Author: Sean K. Cureton

The Disaster Artist Offers Studio Comedy Caricature

Overview: The true story behind the making of The Room and the bizarre friendship held between its two principal actors, Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero. A24; 2017; Rated R; 104 minutes. James Dean and Marlon Brando: The circumstances that gave birth to The Room border on the unbelievable. Written and directed by its enigmatic leading man, Tommy Wiseau, the film was independently funded by him to the tune of $6 million. Unfortunately for everyone involved, Wiseau’s magnum opus doesn’t look like a $6 million motion picture. Far from it, The Room is marked by a peculiar narrative and lacks...

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Why You Should Be Watching Easy

Originally published on October 4, 2016. Writer and director Joe Swanberg got his start in the mid-2000s as an influential member of the Mumblecore film movement. Defined as a distinctive sub-genre of the American independent film revolution that has its roots in the 1990s, Swanberg and others defined themselves through a new form of cinematic Naturalism, connoting both an intensely paid attention to detail in realistic performance and dialogue. In some of the earliest Mumblecore features, many key actors were untrained performers, whose respective naïveté gave birth to much of the sub-genre’s understated pathos and emotional drama. Frequently centering...

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Suburbicon Is A Mixed Bag

Overview: A tight-knit American family is caught in the center of a cycle of prejudice, racism, and violence in the 1950s. Paramount Pictures; 2017; Rated R; 105 minutes. Anywhere, USA: Based on an original script penned by the Coen Brothers in 1986 shortly after the theatrical release of their debut film Blood Simple, Suburbicon was shelved for just shy of 20 years before George Clooney was approached to star in and direct the movie in 2005. Eventually, more Coen regulars joined the cast of the feature length production—namely lead actors Matt Damon and Julianne Moore—while Clooney turned his full...

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We Will All Be Immortalized As Content In Marc Maron: Too Real

“We will all be immortalized as content.” Delivered as a tag to one of the many longwinded non-sequiturs that constitute the entirety of standup comedian Marc Maron’s latest hour-long Netflix special, Marc Maron: Too Real, the sentiment feels more than thematically appropriate for the time in which it is being delivered. In the fallout of the 2016 presidential election, Maron’s fears and anxieties in the age of Donald Trump have been given a new prescience. Rather than signifying any sort of hyperbolic neurosis, Maron’s stereotypical manic energy has a real bogeyman to attach itself to. Famous for his unconventional...

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Netflix Hidden Gem: Carnage Park

Carnage Park (2016) Director: Mickey Keating Genre: Horror IFC Midnight Synopsis: Psychotic Vietnam war veteran Wyatt Moss (Pat Healy) terrorizes a young woman named Vivian Fontaine (Ashley Young) in a deadly game of cat and mouse in the California desert. Overview: Written and directed by Mickey Keating as a thematic and aesthetic throwback to classic 1970s exploitation films, Carnage Park sees Pat Healy flexing all of his character actor chops as a supremely deranged central antagonist. After a hapless bank robber mistakenly makes his way into a stretch of privately owned California desert, Wyatt makes short work of ‘Scorpion’ Joe Clay (James...

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On Loneliness & Abuse In Stephen King’s IT

I first read the gargantuan Stephen King horror epic IT when I was a freshman in high school. At the time, I was fairly comfortable with myself and my ability to relate to those around me. In middle school, I had established a relatively stable core group of friends with whom I conversed on a daily basis. I could pretend that I was fitting in despite my inherent inclination towards isolation and taciturn contemplation. I had always experienced some trouble relating to other kids my own age, and had always gravitated towards conversing with my elders, whether it be my own...

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Netflix Hidden Gem: Donald Cried

Donald Cried (2017) Director: Kristopher Avedisian Genre: Comedy The Orchard Overveiw: A frazzled man returns home when his grandmother dies only to find himself beset upon by a troubled acquaintance that he soon becomes indebted to. Synopsis: Following its premiere at South by Southwest in 2016, Donald Cried saw theatrical release earlier this year. Serving as the directorial debut of lead actor and screenwriter Kristopher Avedisian, Donald Cried is an unsettling dark comedy about fraternal friendship. As Donald Treebeck, Avedisian has crafted one of the most accurate portrayals of the surreal nature beholden to an inherently juvenile intimacy. When...

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Netflix Hidden Gem: Goon

Goon (2011) Director: Michael Dowse Genre: Comedy Magnet Releasing Synopsis: A simple-minded bouncer, who is professionally and emotionally adrift, inadvertently winds up becoming an enforcer for a minor league ice hockey team. Overview: Like the thematically akin sports comedy cult-classic Slap Shot from 1977 starring Paul Newman, director Michael Dowse offers a light-hearted send up of some of the more brutal aspects of professional ice hockey as the other great contact sport beside American football. With American Pie alumnus Seann William Scott in the lead role as the charmingly dimwitted Doug “The Thug” Glatt, Goon blends several sub-categories of...

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Finding America in Almost Famous

A few weeks ago, we posed a question to the Audiences Everywhere staff: What movie best represents your understanding of America and your experience as an American? The current moment is a complicated moment to live in America, and a bit of introspection and cultural self-evaluation seems in order for everyone. So, starting on July 4th and continuing through the entire month, we will be running essay responses to this inquiry in an attempt to understand who we are as a nation. If you’re interested in participating, send your essay or pitch to submissions@audienceseverywhere.net. Next in the series, a look...

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Baby Driver Lets You Ride Shotgun for the Feel Good Hit of the Summer

Overview: A getaway driver with a troubled past falls in love with a waitress and attempts to leave his life of crime behind him. TriStar Pictures; 2017; Rated R; 113 minutes. Keep the Car Running: Serving as Writer-Director Edgar Wright’s first feature film since The Cornetto Trilogy wrapped up with The World’s End in 2013, Baby Driver comes screeching into theaters at the behest of what are sure to be wildly high-set expectations. The English filmmaker has long been a cult favorite among genre enthusiasts and cinephiles in general, thanks in no small part to such masterful early 20th century opuses as Shaun of...

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New on Amazon Prime Instant Streaming: Deathgasm Offers Buckets of Gore and Fun

Originally published on October 1, 2015. Deathgasm is now available on Amazon Prime’s instant streaming service. Overview: Best friends Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) and Zakk (James Blake) bond over their mutual appreciation of Death Metal in suburban New Zealand, form a band, and perform an ancient black magic hymn that releases a force of evil. Dark Sky Films; 2015; Not Rated; 86 minutes. Splatter-Fun: A self-proclaimed fan of such low-budget, splatter-fest classics as Sam Raimi’s original The Evil Dead and Peter Jackson’s cult-favorite horror comedy Bad Taste, writer and director Jason Lei Howden’s debut feature length film honors both sources...

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New on Amazon Prime Instant Streaming: Manchester by the Sea Is An Operatic Ode to Melancholy

Originally published on December 5, 2016. Manchester by the Sea is now available on Amazon Prime’s instant streaming service. Overview: A man wracked with a personal grief of his own is forced to care for his teenage nephew following the death of his brother. Roadside Attractions; 2016; Rated R; 137 minutes. Working Class Blues: At the heart of director Kenneth Lonergan’s stunning followup to the critically heralded – and notoriously delayed – release of his 2011 feature length effort Margaret is another heartfelt story of tragedy and grief. In the vein of that film’s unexpected heroine, Lonergan casts Casey Affleck as a man called upon...

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Why You Should Be Watching ‘Love’

Since premiering on Netflix last year, the Judd Apatow produced original series Love has asserted itself as the latest in a long line of tragicomic works from the tireless comedy super-producer. Co-created by the husband and wife duo comprising lead actor Paul Rust and former Girls writer Lesley Arfin, Love tackles its eponymous subject with an especially abrasive tone. As the two central figures of mutually semi-exclusive attraction, Gus Cruikshank (Rust) and Mickey Dobbs (Gillian Jacobs) flirt with a reckless abandon. Gus and Mickey don’t fall in love with one another so much as they offer backhanded compliments ironically...

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Jackin’ It: ‘About Schmidt’ Pulls Back the Mask of Jack Nicholson Caricature

Jack Nicholson turns 80 years old on April 22. To celebrate, we’ll be discussing our favorite Jack Nicholson performances through the preceding week in our Jackin’ It series, a collection of critical love letters penned to Nicholson’s best characters. … Jack Nicholson made a name for himself by playing the part of the 1960s hippie nomad. In movies like Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces, Nicholson roams across the spacious expanse of an America full of hope and optimism. In One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, he finds himself at home yet again in another character of the Beat...

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New on Netflix Instant: Pete’s Dragon Is the Rare Remake Success Story

Originally published on August 16, 2016. Pete’s Dragon is now available on Netflix Instant in the U.S. Overview: A modern day revisionist retelling of the classic Disney film of 1977 that manages to deliver a wondrous reboot that miraculously supersedes the original. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; 2016; Rated PG; 103 minutes. Folklore: Starting with the opening sequence of David Lowery’s remarkable Pete’s Dragon remake, independent film actor and folk singer iconoclast Bonnie “Prince” Billy provides an original musical composition that serves to set the tone for the entire production. The strains and lyrics to “The Dragon Song” serve...

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