Movies that are slightly off.
First they send in their drone... Then they find their queen.
A lonely waitress with a tragic past, Agnes rooms in a run-down motel, living in fear of her abusive, recently paroled ex-husband. But when Agnes begins a tentative romance with Peter, an eccentric, nervous drifter, she starts to feel hopeful again - until the first bugs arrive...
I seriously can't believe it. After my wife subjected her poor mid 70's parents to Killer Joe last night, she somehow convinced them, by some sly Ashley Judd trickery, to watch Bug tonight. I suspect they aren't going to visit anymore.
Me, I was smiling all the way through. Not from observing my in-laws uncomfortable, but well timed, reactions, ( well, maybe a little ) but rather that on a short re-watch this film didn't lose a speck of it's brilliant luster.
After being completely gob-smacked by Friedkin’s Killer Joe last year, I was eagerly anticipating seeing his previous collaboration with playwright Tracy Letts. I was expecting good things, but not the incredible ride I was taken on.
Right from the opening scene, Friedkin conveys so much with such masterful economy, it’s staggering. We start with a distant point of light, as we move in closer and closer you feel the isolation and loneliness, and you feel that something is arriving. The simple use of the harsh ringing of a telephone elicits a sense of menace and dread.
Perhaps we’re seeing a visual metaphor of Peter’s elliptical approach to Agnes. He sees her tiny point of light, and is drawn to her…
Infestation is everywhere in Bug attacking the pores of the skin, slowly taking over the mind, large pests leaving prison to invade lives, secret organisations on the hunt looking to exterminate their prey. It's a cacophony of disease surrounding two people holed up inside their own lonely lives, barricaded into a motel room, seeking refuge in the corners of their disappearing sanity.
This intense psychodrama quietly lays its seed early on then draws you in slowly, almost deceptively, to a climax that will leave you wide-eyed at two actors totally off the leash. Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon turn in performances of the like you rarely get to see, or which a director rarely inspires. An actor on their game…
Bug had me from the very first scene.
Black screen with credits. An old rotary phone rings.
It is answered by a woman. Hello? (pause). Hello?
An aerial view of the middle of nowhere with what looks to be 5 buildings surrounded by nothing but empty fields and a highway.
It's eerie and ominous already. Someone somewhere down below is getting calls. Wherever she is we know she is isolated. Alone.
The camera keeps moving forward. She is in one of these buildings.
Who is calling her? How long has this been going on?
The camera begins to settle on a decrepit motel. Motel. Is she hiding from someone? Has he found her?
We are now just above the motel…
Agnes White (Ashley Judd) lives in a run-down motel. Her son has gone missing years ago. Her violent ex-husband has recently been released from prison. She receives silent phone calls that worry her. She meets Peter Evans (Michael Shannon) through a friend. He is acting very strange and seems to be a dangerous person but Agnes allows him to stay with her for awhile. As they begin to know each other, she finds out from him that he was used by the military in different experiments, ran away and now is followed by secret agencies.
This movie is insane. Most of it takes place in the motel room which creates a claustrophobic atmosphere rarely achieved in other movies. Ashley Judd…
Those who have seen Bug will know damn well why I start this review with that exclamation. After all, where the hell did they get that much tinfoil from?!
I jest of course, it's because Bug is mad. When I say that I don't mean in the usual way you might describe something as such, but because the content is mad. Portraying paranoid delusion and escalating psychosis is something that cinema has often struggled to do convincingly and even truly great films have grappled with the subject but not really managed to do so all that successfully.
On this front, films often go wrong on one of two levels - acting performances or pacing. I would imagine it…
Not as good as Killer Joe but miles ahead of the abysmal August: Osage County.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
"I am the super mother queen"
What an insane movie by William Friedkin Director of The Exorcist. It starts out slow but quickly gets out of control and ends with a bang. Shanon is masterful. The writer deserves a hugo award. Very Philip K Dick-esque paranoia. Intelligent and Mad .
"Nice soundcard, new model"
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Ashley Judd is a single lady living in a hotel room with a convict husband who is introduced to a weirdo (Michael Shannon) by one of her friends. She imparts her deepest secret, which is that she lost her son in a supermarket. Her no-good boyfriend gets out of prison and starts threatening her, but then leaves for a while. Michael Shannon at first seems only a little bit weird, but after they have sex, he starts ranting about bugs being under his skin and whatnot. Eventually she picks up on his craziness, and things don't end well. Their hotel room ends up covered in tinfoil, Michael Shannon cuts himself all up trying to remove egg sacs and also yanks…
Bastante recomendable. Entre tanta y tanta película sin ideas originales, que repiten cosas ya contadas o que empiezan bien para acabar fatal, da gusto encontrarse películas como ésta que sin ser ninguna maravilla cuenta algo distinto y distrae lo suficiente. Muy bien Ashley Judd y Michael Shannon.
This was recommended to me last Halloween and I finally got to watch it. First off, not horror. Thriller but not horror though it has a lot of horror elements to properly tell the tale. Second, I loved it but would not watch this again. The topic it covers is pretty disturbing and while seeing this was great I wouldn't want to revisit this for fun.
The cast was incredible. I definitely felt a lot when this ended thanks to those performances. The only down side was that this was on DVD so it didn't look as good as it could have.
Really damn effective at what it's going for, namely a paranoia thriller showing how the relationship that builds between Judd and Shannon gets stronger and therefore brings both of them down. It's a bit of a walkthrough for Shannon and his role in Take Shelter and whether you aren't sure if he's sane or out of his head but you do know that Freidkin makes you feel dirty and want to run out of this room.
Well that escalated quickly
Part of my 5 Directors x 5 Unseen Films (10) challenge.
American playwright Tracy Letts adapted his own 1996 stage play for the big screen at the request of director William Friedkin. The filmmaker also convinced the producers at Lionsgate to cast the theatrical production's then-little-known London and Off-Broadway lead actor, Michael Shannon, in the critical role of Peter Evans, an AWOL Gulf War veteran plagued by creeping paranoia.
Ashley Judd is the film's central character, Agnes White, a lonely, drug-and-alcohol-abusing waitress in an Oklahoma lesbian road house, who lost her six-year-old son Lloyd some ten years ago and has never got over it. She lives alone in a seedy rural motel and has only one friend, a fellow waitress…
Did you enjoy Killer Joe? Do you want to see the absolute best performances by both Michael Shannon and Ashley Judd? Do you like to be disturbed and surprised by a film? Then this super dark and smart sequel to A Bug's Life is for you!
That'll show the BBC for doing a poll!
The usual disclaimers if it's not in here:-
1) I haven't seen…