Enemy Review A Mesmerizing Psychological Thriller

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Enemy

Directed by: Denis Villeneuve

Starring: Jake GyllenhaalMélanie LaurentSarah Gadon, and Isabella Rossellini

Enemy asks the question “What would you do if you meet a person who looked exactly like you?” While it asks the question it doesn’t exactly answer it. It lets you think for yourself and answer the question yourself. I’ll admit that it is a little too vague sometimes but I found myself trying to answer all the mysterious elements that this film contains. Another movie came out this year that dealt with a similar concept, The Double, but never really asked the questions one would think a film like this would. I find the movie to be utterly fascinating but a little alienating towards it’s audience.

The film opens up with a man (Jake Gyllenhaal) sitting in a dimly lit club with men all around him. The man is watching an erotic dance, of sorts. Naked woman dance on stage which ends with one dancer crushing a spider with her heel. We cut to a pregnant woman laying alone in bed.

We are then introduced to Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) teaching a group of students about dictatorships and how they have come to be. He then goes back to his apartment, makes dinner, grades papers, and then has sex with his girlfriend before going to bed and repeating this routine day in and day out.

One day at lunch, Adam is talking to one of his coworkers and he recommends Adam check out a movie called ‘Where There’s a Will There’s a Way’. That night Adam can’t sleep, so out of curiosity he pops the movie into his computer and begins watching it. After finishing it he notices that one of the actors looks exactly like him. From this point out he becomes obsessed with finding out his identity and why they look alike. This leads Adam down a path that he will not be able to come back from.

The true power of this film is that it doesn’t reveal to much. It gives you the perfect amount of information and lets you decide what it means. A common motif of this movie is the use of spiders. There are plenty of scenes within Adam’s dreams and every time there is some sort of reference to spiders, whether it is a giant arachnid walking across the city scape or a woman with the head of a spider walking upside down. There have been many interpretations of this film so far. An interpretation that I read earlier states the movie is about something more sinister than anything I could have come up with. Some believe that the movie is about a dictatorship that is secretly run alien arachnids. Now that seems a little out there.

I can understand the idea that the movie is about a dictatorship and that no one really realizes that they are living in a fascist regime. It is completely plausible given the lectures that Adam gives during the movie. What I feel the movie was about was an identity crisis with this man Adam. One of the things that spider signify in dreams is a want to distance yourself from alluring and tempting situations. Throughout the movie Adam is having a relationship with Mary (Mélanie Laurent). In my opinion Adam and Anthony are the same exact person and, as a coping mechanism, Adam created an entire different personality so that he doesn’t feel guilty about cheating on his wife. This movie is completely complex and it knows that. You can dig deep and look into the film that you can’t for most movies and that what I like about the film. It takes a concept that is rather simply and easy but makes it much more than that.

All around it is a solid movie with subtly intense performance from Jake Gyllenhaal. The entire movie rests on his shoulders and he hits it out of the park. He plays both characters differently and makes them their own but also gives the movie its life. Sadly the other two main actors don’t do much but then again they aren’t given much to do. With what Sarah Gadon is given she does a great job as the pregnant wife of Anthony but in the end she isn’t that well developed.

Mind you the story isn’t that great. It is just about a man in search for answer and that’s all it is meant to be. There isn’t a big story arch or distinct acts but that is the power of the film. It lets the story evolve with the character instead of the other way around. Meanwhile the style of the film is one of the strengths. It makes the city of Toronto feel like this alien place.

The movie does a lot right but it may alienate the audience with it’s mystery and lack of answers. It is a difficult watch but absolutely worth the ride if it is the kind of movies you enjoy.

Grade: A-

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Matthew McConaughey eyed for the villain in Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’

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Stephen King’s The Stand has been in development hell for as long as I can remember. At one point Ben Affleck was rumored to direct, yet nothing ever came out of it. Recently it has been rumored that Matthew McConaughey is expected to play the part of the villain, Randall Flagg.

Randall Flagg is a primary character used by Stephen King nine time, sometimes as the main antagonist but other times as a cameo appearance. He first appeared in “The Stand” as a demon who wrecks havoc after a plague decimates most of the population.

Having such an actor as McConaughey in the role would bring a very creep villain with the perfect amount of charisma to make him appealing towards the views yet be a creepy and worthwhile villain. Recently he has completely turned his career around and taking such a role would only further his success.

You can read a more in-depth article here. Josh Boone is set to direct while the release date isn’t confirmed but don’t be surprised for a late 2016 release date.

FX Orders New Comedy Series from Zach Galifianakis.

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FX has been on a role recently with their comedies and now FX has picked up a new comedy from Zach Galifianakis and executive producer Louie C.K.. I love the series Louie, Wilfred, and most recently You’re the Worst. Given that they aren’t the typical comedies and allows the creators free rain of their product and not held down by the constraints of their network.

The comedy tells the talk of Chip Basket (Zach Galifianakis), a man who attempts to follow his dream of becoming a professional clown, but he must join to local rodeo after failing to get into a prestigious school in Paris.

Zach Galifianakis, Louis C.K. and Jonathan Krisel have created an absolutely brilliant show,” said Eric Schrier, one of the presidents of original programming at FX. “To say Zach’s portrayal of the lead character Chip Baskets is hilarious/unique/riveting/fascinating would be an understatement. We can’t wait for the world to meet him.”

FX plans to release a 10-episode first season that will begin production sometime next year with a series premiere expected in 2016.

Guardians of the Galaxy Returns to the Top of the Box Office

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This weekend was a down weekend for the box-office. Each weekend so far provide some much needed business but not this weekend. Guardians of the Galaxy managed to return to the number one spot at the box office with 17.1 million, after two weeks of losing to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The new releases this weekend didn’t do anything to lend to the already bad summer. If I Stay opened at number 3 with 16.3 million. The biggest failure this weekend was Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (read my review here). It opened at 6.3 million, nearly 13 million under tracking. I don’t see a third film anytime soon consider the budget was anywhere between 50 and 70 million.

The biggest surprise this weekend was the impressive hold of Let’s Be Cops (read my review here). It dropped only 38% to a good 11 million. Considering the horrible reviews I was expecting something much steeper but then again it shows that critical dismissal doesn’t always translate to terrible box office returns.

This officially ends the summer box office. This year has been the worst at the box office in a long time. No film surpassed the 300 million dollar mark domestically and the highest grossing domestic release sits at 251 million. Hopefully the rest of the year can improve but if not than it should be noted that big budget films are slowly becoming irrelevant.

Robert Rodriguez: A Mediocre Director with a Love for Grindhouse Cinema

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 Robert Rodriguez Director Profile

Robert Rodriguez is a man who made a name for himself for making  looney action movies that are completely bat shit crazy. He is also known for doing everything himself. His debut film El Mariachiwas completely done with unknown actors and a limited budget and was able to impress everyone who saw it. It debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival and then soon after at Sundance and was able to show just how great Rodriguez can be. With the success of El Mariachi, Rodriguez made two follow ups to the movie. Desperado and Once Upon a Time in Mexico expanded on the premise but wasn’t as successful critically and surprised commercially. El Mariachi inspired many aspiring filmmakers to pick up a camera and film no budget movies. Personally, the movie that he is most well known for is probably the Spy Kids movies. I remember seeing those movie when I was young and it was the first time I had any contact with his filmography. It was a movie that appealed to kids but also featured his goofy sensibilities. Sadly as of late Robert Rodriguez has failed to capture the acclaim that his earlier films received. Last year he attempted to franchise another one of his Grindhouse features with Machete Kills. It received near universal hate from most of the critics and was dead on impact. He returns to the universe of another popular film he directed Sin City this year and once again fails to live up to it’s predecessor.

As a director I don’t like his films all that much but I do have to admire his views about a one man film crew and it truly what sets him apart from other directors of his nature. I’m weirdly excited for his next movie but don’t know if I’ll be surprised if it is the third sequel to either Machete or Sin City but who knows right now.