Movie Review: “Lights Out”

Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Maria Bello, Alexander DiPersia
David F. Sandberg

Had “Lights Out” been released after “The Ring,” it might be considered one of the all-time greats of supernatural horror. It has a genuinely creepy (if slight) premise, courtesy of a relentless, unstoppable villain, and several blood-chilling scenes. The film’s biggest problem is that it doesn’t trust its stuff, falling for the cliché trick of needlessly filling the score with crashing, ‘Boo!’ punches of percussion when the movie was already perfectly scary. Director David F. Sandberg would have been wise to take a page from executive producer James Wan’s “Conjuring” films and let the camera do the talking, rather than the score.

Martin (Gabriel Bateman) is concerned for his mother Sophie (Maria Bello). He hears her talking to herself at night, and one night, he sees something frightening that he cannot understand. Martin begins falling asleep at school, since he refuses to sleep at night. When Sophie doesn’t answer calls from Child Protective Services after Martin has fallen asleep for the third time in a week, Martin’s adult half-sister Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) picks him up. When Martin tells Rebecca about Sophie’s friend Diana, Rebecca stops in her tracks. Diana was a girl that befriended Sophie when both were under psychiatric care as teenagers. Diana died during an unconventional treatment called light therapy, and in death, she has latched on to Sophie, moving in the darkness. (Rebecca saw Diana as a child too, but no one believed her.) As Martin and Rebecca learn more about Diana, the more aggressive Diana fights to keep Sophie to herself.

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Movie Review: “Kill Me Three Times”

Simon Pegg, Teresa Palmer, Sullivan Stapleton, Alice Braga, Callan Mulvey, Luke Hemsworth, Bryan Brown
Kriv Stenders

“Kill Me Three Times” is the sort of Quentin Tarantino poser film that peaked in the early ‘00s, when Blockbuster was still the king of home video. That’s how dated director Kriv Stenders’ latest movie feels, and unlike Tarantino’s oeuvre (as well as the really good imitators, like Guy Ritchie’s “Lock, Stock” and “Snatch”), it lacks the colorful dialogue or characters to make up for its derivative story. Though Stenders deserves some credit for assembling such a game cast, the film never quite comes together. “Kill Me Three Times” wants to be both a dark comedy and a stylish crime thriller, but the contrasting tones only end up stifling one another, underlining just how few genuine laughs and thrills that it has to offer.

Set in a sun-drenched coastal town of Australia, the movie stars Simon Pegg as Charlie Wolfe, a professional hitman who’s been hired to follow a woman named Alice (Alice Braga) when her abusive husband (Callan Mulvey) suspects her of having an affair with the local mechanic (Luke Hemsworth). After Charlie delivers proof of Alice’s adultery and is asked to finish the job by killing her, Charlie learns that he may not have to get his hands dirty at all when he stumbles upon a plot by his client’s sister (Teresa Palmer) and her meek dentist husband (Sullivan Stapleton) to settle a large gambling debt by killing Alice as part of an elaborate insurance scam. Charlie’s biggest problem is believing he can trust a couple of amateurs to do a professional’s job, setting into motion a cycle of murder, blackmail and revenge that reaches as far as the town’s crooked police officer (Bryan Brown).

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Teresa Palmer steals the show (and looks good doing it) in “I Am Number Four”

DreamWorks’ new sci-fi thriller, “I Am Number Four,” arrives in theaters this weekend, and although it’s not exactly what we expected from the trailers, there is one thing that might help convince you to check it out: up-and-coming Australian actress Teresa Palmer. She has a fairly small role when compared to the rest of the cast, but as the feisty alien warrior Number Six, Palmer exudes the kind of tough chick sexiness that only a handful of actresses have achieved – kicking butt and taking names with her cool superpowers and delivering so-bad-their-good lines like “Red Bull is for pussies.”

Palmer recently sat down with Esquire to discuss her role in the film and the upcoming period comedy, “Take Me Home Tonight,” and the magazine has a released a short video excerpt on their website. She also unleashed her sexy side in a photo shoot that proves while she may share an uncanny resemblance to “Twilight” star Kristen Stewart, Palmer is way hotter. Check out the video below and head on over to Esquire for more photos.


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