Review: Good Kill

“Keep compartmentalizing” is a piece of advice from a commanding officer to his ace pilot. This is darkly humourous, intelligent screenwriting because these drone-piloting soldiers spend 12 hours a day literally inside a box, albeit an air-conditioned one filled to the brim with technology, with fresh coffee available if needs be.

A day of drone warfare fought, the service men and women leave the base and go home to BBQ with their family and drink beer in the nearby Las Vegas suburb, a pebble-lawned stretch of cookie cutter banality not far away from the dazzling gratuitousness of The Strip. Things go from grim but necessary to deeply disturbing slowly but inevitably, and often didactically, in Good Kill.

The film focuses on Major Tom Egan (Ethan Hawke), a former F-16 pilot and a veteran of many tours. He is now ‘grounded’ in the tiny box on wheels enacting a play-station war; one of low risk of physical harm (barring carpal tunnel syndrome) on which he compensates by making the damage 100% psychological. Egan’s icy disposition and years of experience make him one of the current top performers in piloting drones.

Hawke’s performance is miles apart from his life-long work with Richard Linklater, not to mention as different as possible from the testosterone meathead cinema-depictions of fighter pilots in thrill oriented blockbusters like Top Gun and its numerous copy cats. Egan ignores the gung-ho nature of the two tech support co-workers, the young guys that keep the communications to the remotely piloted aircraft humming along. Egan is quietly respectful of the competence of his equally young female co-pilot (Zoë Kravitz) while carrying out any order from his commanding officer (Bruce Greenwood, who gets all the good lines and let’s face it, is a national goddamn treasure).

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“Live Evil” Gets Release Date and a Free Screeing in Vegas

For those that missed Toronto After Dark and all the goodness it had to offer, I may have found something for you to take the bite from your pain; maybe not the same thing, but possibly the next best thing. For those of us who love our little indie horror flicks – specifically Vampires – director Jay Woelfel put together this little tale of survival called Live Evil in which a group of vampires are having trouble surviving in a world where the blood supply has become polluted by drugs and STDs.

The film gets a limited release on September 18th (playing about 300 screens) and hits DVD in early November. For those closer to the west coast, sin city will be hosting a free screening of the film on Devil’s Night at the Sci-Fi Center: a true grindhouse movie theater dubbed “The Underground Screening Room” that showcases arthouse, horror, cult, science fiction, fantasy and independent cinema not usually available at traditional theaters.

While I’m not sure if the limited screenings will hit my neck of the woods, this looks fun enough that I’ll certainly be tracking down a copy of the DVD as quickly as possible. Gotta love your indie horror.

Trailer is under the seats…
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Thomas Jane’s Dark Country Looks Beautiful

The Dark Country Movie Still

I was certain that at some point I’d posted information regarding Thomas Jane’s upcoming project but alas, scavenging through the archives has brought up nothing on the subject so I’m left to conclude that at some point I meant to write about it and forgot.

Late in 2007, it was announced that Jane would be moving behind the camera for his directorial debut, a horror film titled The Dark Country, which would be shot for both 3D and 2D distribution. Aside from directing, Jane also stars in the film along with Ron Perlman and Lauren German. Written by Tab Murphy, the film has Jane and German, a recently married couple, en route from Las Vegas, having to deal with a “hellish ride” when they discover a dead body in the desert.

The film has been trucking along for over a year though little has been seen of the production; until now. The always fabulous folks at Quiet Earth have posted the first still from the film and they are very impressive. The boys also have a quote from Jane that the idea is to “remain true to the stylistic choices of film noir” and these first stills certainly suggest that. I’m looking forward to it and who knows, maybe Jane will surprise by delivering a great horror film.

At the moment, there’s little to say about the film’s release, which is being handled by Sony, but we’ll keep you posted on new developments. Until then, be sure to check out all the photos tucked under the seat!

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