating. Yet behind and his rough demeanor we see a grandfather who wants to know his grandson. It’s a surprisingly touching turn for an actor best known for Scanners and Starship Troopers.

 

 

Perhaps the most impressive performance is Munro Chambers as Dixon. More known for the comedic gorefest Turbo Kid and teen drama Degrassi these roles are easily forgotten as he plays creepy neighbor Dixon. Clearly not all there he is able to go from nice (if off kilter) to a major threat at the drop of a hat. Straddling the line between insanity and over-the-top the way Chambers plays Dixon is just what Knuckleball needs.

After watching Knuckleball, I couldn’t help but think about how perfect the title was. Despite being one of the most well-known pitches in baseball it’s known for being a bit slower and unpredictable just like this movie. While the comparison to Home Alone is obvious there’s more to it than that. Instead of being a typical home invasion movie it is more a performance-based movie and all three leads deliering captivating preformances. Some predictability aside Knuckleball is a tightly wound thriller that will have you engrossed from beginning to end.

 

Rating 7.5/10
Links : IMDB

Knuckleball is now available on VOD, Digital HD and In Theaters Now

Entertainment

Coronavirus: Upcoming Movie Titles That Have Been Delayed

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As “Social Distancing” is rapidly becoming the new norm. Streaming services have ramped up their campaign more than ever for watching cinema in the comfort of your own home. On the other hand, theater has taken a hit. Of all the places in the world to be, sitting in a jam packed theater full of movie goers, isn’t the safest place. Many believe, this will be a catalyst for a movement that was inevitable all along. Which is, sending major blockbuster films, straight to streaming. Some companies have already taken the opportunity to do so, as Blumhouse recently moved ‘The Invisible Man‘ to streaming with a $20 household price tag.

As of right now, many of the films scheduled for release and others that were in the process of filming, have now been either delayed or halted indefinitely. Notably, ‘The Batman,’ and ‘Matrix 4’ have both halted production.

Below, is a list of upcoming films that have been delayed via – Los Angeles Times.

“Minions: The Rise of Gru” (Universal)
Original release date: July 3, 2020 (wide)
New date: TBD

“The Painted Bird” (IFC Films)
Original release date: April 17, 2020 (wide)
New date: Summer TBD

“Antebellum” (Lionsgate)
Original release date: April 24, 2020 (wide)
New date: TBD

“Run” (Lionsgate)
Original release date: May 8, 2020 (wide)
New date: TBD

“Spiral” (Lionsgate)
Original release date: May 15, 2020 (wide)
New date: TBD


“Mulan” (Disney)
Original release date: March 27, 2020 (wide)
New date: TBD

“New Mutants” (Fox)
Original release date: April 3, 2020 (wide)
New date: TBD

“Antlers” (Searchlight)
Original release date: April 17, 2020 (wide)
New date: TBD

“The Truth” (IFC)
Original release date: March 20, 2020 (N.Y., L.A.)
New date: Summer 2020, TBD

“The Artist’s Wife” (Strand)
Original release date: April 3, 2020 (N.Y.); April 10, 2020 (L.A.)
New date: TBD

“F9″ (Universal)
Original release date: May 22, 2020 (wide)
New date: April 2, 2021

“A Quiet Place: Part II” (Paramount)
Original release date: March 20, 2020 (wide)
New date: TBD


“Blue Story” (Paramount)
Original release date: March 20, 2020 (limited)
New date: TBD

“The Lovebirds” (Paramount)
Original release date: April 3, 2020 (wide)
New date: TBD

“Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” (Sony)
Original release date: April 3, 2020 (wide)
New date: Aug. 7, 2020

“Slay the Dragon” (Magnolia)
Original release date: March 13, 2020 (N.Y., L.A.)
New date: April 3, 2020

“No Time to Die” (MGM)
Original release date: April 10, 2020 (wide)
New date: Nov. 25, 2020

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Batman

Director Matt Reeves Drops Our Fist Look At The New Batmobile

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“It’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation”

In the modern era of cinema, the internet is no stranger to leaks and set photos. Most Directors are faced with the difficult challenge of deciding when and when not to release official photos. Recently, an onslaught of set photos have hit the web, showing the newly re-designed batman look, along with a glimpse of the “Batcycle” and possibly a look at catwoman.

Today, Matt Reeves decided to break the internet, giving us our first look at the new batmobile. Reeves describes ‘The Batman’ as a noir style film, told squarely on the shoulders of the dark knight. It would appear that Reeves is going with a truly grounded approach to the character. A “Year two” Batman, taking on Gotham’s criminal underworld, with a rogues gallery of villains.

“It’s very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale,” he said. “It’s told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it’s going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It’s more Batman in his detective mode than we’ve seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He’s supposed to be the world’s greatest detective, and that’s not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been. I’d love this to be one where when we go on that journey of tracking down the criminals and trying to solve a crime, it’s going to allow his character to have an arc so that he can go through a transformation.”

‘The Batman’ hits theaters June 25, 2021 | Stars: Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Colin Farrell, Andy Serkis, Paul Dano, Peter Sarsgaard, Jeffrey Wright 

 

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Entertainment

Jordan Peele Produced ‘Candyman’ Official Trailer – HD Drops Thursday

A hook-handed boogeyman spits out swarms of bees and haunts a housing project in Chicago.

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Genre:

Horror, Thriller

Release Date:

June 12, 2020

Director:

Nia DaCosta

Cast:

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Tony Todd, Teyonah Parris, Colman Domingo, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett

Plot Summary:

A “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 horror film ‘Candyman’ that returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began.

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