With his good looks, Liev Schreiber (TV's Ray Donovan) seems born to play an astronaut. In Magnet Releasing's The Last Days on Mars, he finally gets the chance. As chief systems officer Vincent Campbell, he's part of Aurora's six-month mission on the red planet with only 19 hours left to go before heading home. What could go wrong?
According to The Slumber Party Massacre, young women love to have group sleepovers so fun that the girls don't have the good sense to leave the house when their party is crashed by the arrival of a drill-wielding serial killer.
We vilify people for bad behavior in real life, yet celebrate it in our entertainment, particularly on the small screen. When the results are as strong as the current crop, all new (or new-ish) to DVD and/or Blu-ray, why question the disconnect?
Prior to his Spider-Man trilogy, director Sam Raimi cut his superhero-movie teeth on 1990's Darkman, a character of his own creation. Although it's clearly not the most polished of his works, the summer sleeper plays even better as the years tick by. Look no further than Shout! Factory's colorful re-release on Blu-ray.
Someday, celebrity cyclist Lance Armstrong may regret hiring Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney to document his 2009 "comeback," but I doubt it. As The Armstrong Lie demonstrates time and again for two mostly gripping hours, the athlete is still unable to tell the whole truth and nothing but.
Says the cult leader played by Brit Marling in Sound of My Voice, “It’s nice to see new faces.”
One could say the same right back, because the absence of movie stars in the microbudget indie — now showing only at AMC Quail Springs Mall 24, 2501 W. Memorial — places the audience in as precarious a position as its protagonists: With no comfortable faces to latch onto, whom you know will lead you toward a happy ending, you’re completely in the dark. Just what the hell is going to happen?
Unpredictability: In this instant-spoiler age, it’s a rare, wonderful thing.
Even I, who sees a dozen movies each week, knew not where Sound of My Voice was going, and it was an absolute delight to be so unnerved.
Christopher Denham (Shutter Island) and Nicole Vicius ((500) Days of Summer) play documentary filmmakers investigating a suburban-basement cult led by Maggie (Marling, who co-wrote with debuting director Zal Batmanglij), a 20-something blonde who’s hooked up to an oxygen tank and claims to be from the year 2054.
Much as Marling casts a spell on her followers, she also enchants the audience, drawing viewers into Voice’s narrative trap like a spider to a fly. Without revealing details, Marling pulled the same kind of brainy, sci-fi stunt in last year’s imperfect, but intriguing Another Earth, but Voice is the far superior work.
Two weeks after seeing it, I’m still haunted by it, still thinking about it, still trying to wrap my head about the questions it purposely leaves open. While not for everybody’s tastes, it is, for me, the best film 2012 has offered thus far. —Rod Lott