Warning: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable in /homepages/45/d96662078/htdocs/clickandbuilds/TheBackseatDriverReviews/wp-includes/post-template.php on line 293 ↓
Some weeks, we go for a theme. Other weeks, not so much. If you can find a theme this week, by all means, more power to you. Wednesday will see a look at the film anthology Holidays, brought to you …Continue reading →
Ever work totally alone? I’m not talking independently on a project. I mean you’re completely solo, with no one around you. Ever do that at night? Even if you have a strong constitution, it’s still a bit unnerving. It’s not …Continue reading →
2005’s Everything Is Illuminated is a film that manages to baffle me. On one hand, it’s excellent. On the other hand, everyone I mention this film to looks at me like I’ve sprouted an extra head and goes, “Is that …Continue reading →
About five minute into Nicolas Winding Refn’s Bronson, I felt like I owed Tom Hardy a drink. Anyone who is naked that much in front of me deserves alcohol at the very least. As Charlie Bronson, Hardy was naked multiple …Continue reading →
Sorry for the posting delay, but I wanted to make sure I added another trailer that I felt merited especial attention, given the timing and subject matter. Snowden, the upcoming Oliver Stone film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, tells the story of the young CIA employee who blew the lid off of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) surveillance program in 2013. Hailed as a whistleblower and denounced as a traitor, Snowden has spent the past few years exiled in Russia and is now seeking President Obama’s pardon and permission to return to the United States.
Oliver Stone is certainly not the subtlest filmmaker, and having seen his interpretation of the Bush Administration in W., I have a pretty good idea how he has chosen to tell Snowden’s story. Nonetheless, Gordon-Levitt has done an amazing job channeling Snowden’s voice and mannerisms. I also think it’s an important story to tell, given the questions it raises as to how much we trust our government: a question that has arguably led to the populist disillusionment evident in our current presidential election. Whether Snowden is a hero or a traitor is a matter of perspective; the activities of the NSA PRISM program have since been denounced as illegal, but the exposure of international secrets can be seen as another matter. Either way, Stone’s movies have a way of generating discussion – in this case, how much of our freedom we are willing to give up for security. Snowden is scheduled to open in theaters nationwide this Thursday, September 15, 2016:
Kate Winslet Stuns as an Aussie Fairy Godmother in The Dressmaker
The agelessly lovely Kate Winslet stars as a sort of femme fatale returning to her hometown – and Liam Hemsworth – in the Australian Outback. The Dressmaker follows Winslet’s character, Myrtle “Tilly” Dunnage, as she attends to her mother and confronts the town gossip over a tragic secret for which Tilly was accused and apparently for which she was never forgiven. Based on a novel by Rosalie Ham, The Dressmaker is billed as a revenge comedy-drama, which is evident in the events presented in the trailer. A resplendent Tilly stirs up the drab locals and eventually transforms them through her talents as a world-renown fashion designer. Despite her best attempts to win them over, she still must confront the painful past and shut down their accusations once and for all.
The Dressmaker premiered in Australia last year and received numerous awards, including Best Film and Best Lead Actress according to the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards. It is scheduled to release in America on September 23, 2016. Let’s see if the winsome cast and period-piece mystery story can find an audience here in the States. We could use a little resplendency right now:
I hosted Nika and our friend Cate over for brunch today. I’m not entirely out of my food coma yet. So this week has a bit of a change: I was planning on covering one film, and wound up going …Continue reading →
The Backseat Driver ReviewsPosted on by Nika Black
I was flipping through Amazon Prime, looking for something to watch, when I came across an anime I haven’t watched in a decade. Kino’s Journey is one of the first anime my wife and I watched together. It holds a …Continue reading →
After looking at Mulholland Drive, why the hell not recommend something from Cronenberg? It’s a bit like being a glutton for punishment in this respect. I’ll be frank: Maps to the Stars may not be for everyone. Some find it …Continue reading →
A few weeks ago, I did something bad. I recommended Donnie Darko as a film to review to the boys over at the Scott and Liam Vs. Evil podcast. Time travel can be a doozy with that one, but the …Continue reading →
Through Ms. Miskell’s graciousness, I’ve been allowed to contribute my own little entries in the form of Trailer Tuesdays, in which I’ll highlight one or two trailers from upcoming movies. I promise to provide as much humor and snark as I am capable and in the keeping of our blog’s mission. So without further ado, here are the first two trailers for this first column:
Eddie Murphy Adopts a Family in Mr. Church
As I child of the 80s, I was more than aware of the presence of Eddie Murphy. But awareness was as far as I got, given that Murphy’s very adult humor wouldn’t be considered a match for someone of my tender years. As maligned as adulthood is with the weightier responsibilities of life, there are quite a number of perks to finally being a grownup: no one has the authority to tell you NOT to have ice cream for breakfast, and you can finally look up all those risqué movies and songs you were not allowed to listen to at one time. Enter – again – Eddie Murphy. I actually turned into a bit of a fan, even if the glory days of Beverly Hills Cop and Coming to America are behind him (side note: I still want to form a band called Sexual Chocolate, even if I have to revise that to Sexual WHITE Chocolate). Also, there are a number of more recent enjoyable performances in Shrek and the underrated Dr. Doolittle that are unfairly overshadowed by the inferior assignments he’s either forced or coerced to take on. He is a working actor, after all, and one’s gotta take what one can get sometimes, as Hollywood seems often at a loss in knowing how to harness an older actor’s style to current trends.
However, Hollywood and Murphy seem determined to make magic again with Mr. Church, an Envision Media Arts production set to open September 16. According to the information provided by Rotten Tomatoes, the film is set in 1965 Los Angeles where the titular Mr. Church has moved in to take care of a single mom and her daughter, Charlie (Charlotte) through the arrangement of the mother’s former lover (though all that is ambiguous in the trailer). The relationship between Church and Charlie bristles at first and then softens to Charlie’s acceptance of Mr. Church as a friend and father figure as she grows from a precocious young girl to a Boston University student, and then as an unmarried mother. Through it all, Mr. Church is the center of Charlie’s family and it seems, for Mr. Church, it’s mutual. Sadly, the critics aggregated by Rotten Tomatoes aren’t feeling very generous towards this movie. But I’ll watch it anyway. I want to give Mr. Murphy all the support I can as a viewer: