Hayden Christensen

Drenched in atmospheric dread, Brad Anderson’s Vanishing on 7th Street is a slight yet haunting thriller that replaces easy answers with the pervasive sense of unknowable, evil forces at work. Propelled by an unexplained mystery – Detroit’s electrical grid fails and people start vaporizing in the darkness – the movie offers a crash course in economical filmmaking while espousing the fundamental truth that nothing scares quite like what we can’t see or understand. The set-up is simple: Days after the cataclysmic event, four strangers – possibly the only survivors left in the Motor City – wind up in a strong, generator-powered bar on 7th Street. They are TV reporter Luke (Hayden Christensen), movie theater projector Paul (John Leguizamo), nurse Rosemary (Thandie Newton) and adolescent James (Jacob Latimore). With no answers, no clear next step and sinister animated shadow portrait figures crawling along the walls as the power dims, the quartet tries to find its way to some form of permanent light.

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Takers assembles a motley crew of handsome men, decks them out in stylish suits and top hats, adds a dollop of crime, and shoots for the moon – literally (yes, a character points his fingers at the moon and fires). Director John Luessenhop wants to craft an eloquent, pseudo-vintage crime drama out of mundane clichés. With just enough of an aesthete’s vision, a robust collection of photogenic actors (including the ridiculously beautiful Zoe Saldana), an R&B infused soundtrack, and some exciting, upper class heist action, he mostly fulfills that ambition. There’s not much more to be expected from a late summer picture likely to be all but forgotten come the start of the fall movie season next week. With expectations naturally diminished, it’s possible to sit through Takers, enjoy the scenery and have a good time, even if Luessenhop’s thriller often adopts the “too cool for school” affectations of a meticulously blocked advertisement.

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Damn fine director Brad Anderson is back, and once again he’s looking to thrill you. Last time we checked in with the director of Session 9 and The Machinist, he was giving us a fear of trains and Russian people who look like Ben Kingsley with his 2008 film Transsiberian. That film rounded out a trio of excellence in the last decade. To kick off this new 10-year frame, Anderson will debut Vanishing on 7th Street at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival. It’s a survival thriller that calls back to 28 Days Later (when you wake up, everybody’s gone) but also calls back to some of Anderson’s earlier work with Session 9. The trailer is up and down, but we do know this for sure: Anderson is at his best when he’s creating taut, atmospheric thrillers that ooze with tension. And there are few concepts more filled with tension than “don’t let the lights go out, or you will die.” Let the fun begin after the break, where I’ve conveniently assembled the trailer and the official synopsis. It’s also worth noting that you should not discount this movie based on the involvement of Hayden Christensen. A quality director can overcome his usual wooden effort.

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A cultural icon is about to bring his terrorist asskicking to a theater near you.

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New York, I Love You

The full-length trailer for the upcoming compilation piece New York, I Love You has hit the web this week. And whether we like it or not, this New York lovefest is happening.

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Rumors That Should Have Been Pranks

There was a lot of fake movie news floating around yesterday, but there’s always a lot of fake movie news floating around. We take a look at eleven rumor stories (some true, some false) that really should have been posted on April 1st.

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Those among you with a zest for both the indie and international flavor might just remember a little movie from 2006 entitled Paris, je t’aime. Now, from the same producer and an a-list cast of characters comes New York, I Love You.

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Official Guide to Indiana Jones

Here is a look into our dark future. These are actors that would be terrible as Indiana Jones, but you know that someone somewhere is going to seriously suggest them to inherit the Fedora…

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Earlier this month, we reported that the film was expelled from Australia based on not being able to get a tax break from the Australian government, and was forced to move to Canada to complete principal photography. Today, our friends at Cinema Blend got a great casting scoop from a reader in British Columbia.

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Given the film’s premise, Jumper fails to explore a satiable amount of it’s myriad of possibilities.

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Please drink responsibly, and don’t piss off a white-haired Sam Jackson.

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poster-jumper01.jpg

Contrary to popular belief, just having a cool concept has nothing to do with producing a good movie.

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Everyone seems to be anxiously looking forward to next summer for big, cool blockbuster flicks, but for some reason we can’t take our eye off of Jumper.

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We’ve been looking to the second trailer for this film ever since the first one dropped two months ago.

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If you’re going to dare to see Awake, give it a shot. But don’t go unassisted. Bring your liquid friend along for the ride.

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Kevin Carr

Awake

Movie Reviews By Kevin Carr on November 30, 2007 | Comments (4)

Aside from a gratuitous nude scene from Jessica Alba, the only other thing that could have improved this film would have been if Hayden Christensen would have leaped up from the surgery, pulled out a lightsaber and went holy Jedi ape-shit over the rest of the hospital.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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