Posts Tagged ‘Natalie Dormer’


Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 3.15.30 PMRichard and CP24 anchor Nneka Elliott discuss about Leonard DiCaprio’s Oscar entry “The Revenant,” the stop motion animation of “Anomalisa” and the cinematic clearcutting of “The Forest.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 10.28.05 AMRichard and Marci chat about Leonard DiCaprio’s Oscar entry “The Revenant,” the stop motion animation of “Anomalisa” and the cinematic clearcutting of “The Forest.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

THE FOREST: 2 STARS. ” a good justification for clearcutting.”

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 10.32.04 AM“If you go out in the woods today. You’re sure of a big surprise.” The surprise in “Teddy Bear’s Picnic” is fairly benign—teddy bears eating and “having a lovely time”—but a new movie makes the woods out to be a much more surprising and scary place. Just as Hansel and Gretel ignored warnings about the woods and ended up coming across a cannibalistic witch, “The Forest” proves there’s nothing enchanting about this enchanted forest.

Set in the Aokigahara Forest, a real life place at the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji also known as the Suicide Forest, the movie sees Sara (“Game of Thrones’” Natalie Dormer) in search of her missing twin sister Jess (also played by Dormer). Sara recruits expat American Aiden (“Chicago Med’s” Taylor Kinney)—who, helpfully, is fluent in Japanese—and “suicide hike” guide Michi (Yukiyoshi Ozawa) to help her navigate the dense, dangerous woods. “People say spirits cannot rest there. They come back ANGRY!” Michi warns them to always stay on the path and insists they leave by sundown, but most ominously tells them, “The spirits make you see things and make you want to die!” Of course after locating Jess’s campsite just before dark Sara won’t leave and Aiden is too much of a gentleman to leave her there alone. Michi hightails it, leaving the two at the mercy of the forest’s bad mojo. Is what Sara is seeing real, or a dark fantasy caused by restless spirits?

A better name for “The Forest” would have been “Hell Hike” given the hellish amount of time we watch Sara and Aiden plodding through the woods. It’s one of those movies where you often feel like something is about to happen and then… pfffffft. It’s all anticipation and little payoff. There are a handful of jump scares—loud noises designed to give you a jolt—but they don’t add much to the story or raise many goosebumps.

Perhaps if the trio of writers (Nick Antosca, Sarah Cornwell and Ben Ketai) responsible for this skimpily plotted psychological drama spent more time on creating characters we cared about (sorry Sara and Jess) or building some actual tension we could excuse the barebones plot. The idea of the suicide forest is a good one but the movie doesn’t trust us to understand the stakes and continually—and annoyingly—reminds us that going into the forest is BAD. We get it. Now scare us.

Add to that clumsy metaphors—Jess went to the forest to battle her personal demons, now Sara is battling real ones!—and you’re left with a good justification for cinematic clearcutting.


Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 3.17.55 PMRichard’s CP24 reviews for “Get Hard,” “Home” “Boychoir” and “October Gale.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

THE RIOT CLUB: 2 ½ STARS. “the story of class warfare needs a few more skirmishes.”

Screen Shot 2015-03-21 at 2.19.10 PM“The Riot Club” is a story of excess, contempt and aristocratic entitlement. Based on the play “Posh” by Laura Wade it centers around a fictional version Oxford University’s Bullingdon or Riot Club, a two-hundred-and-fifty-year-old drinking fraternity.

The film doesn’t come with an “Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental,” disclaimer, probably much to the chagrin of former real-life members, Prime Minister David Cameron and Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

The bulk of the movie takes place at an elaborate dinner in the backroom of a gastropub. Two first year students, ‘Milo’ Richards (Max Irons) and Alistair Ryle (Sam Claflin) are inducted into the legendarily elite club. It’s all debauched fun and games until a few perceived slights—a “ten bird roast” arrives with only nine layers and a hired call girl declines their requests—ignites a drunken, violent response.

Director Lone Scherfig takes her time getting to the meat of the matter. Setting the scene gives us a sense of time and place but feels unnecessary in terms of making the larger point of the insulation from consequences privilege can provide. Perhaps it’s a way to enrich the ham-handed message—is it really such a surprise that ultra-rich yobs can behave pretty much however they like?—or the cartoonish climax but it doesn’t add much dramatically.

The large ensemble—it’s a who’s who of young English actors, including Douglas Booth, Natalie Dormer and Jessica Brown Findlay—hold it together admirably but the story of class warfare might have been stronger if there were a few more skirmishes along the way.