THE WOMAN IN BLACK 2: ANGEL OF DEATH || January 2nd, 2015
A vehicle for outstanding performance for the two leads, “A Most Violent Year” showcases the immense talents of Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain, playing a growing power couple on the streets of New York City in 1981. With a huge personal investment in his growing fuel supply business, Issac’s character faces huge road blocks in the form of competitors stealing his fuel and a pending federal investigation into his practices which threatens not just his livelihood but his family members as well. The film gets its name from 1981 actually being one of the most violent years on record in New York City. The film is written and directed by Oscar darling J.C. Chandor.
“The Woman In Black 2: Angel Of Death” lives and dies by jump scares. Void of any real horror innovations or standout performances, the tension is built through atmospheric suspense, relying on dark corners and moving shadows to do all the heavy lifting. Revisiting the daunting Eel Marsh House from the original, this time we’re thrown into WWII as a group of children and their caretakers use the mansion as shelter from the bomb Blitz in London. Once again, the Woman in Black makes her presence felt by revealing herself to a mute orphan boy named Edward who’s being picked on.
Nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Foreign Language Feature category, “Leviathan” comes out of Russia and has been winning awards wherever it goes, including this year’s Golden Globe Awards. Depicting a blue collar mechanic that lives and works on his land and his fight against a corrupt mayor who seeks to take everything from him, there is a picturesque beauty to the area in which this is shot, and the image of the whale bones on the shore is surreal. Full of emotion and what look to be stellar performances, this will eventually be seen as part of my Oscar Challenge.
Manuela Velasco reprises her role as reporter Angela Vidal from the 2007 found footage horror film “[Rec],” this time quarantined on a ship in the middle of the ocean as the zombie virus wrecks havoc on the shipmates. Billed as the final chapter of the series, “[Rec] 4: Apocalypse” has completely abandoned the found footage nature and is shot like an actual big budget horror film, with plenty of sprinting zombies to provide the suspense. Having not seen the 2nd or 3rd film, there was enough merit in the first film to allow for some subsequent viewings.
Chances are you will recognize a few faces in the trailer for “The Wolves Of Savin Hill” but unfortunately the film looks like it was shot on someone’s home video camera. The unfamiliar faces have troubles controlling their performances, with plenty of missed marks in the trailer alone. At first glance, the main character looks like professional wrestler Bill Goldberg. Apparently a story of revenge and insanity, the trailer offers very little in these terms, with nothing but more corrupt cop story-lines and a “mean streets” persona that does not pull through.