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'Searching' Review: John Cho Anchors a Clever Computer Thriller
'Searching' Review: John Cho Anchors a Clever Computer Thriller
dicksonhamrick0353 am 07.12.2018 um 04:54 (UTC)
 

Searching 2018


Searchingis a mystery thriller, and a fairly mundane one at that. David is a widower raising the 15-year-old Margot (the film?s prologue charts her adolescence and her mother Pamela?s terminal illness, told mostly in video snippets). Their bond is strong but has been strained by Pamela?s death, and their last conversation before Margot goes missing is a strained FaceTime call, in which she tells him she?ll be out late at a friend?s house, studying for her AP biology final. David wakes up to those three missed calls, with no voicemail, and the news that she didn?t show up to school.


It is every parent?s worst nightmare, of course, intensified by the film?s technology-of-today visuals. David is so connected to his daughter, able to text or videochat with her whenever he wants, and yet he?s rapidly untethered, with her missed calls a haunting reminder that she was trying to tell him something but couldn?t. Quickly enough, the case gets so serious that a detective, Rosemary Vick (Debra Messing), comes aboard to command the search for Margot. It?s she who suggests looking through Margot?s laptop for clues to whatever was really going on with her. And that?s when Searchinggets really, really good.


Unfriended, which was released in 2015 after a festival run, used the same screen gimmick to much gorier effect, chronicling the revenge of a bullied teen?s angry spirit on the students who tormented her. It was still grimly effective, a nasty fable of the double-edged world of social media (the less said about its sequel, Unfriended: Dark Web, the better). Like Searching, it was produced by Timur Bekmambetov, the Russian Kazakh director of action hits such as Night Watch and Wanted who has seemingly transitioned into the extremely specific world of computer-screen thrillers.


But where Unfriended delivered lurid shocks, Searchingplays on much more commonplace fears. What could this vague text message mean? Who is this random boy commenting on so many of Margot? ?Searching? Review: High-Tech Thriller Delivers Old-Fashioned Chills ? Rolling Stone ? Why does ?Searching? Review ?�Variety Critic?s Pick ? Variety have a mysterious Venmo payment on her record? In isolation, any of these things might be easily dismissed, but with his daughter still unaccounted for, David begins to spiral, digging more and more deeply into Margot?s history and discovering how little he knew about his daughter. The twists in Searchingcome thick and fast, but so many of them hinge on unfounded assumptions that Margot might be buying something illicit, or hanging out with unsavory people?the kinds of assumptions many of us make whenever we use our computers.

 

Searching review: absurd browser-based thriller fails to click
dicksonhamrick0353 am 07.12.2018 um 04:50 (UTC)
 

Searching 2018


Searching, though it sets a new yardstick in certain unfortunate ways, is not the first thriller to unfold entirely on computer screens. Try Unfriended (2014), Unfriended 2 (2018) and this year?s other contender Profile, every one of them ? like this new laptop-based suspenser ? from Searching History , Timur Bekmambetov. 'Searching' Review: John Cho Anchors a Clever Computer Thriller /p>

There?s a marked quality differential, proving that the gimmick, like any gimmick, can be used well or badly. And here it is used atrociously. Wasting a decent performance from John Cho as the desperate father of a missing teen, this filmnever commits to a cogent reason why it had to be told in such a way.


Because the story zips about all over the place, ludicrous allowances have to be made for Facetime video chats, or whatever, being left running to capture the moments we?re seeing. The form of the film, mismanaged from beginning to end, implies that everyone in it has the computer literacy of a sloth. And the plot?s hardly any sturdier.

 

Missing Review - Hindi Movie Missing Review
dicksonhamrick0353 am 06.12.2018 um 23:31 (UTC)
 

Missing 2018


What a great cast! Manoj Bajpayee and Tabu! You do not want to remember their earlier films together which were nothing but disastrous: Gaath and Dil Pe Mat le Yaar (both released in the year 2000). Unfortunately, this time too the duo simply fails to deliver.


How they ham! Sushant Dubey (Manoj Bajpayee) tries really hard to be sleazy to the receptionist at the hotel, staring at her cleavage. He just does such a terrible job of it, and looks uncomfortable saying things like, 'My wife and daughter will leave in the morning, do you think I will need a single room?'


Aparna Dubey (Tabu) is made to carry a blanket stuffed with pillows that does not remotely look like a child. Effort from the production team is zilch. Movies of the seventies and eighties made more effort when they showed bodies going over a cliff than shown here. It's obvious that there is no child.


You don't even wish to groan about very obvious inaccuracies: the child is three years old, and Tabu is carrying baby diapers for her, and you are alarmed at the pills! Most pediatricians prescribe syrups to babies and toddlers and not pills!


There is a brief moment where you are forced to watch a love-making scene between the Dubeys and you know they are unhappy doing what they are made to do. Thankfully their roll in the bed is fuzzed out of focus.


The child is missing by the morning. We discover many things about Sushant and Tabu and how they met. What you don't understand are Tabu's motives for anything she does and Sushant's either. If your met someone, and they carried a chopper in a baby's diaper bag, you would put as much distance between you as it was possible, no? Maybe that is the mystery.


Alas, Missing Review - Hindi Movie Missing Review is for Inspector Buddhu (Annu Kapoor who was last seen hamming it in Baaa Baa Black Sheep) and his Tweedledee and Tweedledum cop duo assistants who have to solve the mystery of the missing kid. Their supposed Shenanigans are so tedious, you are too exhausted to ask the writer director how he managed to sell such tiresomeness to the production house?


Perhaps Missing Review - Hindi Movie Missing Review has undergone some reengineering (the stars are in the business of looking good, so we're not complaining!) and that is why she looks odd initially, but then everything she says is either shrill or vapid, you begin to look out for scenes with Tweedledee and Tweedledum.


Of course, not one police officer bothers to check or even confiscate Manoj Bajpayee's cell phone to corroborate the stories he's telling. The background music tries really hard to create some sort of ambience but ends up being super annoying. Even worse is Annu Kapoor speaking Hindi in a Bihari accent and even speaking French (so grating to the ears!) to prove that he is indeed Mauritian.

 

Missing Review - Hindi Movie Missing Review
dicksonhamrick0353 am 06.12.2018 um 23:29 (UTC)
 

Missing Review - Hindi Movie Missing Review /movie/2018/missi-22510/bg.jpg" alt="Missing 2018" />


What a great cast! Manoj Bajpayee and Tabu! You do not want to remember their earlier films together which were nothing but disastrous: Gaath and Dil Pe Mat le Yaar (both released in the year 2000). Unfortunately, this time too the duo simply fails to deliver.


How they ham! Sushant Dubey (Manoj Bajpayee) tries really hard to be sleazy to the receptionist at the hotel, staring at her cleavage. He just does such a terrible job of it, and looks uncomfortable saying things like, 'My wife and daughter will leave in the morning, do you think I will need a single room?'


Aparna Dubey (Tabu) is made to carry a blanket stuffed with pillows that does not remotely look like a child. Missing Review - Hindi Movie Missing Review from the production team is zilch. Movies of the seventies and eighties made more effort when they showed bodies going over a cliff than shown here. It's obvious that there is no child.


You don't even wish to groan about very obvious inaccuracies: the child is three years old, and Tabu is carrying baby diapers for her, and you are alarmed at the pills! Most pediatricians prescribe syrups to babies and toddlers and not pills!


There is a brief moment where you are forced to watch a love-making scene between the Dubeys and you know they are unhappy doing what they are made to do. Thankfully their roll in the bed is fuzzed out of focus.


The child is missing by the morning. We discover many things about Sushant and Tabu and how they met. What you don't understand are Tabu's motives for anything she does and Sushant's either. If your met someone, and they carried a chopper in a baby's diaper bag, you would put as much distance between you as it was possible, no? Maybe that is the mystery.


Alas, it is for Inspector Buddhu (Annu Kapoor who was last seen hamming it in Baaa Baa Black Sheep) and his Tweedledee and Tweedledum cop duo assistants who have to solve the mystery of the missing kid. Their supposed Shenanigans are so tedious, you are too exhausted to ask the writer director how he managed to sell such tiresomeness to the production house?


Perhaps Tabu's face has undergone some reengineering (the stars are in the business of looking good, so we're not complaining!) and that is why she looks odd initially, but then everything she says is either shrill or vapid, you begin to look out for scenes with Tweedledee and Tweedledum.


Of course, not one police officer bothers to check or even confiscate Manoj Bajpayee's cell phone to corroborate the stories he's telling. The background music tries really hard to create some sort of ambience but ends up being super annoying. Even worse is Annu Kapoor speaking Hindi in a Bihari accent and even speaking French (so grating to the ears!) to prove that he is indeed Mauritian.

 

?14 Cameras?: Some Movies Are Just Bad
dicksonhamrick0353 am 06.12.2018 um 18:07 (UTC)
 

14 Cameras 2018


It?s hard to tell if the makers of the bewilderingly awful home invasion thriller 14 Cameras? which follows cartoonishly gross Internet voyeur Gerald (Neville Archambault) as he uses nanny-cams to spy on a nuclear family at a secluded California summer house ? believe that web users are innately monstrous or if the Internet only underscores mankind?s innate cruelty.


On the one hand, disaffected teenager Molly (Brytnee Ratledge), one of Gerald?s four victims, evokes the nihilism of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and seemingly speaks for screenwriter Victor Zarcoff when she diagnoses Gerald?s monstrous behavior: ?Some guys are just fucked up.?


On 14 Cameras (2018) Movie Review from Eye for Film , Zarcoff and neophyte co-directors Seth Fuller and Scott Hussion mystifyingly juxtapose Gerald?s skeevy real-world behavior ? he likes to sniff women?s pantiesand drink milk straight out of the carton! ? with the childish shit-posting that defines the members of his private ?dark web? chat room. It?s especially hard to understand why one anonymous user seems to quote John Belushi?s Jake Blues when he asks Gerald to auction off his unwitting camera subjects: ?How much for the girl?!??


Unfortunately, Archambault? 14 CAMERAS over-the-top performance makes it impossible to take 14 Cameras seriously, no matter how you interpret Gerald?s actions. He breathes (heavily) through his mouth and waddles around like a cartoon yenta with his shoulders hunched, his eyes wide open and his jaw sticking out. Archambault?s perplexingly broad mannerisms suggest that the Internet, like bad horror movies, is only as bad as you make it.


14 CamerasDirected by Scott Hussion and Seth FullerGravitas VenturesOpens July 27, Cinema VillageAvailable on demand

 

14 Cameras (2018) Movie Review from Eye for Film
dicksonhamrick0353 am 06.12.2018 um 18:04 (UTC)
 

14 Cameras 2018


In 2015, Victor Zarcoff's 13 Cameras gave audiences chills with its story of a creepy landlord spying on a young couple through the use of hidden cameras. 14 Cameras is a sequel that tries to build on this idea, using the same villain but having him do everything on a larger scale, with more potential victims, more obvious nastiness and more explanation. As so often when films take this route, something is lost in the process.


In this film, Gerald (Neville Archambault) rents out a holiday home, using a picture of a blandly smiling young woman as cover. "She seems nice," one soon-to-be tenant says, though there's never any evidence that Gerald has the communication skills to impersonate a friendly person online, and we've all lived with the internet for a little too long now for anyone to put much trust in a picture alone. In fact, familiarity with the internet is a big problem for this film, which relies on its characters' naivety and also pitches the dark web as the source of ultimate evil without anything to tell us why that evil would be interested in Gerald's tenants and not preoccupied with all the other much more extreme material available out there. The one balancing factor here is that Gerald himself may be less in control of his online dealings than he thinks.


14 cameras is at its strongest when depicting the conflicts that Gerald's behaviour, which quickly extends to stealing from his tenants and messing with their stuff, provokes between them. There's the potential here for interesting character drama and although there are no standout performances the actors still succeed in creating tension. Archambault himself struggles to do so, his character having lost much of his initial impact due to being robbed of his mystery. He's now reduced to the status of an ugly person - with thinning hair, bad skin and hunched shoulders - preying on the supposedly beautiful out of bitterness or spite. 14 Cameras (2018) Movie Review from Eye for Film has been dropped in favour of more shambling, wheezing and general misfortune cast as repulsiveness - something that smarter horror films were challenging as far back as the Forties. It's lazy filmmaking and, more to the point, it robs the story of power.


Also missing here, to 14 CAMERAS , is Zarcoff's directorial skill. Newcomers Seth Fuller and Scott Hussion just don't have the same ability to generate atmosphere. The sharp editing that's vital to success where multiple scenes are shot from static camera positions isn't there either. Towards the end, when we step outside the frame of the house and the action is captured more fluidly, the film starts to find its own visual voice, but by this point it has squandered most of its opportunities and has to build up again from scratch.

 

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