“Prisoners” is missing some pivotal story details, but has more than enough hauntingly superb assets to deliver a highly successful nightmarish experience.
It’s Thanksgiving and the Dovers are celebrating with their good friends and neighbors, the Birch family. After dinner, their young daughters, Ana and Joy, beg to head outside. Under the impression that they’d ask their older siblings to escort them, Keller and Grace Dover (Hugh Jackman and Maria Bello) and Nancy and Franklin Birch (Viola Davis and Terrence Howard) give them the OK. However, when the parents realize Ana and Joy never brought Ralph and Eliza (Dylan Minnette and Zoe Borde) along, they know something is terribly wrong. Panic turns to devastating dread as the hours pass and the girls fail to return home.
Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) is put on the case, confident he’ll maintain his pristine record and find Ana and Joy. He manages to pinpoint a suspect who was in the area at the time of the girls’ disappearance, but he isn’t able to accumulate enough evidence to keep him in custody. Outraged by the local authorities’ lack of progress, Keller opts to take matters into his own hands.
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Thanks to a great deal of unusual and somewhat off-putting hype, it’s nearly impossible to go into Red State without any preconceptions. There’s no denying Kevin Smith made some questionable decisions during Red State’s road to the public, but, in the end, how can you judge him when he managed to deliver? On a B-movie level at least.
Travis, Jarod and Billy-Ray (Michael Angarano, Kyle Gallner and Nicholas Braun) are teenage boys and – surprise, surprise – they want to have sex. One tracks down a potential candidate on a website who’s willing to take on all three. The boys seize the opportunity and head out to their mystery woman’s humble abode, a trailer in the woods. Psyched to get down to business, the trio’s caught off guard when they’re drugged and wake up in the clutches of the Five Points Church.
No, this isn’t any old congregation. The members of the Five Points Church are religious fundamentalists willing to do whatever it takes to rid this Earth of those they’re fighting against with a relentless viciousness. Trapped in the church, the boys are forced to watch while Pastor Cooper (Michael Parks) executes a man, leaving the impression that they’re next.
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Director Jake Scott has pressure coming from all sorts of angles when it comes to his new film Welcome to the Rileys. Not only does he have the Scott legacy to live up to (he’s Ridley Scott’s son), but he also has to get himself out of music video mode and ready to make a feature film. It’s been over ten years since Scott’s last feature, Plunkett & Macleane, and he sure chose a tough script for his return to the big screen.
In Welcome to the Riley’s James Gandolfini stars as Doug, a man struggling to cope with the death of his daughter. While on a business trip to New Orleans, Doug opts to ditch the convention for a strip club and that’s where he meets Kristen Stewart’s character, Mallory. Rather than getting down to business, Doug takes Mallory home and volunteers to clean up her place. He gets so enraptured by his relationship with Mallory, he almost completely forgets about his wife (Melissa Leo) back home, that’s until she decides to come and see what he’s up to.
Clearly this is a rather unique family drama and that’s exactly what attracted Scott to the script, the chance to conduct an emotional investigation. In fact, Scott spent a significant amount of time preparing the film alone, really thinking through the piece and dissecting the characters’ layers. Check out everything Scott had to say about the pre-production process, working with three top-notch actors and much more in the video interview below.
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It’s quite obvious that a key element of a family drama is the family aspect. Some actors are talented enough to make that dynamic seem real even though it might be far from it, but why put yourself through all the work when you can just develop a real life family-like relationship with your co-cast? It certainly worked for the cast of Jake Scott’s Welcome to the Rileys.
The film stars James Gandolfini as Doug, a man who hasn’t been the same since the passing of his daughter. The same goes for his wife Lois (Melissa Leo) and in her case, the pain is rather debilitating. She’s agoraphobic and refuses to step foot out of their house. While on a business trip to New Orleans, Doug winds up meeting a young stripper named Mallory (Kristen Stewart). Rather than leaving their business at the strip club, even though Doug had no intentions of getting on to any real business to begin with, he winds up driving her home and leaving with her for a bit. He takes it upon himself to try and help her disheveled house and her act, too.
In honor of the film’s October 29th release, Gandolfini, Leo, Stewart and Scott attended a press conference to remember their time working on the production in New Orleans. Not only do they look back on the gig fondly, particularly when it came to working with one another, but they still maintain the relationships they built on the set today. Check out all the details on the prep process, their characters and experience working with one another in the interview below.
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If you’re going to make a straight drama with zero bells and whistles, you better have a very fascinating story up your sleeve. Writer Ken Hixon may have developed a unique dysfunctional family film with curiously troubled characters, but on screen, much of that interest is extinguished by a lack of emotion, awkward relationships and primarily the film’s sluggish pace.
Doug Riley (James Gandolfini) isn’t a happy guy. He lost his only child in a car accident, his wife Lois (Melissa Leo) is agoraphobic and his only real solace comes from an extramarital affair with a diner waitress. While in New Orleans for a business conference, Doug just can’t get with it. Rather than adhere to the schedule, he ditches the convention and heads straight for a local strip club. That’s where he meets Mallory (Kristen Stewart), a supposedly 22-year-old stripper he winds up taking home and spending the night with. No, not for any dirty business, but just to be nice.
The next morning Doug awakes not to rush off to work, but to get to the store to buy the tools necessary to refurbish Mallory’s dilapidated abode. As the days go on the two begin to develop a father-daughter-like relationship with the exception of the fact that Doug pays Mallory $100 for every day he stays with her. Then again, the fact that he docks her a dollar for every F-bomb she drops, puts the connection right back into daddy-daughter territory. Meanwhile, back at home, Lois is desperately trying to overcome her fears and drive down to New Orleans to reunite with her husband.
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