Monthly Archives: March 2011

Interview: Insidious’ Rose Byrne

Knowing was kind of creepy and 28 Weeks Laterpretty suspenseful, but you’ve never seen Rose Byrne handle horror as she does in Insidious. She stars as Renai, a loving mother and wife who moves into a brand new home with her family. While exploring their creepy new abode, their eldest son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), falls off a ladder and winds up in an inexplicable coma. With no sound reason for Dalton’s condition, he’s sent home from the hospital and that’s when the truly horrifying events begin.

Not only is Renai bearing quite a bit of emotional baggage at the start of the film, but the pressure continues to build throughout. Look at this from Byrne’s prospective; not only does she have to take her character through an intense arc, but she also must envelop herself in this supernatural world all while under the pressure of having just 22 days to shoot the film. Tough stuff, right? Maybe, but not for Byrne.

Byrne only had the best to say about this project from working with stellar co-stars to her top-notch team of horror filmmakers which includes Saw vets James Wan and Leigh Whannell as well as Paranormal Activity’s Oren Peli and Jason Blum. For any actress looking to dive into the genre, Byrne certainly surrounded herself with the right people. The only downside to that? They’re quite eager to throw you into some pretty horrifying situations. Hear all about Byrne’s experience makingInsidious in the interview below and, if you don’t mind losing some sleep, be sure to check out the film’s bumps in the night firsthand when the film hits theaters on April 1st.

Click here to watch the interview.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Review: Hanna

After Pride & Prejudice and Atonement, it was quite clear that director Joe Wright was capable of great things, however, nothing can prepare you for the greatness that is his latest feature film, Hanna. It’s a visual and mental action adventure film packing enough energy and suspense to blow you right out of your seat and the best part about it is none of those effects are achieved using cinematic copouts, cheesy effects or any stale parlor trick. Hanna is powered by all-around genuinely thoughtful filmmaking and one heck of a performance from Saoirse Ronan resulting in a tense, funny, touching and, overall, wildly enjoyable experience.

Deep in the frigid forest of North Finland, Hanna (Ronan) lives with her father, Erik (Eric Bana), in a primitive cabin without a trace of modern technology. Rather than surfing the Internet and hanging out with friends, this teenager is learning to fight, hunt and speak Spanish, Italian and Arabic amongst other languages. Erik’s methods can be a bit callous, but they’re rooted in his deep love for his daughter and for her safety. However, eventually the day comes when Hanna must leave this life behind, enter the real world and demonstrate that she really is a perfect assassin.

Without her father’s guidance, Hanna is forced to complete her mission alone. She must travel through foreign lands with nothing except what her father taught her while a hardened intelligence operative, Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett), and her coldblooded associates follow right behind. The closer Hanna gets to her destination the more she discovers about her father, her pursuer and herself, all of which boil over into an extremely trying revelation.

Click here to read more.

2 Comments

Filed under Reviews

Review: Source Code

Source Code is big for Duncan Jones. Having stepped into the spotlight in the best way possible via his critically acclaimed first feature, Moon, Jones was bound for big budget Hollywood. Sure enough, the opportunity arose and Source Code is his second feature. Now the question is, can Jones do it again but with a new leading man and a whole lot more money? It’s a noble effort, but in the end, Source Code makes it quite clear; lots of money and a heartthrob lead don’t guarantee you a better product.

Jake Gyllenhaal is Colter Stevens, an army captain who wakes up on a train in the body of another man only to have that train explode and then come to, yet again, in a mysterious capsule all alone. Colter’s only source of communication is a small monitor through which he talks to Colleen Goodwin (Vera Farmiga), the army personnel subordinate to Dr. Rutledge (Jeffrey Wright), the creator of the Source Code.

A bomb really did explode on a CCR train-heading straight for Chicago, but Colter wasn’t on it, that other man was, and Source Code enables Colter to inhabit that man’s body and relive the final eight minutes before the explosion in an effort to find the bomb’s detonator. When the eight minute cycle is up, that bomb explodes and Colter is whisked away back into the pod where Goodwin initiates the procedure again. Colter is assigned to do this over and over until he discovers the person responsible for the attack.

Click here to read more.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review: Insidious

It’s taken three months, but we’ve finally got a 2011 horror film worth seeing; something overwhelmingly unnerving with the power to keep you up at night, Insidious. It’s got a little Nightmare on Elm Street, a part The Exorcist and a hint of Paranormal Activity, too and the results certainly honor genre expectations all while delivering an exhilarating, unique and horrifyingly unpredictable experience.

Josh and Renai (Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne) are a pretty happy couple. They’ve had their issues, but are leaving them behind by moving into a beautiful new home with their three children. All is well until their eldest son, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), opts to do some exploring and winds up falling off a ladder in the attic. The next morning, Dalton won’t wake up. Josh and Renai take him to the hospital, but only to find out that he’s inexplicably in a coma.

Three months pass and now, not only is Dalton still in his state, but Josh and Renai have a new problem on their hands, strange and downright terrifying bumps in the night. When Renai comes to the conclusion that their new abode is haunted, unlike in any other film of the genre, the family actually moves. However, house swapping doesn’t rid them of their ghostly guests, rather intensifies the situation.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Interview: Insidious’ Patrick Wilson

After the success of the Saw franchise and Paranormal Activity, who passes up the opportunity to work with James Wan, Leigh Whannell, Jason Blum and Oren Peli on a horror flick? Certainly not Patrick Wilson and who teamed up not only with the best of the best in the horror genre, but a talented cast too, for Insidious.

In Insidious, Wilson stars alongside Rose Byrne as Josh and Renai Lambert, a generally happy couple with promising careers and three cute kids. Problems arise when one of their kids, Dalton (Ty Simpkins), falls off a ladder and winds up in a coma – or so the doctors think. You think that’s bad? Just wait until a little while later when Dalton’s still in this state and the bumps in the night begin.

After having done big budget action films like A-Team and Watchmen, this independently run experience was a nice change of pace for Wilson. The team may have had just 22 days to film the entire feature, but between Wilson’s natural chemistry with Byrne, his existing relationship with Simpkins and enthusiasm for the unique script, making Insidious was a wholly natural and successful process. Hear all about it straight from Patrick Wilson himself in the video interview below.

Click here to watch the interview.

Leave a comment

Filed under Interviews

Review: Sucker Punch

High expectations can be a killer. Unfortunately for director Zack Snyder, he works extra hard to insert an insanely high outlook into every single thing that he does and lately, it seems to backfire big time. His brain is geared towards directing and visuals and that doesn’t serve him well as a writer. Whereas the basic concept of Sucker Punch combined with Snyder’s keen eye for the visually incredible had immense prospects, it diluted the script. Spectacular imagery without a sensible and engaging story isn’t a film, it’s a mere spectacle.

After the death of her mother, a series of ill-fated events wrongfully lands Baby Doll (Emily Browning) in the Lennox House for the Mentally Insane. Rather than do what they can to rehabilitate her, the staff accepts a bribe from Baby Doll’s sinister and greedy stepfather to lobotomize her. Just as the doctor’s about to hammer his ice pick through her skull, we’re whisked away to an alternate world, Blue’s (Oscar Isaac) club. That’s where she unites with Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and Amber (Jamie Chung).

While this may be a step up from the hospital, Blue’s club is still very much a prison. If the girls don’t dance, they serve no purpose and Blue has no trouble eliminating his excess baggage. While at first, Baby Doll can’t seem to get in the groove, once she let’s loose and finally dances, she discovers she has the power to not only mesmerize spectators with her techniques, but transport herself to yet another world. It’s in this new realm that she meets the Wise Man (Scott Glenn) and learns that with the help of the other girls and four objects, they can all escape.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews

Review: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules

When Diary of a Wimpy Kid hit theaters last March, who’d have thought we’d have a sequel just a year later? Well, good thing producers Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson were on top of their stuff because Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules is here and it packs just as much fun and charm as the original.

Summer’s over and it’s time for Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) to head back to school. Sure things are better with his upgraded seventh grader status and he isn’t getting picked on as much, but now Greg’s got other things to worry about. First off, there’s the new girl, Holly Hills (Peyton List). It takes just one look for her to steal Greg’s heart. The problem is, just about everything is working against him when it comes to impressing her from Chirag Gupta (Karan Brar) who doesn’t appreciate Greg getting the whole class to pretend Chirag’s invisible to a little candy bar incident that left an unpleasant stain on Greg’s pants.

But the thing that’s weighing on Greg the most isn’t his hope to impress Holly or even to be a “class favorite,” rather the trouble he’s having getting along with his family, specifically his older brother Rodrick (Devon Bostick). His mother’s (Rachael Harris) as imposing as ever thanks to her new advice column in the local paper in which Greg typically winds up being the hot topic, his father (Steve Zahn) is still obsessed with his figurines and his little brother, Manny (Connor and Owen Fielding), can get away with anything, but it’s Rodrick’s mission to make Greg’s life miserable that’s giving him the hardest time. When their parents decide to head out of town to force the boys to settle their issues themselves, sure they wind up growing closer, but their newfound brotherly love comes with some pretty crazy consequences.

Click here to read more.

Leave a comment

Filed under Reviews