Destroyer (2018)

Destroyer
Director: Karyn Kusama
Writer: Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
Cast: Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany, Sebastian Stan, Scoot McNairy, Bradley Whitford, Toby Huss
Seen on: 1.9.2021

Plot:
Erin (Nicole Kidman) is a police officer, only barely holding herself together. When a body turns up with markings that connect it to an undercover case from the very beginning of Erin’s career, she re-opens the investigation, she knows that her past has finally caught up with her – and that she may finally set things right.

Destroyer very cleverly cast Nicole Kidman against type, but I often felt that it relies to hard on that cleverness, on Kidman’s sallow looks. It is a decent crime movie, but it could have been a little more.

The film poster showing a close-up of half of Erin's (Nicole Kidman) face with deep shadows under her eyes in blue and red light.
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XX (2017)

XX
Segment 1: The Box
Director: Jovanka Vuckovic
Writer: Jovanka Vuckovic
Based on: Jack Ketchum‘s short story
Cast: Natalie BrownJonathan WattonPeter DaCunhaPeyton Kennedy
Segment 2: The Birthday Party
Director: St. Vincent aka Annie Clark
Writer: Roxanne BenjaminSt. Vincent aka Annie Clark
Cast: Melanie LynskeySeth DuhameSanai VictoriaSheila VandLindsay Burdge
Segment 3: Don’t Fall
Director: Roxanne Benjamin
Writer: Roxanne Benjamin
Cast: Casey AdamsBreeda WoolAngela TrimburMorgan Krantz
Segment 4: Her Only Living Son
Director: Karyn Kusama
Writer: Karyn Kusama
Cast: Christina KirkKyle AllenMike Doyle
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 4.5.2017
[Review by cornholio.]

XX is a strong and very entertaining anthology film that I enjoyed a lot. I particularly loved the animated transition sequences between the segments by Sofia Carrillo that turned into its own small story in the end.

But of course, there was also much to like about the actual segments of the film – I talk about each individually after the jump.

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The Invitation (2015)

The Invitation
Director: Karyn Kusama
Writer: Phil HayMatt Manfredi
Cast: Logan Marshall-GreenEmayatzy CorinealdiTammy BlanchardMichiel HuismanJohn Carroll LynchLindsay BurdgeMike DoyleKarl YuneMichelle KrusiecMarieh DelfinoJordi VilasusoDanielle CamastraJay LarsonToby Huss
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 17.9.2015
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard.]

Plot:
Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and Edie (Tammy Blanchard) used to be happy. But after their son died, their relationship fell apart. Edie began dating David (Michiel Huisman) and then disappeared for two years. But now Edie and David are back and have invited all of their old friends to a dinner party, including Will and his new girlfriend Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi). It’s weird coming back together like that, but there is something even weirder going on with Edie and David and the young woman (Lindsay Burdge) who seems to live with them now.

The Invitation doesn’t exactly tell a revolutionary, unforeseeable story. But it is so beautifully executed that I didn’t mind that for a single second. In fact, the old plot just emphasizes how good the rest of the film is.

invitation

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Jennifer’s Body (2009)

Jennifer’s Body
Director: Karyn Kusama
Writer: Diablo Cody
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Megan Fox, Johnny Simmons, Adam Brody, J. K. Simmons, Amy Sedaris, Cynthia Stevenson, Chris Pratt

Plot:
Jennifer (Megan Fox) and Needy (Amanda Seyfried) have been best friends since about forever, even though by now Jennifer is the school’s most popular girl and Needy is kind of a geek. But everything changes when the two of them head to a concert by the up and coming band Low Shoulder. The band plans to insure their success by sacrificing a virgin – a plan that horribly backfires when they mistakenly think that Jennifer was one. Suddenly Needy finds herself with a pretty evil best friend.

I was one of the few people who were not utterly enchanted by Juno and also Jennifer’s Body didn’t convince me of Diablo Cody’s writing in general. That being said I did like this movie much better than I thought I would. Especially every time it got out its sense of humor.

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