Screening Room: ‘Bird Box’

Bird Box

The latest movie from Susanne Bier (The Night Manager) is a postapocalyptic horror story starring Sandra Bullock and John Malkovich.

Bird Box is playing now on Netflix.

My review is at Slant Magazine:

Needing to avoid psychotic zombies isn’t the only danger faced by the harried survivors of an unspecified pandemic at the start of director Susanne Bier’s adaptation of Josh Malerman’s novel Bird Box. The hard-as-nails Malorie (Sandra Bullock) and her two five-year-old wards must also manage navigating a postapocalyptic wilderness while wearing blindfolds. Oh, and they’re in a boat on a fast-running mountain river with rapids approaching. Also, they’re threatened by invisible monsters who can only be spotted when nearby birds start chirping and who cause instant suicidal tendencies in those who look their way. Things aren’t looking good for the trio…

Here’s the trailer:

New in Theaters: ‘Gravity’

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in 'Gravity'
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in ‘Gravity’

Gravity-posterThere are a lot of things to say about Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, but here’s what it boils down to: Go see it, in the theater, and make sure it’s 3D. Amazing film regardless but this is one experience it’s worth forking over the extra dollars for those big glasses; The Avengers 3D, it ain’t.

My review is at Short Ends & Leader:

Even with all the James Cameron-level technical virtuosity on display in Alfonso Cuaron’s elegantly suspenseful lost-astronaut drama Gravity, it retains a welcome element of austerity. The story boils things down to basics. After all, floating hundreds of miles above the Earth helps a character reduce their worries to the essentials: Oxygen, shelter, getting back on the ground without becoming a meteoric cinder. Of course, resolving those worries in this situation is more complex; it’s akin to solving a Rubik’s Cube while blind and in freefall…

Here’s the trailer:

Now Playing: ‘Paranoia’

Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman wonder what they’re doing in ‘Paranoia’.

paranoia-poster1Opening tomorrow with a near-complete lack of fanfare is the techie-thriller Paranoia; which is perfectly made for folks who get interested when somebody says the words: “Liam Hemsworth.” You’re out there, somewhere.

My review is at Film Journal International:

It’s not that the director of Legally Blonde, Robert Luketic, couldn’t direct a decent thriller. But the director also responsible for 21 and Monster-in-Law (which one was that, you say? The one you didn’t bother to see because it looked so horrendous, that’s what) most certainly cannot. This is particularly the case when he’s saddled with an empty-eyed lead like Liam Hemsworth and a techie plot that would have seemed cutting-edge right around the time that the World Wide Web was trying to kill Sandra Bullock in The Net. Seeing the likes of Harrison Ford and Gary Oldman skulking around the premises just adds insult to injury…

Here’s the trailer, enjoy!