Video

TRAILER TO REFUGE-THE MOVIE Released!!

Hello Amigos-
As some of you might know, not only have I, Garrett Collins, reviewed films for numerous web sites over the years (landing on this one, which has been one of the best experiences of my life), I have also had a dream of producing one of my own. And, with the help of a very professional staff and a brilliant (as some people who have read my reviews know, I do NOT use that word loosely) script by my good friend Teddy Gyi, that dream is slowly becoming a reality, as a brand new trailer was just completed for it yesterday, with you Amigos getting a first glimpse!

The film, called REFUGE, is also being directed by Gyi and tells the intertwining tales of an actress battling drug addiction, a police officer involved in a love triangle, a high school teacher who fights to keep a dream alive, and a young refugee from Burma with a haunting past. We are right in the middle of shooting and when we are done, we are hoping to take it to festivals around the world. This will hopefully grab the attention of studios and we can then find distribution to cinemas by 2013.

So, if you Amigos can, take a look at the trailer, share it, and get word about it out there. Because, this would help us out in our dream immensely. And, how many of you can say you have had a hand in getting a film distributed?

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Movie Review – THE AVENGERS (2012)

The Avengers

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, and Tom Hiddleston

Back in 2008, a film called The Dark Knight opened amongst buzz that it was the best comic book movie of all time and contained the best portrayal of a villain in the history of comic book movies. The movie did gangbusters at the box office, shattering records, while doing what was unheard of for a film based on a comic book ever to do: it was almost unanimously praised by both critics and audiences alike. It even took flack for not getting a Best Picture nomination, settling instead for a Best Supporting Actor Award for Heath Ledger and his said villain The Joker (and is partially to be blamed for the mess that the Best Picture category is now). That same summer, another seed had been planted. A little film called Iron Man opened, and surprised many by rivaling The Dark Knight as being the best comic book movie of that year. The planted seed was what was then an anomaly: a scene after the credits showed that, in time, a team was going to be assembled to take on all evil. Well, my friends, that time is NOW! Four years later, under the pen and watchful directorial eye of self-proclaimed comic book dork Joss Whedon, The Avengers is upon us. Exciting, humorous, and sometimes even heart breaking, this film is rivaling all the goodness of 2008, and reminding both film-goers and comic book readers the real reason as to why we go see these films: for the fun of it. And, its villain Loki, portrayed brilliantly by Hiddleston, may rival Ledger’s as the best portrayed comic book villain ever put to celluloid.

Before I get into the film itself, take one more look at the list of actors that are in this thing. Every single one of them, with the exceptions of Ruffalo and Hiddleston, have had their own names headlining some pretty big films. If anything else, Whedon is to be praised for getting them all in the same picture and not having egos explode. You really get the feeling while watching this movie that they all knew what they were doing going in, and not one character gets that much more screen time than the other. They all have their time to shine, with Downey once again sprouting one liners left and right. Even Renner, portraying Hawkeye, gets in a few zingers. However, my biggest worry coming in was Johansson’s Black Widow. While I didn’t think she was necessarily bad in Iron Man 2, she was, to me, like pretty much what that movie was as a whole: good enough, but in the end a disappointment. Here, Whedon gives her more to do, and the way she comes through exceeded my frill expectations only to make room for bigger ones. Very nicely done. Another thing that was done brilliantly was that all of the characters still deal with the same issues that they had before, but Whedon keeps it so that it doesn’t seem monotonous. Yes, Banner is still struggling to control his anger. Yes, Thor is still dealing with being..well, Thor-like. But, the pace never frails. Not one character is dwelled upon. And, in a movie that has so many moving parts, Whedon shows a type of skill that even Raimi couldn’t do in Spider-Man 2….he makes it all fit together in a very nicely formed puzzle. In other words, instead of the square pegs and round holes that Raimi was dealing with, Whedon made the film into one whole resourceful character piece. Without any one character being the center. And doing all this while keeping the egos within the set in check. That, my friends, takes skill and an ability to weave your craft. The way Whedon brings them all together in an almost totally organic way in the first part of the film was really the only way it could have been done. And, he does it so well that once they are together, you want them to take charge. Assemble, if you will.

However, as good as everyone on the good side of things is, this film, much like not just comic book movies but all movies in general, needs a good villain. And…MY GOD! I have no idea if it was the way he was written by Whedon or portrayed by Hiddleston, but the Loki of this film needs to go up in the top 3 list of best comic book movie villains ever done. Let me clarify: while I enjoyed the cheesiness and feel good storytelling of the mostly ho-hum received Marvel movie of last year Thor, I thought that Loki was one of its weaknesses. His dealing with the reveal of being a frost giant and ‘poor me’ Goth-like motivation to kill his brother left me in an almost despair state. After all, Hiddleston, in addition to being Loki last year, also showed some pretty darn good acting chops in Spielberg’s War Horse. Here however, instead of coming off as a whiny brother looking to be loved more by his father, Loki is just pissed off! His plan of stealing the cube known as the Tesseract to open a portal into space that lets a dangerous alien race to enter and destroy our planet is one that does not in fact reek of whining, and only of power. A power not even touched upon in Thor, and Whedon wisely lets Hiddleston run with it. He takes an almost out of his mind glee in what he is doing, and comes off as dangerous here. What a performance, and one that I feel should be recognized by people outside the comic book movie world come awards time.

Now, the film is not perfect. I am pretty big on film scores, especially those in blockbuster motion pictures. And, sadly, Alan Silvestri’s score in this film is mind numbingly dull. It doesn’t enhance the action at all and, in fact, the times it was on I was begging it to be turned off. Another complaint is that, once Loki’s army is finally upon the world, it is a bit under whelming. As someone who wants to destroy the world, you would think Loki would have looked a bit harder for things that could undoubtedly carry out his plan. However, very, very small qualms aside, I feel that The Avengers lives up to all its expectations and more. It is a summer blockbuster that is exactly what we need: a roller coaster of a good ride that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

4.5 out of 5

By garrettcollins077 Posted in Movies

Movie Review – THE AVENGERS (2012)

The Avengers

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, and Tom Hiddleston

Back in 2008, a film called The Dark Knight opened amongst buzz that it was the best comic book movie of all time and contained the best portrayal of a villain in the history of comic book movies. The movie did gangbusters at the box office, shattering records, while doing what was unheard of for a film based on a comic book ever to do: it was almost unanimously praised by both critics and audiences alike. It even took flack for not getting a Best Picture nomination, settling instead for a Best Supporting Actor Award for Heath Ledger and his said villain The Joker (and is partially to be blamed for the mess that the Best Picture category is now). That same summer, another seed had been planted. A little film called Iron Man opened, and surprised many by rivaling The Dark Knight as being the best comic book movie of that year. The planted seed was what was then an anomaly: a scene after the credits showed that, in time, a team was going to be assembled to take on all evil. Well, my friends, that time is NOW! Four years later, under the pen and watchful directorial eye of self-proclaimed comic book dork Joss Whedon, The Avengers is upon us. Exciting, humorous, and sometimes even heart breaking, this film is rivaling all the goodness of 2008, and reminding both film-goers and comic book readers the real reason as to why we go see these films: for the fun of it. And, its villain Loki, portrayed brilliantly by Hiddleston, may rival Ledger’s as the best portrayed comic book villain ever put to celluloid.

Before I get into the film itself, take one more look at the list of actors that are in this thing. Every single one of them, with the exceptions of Ruffalo and Hiddleston, have had their own names headlining some pretty big films. If anything else, Whedon is to be praised for getting them all in the same picture and not having egos explode. You really get the feeling while watching this movie that they all knew what they were doing going in, and not one character gets that much more screen time than the other. They all have their time to shine, with Downey once again sprouting one liners left and right. Even Renner, portraying Hawkeye, gets in a few zingers. However, my biggest worry coming in was Johansson’s Black Widow. While I didn’t think she was necessarily bad in Iron Man 2, she was, to me, like pretty much what that movie was as a whole: good enough, but in the end a disappointment. Here, Whedon gives her more to do, and the way she comes through exceeded my frill expectations only to make room for bigger ones. Very nicely done. Another thing that was done brilliantly was that all of the characters still deal with the same issues that they had before, but Whedon keeps it so that it doesn’t seem monotonous. Yes, Banner is still struggling to control his anger. Yes, Thor is still dealing with being..well, Thor-like. But, the pace never frails. Not one character is dwelled upon. And, in a movie that has so many moving parts, Whedon shows a type of skill that even Raimi couldn’t do in Spider-Man 2….he makes it all fit together in a very nicely formed puzzle. In other words, instead of the square pegs and round holes that Raimi was dealing with, Whedon made the film into one whole resourceful character piece. Without any one character being the center. And doing all this while keeping the egos within the set in check. That, my friends, takes skill and an ability to weave your craft. The way Whedon brings them all together in an almost totally organic way in the first part of the film was really the only way it could have been done. And, he does it so well that once they are together, you want them to take charge. Assemble, if you will.

However, as good as everyone on the good side of things is, this film, much like not just comic book movies but all movies in general, needs a good villain. And…MY GOD! I have no idea if it was the way he was written by Whedon or portrayed by Hiddleston, but the Loki of this film needs to go up in the top 3 list of best comic book movie villains ever done. Let me clarify: while I enjoyed the cheesiness and feel good storytelling of the mostly ho-hum received Marvel movie of last year Thor, I thought that Loki was one of its weaknesses. His dealing with the reveal of being a frost giant and ‘poor me’ Goth-like motivation to kill his brother left me in an almost despair state. After all, Hiddleston, in addition to being Loki last year, also showed some pretty darn good acting chops in Spielberg’s War Horse. Here however, instead of coming off as a whiny brother looking to be loved more by his father, Loki is just pissed off! His plan of stealing the cube known as the Tesseract to open a portal into space that lets a dangerous alien race to enter and destroy our planet is one that does not in fact reek of whining, and only of power. A power not even touched upon in Thor, and Whedon wisely lets Hiddleston run with it. He takes an almost out of his mind glee in what he is doing, and comes off as dangerous here. What a performance, and one that I feel should be recognized by people outside the comic book movie world come awards time.

Now, the film is not perfect. I am pretty big on film scores, especially those in blockbuster motion pictures. And, sadly, Alan Silvestri’s score in this film is mind numbingly dull. It doesn’t enhance the action at all and, in fact, the times it was on I was begging it to be turned off. Another complaint is that, once Loki’s army is finally upon the world, it is a bit under whelming. As someone who wants to destroy the world, you would think Loki would have looked a bit harder for things that could undoubtedly carry out his plan. However, very, very small qualms aside, I feel that The Avengers lives up to all its expectations and more. It is a summer blockbuster that is exactly what we need: a roller coaster of a good ride that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

4.5 out of 5

Movie Review – THE AVENGERS (2012)

The Avengers

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L Jackson, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, and Tom Hiddleston

Back in 2008, a film called The Dark Knight opened amongst buzz that it was the best comic book movie of all time and contained the best portrayal of a villain in the history of comic book movies. The movie did gangbusters at the box office, shattering records, while doing what was unheard of for a film based on a comic book ever to do: it was almost unanimously praised by both critics and audiences alike. It even took flack for not getting a Best Picture nomination, settling instead for a Best Supporting Actor Award for Heath Ledger and his said villain The Joker (and is partially to be blamed for the mess that the Best Picture category is now). That same summer, another seed had been planted. A little film called Iron Man opened, and surprised many by rivaling The Dark Knight as being the best comic book movie of that year. The planted seed was what was then an anomaly: a scene after the credits showed that, in time, a team was going to be assembled to take on all evil. Well, my friends, that time is NOW! Four years later, under the pen and watchful directorial eye of self-proclaimed comic book dork Joss Whedon, The Avengers is upon us. Exciting, humorous, and sometimes even heart breaking, this film is rivaling all the goodness of 2008, and reminding both film-goers and comic book readers the real reason as to why we go see these films: for the fun of it. And, its villain Loki, portrayed brilliantly by Hiddleston, may rival Ledger’s as the best portrayed comic book villain ever put to celluloid.

Before I get into the film itself, take one more look at the list of actors that are in this thing. Every single one of them, with the exceptions of Ruffalo and Hiddleston, have had their own names headlining some pretty big films. If anything else, Whedon is to be praised for getting them all in the same picture and not having egos explode. You really get the feeling while watching this movie that they all knew what they were doing going in, and not one character gets that much more screen time than the other. They all have their time to shine, with Downey once again sprouting one liners left and right. Even Renner, portraying Hawkeye, gets in a few zingers. However, my biggest worry coming in was Johansson’s Black Widow. While I didn’t think she was necessarily bad in Iron Man 2, she was, to me, like pretty much what that movie was as a whole: good enough, but in the end a disappointment. Here, Whedon gives her more to do, and the way she comes through exceeded my frill expectations only to make room for bigger ones. Very nicely done. Another thing that was done brilliantly was that all of the characters still deal with the same issues that they had before, but Whedon keeps it so that it doesn’t seem monotonous. Yes, Banner is still struggling to control his anger. Yes, Thor is still dealing with being..well, Thor-like. But, the pace never frails. Not one character is dwelled upon. And, in a movie that has so many moving parts, Whedon shows a type of skill that even Raimi couldn’t do in Spider-Man 2….he makes it all fit together in a very nicely formed puzzle. In other words, instead of the square pegs and round holes that Raimi was dealing with, Whedon made the film into one whole resourceful character piece. Without any one character being the center. And doing all this while keeping the egos within the set in check. That, my friends, takes skill and an ability to weave your craft. The way Whedon brings them all together in an almost totally organic way in the first part of the film was really the only way it could have been done. And, he does it so well that once they are together, you want them to take charge. Assemble, if you will.

However, as well portrayed as everyone on the good side of things is, this film, much like not just comic book movies but all movies in general, needs a good villain. And…MY GOD! I have no idea if it was the way he was written by Whedon or portrayed by Hiddleston, but the Loki of this film needs to go up in the top 3 list of best comic book movie villains ever done. Let me clarify: while I enjoyed the cheesiness and feel good storytelling of the mostly ho-hum received Marvel movie of last year Thor, I thought that Loki was one of its weaknesses. His dealing with the reveal of being a frost giant and ‘poor me’ Goth-like motivation to kill his brother left me in an almost despair state. After all, Hiddleston, in addition to being Loki last year, also showed some pretty darn good acting chops in Spielberg’s War Horse. Here however, instead of coming off as a whiny brother looking to be loved more by his father, Loki is just pissed off! His plan of stealing the cube known as the Tesseract to open a portal into space that lets a dangerous alien race to enter and destroy our planet is one that does not in fact reek of whining, and only of power. A power not even touched upon in Thor, and Whedon wisely lets Hiddleston run with it. He takes an almost out of his mind glee in what he is doing, and comes off as dangerous here. What a performance, and one that I feel should be recognized by people outside the comic book movie world come awards time.

Now, the film is not perfect. I am pretty big on film scores, especially those in blockbuster motion pictures. And, sadly, Alan Silvestri’s score in this film is mind numbingly dull. It doesn’t enhance the action at all and, in fact, the times it was on I was begging it to be turned off. Another complaint is that, once Loki’s army is finally upon the world, it is a bit under whelming. As someone who wants to destroy the world, you would think Loki would have looked a bit harder for things that could undoubtedly carry out his plan. However, very, very small qualms aside, I feel that The Avengers lives up to all its expectations and more. It is a summer blockbuster that is exactly what we need: a roller coaster of a good ride that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

4.5 out of 5

By garrettcollins077 Posted in Movies

George Lucas & James Cameron Confirm a Brand New Star Wars Trilogy!!!

Hollywood executives, film critics, fanboys, and film buffs the world-round were ablaze last night at the International Science Fiction Association Awards Dinner in Sydney, Australia, when Directors George Lucas and James Cameron took the stage and made some pretty vague, yet direct references to the return of one of the most beloved franchises ever. As the lights dimmed and the unmistakable sound of lightsabers turned on, the entire ballroom was set aglow with red and green light. A dark and moody melody slowly rose from the orchestra pit, eerily reminiscent of the original Star Wars Imperial anthem, yet different enough to be hauntingly original and foreboding. As the orchestra rose from the pit, helmed by an unprecidented TWO conductors, famed composers Danny Elfman and John Williams, Lucas and Cameron joined each other on the dimly lit stage and waited for the dark melody to fade and the lights to rise.

Lucas: “Our generation had it’s legend. Our journey had a first step. And my saga had it’s beginning. Now…this great and epic journey needs to have an end.”

Cameron: “With great hope comes great responsibility, and I will ensure that at last the mighty Galactic Empire sees its revenge, and that the New Republic and it’s Jedi protectors rise once again!”

Lucas: “There are three more tales to tell, and…Mr. Cameron…the force is strong with you.”

The entire room exploded into ear-splitting applause as the original Star Wars theme pounded across the ballroom as a standing ovation began to take shape. As the light once again dimmed and the two filmmakers exited the stage, the night never quite got back to normal, with the amazing news of a planned Episode 7, 8, and 9 continuing to linger on everyone’s minds! With a brilliant director such as James Cameron (director of such blockbuster films as Avatar, Titanic, and Terminator 2) at the wheel of a new Star Wars trilogy, one can only hold their breath in agonizing torture to see just how Cameron’s dark vision for a new take on an old world will come to play out. No one we talked to seems to show any doubt or concern over the new leadership change, and with Lucas writing all three scripts and Cameron directing, only amazing things can be on the horizon! In an interview after the awards ceremony, both directors stated that they would remain tight-lipped, for now, on any possible new movie, instead saying the following:

Cameron: “…as far as Star Wars goes, George has always known that their needed to be an Episode 7, 8, and 9.”

Lucas: “Most people assume that when Darth Vader killed the Emperor in ‘Jedi, and died himself, that the story is over and everything goes back to normal. That’s simply not true. The entire Galactic Empire is still out there, aside from a half-finished Death Star and a few Star Destroyers. You’re talking about the biggest and baddest military force the Galaxy has ever seen. They are not going to be simply wiped out because of a few broken eggs. There are still incredibly capable and powerful Generals and Admirals in the Imperial Navy that are ready and willing to make life difficult for the fledgling New Republic. The rebels are not out of the woods…not by a long shot.”

Cameron: “…and that is where, someday, we will go with it.”

Will they reunite Hamill, Ford, and Fisher? There are simply too many questions at this point to make any assumptions. Cameron is planning a complete press conference this summer to talk about what just might be the biggest film event of the decade. Stay tuned for updates!

Uncharted Golden Abyss for the PS Vita


Game – Uncharted Golden Abyss

System – PS Vita

Developer – SCE Bend Studios/overseen by Naughty Dog

Publisher – Sony Computer Entertainment

 

I personally went into Uncharted Golden Abyss a complete Uncharted virgin. I know that to many PS3 owners not playing an uncharted game ever is blasphemy. But to me it always seemed too much like a tomb raider rip off. So I went into this game not expecting very much. I thought I would review it, and return it for credit on a different game. I could have never been more wrong.

I picked up Uncharted just for reviewing pleasure alone; I knew it would be a popular review and my intentions where solely to exploit that fact. But after playing for some time now, and far beyond where my review should have ended. Gameplay is solid, playing an uncharted game on a hand held I figured they would down grade the climbing, and jumping, and swinging. None of this has been removed. The game is full of climbing points. I have always assumed this is what Uncharted has been about. Then I entered combat for the first time. I was amazed; combat feels fun with many ways of taking down your enemy. The story and plot is pretty good, having never played an Uncharted before I am guessing this answers some questions created by the series.

Graphically the game is beautiful, I even found myself using the screen shot option to take picture of the vistas as I played the game. I think the mini games are a lot of fun, but could do without the interaction during gameplay. The entire sniper mode seems as if the Vita’s gyroscopes are just a little too sensitive making sniping difficult. And seeing a gold glow on every edge became a little annoying. The mini games on the other hand where enjoyable, placing the puzzles together or using the touch screen to make a chalk rub was a lot of fun.

This game definitely shows off all the PS Vita has to offer.  If there was one game I have played so far on the Vita Uncharted Golden Abyss would be the one I would show to a friend to let them feel the full power of the PS Vita. So far it seems Sony’s starting lineup of Vita games is fantastic. Uncharted Golden Abyss was such a pleasure I went out and purchased the original Uncharted, finally willing to give it a chance.

The good

Graphically amazing

Allows the Vita to flex its muscles

Great story line and gameplay

The bad

The in game Vita gimmicks can become annoying

Final Score

4.5 out of 5

Dynasty Warriors Next for PS Vita

Game – Dynasty Warriors Next

System – PS Vita Exclusive

Developer – Omega Force

Publisher – Tecmo Koei

 

If it’s not broke don’t fix it. This really comes in to play when discussing a Dynasty warrior’s game. The first one was a one on one fighting game for the PlayStation. The second Dynasty Warriors game made its debut some years later as a release title for the PS2. Almost 12 years later and little has changed in the Dynasty warrior’s franchise. The game is still guaranteed to give you sore fingers from button mashing. But provides some of the best hand to hand mass combat battle gameplay I have ever touched. New items, modes and styles have been added, but overall the game has been the same. People either love or hate Dynasty Warriors; I’ve never met many who are on the fence. I believe Koei realizes this and tries not to shake up the formula too much for those who enjoy playing the game.

Dynasty Warriors Next is a beautiful game. The game play is typical of Dynasty warriors. The graphics are gorgeous, especially for a hand held gaming system. The controls fit perfectly to the game. And the load times are not that bad. You get a total of 65 playable characters; you have plenty of action to choose from.  There are 5 modes total, standard campaign mode telling the story of the 3 kingdoms. Conquest mode, an online play battling an online opponent to take over China. Coalition mode, using Ad Hoc, to hook up and play with friends locally and play in special stages designed for cooperation.  Gala Mode, This mode is more like a PS Vita showcase. Playing the random encounter games from the other modes, or taking pictures you can edit with Dynasty Warriors gear. Edit Mode, allows you to create your own character, there are a ton of unlocks for this mode. I still haven’t found them all.

The modes are fun and challenging. I was sad to see most of the gameplay revolve around Cao Cao and his ambitions to lead the Wei army to domination over China. I also understand that this was probably due to limitations of the amount of memory they had to work with. I also found the sudden encounters to be quite annoying; nothing is more dissatisfying than taking a base and having the gameplay stop so you can tap the screen to kill a bunch of guys that just ambushed you. I felt this really took away from the sense of urgency the game usually has. Online is just like any other online games, you will encounter the good, bad, and ugly but I never found anyone who could cheese to the degree that they completely dominated the map. Overall, this game is great if you are already a Dynasty Warriors fan. If you aren’t it offers nothing to entice you to come play.

The good

65 playable characters!!!!! Good grief that’s a lot for a handheld.

Beautiful cinematic, and gameplay

Great modes, with plenty of challenges.

The Bad

Wei is the only army used for most of the campaign mode.

Nothing to really entice people who already don’t like the series to come play.

Sudden encounters can be annoying.

Final Score

4 out of 5

Movie Review – MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE (2011)


Martha Marcy May Marlene

Starring: Elizabeth Olsen, John Hawkes, Sarah Paulson, and Hugh Dancy

I have heard Martha Marcy May Marlene referred to as a horror film. This isn’t necessarily true. However, while this is certainly more of a psychological thriller, there are definitely things about it that get under your skin. And, quite frankly, the subject of cults strikes a chord with me, as in 2009, one of the most notorious cases of a girl kidnapped yet not making an effort to get away (for 18 years) came to the forefront. Jaycee Lynn Dugard was kidnapped at 11 years old and found 18 years later. She was held captive in the backyard of Phillip Garrido literally a few miles from where I grew up in Northern California. What would make her want to stay? And how would someone convince a girl that they were out for her best interests? And, what would a girl’s mental stability be like? These are some questions asked within the course of this movie. 101 minutes of gripping and tense moments that are so well pulled off, it is almost as if you are seeing it happen before your eyes. All of these are compliments, as the direction (by first time writer/director Sean Durkin) along with acting (by all involved) contribute to an experience that is at times hard to watch, but is also never dull. This is not the only compliment I am going to give this mood piece, as from the opening frame all the way to its open ended ending, it grabs on to your knuckles and never lets go until the end, when they are good and white.

Not a frame of this film is wasted, and this is apparent from the very first few minutes on. After all, there is not a word that is uttered for the first 3 minutes, and it takes awhile to get a beat on who is who. By doing this, Durkin sets the mood, which is one of the many reasons why this film works. Of course, without a good title actress, this would all be for naught. And…MY GOD! I, like many, used to cringe every single time I heard the name Olsen. After all, Ms Elizabeth Olsen is the younger sister of the good ol’ Olsen twins. Two girls known for bad straight to video movies and for uttering “you got it dude” once a week on the goodie-goodie show Full House. Here, Olsen proves that she is much more than that. In her feature film debut, Olsen proves here that in the future, she will be a force to be reckoned with. Not since I saw Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone have I been so mesmerized by a performance by a young actress, and her mannerisms made me just flat out not able to take my eyes off her. From the innocence in her eyes as she jumps into the water naked to the ‘what did I do that was so wrong’ look in her eyes as she crawls into bed with her love-making sister just as she had with Patrick, Olsen displays every emotion that someone who is in her situation would find themselves in, and the paranoia that one must experience when situations that were once comfortable to do in the places they were before now deemed rude and inconsiderate.

However, as good as she is, Olsen isn’t the only one who turns in this kind of performance. Because, without a good leader, and someone whom you believe Martha would not be able to resist, the film would only be a one person show, therefore not making it as good. Enter John Hawkes, as leader of the group Patrick, who himself turns in a master performance. The way he calmly tells her “you’re a teacher and a leader,” as well as “we’re never dead or alive, we just exist,” and the way these phrases come up again later, really made my skin crawl. His unassuming eyes and the way he sings to Martha (and renames her Marcy May, saying she looks like a Marcy) is the kind of stuff that really makes you believe she is in fact stuck. Stuck emotionally, as well as physically. Because, even as she is raped (yes, this film is more than emotionally disturbing), she is told that now she has “cleansed herself of the past.” However, it is not like Hawkes is threatening. He is calm. He is still. He is, emotionally powerful. All of which help get into Martha’s head, telling her she needs him to survive (until she wakes up and escapes, which is seen in the beginning of the movie).

I see great things in the future for director Durkin. Because, as he obviously didn’t have the biggest budget in the world, he still fills the film with stylish shots, such as cutting from Martha jumping off the back of a boat directly to her in mid flight as she jumps off a mini cliff into water. The man can direct. The only comparison I could think of as I watched this was early David Fincher, as well as the way he set the moods. It is just ungodly chilling how Patrick sings to Martha and gets in her head (by the way, I am still humming that song in my head, as it really wasn’t a bad tune). Olsen, Durkin, and Hawkes are true talent ready for the world to see. In the meantime, if your heart can take it (as I said, this movie is tough to watch at times) go check out this dark, truly horrific mood piece. Just so, when either, or all three, accept Oscars in the future, you can say you saw their debuts. And, were sucked into their cult from the very beginning.

4.5 out of 5

By garrettcollins077 Posted in Movies