‘The Devil All the Time’ is a well-crafted, exceedingly grim slow burn

“The Devil All the Time” – At the 46-minute mark of director Antonio Campos’ film adaptation of Donald Ray Pollock’s debut 2011 novel, Arvin Russell (Tom Holland) sheepishly smiles when his aunt brings out a cake with a lit candle on his birthday.  As an audience, let’s also celebrate the occasion, because this moment is one of the very few on-screen smiles offered in “The Devil All the Time”, a rough-and-tumble, exceedingly grim step into noir.  It’s a picture that might leave you depressed and reduced to near-zero hope for…

Interview with ‘The Devil All the Time’ director Antonio Campos

Director Antonio Campos (“Christine” (2016)) recruits an all-star cast – including Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Sebastian Stan, Mia Wasikowska, Riley Keough, Bill Skarsgard, and Jason Clarke – for his intricate noir picture “The Devil All the Time”.  This story – set in Ohio and West Virginia during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s – is adapted from Donald Ray Pollock’s debut 2011 novel with the same name.  Well, Jeff Mitchell (Phoenix Film Festival, Art House Film Wire) joined other respected names for a terrific group interview with Antonio, and we discussed…

‘The Lighthouse’ is a mesmerizing visual feast…and a rudderless waste of time

“The Lighthouse” – Robert Eggers’ follow-up to his eerie, creepy horror film “The Witch” (2015) (4/4 stars) is an equally eerie, creepy drama about two weathered men watching over a lonely lighthouse. There’s little doubt that this visual feast sets a disturbing tone, as “The Lighthouse” has an Ingmar Bergman-“Hour of the Wolf”-thing working greatly in its favor.  Filmed entirely in black and white and almost exclusively with a 1:1 aspect ratio (or very close to it), Eggers delivers a horrible sense of doom on a teeny, tiny island near…

10 Quirky Comedies: ‘Damsel’

“Damsel” (2018) – In the movie business, when one says damsel, the words in distress usually follow.  Obviously, most unmarried women are not in distress, but Samuel (Robert Pattinson) believes that one particular damsel, Penelope (Mia Wasikowska), needs to be swept off her feet.  Directors David and Nathan Zellner’s (“Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter” (2014)) latest creation is a hilarious, offbeat surprise and the most unique western to arrive on the big screen in years. With classic genre themes like long stretches on horseback, beautiful skies and hazardous saloons, but also quirky…

Pattinson stars in a great film that is anything but a ‘Good Time’

“Good Time” – The definition of resourceful is “having the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties.” Connie Nikas (Robert Pattinson) is resourceful. The definition of desperate is “feeling, showing, or involving a hopeless sense that a situation is so bad, that it is impossible to deal with.” Connie Nikas is also desperate. Beware of a resourceful, desperate man, because he is dangerous. Directors Benny and Josh Safdie engineered a wildly stressful film that lurks in the grit and grime of an impossible situation, which features Connie as…

Gray and Hunnam discover an absorbing journey towards ‘The Lost City of Z’

“The Lost City of Z” – “It is there, and we must find it.” – Col. Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) “Ain’t nobody comes back from up there.” – A disbeliever When traveling, I frequently look to my phone for five-star reviews for some out of the way restaurant or coffee shop.  Sure, I may not be too familiar with the new neighborhoods or roadways, but the determination to discover a sought-after meal or liquid caffeine is strong.  Well, that is the extent of my efforts in exploration, so – to…