Tag Archives: normal person

The Killer Inside Me (2010)

IFC films has brought to my attention another great film I would have otherwise missed. The Killer Inside Me is a gruesomely depicted film, void of emotion, that really showed off how well Casey Affleck could act. Better than his brother, but that’s not hard to imagine. A lot of things struck me in the slowly paced film noir (reminded me of the South’s version of L.A. Noire) about a man spiraling out of control that I wasn’t expecting. You think he was made a killer out of happenstance. You learn something frighteningly different.

Lou Ford (Casey Affleck) is a well to do sheriff in a small podunk town. He’s called out one day to a run down house outside of town in order to force a well known prostitute to abandon her position there. What

A ridiculously twisted performance.

happens is something you wouldn’t expect. This nice boy is smacked across the face and forced to leave. But he finds love, and pain, in the prostitute he brutally beats back. In a sadomasochistic love affair, Lou and Joyce (Jessica Alba) hatch a plan with unexpected drawbacks.

A twisted love affair.

What blew me away in this film was in fact Casey Affleck’s performance. Whenever you are introduced to a character in a film, especially the main character, you want that person to wow you. They’re the person you’ll most likely be following the entire film. And when a character like this who is seen as so traditionally brutal and evil, without an emotion on his face, somewhere inside you wants to root for them. You become so wrapped up in a good actor’s performance that you don’t wanna see it end with them getting caught.

There were some other great appearances in this film as well. The classic Ned Beatty makes an appearance as the rich

Podunk Noir.

villain, Chester Conway. From the outset of the movie, you think he’s the bad guy. But how little you know… Tom Bower from my favorite horror movie, The Hills Have Eyes, makes a great minor role player as the head Sheriff Bob Maples. His southern drawl and terrible drinking problem made him a great comedic relief at times. Elias Koteas, one of those standard character actors makes an appearance as the union leader, Joe Rothman. Ever since I first laid eyes on his acting, I realized Koteas can slip into anyone’s skin and make it seem natural. And Bill Pullman makes a great cameo towards the end as a lawyer. I had a little chuckle with that.

Always gotta look… sharp.

I think what upset a lot of people about this movie (confirmed by Wiki, as usual), is the violence towards women. All of Lou Ford’s sexual interests is beaten to death or near death throughout the film by him. It is in fact hard to watch, but it wouldn’t be a movie about a killer if he never did anyone in… What disturbed me more, personally, is the belt strangling Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson, more than the punches and bruises. The perverse and weird that is meant for behind closed doors, flaunted on camera, and no one mentioned that as a point of discomfort? Oh wait, sex is art and violence in movies is inexcusable… I get the double standard… So where does violent sex acts stand?

This movie, at its core, for me, was about a man losing control of his life. He was a normal person, with some major

Whatcha doing there, Alba?

developmental bumps along the way. He thought becoming a police officer would set him on the right track, but he grew bored. He needed the excitement of the extraordinary and the ability to get away with it as a cop gave him his high. Up until the very end, he felt he could get

Watch the world burn.

away with it. When all was said and done, he still kept his cool and let the world burn around him. It was an eerie film to witness, but made all the more interesting by its brutality and poetic separation from humanity.

If you’ve played L.A. Noire, or love noir films, you have to check this movie out. It breaks away from the genre and sets itself apart as a twisted version of what it sets out to do. It may have upset people who didn’t want to see it, but it may just be right for you to see. Let me know what you think. 9.1 out of 10.

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Black Death: The Medieval Wicker Man

In a movie undeservedly put under the radar, it came as a surprise to me after watching Black Death that it wasn’t a more well liked and well known film. Among a handful of other medival pieces on Netflix (such as Ironclad, and Season of the Witch – review coming soon) this one, I would say, stood out as the #1 spot on the leaderboard. I mean, come on, you got Sean Bean as the lead. He puts his own amazingly remarkable mark on any and all medieval period pieces he does (Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones). So its time to delve into those boils and see what’s good.

This movie starts (and focuses) around the account of a young monk in training. All around him, Osmund (Eddie Redmayne) sees the pestilence of the plague as a blight from God himself. As the movie begins, we even discover that he himself was being tested to see if he caught the plague. As a devastating disease that just took hold of his Church by the throat, Osmund finds himself in turmoil. His new found love Averill

Ulric and his gang at a witch burning. Monty Python style.

(Kimberley Nixon), something the Church wouldn’t approve of, must leave the confines of the monastery and find safety in a forest village far from the reaches of the plague. She promises to go, but will only wait for Osmund for 7 days.

With this separation between human love and the love of God, Osmund must make a choice to choice (although it would be frowned upon if he left the Church at all). Upon praying to God for some sort of sign on which way to go, Ulric and his band of merry men roll up hard to the Church to find a guide.

There are repenters in every one...

There is talk of a necromancer in a swamp somewhere near where Osmund is familiar with. Double whammy for him? He can meet his wench on the way. Overjoyed at the excuse to peace out (deuces style), he volunteers to lead Ulric. After some minor preparation, they head on out.

Here’s where things get sticky. Some people die, some people may (or may not) have the plague, and this village they find in the swamp, hasn’t been touched by the plague. So Sean Bean and his boys suspect witchcraft. And they’ve brought some deadly torture devices to get some confessions and drag home one witches corpse. Utterly decieved, Osmund has no choice but to go on this miniquest for God and his way of life.

The travelling troupe.

I don’t want to reveal too much about the ending, but think The Wicker Man. it doesn’t matter which version (Cage or no Cage) but watch that first and prepare for the medieval version afterwards. It’s not all that uncommon, I’m sure, for a movie to be inspired by another, and I found this version of a society that’s not what it seems to be quite unnerving. Upon looking into this movie, I got worried they’d introduce some B.S. magical element into the story. And I wasn’t having that from a movie that came from a very real place. (Speaking of real, we’ll have to talk about the realness that is Season of the Witch.)

Sean Bean. Witch hunting.

Luckily, I was spared and the movie satisfied me like a goat-wrapped Snickers. And you wanna know who stole the show? It wasn’t Sean Bean. He gave his great performance as his stock Boromir character. It was good, no doubt, no doubt. The real ingenious lay in the true to life performance from Eddie Redmayne. A relatively young actor I’ve not heard much from (other than the big works he’s done that I haven’t seen yet) has been doing period pieces like its his job. I mean, My Week with Marilyn? Who but the Redmayne is lucky enough to do that? But what I really felt about his acting is that he wasn’t faking. He looks like a normal person (of the time period) and I felt his true anguish and terror. Nothing felt forced. It was a spot on acting job.

But I do give Sean Bean his credit. I know that every time I watch a Sean Bean

The evil wench, Carice van Houten.

film, I’m getting a true to life, Shakespearean performance. He cuts no corners when it comes to true acting. On some other levels I found John Lynch’s role as Wolfstan to be riveting. As the older and wiser 2nd in command, Wolfstan tries to protect all that he can and do so with kindess. That kind of heartfelt performance comes from some attention to detail. A little nod to Andy Nyman, a pretty funny guy who applied some dark comedy to Black Death. This was a big turnaround role for me last seeing him as the portly and spunky friend of a friend in Death at a Funeral (the real one). I mistook Johnny Harris, the big old badass with twinblades for Eddie Marsan, and if you’re familiar, you may understand my mistake. Both bald, both bearded, both decent actors.

Will love find a way in such dark times?

As with most adventure movies like this (not exactly adventure, I guess I mean questing), you get to know all the characters in the travelling party a little bit. But not enough to really care whether some of them live or die. I mean… Griff and the mute guy Ivo in this movie? One had boils and one couldn’t talk. Not much was lost when they were killed. Not to say their characters weren’t important, it’s just with movies like this, you can tell the expendables from the not so. So when it comes down to the last guys, then you feel the heartache.

And with this classic film form in mind, the storyline bloodily zips along to its conclusion. Some twists and turns and some witches who burn, the transformation of Osmund is the final result of this film. Told in an almost brutal, Gerard Butler in Beowulf kind of way, a bit of magic never hurts to mix in. This movie delivers how its supposed to and makes for a fine period piece. I’ll give it an 8.1 out of 10.

Truly symbolic.