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Archives for : thriller

“Infinite Storm” Interview with Naomi Watts & Malgortzata Szumowska

“Infinite Storm” tells the powerful, true story of Pam Bales, a climber who encounters a stranded stranger during a blizzard and must get them both down a mountain before they freeze to death. I got the chance to speak with the star of the film, Naomi Watts and director Malgortzata Szumowska about the movie. They discuss why an act of kindness from strangers can have a lasting effect, the person in their life that had the biggest positive impact, and more.

“Infinite Storm” opens in theaters on March 25, 2022.

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Movie Review: “The Outfit” is a Stylish Thrill

Zoey Deutch (left) stars as “Mable” and Mark Rylance (right) stars as “Leonard” in director Graham Moore’s THE OUTFIT, a Focus Features release. Courtesy of Focus Features

All is not what it appears to be in Graham Moore’s directorial debut, “The Outfit”.

The Academy Award winning writer takes a stab behind the camera and cuts out an intriguing gangster saga. “The Outfit” follows a quiet Englishman, Leonard (Mark Rylance), who tailors to the mob. His Chicago tailor shop is a “drop spot” location for the local mob Boyle Crime Organization, run by an intimidating senior boss, Roy Boyle (Simon Russell Beale).

Just when you think Leonard’s “business” is running smoothly, the contents of a simple envelope lead to an unexpected turn of events. Leonard witnesses an incident that now has him caught in an unfortunate situation. Now, if he wants to live, he must outwit the dangerous group of mobsters that won’t let him or his innocent secretary (Zoey Deutch) leave the store.

“The Outfit” does have a bit of a slow start. Moore has also co-written a film (Alongside Johnathan McClain) that almost reads like a stage play. The entirety of the movie takes place at the tailor shop, which at the beginning makes things a little stagnant. However, once two of the regular mobsters, Richie (Dylan O’ Brien) and Francis (Johnny Flynn), rush into the shop after Richie has been injured, things pick up really quick. From there the story keeps you on the edge of your seat and you can really see the fine threading in the plot. Every detail shot and written is well delivered. The film is a refreshing take on a beloved genre we rarely see anymore.

The shining elements to this dapper film are Moore and McClain’s sharp screenplay, AND the phenomenal performances by the entire cast. Dylan O’ Brien does a wonderful job as Richie, a cocky son of the boss, who’s constantly competing with his dad’s favorite employee. Johnny Flynn as Francis is witty, pompous, and terribly frightening. Zoey Deutch is fantastic as Mable, the secretary who knows more of the mystery than she lets on. And Mark Rylance as Leonard is a smooth operating tailor who masterly weaves the actions of that tragic night.

The less you know about “The Outfit” the better. Just sit back and enjoy this clever, nail-biting, twisted thriller.

“The Outfit” opens in theaters March 25, 2022.

Rating: B+

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Rapid Review: “Fresh” is a Deliciously Good Time


Mimi Caves directorial debut serves a familiar dish, but with a “fresh”, new taste. 

I hate to spoil anything about Fox Searchlight Pictures’ “Fresh”, so I’m going to keep it brief. 

The film follows, Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a young woman whose tirelessly looking for love through dating apps. The opening scene of the movie is an awkward, horrible first date. Noa is left feeling hopeless, and thinking that she’ll ever find a good guy. Her best friend, Mollie (Jojo T. Gibbs) is always by her side to console her and tell her she doesn’t need a man, but Noa still hopes for that special someone. 

On a random evening at the grocery store, a handsome, charming man named Steve (Sebastian Stan) hits on Noa by the produce section. Sparks fly and they begin to date. They seem to have a true romantic connection. After a few dates, Steve suggests taking Noa away for the weekend. Unfortunately, this dream vacation quickly turns into an unthinkable nightmare.  

Cave’s debut feature goes from rom-com to a dark, provocative horror. Audiences may think they’ve seen this story before, but it hasn’t been told quite like this. For starters, the film features a Grade-A cast. Stan’s character is unlike anything he’s played before. Between this film and “Pam and Tommy”, he’s proving his incredible versatility as an actor. And Edgar-Jones gives an unforgettable performance, as she brings a whole new level to the “damsel turns badass” story arc. 

Screenwriter, Lauryn Kahn carves out a sharp, witty, and thrilling script. Caves brilliantly brings Kahn’s words to life with her directing. The film’s images range from picturesque to beautifully grotesque. “Fresh” delivers the whole package. It’s a deliciously, twisted horror/comedy that leaves you craving more. 

“Fresh” is available to stream on Hulu on March 4, 2022.

Rating: A

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“Shattered” Interview with Cameron Monaghan

I got a chance to speak with Cameron Monaghan, star of the new thriller, “Shattered”. We discuss the film, how to know when to trust someone, and we play a rapid fire game!

The film opens in select theaters and OnDemand on January 14, 2022.

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Movie Review: “355” – Plenty of Action, Not Enough Excitement

It’s January; and in the movie world that means it’s “dump month”. After all the award contenders have released their films, a wave of big budget flops tend to make their debut. Don’t get me wrong, there’s the occasional good movie that makes it through. Unfortunately, Universal Pictures’ new action flick, “The 355”, is not one of them.

Jessica Chastain stars as “Mace”, a lonely CIA operative who has no loved ones in her life except for her partner, Nick (Sebastian Stan). They have been strictly platonic until one assignment, that has them playing husband and wife, abruptly gets them in bed together. Well, that assignment goes awry, and she loses an advanced technological device that must be kept out of enemy hands.

One thing leads to another and eventually, Mace teams up with her old friend Khadija (Lupita Nyong’o), an MI6 technological threats expert who used to be a field agent. Marie (Diana Kruger), a German operative who’s a tough, skilled fighter. And Graciela (Penelope Cruz), a Colombian police therapist, who accidently gets involved in this new mission.

Director and co-writer Simon Kinberg does a solid job shooting the film. There’s no shortage of action sequences and the movie looks great, but the screenplay (Co-written by Theresa Rebeck and Bek Smith) offers no excitement and there’s not enough depth to keep us invested in these characters. In fact, the one you care about the most is Graciela, who desperately just wants to home to her family. Cruz’s performance as an innocent and concerned mother makes hers the only relationship you hope gets a happy ending.

It’s easy to root for the team of women, who commit to their lackluster script, but they all deserved better. There are a lot of forced emotions between characters you don’t get to really know. Though Chastain, Nyong’o, Kruger, and Cruz do a fine job, the same cannot be said Sebastian Stan. He barely makes an effort with his character, Nick. There’s a lack of chemistry between him and Chastain, greatly due to his lethargic delivery.

There’s not much else to really say about the film and I don’t want to sit here and rip it apart. From the trailer, “The 355” looks like it will be a fun espionage thriller featuring an awesome, all-star cast. I’m sadden by the fact that it wasn’t. The film had all the right pieces to an underwhelming puzzle.

The powerhouse women in the movie are what make “The 355” a bearable watch, however, the story is forgettable and a missed opportunity with a talented cast.

Rating: C-

“The 355” opens in theaters January 7, 2022

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Movie Review: “The Night House” Gives Thrills & Chills


I’ll admit, I scare easily. Films that aren’t even scary (Boo! A Madea Halloween) make me jump. But when I watch a truly, good horror film, I am on the edge of my seat, holding my breath during the entirety of the film. The only breather breaks are my screams. In David Bruckner’s new horror, “The Night House”, I screamed three times. 

After her husband, Owen’s (Evan Jonigkeit) unexpected suicide, Beth (Rebecca Hall) is left alone in their large lake house, and suddenly haunted by a mysterious spirit. Beth heads down a dangerous rabbit hole as this leads her to digging into her husband’s dark secrets. 

What Bruckner captures here is a very real and painful portrayal grief and depression. It’s not an easy subject matter to tackle, but it’s handled so well here. From Beth’s drinking, re-watching old videos of her husband, to how she interacts with her colleagues and people around her. Owen’s death has consumed Beth and is affecting her daily life and personal relationships. 

If you saw Hall in the underrated drama, “Christine”, you already know how well she can portray a woman on the edge struggling with depression. So, it comes as no surprise that Hall’s performance as a grief-stricken widow is incredibly powerful. Your heart absolutely breaks for Beth as she asks the questions one would probably have if their husband chose to end their life: Why? Was he that unhappy? How was he so good at hiding it? Did I really know him at all? Was he a monster and I had no idea? These are just a few of the questions the film will answer. 

“The Night House” is shot and edited beautifully. Paired with Kathrin Eder’s unsettling production design and the eerie music by Ben Lovett, the film makes for an engaging and terrifying experience. 

Where the film falls short, is that it’s slightly over ambitious. Though questions are answered for the most part, there might be some confusion at the end, and there are a few small plot holes. But if you can piece together a narrative that satisfies you, then this may not be an issue. 

“The Night House” is a creative story with gripping visuals and captivating performances.  

Rating: B +

Premiering this Week: Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse”

Tom Clancy’s WITHOUT REMORSE will be available exclusively on Amazon Prime Video this Friday, April 30.

Produced by and starring Michael B. Jordan, Tom Clancy’s WITHOUT REMORSE revolves around an elite Navy SEAL who uncovers an international conspiracy while seeking justice for the murder of his pregnant wife.

Directed by: Stefano Sollima

Written by: Taylor Sheridan and Will Staples

Produced by: Akiva Goldsman, Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, Michael B. Jordan

Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Lauren London, Brett Gelman, Jacob Scipio, Jack Kesy, Colman Domingo, Todd Lassance, Cam Gigandet, Luke Mitchell, and Guy Pearce

An elite Navy SEAL uncovers an international conspiracy while seeking justice for the murder of his pregnant wife in Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, the explosive origin story of action hero John Clark – one of the most popular characters in author Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan universe. When a squad of Russian soldiers kills his family in retaliation for his role in a top-secret op, Sr. Chief John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) pursues the assassins at all costs. Joining forces with a fellow SEAL (Jodie Turner-Smith) and a shadowy CIA agent (Jamie Bell), Kelly’s mission unwittingly exposes a covert plot that threatens to engulf the U.S. and Russia in an all-out war. Torn between personal honor and loyalty to his country, Kelly must fight his enemies without remorse if he hopes to avert disaster and reveal the powerful figures behind the conspiracy.

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Interview: Ruby Rose talks “Vanquish”

Director George Gallo brings us a new action thriller starring Morgan Freeman (The Shawshank Redemption) and Ruby Rose (Orange is the New Black). Rose plays Victoria, a mother whose trying to put her dark past as a Russian drug courier behind her, but retired cop Damon (Freeman) forces Victoria to do his bidding by holding her daughter hostage.

I chatted with Ruby Rose to discuss her character, working with Morgan Freeman and played a game of would you rather. Watch the full interview in the video below!

“Vanquish” will be available in Select Theaters on April 16th and on Apple TV, and everywhere you rent movies on April 20th.

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Movie Review: “Voyagers” Gets Lost in Space

Neil Burger’s new sci-fi thriller, “Voyagers” fails to make any significant impact.

The start of the film explains how earth is growing hotter. Drought and disease have caused severe damage to the population. Scientists are looking for a new planet that can support human life, and they find one in 2063. They decide to send a group bioengineered teens into space in order to populate the new world that is hundreds of light years away. The trip will take them 86 years. Meaning their future grandkids will be the ones carrying out the end of the mission. The only adult on board is Richard (Colin Ferrell), who leads and counsels the kids as if they were his own. To prevent chaos and create order, the teens are given a “blue drink” that has essentially been drugging them, and inhibits them from feeling, really, anything. Two of the voyagers, Christopher (Tye Sheridan) and Zac (Fionn Whitehead), figure this out. Zac angrily stops taking the substance, then all hell breaks loose.

Suddenly, the movie turns into “Lord of the Flies” IN SPACE. It becomes so predictable and wild, that you just want to skip to the end. It’s not that the storyline is boring. In fact, at times it can be engaging; but it offers nothing new. The beginning makes you think this familiar tale will have a refreshing spin. But when it’s over, you’re left wondering if this really needed to be a movie?

Story wise, “Voyagers” is nothing special. But perhaps, the purpose was to showcase the talented, young actors. However, most of their impressive diverse cast were merely background noise. The film primarily focuses on Sheridan, Whitehead and Lily-Rose Depp, who plays Sela. Depp and Sheridan play off each other well and have great chemistry, but the film never dives too deep with its characters. We get to know everyone at a surface level, except for maybe Zac whose villain-like qualities gradually grow, the more jealous he gets of Christopher.

“Voyagers” is well shot. The cinematography by Enrique Chediak is beautiful. The music by Trevor Gureckis compliments the tone of the film, and provides the right amount of suspense.

Burger’s script is not bad, either, it just feels derivative. It’s disappointing when the premise of the film allowed for so much more. I mostly wish we explored the other world. The concept is realistic, and it would have been interesting to learn more about why they chose to create new life on this particular planet. Instead, “Voyagers” chooses to focus on the characters resenting their isolation, and their lack of “feeling”. They want to take advantage of getting to experience pain and all sorts of pleasure. This raises the question of whether or not they prefer a wild-life of “freedom”, or to go back to their routine, monotonous life that serves a greater purpose; one they won’t be alive to see come to fruition.

“Voyagers” may still be worth the watch for purely entertainment purposes. It’s plays out like a teen drama you’d watch on the CW. So if that’s your cup of tea, then this film is right up your alley. Otherwise, keep your expectations low, and be prepared for a rushed and underwhelming ending.

Rating: 2/5

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Interview: Director Vaughn Stein talks “Every Breath You Take”

“Every Breath You Take is a searing psychological thriller about a psychiatrist (Casey Affleck), whose career is thrown into jeopardy when his patient takes her own life. When he invites his patient’s surviving brother (Sam Claflin) into his home to meet his wife (Michelle Monaghan) and daughter, his family life is suddenly torn apart. “

I sat down with director Vaughn Stein to discuss the importance of conveying grief, how he himself handles tragedies, the appeal of psychological thrillers and more. Listen to the full interview below!

“Every Breath You Take” opens in select theaters & premium VOD April 2, 2021.

Director Vaughn Stein
“Every Breath You Take” Interview with Director Vaughn Stein
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