Being Slobby Drunk Doesn’t Excuse EVIL Deeds. “Promising Young Woman” reviewed! (Focus Features / Digital Screener)

On a weekly basis, Cassandra hits the night clubs and drinks herself into a stupor.  A male “Good Samaritan” will come over to assess her well being only to be selfishly determinedly for her to return to his place for a nightcap.  When on the verge of passing out or too immersed in drunken lethargy, the man makes his move with uninvited, unwanted show of handsy affection.  That’s when Cassandra springs her trap.  Feigning inebriation, the clearheaded Cassandra rouses a sobering, befuddled moment of blank expression, misplaced justification, and anger when the man’s seemingly easy lay catches them in an unsolicited sexual violation.  Her traumatizing past has molded her to become very good at pretending to be vulnerable until hearing a familiar name of a man, long thought to be out of the country, sends Cassandra down an itemized path of vengeance that not only includes ruining the life of the source of her unorthodox, yet necessary, campaign but also clump in every facet associated in with his shining existence.

If you needed a slap across the face in order to reassert yourself from the painful numbness of incessant news stories of young women being the vilified victims of sexual assault then “Promising Young Woman” is a stinging hot whack of four fingers, a thumb, and an open palm of wake the hell up!  From Emerald Fennel in her debut written and directed full length feature film comes a blunt narrative of systemic injustice involving rape and the social delusions stemmed out of grades of maturity, lengths of time, and levels of alcoholic drinking.  Coming off fresh from her recent role on Netflix’s period biographical drama, “The Crown,” Fennel draws motivation for her black comedic thriller from the infamous Brock Turner case of sexual assault on Chanel Miller that turned into a conviction judgement with abhorrent caveat in his early release for good behavior that the white, educated, star athlete’s life shouldn’t be destroyed because he’s a promising young man [sic].  “Promising Young Woman” targets every broken system that is meant to protect violated women despite their socializing determined conscious or unconscious state of affairs and has some mega star powers producing the social commentary material in such with “Suicide Squad” and “Bombshell” star, Margot Robbie, under her co-founded LuckyChap Entertainment along with the film’s star, Carey Mulligan, as executive producer. FilmNation Entertainment’s Glen Basner and Ben Browning fully finance the first real award contender of a 2021 release.

“Promising Young Woman” has an all-star, diverse class of actors surrounding principle lead, “Drive’s” Carey Mulligan as the methodically standoffish Cassandra, caught in a web of denial, self-depreciation, and straight up ignorance of the hurt caused directly and indirectly to whichever means to satisfy their own different shades of gray conscious. Mulligan is terrific as a coarse character rare to be juxtaposed against a veneer of bubble-gum chic with a reserved demeanor outside her burning the midnight oil working hours and coming out like a ferocious grizzly bear when calling out club scouting douchebags on their objectionable behavior. When Cassandra crosses paths with Ryan, comedian and “Eighth Grade” writer and director, Bo Burnham, Mulligan’s range is tested to take that disinterested and glassy eyed crusader and turn to a state of daily conformist complacency, the very dangerous thing Cassandra seeks to rectify one man after another, that slips Cassandra out temporary from her anti-heroine role until her dolled up, doughy eyes snap toward the camera and into a kill mode that goes straight for the pervert’s throat. An inclusive cast speaks volumes on not only how “Promising Young Woman” incorporates different ethnic and genre backgrounds and ages, but also doesn’t throw man to completely under the bus as Satan’s puppet on Earth with performances from Laverne Cox (“Orange is the New Back”), Alfred Molina (“Spider-Man 2”), Jennifer Coolidge (“American Pie”), Clancy Brown (“Starship Troopers”), Adam Brody (“Jennifer’s Body”), Christopher Mintz-Plasse (“Kick-Ass”), Alison Brie (“Scream 4”), Connie Britton (“American Horror Story”), and Molly Shannon (“Hotel Transylvania”).

“Promising Young Woman” wields a powerful theme to shed a brilliant light on everything that is fragmented with the way sexual assault accusations, trials, and punishments are handled.  The film also probes deep into the soul in how people who are not directly affected digest sexual assault but become accomplice in proximity in a range exhibited from complete, unnerving guilt to locking away the events in their mind in order to forget.  Fennel plausibly fashions a motif of passing judgement from assailant to victim while chiseling out the flawed logic in each deplorable excuse as to why a University Dean, a defense lawyer, and a good friend could cold-heartedly denounce, and frankly not lift one single finger threaded with moral fiber about, a young woman’s accusations.  The unpleasantry core of “Promising Young Woman’s” topical subject is nestled inside a sparklingly and colorful cladded showcase, housing an energetic and upbeat arrangement around a dark tone that, in a way, reflects the pretense goggles most see through to avoid any responsibility or conflict.   Empathy never seems to run it’s course as Fennel treads without fear on a mission to take back the blasted to smithereens dignity by deconstructing and exposing every unjust particle in this atypical rape-revenge thriller robust with heart paraded on by an ugly truth.

Remember when I said this film is a slap in the face wake up call? It’s more of a gut check, a conversation starter, and a watershed moment rolled up into one and now “Promising Young Woman” will land right into all the living room smart television sets in America with a Friday, January 15th VOD release from Focus Feature films. The rated R, 113 minute runtime release presented in a 2.39:1 aspect ratio will available for a 48-hour rental on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Vudu, Fandango, and Google Play, but if you don’t want to wait and want to brave a pandemic climate, select theaters have showings available. Benjamin Kracun’s camerawork, shot on an Arri Alexa, offers a lush and delicate milieu surrounding Cassandra who, with a Panavision lens, gleams in the scene and the soundtrack, comprised of early 2000’s pop inspired from Spice Girls, Paris Hilton, and even a strained violin rendition of a Britney Spears track, cues moments of levity before annihilating the live of the blank conscious. As far as special features go, there were no bonus materials or scenes included. “Promising Young Woman” revamps the way women approach vigilante justice with a candy coated shell and the maestro behind it all, Emerald Fennel, aims to redact or nullify the expression promising young man to no longer be a part of the conversation.

Pre-order “Promising Young Woman” on Blu-ray or DVD. Watch it on VOD come January 15th

“The Blackcoat’s Daughter” from Lionsgate in May!


Terrifying and suspenseful, The Blackcoat’s Daughter arrives on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus Digital HD) and DVD May 30 from Lionsgate. Emma Roberts stars as a troubled young woman who embarks on a journey to an isolated prep school while two stranded students (played by Kiernan Shipka and Lucy Boynton) face a sinister threat from an unseen evil force. Praised as “truly unsettling” by RogerEbert.com, the movie premiered at the 2015 Toronto Film Festival and the 2015 Fantastic Fest. From writer-director Osgood Perkins, The Blackcoat’s Daughter Blu-ray Combo Pack and DVD will be available for the suggested retail price of $24.99 and $19.98, respectively.

OFFICIAL SYNOPSIS

Beautiful and haunted Joan (Emma Roberts “American Horror Story” and “Scream Queens”) makes a bloody and determined pilgrimage across a frozen landscape toward a prestigious all-girls prep school, where Rose (Lucy Boynton) and Kat (Kiernan Shipka) find themselves stranded after their parents mysteriously fail to retrieve them for winter break. As Joan gets closer, Rose watches in horror while Kat suffers terrifying visions and becomes possessed by an unseen force.

Lionsgate will release “The Blackcoat’s Daughter” on Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus Digital HD) and DVD May 30!

NPH Guest Stars in AHS: Freak Show!

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American Horror Story: Freak Show will add Neil Patrick Harris and husband David Burtka to their list of guest stars set to appear on this fourth season. Hollywood hot topic NPH will guest start in the 11th and 12th episode as a chameleon salesman while David Burtka will be in the final episode of the season.

Murphy and Harris have been friends and collaborates since Fox’s ‘Glee.’ Harris has also been a super-fan of the previous American Horror Story installments. Harris and Burtka would certainly round the lively and colorful cast of characters and their actors in Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, and Sarah Paulson.

American Horror Story: Freak Show… R.I.P Meep

American Horror Story: Freak Show
Season 4 Episode 2 “Massacres and Matinees”

Wow! What an entertaining episode this proved to be, improving largely on last weeks. First and foremost Twisty was back spooking the shit out of us all. His scenes are so tense, and they are just amplified to the maximum because of his unnerving silence. He swiftly claims another victim, Mr Hanley, who is found by his toy shop assistant in a very suspenseful manner. He follows a blood trail that he soon finds leads to the head of poor old Mr Hanley and upon doing so is added to Twistys’ collection of victims by means of a knife through the throat. This creepy incident is what spreads further fear across the town, enough to invoke a citywide curfew.
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What the townsfolk are unaware of is that Twisty now occupies a partner. We’re introduced to the pompous new character Dandy Mott (Finn Wittrock). He is obsessed with being a thespian at the freak show but Jimmy Darling is strongly angered by this and warns him away. It’s now that Dandy storms off in a foul mood. His mood is soon brightened when his mother Gloria Mott (Frances Conroy) reveals she has purchased him his very own clown. Dandy invites the clown to pick a toy and whilst he is looking through them, Dandy makes the mistake of looking in the clowns’ bag. It contains the severed head from the earlier murdered toy store assistant. The clown knocks him unconscious and makes a quick escape. It is extremely predictable from this point that Dandy is going to team up with the clown. Firstly because we know Dandy has a dark side due to comments made by his Mother and maid. Secondly, we know the clown always kills his chosen victims. So it is no surprise that when Dandy finds a young girl running from the crazed clown, that instead of helping her, he picks her up and practically hands her over to the clown. We’ll be seeing more of this murderous duo next week.

Finn Wittrock as Dandy Mott.

Finn Wittrock as Dandy Mott.


New additions Dell Toledo (Michael Chiklis) and Desiree Dupree (Angela Bassett) joined the freaks as husband and wife. Or husband and husband… Dell is a strongman and Desiree is a full blown hermaphrodite with three boobs. From the get-go Dell is horrible to watch, trying to control the freaks and overpower Elsa Mars and her position. Elsa can see he is going to cause more harm than good but she is unaware he lied about the reason they fled to her show. The real reason being that his wife Desiree was pleasuring a normal townsman and Dell was certainly unhappy about this, so snapped his neck instantly. (Again, I wrongly assumed the townsfolk and freaks wouldn’t mix – but apparently freaks are very tempting and provocative).
Michael Chiklis and Angela Bassett as Dell Toledo and Desiree Dupree.

Michael Chiklis and Angela Bassett as Dell Toledo and Desiree Dupree.


Immediately there is bitterness between him and Ethel Darling (Kathy Bates) and we soon find out why. Ethel and Dell used to be an item and Jimmy Darling is their son. Only he doesn’t know. Oh, and he also doesn’t know that his father wanted to kill him when he was a baby because of his deformities. Now maybe subconsciously Jimmy knows how evil Dell really is because he takes an instant dislike to him and the two seem to start a war. This conflict eventually causes heartbreak and devastation amongst the freaks, and viewers alike. Jimmy tries to set Dell up so the police will cart him away for good, but it is not him we regrettably see go. Upon finding out he was being set-up, he stabbed at all of our heartstrings by alternatively setting innocent Meep up. No-one was expecting this, possibly the biggest and worst surprise we’ve seen so far. Meep was violently beaten to death but the full extent of his torture is left to our imagination as the final images we see are of Meep screaming frantically. It brought a tear to my eye and created a lump in my throat.
MEEP
The only thing to criticize is the fact that they are revealing a lot of the characters back stories extremely early into the show. Twisty the clown is proving to be the most chilling so far, with the freaks not especially enthralling to watch. Stayed tuned as next week we will finally be introduced to Maggie Esmerelda (Emma Roberts) who is unsurprisingly rumoured to beguile Jimmy Darling. I can also reveal Ethel will receive some “surprising” news in the next episode, which is titled: Edward Mordrake part 1. I hope this arouses your curiosities.
Emma Roberts as Maggie Esmerelda.

Emma Roberts as Maggie Esmerelda.

American Horror Story: Freak Show

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It’s back! “American Horror Story” returns on FX for its fourth season: Freak Show. 

The first episode is expected to air on 8th October 2014 at 10pm. Hopefully we are provided with more gripping storylines like all the previous ones that we know and love. This season is set in 1952 and will follow a freak show trying to survive in Jupiter, Florida. Dark entities flood the town and both the outcasts and normal townsfolk must fight to survive the fearsome rush of darkness. Much loved favourites are back for our viewing pleasure; Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Sarah Paulson, Naomi Grossman and Emma Roberts.

Slender man?

Slender man?


A two-headed woman, a strongman, a bearded lady, a fortune-teller, a three-breasted woman and a man with lobster hands are amongst some of the characters we will see. It is rumored that Slender Man may make an appearance and although this hasn’t been verified the Official Teaser #10 (see teaser below) backs this up. The video shows the legs of a tall man holding the hand of a little girl. His top half isn’t visible which intrigues us all the more. Slender Man is a mythical creature, inhumanely tall and skinny, who preys on little children. He is rumored to kidnap them but it remains a mystery as to what he does with them beyond this. If Slender Man and freaks isn’t enough, this season is also reported to feature a killer clown. Some people believe American Horror Story is mediocre, but most people are anticipating the return of the most suspenseful and nightmarish television show around. Don’t miss it!


 

Sarah Paulson:  The Two Headed Woman

Sarah Paulson: The Two Headed Woman

Kathy Bates:  The Bearded Woman

Kathy Bates: The Bearded Woman

Angela Basset:  Rumored Strong Man's Wife

Angela Basset: Rumored Strong Man’s Wife

Evan Peters:  Lobster Hand Man

Evan Peters: Lobster Hand Man

Jessica Lange:  German Expat and Troupe Leader

Jessica Lange: German Expat and Troupe Leader

Michael Chiklis:  Strong Man

Michael Chiklis: Strong Man

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