Aug 30, 2012 / 4:00 pm
Greetings movie lovers, it's time to take a look at what the cinema has to offer us this weekend.
Lawless (Opened Aug. 29.)
Lawless is the true story of the infamous Bondurant Brothers: bootlegging siblings who made a run for the American Dream in Prohibition-era Virginia. In this epic gangster tale, inspired by true-life tales of author Matt Bondurant's family in his novel "The Wettest County in the World", the loyalty of three brothers is put to the test against the backdrop of the nation's most notorious crime wave.
I'm a huge fan of the gangster genre, so it should come as no surprise that I'm looking forward to seeing this film quite a bit. What has me intrigued the most is the fact that it is directed by Australian filmmaker John Hillcoat, who wowed audiences in 2005 with his brutally violent yet exceptional western movie The Proposition. He then went on to make the bleak post-apocalyptic film The Road with Viggo Mortensen. Based on what I've seen of Lawless, it appears that Hillcoat has once again created a hard hitting, unrelentingly violent film that will hopefully be compelling to watch. It features an excellent cast that includes Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska. If you are a fan of hard nosed, gritty gangster films set during the 20's then Lawless will probably be the film you'll want to check out this weekend. I know I will.
Based on a true story, The Possession is the terrifying account of how one family must unite in order to survive the wrath of an unspeakable evil. Clyde (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Stephanie Brenek (Kyra Sedgwick) see little cause for alarm when their youngest daughter Em becomes oddly obsessed with an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale. But as Em's behavior becomes increasingly erratic, the couple fears the presence of a malevolent force in their midst, only to discover that the box was built to contain a dibbuk, a dislocated spirit that inhabits and ultimately devours its human host.
Here we go again with yet another horror film about someone being possessed by some sort of evil spirit. How original! Look, I'm a big fan of scary movies and when done properly films about demonic possession can be quite interesting and creepy. Just take for example one of my all-time favourite horrors, The Exorcist. It is one of the most frightening films ever made. Sadly though, The Possession looks like just another cliché ridden scare fest where the possessed girl develops dark circles under her eyes and bugs fly out of her mouth and nothing happens that we haven't already seen in a dozen other films of this genre. I suppose the only thing that might differentiate this film from others is that it converts a predominantly Catholic-fixated horror subgenre to Judaism. The rating was also trimmed down from an R to a PG-13 to capture more of the youth market so make of that what you will die hard horror fans. Are you still interested?
The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure
The Oogieloves - Goobie, Zoozie and Toofie - set out to find five magical balloons that will make their good friend Schluufy's surprise birthday party extra-special.
This one is strictly for the pre-schoolers out there. It's being marketed as an "interactive film" with full-bodied puppets that will encourage singing and dancing along in the theater by children and their parents. This is like an American version of the Teletubbies so if your kids liked them then this will probably be up their alley. It features the voice talents of Toni Braxton, Cloris Leachman, Chazz Palminteri, Christopher Lloyd, Cary Elwes and Jaime Pressly. Have fun kiddies!
Movie Trivia and Tidbits
When asked about the origin of his name, Shia LaBeouf responded saying that the name "Shia" was Hebrew for Praise God and his last name "LaBeouf" was French for Beef, hence the phrase "Praise God for Beef".
Lawless director John Hillcoat has a Canadian connection. The Australian born auteur was actually raised in Hamilton, Ontario and he was such an accomplished artist already as a child that his paintings were featured in the Art Gallery of Hamilton.
The subject of the film The Possession is a Dibbuk box, which is said to contain an evil spirit from Jewish folklore that causes supernatural events to occur. On the set of the film director Ole Bornedal said, "Some really weird things happened. I've never stood underneath a neon light before that wasn't lit, that all of a sudden exploded. The worst thing was, five days after we wrapped the movie, all the props burned. This storage house in Vancouver burned down to the ground, and the fire department does not know the cause. I'm not a superstitious man, and I would like to say, Yeah, it's just a coincidence"
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