6 items from 2017
“Mine,” starring Armie Hammer as a U.S. Marine sergeant trapped in the desert on top of a land mine (if he lifts his left foot, it will blow), is a drama that pretends to be a serious consideration of war, and even a philosophical rumination on freedom and existence. Yet it really belongs to that quirky, death-trap genre that’s been gaining in popularity lately — call it the Thriller About Someone Who Gets Stuck in One Place. Other examples of the form include the Blake Lively shark-peril suspense drama “The Shallows” (or its far superior progenitor, “Open Water”), the Ryan Reynolds-in-a-coffin thriller “Buried,” the Robert-Redford-cast-away-on-a-sailboat art film “All Is Lost,” and the drama that’s probably the granddaddy of them all: the haunting and ingenious 1955 “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” episode “Breakdown” (one of the 20 episodes of that series Hitchcock directed himself), in which a heartless businessman, paralyzed after an auto accident, »
- Owen Gleiberman
MaryAnn’s quick take… A wonder of low-budget suspense, this is a horror movie with no monsters, only people in an impossible situation. Intense, claustrophobic, totally gripping. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
An American military team commandeers a rickety old submersible from a Swedish research vessel in South Korean waters for a secret mission. Submersible pilot Mats (Johannes Kuhnke) is unhappy that he has too little time to prep his “scrappy and fragile” sub to carry their mysterious payload and more people than it really should, but he has no choice, and off they go to the ocean floor: himself, black-ops leader Red (Charlotte Salt: Beowulf), tech nerd Denholm (Elliot Levey: Denial), and hothead (there’s always a hothead) Parks (James McArdle: Star Wars: The Force Awakens). With all of Mat’s safety procedures »
- MaryAnn Johanson
It makes up seventy per cent of our bodies and covers over seventy per cent of the Earth’s surface, and keeps us alive – yet water can also strike terror into our hearts, and, deep in the ocean, conceal frightening forms that wouldn’t hesitate to eat us whole. Such is its power that it’s been used to scare us to death for years on the big screen!
As a warning to film fans, we’ve put together a handy guide that pinpoints the places where the waters are their most terrifying and deadly. Caution: Things ahead could get very wet indeed.
Location: The Yellow Sea, China
The Yellow Sea, located between China and Korea, is so called because sand from the desert turns the surface of the water golden yellow. But don’t be fooled – underneath that alluring surface, things get very black, very fast.
- Phil Wheat
Ok, so you want to know whether or not Cage Dive is for you… Let me get straight to the point before you read any further. Answer the following questions:
1) Do you love found footage movies (I said Love not like)?
2) Do you like spending time watching a film full of unlikeable characters?
3) Are you happy to feel completely unsatisfied with the outcome of a film?
4) Have you seen The Reef?
If you’ve answered no to any of the first 3 questions and/or yes to the last question, the Cage Dive is Not for you. If you’re still intrigued, then read on.
- Phil Wheat
When it comes to films where sharks are at the forefront, there’s a pretty large spectrum in terms of the quality of products we’ve been given over the years. On one end, of course, is Jaws, the undisputed king of shark movies that set a precedent that none that have followed in its wake have ever cleared. Then, on the complete opposite end, you can find things like the Sharknado series, any number of Syfy Channel original movies with names like Ghost Shark and Sharktopus, and even Jaws: The Revenge.
Caught in between are films like Open Water, The Reef, and last year’s The Shallows, all projects that didn’t soar as high as Jaws, but thankfully never sank to the lowest depths of the worst types of shark movies. More than that, however, they managed to prove that there’s still some serious life left in »
- Geoff Cox
The Hamptons International Film Festival (Hiff) will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a special screening series of 25 films. As part of “25 Years: 25 Films,” Hiff will screen one film from each year of the festival in 24 different screenings spread across the Hamptons, Palm Beach, New York City and Los Angeles, culminating in a final screening and Lifetime Achievement Award presentation before the 25th annual festival in October.
The series kicks off Feb. 17 at Guild Hall in East Hampton with “The Piano,” which originally screened at Hiff in 1993. The series will then head to Palm Beach on Feb. 23 for 2010’s “Black Swan.” Other films to be screened include “The Artist,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Still Alice,” “The Cove,” “Open Water,” “Heavenly Creatures” and “Searching for Sugarman,” as well as the Oscar-nominated “Diving Bell and Butterfly,” “Embrace of the Serpent,” “I Am Not Your Negro.”
“We thought this would be a great opportunity to bring »
- Dani Levy
6 items from 2017
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