Movie Review – The Exception

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The Exception (2017)
Written by Simon Burke
Directed by David Leveaux

the exception

Captain Stefan Brandt, a member of Hitler’s Third Reich, is assigned to protect the exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II at his country home in the Netherlands. Once there he finds a former monarch who is hesitant to throw his support behind the Fuhrer. The Gestapo shows up to check out a rumored English spy among the villagers, and Brandt seems rather uninterested in this side hunt. Instead, he becomes enamored with Mieke, a young maid in the Kaiser’s staff. Things suddenly become even more complicated when word comes that SS Commander Heinrich Himmler is coming to secure the Kaiser’s loyalty. Brandt finds himself torn between his duty to Germany, his admiration of the Kaiser, and his love for Mieke.

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Movie Review – Heaven Knows What

Heaven Knows What (2014)
Written by Arielle Holmes, Josh Safdie & Ronald Bronstein
Directed by Benny & Josh Safdie

heaven knows what

Harley has sunk deep into the heroin junkie community of New York City. Almost worse than her drug addiction is her obsession with the sadistic Ilya, a fellow homeless user that continually antagonizes and abuses Harley. In the opening scene of the film, her emotional overload leads Harley to slit her wrists in the middle of a park. After a few days in a psychiatric hospital, she wanders through life clinging to different destructive men who fail to help her escape this addiction. The rest of the film is a descent into the nightmare world of heroin addiction, a hazy exodus of repetition and remaining in stasis.

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Movie Review – They Remain

They Remain (2017)
Written & Directed by Philip Gelatt

they-remain

Keith and Jessica are sent for an extended research assignment to study nature. This isn’t your typical assignment because the plot of land they are visiting is the site of ritualized murders committed by a Manson-style cult decades before. The private interest backing the expedition wants to know if such acts of depravity and evil have left a mark on the environment. Keith goes out each day, placing cameras and gathering samples. Jessica stays in their geodesic dome headquarters processing samples, looking for some elusive unknown. Keith encounters a wild dog that seems to be leading him through the woods, and both researchers begin to experience hallucinations and dreams about the dark acts performed on this land. Something evil lurks in the darkness and is slowly luring two more victims to it.

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Movie Review – Wag the Dog

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Wag the Dog (1997)
Written by Hilary Henkin and David Mamet
Directed by Barry Levinson

wag the dog

When the President is under the weight of a scandal he gets help from Conrad Brean, a master spin doctor who has an endless bag of tricks to manipulate the media. He creates distractions that get people talking about the spin instead of the scandal. So the President needs his help when he is caught fooling around with an underage Firefly scout during her troupe’s visit to the White House. Brean strikes upon the idea of creating a false war with Albania to fill up the news cycle. Brean gets help from White House staffer Winifred Ames and Hollywood producer Stanley Motss to create a false yet believable war. This war comes complete with footage from war-torn Albania, a star-studded patriotic anthem, and war hero that needs to be brought home.

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Movie Review – The Adderall Diaries

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The Adderall Diaries (2016)
Written & Directed by Pamela Romanowsky

adderall-diaries

Stephen Elliott’s first book was a memoir on his mother’s death due to cancer and the subsequent emotional and physical abuse at his father’s hands which he cites as driving him to drugs. Stephen has gotten a new book deal and is checking out what he wants to write about next, finally setting on the murder trial of Hans Reiser, a software guru accused of killing his estranged wife. During a reading from his memoir, Stephen is interrupted by his father whom he has written had died years prior. This sudden revelation causes the writer to lose credibility among New York’s publishing scene and eventually strains his relationships. With little options, Stephen decides to directly confront his father and his misgivings about his memories of the past.

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Movie Review – Annihilation

Annihilation (2018)
Written & Directed by Alex Garland

annihilation

Lena, a cellular biologist, is finally in the mourning stages after her husband Kane was sent on a secret military mission. At the twelve-month mark, she is starting to move on when Kane appears from nowhere in their house. He falls into a coma and Lena is taken to a government base on the edge of a phenomenon called the Shimmer. Lena is informed that an object dropped from space three years prior and has created a growing field of energy. Multiple teams and drones have been sent in, but nothing has come back, and Kane is the first person to ever emerge. Lena finds out a team is about to head in days from now and volunteers herself, without informing them of her personal connection. As the quartet travels further into the Shimmer the more bizarre natural mutations, they encounter all until the real darkness is revealed at its center.

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Movie Review – Enemy

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Enemy (2013)
Written by Javier Gullón
Directed by Denis Villeneuve

enemy

Adam Bell is a college history professor that live a very routine and mundane existence. He teaches in the day, comes home to his dingy apartment, where he has sex with a non-committal lover, and sleeps. The monotony is broken when a colleague suggests he rent a movie he had seen, “Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way.” Adam watches the film but that night has a dream about one of the scenes and there, in the background, playing a hotel bellhop is a man who looks exactly like him. He watches the film again, and yes, that wasn’t a dream, it was a memory. Through internet sleuthing, he discovers the actor’s name, Daniel St. Claire and begins searching out his home and learning about his life. As Adam descends down this path of madness, he comes to a point where everything he thought he knew about his reality begins to crumble.

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