A Quiet Place (2018) - Official Teaser Trailer - Paramount Pictures - YouTube
Director: John Krasinski Screenwriters: Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, John Krasinski Director of Photography: Charlotte Bruus Christensen
Cast: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Noah Jupe
Synopsis: A family targeted by creatures with a highly developed sense of hearing are forced to live and communicate in complete silence, finding themselves tested while their lives hang in the balance.
A Quiet Place Review:
A masterclass in conceptual minimalism made simple yet effective by the sheer tautness of its central predicament, “A Quiet Place” pickles basic storytelling in bottomless suspense, observing a family’s day-to-day attempts at survival while faced with a grisly threat lurking in the forest. Ruthless on the hunt for fresh meat, the film’s monsters prowl like nightmare carnivores, exhibiting “Alien” traits while close encounters afford their terrified prey the potential antidote for survival. Always one step ahead of the game, the film addresses plot holes with a genuine concern for what’s to come, overthinking slip-ups to the point of madness as the likelihood of being discovered only increases with each step in the right direction.
Accepting that sacrifices of varying degrees must be made along the way, “A Quiet Place” begins on a brutal note, setting the tone for a universe where danger peers around every corner, learning from missteps in the past while a small cast of characters suffer and study their enemy without a wink of sleep at their disposal. Sensational in every scene, eclectic treasure Emily Blunt steals the show as the tight-lipped housewife crumbling behind the silence, stifling screams and bleeding alone as perpetual risk provides little opportunity for composure or respite in the face of almost certain annihilation.
Practically wheezing with unease in scenes building towards inevitable pain, “A Quiet Place” offers the Grindhouse to match the grief, facilitating violence while fashioning a handful of reasons to care about its terrified characters. Never over-complicated as scattered plot points work slowly towards a viable outcome, the film matches effect with affect, becoming an unexpected tearjerker with compassion for defenceless humanity, making viewers aware of their own vulnerability while chairs creak, popcorn packets rustle, and coughs echo throughout a packed screen. This is filmmaking at its finest and most chilling, a look inwards at the essence of fear with one-note simplicity.
UNSANE | Official Trailer | In theaters March 23 - YouTube
Director: Steven Soderbergh Screenwriters: Jonathan Bernstein, James Greer Director of Photography: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah
Synopsis: Tricked into being confined to a psychiatric ward, a young woman struggles to come to terms with the truth surrounding her committal which may or may not have been concocted by a crazed stalker who follows her every move.
The smartphone alternative to “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” with a faultless lead performance from British treasure Claire Foy, “Unsane” sees yet another ambitious project headed by established filmmaker Steven Soderbergh who retains a professional eye from behind an amateur lens. Exceeding the experience of those who may have been more conservative in their exploration of uncertain madness, the film reminds viewers that Soderbergh and co. have an expertise that transcends the hesitations of the everyday student filmmaker but it’s in their overarching stylistic competence that the cracks of a misguided thriller begin to show. While the film’s creative team has no qualms about finding the right atmosphere, it’s in their very dabble with madness that paranoia becomes a synonym for artistic ambivalence, producing an underexplored and conceptually stale horror movie with a dull temperament.
Undeniably nutty but rendered immemorable due to the directions taken in a patience-testing story, “Unsane” shuns the potential of its set-up, finding mediocrity in mania as a wonderful low-budget experiment dissipates into a padded melodrama with an obvious twist. Rendered dumb and passionless by the very nature of its story, the film struggles to balance suspense between opposing lines of thought, pointing consistently to a single outcome while having the nerve to end on a predictable note. Full of potential but lacking narrational vigour, “Unsane” sees all conviction driven into the ground by stodge and sterility; a truth made real not by the limitations of an iPhone 7 but by the fundamental shortcomings of a dozy concept.
DEAR DICTATOR Official Trailer (2018) Michael Caine, Comedy Movie - YouTube
Directors: Lisa Addario, Joe Syracuse Screenwriters: Lisa Addario, Joe Syracuse Director of Photography: Wyatt Troll
Cast: Michael Caine, Odeya Rush, Katie Holmes
Synopsis: A misfit teen with a love for old-school punk rock becomes pen pals with a foreign dictator who arrives on her doorstep seeking refuge during a time of crisis.
Dear Dictator Review:
Honest about the face of revolution while consistently witty as an absurdist comedy with a self-aware viewpoint, “Dear Dictator” is a militant mickey-take with an impossibly amusing concept, a film in which hardcore punk, milk-boarding, and Katie Holmes getting her feet licked quite remarkably come together in a coherent structure. Brutal in inference with oppression and rebellion forming the backdrop for an unlikely friendship between teen and tyrant, the movie humanises social outcasts, adopting skewed morals while detecting an overlooked link between anarchy and autocracy.
Capturing an imperfect relationship between mother and daughter with tumultuous yet hilarious scenes of discord in the family home, “Dear Dictator” examines motherhood with “Freaky Friday” precision, retaining a sense of humour in priceless battleground moments involving a seemingly mismatched duo. While both sides fight for compassion on their own terms, the film provides the perfect excuse for the pair to find common ground, introducing the titular dictator to them both and dissipating their forever-feud in moments of unexpected warmth.
While undeniably bonkers and easy to dismiss as a frivolous probe movie, “Dear Dictator” puts its silliness to good use, imploring viewers to read between the lines in a film far too ridiculous to be taken seriously. Brimming with nods to music, movies, and movements, “Dear Dictator” is surprisingly tasteful in its choice of references, turning Israeli beauty queen Odeya Rush into an angsty American whose rebellious nature fuels an obsession with the past and all of the anger that it has to offer. Built on stereotypes but humanised by intentionality, the movie imparts life lessons on every character, bridging the gap between power and punk and tearing down preconceived notions of companionship in a politically-charged climate.