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Jack goes home (2016)

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Jack Goes HomeAfter his father is killed in a car crash, Jack travels home to Colorado to help nurse his mother (who was injured in the crash) back to health. There, he uncovers long buried secrets and lies within his family history, his parents, his friends and his very identity.

Genre : Drama/Thriller
Country : USA

Cast :
Rory Culkin : Jack
Lin Shaye : Teresa
Daveigh Chase : Shanda

Director :
Thomas Dekker

My opinion on “Jack goes home”

“There’s nothing to do or say.
Um… we live, we drive, we crash, we die.
Had to happen sometime.”

Coincidentally, I’ve just seen Marrowbone“. A film about someone who has difficulties in processing the loss of a loved one. And when I was about halfway with “Jack goes home“, I realized that I was watching a similar story. And it might be that the ultimate outcome is identical. I wasn’t far wrong. And to be honest, I thought this intriguing film was slightly better than the previous one. And this only because of the brilliant acting of Rory Culkin. A portrait about how madness takes over someones personality.

Jack Goes Home

Hey, it’s Kevin .. but older … and more confused !

I hadn’t seen the name of the actor who’s playing the leading role. So I was wondering for a long time where I had seen that face before. And when I finally found out his name was Culkin, it hit me. Damn, he looks a lot like his brother who made a couple of burglars their lifes a hell in “Home Alone“. But I must confess that his acting performance surpassed everything that his famous brother Macaulay ever did. As Jack, Rory displays a whole range of feelings and moods. From pride to indifferent. From sadness to calmth. One moment he tries to unravel an old family secret. The next moment he flees into a daze of alcohol and drugs. He even experienced homosexual delusions. And all this after he was forced to return to his parental home because his father died in a car accident.

Jack Goes Home

You’ll notice some strange behavior.

It’s clear from the start that something isn’t right. That indifference with which Jack tells his pregnant wife that his father died. Even though his father apparently was pretty important to him. The way in which he tells in detail about his beheaded father, is strange and frightening. On the other hand though it’s strangely enough also funny in a certain way. The behavior of his mother Teresa (Lin Shaye) is also strange. Perhaps the traumatic effect after the accident? After her outburst during dinner about whether she should or should not mourn about the loss of her husband, you start to think she’s relieved about that loss. Are those dark family secrets real? It results in a complex mother-son relationship which escalates as the film progresses.

Jack Goes Home

Let me say it once more. Rory Culkin is terrific.

Jack goes home” is such a movie that makes you feel uncomfortable. Despite the total lack of bloody or frightening images (even with a creepy attic in the house), there’s this constant feeling of tension. The psychological chaos is a constant in this film. “Jack goes home” balances between a ghost story and a psychological family drama. Jack is involved in a battle with his personal demons and seems to be gradually losing his grip on reality. And even though the characters are of such a nature that there is always the danger of relapsing in overacting, the main actors ensure that they do not fall into that trap. It feels like I’m repeating myself, but the acting of Rory Culkin is fascinating. For me this movie is worthy a watch. In other words, a must see. And if you get the chance to see it, let me know if I’m totally wrong!

My rating 7/10
Links : IMDB

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HORROR

Scream | Official Trailer

A new installment of the ‘Scream’ horror franchise will follow a woman returning to her home town to try to find out who has been committing a series of vicious crimes.



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Genre:

Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Release Date:

January 14, 2022

Director:

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

Cast:

Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette

Plot Summary:

A new installment of the ‘Scream’ horror franchise will follow a woman returning to her home town to try to find out who has been committing a series of vicious crimes.

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The Guilty – Review | TIFF 2021

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Despite having given some of the best performances of the past 20 years, Jake Gyllenhaal has only been recognized by the Oscars once after receiving a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain. His fantastic performances in Nightcrawler, Prisoners, Southpaw and so many other films went unnoticed by the Academy but now once again Jake Gyllenhaal is back in his latest film The Guilty. Whilst he’s quite unlikely to receive any awards recognition for his most recent role, Gyllenhaal is once againproving that he really is one of the greatest actors working today.

The Guilty is an American film directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and is a remake of the 2018 Danish film of the same name. The entire film takes place over the course of a single morning, and it follows Gyllenhaal’s call operator Joe Baylor in a 911 dispatch call centre. Joe receives a call from a woman named Emily who acts as if she’s talking to her young daughter and through asking her a series of yes or no questions, Joe determines that she’s been taken and is in danger.



Trapped at his desk in the call centre, Baylor must solve the issue and find the truths, rescuing Emily, all through a series of phone calls. Almost the entire film takes place from within the call centre and it’s a very interesting perspective to see in a film. I’ve not seen the original Danish film so I can’t compare the two and any differences they might have but it’s quite refreshing to see a crime thriller film confined to just one location.

Normally in a film like this the protagonist would be trying to solve the case by travelling to different places and talking to different people but instead Baylor can’t go anywhere and has to solve it all from his desk. There’s a point where he’s phoning up a police officer to go to Emily’s house to check on her kids and to search for any clues as to where she might be but instead of taking the audience to her house, we too are confined with Baylor in the call centre, feeling his frustration when he can’t get an officer to go.

The whole film is very tense and has you on the edge of your seat throughout. The direction from Fuqua is clear and he gets such a high level of suspense out of the situation. Not only with us fearing if Emily will make it out alive and if Baylor will save her in time but also through some of the subplots. Joe gets a couple of phone calls from journalists asking about his side of the story ahead of ‘tomorrow’. It’s not until near the end of the film where we find out what’s happening ‘tomorrow’ and what Baylor had done wrong and whilst perhaps it does add a bit of a dampener and it doesn’t entirely sit right with me, it creates another layer of tension and adds to the suspense.



Jake Gyllenhaal really is excellent and the standout in The Guilty. The film does have an impressive voice cast with Ethan Hawke, Riley Keough and Paul Dano all voicing characters over the phone, but Gyllenhaal really is outstanding. There are very few actors that can demand your full attention for 90 minutes like he does. The film is almost entirely just Gyllenhaal acting from his desk but you forget about this fairly quickly because of the way that Gyllenhaal takes control of every single scene. Seeing him react to both sides of the conversation over the phone rather than cutting backwards and forwards between the two ends is so enthralling to watch because of his excellent performance.

There are times when the film does begin to drag and when we do learn a bit more about the trouble Baylor got into at work, it needed to be developed a bit more to be wholly satisfying but nonetheless The Guilty is a riveting film propelled by Jake Gyllenhaal’s fantastic acting.

The Guilty premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and is released on Netflix on October 1st.

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The Toll | A Twist On Classic Genres Like The Iconic Western And Thriller

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Director Ryan Andrew Hooper puts together a suburb cast in his debut feature The Toll. This Tarantino-esque darkly comic thriller is set in the Old West of Wales. Specifically my own hometown of Pembrokeshire, it was filmed here too. So I was very familiar with the parts of Pembroke shown on screen in this neo-western which is centred in and around an isolated and feeble old toll booth. 

This non-linear narrative follows Michael Smiley’s character, a nameless Toll Booth operator living a simply boring pointless life. However his dark past soon catches up to him and its revealed that his life is not as simple, boring or pointless as we thought. his business may not even be entirely legal. He begins to operate and control events around him whilst a local group of people who look out for him end up doing some of his dirty work. Toll Booth does all the networking without even leaving his dull confine. 

Smiley brings an easy weariness to Toll Booth. The character intentionally mysterious, even though we don’t know the characters backstory and why he was on the run for all those years. Smiley still manages to make his character somewhat relatable. 

Iwan Rheon as Dom was absolutely fantastic and Paul Kaye who played Cliff had some great moments. However The Toll has a strong female lead, Annes Elwy who truly makes The Toll shift genres from thriller to an emotional story that allows the audience to get to know her a bit more, which added much needed emotion. 

The film also features many other eccentric characters such as Elvis personator and her mute partner played by Evelyn Mok and Darren Evans. 

Matt Redd’s screenplay truly forms an integral part of the experience, he creates many thrilling and hilarious encounters which sometimes feel reminiscent of Taika Waititi. The film mixes tension and black humour. Ryan Andrew Hopper’s direction truly makes the west wales landscape spectacular as he transports the western from the familiar wild west in America and brings it to the Pembrokeshire coast, the film all comes together with breathtaking cinematography from Adrian Peckitt. 

Overall The Toll rethinks and manages to put a twist on classic genres like the iconic western and thriller. And I look forward to seeing what Ryan Andrew Hooper does next.

The Toll is in cinemas and on premium digital from 27 August from Signature Entertainment.

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