July 4, 2013

The Iceman

Writer-director Ariel Vroman’s portrait of Richard Kuklinski, a notorious contract killer successfully masquerading as a mild-mannered family man, features Michael Shannon in the title role and an almost unrecognizable Chris Evans as a rival hitman.  While it may not be destined to become a classic, The Iceman is one to watch for Shannon’s performance alone.

Check out the trailer for The Iceman after reading Matt’s review here:

Here’s the synopsis for The Iceman:

The Iceman is the true story of Richard Kuklinski: loving husband, devoted father, ruthless killer. He is believed to have killed more than 250 people between 1954 and 1985.

What Maisie Knew

While finding out your father is a ruthless serial killer is a surefire way to screw a child up, so is being caught up in a custody battle between parents.  Okay, so the degrees of dysfunction differ quite a bit in those two examples, but directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel’s contemporary adaptation of the 1897 Henry James novel does a fine job at navigating the treacherous post-divorce terrain.  Pleasing to audiences and critics alike, What Maisie Knew is a rare film that hits on all levels of writing, acting and directing.

Watch the trailer for What Maisie Knew below:

Here’s the synopsis for What Maisie Knew:

Based on the Henry James novella, the story frames on 7-year-old Maisie, caught in a custody battle between her mother – a rock and roll icon – and her father. What Maisie Knew is an evocative portrayal of the chaos of adult life seen entirely from a child’s point of view.

The East

If Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling aren’t on your radar yet, take a look at their previous effort, Sound of My Voice, and then move to The East.  The follow-up film centers on an operation to infiltrate an anarchist group that challenges the operative’s priorities the deeper she gets in.  This political thriller sports an impressive cast with Ellen Page, Alexander Skarsgard and Marling herself, but should be watched before Batmanglij and Marling take off.

Read up on Matt’s review of The East here and watch the trailer below:

Here’s the official synopsis for The East:

THE EAST, a suspenseful and provocative espionage thriller from acclaimed writer-director Zal Batmanglij and writer-actress Brit Marling, stars Marling as former FBI agent Sarah Moss.  Moss is starting a new career at Hiller Brood, an elite private intelligence firm that ruthlessly protects the interests of its A-list corporate clientele. Handpicked for a plum assignment by the company’s head honcho, Sharon (Patricia Clarkson), Sarah goes deep undercover to infiltrate The East, an elusive anarchist collective seeking revenge against major corporations guilty of covering up criminal activity.   Determined, highly-trained and resourceful, Sarah soon ingratiates herself with the group, overcoming their initial suspicions and joining them on their next action or “jam.” But living closely with the intensely committed members of The East, Sarah finds herself torn between her two worlds as she starts to connect with anarchist Benji (Alexander Skarsgård) and the rest of the collective, and awakens to the moral contradictions of her personal life.

The Kings of Summer

Nothing says summer fun like a group of boys building their own house out in the woods, in which they live away from their parents under their own set of rules.  Called a mash-up of Superbad and Stand by Me, it’s a deftly-handled picture that is sweetly funny and honest in its coming-of-age sentimentality.  You’ve also got the comedic sensibilities of Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally to enjoy.  This is a definite must-watch.

Watch The Kings of Summer trailer below:

Here’s the official synopsis of The Kings of Summer:

Premiering to rave reviews at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, THE KINGS OF SUMMER is a unique coming-of-age comedy about three teenage friends – Joe (Nick Robinson), Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and the eccentric and unpredictable Biaggio (Moises Arias) – who, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land. Free from their parents’ rules, their idyllic summer quickly becomes a test of friendship as each boy learns to appreciate the fact that family – whether it is the one you’re born into or the one you create – is something you can’t run away from.

100 Bloody Acres

Let’s wrap up this marathon of missed movies with a “so low on your radar it might as well be a Stealth Bomber” of a horror movie.  This one’s for fans of Tucker and Dale vs Evil and comes recommended from our own horror guru, Haleigh Foutch.  Though its an Australian production, it speaks to good old-fashioned American ingenuity, especially in times of economic hardship.  Beware the owners of “blood and bone” fertilizer companies, especially those who own 100 bloody acres.

Here’s the trailer:

Here’s the synopsis for 100 Bloody Acres:

Reg and Lindsay run an organic fertiliser business. They need a fresh supply of their “secret ingredient” to process through the meat grinder. Reg comes across two guys and a girl with a broken-down vehicle on their way to a music festival.


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