Jacob Lofland

14063-4

Small town life and big tragedy take to the big screen in filmmaker Sarah Colangelo’s feature film debut, Little Accidents, a slice of life drama about what happens when a town is hit by a pair of twin tragedies that may or may not be related to each other. Centered on three connected storylines that frequently bump up against each other before finally blending into one full-scale disaster, the film attempts to tackle big questions about grief and blame and responsibility through interpersonal examples. But despite strong acting (including a tear-stained performance by Elizabeth Banks, usually flexing her acting muscles in comedic situations), Little Accidents doesn’t pack much of an emotional punch, weighed down by predictable plotting and an uncomfortable sense that it’s primarily interested in piling on bad situation under bad situation, until everyone involved (characters and audience) simply crumbles under the weight of more cliché. The film opens months after a mining accident has rocked a small town that’s seemingly wholly dependent on its local coal operations. The sole survivor of a mine cave-in, young Amos (Boyd Holbrook) is clearly uncomfortable with the attention his designation has begun affording him, from people declaring that his survival was a miracle to the local union who is putting pressure on him to speak out against the mining company in order to punish them (read: give more money to all of the victims, including Amos). Both physically and emotionally damaged, Amos just wants his life back, and sets about returning to […]

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Kings

While some potential moviegoers only needed to hear the word “Jurassic” to get excited for Colin Trevorrow’s upcoming Jurassic World, some of us needed something else – like a great cast. The news that the feature will center on a successful (and presumably safe) Jurassic World theme park that’s upended by some wild, wily dinosaurs (with a grudge? Just a hunger? Pure instinct? Who knows!) also came with the reveal that the film will find its character focus in a tourist family tossed into the middle of the dino-madness. Fair enough – after all, the first Jurassic Park included a pair of great kid actors – but the fear of a fun movie being overshadowed by bad child acting is a very real one (perhaps even more terrifying than the promise of marauding dinosaurs themselves). Fortunately, there’s little to fear here (at least as it applies to the under-eighteen set), because Jurassic World has reportedly cast two of the most exciting young actors in Hollywood – Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson – to form the child-half of the poor, beleaguered tourist family. At this point, we don’t even care about their potential parents (though rumors that they could be Jake Johnson and Bryce Dallas Howard are awesome in their own way), because we’re sold on a Simpkins and Robinson-centric picture in a big, big way. Still better? They are just two actors in a very encouraging new generation of emerging stars-in-the-making, a new class we’re lucky to have.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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