REVIEW: The Girl


The Girl
Directed by: David Riker
Written by: David Riker (screenplay)
Starring: Abbie Cornish, Maritza Santiago Hernandez, Will Patton and Angeles Cruz

There’s a scene in The Girl, David Riker’s ferociously personal film about immigration, that serves as a more scathing and succinct indictment of American policy than almost any news story could.  Ashley (Abbie Cornish) has recently discovered that her border-crossing semi-truck driving father (Will Patton) smuggles in illegal immigrants from Mexico with his legal corporate cargo.  The point of his character is to illustrate how corporations have an easier time crossing the border than people.

The Girl is anchored by a fantastic performance from Cornish, a mother with a son in foster care who turns to smuggling illegal immigrants across the border for extra cash.  She works at a Wal Mart-like megastore and is a recovering alcoholic, but Riker’s handling of her desperation is compassionate.  Most of the screenplay is overtly political and Riker does little formally to mask this, so it can at times feel a little too heavy-handed, but Cornish, Patton and the young newcomer Maritza Santiago Hernandez bring crucial humanity to it.

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REVIEW: Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Written by: Zack Snyder & Steve Shibuya (screenplay)
Starring: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, and Vanessa Hudgens

Remakes and graphic novel adaptations are Zack Snyder’s MO.  Lately though, with last year’s Legend of the Guardians and now Sucker Punch, he’s decided to take his over-stylized style off of the comic book page and map out novels or original material into his own wild odyssey.

Sucker Punch has Snyder’s name all over it from the get-go.  It begins with a violent slow-motion sequence of a young girl (Emily Browning) accidentally shooting her sister when she was aiming for her wicked stepfather and then being brought to a mental hospital where she will await her lobotomy.

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