Actor Dexter Fletcher makes a successful debut as a writer-director with the story of a recently releases ex-convict, who returns home to find his two school age sons living by themselves having been abandoned by their mother. He faces the choice as to whether to let his criminal past catch up with him or to become the father the boys need but have never had. It takes to well-worn elements of British cinema, kitchen sink drama and gangster movie, and combines them to make a great drama with a real emotional payoff. Recommended
People who need characters they can root for or identify with to enjoy a movie will likely struggle with William Friedkin’s latest; ‘Killer Joe’. All the central characters are fairly detestable, self-centred individuals. At the core are a father and son (Thomas Haden Church and Emile Hirsch) who plot to kill their respective ex-wife/mother for insurance money. Rather than try it themselves, they decide to hire the titular ‘Joe’ a cop who has a sideline as a hitman. It’s incredibly dark, violent and twisted throughout, but made with considerable skill, and Matthew McConaughey gives a shocking and fearless performance in a role few would imagine him taking. I didn’t pick up on much humour, which it reportedly contains, but it’s very entertaining if you can get past its lurid subject matter.
Found footage horror movies are usually the work of unknown debutant directors, so it’s quite a surprise to see one being tackled by a successful veteran with an Oscar to his name. Thankfully, Barry Levinson’s ‘The Bay’ isn’t exactly done in the usual found footage style, it incorporates scenes from a wide variety of sources creating more of a ‘collage movie’, and giving it a much greater scope. Its presentation bares more resemblance to Brian De Palma’s ‘Redacted’ than anything else, while its concept is similar to ‘Deranged’ with a plague of mutant parasites (in this case isopods) out to infect humans. There’s a lot of talking but not a lot of scares.
A good example of one of Brian De Palma’s early Hitchcock-inspired mystery thrillers.
‘To Sir, With Love’, aka ‘Bloody Reunion’
A Korean horror movie, concerning a group of former classmates who go to visit their now very ill teacher, many years after finishing school, clearly all possessing painful memories of the period. It’s slow getting started but soon becomes a slasher movie as someone starts picking off members of the group. It boasts some memorably grisly kills but not much else, and doesn’t end satisfactorily, leaving threads hanging.
Only one new album for me this month, but it’s a good one:
Deftones – Koi No Yokan
Another great album from the Alt-metal legends, like with their previous album, my favourite track is the last one.