‘prisoners,’ ‘wadjda’ And Other New Movies, Reviewed

Until about a year ago, they held no interest for me. I had a couple of bad experiences as a teenager and those events helped me decide that the genre was useless to me. Then I met my best friend. I can’t remember the first horror movie she talked me into seeing, but we had such a good time trying to scare each other during and after the movie that I decided to give the genre another chance. While I still don’t care for slasher movies, the supernatural ones get my blood pumping and my adrenaline going. I think the key to not letting myself get freaked out is to remember that while the film may claim to be a true story or may seem realistic, it’s only a movie. Even the “true story” films have to add drama to make it exciting, and many directors take great liberties with the real events. I remember watching The Blair Witch Project in the theater in 1999. As I had been lost in the woods in the dark before, the movie terrified me. Years later, when I was teaching at a community college, I showed the movie to my class on Halloween. Several students fell asleep and the ones who stayed awake through the whole thing were wholly not scared . Sure, what scares each person is going to be different, and the hand-held filming of The Blair Witch Project can’t hold much of a candle to the special effects-heavy flicks that are being made today. But why was I (still) so scared of Blair Witch? Why do I go pay good money to see scary movies?

Their platonic friendship (yes, platonic!) is rendered with great humor, poignancy and dignity. Michael OSullivan (No rating) The Wizard of Oz 3D IMAX (PG) Seeing The Wizard of Oz on the big screen also offers an opportunity to consider the incredible special effects, considering the film was shot more than seven decades ago and long before computer-generated imagery. The black-and-white scenes of Dorothy battling against the wind as a twister approaches were especially transporting. Stephanie Merry 1/2 Wadjda (PG) Youre seeing a world on screen that, until now, has been largely hidden from the filmgoing world at large. Because in addition to being a terrific garden-variety coming-of-age film, Wadjda happens to be the first feature-length movie ever made in Saudi Arabia all the more notable in that its been made by a woman, about a young girl chafing against the religious and social strictures of a kingdom literally shrouded in sexual anxiety, misogyny and severe repression. Ann Hornaday 1/2 Salinger (PG-13) While much of the movie consists of variations on this same theme that Salinger was a brilliant, flawed man the film also delves into more salacious matters, including the role of Catcher in the shootings of Ronald Reagan, John Lennon and Rebecca Schaeffer (gunmen John Hinckley Jr., Mark David Chapman and Robert John Bardo were all fans of the novel). Stephanie Merry The Henchmans War (Unrated) Greene, a native Washingtonian with a handful of local directorial and co-producing credits on his resume, has an eye for urban grit and an ear for tough-guy dialogue. He makes excellent use of his shadowy locations, lending War the coveted visual grime that enhances such pulp-noir material. Sean OConnell 1/2 Battle of the Year (PG-13) Lee is attempting to keep a spotlight shining on b-boy culture, an aggressive style of street dancing that consists of body-contorting twists, flips, leaps, spins and poses set to hip-hop music. Lee showcased this next level of competitive breakdancing in his award-winning 2008 documentary Planet B-Boy , and a feature film building on that awareness makes complete sensejust not five years later, when the fad appears to have faded. Sean OConnell My Lucky Star (Unrated) Bringing Sophies comics to life, the movie interjects drawings and animated sequences. The camera spins excitedly, and the editing is brisk. Split-screen compositions evoke the 1960s, as do Sophies pop-art ensembles, which include a lilac wig with matching lipstick. This girlie romp is less about martial arts and espionage than stuffed animals and dress-up. Mark Jenkins 1/2 Good OlFreda (PG) Ryan White weaves in archival footage of girls fainting and images of old headlines. The soundtrack consists primarily of Beatles covers. While the tales of the bands spectacular rise create a genial mood, the film feels superficial. Kelly can be cagey, and when a voice offscreen asks if she ever dated any of the guys, she demurs, saying, Thats personal. Stephanie Merry 1/2 Ip Man: The Final Fight (PG-13) The showiest action sequence involves lion dancers who battle atop high wooden posts.

Movies: Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal Anchor Tense ‘Prisoners’

Jakemustbekissed

23, 2013 Hyperlink films mirror contemporary globalized communities, using exciting cinematic elements and multiple story lines to create the idea of a world that is interconnected on many social levels. However, films in this genre like Crash, Babel, and Love Actually are not as new and innovative as presumed and still conform to conventional social patterns. These findings, by Jaimie Krems of Arizona State University in the US and Robin Dunbar of the University of Oxford in the UK, are published in Springer’s journal Human Nature. This gives the impression that people’s lives can intersect on scales that would not have been possible without modern technologies of travel and communication. Krems and Dunbar wondered if the social group sizes and properties of social networks in such films differ vastly from the real world or classic fiction. They set out to see if the films can side-step the natural cognitive constraints that limit the number and quality of social relationships people can generally manage. Previous studies showed for instance that conversation groups of more than four people easily fizzle out. Also, Dunbar and other researchers found that someone can only maintain a social network of a maximum of 150 people, which is further layered into 4 to 5 people (support group), 12 to 15 people (sympathy group), and 30 to 50 people (affinity group). Twelve hyperlink films and ten female interest conventional films as well as examples from the real world and classical fiction were therefore analyzed. Krems and Dunbar discovered that all examples rarely differed and all followed the same general social patterns found in the conventional face-to-face world. Hyperlink films had on average 31.4 characters that were important for the development of plot, resembling the size of an affinity group in contemporary society. Their cast lists also featured much the same number of speaking characters as a Shakespeare play (27.8 characters), which reflects a broader, less intimate sphere of action. Female interest films had 20 relevant characters on average, which corresponds with the sympathy group size and mimics female social networks in real life.

Movies That Push Our Cognitive Limits

Instead, that damn missing whistle acts as a perfect talisman for the movie itself. Prisoners begins emitting piercing psychic cries as the parents spin out of control and the mysteries thicken and the hours drag on. Statistically speaking, things dont look good for missing children after the first couple of days.Keller Dover (Jackman) is a survivalist who believes in being prepared but how do you prepare yourself or your family for the worst nightmares? When a local ace detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) can’t make a case stick against the man in the RV (Paul Dano, in greasy/creepy mode) Keller decides to take the law into his own hands, plunging both families and a third one (Dano and his aunt played by Melissa Leo) into an increasingly gruesome nightmare from which its uncertain that any of them will emerge with their souls intact. Prisoners will undoubtedly remind a lot of people of David Fincher’s Zodiac(2007), another film that invites you to lose your mind over Jake Gyllenhaal’s soulful handsomeness while Jake Gyllenhaal loses his mind over maddening puzzles, dropped like poisoned crumbs from serial killers. (Has any actor ever so expertly conveyed “needs a hug” “needs to be left alone” “needs to be cooperated with” or “needs to be kissed”as Jake at his finest. I mean… (not a still from Prisoners) come on. It’s those inescapably big pleading eyes you can get all but lost in. (But enough about my boyfriend.) These Zodiac comparisons are merely cosmetic. The film it most calls to mind deep in the marrow is actually Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River (2003), both for the starry miserable cast (beloved faces in pain everywhere you look!) and the moral rot of “is that my daughter in theeeerrrrrre?” parental grief and intimations of long ago child abuse. Prisoners also shares with Mystic River a barely noticeable thin sheen of flop sweat, as if every moment could tip over into the risibly pretentious, weighed down by the self-regard of High Art treatment of Low Brow genres. This filmmaking team isn’t kidding around: Villeneuve and his editors are giving us everything they’ve got with the pacing (despite a lengthy running time); famed cinematographer Roger Deakins (True Grit, Skyfall) is making sure every wet windshield and flashlight makes the visuals sing; and the actors all attack the material full throttle, though some chew scenery with more realistic delicacy than others. My favorites among the cast were Viola Davis (who is, no joke, always perfect. Why can’t Hollywood give her leading roles after her sensational work inThe Help?), Hugh Jackman (too fine and appealing an actor to make this angry dangerous man tip over into the insufferably hateful), David Dastmalchian (who some will remember as one of the Joker’s henchmen in The Dark Knight) who is both unnerving and weirdly sympathetic as a suspect Loki pursues, and Jake Gyllenhaal himself, who works so hard at making this earnest detective three dimensional (with virtually no help from the screenplay since the detective’s persona is the least of its concerns). I’d gladly follow Loki into a whole film franchise of his own. Prisoners drives so forcefully into its various climaxes of conscience or bodily harm in the final hour that it continually risks running head first into a calamity of silliness (the plot is, how shall we say,…