Posts Tagged ‘Michael Shannon’

Short takes: ‘Knives Out,’ ‘Vivarium’ and ‘Domain’ (2016)

August 15, 2020
Combination image: ‘Knives Out,’ ‘Vivarium’ and ‘Domain’ (2016)

By Matthew E. Milliken
Aug. 15, 2020

Rian Johnson’s 2019 feature, Knives Out, is an amusing mystery revolving around the apparent death of a wealthy mystery author by his own hand.

The decedent is Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), who resides in an elegant three-story mansion on a large estate somewhere outside Boston. The morning after his 85th birthday party — a lavish affair attended by his son, daughter, daughter-in-law and their assorted children — Thrombey’s body was discovered by the housekeeper, Fran (Edi Patterson).

A week has passed since then, but even though the police were about to close the case as suicide, they’ve called all of the party attendees to the house for further questioning. The continued investigation, it emerges, is prompted by a renowned private detective named Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig essaying a so-so Southern accent), who’s been hired by — well, he actually doesn’t know who hired him.

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‘Man of Steel’ offers a fascinating but rather grim take on DC Comics’ flagship superhero

July 3, 2013

By Matthew E. Milliken
July 3, 2013

There’s only one big problem with Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder’s new reboot of the Superman franchise: It’s just not very fun.

While this isn’t exactly a fatal flaw, it is a serious misstep. Yes, the film features many expected components of a comic book movie. The hero in the requisite form-fitting outfit flies and fights villains and ultimately prevails. But while the exercise is visually impressive, there simply aren’t many smiles to be had. This movie, which cries out for light touches, is dark and brooding and intense.

Snyder, who helmed and/or wrote 300, Watchmen and Sucker Punch, conspires with cinematographer Amir Mokri to drain most of the primary colors from the visual palette. Superman’s formerly bright-blue costume has been dulled to a steely hue; its bright-red highlights have darkened to crimson and been exiled to the hero’s cape. Read the rest of this entry »

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