Movie Review: Whitewash (2013, Dir. Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais)


Whitewash is a lonely film. It opens with scattered lines of dialogue from Bruce, played by Thomas Haden Church, as he drunkenly strikes and kills a man with his tractor on a snowy night. Bruce immediately dumps the body off the side of the road, then seeks refuge deep in the woods, driving until he passes out completely. The body he has disposed of turns out to be Paul. Played by Marc Labrèch, Paul is a man down on his luck who Bruce had decided to take in until he got back on his feet. Prior to the accident, both men had seen better days. Bruce has lost his wife and his job, and Paul has amassed a huge gambling debt.

The feeling of solitude and loneliness is amplified by the sparse and harshly cold Canadian woods in which Bruce spends the majority of his time on the lam in. Director Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais maintains an open, empty environment throughout the film — one where company is something be wary of, rather than welcome. It’s an effective way to empathize with what life is like for a self described “good man” who has just committed murder; combining a mix of paranoia and desperation, blanketed with cold white silence. He has no one to talk to, no one to confide in.

Continue reading

Movie Review: Paranoia (2013, Dir. Robert Luketic)

Paranoia (2013) Liam Hemsworth

There’s not much paranoia going on in the new Liam Hemsworth film Paranoia. I guess you’re supposed to be questioning who is lying to whom, but there’s so little happening on screen, it’s hard to invest any feelings at all in this insipid thriller. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen another film that needed a RiffTrax accompaniment as badly as Paranoia does.

Adam (Liam Hemsworth) is a brilliant twenty-something working with a group of his friends to come up with ideas for cell phone innovation for the corporation owned by Nicolas Wyatt (Gary Oldman). After a bad mistake, Adam is blackmailed by Wyatt into becoming his spy and getting hired at rival company Eikon, owned by Jock Goddard (Harrison Ford). Soon he is in too deep and realizes not only his life is in danger, but his friends and family as well. Robert Luketic directs, and the film is based on a novel of the same name by Joseph Finder.

Paranoia is just about smartphones. The film attempts to put the weight of life and death on who has a more impressive smartphone. This is only the first of its many, many mistakes.

Continue reading

Movie Review: Drive (2011, Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn)


A dollar short and two years too late? Sounds like my M.O., so lets run with it.
I’d heard a lot about Drive, especially after some woman tried to sue FilmDistrict over a “misleading” trailer and all of it was good. All this hullabaloo left me with an itching curiosity to get up and go out of my excruciatingly busy way (watching episodes of some cw teen drama over and over again while crying into my microwaveable dinner), to see the film. But life, as it always does, just happened to get in the way.

After many failed attempts to start Drive, I finally got the gusto to sit down and watch it only after a friend of mine, who had promised to see the movie with me, watched it home, alone, and then texted me about how fantastic it was afterwards. So, out of spite (for who I’m not sure) I went onto netflix and turned it on. And I have to say, I was blown away (old news, right?) so much so that I’m sitting here writing about it nearly two years later.

Continue reading

Cinema With Seoul: White Night Review (2009)

White Night is a fun, gripping thriller adapted from the Japanese novel “Into The White Night” by first time director Park Shin Woo. The film is a well-made smart, sexy thriller. Although at times confusing, unexplained, or a little too over the top, White Night is undoubtedly worth viewing.

[Read More…]

Movie Review: Haywire (2012, Dir. Stephen Soderbergh)

Haywire is a twitchy, grungy spy thriller directed by the sometimes indie, sometimes mainstream, always bogglingly prolific, Stephen Soderbergh. He seems to have borrowed from The Girlfriend Experience and Contagion this time around, casting female mixed martial arts star Gina Carano, who previously did not have movie star on her resume, in the lead of a modestly budgeted genre ensemble film. Carano plays Mallory, a highly-skilled contract black ops agent, who is on the run after something goes wrong with an international assignment she had been involved in. Mallory must fight for her life while piecing together who has betrayed her, how, and why.

[Read More…]