NIGHT MOVES | MOVIE REVIEW & GIVEAWAY

NIGHT MOVES is a Hitchcockian styled radical environmental terrorism film that has the slow burn tension build of a nuclear bomb. It is dark, gritty, acted and directed to perfection and is releasing September 11th 2014 in Australia. Thanks to our friends at Curious Film we have bunch of double passes up for grabs so you can see it for free – woohoo. At the bottom of the article you can find out how to enter the competition and also where it is screening in Australia and New Zealand. NIGHT MOVES is rated M and runs for 112mins. All the best…….JK.

 

NIGHT MOVES MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
NIGHT MOVES | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | AUSTRALIAN MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY JASON KING

As an environmental activist how far would you go to make a stand, to make a point? If you are a true greenie, seriously how different from the rest of us are you when you are pushed against a wall? When you royally fuck up how far would you go to protect yourself, even if it meant destroying the values you live by? These are the questions analysed in Kelly Reichardt’s latest film. I have to be honest, everywhere I read a lot of critics are raving about Reichardt’s previous work (MEEK’S CUTOFF, WENDY AND LUCY, OLD JOY), I have never heard of these films or her but will definitely be taking notice now. It is incredibly nuanced and solely embraces the narrative in this movie. Every frame is given to the plot and showing the erosion, to full blown destruction, of the characters’ moral responsibility as “good” people of planet earth.

 

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NIGHT MOVES | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JOSH (JESSE EISENBERG), DENA (DAKOTA FANNING) AND HARMON (PETER SARSGAARD) DRIVING

 

Josh, Dena and Harmon are three radical environmentalists, they want to protect the environment at all costs and are willing to stick it to the man, terrorist style. They have all been involved in underground movements known for radical action in making a statement about protecting the environment. This “job” they take on together is quite large, they plan on blowing up a dam. A dam that sucks life and environment away from the planet to further lubricate “the man’s” world. It involves all of them getting their hands dirty and conducting some movements of terrorism and illegal activity, but all of it is for the greater good. But due to little errors of judgement and timing things do not go to plan and their act of environmental warfare turns into something much more tragic. It is how these people deal with the tragedy that is the soul of this film. How people set on a course can be horribly blown from that course.

 

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NIGHT MOVES | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JOSH (JESSE EISENBERG), DENA (DAKOTA FANNING) ON THE BOAT

 

Harmon (Sarsgaard) is a military man, ex U.S. Marine Corps, he is fine with action, things going south, he is the most mature and can handle most situations. Dena (Fanning) is an ex spoilt brat who is sick of the consumerism she was born into, all ties are gone with her family and privilege and she chooses to instead fight for the planet and embrace spirituality. Josh is a greenie through and through, he lives on a cooperative farm and has devoted his life to the green movement. Each of these people is affected differently by the events at the dam, there is no sugar coating it – this film is a tragedy in Hitchcockian style.

I keep using the “Hitchcockian” thing to describe this film and it only fits due to unpredictable suspense drawn so tight that at any moment these people’s lives could implode. To be honest I had read the “Hitchcockian” description on a few other reviews and it really did piss me off – so apologies if you get the same reaction, but it is a great descriptive for Reichardt’s style but to be fair to her this is her own film and completely different to Hitchcock. The film uses limited dialogue, great use of cinematography and actors to bring forth a true Reichardtian style that is immersive.

 

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NIGHT MOVES | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | HARMON (PETER SARSGAARD) DRIVING

 

It does move incredibly slow, if you are not into your slow arthouse films that require you to use your brain, this is not for you, wait for Transformers 7 on Blu Ray, if you love something that is incredibly clever and makes you hypnotised into its world for two hours then grab your tickets (or win them below). The acting for this film is perfect. I mean it – it is purely faultless, the casting for this film was brilliant. Sarsgaard is powerful, emotive, eloquent and driven, it suits his character to a T. Harmon is the strength of the group. Fanning is a superb actor, everything she does has incredible presence. She is the smallest and probably the most intelligent of the group, she questions a lot and is all in for the “military” styled action. She has weighed the variables and anything veering off course she questions or confronts head on, but she failed to measure the one variable that occurred and it unravels her. Then there is Eisenberg, I have watched him from the start of his career and seen his characters and at first enjoyed him, then I found him annoying. He was remarkable in THE SOCIAL NETWORK, but then I found studios were starting to type cast that fast talking smart ass character he is great at. Then came THE DOUBLE and I was hooked again. I loved him in that film, then I watched NOW YOU SEE ME again and watched it without thinking about the THE SOCIAL NETWORK and I enjoyed his performance. I honestly think this is up there as his best and most understated performance. All that fast paced talking is internalised and you can see his mind breaking down as he cannot resolve the moral conundrum he is trapped in.

 

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NIGHT MOVES | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JOSH (JESSE EISENBERG)

 

Cinematography from Christopher Blauvelt (a lot of cinematography and camera work from SPEED to LETHAL WEAPON 4 to ELEPHANT) is dark and languid and adds to the tension, it is perfectly matched like a fine wine with the music composed from Jeff Grace (just sound editor for LORD OF THE RINGS :)). The mood created by these two lifts the film out of a Russian paced doldrum and smothers it in suspense and tension.

My only gripe about the film is the ending, I had to think long and hard to try and make sense of it. Like most art house films they just end on some random scene leaving you all “wtf?” Same happens here but I wanted to think about Reichardt’s decision to end on this. Is it that Josh’s moral decline had gone so far he just became one of the rest of us and needed society? If you have seen it – what do you think it meant at the end. (Message me – no spoilers in the comments please).

Now I will not buy and own this on Blu Ray but I did find incredibly enjoyable and a film that deserves respect and a viewing. Get out there, support movies, embrace the different and the local!

 

NIGHT MOVES MOVIE IMAGE
NIGHT MOVES | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | JOSH (JESSE EISENBERG) AND DENA (DAKOTA FANNING) DRIVING

 

LOCATIONS SCREENING NIGHT MOVES IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND:

In Australian cinemas from 11th September:

Cameo Cinema
Cinema Nova
Cremorne Orpheum
Event Manuka
Palace Norton St 
Palace Nova Eastend
State Cinema
Sun Theatre Yarraville
 (02/10)

In New Zealand cinemas from 11th September:

Alice Cinematheque (25/09)
Basement
Bridgeway
Dome Cinema (02/10)
Globe Theatrette (02/10)
Paramount Cinema
Rialto Dunedin
Rialto Newmarket
Rialto Tauranga
Starlight Cinema Taupo
Thames Cinema
The Vic (25/09)
Tivoli Cinema

 

4 Pops

 

With special thanks to CURIOUS to win one of the 10X double passes to see NIGHT MOVES you need to either like and share this post on Facebook or retweet/ favourite it on Twitter, you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer to the following question:

What is your favourite environment themed movie and why?  Mine is a toss up between AVATAR and WALL-E. 

If you do not have Facebook and Twitter then get with the times old timer – You can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jking@saltypopcorn.com.au telling me you don’t have social media 

The prizes will be sent in the next week. Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.

 

 

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