The year is 1982, and while many would have you believe that punk is dead, in Stockholm teenage girls Bobo (Mira Barkhammar) and Klara (Mira Grosin) are doing their level best to keep it alive. Mocked at school for their boyish looks, they spend their spare time hanging out at the rec centre, where they discover they can piss off a bunch of long-haired teenage jerks by booking the band rehearsal room out from under them.
It’s ’70s Detroit, and small-time crooks Ordell (Yasiin Bey – formerly known as Mos Def) and Louis (John Hawkes) have come up with a way to hit it big. They’ve found out that celebrity golfer Frank Dawson (Tim Robbins), who’s also a Detroit property developer, is on top of that making a whole lot of dodgy money via shady business practices. So they figure if they kidnap his wife Mickey (Jennifer Aniston) and hold her for ransom, with what they know about his earnings he’ll have no choice but to pay up.
Donna (Jenny Slate) is a New York stand-up comic who’s made a career (well, regular appearances at one comedy club) out of putting her whole life out there up on stage. When her boyfriend turns out to not be a fan of this approach and reveals he’s been sleeping with her friend, she collapses in a heap. So when Max (Jake Lacy), a cute but square-seeming guy turns up at the comedy club (he’s there because one of his clients wanted to check it out), a whole lot of alcohol leads to a one-night stand.
There are two kinds of action movies in the world. In one, our hero finds himself in a violent situation well out of his league, and the tension comes from his struggles to deal with the increasing carnage despite his clear inability to handle things. In the other, the bad guys make the mistake of stumbling across the ultimate killing machine, and the fun comes from seeing a variety of scumbags meet a ghastly fate at the hands of death incarnate.
It was no surprise that director David Fincher was the one tapped on the shoulder to adapt Gillian Flynn’s best-seller Gone Girl: with his big-screen version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo he proved he was the go-to guy for hit novels with strong female leads (even if his film did pretty much seem to sink the Dragon Tattoo franchise for good). And hard-edged thrillers have always been a Fincher trademark going all the way back to Seven – though here it takes a while for the edge to make itself known.
Remember the creepy doll from The Conjuring? Clearly Hollywood did: this spin-off starring her has hit cinemas before the official Conjuring sequel has. Presumably a movie based around a doll is a lot easier to knock out – especially when most of your story comes direct from the giant tome of horror movie stunts that Hollywood has locked in a crypt somewhere.
You certainly have big shoes to fill when supporting a band like Angus & Julia Stone, luckily for Vancouver Sleep Clinic they’ll have to start looking around for a bigger pair. While his dancing was a little cringe worthy at times, main man Tim Bettinson has an incredible voice. The combination of his soaring falsetto over the progressive synth of the band was the perfect introduction to the brother-sister duo.
With so many albums released nowadays that feature groaning guitar riffs begging for attention, it’s nice to come across an album that’s just an easy listen. Humdrum Star doesn’t show off or claw for your attention; it simply gains it through merit.
Josh (Jesse Eisenberg) is just a regular guy working on an eco-friendly farm outside Portland on the USA’s west coast. Well, that’s his day job: it turns out his commitment to environmentalism extends far beyond film nights and sustainable crops. Together with the more overtly right-on Dena (Dakota Fanning) they buy a powerboat and deliver it to Harmon (Peter Sarsgaard), who provides both fake IDs and the fertilizer bombs they need for their mission: blowing up a local dam.