Tag Archives: Rooney Mara

Side Effects (2012)

12 Feb

Side Effects is the new psychological drama directed by legendary auteur Steven Soderbergh.  After covering a wealth of genres and cinematic styles, Soderbergh recently announced his retirement from film saying this would be his last theatrical release.

Thankfully he is leaving on a good note.

Side Effects follows the story of Emily Taylor (played by Rooney Mara), a NYC graphic designer whose husband Martin(Channing Tatum) has just recently came back from serving some jail time associated with insider trading.  Emily becomes increasingly depressed and starts seeing psychologist Dr. Banks (Jude Law) who prescribes her with a new anti-depressant that recently hit the market.

Soderbergh, mostly known for his Ocean’s Trilogy and the best-picture nominated Traffic, has recently excelled with a handful of successful films over the past three years. Haywire, Magic Mike, Contagion, and The Informant are a few that come to mind. Side Effects carefully mixes elements of Soderbergh’s past work (soft lighting, ensemble casting, and  noir-esc feel) with this ever-present feeling of impending doom.  You get the sense that things are going to end badly for the characters – and they do.

Overall, the film is an journey into the psyche of mental illness, depression, drug abuse and human nature – and it takes you places you never could have guessed. It’s unpredictable, suspenseful, thought-provoking and boldly acted; I loved this movie, and could not have asked for a better goodbye gift from such a talented director.

side-effects-girl-crying

8/10 stars 

Similar to: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Contagion, The Machinist

5 Films I’m Looking Forward To In 2013

20 Dec

With a look ahead, 2013 is shaping up to be great. So far, it looks like there are a hearty amount of sci-fi epics planned including Oblivion, After Earth, Elysium,and Pacific Rim. There are also a good amount sequels in the works expanding franchises like Anchorman, 300, The Hunger Games, The Hobbit, Scary Movie, Star Trek, The Hangover, GI JoeDespicable Me and Monsters Inc.  And then of course we have the slew of remakes including The Evil Dead, Carrie, Robocob, and the superhero films The Wolverine, Thor 2, Man of Steel and Iron Man 3 all lined up for a 2013 release.

Below are my picks for the five movies I’m most excited about and why they made the list:

1-   Gangster Squad    Why? Originally planned for this year, WB decided to halt the release until after the new year in order to tone down some of the violent content.  If the all star cast (Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Emma Stone, Josh Brolin) isn’t enough to reel you in, think of this as sort of the “L.A. Confidential” of the new Millennium.  The trailer looks stunning and with such great talent under a great director, you can’t go wrong. I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about an upcoming neo-noir flick.  Release Date –  Jan 11th

2-  Stoker    Why? Mention psychological thriller and Chan-Wook Park in the same sentence and I’m sold.  Nicole Kidman practically guarantees a knock-out performance, but I’m interested in the supporting work from newcomers Mia Wichowski and Matthew Goode. Release Date – Feb 28th

3-  Untitled Terrence Malick Project    Why?  The mysterious director has kept tight wraps under this project – which apparently doesn’t even have a working title yet – but confirmed actors include Christian Bale, Cate Blanchet, Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, Benicio Del Toro, Holly Hunter, Rooney Mara and Florence Welch – WOW!!  Though Malick apparently has directed four films to come out next year, this one in particular has me overflowing with curiosity.  What we know is that the story is set around the Austin, TX music scene and involves some romantic drama of sorts. The rest is a mystery.  Release Date – Late Summer or Fall 2013

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2062700/

4-  Nymphomaniac    Why? Shia LaBeouf is leaving his Disney and family-friendly roots aside to work with one of the most well-respected art-house directors of our time: Lars Von Trier.  Expect full male nudity in the first installment of Von Trier’s three-part NC-17 project.   Release Date – Fall 2013

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1937390/

5-  A Good Day To Die Hard    Why?  Cause it’s Die Hard 5! When have we ever needed an excuse to see Bruce Willis kick some ass?  Release Date – Feb 14th