Director: Rupert Goold
Writers: Michael Finkel (memoir), Rupert Goold (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Stars: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Felicity Jones
This film is based on actual events about an accused killer (James Franco) who assumes the name of a disgraced New York Times reporter (Jonah Hill). Once they meet, most of the movie is spent with the prison encounters between them…and it’s pretty mild. While the premise is interesting, the film lacks tension and (ironically) good writing. It doesn’t help that Franco intentionally plays his character with blank emotion, which instead of coming off sinister, just reads flat. Hill is equally inert. The story has the potential for a gripping game of truth vs. lies, but the bland direction, lackluster script and uninspired performances dull this story.
GAY ANGLE: This is one of Franco’s serious roles, so don’t expect him to flash any smiles or flesh (except for one useless quick glimpse).
Director: Levan Gabriadze (as Leo Gabriadze)
Writer: Nelson Greaves
Stars: Heather Sossaman, Matthew Bohrer, Courtney Halverson
This is the latest variation on revenge thrillers: 6 high school friends are chatting online, when a former classmate (who recently killed herself) joins their conversation to seek payback. What makes this concept so unique is the point of view: one girl’s computer screen. All the action takes place via Skype, YouTube, Facebook, Google, other popular internet-based apps, even Spotify for the soundtrack. That’s interesting, but then you have to put up with the teens who constantly over-dramatize, freak out and scream a lot. The murder moments are just that, quick brutal forced suicides…even too short for today’s abbreviated attention spans. It’s pretty much a clever one-note notion without any surprises or suspense.
GAY ANGLE: If you want online thrills, stick to gay dating sites, cause this group’s apparently all straight.
Jerry Williams reviewed movies for WTVR-TV for 14 years and for Style Weekly for 10 years. When he launched his own website in 1998 at TVJerry.com, he took his reviews to the Internet. Through those hundreds of reviews, Jerry kept his sexual orientation muted. So, he's excited to be adding "gay angles" to his postings for GayRVA.com.