Kat Candler, creator of the brilliant short film Black Metal, has had her screenplay and full length feature Hellion picked up by a US distributor – Sundance Selects.
I’m doubly excited because the film stars Aaron Paul (from Breaking Bad, obviously) and Juliette Lewis, which will surely attract a huge audience.
Hellion concerns Jacob (Josh Wiggins), a 13-year-old boy obsessed with heavy metal and dirt bike racing, whose increasingly delinquent behaviour results in his younger brother Wes being relocated by Child Protective Services.
Bands appearing on the film’s soundtrack include Metallica, Slayer and The Sword. So what’s not to like?
Below is my review of Her for Rock’n’Reel Reviews.
Director: Spike Jonze
The idea of falling in love with a computer operating system probably seems outrageous and ridiculous, but in Her, Spike Jonze does a pretty good job at showing how this could soon enter the realm of possibility.
Imagine; an artificially intelligent operating system, programmed to meet your every need, as well as possessing a friendly ‘personality’ and even an apparent consciousness. This is exactly what Joaquin Phoenix’s character Theodore experiences and through his heart-warming, delicate performance, encourages you to empathise with this extraordinary situation, even if you might not understand or accept it.
Scarlett Johansson’s performance as Samantha, the voice of the operating system, is also far deeper than one would expect from a computer. She manages to convey an entire individuality within that piece of software.
Although the complexity of adult relationships is depicted in an honest and refreshing way, it’s difficult not to get sucked into Theodore’s melancholic state and on occasion the film feels slow and empty. However, this reflects the character’s bouts of loneliness and serves in highlighting the joy Samantha brings him. If anything, it’s a reminder to cherish the positive relationships we have with significant others.
The concept of falling head-over-heels for a computer is absurd. But as we continue to let our real lives merge with the virtual world, how long will it be until our dependence on technology slips into full on immersion? Even romantically – as it seems to be accepted in this projection of the not-too-distant future.
Personal Score: 4/5
Behemoth’s new album is my favourite release of 2014, so far. Below is the introduction to my review of The Satanist for Rock’n’Reel Reviews…
The Satanist has been one of the most anticipated releases of the year. Fans of the mighty Behemoth have been waiting for the triumphant return of Nergal and his band since the frontman’s battle with Leukaemia began in 2010. After his incredible recovery, their tenth release has been a long time coming. Yet, remarkably, The Satanist has finally reached us and, what’s more, may be the band’s most impressive work.
Personal Score: 4/5