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Posts Tagged ‘Maika Monroe’

Maika Monroe, Bill Skarsgard

“VILLAINS” My rating: B-  

88 minutes | MPAA rating: R

The ironically titled “Villains” makes audiences  root for a pair of truly stupid criminal lovers by providing antagonists who are infinitely worse.

In Dan Berk and Robert Olsen’s black comedy, Mickey (Bill Skarsgard) and Jules (Maika Monroe) are the stars of their own sweetly demented version of “Gun Crazy.”  They are to real criminals what white suburban teens are to genuine gang bangers — they talk tough and are sexually turned on by  criminal behavior, but they’re so thick they don’t think to fill the tank of their getaway vehicle before robbing a convenience store.

Running out of gas just miles from their latest heist, the pair ditch the car and take refuge in blandly posh manse in the woods.  Nobody’s home, so they figure they can hang out there for a while.

That’s until they find a mute 10-year-old girl chained in the basement and are interrupted by the arrival of homeowners George and Gloria (Jeffrey Donovan, Kyra Sedgwick), who are also serial kidnappers/killers.

Gloria is a Southern belle so off the charts that she believes  a porcelain-headed doll is her actual child (she makes Blanche Dubois look like the poster girl for emotional stability).  Hubby George is a golden-voiced charmer, a Dixie gentleman who can explain away even the most hair-raising ugliness with a barrage of reassuring   bromides. (Am I the only one who suspects Donovan is doing a vocal imitation of Kevin Spacey in his “House of Cards” role?) (more…)

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Timothee Chalamet

“HOT SUMMER NIGHTS” My rating: C

107 minutes | MPAA rating: R

For his feature writing/directing debut Elijah Bynum has assembled an impressive cast (including “Call Me By Your Name’s” Oscar-nominated Timothy Chalamet) and delivered a stylish and great-looking movie.

Too bad it can’t overcome the script’s near-fatal shortcomings.

Basically this is a coming-of-age story, but while most such efforts mine the lighthearted and comedic, “Hot Summer…” veers into serious, even deadly territory.

Daniel (Chalamet) is a grumpy teen whose single mom sends him off to spend the summer with a (unseen) relative on Cape Cod.  There the kid is exposed to the dual worlds of the rich vacationing “summer birds” and the blue collar townies.

Almost from the first frame Bynum announces he’s going to push the envelope.  The opening sequences are narrated by a 13-year-old boy (we never get his name) who lives year-round on the Cape and describes (“I  can’t swear to every last detail…”) how this particular summer (1991) saw the birth of a local legend.

Early on Daniel falls under the influence of Hunter Strawberry (Alex Roe), a sort of James Dean-ish heartthrob who wears a black leather jacket on hot summer days and still manages to look cool.

Hunter is a shady but charismatic character whom the local kids believe to have committed a murder (we get a montage of talking-head youngsters attesting to his awesomeness). That claim seems doubtful, but  the local law certainly would love to nail him for peddling weed to the summer birds.

Hunter and Daniel contract with Dex, a local marijuana wholesaler (Emory Cohen), to distribute ever-bigger shipments of grass.  Daniel is the instigator of this rapid expansion; he has cousins all over the East Coast who become his ground-level dealers.

Pretty soon Daniel and Hunter are rolling in green.

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