Tag Archives: Michael Shannon

Review: Man of Steel

Man-of-Steel-Poster“Man of Steel” is like Superman taking a punch from a human; you feel nothing.

The film kicks off just as Krypton’s unstable core is about to decimate the planet. In an effort to ensure his race carries on, Jor-El (Russell Crowe) pops his newborn baby boy into a pod and ships him off to Earth. The pod lands in Kansas, right in the Kent’s backyard, and while Jonathan and Martha (Kevin Costner and Diane Lane) raise the boy as their own, they’ve also always known he’s not from here. In order to keep his origin a secret, Clark goes through school as an outcast, constantly getting picked on but unable to unleash his unearthly strength to fight back.

Now a 33-year-old man, Clark (Henry Cavill) moves from place to place, trying to keep a low profile. Trouble is, when he sees someone in trouble, he just can’t help himself. Finally Clark seizes an opportunity to learn about his real parents and home planet, but accessing that information also unleashes an unspeakable evil upon Earth, one that only he can stop.

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Review: Take Shelter

Well paced movies aren’t necessarily swift, but if the storytelling approach is more on the calculated and wallowing side, there better be a strong payoff. While writer-director Jeff Nichols presents Take Shelter as a piece that’ll rock a powerful crescendo, what we get is one that feels rather one-note most of the way through until it spikes just before the end. Nichols makes an honorable attempt at wrapping the piece up in a fulfilling and stirring way, but the jagged build doesn’t make it nearly as satisfying as it could be.

Curtis (Michael Shannon) makes a living working for a local drilling company. He lives modestly with his loving wife, Samantha (Jessica Chastain), and their young daughter, Hanna (Tova Stewart), in what appears to be a quaint Midwestern locale. When Curtis begins to experience intense nightmares, he dismisses them as average dreams, but, when his late night visions start to bear daytime repercussions, he becomes alarmed.

Assuming he might be developing Schizophrenia, similar to his mother who was diagnosed in her 30s, Curtis seeks psychiatric help. Even with this medical attention and a sedative prescription, the foreboding intensity of his dreams consumes Curtis, and his nighttime terrors consume his existence. Curtis is swept up by the fear of an incoming storm with potentially devastating effects and he desperately tries to build his family an underground shelter.

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Interview: The Runaways Writer-Director Floria Sigismondi

Floria Sigismondi has a slew of music video credits to her name, but zero feature length films, but that didn’t stop her from uniting with two of Hollywood’s hottest young actresses, Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, to bring the world first all-girl rock band back to life in The Runaways.

Not only did Sigismondi direct the film, but she adapted the script from Cherie Currie’s memoir Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway. With producers John and Art Linsons’ blessing, she went on to pick and choose from the extensive source material and shape a story of The Runaways that was film-appropriate and could deliver a proper depiction of the band and fitting message as well.

Sigismondi dished on familiarizing her young cast with the 70s music scene as well as helping Stewart and Fanning own their characters through new haircuts and sharing one-on-one time with the icons they were portraying.

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Interview: The Runaways’ Michael Shannon

It’s unbelievable how two people can be so different, yet have such similar artistic passions. Kim Fowley is anything but conventional. He used his eccentric tactics back in the 70s to create the first all-girl rock band, The Runaways. This guy, who recently described himself as ‘the psycho Svengali,’ is portrayed by Michael Shannon in The Runaways.

Shannon is pretty much as down-to-earth and simple as they come. He’s here for one reason, to work and to do so at the best of his ability. In the film he completely lacks respect for Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett and Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie, but in actuality has nothing but respect for his co-stars as well as the film’s director Floria Sigismondi.

Both Fowley and Shannon have a unique determination to excel in the entertainment industry, but do so in completely different manners. However, footage from one TV appearance and a sole face-to-face meeting was more than enough for Shannon to find the Kim Fowley within him, and bring the unconventional music producing powerhouse to the big screen.

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Review: The Runaways

In the words of Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon), “It’s press, not prestige. Get used to it.” Those words are directed to the members of his band in The Runaways, but they’re easily applicable to the film as well. The Runaways is certainly not prestigious, but it knows it and uses its flaws to provide the film with a fantastic degree of authenticity. Just because you don’t abide by the standards of perfection, doesn’t mean you can succeed. One of the best examples of the beautifully flawed is The Runaways and its film counterpart follows suit.

Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning star as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie respectively. The film begins with the young rebellious duo as mere nobodies. Jett is hanging out at clubs and terrorizing guitar teachers who doubt a girl’s ability to rock the electric guitar while Currie’s expressing her love for David Bowie at a school talent show to an intensely disapproving crowd. But all of that changes when Jett meets the influential and eccentric music producer, Kim Fowley, and he becomes determined to bring the world something it’s never seen before, an all girl rock band.

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