review//GREEN ROOM

Grade: A

GREEN ROOM
Directed by Jeremy Saulnier
Starring Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat, Imogen Poots

After the outstanding Blue Ruin, director Jeremy Saulnier returns to gritty, but real, drama with mental horror flick Green Room. Powerful in its execution and unforgiving in its brutality, Green Room also serves as an antidote to overblown studio thrillers, opting more for flamboyant chills and stunning visuals over conventional scares and sex-crazed youths.

Surviving on the luck of roadshows and the fortunes of others, a punk rock band consisting of metal-head millennials venture into northern West Coast territory for an underground show they'll never forget. Hyped up by their own confidences, the band performs to a crowd of loud neo-Nazis in a musical sanctuary rich in brooding and opinions. While they do not share those same opinions, they suck it up for the sake of the job. Once complete, and in a hurry to leave, the band unwittingly witnesses the murder of a show-goer. Suddenly, a quick exit isn't in the cards.

Saulnier delivers the perfect visual cocktail of stylized endeavors and graphic inhibitions. Once our band mates realize they must opt to fight their way through a literal hell, we're met with enticing frights and realistically gory sights. Nothing quite prepares you for the image of a man getting his throat gnawed out by a ravaged dog. You've been warned.

What sets Green Room apart, however, from your traditional slasher flick is the carefulness and respect taken in relation to the story. There's a subtle metaphor that runs deep, without ever coming across as preachy. It was the same care in which Saulnier displayed with Blue Ruin. Realness and controversy deserve more than a girl running through the woods in a shirt that's barely there.

The cast, made up of young veterans like Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat, and Imogen Poots, along with the great Patrick Stewart, are visceral and compelling. There are so many details in Green Room that are glossed over and never explained, but in a way that works, it's impressive how complete each character feels. These seem like people you could have sat next to in high school, still out there reaching for their rebellious dreams and never giving in to the system.

Stewart deserves his own mention, achieving great heights in a role that is small, but powerful. It's been a while since creepy has been so pleasant and commandeering.

Green Room serves as a visual treat for those who love clever filmmaking and a how-to for those interested in the next steps in unique and brilliant horror films.

This is definitely a quiet, brutal must-see film.

Rating: R
Runtime: 1h 35min

review//EVERYBODY WANTS SOME

Grade: A

Directed by Richard Linklater
Starring Blake Jenner, Tyler Hoechlin, Ryan Guzman

Director Richard Linklater has become a master of evoking tongue-in-cheek reality into the most stilted of dramas and comedies. Even when it seems broad, there's a certain relatable notion mixed in amongst the clever one-liners or ambitious filmmaking endeavors. Set up as more of a spiritual sequel to Dazed and Confused, Linklater's latest, Everybody Wants Some is a quintessential testament of college angst and the joy of immature independence.

The beginning of the fall semester at a Texas college is the first brush with freedom for freshman baseball player Jake (Blake Jenner). The female coeds are in bloom, complete with short shorts and long, luscious hair. But, that expected part of the college tradition is second to Jake's introduction to and life among his fellow baseball players. Acting as more of a brotherhood than any stereotypical fraternity would seem, the team experiences the rise and fall of young ambitions and expectations all in a short, 1980s, Texan weekend.

Linklater's passions display themselves twofold. The structure of the piece, from beginning to end, feels like the perfect, sometimes outlandish, slice of life that immediately brings back a certain sense of nostalgia. While most of us lacked the same confidence found in Jake and his fellow freshman, especially in regards to his interactions with the upper class men, there's still something about getting to start over that is charming. The script is just as strong as the structure, providing the cusp of college guy charisma and enlightening commentary. Linklater is smart to never allow the movie to be more than it is, carefully staying away from honoring the main characters' actions, but not belittling them either.

Along with Jenner, the rest of the supporting cast stands out in the same way Dazed and Confused offered limitless potentials of classic teen angst characters. Favorites include Temple Baker as the questionably intelligent athlete Plummer, Will Brittain as the very Southern Beuter, and Tanner Kalina as long-haired Brumley.

Where similar projects may capitalize on gross out sex and hard-rated language, Everybody Wants Some relies of realness to sell even its most unbelievable traits. It works on every level in which its playing, creating a first class experience in the type of nostalgia for which Linklater has become known.

Rating: R
Runtime: 1h 57min

news//69th CANNES INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP ANNOUNCED

FESTIVAL



The lineup for the forthcoming 69th Cannes International Film Festival has been announced, with films by directors Pedro Almodovar and Xavier Dolan among the films in competition.

The most elegant of annual film festivals, Cannes is consistently known for its official selections of in competition films and special screenings of new or upcoming films, as well as being the foremost red carpet for world-regarded fashion and glamour.

This year's Opening Night film is Cafe Society from director Woody Allen and starring Kristen Stewart, Blake Lively, Jesse Eisenberg, Parker Posey, Steve Carell, and others.

In Competition films include the previously mentioned Almodovar and Dolan films, as well as American filmmakers Sean Penn, Jim Jarmusch, and Jeff Nichols.

Un Certain Regard selections highlight many new filmmakers from all over the world, including Americans Michael O'Shea and Matt Ross, returning to the festival after a Short Film In Competition run in 1999.

Official Selection films feature worldwide premieres of large studio films, Midnight Screenings, and Special Screenings. This year's festival will see the first screenings of Shane Black's The Nice Guys (starring Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe), Jodie Foster's Money Monster (with Julia Roberts and George Clooney), and Steven Spielberg's The BFG (with Oscar winner Mark Rylance).

The Cannes Film Festival runs May 11 to May 22, 2016. This year's jury has yet to be announced.

OPENING NIGHT

CAFE SOCIETY
Dir. Woody Allen
USA

IN COMPETITION

AGASSI (The Handmaiden)
Dir. Park Chan-Wook
SOUTH KOREA

AMERICAN HONEY
Dir. Andrea Arnold
UNITED KINGDOM

AQUARIUS
Dir. Kleber Mendonca Filho
BRAZIL

BACALAUREAT (Graduation)
Dir. Cristian Mungiu
ROMANIA

ELLE
Dir. Paul Verhoeven
NETHERLANDS

FORUSHANDE (The Salesman)
Dir. Asghar Farhadi
IRAN

I, DANIEL BLAKE
Dir. Ken Loach
UNITED KINGDOM

JULIETA
Dir. Pedro Almodovar
SPAIN

JUSTE LA FIN DU MONDE (It's Only the End of the World)
Dir. Xavier Dolan
CANADA

LA FILLE INCONNUE (The Unknown Girl)
Dir. Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
BELGIUM

THE LAST FACE
Dir. Sean Penn
USA

LOVING
Dir. Jeff Nichols
USA

MA LOUTE (Slack Bay)
Dir. Bruno Dumont
FRANCE

MA' ROSA
Dir. Brilliante Mendoza
PHILIPPINES

MAL DE PIERRES (From the Land of the Moon)
Dir. Nicole Garcia
FRANCE

THE NEON DEMON
Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn
DENMARK

PATERSON
Dir. Jim Jarmusch
USA

PERSONAL SHOPPER
Dir. Olivier Assayas
FRANCE

RESTER VERTICAL (Staying Vertical)
Dir. Alain Guiraudie
FRANCE

SIERANEVADA
Dir. Cristi Puiu
ROMANIA

TONI ERDMANN
Dir. Maren Ade
GERMANY