Wednesday, February 6, 2013

2012 Catch Up (Killer Joe / Seeking a Friend for the End of the World)

Killer Joe (2012)

Director: William Friedkin
Writers: Tracy Letts (screenplay and original play)
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple

The famed director of The Exorcist returns to the chair at the age of 77 to bring you this tale of awful people doing awful things to awful people. There's one character in this that isn't irredeemably awful, but she is a bit... "special" - confused and enigmatic enough to defy the audience's (or at least my personal) attempts to relate to her. With barely any relatable characters in this mess, it can be tough to stomach this film that seems to love wallowing in its own trashiness. Friedkin obviously knows how to create discomfort in his viewers and there are a couple of powerfully disturbing scenes in here. McConaughey is surprisingly awesome as the crazy, calculating, and wholly terrifying titular character. If it's the flavor you're looking for, this is brilliant - but it is a taste I haven't really warmed up to.

Score: 5 / 10

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

Director: Lorene Scafaria
Writer: Lorene Scafaria (screenplay)
Stars: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Melinda Dillon

If Steve Carell and Kiera Knightley strike you as an odd pairing then don't worry, you're not alone. My primary problem with this film is that the pairing is strange and they don't really have the best chemistry. Even so, they both do a remarkable job with their individual roles. The story comes off as a bit episodic, but that's forgivable due to it being something of a "road trip" movie. I loved the black humor in the first half of the movie (Patton Oswalt's cameo was a big highlight for me) and the leads were good enough to draw me in emotionally for the second half. Some might complain that the ending is too cliche and predictable, but I was invested enough in the characters to overlook that possible flaw - the final scene was perfect. I can't remember if I've mentioned that it's pretty easy to get me all misty; well, score one for this movie.

Score: 7 / 10

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