Tag Archives: Nikki Reed

B Movie Glory with Nate: Pawn

Pawn is another gift from the assembly line of slightly muddled second tier crime dramas, cobbled together with elements of greats from yesteryear, and barely held together at the seam by acting titans who have fallen on hard times chasing that almighty paycheque. That’s not to say it’s bad (although plenty of its breed are woeful), but simply inconsequential and forgettable. Starting off with a simple diner robbery that will inevitably spiral beyond control, we meet a band of clueless petty thieves lead by Michael Chiklis, doing his utter best with a silly cockney accent that has no reason to exist here. Little do these geniuses know, the diner they picked to lift happens to be a front for the Russian mob, setting off a chaotic chain of events that could end in all their deaths. The mob panics, and brings in everyone they can to clutter things up. Two corrupt cops show up, one inside the diner, played by Forest Whitaker, looking like he had some trouble understanding his portion of the script, and one outside, played by Marton Csokas who is underused a lot it seems. Common shows up as a hostage negotiator of all things, which made me chuckle. Stephen Lang is dangerously quiet as the restaurant owner and strong arm of the Russians. He hires a chatty Ray Liotta to hold one of the thieves wives (Nikki Reed) hostage and appear vaguely menacing until everything blows over. So we have scenes of him talking to her in cyclical metaphors interspersed with all the intrigue going down at the diner, and it all amounts to… what, exactly? Well, you’ll have to take a look for yourself, but the while thing seemed rather pointless to me. 

Joss Whedon’s In Your Eyes: A Review by Nate Hill 

JOSS WHEDON ALERT
Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about In Your Eyes, a lovely little romantic/fantasy/drama written by the J Man, concerning a boy and girl who have shared a strange psychic bond over hundreds of miles since they were kids, despite never having met. 

  Its a slightly unconventional romance, a charming, breezy little piece that took me by surprise, having known nothing about it going in except Whedon’s involvment. It starts with his lovely script, laying down the bones for two adorable leads (Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl David) to go to work. Dylan and Rebecca have never met. They live on opposite sides of the US, and lead considerably different lives. They would have nothing in common if it weren’t for an odd metaphysical connection. They can periodically (and often at inconvenient times) see into each others lives like a perceptive window, complete with senses like smell, taste and touch. When they are growing up its confusing and stunted, but I imagine it blossoms along with every other attribute, and suddenly they’ve discovered they’re not both crazy, and that there’s a real person on the other end of this bewitching mutual conduit. Soon they are communicating, much to the puzzlement of everyone else in their lives, who just observes them talking to themselves like loons. Romance isn’t far off, as we can well guess, and soon they are deeply in love in spite of their differences and the great gulf of distance between them. He’s a troubled fellow with a criminal past, a lenghthy RAP sheet and a nosy parole officer (Steve Harris). She’s a mild mannered, fragile girl married to a prissy control freak of a Doctor (Mark Fuerstein). Both of their lives are continuously disrupted by their relationship until they’re at the brink of crisis, and it seems the only way out is to find one a other in person. The almost supernatural aspect of their connection  is treated frankly, like more of a biological anomaly as opposed to ghostly gimmicks. It can be seen as Whedon exploring the nature of love in our world, finding “the one” who is always out there, somewhere, waiting. Or are they? The real hero is his incredibly down to earth script, an easy going, hilarious and poignant piece of writing. The cast is from all walks of Hollywood and includes Nikki Reed, Shameless’s Steve Howey, Richard Rhiele and a priceless cameo from Dirty Dancing’s Jennifer Grey, who is starting to look like a character from Desperate Housewives. Kazan and David are just the cutest, most earnest couple I’ve seen in a romantic film of late. She’s unsure, passionate and intuitive, he’s a scrappy patchwork teddy bear and together they’re perfect, capturing the essence of the relationship in a single very unique sex scene, nestled in with all of their “spiritual Skype” bonding, and eventual face to face meeting. Whedon loves his characters, right down to the bit parts and it shows. His writing is never short of sterling, and this one is another winner for him. 

Joss Whedon’s In Your Eyes: A Review by Nate Hill 

JOSS WHEDON ALERT
Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about In Your Eyes, a lovely little romantic/fantasy/drama written by the J Man, concerning a boy and girl who have shared a strange psychic bond over hundreds of miles since they were kids, despite never having met. 

  Its a slightly unconventional romance, a charming, breezy little piece that took me by surprise, having known nothing about it going in except Whedon’s involvment. It starts with his lovely script, laying down the bones for two adorable leads (Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl David) to go to work. Dylan and Rebecca have never met. They live on opposite sides of the US, and lead considerably different lives. They would have nothing in common if it weren’t for an odd metaphysical connection. They can periodically (and often at inconvenient times) see into each others lives like a perceptive window, complete with senses like smell, taste and touch. When they are growing up its confusing and stunted, but I imagine it blossoms along with every other attribute, and suddenly they’ve discovered they’re not both crazy, and that there’s a real person on the other end of this bewitching mutual conduit. Soon they are communicating, much to the puzzlement of everyone else in their lives, who just observes them talking to themselves like loons. Romance isn’t far off, as we can well guess, and soon they are deeply in love in spite of their differences and the great gulf of distance between them. He’s a troubled fellow with a criminal past, a lenghthy RAP sheet and a nosy parole officer (Steve Harris). She’s a mild mannered, fragile girl married to a prissy control freak of a Doctor (Mark Fuerstein). Both of their lives are continuously disrupted by their relationship until they’re at the brink of crisis, and it seems the only way out is to find one a other in person. The almost supernatural aspect of their connection  is treated frankly, like more of a biological anomaly as opposed to ghostly gimmicks. It can be seen as Whedon exploring the nature of love in our world, finding “the one” who is always out there, somewhere, waiting. Or are they? The real hero is his incredibly down to earth script, an easy going, hilarious and poignant piece of writing. The cast is from all walks of Hollywood and includes Nikki Reed, Shameless’s Steve Howey, Richard Rhiele and a priceless cameo from Dirty Dancing’s Jennifer Grey, who is starting to look like a character from Desperate Housewives. Kazan and David are just the cutest, most earnest couple I’ve seen in a romantic film of late. She’s unsure, passionate and intuitive, he’s a scrappy patchwork teddy bear and together they’re perfect, capturing the essence of the relationship in a single very unique sex scene, nestled in with all of their “spiritual Skype” bonding, and eventual face to face meeting. Whedon loves his characters, right down to the bit parts and it shows. His writing is never short of sterling, and this one is another winner for him. 

B Movie Glory with Nate: Catch 44

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Catch 44 lives in that lurid interzone of direct to video crime thrillers that have the budget for the bare boned minumum: guns, a few big name actors stopping by for a paycheck, and a hard boiled, often ludicrous tale of criminals, cops and sexy chicks knocking each other off for some unnatainable trinket of wealth. Here we meet three lively femmmes fatale: Malin Ackerman, Nikki Reed and Daredevil’s Deborah Ann Woll, the angel’s to Bruce Willis’s Charlie, in this case a sleazy criminal kingpin named Mel. He tasks them with intercepting a mysterious package that passes through a lonesome truckstop diner. All hell breaks loose when the shotgun toting owner (Shea Wigham) takes them off guard,  and blood is shed. From there it all spirals into a mess of chases, strange pseudo artsy setups and the entire cast hamming it up royally as they essentially go nowhere fast. There’s Forest Whitaker who seems to have wandered in from the loony bin, playing a psychotic Sheriff who switches up his accent from scene to scene until we realize we are sitting there watching an Oscar winner warble out a choppy Tony Soprano impression and have to chuckle at the absurdity of it all. Willis has fun doing his nonchalant smirk to kingdom come and sporting a soul patch that steals his scenes before he gets a chance. There’s also an underused Brad Dourif as a confused highway patrolman who wanders in and out of the story. A lot of pulpy outings like this get accused of aping Quentin Tarantino’s style, and while that is often a lazy, bullshit critic’s cliche, here the claim is understandable and not necessarily a bad thing. The soundtrack is appropriately offbeat, the trio of girls have a Death Proof type cameraderie and Willis ambles through his scenes with a verbosity reminiscent of Pulp Fiction. The story is a little haywire and one wonders what the ultimate outcome even means, but it sure has a ball getting there in violent, kooky fashion.