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Nonton Film Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2018) Full Movie

Nonton Film Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2018) Full Movie Sub Indonesia

Film Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2018) Full Movie
Review Film Scooby-Doo! & Batman: The Brave and the Bold (2018) Full Movie
I wish I had a grandchild to enjoy Scooby-Doo! and Batman: The Brave and the Bold with since I am far from the target audience. I was outgrowing Saturday morning TV when Scooby and the gang debuted and never warmed up to them. Over time, the troublesome teens have encountered countless pop culture celebrities in their storied career but this, their fourth meeting with the Caped Crusader, is a record.

It makes perfect sense that the 1960s homage version of Batman (Diedrich Bader) is used here since it is stylistically appropriate for this sort of crossover. Paul Giacoppo acquits himself well with a breezy script that uses touchstone elements from both series so fans are satisfied. Comics aficionados will appreciate the use of the New Look era Mystery Analysts of Gotham, even though the novelists have been replaced by the more colorful Martian Manhunter (Nicholas Guest), Detective Chimp (Kevin Michael Richardson), the Black Canary (Grey Griffin), the Question (Jeffrey Coombs), and Plastic Man (Tom Kenny). It’s funny to see Aquaman (John DiMaggio) trying to be a member while the Scooby (Frank Welker) and the gang are tested for admittance.

Since these sorts of mashups require a major threat, it seemed right that Batman’s rogues cause the trouble so of course, we get to see Catwoman (Nika Futterman), Riddler (John Michael Higgins), Penguin (Tom Kenny), Clayface (Kevin Michael Richardson), Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy (both by Tara Strong).

There’s action, humorous hijinks, Scooby snacks, familiar catchphrases, and more all nicely handled by director Jake Castorena, who graduates from numerous art director assignments (Batman: The Killing Joke, Justice League: Gods & Monsters, etc.) to his third directorial job, following directing episodes of Justice League Action and Batman Unlimited.

The 75 minutes definitely feels padded but that’s to be expected given the limited range of the Scooby half of the match. Thankfully, the disc is rounded out with two classic episode from the New Scooby-Doo Movies:  “The Dynamic Scooby-Doo Affair” and “The Caped Crusader Caper”.

Nonton Film California Dreaming - Escape From Ensenada (2017) Full Movie

Nonton Film California Dreaming - Escape From Ensenada (2017) Full Movie Sub Indonesia

Film California Dreaming - Escape From Ensenada (2017) Full Movie
Review Film California Dreaming - Escape From Ensenada (2017) Full Movie
With: Cory Zacharia, Patrick Mio Llaguno, Neil Harley, Kevin Gilger, Carolan J. Pinto, Mark Borchardt, Elizabeth Zacharia, Rachel Feldman, Maggie Corona-Goldstein, Henning Gronkowski.
Official Site:

Destitute and clinging to threadbare hope, an aspiring Hollywood high-flyer rehearses her Oscar speech at one point in Mike Ott’s is-it-or-isn’t-it docufiction “California Dreams” — though as her earnest sentiments gush forth, it’s entirely someone else’s acceptance speech that springs poignantly to mind. “You can’t trade in your dream for another dream,” said Viola Davis at the SAG Awards a few years back, and so it proves for the troubled human subjects of Ott’s film: a ragtag ensemble of small-time underachievers whose shared, cherished fantasy of making it in the movies gets them up in the morning, but not much further than that. Well, they’re in a movie now: As is Ott’s wont, “California Dreams” blurs the line between simulated vérité and authentic observation, making it often impossible to tell whether those on camera are playing themselves, simply being themselves or a combination of the two. To what extent are they in on the joke? And is the film guilty of exploitation regardless? These are questions openly invited by Ott’s lustrously shot provocation, his most broadly accessible oddity to date.

Film Review: 'Breaking and Exiting'
Film Review: 'Down a Dark Hall'
“Acting is the only thing I’m really good at,” says Cory Zacharia, the most prominently featured of Ott’s subjects — a sweet, ingenuous 28-year-old wastrel from Lancaster, CA, who hasn’t held a job in eight years but still believes silver-screen stardom is achievable. It’s one of many statements in “California Dreams” that is wholly up for debate. Cory doesn’t seem like a good actor. More than once, he delivers an audition monologue from Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Outsiders” with halting lack of conviction, and fields remote, increasingly irate offers of a movie lead from a German producer who likens him to James Bond — a vacancy, one suspects, that has worked its way down the talent ladder.

Yet things aren’t exactly as they appear: In reality, the lanky, uncommanding Zacharia is one of Ott’s regular collaborators, having made his screen debut in 2010’s feature “Littlerock.” If he’s therefore playing a worst-case-scenario version of himself, pining for a break while applying for work at Taco Bell under the skeptical, margarita-blurred gaze of his mother (Elizabeth Zacharia), then he’s playing it rather effectively. There’s something rather moving about the innocence of Cory’s delusion, fabricated or otherwise — a kind of anti-star quality that in itself becomes oddly magnetic. The sheer, pristine beauty of the film’s craft, meanwhile, makes its relative reality even more elusive: Mike Gioulakis’ serenely gorgeous cinematography trades in romantically dusky pastels and studied compositional symmetry, lending a heightened, intrinsically cinematic glow to Ott’s chosen expanses of Californian nowhere. Whether they know it or not, the starry-eyed losers of “California Dreams” are already living in a kind of la la land.

Even as we accept the artifice of the film’s construction, however, Ott’s presentation of his unlikely leading man challenges our comfort. His struggles with basic literacy and numeracy are presented as deadpan comedy — if not at the expense of Cory himself, who may or may not be playing dumb on camera, than at the dreaming masses he represents. By the time an unidentified off-camera interviewer presses Cory for details of his juvenile sexuality and mental health history, “California Dreams” has given us no baseline by which to determine whether the raw, upsetting revelations that ensue are drawn from life or scripted from thin air. Many will see this as wilful, even irresponsible, trickery. At the same time, Ott has artfully constructed a slippery hall of human mirrors, testing and subverting the rules of empathy in documentary and narrative cinema alike.

Similar treatment is accorded the other case studies in “California Dreams,” albeit with far less generous screen time — an imbalance that heightens the risk of cheap caricature. Shy, virginal Filipino immigrant Patrick Llaguno’s dreams of stardom seem even more far-fetched than Cory’s; ditto those of Kevin Gilger, a storage-unit supervisor attempting to corner a particularly niche market in impersonating Dog the Bounty Hunter. Neil Harley, a schlumpy would-be screenwriter from Las Vegas, is perhaps the most well-adjusted of a uniformly fragile bunch; the most affecting is middle-aged Carolan Pinto, who plans her aforementioned Oscar-night speech from the beaten-up car that has been her only home for years.

Woven in and around Cory’s more elaborately detailed tale of tragicomic woe, these character sketches don’t do much to further complicate the film’s already ambiguous thesis — though Patrick’s most amusing anecdote may unlock it to some extent. Before delivering his own wobbly audition monologue from his favorite film, “Forrest Gump,” he explains that he grew up believing Robert Zemeckis’ idiot-savant fantasy was a fact-based biopic — a misconception, he says, that “proves how powerful cinema can be.” Spinning off this innocent notion with considerably more cynicism, “California Dreams” itself asks whether one needs to know the “truth” of a story to be moved by it.

Film Review: 'California Dreams'

Reviewed online, London, March 9, 2017. (In Berlin Film Festival — Critics' Week; SXSW — Visions.) Running time: 83 MIN.

PRODUCTION: A Number 7 Films production in association with Small Form Films. (International sales: The Film Sales Company, New York City.) Producers: Heika Burnison, Nicole Arbusto, Alex Gioulakis.

CREW: Director: Mike Ott. Camera (color): Mike Gioulakis. Editor: Gerald D. Rossini.

WITH: Cory Zacharia, Patrick Mio Llaguno, Neil Harley, Kevin Gilger, Carolan J. Pinto, Mark Borchardt, Elizabeth Zacharia, Rachel Feldman, Maggie Corona-Goldstein, Henning Gronkowski.

Nonton Film Voldemort: Origins of the Heir (2018) Full Movie

Nonton Film Voldemort: Origins of the Heir (2018) Full Movie Sub Indonesia

Film Voldemort: Origins of the Heir (2018) Full Movie
Review Film Voldemort: Origins of the Heir (2018) Full Movie
When news spread last year of a potential "Harry Potter" fan movie, I was cautiously excited.

The project — a story about Tom Riddle's rise to power, and an heir to Godric Gryffindor who tries to stop home — had the blessing of Warner Bros., the producer of the official "Harry Potter" movies, which signaled it might actually be good.

I misread the signals.

Released on Tuesday, the 52-minute "Voldemort: Origins of the Heir" shows precisely why so many people are dismissive of fanfiction. It's aimless, poorly made, and it doesn't possess anything resembling an interesting original idea.

To be sure, my expectations were calibrated. "Voldemort: Origins of the Heir" was crowdfunded through Kickstarter, and never had anything close to the budget or established talent of the official movies. But creative and scrappy young people can always come up with an interesting story, and the movie's trailer looked surprisingly cool for a low-budget project. And it was an interesting premise: If the "Fantastic Beasts" movies fill in the background on the rise of Gellert Grindelwald, then some enterprising fans took it upon themselves to do the same for Voldemort.

Grisha McLaggen in the movie.Tryangle Films
The creativity simply isn't there. In the movie, Grisha McLaggen, the heir of Godric Gryffindor (who doesn't appear in J.K. Rowling's official works) and former friend of Tom Riddle, is trying to track down his Horcruxes now that he's become the evil dark wizard Lord Voldemort. We also get plenty of flashbacks, where a younger Riddle (played by someone who's clearly way too old for the role) argues with friends and shows off his ruthless side. Most of it is done with exposition, in confusing scenes that don't interpret the "Harry Potter" canon in any meaningful way.

All fanfiction is inherently amateur — and this movie can't escape that.
There's a difference between fanfiction and spin-offs. Fanfiction is inherently amateurish, made by fans who use their imagination to push a story further, or take pre-existing characters wherever their imagination goes. There are more quality control and money put into developing studio work, which is why even movies like "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" are taken seriously. A lot of people worked hard on it and it's a polished piece of pop culture.

Makarov, the villain in the movie.Tryangle Films.
But even professionally made work, if deemed bad enough, is dismissed as "fanfiction." Take "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," J.K. Rowling's sequel play to the main "Harry Potter" series. Some "Harry Potter" fans derided its dialogue, zany characters, and infidelity to Rowling's established magical world as "fanfiction." Fanfiction is always seen as something less essential, and usually qualitatively worse than whatever its based on. It didn't help that Rowling's story shared some odd characteristics with actual fanfiction published years before the play itself.

"Voldemort: Origins of the Heir" embodies fanfiction's worst traits.
With the exception of the "50 Shades of Grey" series (which E.L. James originally wrote as "Twilight" fanfiction under the pseudonym Snowqueens Icedragon), "Voldemort" may be the most expensive fanfiction ever. But it still feels like hackwork.

The movie lacks any creative ideas. The movies biggest is that each Hogwarts House founder has a designated heir, who remain secret from the rest of the world for reasons no one who wrote the script has any interest in. They all talk like they studied the blade. Its cheesiness makes it seem much hokier than the "chosen one" thing Harry Potter has to go on.

And if McLaggen is the hero of the movie, the villain it introduces is not so much Tom Riddle/Voldemort, but some guy named Makarov who seems to be a Soviet general. There's a big scene where we first see his face, and dramatic music cues that lead to a reveal where we discover... he's blind in one eye. Yup. The movie has a useless Soviet villain guy with one working eye. It's like a character who would be written out of a bad '80s action film.

voldemort origins of the heir
Some scenes are shot like a video game. Here's our protagonist blasting people with a wand.Tryangle Films
The movie's directors have few original visual ideas, either. One of the movie's opening scenes tries to set it up as some kind of CGI extravaganza, where McLaggen blasts anonymous goons with her wand. It's shot in the first person, with her hands in front of the camera, as if the movie is a video game.

It's just badly made.
One of the weird things about "Voldemort: Origins of the Heir" is that it doesn't even feel like it was written by a "Harry Potter" fans. It needlessly contradicts the "Harry Potter" canon, not to mention basic storytelling rules.

For example, there's a scene where Riddle, working for Borgin and Burkes, meets up with their client Hepzibah Smith, who "Harry Potter" superfans may remember as the owner of Salazar Slytherin's locket before Riddle stole it from her. Sure enough, Smith tells Riddle that she has the locket but asks him not to say anything about it to Burke, just as she did in the "Harry Potter" books. But then the movie also says that she purchased it from the shop in the first place. Why keep it a secret, then, if the shop-owners know she bought it?

making of Voldemort origins heir
The making of "Voldemort: Origins of the Heir."Tryangle Films
There's another part where McLaggen wrongly says Voldemort created Horcruxes because they're the only way to achieve immortality. Meanwhile, Nicolas Flamel is already hundreds of years old at that point.

Most of the movie takes place as an expository dialogue between McLaggen and Makarov, explaining the writers' fanfiction mythology. It gets tiring quickly, especially when so many characters who clearly aren't British try to do British accents.

And don't think that the movie is feminist just because the protagonist is a woman. McLaggen is Mary-sued into being Voldemort's love interest for no reason, and a twist late in the film entirely undercuts her character's existence. By the end of the movie, she's pointless.

The movie can't decide if it wants to be an original piece of work.
When a spinoff succeeds, it both honors the great qualities of the original work yet untethers itself to become its own thing. Just look at "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," or the new "Star Wars" movies "The Force Awakens" and "The Last Jedi." (Or, heck, even "A Very Potter Musical.")

Voldemort origins heir
Tom Riddle and Grisha have a romantic relationship in the movie.Tryangle Films
"Voldemort: Origins of the Heir" gets it backward. It fails to recognize the great qualities of the "Harry Potter" series and is uncommitted to becoming its own thing. It's premised on being a "Rogue One" line venture into unexplored territory, but its uninterested in telling an actual story. Its twist ending traps it into being slavishly dedicated to the original series instead of daring to take it further.

At least they tried.
The best I can hope for the "Origins" filmmakers is that the attention to the project launches the careers of everyone involved. (They're all clearly proud of working on this — the opening credits take about three months of the movie's 52-minute runtime.) While the project doesn't work, it isn't lazily made.

Aside from what must have been a struggling negotiation with Warner Bros., you can see the care put into the visual details. The dark color palette establishes some continuity with the official movies, which were steeped in shadow since "Prisoner of Azkaban." The costumes are pretty convincing and far less cheesy than you'd expect. And some props, like Riddle's diary, look like the real thing.

But the movie itself, unfortunately, defeats itself. It ends with a man named Igor (presumably Karkaroff, the Death Eater and Durmstrang headmaster) poking through the ruins of where Voldemort once was. It ties back to the main series, where the character was known to be dedicated to Voldemort even after his reign was over. I don't know if it's supposed to be a metaphor for the movie's relationship with the "Harry Potter" movies, but it sure works as one.

Nonton Film Freak Show (2017) Full Movie

Nonton Film Freak Show (2017) Full Movie Sub Indonesia

Film Freak Show (2017) Full Movie
Review Film Freak Show (2017) Full Movie
Director: Trudie Styler With Alex Lawther, Ian Nelson, Abigail Breslin Release Date: Jan 12, 2018
1 hour 31 minutes

Official Site:

“Buckle up, darlings,” warns Billy Bloom, the adolescent protagonist of “Freak Show,” with his most salacious Bette Davis sneer. “I’m gonna take you on a little ride I call my life.” For a second, you sense some affectionate irony in Trudie Styler’s well-intentioned but woolly directorial debut: After all, many are the privileged suburban teenager who has declared their life wilder and wackier than anyone else’s.

It doesn’t take long to realize, however, that “Freak Show” takes Billy (gamely played by British rising star Alex Lawther) entirely at his word. An out-and-proud, drag-loving high-schooler who delights in subverting masculine norms — and wears his resulting social isolation as a badge of honor — he’s certainly a beautiful misfit. Yet Styler’s surface-level adaptation of James St. James’ queer bildungsroman shows us more of Billy’s eye-popping wardrobe than his soul, as his superficially defined exceptionalism tilts ever less endearingly into narcissism; we leave this carnival-colored rallying cry to “stay true to yourself” unsure of who our hero truly is. A limited January release awaits “Freak Show” following a lengthy 2017 festival tour, but the film will presumably find its most receptive young audience online.

Film Review: 'Down a Dark Hall'
Film Review: 'The Little Mermaid'
Styler’s peppy but thin foray into feature direction is especially disappointing following her strong track record as a producer of more singular, stylistically confident indies, from Dito Montiel’s “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” Duncan Jones’s “Moon” to Maggie Betts’s recent “Novitiate” — a polar-opposite portrait of teenage rebellion in which the ascetic life amounted to its own form of freak flag-flying. Crafted with varnished competence but little personality, “Freak Show” is instead the kind of lightweight cinematic foray one might expect from a figure embedded in A-list celebrity: As Styler calls in glitzy cameo-sized favors from the likes of Bette Midler, John McEnroe, and Laverne Cox, her film offers little more than a strained “Make America Great Again” gag in the way of sociopolitical texture.

In sketching out Billy’s fraught but fabulous existence, Styler, together with screenwriters Beth Rigazio and Patrick J. Clifton, wavers in her allegiance to reality or wish-fulfilment: The film’s depictions of classroom bullying don’t sit in quite the same world as a dreamy, sensitive star quarterback named Flip (Ian Nelson, as winning as can be in such a patently phony role) who can spot a real Jackson Pollock at a hundred paces. In either dimension, Billy’s immense economic privilege goes unchecked. Introductory scenes illustrate the formative influence of his hedonistic mother Mauvine (an auto-vamping Midler), described as “a living testament to grace, glamour, and Gucci,” though his vast, expensive collection of drag outfits — ranging in inspiration from Adam Ant to the Little Mermaid — might just put her closet to shame.

Yet this gilded childhood — lit in suitably luxe fashion by cinematographer Dante Spinotti — soon hits a gray wall. For clunkily withheld reasons, Mauvine exits the scene, sending Billy from Connecticut to live with his moneyed but distinctly fun-free father William (Larry Pine) on a vast estate in a pocket of Southern suburbia that may as well be called Homophobiville. “Freak Show” doesn’t shy from blanket regional stereotyping, but then neither does its hero: Billy enters the local high school with such a superiority complex that he never bothers to learn the name of the one open-minded wallflower (AnnaSophia Robb) who initially befriends him. She is nonetheless entranced by his fluorescent charisma, as, in due course, is Flip, an Oscar Wilde-quoting jock-with-a-heart who acts as Billy’s no-homo admirer and protector. (We’re flirting with outright fantasy here.)

Chief among those unconverted to Billy’s brash charms is Lynette (Abigail Breslin), a self-righteous, Bible-thumping Mean-Girl-in-Chief and imminent homecoming queen who spouts Trump-style rhetoric by the lipglossed mouthful. She’s easy to loathe, but “Freak Show” practically casts as a villain anyone not dazzled by Billy’s inner light — a position that grows harder to cheer for as his own character remains so stubbornly, one-dimensionally self-oriented. “I gotta be me,” Billy insists, and rightly so — but when that state of appearing to preclude any interest in, or empathy with, even his most supportive peers, the message rings a little hollow.

It’s exciting to see Lawther, so affecting as the young Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game” and as a yearning gay teen in “Departure,” crafting such a multifaceted gallery of queer portraiture early in his career, but his brightest efforts can’t make Billy more character than a concept. “Freak Show,” meanwhile, doesn’t exhibit an understanding of queer identity that goes much deeper than the sheer sequined fabulosity of Billy’s image. In an impassioned, inspirational school address — the kind to which you know the film is building from its first frame — he finally hints at broader understanding: “You’re all freaks too — isn’t that what being a teenager is all about?” It’s a tardy glimmer of solidarity in what’s otherwise aggressively, even oppressively, a glitter-strewn one-man show.

Film Review: 'Freak Show'

Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (Another View), July 4, 2018. (Also at Berlin, Edinburgh, LA Outfest, Taipei, Tallinn festivals.)

PRODUCTION: An IFC Films release of a Maven Pictures presentation of a Flower Films production in association with Bruno Wang Prods., CoMade STHLM. (International sales: The Works Film Group, London.) Producers: Jeffrey Coulter, Charlotte Ubben, Bryan Rabin, Ember Truesdell, Chris Miller, Trudie Styler, Celine Rattray. Executive producers: Drew Barrymore, Nancy Juvonen, Pierre Lagrange, Maya Sanbar, Sawsan Asfari, Sir Ivan, Jenny Halper, Bruno Wang, Samantha Perelman, Bobby Sager, Cathleen Ihasz, Nicole Ihasz. Co-producers: Anita Sumner, Alexandra Kerry, Stephen Mao, Chris Botti.

CREW: Director: Trudie Styler. Screenplay: Beth Rigazio, Patrick J. Clifton, adapted from the novel by James St. James. Camera (color, widescreen): Dante Spinotti. Editor: Sarah Flack. Music: Dan Romer.

WITH: Alex Lawther, Ian Nelson, Abigail Breslin, Bette Midler, Celia Weston, Larry Pine, AnnaSophia Robb, Willa Fitzgerald, Eddie Schweighardt, Laverne Cox, John McEnroe.

Nonton Film The Strange Ones (2018) Full Movie

Nonton Film The Strange Ones (2018) Full Movie Sub Indonesia

Film The Strange Ones (2018) Full Movie
Review Film The Strange Ones (2018) Full Movie
A camping trip is not what it seems in a psychological suspense drama starring Alex Pettyfer and James Freedson-Jackson.
With their first feature, the ambitious and exceptionally well-crafted The Strange Ones, directors Christopher Radcliff and Lauren Wolkstein demonstrate an undeniable mastery of mood. The atmosphere of disquiet that they drum up casts a spell, without question, but one that serves the story only to a point. However nuanced and artful, the nightmarish unease is laid on so thick that, in combination with the cryptic narrative, it gradually turns to murk.

The film's expressionistic exploration of trauma and identity centers on a teen boy who's either a runaway or an abductee, and whose traveling companion might or might not be his older brother. Some will be intrigued by the head-trip mystery, others irritated by the drama's pile-up of feints and elisions.

The indie will follow its Oscar-qualifying run with a Dec. 7 bow on DirecTV, and is scheduled for an early-2018 theatrical release, when its inclusion on John Waters' top 10 list for 2017 could boost box office.

James Mangold, Elle Fanning
James Mangold to Direct Patty Hearst Movie With Elle Fanning in Talks to Star
Expanding the directors' 2011 short film of the same name, Radcliff's screenplay essentially splits the story into two halves. The first revolves around a road trip; the second, more elliptical section, deals with its repercussions. A sense of dread and emergency dominates from the get-go, drawing the viewer in but also setting a baseline that ultimately defuses the movie's intended jolts.

At the wheel of the station wagon is a scruffy, intense twentysomething (Alex Pettyfer). Riding shotgun, when he's not sleeping in the backseat, is a shell-shocked teen, Sam (James Freedson-Jackson, of Cop Car). In the rearview mirror is a fatal house fire. When the boy introduces himself to strangers as Jeremiah, the lie is obvious. Just as blatantly false is the duo's assertion that they're brothers heading to the woods for a leisurely camping trip. Though the exact nature of their relationship isn't clear for much of the story, the idea that something is very, very off is all but spelled out in neon.

As the film shifts time and place, filtered through Sam's perspective, Freedson-Jackson shifts from vulnerable to shockingly precocious, and back again to a childish naïveté. His largely flat-affect performance, which received a special jury citation at SXSW, is unsettling, a combination of astutely played moments, merely blank ones and an excess of close-ups.

With more seasoned deftness and restraint — and a sometimes wobbly American accent — Pettyfer (Elvis & Nixon) exudes a disturbing mix of violence, tenderness, sexual menace and allure. A sickening wariness infects the two main characters' every exchange, and in the early going there's a mildly gripping uncertainty over who's in control and who's manipulating whom. But however strong the cinematic ambiance, the suspense factor dwindles precipitously as the storyline fragments.

Even while the narrative falters, cinematographer Todd Banhazi's masterful compositions distill an affecting essence from the rural New York state locations. Beyond the woods and the country roads, the drama delves into such unexpected locales as an off-season motel and a work camp for teens. The former is run by a flirtatious young woman, the latter by an affably no-nonsense older man — well played, respectively, by Emily Althaus (Orange Is the New Black) and character actor Gene Jones (No Country for Old Men).

The directors use both sequences to heighten elements of doubt and imbalance. But the mystery over what's happening to Sam and how much of it he understands loses its hold — first as the plot enters an explanatory phase, and then as it doubles down, unpersuasively, on its skewed, subjective angle.

Megan Ellison, Darren Aronofsky
Sundance: Darren Aronofsky, Megan Ellison, AI Projects to Debut at Festival
Addressing such serious matters as abuse and mental health, Radcliff and Wolkstein deliver effective moments of horror and, to a lesser extent, insight. A crucial ingredient in realizing the feature's dark spiral of a dream state is the haunting score by Brian McOmber (Krisha, It Comes at Night), one of the best composers working in film today. His flute-forward theme quotes motifs from Gene Moore's music for the immortal B movie Carnival of Souls, in certain ways an apt point of reference.

Yet as assured as the filmmaking is, and as much as it announces a talented helming duo, its mode of emphatic understatement makes for an overly arduous viewing experience, and one with diminishing returns. After stripping away all the low-key mannerisms and would-be frissons, a viewer is likely to respond with a shrug of agreement when Freedson-Jackson's character complains that he "can't tell if it's, like, real or a dream. Or whatever."

Production companies: Stay Gold Features, Adastra Films, Relic Pictures, Archer Gray, Gamechanger Films, Storyboard Entertainment
Distributor: Vertical Entertainment
Cast: Alex Pettyfer, James Freedson-Jackson, Emily Althaus, Gene Jones, Melanie Nicholls-King, Olivia Wang, Owen Campbell, Tobias Campbell, Birgit Huppuch, Will Blomker
Directors: Lauren Wolkstein, Christopher Radcliff
Screenwriter: Christopher Radcliff
Story by: Christopher Radcliff, Lauren Wolkstein
Producers: Sebastien Aubert, Michael Prall, Eric Schultz, Shani Geva, Daniela Taplin Lundberg
Executive producers: Anne Carey, Paul Finkel, Ozo Jaculewicz, Mynette Louie, Jason Potash
Director of photography: Todd Banhazi
Production designer: Danica Pantic
Costume designer: Mitchell Travers
Editors: Christopher Radcliff, Lauren Wolkstein
Composer: Brian McOmber
Casting director: Jessica Daniels

Rated R, 82 minutes

Nonton Film Kickboxer: Retaliation (2018) Full Movie

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Film Kickboxer: Retaliation (2018) Full Movie
Review Film Kickboxer: Retaliation (2018) Full Movie
Alain Moussi returns in chapter two of the reboot of the franchise that cemented Jean-Claude Van Damme's fame.
Some people just won't take "no" for an answer when they've invited you to participate in an old-fashioned fight to the death. In Dimitri Logothetis' Kickboxer: Retaliation, the sequel to 2016's reboot of the franchise that cemented Jean-Claude Van Damme's stardom, Christopher Lambert's villain wants our hero to fight so badly he'll imprison him, kidnap his girlfriend and even offer up a spare bedroom in his vast palace. The dude desperately needs to see Kurt Sloane (Alain Moussi) get his head split, but he wants to be sporting about it. A pulpy and fun fight flick that is better in some respects than it needs to be, Retaliation may not do for Moussi what the original Kickboxer did for Van Damme, but it won't send fans home disappointed.

The last picture ended with Kurt Sloane killing the fighter who killed his brother (it was called Kickboxer: Vengeance, after all) then leaving for the U.S. with new girlfriend Liu (Sara Malakul Lane). Now, as the title Retaliation might suggest, it's time to pay the piper. Marshals come to interrogate Kurt about the killing, but wait — those aren't marshals, they're henchmen of Lambert's Thomas Moore, sent to bring Kurt back to Thailand and throw him in a jail near Bangkok.

Brought before Moore, who insists he must enter another deathmatch to pay for what he has done (??), Kurt is appropriately defiant, while Lambert does an enjoyable bargain-basement Christoph Waltz impression: "One more fight to the death — that's all I'm asking!" He's even offering a million dollars for Kurt's trouble, provided he survives. But Kurt prefers to go back to jail.

There, things are unfriendly. When a trio of inmates surrounds Kurt with malice in their eyes, our hero shouts to someone, "you better call the prison doc" before predicting the exact injuries the doctor should expect to be treating. The ensuing action, set to a tune aping Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy," leaves the doctor with many more patients than predicted.

Here and elsewhere, Gerardo Madrazo's cinematography is much more stylish than moviegoers may expect. But the pic's stylishness sometimes comes at the expense of fight-scene excitement: Though few will doubt what they're seeing, too many close-ups make the mayhem feel less real, and frequent use of slow motion limits an overall sequence's visceral kick. Perhaps the filmmakers decided the choreography of long scenes was too obvious when played at regular speed.

Eventually coerced to accept Moore's challenge and fight a nearly seven-foot tall "bioengineered marvel" called Mongkut (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson), Kurt must begin a specialized training regimen. Which means it's time not only for the return of Van Damme's wry Master Durand — who has recently been blinded by Moore, giving him an excuse to never remove those shades he's so fond of — but a fellow inmate, Briggs, played by Mike Tyson.

While Briggs works on brute force and similar straightforward technique, Durand becomes a chopsocky Obi-Wan Kenobi, blindfolding Kurt and teaching him to feel his opponent's movements before they come. (In blue-tinted visions, Durand, of course, senses enough to outfight the sighted people around him.)

Logothetis contrives to squeeze a set piece or two in before the main event — one, featuring two lingerie-clad fighters in a forest of crystal bamboo, then moving into a hall of mirrors, is goofy fun even if its Lady From Shanghai reference invites unflattering comparisons.

When Kurt finally faces Mongkut in what we're told is "the original Muay Thai temple," viewers will get their money's worth. Roughly half an hour long, this last bout features plenty of David/Goliath action (camerawork is more sensitive here) and a couple of narrative fakeouts. Moussi allows Kurt to look genuinely afraid, which helps, and points toward a possible Rocky-style defeat. Whether he wins or loses here, rest assured that Kurt is already scheduled to appear in the portentously named Kickboxer: Armageddon.

Production company: Our House Films
Distributor: Well Go USA Entertainment
Cast: Alain Moussi, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, Christopher Lambert, Sara Malakul Lane, Ronaldinho, Mike Tyson
Director-screenwriter: Dimitri Logothetis
Producers: Robert Hickman, Dimitri Logothetis
Executive producers: Jeff Bowler, Nicholas Celozzi, Luke Daniels
Director of photography: Gerardo Madrazo
Production designer: Toey Jaruvaateekul
Costume designer: Terri Middleton
Editors: Christopher Robin Bell, Daniel McDonald
Composer: Adam Dorn
Casting director: Thitiya Thongbai

Rated R, 110 minutes

Nonton Film A. I. Tales (2018) Full Movie

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Film A. I. Tales (2018) Full Movie
Review Film A. I. Tales (2018) Full Movie
Usually when I have to lay my putrid peepers on an arcane anthology things take a turn for the horror biz, but recently I was sent a picture packed with yarns of a sci-fi bent, all with the theme of artificial intelligence as their linking narrative element. Let’s see how the disparate stories (these shorts are presented “as is” with no connecting framing narrative) of A.I. Tales stack up, shall we?

First up comes Seed; the story of a man named Nathan (Nelson Lee, who also wrote and directed the film) whose family and friends gather to celebrate his birthday, but rather than being a joyous affair things take a turn for the melancholy as our protagonist reflects on the life he has lead with the folks gathered, warts and all. So why is Nathan so glum…why because it is his 40th birthday and therefore he must be reduced to just his consciousness and give up his body in order to conserve the resources of an over-populated future Earth. Will he be able to make that step for those he loves?

More of a drama with science fiction spice sprinkled on top, Seed is an effective character study and offers a strong emotional impact on the viewer. While definitely not my preferred cup of tea, I nevertheless found this entry to be a well-made affair and should appeal to those that enjoy sci-fi with a strong personal core rather than robots, aliens and pew-pew lasers (please let there be pew lasers in this thing…)

Next comes In/Finite by director Kristen Hilkert (who also co-wrote the film with actress Ashlee Mundy. This lil’ ditty tells the story of Jane (the aforementioned Mundy), a lonely woman who decides she wants to get away from it all…like really away from it all and decides she wants to head off into space (which is possible due to her admission to an astronaut program). Not ready to tell her family and friends more than that her journey is a one-way trip, she attends an emotional farewell party in her honor.

As with Seed, this too is straight up the human drama with the absolute minimum p.h. of sci-fi thrown in. Also, like the first story, this entry is incredibly well made and acted…but just not my bag baby…I’m not getting my lasers am I?

Moving on we have Phoenix 9 from director Amir Reichart and writer Peer Gopfrich which relates the tale of a group of rag-tag survivors on the surface of a nuked Earth. These brave souls soldier on until they arrive at an abandoned facility on their way to a rumored colony where other survivors are holed up. Once there tensions come to a head before our heroes find a secret room guarded by a high tech computer system. Does this room hold the key to their salvation?

Now, this is more like it; a tale of future war and survival with robots and awesome apocalyptic visuals! Also present are some fantastic production design and cinematography, solid acting, and a nice sense of ever-mounting tension. Unless the next segment is fantastic, I’m calling Phoenix 9 the best in show…

Last up we have writer/director Vitaly Vertov's Redux which spins the yarn of a scientist desperately sending messages through time as a S.W.A.T. team advances on his secret lab.

Redux is a taught micro-length thriller with a fun sci-fi premise and a solid cameo from Eric Roberts to boot as the corporate man behind the S.W.A.T. assault. This was my second favorite entry in the collection, and it too features strong visuals, a great premise, and a cool synth score.

All in all A.I. Tales is solid if a bit uneven anthology. None of the stories present fail to entertain, and all are expertly crafted and acted, but the beginning of the film, with it’s back to back dramatic pieces has a tendency to drag compared to the more suspenseful segments that bring up the second half of the runtime. Bottom line, if you like your sci-fi mixed with a strong human emotional content this anthology will be a great viewing experience for you.

Nonton Film Action Point (2018) Full Movie

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Film Action Point (2018) Full Movie
Review Film Action Point (2018) Full Movie
Director: Tim Kirkby With Johnny Knoxville, Chris Pontius Release Date: Jun 1, 2018
Rated R  1 hour 24 minutes

What if Johnny Knoxville and a couple of his buddies from the “Jackass” hurt-yourself-for-the-hell-of-it TV series were put in charge of an amusement park? Instead of safety being the owners’ primary concern, guests would be encouraged to tempt fate on notoriously risky waterslides, zip lines, and a high-speed downhill toboggan. That’s the lowbrow high concept behind the gleefully brainless “Action Point,” which was inspired by just such a death trap in Vernon, New Jersey, known as Action Park, where much fun was had (and many bones were broken) before a handful of personal injury lawsuits forced its closure in 1996.

Knoxville and his team clearly see this as the ideal stage for a fresh batch of willfully idiotic stunts — one of which was reportedly so severe that it dislodged Knoxville’s eyeball, such that it pops out of its socket whenever he sneezes — all in service of a woefully unfunny comedy that’s clearly been reverse-engineered to showcase ostensibly amusing (but not really) displays of bodily harm. The “Jackass” star plays D.C., proprietor of a mixed fun-park-cum-health-hazard in which a bunch of drunks, underage teenagers allow visitors to recklessly endanger themselves in the name of cheap thrills.

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There are three things screenwriters John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky want audiences to know about this place: First, D.C. has borrowed a lot of money and now stands to lose everything — land and attractions alike — to an insufferable rival-turned-real-estate-shark named Knoblauch (Dan Bakkedahl). Second, business is flagging ever since a more corporate competitor called 7 Parks opened nearby. And third, D.C. must multi-task his fight to save Action Point while hosting his 14-year-old daughter Boogie (a wooden Eleanor Worthington-Cox, whose job is apparently to laugh at all Knoxville’s antics) for the summer.

That’s all the conflict this script needs to set up a series of extravagantly painful pranks, pratfalls, and don’t-try-this-at-home physical comedy — like trying to wrangle a porcupine with one’s bare hands, or stashing acorns up Chris Pontius’ shorts and turning a squirrel loose on his nuts. The trouble is, presenting all of this mayhem within the framework of a by-the-numbers father-daughter bonding story saps the stunts of their usual appeal. Instead of being told each crazy thing Knoxville and company plan to do in advance, and then wincing in anticipation of the injuries that inevitably await, “Action Point” presents these self-inflicted “accidents” as unexpected surprises, attempting to blindside audiences with what appear to be bloopers, but are in fact carefully staged gags (as when D.C.’s employees turn a high-pressure hose on their boss, blasting him off the top of a giant slide, or when a catapult “unexpectedly” rotates at the last minute, flinging Knoxville into the side of a wooden barn).

Judging by a handful of online documentary shorts about the real Action Park, daredevil east coast teens (too young to recognize the concept of their own mortality) loved the fact that the place was so dangerous, giving them bragging rights for having survived its most treacherous rides — including two, the Cannonball Loop and Alpine Slide, that are re-created here in all their death-defying peril. Unfortunately, the movie (directed by TV comedy helmer Tim Kirkby) does little to put audiences in visitors’ shoes, depicting park guests as a bunch of cheapskates lured by the promise of free liquor.

Knoxville frames the entire story from the present, showing up in “Bad Grandpa”-style old-age makeup — which surprisingly makes him look more handsome than the haggard, hard-living 47-year-old that he is today — to reminisce about how things were in 1979, back when such places could exist without fear of being held responsible for their customers’ hospital bills (at least six people died at Action Park). “There was a little something called personal responsibility,” D.C. tells his granddaughter, embodying the worst possible example for impressionable children (no wonder the film is rated R).

D.C. is seldom seen without a can of Schlitz in his hand, while the most common joke involves a big brown bear that has been trained to pretend it’s drinking beer (a close second is a park mascot in a bear suit who sustains all kinds of abuse). Outfitted in dorky-looking vintage summer duds (tight pants and short shorts), D.C.’s employees are equally unprofessional. If anyone should happen to design “Action Point” action figures down the road, Pontius’ fishnet-clad character will come with a gnarly looking hatchet in hand at all times, while the others are more or less interchangeable.

The main character here is Action Point itself, of course, which convincingly looks as if location scouts managed to find a condemned amusement park and subsequently arranged to destroy it, when in fact, they traveled all the way to South Africa, where they constructed this rickety facsimile of the New Jersey venue from scratch (except for a vintage carousel labeled Schlittenfart, which they paid to have imported, since the name made them laugh). As with the kind of concussion-inducing rides featured in the movie, thrill-seekers ought to know what they’re in for and are strongly encouraged to proceed at their own risk.

Film Review: Johnny Knoxville in 'Action Point'

Reviewed at Pacific Theatres at the Grove, Los Angeles, June 1, 2018. MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 84 MIN.

Production: A Paramount Pictures release and presentation of a Gerber Pictures production. Producers: Johnny Knoxville, Bill Gerber, Derek Freda. Executive producers: Garrett Grant, Jon Kuyper. Co-producer: Adam Schroeder.

CREW: Director: Tim Kirkby. Screenplay: John Altschluer, Dave Krinsky; story: Johnny Knoxville, Derek Freda, Altschuler, Krinsky, Mike Judge. Camera (color): Michael Snyman. Editors: Matthew Kosinski, Nicholas Monsour. Music: Deke Dickerson, Andrew Feltenstein, John Nau.

WITH: Johnny Knoxville, Chris Pontius, Dan Bakkedahl, Matt Schulze, Eleanor Worthington-Cox, Johnny Pemberton, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Joshua Hoover, Conner McVicker, Eric Manaka.

Nonton Film Upgrade (2018) Full Movie

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Film Upgrade (2018) Full Movie
Review Film Upgrade (2018) Full Movie
Director: Leigh Whannell With Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson, Christopher Kirby, Simon Maiden, Benedict Hardie, Melanie Vallejo, Richard Cawthorne, Clayton Jacobson, Sachin Joab, Michael M. Foster, Linda Cropper, Roscoe Campbell. Release Date: Jun 1, 2018
Official Site:

“Upgrade” is a compact sci-fi action B-movie that wants to be a hip little genre exercise but doesn’t have the chops (or maybe it’s just the imagination) to entirely pull it off. The film isn’t a dud — it “delivers the goods” in a certain reductive, baseline action-fanboy way. Yet “Upgrade” is the sort of movie that thinks it’s more ingenious than it is, starting with the premise, which is a semi-catchy, semi-stupid hoot in a way that the movie couldn’t have completely intended.

In a future landscape that looks a lot like today, except for the occasionally advanced gizmo doodad (i.e., what the filmmakers had the budget for), an analog junkie name Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) — how old school is he? So old school that he refurbishes ’70s Pontiacs and listens to Howlin’ Wolf on vinyl — is riding with his corporate bread-winner wife, Asha (Melanie Vallejo), in their driverless luxury vehicle that resembles a speeding metal honeycomb. When the car crashes, they’re ambushed by a pack of muggers who murder Asha and brutally wound Grey, who wakes up to learn that he is now a quadriplegic.

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For about the next 20 minutes of screen time, he, of course, turns into a miserable druggie wretch with Nothing To Live For. But Eron Keen (Harrison Gilbertson), a young robot-limb entrepreneur with the sleek hair, steely eyes, and fascist space-cadet demeanor of an actor ordered up by a studio executive who said “Get me a Jared Leto type!,” offers to make Grey the subject of a bold experiment in rejuvenation, like the Six Million Dollar Man meets the decimated hero of “RoboCop.”

A device called STEM, which resembles a small metal roach, is surgically implanted in Grey’s spinal column. It’s a computer that reconnects his mind to his body, and also fuses with his body, so that Grey can become an invincible fighting machine, his limbs controlled by programming (at least, when he wants them to be) and the voice of STEM talking directly to him, inside his skull, in tones of gentle resolve that are clearly designed to remind you of HAL from “2001: A Space Odyssey” (though he sounds like a HAL who just graduated from a Tony Robbins seminar).

“Upgrade” doesn’t try and pretend that it isn’t a derivative thriller. The writer-director, Leigh Whannell, a key member of the “Saw” and “Insidious” franchise teams (though this is only the second feature he’s directed, after “Insidious 3”), would probably be perfectly happy if you watched his movie and name-checked all the influences he’s vacuumed into it, from “The Hidden” to “Ex Machina” to “The Terminator.”

But here’s the hoot factor. When Grey is up and fighting, his limbs punching and chopping with relentlessly engineered precision, he’s supposed to be an astounding fantasy being, a human with a lethal weapon system inside him — a computer that’s at once his comrade and his enemy. But the pummeler we see is no different, really, than a thousand action heroes, from Jason Bourne to whoever Jason Statham is playing on VOD this week, who never make a wrong move and always defeat each foe with slashing invincibility. That Grey has a computer consciousness guiding his every action isn’t so much spectacular as redundant.

The fact that he stands ramrod straight, and that each of his moves is mathematically designed to be the most efficient one possible at that moment, goes back to an even earlier model of hand-to-hand combat perfection: the martial-arts genre. All we’re watching, really, is Bruce Lee on auto-pilot. At one point, Grey does something a bit “Saw”-like breaking someone’s jaw by stretching it open until it’s a leering rictus. I might have welcomed more of that since it’s at least colorful. Mostly, though, the unintentional joke of this parable of transformative “body horror” is that it’s just a routine ninja movie decorated with stray futurist trappings.

STEM the computer is more than a shadow killer. He also helps Grey re-run footage of the fatal mugging and zeroes in on clues that let him track down his wife’s killers. But couldn’t Grey have used an ordinary computer to do that? Who cares if it’s in his head?

As a vengeful action film, “Upgrade” is perfectly acceptable fodder. There’s a hint of video-game consciousness at work in its image of an old-fashioned hero — who Logan Marshall-Green makes sympathetic, if not all that distinctive — committing violence by learning to wield his own body as a kind of murderous avatar. But the film doesn’t develop or explore any of this; it’s just sort of there. Kind of like that voice in your head that says, “Look, another kick-ass killing. Cool. Exciting. Next.”

Film Review: 'Upgrade'

Reviewed at Park Avenue Screening Room, New York, May 23, 2018. Rating: R. Running time: 95 MIN.

PRODUCTION: A BH Tilt release of a Blumhouse Productions, Goalpost Pictures production. Producers: Jason Blum, Kylie Du Fresne, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones. Executive producers: Rosemary Blight, Ben Grant.

CREW: Director, Screenplay: Leigh Whannell. Camera (color, widescreen): Stefan Duscio. Editor: Andy Canny. Music: Jed Palmer.

WITH: Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Harrison Gilbertson, Christopher Kirby, Simon Maiden, Benedict Hardie, Melanie Vallejo, Richard Cawthorne, Clayton Jacobson, Sachin Joab, Michael M. Foster, Linda Cropper, Roscoe Campbell.

Nonton Film American Animals (2018) Full Movie

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Film American Animals (2018) Full Movie
Review Film American Animals (2018) Full Movie
There are a few intriguing questions raised by “American Animals,” a fact-based drama about the four college-age men who, in 2004, attempted a misguided heist of rare books — including John James Audubon’s “Birds of America,” said to be worth $12 million — from the library of Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky. Why did they do it? What have they learned from it? And will anyone really want to watch a movie about such foolish people who, during one abortive attempt to make off with the oversize volume of ornithological prints, disguise themselves — badly — as elderly men?

The answer to the last question, at least, is yes. Written and directed by Bart Layton, “American Animals” is fascinating, funny and, in the end, deep. It’s a thematic cousin to the English filmmaker’s similarly probing and improbable “The Imposter,” a 2012 documentary about a young French man who presented himself, falsely, to the mother of a missing Texas child as her long-lost son. Both films interrogate the notion of crime, guilt and a certain, disturbingly American spirit of absurdity.

The answers to the other two questions are more elusive.

“American Animals” differs from “The Imposter” in that it is lightly fictionalized. The words “This not a true story” appear on-screen at the start, only to have the “not” disappear, indicating a relationship with the truth that acknowledges both its aspirational qualities and its unknowability. Like last year’s marvelous “I, Tonya,” “American Animals” is based on interviews with the perpetrators: in this case, Spencer Reinhard, Warren Lipka, Eric Borsuk and Chas Allen, whose often contradictory accounts of their crime are peppered throughout the film, guiding us through the reenactments, even as they call them into question. At times, the four men briefly appear alongside the actors who portray them (respectively, Barry Keoghan, Evan Peters, Jared Abrahamson and Blake Jenner), lending the film an additional patina of surrealism. They are not just tellers of the tall tale, Layton suggests, but participants in and witnesses to it.

From left, the ineptly disguised Jared Abrahamson, Evan Peters, Blake Jenner and Barry Keoghan. (The Orchard)
That embrace of factuality’s slippery nature lends the film a delirious headiness, turning what might otherwise have been just another true-crime story into something more philosophical and complex. At its core, “American Animals” is most interested in this question: What is it about these four examples of the American millennial — all products of Lexington’s elite high schools — that led to their sense of entitlement and impunity? As an Englishman, Layton’s status as an outsider is underscored by the film’s ironic title, which alludes both to Audubon’s book and the sense of a behavioral zoologist whose study is Man himself (or, at least, the New World variant of the species).

Keoghan, so wonderfully unsettling in “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” is the central character here, delivering a finely nuanced portrait of apathy turned to amorality. His castmates are also good, with Ann Dowd (so creepy in “The Handmaid’s Tale”) delivering a particularly fine performance as the beleaguered librarian Betty Jean Gooch, who was tied up, shot with a stun gun and blindfolded during the robbery.

“American Animals,” while an entertaining version of a heist film at times, is no “Ocean’s 8.” Its signature moment occurs not during the reenactment of the inept crime, or its planning and antic aftermath. Rather, it comes in the middle of one of Lipka’s interview scenes, when the ex-con, now in his 30s and out of jail, is stunned into tearful, inarticulate silence while reflecting on his own capacity for — and ultimately inability to explain away his rationale for — evil.

R. At area theaters. Contains strong language throughout and some drug use. 116 minutes.