Tag Archive: Toni Collette


Review by C.J. Bunce

Like an episode of Monk or Murder She Wrote, the next film from writer/director Rian Johnson (Looper, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) is a straightforward mystery.  Knives Out comes in on the heels of the similar looking Ready Or Not, and it’s a mash-up of sorts, aiming to have that ensemble cast variety of the last Thanksgiving movie release mystery, Murder on the Orient Express, while trying to bring back the nostalgia of the famous comedy whodunnit movie, Clue.  It’s the 85th birthday of the family patriarch and the families of his three children arrive to celebrate.  The next morning the patriarch is found dead.  Arriving in theaters next week and marketed toward the Thanksgiving holiday crowd, Knives Out turns out to be a mixed bag.

The reason to check it out is as you’d expect: the cast.  The cast choices would be a dream assemblage for any film.  James Bond Daniel Craig facing off against Captain America Chris Evans?  Legend Christopher Plummer delivering a performance as good as his last Oscar-winner?  Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, and Toni Collette playing against type?  And top it off with Don Johnson, poised to have his own career second wind as a leading man.  But the real star performance comes from Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049).  de Armas, a ringer for a Tru Calling-era Eliza Dushku, plays a nurse to Christopher Plummer’s character.  Incredibly charming and engaging, de Armas is also given the biggest opportunity to show the most emotional range in the film.  A plus for Bond fans, this movie will serve as a preview of sorts for movie audiences of No Time to Die, as de Armas plays the next “Bond girl” opposite Daniel Craig’s master spy in theaters next spring.

Not a recommended movie for taking on a date, and ultimately a questionable choice for Thanksgiving, one of the conceits (which may take viewers outside the realm of reality) is a character who vomits with each lie.  By the end of the film it becomes an in-your-face gross-out, making viewers watch one character… covered… for an entire scene.  As a story element this “human lie detector” is also a writers’ crutch, a trick that skips over some story challenges viewers would normally be able to work through on their own.

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krampus-movie-monster

Nobody knows how long Krampus has been around, but some scholars think in some persona or the other he may have been spreading his nastiness for some 2,000 years.  Since the 17th century he’s been thought of as the anti-Santa Claus in Germanic folklore–where Santa is good to good boys and girls, Krampus… well he isn’t so good to those who have been naughty.  If you don’t have the Christmas spirit, then beware.

We here at borg.com think the best story ever to feature Krampus was a 2013 episode of NBC’s Grimm, “Twelve Days of Krampus,” which made our Best of 2013 list.  Stream that episode to see what the next vision of Krampus should be compared to.

Grimm krampus

Grimm’s Krampus left coal behind after he kidnapped anyone caught being naughty. He’d put them in a basket hung from a tall tree and at the Winter Solstice he was to eat them. Yikes!

And that next vision of Krampus is this Christmas’s horror release, suitably titled Krampus.  We haven’t yet been able to glean a good look at the new fellow, other than the silhouette image at the top of this article, but we hear the production modeled him after images on classic German holiday cards.  Krampus stars Oscar nominee Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense, Muriel’s Wedding, Shaft), Adam Scott (Star Trek: First Contact, Parks and Recreation, Veronica Mars), and David Koechner (Anchorman, Get Smart, Paul, Monk).

From the first trailer released this might be a light-hearted romp as horror movies go, although there’s definitely plenty of demonic nasty types that are going to be jumping into your lap.  Here’s the first look at Krampus:

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In The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, the character Maxwell Scott says the memorable line “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”  No director could be called larger than life and legendary more so than Alfred Hitchcock.  Not only a famous director but a well known unique personality with a bloodhound face like Droopy and a slow drawl that was unmistakeable, Hitch has become the subject of a new film starring Oscar winning actor Anthony Hopkins in the title role.  Hitchcock covers the days surrounding the development of his blockbuster, violent horror flick Psycho during 1959 and the romantic relationship between Hitch and his wife Alma, played by Oscar winning actress Helen Mirren.  Whether the producers of the new biopic have an accurate and historical portrayal of the film icon or not, hopefully they get his over-the-top personality right.  The new trailer seems to reflect that may be the case.

The film has an interesting all-star cast with several actors we haven’t seen in a while, co-starring Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers, Iron Man II, The Island, The Prestige) as Janet Leigh–star of Psycho, Jessica Biel (Total Recall, Stealth, Next) as Vera Miles–Leigh’s sister in the film, Toni Collette (The Sixth Sense) as Peggy Robertson–Hitchcock’s production assistant, James d’Arcy (Master and Commander) as the psycho himself, Anthony Perkins, and long-time-no-see Ralph Macchio (My Cousin Vinny, The Outsiders, The Karate Kid, Psych) as Joe Stefano, the screenplay writer for Psycho.

Check out the first trailer released for Hitchcock:

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