Robert Pattinson's career-defining performance in the Safdies' 'Good Time' is simply outstanding
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Robert Pattinson’s career-defining performance in the Safdies’ ‘Good Time’ is simply outstanding

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Josh and Benny Safdie dive head-first into a ruthless and unrelenting New York City borough of Queens in their head-spinning, adrenalized fifth feature Good Time, headlined by marquee talent, including Robert Pattinson of Twilight saga fame, who is nearly unrecognizable in the lead role of Constantine Nikas, a determined, ingenious criminal destined to bail his brother out of jail over the course of one long, twisted night.

Before the Safdie brothers propel us into their neon-drenched crime thriller scored to the pulsating, mind-bending sounds of Oneohtrix Point Never, we’re introduced to Nick (Benny Safdie), Connie’s mentally challenged brother who finds himself being interviewed by his psychiatrist Peter (Peter Verby) in the middle of an uncomfortable therapy session. As a single tear slowly begins to form and rush down Nick’s face, in walks Connie, there to extricate his brother and bring him along on an early morning bank robbery that goes so very wrong the moment they escape into the back of their unsuspecting Uber driver’s getaway vehicle.

As an exploding dye pack infuses the car with a bright red cloud, suffocating its occupants and sending the tiny black sedan into a row of parked vehicles on a quiet Queens street, Connie and Nick eventually escape as the former reassures the latter that he’s “not going to throw up,” before running into the bathroom of a Pizza Hut to stash their $20,000 take in the ceiling and get washed up. However, it’s not long before an NYPD officer becomes suspicious of the duo, which sends them on a tension-filled foot chase.

Good Time reunites the Safdie brothers with their Heaven Knows What cinematographer Sean Price Williams, perhaps one of the most innovative and well-known DPs working in independent cinema, who does a superb job of not exhausting the viewer in scenes like the one mentioned above where Connie and Nick are having the run of their life. Through Williams’ lens, the audience is captivated by Williams hypnotic, unforgettable imagery, with detailed, intimate close-ups that help us learn more about the thuggish underdogs taking over the screen.

The real chaos begins, though, when the two brothers find themselves separated from each other during the pursuit, and Nick lands himself in jail at NYC’s main jail complex, Rikers Island. In a desperate attempt to quickly bail his brother out of jail, Connie retrieves the stolen, ink-soaked $20,000 from the Pizza Hut bathroom and brings it to a bail bondsman who says he cannot do anything with the money because it’s “dirty” and “filthy.” Thankfully, for Connie, he isn’t shit out of luck just yet and learns that he’ll be able to get his brother out of jail with just $10,000 that he doesn’t have.

Pattison is inarguably at his best in Good Time, disappearing into the role of Connie by wearing oversized Ecko Unlimited hoodies, dark hats, and a sporting a spot on borough accent that would have the viewer believe he was actually born and raised in New York if they weren’t already familiar with his British background. Perhaps one of the most memorable scenes in the film is when, after swindling, or rather sweet-talking, his way into the home of Gladys, an elderly Haitian woman Connie meets in a hospital ambulette, the thuggish lead dyes his hair bleach blonde in an effort to disguise himself from authorities.

Crystal (Taliah Webster), Gladys’ 16-year-old granddaughter, walks in on a shirtless Connie sitting in front of a television, his hair still damp from the cheap, pharmacy-quality cosmetic settling in, before she promptly asks, “You dyed your hair?” Connie hesitates for a brief moment, looking down and thinking about god knows what, before slowly nodding his head, laughing, and simply saying, “Yeah. I’m just kind of a weirdo.”

Yes, Connie is indeed a weirdo, and a creep, and an asshole. Yet, for some strange reason, we as the viewer still find ourselves rooting for him at times, despite witnessing all of the awful, cruel things he’s done over the course of this horrendous night. He lies, he cheats, and, at one point, even gets brutally violent with Dash the Park Security Guard (Barkhad Abdi), whom he attacks after breaking into an amusement park in search of a Sprite bottle filled with acid.

There’s a lot to take in once the end credits, scored to the sweet sounds of “The Pure and the Damned,” begin to roll over the final scene in Good Time. Of course, I won’t spoil that for you here. However, what I will say is that Connie’s true intentions become clear by the end of the film, and Oneohtrix Point Never’s haunting, beautiful score makes that known and, I suppose one could argue that Connie himself knows it too.

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Dwayne Johnson, Emily Blunt set sail on an Amazonian adventure in Disney’s ‘Jungle Cruise’ trailer

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Jungle Cruise
DISNEY

Disney has released the first trailer for Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt‘s Jungle Cruise, which finds the beloved Disneyland ride of the same name brought to life in the vein of such films as Indiana Jones and The African Queen.

The film, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, follows a charismatic riverboat captain (Johnson) and a determined explorer on a research mission (Blunt) as they set sail on an adventure-filled expedition through the Amazon-jungle in hopes of finding a tree that is believed to possess healing powers.

“We were just so moved, so honored to be in a movie like this because we both grew up just madly in love with Indiana Jones and obsessed with those kinds of movies,” Blunt said at the D23 Expo in August. “To be part of something like this, with this same spirit, makes my heart race.”

Added Johnson, “We wanted to make a movie that was big, that was epic, that had romance, big comedy, big action. But most important; it’s got me.”

In addition to Johnson and Blunt, the film’s ensemble cast also includes Jack Whitehall, Edgar Ramirez, Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti.

John Davis, John Fox, Johnson, Hiram Garcia, Dany Garcia, and Beau Flynn produced the film, with Doug Merrifield serving as executive producer.

Jungle Cruise will sail into theaters on July 24, 2020.

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Disney-Pixar’s ‘Onward’ trailer finds Tom Holland, Chris Pratt summoning their dead father’s legs

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Onward
DISNEY/PIXAR

Disney and Pixar have released a new trailer for Onward, the upcoming animated feature starring Tom Holland and Chris Pratt as two teenage elf brothers, Ian and Barley Lightfoot, who embark on an extraordinary quest to discover if there is still a little magic out there.

And by magic, we’re talking like actual, literal magic. Set in a suburban fantasy world, Onward follows Ian and Barley as they try to summon their dead father back to life. Having never encountered magic before, though, the spell doesn’t completely work and only summons half their father — the bottom half, that is.

So, with their dad’s legs in tow, the boys set out on a road trip to try to find out how to bring the rest of him back to life, encountering all sorts of creatures, magical spells, and mysterious lands along the way.

The film, which was directed by Dan Scanlon and produced by Kori Rae, features a star-studded voice cast that also includes the likes of Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Ian and Barely’s mom, Laurel Lightfoot, and Octavia Spencer as the voice of the Manticore.

Onward will hit theaters on March 6, 2020.

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Phoenix: See Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison in ‘The Current War’ early and for free

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The Current War
101 STUDIOS

101 Studios will release The Current War, the epic story of the cutthroat competition that literally lit up the modern world, on October 25 and they’re giving Silver Screen Beat readers in Phoenix a chance to attend an advance screening of the film before it officially opens in theaters.

Our readers in the Phoenix area can click on this link right now to claim their free passes — good for you and one guest — to an advance screening of The Current War happening at Harkins Scottsdale 101 on Tuesday, October 22 at 7:00 p.m.

Keep in mind that these free passes are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so be sure to claim yours as soon as possible before they run out. Below is the official trailer for The Current War as well as some additional details about the film.

Directed by: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon

Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Katherine Waterston, Tom Holland, Tuppence Middleton, Matthew Macfayden, and Nicholas Hoult

Opens: Friday, October 25

Rating: PG-13 for some disturbing/violent images, and thematic elements

Synopsis: Benedict Cumberbatch is Thomas Edison, the celebrity inventor on the verge of bringing electricity to Manhattan with his radical new DC technology. On the eve of triumph, his plans are upended by charismatic businessman George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon), who believes he and his partner, the upstart genius Nikolai Tesla (Nicholas Hoult), have a superior idea for how to rapidly electrify America: with AC current. As Edison and Westinghouse grapple for who will power the nation, they spark one of the first and greatest corporate feuds in American history, establishing for future Titans of Industry the need to break all the rules.

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