Faster (2010)

Faster
Director: George Tillman Jr.
Writer: Tony Gayton, Joe Gayton
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Maggie Grace, Xander Berkeley, Tom Berenger, Matt Gerald, Mike Epps, Moon Bloodgood, Jennifer Carpenter, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Seen on: 31.5.2021

Plot:
The Driver (Dwayne Johnson) spent ten years in prison after a bank robbery, but now he is finally being released – and he has people to go after. He immediately goes for it, too. Leaving the investigating detectives (Billy Bob Thornton, Carla Gugino) puzzling over his motives. Meanwhile, a bored billionaire and killer-for-hire (Oliver Jackson-Cohen) is sent after the Driver as well. The Driver doesn’t have much time to finish his business.

Faster was probably the worst Dwayne Johnson film I ever saw. I mean, usually his films are, if not exactly good, at least entertaining all the way. But this one was just dreary and trying way too hard.

The film poster showing the Driver (Dwayne Johnson) standing tall, revolver in hand.
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Dragged Across Concrete (2018)

Dragged Across Concrete
Director: S. Craig Zahler
Writer: S. Craig Zahler
Cast: Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Tory Kittles, Michael Jai White, Thomas Kretschmann, Jennifer Carpenter, Laurie Holden, Don Johnson, Udo Kier, Fred Melamed, Justine Warrington
Part of: /slash Filmfestival 1/2
Seen on: 4.5.2019
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Content Note: racism

Plot:
Veteran cop Brett Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) and his younger, more volatile partner Anthony Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn) are caught on tape using excessive force on a black suspect. They are suspended when the tape reaches the media. Ridgeman decides to turn to crime himself in this forced downtime: he and Lurasetti plan to take over a robbery of which they get wind. Part of the robbery crew is Henry Johns (Tory Kittles), just released from prison, who came home to find the poverty of his family completely overwhelming. Without other options, he lets himself get roped into the robbery plot. But things don’t go according to plan for anybody.

I was this close to not watching Dragged Across Concrete. Zahler’s last film – Bone Tomahawk – was racist crap. That he then turns to make a film that is a whole lot about racism and casts Mel Gibson, a known racist and antisemite, in the lead is insensitive to say the least. But then I figured, I had an all-access pass to the festival and I may as well give this film a go. Well. I should have listened to my gut and saved myself because the film is just as racist as the last.

The film poster showing the main characters in red paint that looks like something was dragged over the white poster background.
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Gone (2012)

Gone
Director: Heitor Dhalia
Writer: Allison Burnett
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Daniel Sunjata, Jennifer Carpenter, Sebastian Stan, Wes Bentley, Emily Wickersham

Plot:
Jill (Amanda Seyfried) just got back on her feet after being kidnapped, not being believed by the police and having a psychotic break, when her sister Molly (Emily Wickersham) disappears from their house. Jill is convinced that her kidnapper is back and that he took Molly, but the police won’t believe her (again). So Jill sets out to find Molly on her own.

I hadn’t really heard good things about this film but I decided to see it anyway. Boy, do I ever regret that now. Rarely have I seen worse acting or a worse script. And they weren’t even funny with their badness.

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The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

The Exorcism of Emily Rose
Director: Scott Derrickson
Writer: Paul Harris Boardman, Scott Derrickson
Cast: Laura Linney, Tom Wilkinson, Campbell Scott, Jennifer Carpenter

Plot:
Emily Rose (Jennifer Carpenter) was a college student who died in the care of her priest Father Moore (Tom Wilkinson). Moore now stands on trial for negligent homicide. His lawyer Erin Bruner (Laura Linney) tries to prove that Emily died despite Moore’s care, not because he attempted an exorcism.

I liked The Exorcism of Emily Rose much better than I thought I would. I really enjoyed that they pulled off an exorcism movie where you could choose whether you believed in exorcisms – or not.

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