Movie Review: Kill List | Geeks of Doom
As mentioned above, I’m someone who strongly dislikes being told a story that leaves out important details, and Kill List is a blatant offender. Some things happen during the movie that will pique your interest strongly, yet very little is offered as an explanation for these things. Some movie fans adore this approach as it opens doors for their own interpretations, but I feel a little ripped off when a movie asks me to do the work it’s supposed to do and determine for myself the all-important question of “what does it all mean?”
That said, there’s still enough going on and a shocking enough ending where I was still very much intrigued by what had unfolded before my eyes. It made me think after seeing it, and I’m still thinking about it today…which must be a good sign. But if there are gaps in the story so unattended and blank than even your own deep pondering can’t get very close to some semblance of an answer, is it even worth watching to begin with?
Sadly, I do not have an answer for you.
There was a lot of things I very much liked about Kill List: it has a bit of a Nicolas Winding Refn vibe to it with some of the most brutally violent imagery I’ve ever seen put to film, and it even jumps genres faster than you ever expect it to, going from a drama to an action flick, to a horror movie (yes, a horror!). But ultimately, for me anyway, there’s far too many things that I feel like I absolutely needed more answers to and did not get. With just a tad more information, this movie could have been an incredibly dark and pleasantly surprising film to watch, but as it sits it is only something of enigma, made to madden you with confusing contemplation.
Still, I can’t deter you from watching or not. I encourage most (with a strong stomach) to watch it themselves and see what they draw from it. Some will surely enjoy it for what it is while others will have just as many questions as I…if not more.
We got a date for that yet? Any day next week other than Monday is good for me!
New Monthly Movie Night Will Show Unique-ly LA Flicks: LAist
Angeleno cinephiles, and people who want to go out and have fun Monday nights, there's a new event starting this month that should tickle your fancy. Unique LA is launching a Monthly Monday Movie Night at the Echoplex, and all the flicks shown take place in Los Angeles.
The event is the result of a since-birth partnership between Unique LA founder Sonja Rasula and her film editor sister, Hilda. They are collaborating on the film series, and have been hard at work curating movies starring their beloved city.
"We've spent a lot of time curating potential movies for the schedule and are really excited to be presenting such a diverse selection of films," says Sonja in an email. "Whether they are new or old, funny or dramatic, these movies are some of our favorites and we know LA will love them too."
First up, on Monday, February 27, it's Chinatown, the contemporary noir classic based on the Mulholland power grab in a young L.A. Other movies in the series will be Clueless, Friends with Money and Kiss Me Deadly, and more will be announced soon.
During Movie Night, attendees can enjoy booze, Two Boots pizza, and sweet treats from local vendors, plus free popcorn. What's movie without popcorn, right?
And, psst: The next Unique LA event is coming up! It's the Local Love event, perfect for Valentine's shopping for your sweetie: February 11 and 12 at the California Market Center.
Special Events-February 2012 | The Cinefamily
Here ya go Adge...
2/11 - 7PM free (first-come, first serve w/ registration) NOTE: This show is free (first-come, first-serve). To help us track attendance and limit waiting line size, you must pre-register for “first-come, first-serve” admission. One registration per person. All current Cinefamily members get first entry. Your registration does not guarantee you a seat. Early arrival is highly recommended. Doors will open 30 min. before showtime. No one will be admitted after the film has begun.
Animation Breakdown is proud to make its 2012 debut with a special advance screening of The Secret World of Arrietty, the newest animated adventure from the legendary Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Ponyo) based on Mary Norton’s acclaimed children’s book series “The Borrowers.” Arrietty (voiced by Bridgit Mendler), a tiny, but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents (voiced by Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknownst to the homeowner and her housekeeper (voiced by Carol Burnett). Like all little people, Arrietty remains hidden from view, except during occasional covert ventures beyond the floorboards to “borrow” scrap supplies like sugar cubes from her human hosts. But when 12-year-old Shawn (voiced by David Henrie), a human boy who comes to stay in the home, discovers his mysterious housemate one evening, a secret friendship blossoms. If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty’s family from the home and straight into danger. Don’t miss your chance to see this marvel of hand-drawn animation on the big screen before it hits theaters! Disney Presents a Studio Ghibli film, The Secret World of Arrietty, in theatres February 17th. Please note that date on the image above is for general release date. Our special advance screening will take place on Saturday, February 11th.
Dir. Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 2010, 35mm, 94 min.
Tickets – free admission (first-come, first-serve with registration)
NOTE: This show is free (first-come, first-serve). To help us track attendance and limit waiting line size, you must pre-register for “first-come, first-serve” admission. One registration per person. All current Cinefamily members get first entry. Your registration does not guarantee you a seat. Early arrival is highly recommended. Doors will open 30 min. before showtime. No one will be admitted after the film has begun.
Seven Days Of Valentines! | The Cinefamily
This is pretty groovy too.2/14 - 10:30PM $12/free for members Encore show just added for the date of Friday, February 24th, 8:00pm!
If youíve ever been to a showing of Cinefamilyís ďThe 100 Most Outrageous KillsĒ around Halloween time, then you KNOW that itís a mind-blowing mix night of some of the craziest clips on the subject youíve ever seen. Join us for a late-night Valentineís Day premiere of its brand-new sister show ďThe 100 Most Outrageous ****s!Ē
Michael (one-week Run!) | The Cinefamily
I am not going to lie.This did not appeal to me in any way...until I received this email...Thursday, February 16th: 5:30pm, 7:45pm
Friday, February 17th: 5:15pm
Saturday, February 18th: 5:00pm
Sunday, February 19th: 5:15pm, 10:20pm
Monday, February 20th: 5:15pm
Tuesday, February 21st: 5:30pm, 10:35pm
Wednesday, February 22nd: 5:45pm
Thursday, February 23rd: 1:20pm
Friday, February 24th: 7:45pm
Saturday, February 25th: 4:30pm
In a seamless package thatís both as taut as a death grip and as placid as a walk in the winter snow, Markus Schleinzerís compelling, haunting directorial debut sets a new world record for the darkest of character studies, as it follows five months in the lives of a secret pedophile and the ten-year-old boy he keeps imprisoned in his basement. Smartly showing only what the audience needs to see, Schleinzer doesnít represent Michaels controversial subject matter graphically ó as he knows whatís implied is infinitely more unsettling that anything that could be explicitly shown. A former casting director for Austrian master Michael Haneke, Schleinzer also knows how to fill the screen with pitch-perfect characterizations, and here expertly brings together a finely-tuned duo of creepazoid telemarketer (Michael Fuith, in a brilliant turn devoid of obvious tics) and young victim resigned to his fate (David Rachenberger, wise well beyond his years.) Amongst an unsettlingly non-judgmental and jet-black comic atmosphere, Michael places you as close as possible to a very real-world picture that feels all too normal for comfort.
Dir. Markus Schleinzer, 2011, 35mm, 94 min.
It's this kind of brave thinking that makes me want to go and support this. While knowing that it will be unsavory, it's all about storytelling. I HAVE to support movies that push boundaries, and not just for shocks sake. I am, and will continue to be a fan of this scrappy little theater.Hey there Cinefamily,
I got a letter the other day from a concerned, but loyal, patron who wanted to know why we would show MICHAEL--an Austrian art film about a pedophile who keeps a child in his basement--especially in light of horrific current events. Now, as a policy I donít generally believe that a filmís portrayal of a subject matter is in any way an endorsement, and itís certainly not with MICHAEL--a film that is as intelligent and tasteful as a film on this subject matter deserves to be. Iím happy to stick to my guns morally, but thatís not the point. Iím not showing Michael as some kind of stance. Iím showing it because itís great. And itís not the movie you think it is.
When Iíve spoken with people who havenít seen it yet, it seems their impression is irrevocably colored by the disturbing subject matter. People either think itís some kind of provocative, outrť, boundary-pushing, ďcan you handle itĒ? movie along the lines of ANTI-CHRIST or even HAPPINESS, or just a weird Euro-bummer weíre showing because of its taboo focus. But no. Weíre showing MICHAEL because itís the most assured film debut of the year, and a flat out piece of pure cinema. And without a champion itís gonna quietly slip into the good night.
Markus Schleinzer is a skilled pupil from the school of Michael Haneke (heís been Hanekeís casting director for years), and he seems fascinated with this unsettling subject for reasons far more interesting than just pure sensationalism--and this might have confounded some reviewers as to why he made it (why even make a movie about a pedophile, if not to shock?). But I think itís the incredibly private universe, the secretive world of his subject who does not share his life with anyone, that is inherently interesting to this skilled technician of film form. The challenge is to pull us into this world, hypnotically hooking us into the minutiae, and emotional nuances, with a minimum of dialogue.
Like Haneke, Schleinzer has a precise sense of sequence construction--each shot reveals just enough information to activate the viewerís mind, raise a question, leave a clue, or finalize the mosaic of information thatís been slowly building. The sense of timing is impeccable and haunting, the offscreen space alive with reality, and he knows how to cut away at just the right moment to pop your synapses and take your breath away.
MICHAEL is one of those movies by a filmmaker who is keenly aware of what the audience is thinking at all times, and knows how to steer the ship. I canít give it away, but there are sources of suspense in this movie so clever and surprising that my inner screenwriter construction nerd wanted to stand up and cheer. And itís never cheap. Itís never, like his mentor Hanekeís films can sometimes be, punishing. While the subject matter is horrifying, Schleinzer doesnít force you to watch anything you donít want to see.
We are proud to be showing and supporting movies like BULLHEAD (the Belgian nominee for Best Foreign Film) or MARGARET (with its cover story in the LA Weekly), but I know our reasons for showing these great films are more self-explanatory. Hereís a a kind of a rule of thumb: the more mysterious the reasons why weíre showing a movie, the more likely itís because we just really love it. Some films have no obvious commercial appeal, no special guests, no social buzz. Some films are Austrian art films about pedophiles who keep children in their basement--not exactly box office gold, at least where I come from. These are the films weíre showing for just one reason. We want you to see it.
Yeah, read that email this morning and now I'd really like to get out there and see it.
Probably won't happen, but it's a nice thought.
Hey Adgy...ain't this a movie you have championed in the past????
We may have to go see this'un Kingsqueen.
Andrzej Zulawski's "Possession" (brand-new 35mm Print!) | The Cinefamily
Not gonna be able to do opening night, but it plays through the 7th.3/1 - 7:45PM $14/free for members Tonight’s Possession opening night party features a live set by L.A.’s own Tearist, and a DJ set by Becka Diamond! Capturing the energy generated when two people whose lives are so intensely fused and woven are forcibly split, Possession is an emotional nuclear explosion. If all we were given were its operatic and shamanistic performances by leads Isabelle Adjani and Sam Neill, its impossible-to-describe music by Andrzej Korzynski, and its masterful, hyper-kinetical ballet of camera choreography — all delivered with the force of a a long-suppressed traumatic memory — then Possession would already be the best film about divorce ever filmed. But when the angels and demons of our inner nature are literally incarnated in phantasmagorical form — the kind requiring the talents of Oscar-winning creature FX master Carlo Rambaldi (who, instead of making a cutey-pie “E.T.”, concocts a tentacled Lovecraftian octo-sex-demon) — you have the kind of explosively cathartic and entertaining experience that leads to movie-lover nirvanic bliss. Welcome to Possession, your new favorite movie.
Dir. Andrzej Zulawski, 1981, 35mm, 123 min.