Paul Dano

REVIEW: ‘Prisoners’ Navigates a Maze of Moral Ambiguity

When a film’s excellence is achieved as much by how it is told as by what it is telling, then that is the most exciting use of the medium, and its highest tribute. Such is the case with Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners.

Set in a working-class suburb of Boston, but actually shot in Georgia, the story follows the anguish of two families, the Dovers and the Birches, whose respective daughters are abducted on a sleepy Thanksgiving afternoon, and the investigation of the detective in charge, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. A mentally challenged local resident, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), is likely to have either been the culprit or the last one to have seen the girls.

A Haunting In New Jersey


by Eric J Baker

This is the true tale of a haunting.

I don’t expect you to believe me. Hell, I’m not sure I do, and I saw it with my own eyes. Nevertheless, it happened. So dim the lights, sit back, and notice that I’m starting my ghost story with a flagrant digression that allows me to mention two brand-new, big-budget films and stick in a cool image which, knowing this blog, will be of a nude man…

...only a semi-nude man, Eric. Ryan Reynolds has the sickest body in Hollywood. Pity to cover it up with CGI in Green Lantern.

The surest way to wreck a movie is to let a computer make it. It’s like crack. If you plan to go on a gang-banging thrill ride and be dead or in jail by morning, you have found your ticket to ride. But filmmakers who care about quality of life and self-respect know that the computer, like crack cocaine, is necessary but best when used in moderation. Art comes from the head and the heart, not from Hewlett Packard.

Bow Down To The Big TOE


by James Killough

I don’t understand quantum mechanics/string theory completely, and I’m not sure I ever will.  Even the Wikipedia explanations lose me after a certain point.  I’m sure if I had the sort of intelligence that could appreciate physics in its full glory, if I were as passionate about it as I am about my creative work, I would no doubt be a firm believer, taking daily communion at the Cathedral of St. Einstein of the Atoms.  As it is, I get quantum theory enough to appreciate the meaning, and might be able to bang out a plausible sci-fi script on the subject, but it would be nowhere near as satisfyingly complex and taut as Ben Ripley’s is for Source Code.

St. Einstein licks a communion wafer crumb from his chin.

Quantum mechanics is the frontrunner for the Theory Of Everything (TOE), on which all orthodox atheists, myself in particular, pin their hopes.  If the TOE is proven, then our ratings war with religious believers will take a massive turn in our favor.  It will be like the final scene in that documentary about the McCarthy Hearings when everyone has had enough of Joe’s paranoid, delusional shenanigans and just gets up and exits the room, leaving the sweaty, evil little man to stew in his wrongdoing.  One day, which cannot come soon enough, God will be replaced by the Big TOE, neatly pedicured, devoid of calluses or bunions, something about which all of mankind can agree.  Creation myths invented by the JRR Tolkiens of Antiquity will be given no more credence than very Grimm fairy tales, and not even considered for the education of children in what should be the most advanced civilization on earth, much less debated.  Instead, they will only be taught creation facts with empirical proof behind them, which will be as indelible as a fossil set in limestone, as straightforward as a strand of DNA.  In the