Tag Archive | Shannyn Sossamon

Recommended Viewing: The Day

The Day Movie Poster

If you’ve read Cormac McCarthy’s chilling, post-apocalyptic novel, The Road, or seen the movie based on the book, you will surely recall the scene where The Man and The Boy come upon an abandoned farmhouse in which they hope to seek shelter, only to discover that its basement is occupied by unfortunate survivors who’ve been unwittingly captured and trapped there to await, let’s just say for the sake of avoiding spoilers, a ‘fate worse than death.’ Now, take that scene, dial back the ‘grisly-mind-numbing-horror’ factor by about sixty percent, turn it into an “Old West-style” stand off and expand to 84 minutes and you have the basic plot of The Day, a new action/drama opening nationwide this Wednesday, August 29th.

The directorial debut of Doug Aarniokoski, The Day features a talented cast including Shawn Ashmore (X-Men trilogy), Shannyn Sossamon (Wrist Cutters: A Love Story), Dominic Monaghan (Lord of The Rings) and Ashley Bell (The Last Exorcism). It is the terrific acting performances and the unique character revelations within the limited scope of plot that elevate The Day beyond a rote doomsday retread best left to ‘rental’ status to a taught thriller worth experiencing in the theater.

Shot to great effect in a muted palate of grays and browns with only select flashback scenes appearing in color, The Day covers a 24-hour period in the lives of five people (two women, three men, probably in their late twenties) who are approximately ten years into life after an unnamed apocalyptic event. Daily life for these individuals centers on maintaining a near-constant state of vigilance necessary to avoid deadly encounters with that faction of humanity which has resorted to cannibalism in order to survive. With one member of their group gravely ill, bad weather looming and nightfall approaching, the group retreat to an empty farmhouse, but their hoped for safe haven turns out to be a trap set by those who would view them only as “meat.” As the small group band together and prepare to fight for survival against an unknown number of attackers, questions of loyalty and hidden agendas surface that blur the lines between just what separates the good guys from the bad guys. You’ll be kept guessing right up until the final shot.

Shannyn Sossamon is a very appealing actress and she is quite good in the role of Shannon, a woman struggling to maintain her humanity in the face of unrelenting loss and horror. The stand out performance here however is that of Ashley Bell as Mary; a newcomer to the group whose reticence and flinty exterior mask a tightly-capped well of emotion and fury. Bell’s Mary provides the fulcrum on which the entire plot flips and Bell proves herself to be a formidable action hero. She is a star to watch, for sure. While there is extreme crazy violence in the film, the lack of blood red on the color spectrum helps to mitigate the gore factor, while a few instances of truly original, brutal combat–level violence evoke great cathartic release for the audience. And that’s never a bad thing. For fans of The Walking Dead, Road Warrior and The Cabin in The Woods, The Day is highly recommended.

The Worley Gig Gives The Day 4 out of 5 Stars

Movie Recommendations: One to See and One…Not So Much

This Movie Sucks

Maria Schneider and Marlon Brando Wallow in Self Loathing in Last Tango In Paris

How many times has this happened to you? You read glowing reviews or hear endless hype about a supposed Cinema Classic from the ‘60s or ‘70s that you’ve managed to never see, either because you were too young/not born yet when it was initially released or it’s never been available on DVD before, or maybe just because you sensed it was not going to be your thing.But after years of people telling you how great this film is, you figure it must be at least worth seeing, since it was nominated for an Academy award for Best Picture, or so-and-so won a Best Actor Oscar for his role or whatever. So, you add the film to your Netflix queue and get all excited when it arrives because you are about to see the Greatest Movie Ever Made! But after all the years of anticipation, it just ends up being aggressively terrible and sucking wildly. That’s how I felt when I wasted over two hours of my life that I’ll never get back watching what is certainly one of the most overrated pieces of pretentious Art House crap ever put to film: Last Tango in Paris.

Last Tango in Paris was released in 1972 and earned a scandalous X rating at the time, due to the film’s controversial, “highly erotic” and sexual subject matter. But let me tell you something: the only thing shocking about this movie is how bad it is. While there’s quite bit of (female only) nudity, which gets pretty boring after two hours, there are exactly three sex scenes, two of which involve no nudity, and one of which is a rape scene. The two main characters, played by Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider, speak in improvised non sequiturs throughout most of the film and they usually end up sounding like a couple of mental patients. Although the acting is pretty decent, both characters are largely unlikable. On the up side, the street shots of Paris are lovely. Here’s why I think Last Tango in Paris (which even now mysteriously carries the NC-17 rating) was ever rated X: full-frontal bush shots. Because you know how offended Americans are by pubic hair. The best part of the entire film is the last scene, where Schneider’s character shoots Brando in the gut. If you haven’t seen the film yet, don’t read that last sentence.

Great Movie!

Shannyn Sossamon, Patrick Fugit and Shea Whigham star in Wristcutters: A Love Story

A film I can recommend is a new release called Wristcutters: a Love Story, starring Patrick Fugit, Shannyn Sossamon and Tom Waits. Wristcutters is dark comedy about what happens to suicides in the afterlife. For a movie in which every character has, as they say “offed” themselves, it manages to be hilarious, intelligent and, ultimately, really sweet. I loved it. If you live in NYC Wristcutters is playing at the Quad Cinema on 13th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues.