New Release Reviews - Grave Encounters 2 / What Richard Did / The Girl

Grave Encounters 2
Directed by: John Poliquin
Starring: Richard Harmon, Sean Rogerson, Leanne Lapp

For the sequel to last year's bland found-footage flick, things have gone all meta. The story here is of a film student who becomes obsessed with the idea that the events of the first film were indeed real. The first half is somewhat interesting as he and his friends investigate this idea but the second half is practically a remake of the first movie. The only entertainment here is in the opening sequence, a montage of Youtube reviews of the first film, not all positive. It has to be said the movie does feature some quite impressive effects work given the low budget.
3/10
Grave Encounters 2 (2012) on IMDb 5.1/10


What Richard Did
Directed by: Lenny Abrahamson
Starring: Jack Reynor, Roisin Murphy, Lars Mikkelsen, Lorraine Pilkington
This Irish feature seems to aim for the ice-cold detachment of Bruno Dumont but ultimately comes off more like a well performed after-school special. It's title character is a popular young Dublin rugby player who accidentally kills another teen in a drunken brawl. Director Lenny Abrahamson opts for the usual easy targets wheeled out by conservatives, (drinking, underage sex, foreign influences) rather than exploring the dog-eat-dog culture of it's South Dublin middle-class setting. Jack Reynor is impressive in the title role but it's a film that feels indecisive rather than ambiguous.
5/10
What Richard Did (2012) on IMDb 7.3/10


The Girl
Directed by: Julian Jarold
Starring: Toby Jones, Sienna Miller
In this year's London Olympics opening ceremony, there was one glaring omission from the list of influential Brits, Alfred Hitchcock. Many in the British media have never forgiven the director for leaving for Hollywood and this continues with Jarold's film, co-produced by the BBC and HBO. It tells the tale of Hitch's obsessive relationship with actress Tippi Hedren (Sienna Miller) and isn't so much a movie as a character assassination. Many facts are liberally manipulated in order to make Hitch (Toby Jones) seem more of a cartoon villain. Most laughable is a recreation of Hedren's screen test, the tone of which couldn't be more different than the real footage (available to view as an extra on "The Birds" DVD). This is basically the story of an old man who tried it on with a pretty young actress and failed. It's this failure that allows for such a tawdry cheap shot. Had he been successful there would be no story. Where's the movie denigrating Warren Beatty for his manipulation of young women? There is none because if you're handsome you can be as randy as you want, just look at JFK. The message of this film boils down to image fascism. How dare a fat, ugly man try it on with a beautiful woman, don't these unattractive people know their place? On the positive side, this piece of garbage will be forgotten about quickly whereas Hitchcock's legacy will persevere forever.
1/10
The Girl (2012) on IMDb 5.9/10


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