Review: ‘The Public’ gives truth to the phrase “knowledge is power”.

THE PUBLIC

In “The Public” an unusually bitter Arctic blast has made its way to downtown Cincinnati and the front doors of the public library where the action of the film takes place. At odds with library officials over how to handle the extreme weather event, some homeless patrons turn the building into a shelter for the night by staging an “Occupy” sit in. What begins as an act of civil disobedience becomes a stand-off with police and a rush-to-judgment media constantly speculating about what’s really happening. This David versus Goliath story tackles some of our nation’s most challenging issues, homelessness and mental illness and sets the drama inside one of the last bastions of democracy-in-action: your public library.

 

This star-studded film follows the lives of the people who come in and out of a Cincinnati Public Library. Written and directed by Emilio Estevez, each character is fully fleshed out and complex even if they aren’t on-screen for very long. It’s carefully edited. You get a real sense of relationships and circumstance from the solid writing and stellar performances from this massive ensemble cast including Emilio Estevez, Alec Baldwin, Jena Malone, Taylor Schilling, Gabrielle Union, Michael K Williams, Christian Slater, Che “Rhymefest” Smith, and Jeffrey Wright. The film is about knowledge and power in the larger sense. It’s a thoughtful commentary on the socioeconomic dynamics of the homeless, the manipulative perceptions created by the media, and the politicians and law enforcement that allow it to happen. It’s filled with humor and heartbreak from beat to beat, and the twists are surprising and impactful. The Public has amazing storytelling and a truly poignant look at class warfare.

THE PUBLIC features veteran actors Alec Baldwin (“30 Rock,” The Departed, It’s Complicated), Emilio Estevez (The Way, Bobby, The Breakfast Club), Jena Malone (The Hunger Games” series, The Neon Demon, Inherent Vice)Taylor Schilling (“Orange is the New Black,” The Lucky One, Argo), Christian Slater (“Mr. Robot,” The Wife, True Romance), Gabrielle Union (“Being Mary Jane”, Bad Boys II, Bring It On), Michael KWilliams (12 Years A Slave, “Boardwalk Empire,” “The Wire”), Jeffrey Wright (“Westworld,” “O.G.,” The Hunger Games” series), and Che “Rhymefest” Smith (co-writer and performer of “Glory” from Selma, “Jesus Walks” from Four Brothers, “Make Noise” and “Weaponized” from The Public, theatrical acting debut).

Universal Pictures Content Group will release THE PUBLIC in Theaters on April 5, 2019.

Review: ‘PIERCING’ is a kink roller coaster ride.

UNIVERSAL PICTURES CONTENT GROUP

presents

SYNOPSIS:In this twisted love story, a man seeks out an unsuspecting stranger to help him purge the dark torments of his past. His plan goes awry when he encounters a woman with plans of her own. A playful psycho-thriller game of cat-and-mouse based on Ryû Murakami’s novel.

A premeditated murder plays out in an elaborate rehearsal, sound effects and all. An escort is the target of a clearly unhinged family man looking to complete his meticulous fantasy of violence. Piercing is a highly stylized and totally insane romp into madness.

Chris Abbott and Mia Wasikowska both play two distinct personalities. To go into any more detail would spoil the battle royale of bizarre that rolls out. Both are brilliant. Piercing is visually jarring and unapologetic in the surprises. Nothing goes right and it gets weirder and weirder by the minute. The tension is pretty palpable between a feeling of dread, “what the hell is happening?”, and routing for a potential villain. As the dominoes fall, and you pick your jaw up off the floor, you’ll laugh at the absurdity but go along for the ride, happily. Piercing possesses a grindhouse vibe from the titles to the music, to the very specific, almost Hitchcock-esque, shots into detailed miniatures. The fact that it’s based on a Ryû Murakami novel makes me want to read it immediately to see if the book is as messed up as the film. Because this version is nothing short of a complete mindfuck.

Universal Pictures Content Group will release the horror-suspense mystery film PIERCING in Theaters, On Demand and Digital HD on February 1, 2019.