Cinema City Film Quiz #130

[12 October 2014]


Winning Team:
2001: A Spacey Odyssey

Genre – Charlie Kaufman-sploitation: Kevin Spacey is attacked by his former roles

Runners Up:
Apocalypse Tomorrow
Genre – A post Vietnam heavenly comedy
Sweep The ‘Chair’ Leg
Genre – In desperation a team doing a film quiz plan how to defeat the sure-fire winners who are sitting on high stools
The Most Busters
Genre – Cushdy comedy


ROUND I: Pre-Production
1. In 2002’s Spider-Man, Peter Parker gains superpowers after being bitten by which genetically mutated animal?
SPIDER
2. Bride And Prejudice is a Bollywood adaptation of which Jane Austen novel?
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
3. What is Rocky’s surname, in each of the Rocky films?
BALBOA
4. Nosferatu is an adaptation of which novel?
DRACULA
5. What is the name of the sole survivor on LV426, in Aliens?
NEWT / REBECCA
6. Who played the lead role in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette?
KIRSTEN DUNST
7. How many instalments of the Walden Media Chronicles Of Narnia were made?
THREE
8. What colour is considered ‘bad’ in The Village?
RED
9. How many children does Vito Corleone have in The Godfather?
FOUR
10. US Marshalls is the sequel to which film?
THE FUGITIVE

ROUND II: Filming [1980’s Quotes]
1. The following quote is from which Superman film, “What I am bargaining with is what you do not have: the son of Jor-El”? Man Of Steel? Superman Returns? Superman II?
SUPERMAN II
2. Which Blues Brothers character said the following quote, “Yes! Jesus H tap-dancing Christ, I have seen the light!”? Jake Blues? Reverend Cleophus James? Curtis?
JAKE BLUES
3. The following quote is from which Harrison Ford film, “It’s a test, designed to provoke an emotional response”? Patriot Games? Frantic? Blade Runner?
BLADE RUNNER
4. Which of the following is not a quote from Scarface? Every dog has his day? I got ears, I hear things? If you can’t see the angles no more, you’re in trouble?
IF YOU CAN’T SEE THE ANGLES NO MORE, YOU’RE IN TROUBLE
5. The following quote is from which Indiana Jones film, “Hold on to your potatoes”? Raiders Of The Lost Ark? Temple Of Doom? The Last Crusade?
TEMPLE OF DOOM
6. “May the force be with you” was said in which of the following films? Cocoon? Batteries Not Included? They Live?
COCOON
7. Finish the following quote from Big Trouble In Little China, “Just remember what ol’ Jack Burton does when the earth quakes and the poison arrows fall from the sky and the pillars of heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big ol’ storm right square in the eye and he says..”? Is that all you’ve got? Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it? I’m ready, I’ve paid my dues, cheque’s in the mail?
GIVE ME YOUR BEST SHOT, PAL. I CAN TAKE IT
8. What are Capone’s last lines in The Untouchables? Is this justice? I’m a businessman? You’re nothing but a lot of talk and a badge?
YOU’RE NOTHING BUT A LOT OF TALK AND A BADGE
9. Which of the following lines is not said by the title character in Beetlejuice? I travel quite extensively? Never trust the living? What do you think, you think I’m qualified?
NEVER TRUST THE LIVING
10. In The Little Mermaid, Triton’s line, “As long as you live under my ocean, you’ll obey my rules” was originally meant to read, “Until you’re an adult, you’ll serve me without question” but it was altered for fear it would be misinterpreted. True or False?
FALSE

ROUND III: Post-Production
1. What date does Marty travel back to in Back To The Future? (1-3 points depending on how many parts are correct)
5 NOVEMBER 1955
2. How many knights survive until the end of Monty Python And The Holy Grail? [bonus points for naming them]
THREE [Lancelot, Arthur, Bedevere]
3. The following is the poster tagline from which film, “His passion captivated a woman, his courage inspired a nation, his heart defied a king”?
BRAVEHEART
4. The following films belong to which genre: The Big Combo, Night And The City and Detour?
FILM NOIR
5. Which film paid Will Smith his highest salary to date? (based on salary, not box office percentages)
I, ROBOT
6. When the Event Horizon reappears after being missing for seven years, it is found orbiting which planet?
NEPTUNE
7. Wayne Szalinski is the lead character in which film/franchise?
HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS
8. By 2025 how many Jaegers are left operational in the shatterdome, in Pacific Rim?
FOUR (Gipsy Danger, Striker Eureka, Crimson Typhoon, Cherno Alpha)
9. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, The Jewel Of The Nile and The China Syndrome all starred which actor?
MICHAEL DOUGLAS
10. How many films has David Fincher directed?
TEN

ROUND IV: Promotion & Release
1. Although everyone refers to the killer in Scream as Ghost Face, the costume bag gives its actual name. What is it? Father Death? The Scream? Disco Wraith?
FATHER DEATH
2. What is the name of the Batman impersonating vigilante, killed by the Joker, in The Dark Knight? David? Gary? Brian?
BRIAN
3. Paramount pushed for which actor to play the role of Charlie Croker instead of Michael Caine, in The Italian Job? Dustin Hoffman? Sean Connery? Robert Redford?
ROBERT REDFORD
4. What was the title of the tenth Carry On film? Carry On Cleo? Carry On Doctor? Carry On Henry?
CARRY ON CLEO
5. Which of the following names is not considered for the unborn child in Children Of Men? Diego? Dylan? Froley?
DIEGO
6. Which of the following earned the most at the box office (worldwide)? Lost In Space? Ace Venture: Pet Detective? From Dusk ‘Till Dawn?
LOST IN SPACE [$136mil] (Ace Ventura $107mil, From Dusk ‘Till Dawn $25mil)
7. Which of Laurie’s friends is the first to be murdered in Halloween? Annie? Lynda? Lindsey?
ANNIE
8. Hugo is set in which Parisian train station? Nord? Montparnasse? Orsay?
MONTPARNASSE
9. In, The Orphanage (El Orfanato) what is the name of the boy in the mask that Simon claims to have befriended? Fernando? Carlos? Tomas?
TOMAS
10. According to Ridley Scott, the unnamed knight played by David Thewlis in Kingdom Of Heaven is supposed to be God. True or False?
TRUE (either God or an angel)

BOUNS IMAGE ROUND
Screenshots: 12 Monkeys / Mr. & Mrs. Smith / The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford
Poster: Cool World
Actor: Brad Pitt

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

Meet The New Face Of Justice

Director
Jonathan Liebesman

Starring
Megan Fox
Will Arnett
Johnny Knoxville
Jeremy Howard
Alan Ritchson
Noel Fisher
William Fichtner

Ok, it’s time for some hard truths. The Turtles franchise has been around for several decades and bar a few of the comic incarnations and the most recent animated series, they’re all by-and-large quite shite. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy the concept, the old films, the impossible NES game or classic 80’s cartoon but time and nostalgia have warped the memory of these examples into a mound of undeserved glory. Are we clear on that? There’s no golden age of Turtles, there’s just a decent comic concept with a monster of the week formula, that’s all. If you go back and watch/play/read any of the adaptations over the years, they immediately lose their personality and charm and expose themselves for the platform for selling toys that they were. I’m not unnecessarily bashing the Turtles, I too had all the figures, watched the series and the films and even like the current IDW comic run but I’m not under the delusion that we’re talking about a Studio Ghibli release or Casablanca. So with this in mind, I have the following announcement to make: I enjoyed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

After a brief animated exposition sequence, we’re introduced to Channel 6 news reporter, April O’Neil [Fox], who is pursuing a story about an underground gang called the Foot. At which point her cameraman, Vern Fenwick [Arnett] reminds her that they have an actual story to report on – which turns out to be a fluff piece about a new trending exercise fad. Deflated but not defeated, April is determined to break the story and justify her four years of journalistic studying (she goes on about that quite a lot – an attribute which would be better shown than talked about – but thankfully it’s something which is quietly mocked by the supporting cast). April witnesses the Foot first-hand, but they are taken out by a fast-moving shadowy figure, yet without evidence, her colleagues refuse to believe her. At this point we are introduced to the Foot’s leader, Master Shredder [Tohoru Masamune], who orders the clan to hurt the innocent to flush out the vigilante. The Foot execute their plan and April is there to witness it. Once again, this act is thwarted by not one but four vigilantes, who defeat the gang members and escape before anyone can get a decent look at them. April follows them to a rooftop and manages to take a picture before meeting the vigilantes, four mutated humanoid turtles named Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo. The four brothers explain that April cannot tell anyone of their existence and disappear into the sewers. As the story progresses, we learn that April and the turtles share a history (before anyone starts whining, that’s also the origin in the IDW comics) and this connection puts all of their lives at risk.

Going back to my opening paragraph, I said I enjoyed it.. I didn’t say it was a good film, so let’s dispense with the admittedly negative elements first. The story is far from original. Once again, we’re treated to a Raphael-driven story, in which the abrasive member of the group realises that he works better with the team and has difficulty expressing himself. Nothing new there. Then you have a combination of several mad scientist plots with the whole chemical dispersal thing; The Amazing Spider-Man, Mission: Impossible II, X-Men, etc. which isn’t helped by quite a healthy dose of plot -holes. Secondly there’s Splinter. Literally everything about Splinter is pretty atrocious. The CGI is appalling, the character design is rather odd, I wouldn’t say Tony Shalhoub phoned in his performance but he definitely wasn’t the best casting decision, the dialogue is pretty ropey and the physical actions don’t make a lot of sense (moustache flicking? Really? This isn’t Kill Bill). After a while you get used to the turtle’s design and though I’m still not entirely sold, I understand the 2003 series inspiration and combatting the question ‘if they didn’t have the masks on, could you tell them apart?’ Having said that, I can’t abide the bloody accessories. There were far too many, so everything looks a little cluttered and more importantly, they’re impervious to damage. For example, Raphael is a tough-guy, how could this be conveyed physically? “Well, we could start with a lot of scarring all over his face and body?” Sure, that makes sense, what else? “How about his shell has a few cracks but he just duct tapes them up, ’cause he’s such a badass?” Stretching a bit but ok, I’ll allow it. “Oh! And sunglasses! All cool guys wear sunglasses.” So, he wears sunglasses all the time? “No, just on his head.” Perched on his head? “Yeah, ’cause he’s cool.” But.. he doesn’t have any ears. And they move around mostly at night so if he never wears them, what’s the point in having them? “And a toothpick!” What? “A toothpick! Nothing says tough guy more than a toothpick in his mouth.” Again, are you talking about all the time? Even during the action sequences? Just clenched between his teeth, never losing it or it falling from his mouth? “You read my mind!” *face palm*

One of the stronger elements is the music used. If the turtles are contemporary teenagers, it would make sense that they would enjoy certain music styles – case in point, leaving the screening, I couldn’t even count the amount of kids dancing and singing along to the ‘Shell Shocked’ track during the end credits. On top of that, Brian Tyler’s score feels appropriately epic and heroic in scale, using the classic trumpet, strings and choral waves rather than employing a more guitar/electronic orientated score. Having said that, I’m starting to worry about Brian Tyler. Since he was effectively appointed the go to composer for Marvel’s films, everything he’s produced sounds a little samey. Almost like he’s taken a series of six notes and just keeps rearranging them. Before any smartarses feel the need to point out that’s exactly what music is, I’m referring to the similarities in formula and melodic themes. Maybe it’s just me. From a technical standpoint, I felt the direction was fairly decent. Nothing overly challenging but thankfully you could pretty much see everything that was going on – a fact ensured by watching this release in 2D. Speaking of shaky-cam, this movie is actually devoid of a lot of Bay-isms. I know Michael Bay is producer and his name is stamped all over the promotional material but if I’m honest, his signature isn’t overly present. None of the characters struck me as particularly racist, offensive or over-sexualised, there isn’t a great deal of random swearing, every scene isn’t set at sunset, the inclusion of Karai and other Japanese speaking characters was a nice touch, although there was plenty of product placement it largely made sense considering the source material (pizza) and story (phones), the mutagen nods set up a whole realm of potential stories with Bebop, Rocksteady, Baxter, Casey Jones, Dimension X, Krang, etc, and while the story is a little dumbed down I felt that Megan Fox was a better April O’Neil than Amy Adams was Lois Lane.

It’s important to note that I went into the cinema with absolutely no expectations. I’m a fan of the turtles but wanted to see how they’d be interpreted or reinvented and I was surprised to discover that all the key elements are in place. For all intents and purposes, this is a good TMNT film. The comedy is surprisingly reminiscent of the cartoon, the action is enjoyable without being unfollowable, there’s a good human/turtle narrative ratio, the acting is acceptable and the story was a tad weak but credible enough for an origin story. Obviously all these things can be improved upon but it’s not nearly the train wreck everyone claims it to be; if anything it’s better than all three Transformers sequels combined. My recommendation is to try this film if you’re looking for light family action, if it’s not your thing, no problem. But don’t start harping on about how this film has ruined your childhood or it’s tarnished the spotless name of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, ’cause you’re just going to embarrass yourself.

Release Date:
17th October 2014

The Scene To Look Out For:
**Spoilers**
In my synopsis I’ve deliberately missed out a whole section of the plot in which three of the turtles are kidnapped for the mutagen to be extracted from their blood. Eventually they’re found by April, Vern and Raphael. While Raphael battles Shredder, April asks what she can do to free the others. Donatello, after significant blood-loss wearily requests adrenalin. Naturally, April panics and administers far too high a dosage and the turtles break out of their cages. At which point their reaction to such high levels of adrenalin take over and they run around frantically, speaking at incredible speeds. It’s rather amusing and neatly culminates with Michelangelo running out of the warehouse, arms spread shouting, “We all have to stay calm! LOOK HOW CALM I AM!”

Notable Characters:
To be honest, all four turtles were my favourite characters collectively. While the personalities were heightened to excess, they were easily recognisable (both in terms of the characteristics fans are familiar with and physically in fight sequences) and aside from a few odd interactions the cast and crew seem to have genuinely captured something of the heart of these individuals. I still have no idea why Johnny Knoxville was chosen to ADR Leonardo, who was played by someone else entirely but his voice was far from jarring.

Highlighted Quote:
“Ooooh tension. It’s been.. like.. thirty whole minutes since you last had this conversation”

In A Few Words:
“Not nearly as awful as it has been portrayed but there’s definitely room for improvement. With a confirmed sequel, hopefully these issues will be addressed. In the meantime, just stick to the 2007 animated release

Total Score:

3/5

THE MAZE RUNNER

Get Ready To Run

Director
Wes Ball

Starring
Dylan O’Brien
Thomas Brodie-Sangster
Will Poulter
Blake Cooper
Kaya Scodelario

Rather than give you the story as it unfolds, I’ll detail a rundown of the world the story is set in – ultimately that’s what these films boil down to, so it’s not that dramatic a deviation. A group of teenage boys live in a walled field enclosure called the glade. Every month they receive a new addition, who, like them, has no memory of their life up to that point. The only thing that comes back is their name. The enclosure is surrounded by tall unscalable walls and a single opening which opens at first light and closes at dusk. Beyond the wall is an ever-changing maze, which is nightly patrolled by creatures called greavers. The newest addition to the glade is Thomas [O’Brien] but unlike the other boys, he can see glimpses of his past life in dreams and challenges the clan’s various rules. After miraculously surviving a night in the maze, the glade’s loyalties and priorities shift into two clear factions. Those who want to stay and those who feel it’s time to escape. Essentially, it’s a teenage, slightly more upbeat, version of Cube.

The first thing to note about this movie is the surprising amount of visceral head-butting between the captives; specifically, the violent and abrasive interactions feel somewhat real, immediately conjuring images of Lord Of The Flies. Granted, the dialogue is still rather bland and littered with predictable tropes (which I imagine were included with the argument, “kids won’t be familiar with these clich├ęs”) but the tightly wound nature of the performances really helps sell the tragic reality these kids are enduring. Furthermore, the standard archetypal characters are present – the strong leader, wise second in command, seasoned field veteran, the hardass with good intentions, the underdog and the new guy who’s going to change everything – but they’re presented surprisingly credibly. In other words, we’re fed a very familiar story, populated by completely stereotypical characters but for some reason you kind of ignore all that and just enjoy the film for what it is; which is an incredibly difficult feat to achieve. The inclusion of Kaya Scodelario as Teresa could have introduced a whole dynamic of shit to the mix but, again, the film managed to stave off silliness and just press on with the story.

Teen action used to be about randomly receiving responsibility or power, essentially becoming a point of authority. A lot of contemporary releases, however, seem to include the message that the points of authority are cruel and effectively the enemy (something all young people can relate to, bound by rules by parents and school), so they must be defeated and replaced. I’m not sure whether that’s a trend geared toward how the younger market thinks or, more than likely, a self-fulfilling prophecy: these movies sell well because it’s the only thing the studios are selling. As stated above, the movie is as formulaic as any other adolescent drama but of a better level than most, unfortunately, no matter how well executed, it’s still not enough to shake loose echoing murmurs of the words ‘hunger’ and ‘games’ as people leave the cinema. Which is a bit of a disservice if you ask me; for his first feature-length directorial outing, Wes Ball shows a solid level of competency with his direction. Nothing overly adventurous but clear, concise and easy to follow – which is more than you can say about a lot of contemporary action films. Especially considering the technical side is also rather commendable. The visual effects are of a high enough calibre but sparsely used so they film is not over reliant on them and John Paesano’s score is fitting, if a little standard fare.

While I wouldn’t say this film was highly enjoyable, nor was it largely unpleasant, I left the screening with a significant degree of apathy, which can be attributed to three things. First, I don’t know who to blame – it’s either lazy writers or interfering studio heads – but the use of expositive jargon is unquestionably irritating and uninspired. These kind of films always need to take a good half an hour to talk you through the world the characters inhabit and reel off a screed of backstory and nonsense terminology. Clever writers will find a way to incorporate these things into natural conversation or developmental visuals but others will just have characters sit down and tell each other, flat out, in the worst possible way, “You’re new here, let me fill you in. Those guys there? We call them brambos, they build things. Them? Cormawoosers, they are our doctors. And those little guys, we call them Thud. They eat and poop. Oh and don’t go/do [insert plot point here] because something’s out there and it’ll mess you up. We’ve never seen them.. but we call them.. prantomcguffinhochos!” With all these names to learn and take on board, the script/studio has a handy backup plan, which brings me to the second point. Basically, any character that isn’t given a name is probably not going to make it to the end of the film or warrant a drawn-out death scene longer than an off-screen scream. And finally, my biggest frustration with young adult cinema: franchise. I know, I know, as a fan of Marvel films how could I possibly cry out against franchise? There’s a distinct lack of conclusion with these films, always setting up sequels and franchises. I appreciate a lot of these films are based on books and mirror the close of the source material but not every one of these films gets enough of a box office gross to justify continuing the series, leaving a graveyard of incomplete open stories that go nowhere and contain little-to-no replay value. I suppose it’s better than a really solid standalone release that’s followed by a half-arsed sequel but only marginally.

In truth, there’s absolutely nothing new here but in a sea of oh-so-samey releases, The Maze Runner stands out as strong enough to hold people’s attention long enough to bash out a sequel or two.

Release Date:
10th October 2014

The Scene To Look Out For:
**spoiler**
So Thomas and Minho survive a night in the maze and manage to kill a greaver by luring it into a closing gap and squishing it. And before that Thomas manages to sneak behind the vines and hide from a passing greaver. And before that, Thomas and Minho hoist up an unconscious Alby yet he is undiscovered by the greavers. This begs the question, did no one else think to do any of those three things to survive a night in the maze? Really? Over the years? No one? Just Thomas because he’s the chosen one, or whatever? Fine. Fuck you, movie. Fuck you.

Notable Characters:
Not going to lie, I wasn’t really that fond of any of them. I mean, they’re not irksome cretins, so I wasn’t cringing every five minutes but I wasn’t really rooting for any of them either. They are all equally likeable, dislikeable and forgettable. And it’s not like I can call on the brief scenes with the adults because the only one really present is Patricia Clarkson as Ava Paige, the facility overseer.. and she’s a pretty generic science bad-guy, most notably in her closing line (which doubles as the film’s closing line), “It’s time to begin phase two.” Cue eye roll.

Highlighted Quote:
“Are all girls like this?”

In A Few Words:
“Impressive to a degree but ultimately not engaging enough to escape the trappings of similar teen dystopian releases. It was, however, better than Divergent, so there’s that”

Total Score:

2/5

GONE GIRL

You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Til It’s..

Director
David Fincher

Starring
Ben Affleck
Rosamund Pike
Carrie Coon
Kim Dickens



Gone Girl opens the morning of Nick Dunne’s [Affleck] fifth anniversary to his wife Amy Elliott-Dunne [Pike]. He calmly leaves the house and eventually finds his way to the bar co-owned by him and his sister, Margo [Coon]. Following a conversation and a quick drink, he returns home to find his wife missing and a slightly disturbed living room scene. Detective Boney [Dickens] arrives and immediately begins investigating the premises. From here, the story quickly escalates as the media portray different images of Nick as a loving husband, to an incestuous murderer. All the while, the audience is treated to carefully written excerpts from Amy’s diary, detailing her relationship with Nick and her fear that he may indeed kill her. As the story unfolds, we quickly learn that not everything is as it appears and the entire focus of the story shifts dramatically. Vague description, I know, but any depth or detail pretty much ruins the story.

This film is a masterfully crafted release, a twisted dark Hitchcockian (almost noir-like) thriller masquerading as a simple drama with so many themes working away: honesty, manipulation, neglect, paranoia, betrayal and the psychotic subversion of a writer’s mindset – not to mention the effect of the economic recession on a relationship and media smothering and speculation. The projects Fincher chooses to work on are forming a very specific pattern. Not in a negative way, you understand, but a natural magnetism to specific story types. If anything, this is probably the perfect marriage of director and source material. The cold, calculating, unrelenting precision of Fincher’s fifty-take perfectionism mirroring the psychotic planning and absurdity of the actual storyline as it cascades and unravels is wonderful. It’s like two of your friends falling in love and you can’t help but mutter how utterly and succinctly they were made for each other. Sure, Fincher has created more visceral and some would say more entertaining releases in the past, he’s also created projects that contain more detail, layering and character development but Gone Girl really comes across as the first project that Fincher could have actually written himself.

The central performances are career bests. For Affleck, that’s a bold statement as I hold him in high regard and his last few outings have been incredibly impressive. For Pike, it’s a complete shock. I’m not saying that she’s in any way incompetent but the projects she’s been attached to have never really challenged her to produce a performance of this complexity and intriguing direction. Again, to discuss too much gives away huge chunks of the plot, so I will choose my words carefully. As products of a media-fuelled environment, our impressions of individuals stem largely from pre-judgements, standout incidents and coercion. Both the script and the performances cleverly manipulate these attributes to pull the audience back-and-forth, leaving them unable to make a firm decision one way or another. And I’m not speaking about plot progression or overall story reveals but character motivation and personality exploration; in other words, the plot takes the concept of marriage (sharing a life with a stranger), presents you with a series of facts and expects you to form an opinion of these individuals. Once you’ve got a fairly solid notion, the story and performances reveal something different and you’re left a little lost and confused. All of which is propped up by the mirrored confusion and speculation stemming from the supporting characters, acting as the audience’s subconscious thought patterns personified. Even any small plot hole can be addressed with the argument of people’s personal judgements and prejudices overriding their common sense; ignoring what’s obviously in front of you because it would unspool everything else. In other words, it’s neater to believe the lie than investigate the truth.

Anything I ever have to say about a Reznor/Ross score is always going to be an impassioned love-letter, swooning over the artistic and subtle alternative genius at work. So brace yourself. With Reznor being a classically trained musician on top of an industrial artist, he is used to not only creating signature music but forging his own sounds; evident by his work on The Social Network and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The score is surprisingly soft and subdued, lulling the audience into a false sense of security but its undertone of erratic electronic pulses and hums gives you the impression that something is clearly wrong under the surface; that you’re being tricked into believing everything is alright. Same goes with the cinematography or editing for that matter. With Jeff Cronenweth and Kirk Baxter (as well as the Reznor/Ross combo) Fincher has amassed his core unit of exceptional cinema. A lot of praise for various releases can be garnered to the specific components that work well but with these five individuals working in harmony, you can almost guarantee a feature which will be striking, immersive, compelling and haunting.

I think the key element when watching this film, is not to try and take in the narrative but allow yourself to explore the motivational influences of the characters. In a quasi-similar way to Revolutionary Road, the story and actions are not the key talking points after the film, the reasons, limits and potential actions are where the curious discussions lie.

Release Date:
3rd October 2014

The Scene To Look Out For:
**Enormous spoiler**
Once the film changes direction and we start to follow Amy’s narrative, everything takes an interesting turn. It’s one thing to witness the actions of a controlling psychopath pulling the strings from the past, it’s another thing entirely to see how her mind works as she quickly improvises. If anything, seeing how unhinged individuals adapt when plans fall to the roadside is more tense and unnerving than examining the level of detail that went into said plan in the first place.

Notable Characters:
**This paragraph is also spoilery**
Without a doubt, Affleck and Pike are the central focus and rightfully so. I also mentioned the supports being just as vital and speaking for the audience. The only individual who doesn’t seem to do that is Desi Collings, played by Neil Patrick Harris. A character mentioned early on but only really turning up well into the film’s third act. From this point you can’t really tell who he is, what his motivations are or, more aptly and worryingly, what his limits are. Is he just a passionate, wealthy ex-boyfriend, or is he just as manipulative and deviant as Amy? Ultimately, I think that’s the audience’s call.

Highlighted Quote:
“We’re so cute I want to punch us in the face”

In A Few Words:
“An exemplary study the likes of which is rarely explored on film for fear of being too confusing or dull”

Total Score:

5/5