Theatrical Releases: Lawless & The Possession

THE POSSESSION || August 31st, 2012

FOR A GOOD TIME, CALL… || A sexy comedy is always worth seeing, especially if done in an appropriate, crowd-pleasing way. “For A Good Time, Call…” is a comedy about phone sex and two girls who used to be enemies, now find solace in each others’ company and short of funds for their dream apartment decide to start a phone sex company. Starring Ari Graynor and Lauren Anne Miller, this looks just funny enough to work. THEATER
THE GOOD DOCTOR || Orlando Bloom is finally back and in dark drama about a young doctor eager to impress. “The Good Doctor” appears to take a look at obsession and the unkempt mind of an unstable man.
RENT
LAWLESS || “Lawless” is the perfect Prohibition-era film, with everything it takes to make a phenomenal period piece, including backwoods sets, the gangster get-ups, and vehicles and distilleries of the times. Shia LaBeouf and Jason Clarke are excellent in their roles as two of the three brothers, but it’s Tom Hardy and Jessica Chastain who exemplify what it is to bring unforgettable presence to a role. Gary Oldman and Mia Wasikowska also deliver memorable performances in perhaps underutilized roles, while Guy Pearce’s zany villain almost reaches a point of caricature, but inserts a much needed focal point. The violence of the film gets rough at times yet pays itself off by jumping back on course with the driving plot. Based on the novel written by an actual Bondurant, and adapted by the team of John Hillcoat and Nick Cave (“The Proposition”), “Lawless” hits the same marks we’re used to from a Prohibition film, but with a flair and depth that puts it above and beyond anything in its genre.
THE POSSESSION || “The Possession” is able to hit some effective, visual moments, but fails to tie them together properly and ultimately ends up borrowing most of its scares from previous horror films, including a commendable attempt at an updated exorcism, reminiscent of the original “The Exorcist”. Sadly, the story misses its opportunity to flesh out the article about the based-on-a-true-story box and, produced by Sam Raimi, gets far too close to becoming a parody of itself, with some laughable moments and unconvincing visual effects. Natasha Calis delivers a respectable performance as the possessed girl and Matisyahu as the exorcising Hasitic Jewish rabbi is a perfect casting choice. However, inconsistent throughout, the film fails to reach a level of diabolic or sinister to persuade me to be truly frightened, lacking an certain urgency or unpredictability.

7500 || An eerie horror film on a plane seems debilitating, but if “Buried” and “Devil” can take place in one location most of the film and still be enjoyable, perhaps this film could be the same. I’ve seen the trailer several times now and it doesn’t give much away. We know there will be thrills, chills, and deaths, but to what end and what reason, we do not know. STREAM
THE AMBASSADOR || Called “the most provocative filmmaker in the world”, “The Ambassador” is slightly too self-proclaimed and on the verge of being a debate between fact and fiction as the filmmaker heads into the world of corrupt politicians in the Central African Republic with a tailor-made identity purchased from the black market and many cameras following him. How this can be real may have to be seen to believed. STREAM
BEDEVILLED || Following in the violent footsteps of foreign films like “I See The Devil”, “Bedevilled” enters into the vengeful mind of a young woman returning to her island, to which a menace of a man is sexually and physically beating the women. I can only guess that the woman on the brink loses it and produces a film that I actually want to see. STREAM
BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO || Despite Toby Jones leading this film about a horror film sound studio, I am inclined to feel this would be an outdrawn thriller with little pay off.R PASS
THE DAY || I would see this film for actor Dominic Monaghan’s presence if I didn’t feel like the trailer makes it appear that he’s not in it very long. He’s in the trailer long enough to say a few words of dialogue and the marketing team obviously knows people will see this film because of him by putting him in the middle of the poster. I had “PASS” in the verdict, but I may have to see this film just to prove that he dies right away. STREAM
DOGGIE B || If the poster and title weren’t enough of a red flag, it took me about 15 seconds into the trailer to tell you I can easily pound in the nail in the coffin of never ever seeing this film. The quality of the film is low budget, the actors are dismal, and why anyone would subject their friends, kids, or family to this film, I will never know. PASS
THE FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE || It’s not every week you get a film that is “exclusively” released in IMAX 3D, which means this film is basically amusement park 3D fodder. In layman’s terms, objects will constantly be “flying at your face”. Somehow starring Jet Li, I can’t imagine this getting a huge following and will hopefully discourage future attempts. PASS
THE OOGIELOVES IN THE BIG BALLOON ADVENTURE || God help me if I ever have children that want to see films like this one. At first, I was under the impression this was some sort of Teletubbies revival, but instead it’s something completely new and horrible. With the worst opening of all-time, I am again hoping this discourages any sequels… which it probably won’t. PASS
SEARCHING FOR SONNY || What looks like a low budget independent film still has been intrigued, with three different parts of me interested slightly in this film: 1) the part of me that loved “Veronica Mars” and with the resurfacing of Jason Dohring in “Searching For Sonny” marks the first time I’ve seen him since, 2) the part of me that loved “Heroes” and the resurfacing of Masi Oka, and 3) the part of me that likes sexy ladies like Minka Kelly enough to see an entire film with them in it. It’s Not Rated which scores points and is a modern attempt at noir, which I approve of. STREAM
THE TALL MAN || Kudos for getting the sexy Jessica Biel in a crappy thriller film about a man kidnapping kids. Of course having a child in a horror film is an occupational hazard and Biel looks ready to fight. I am sucker for horror films (even bad ones) and I am a sucker for Jessica Biel. STREAM

THEATER

  • For A Good Time, Call…
  • Lawless
  • The Possession

RENT

  • The Good Doctor

STREAM

  • 7500
  • The Ambassador
  • Bedevilled
  • The Day
  • Searching For Sonny
  • The Tall Man

PASS

 

 

  • Berberian Sound Studio
  • Doggie B
  • The Flying Swords of Dragon Gate
  • The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

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