Posts tagged new film

Shia LaBeouf’s Penis to Star in New Film

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Ever wanted to see Shia Laboeuf have sex? And we don’t just mean simulated rated R-rated most-likely-a-butt-double sex, we’re taking real, unsimulated and even, possibly titillating sex. Well now, thanks to Lars Von Trier’s latest upcoming cinematic exploits, you, dear viewer, will have that opportunity to see Shia in all his glory (provided you haven’t already seen the Sigur Rós video, in which he also appeared in the buff).

Laboeuf, clearly long removed from his days as a Disney Channel star, reported the news himself that the actors currently involved in eccentric director Von Trier’s next film, The Nymphomaniac, will be actually be sexually performing on screen. “There’s a disclaimer at the top of the script that basically says, we’re doing it for real,” LaBeouf began telling to MTV News. ”And anything that is ‘illegal’ will be shot in blurred images. But other than that, everything is happening.”

Laboeuf also made mention that he and his costars, noted Lars Von Trier vets like Nicole Kidman, Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, are prepared to do “whatever is asked” of them, including “illegal things.” Von Trier intends to shoot the film in censored and uncensored versions. The Nymphomaniac will be released in two parts, unlike Von Trier’s previous two-parter Melancholia, and is slated for a 2013 release date.

Which actor are you most surprised to see bearing all for The Nymphomaniac? Are you shocked to see a director ask this of the beloved Louis Steven from the Even Stevens? Are you excited for yet another boundary-pushing film from the warped mind of Lars Von Trier? Let us know in the Comments section below!

Editorial: 5 Things To Do While Waiting for The Great Gatsby

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Film fans may hate me for saying this, but this upcoming winter looked like it would be just as cold at the box office as the temperatures outside. From Peter Jackson’s 48 frame-per-second adaptation of the first third of The Hobbit, and a new adaptation of Les Mis, nothing has really caught my eye. Sure, Quentin Tarantino’s new film is coming out, but I planned to save myself $10 by looping myself shouting “fuck” on my iPod while playing Grand Theft Auto. 

But there was one diamond in the rough: Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby. Luhrmann, the academy award nominated director of Moulin Rouge! showed the world that he could craft great tales of bohemian young love and socioeconomic class struggles; thus, making the 49-year-old director the perfect choice to direct an adaption of that classic novel we all were forced to read in middle school English.

My original response to the trailer could best be described as a nerd-gasm: the mise-en-scène was ornate and spectacular, the cast was perfect and star-studded, and the film seemed to have a aura of class and sophistication around it: just as that film should. But now, fans of the book are left to deal with their huge case of “anticipointment,” as the film’s release was delayed until Summer 2013.

The press release issued by Warner Brothers explained that film needed more time so Luhrmann could finish up the film’s 3D effects and the composer of the project, Craig Armstrong (who also composed for The Moulin Rouge!), could finish his original score. To be fair, those are serious aspects of the film that need time to complete, but I still can’t help but feel upset that I have to wait another six months extra to see this movie. Therefore, I share with you, dear readers, my list of five things to do to pass the time until we finally see The Great Gatsby:


I will most likely be the first of my friends to see the movie, and I can already anticipate people asking me how the movie was. I want to be able to tell them with 100% certainty, with both the novel and the book fresh in my mind, that, “the novel was better.” Books that I like are rarely translated into film, which means I’m usually not the guy who gets to use the “the novel was better” line, and I look forward to every bit of literary elitism I can squeeze out of this release.

Also, If any major filmmakers who happen to read this blog would like to adapt other books that I’ve read, like any David Foster Wallace books or Noam Chomsky essays, I’d be more than happy to tell my friends that your films were also subpar to their literary equivalents. But don’t let that hold you back from finally adapting Infinite Jest to film.


It was decided upon my first viewing of the trailer that to experience this film in true 1920’s style, I would have to bootleg in some grain alcohol. The only problem with this plan is Everclear is 190-proof, and with my usual alcoholic orders being either PBR or a cosmo (no, really. I love cosmos), I’ll probably get quite drunk. It’d also be smart to exhibit a certain amount of class while watching this film, and it’s very hard to look classy while being escorted out by the police for public intoxication. I only know this from experience, and I’d just like to say I apologize to everyone who was at that TGI Friday’s when I gained that experience.


Imagine you’re a girl, or if you are already a girl, imagine I’m standing across from you in a bar. Now, imagine I pull two tickets to an early screening of The Great Gatsby out of hammerspace. Then, I look you straight in the eye and whisper seductively, “hey babe. Would you want to be the Daisy to my Jay?” If you’re not already turned on, there’s clearly something wrong with you. The only way this won’t work is if it leads to a thought-provoking conversation about Jay’s character, and questioning whether Jay loved Daisy, or if Jay was a chauvinistic bastard who only used Daisy as a status symbol. I’ll just cross my fingers it works.


While I know that the film is not going to allow dancing in the aisles the same way The Rocky Horror Picture Show accommodates it, I still plan to become more in tune with the music of the 1920’s. And what better way than to learn the dance! There are also the added benefits of learning a dance move that is not skanking (the dance traditionally reserved for ska shows) and losing some weight, which will help me with that pick up line from before.


If the wait for the film is an extra 6 months (roughly 180 days), then I can watch 2,880 films on Netflix instant to kill the added time I will have to wait for this film. So beginning on Christmas day of this year, I will begin watching 2,880 movies. If you would, in solidarity, like to join in but don’t know where to begin, here is a whole list of great films you can watch on Netflix:

And no, I have no shame.

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Trailer Tuesday: July 31st

Trailer Tuesday is a column in which the Cinedork writers guide you through the ABCs of new film trailers. We take a look at awesome, bizarre, and cringe-worthy upcoming movies and add some of our own insights, observations, and warnings. This week, we discover the phrase “Starring Robert DeNiro and 50 Cent,” check out lesbian werewolves, see Ang Lee’s grown-up Jungle Book, and travel to the Great and Powerful Oz.

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The first three seconds of the trailer for Freelancers will tell you that Robert De Niro will basically carry the entire film with his spectacular acting and his big screen intimidation; however, our favorite New Yorker is actually not the focus of this film. A young, new cop – played by Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson—joins the force to follow in his deceased father’s footsteps, and when his new boss, Sarcone, tests his loyalty, the truth about his father’s death is revealed. This plot seems pretty stereotypical though the trailer actually doesn’t tell us much about the story. Hostages, explosions, and mattresses filled with money seem to promise an action packed cop drama, but besides the predictable plot twists, is there really anything to look forward to? Cringe-worthy

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The trailer sets up what seems to be a typical coming of age romance. The two titular characters Jack and Diane (played by Riley Keough and Juno Temple) are two teenage girls who fall in love after meeting in New York City. The music featured in the trailer is soft and light, a perfect match to the raw emotional connection evident between the two actresses, but clashes with the overall tone of the scenes, which would suggest something darker and more sinister about the film. All becomes clear when Jack and Diane, threatened to be torn apart, begin to undergo what appears to be monster like transformations, evidenced by the creepy animations of mutating flesh, hair and teeth. Except, it’s not clear because the trailer gives no insight as to what type of monster it is, or if it’s just one or both of the girls. Intriguing enough, but it’s very apparent that this film will be a far cry from the setting of the familiar John Melloncamp song. Bizarre

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Every so often a movie comes around highlighting the unique friendship between animals and humans, usually in the form of a Jungle Book-esque film or a Disney movie.  Even though Life of Pi is neither, it looks like it will be following this long tradition.  While at sea, a ship is unable to escape the devastating effects of a massive storm.  Even though the storm is intense, a young boy manages to escape from the ship.  He also appears to unintentionally save another life from the ship, it just happens to be a Bengal tiger.  Stranded at sea with this massive tiger, the young boy finds himself in the middle of a journey for survival to exotic new lands.  While the blossoming relationship between the tiger and the young boy may not be something that immediately interests audiences, the visuals alone will capture your attention.  With vibrant colors and impressive special effects, the adventure that this young boy has set out on will definitely be spectacular to watch. Awesome

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Disney is at it again. However, this time, on paper, the film that they’ve deigned to produce should be absolutely wonderful. Oz: The Great and Powerful ishelmed by Sam Raimi, produced by Tim Burton, and stars James Franco, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams, amongst many fairly notable names. Oz: The Great and Powerful tells the story of Oscar Diggs, a no name circus performer with questionable ethics who dreams of being “ a great man”. He gets sucked into the land of Oz while riding his hot air balloon into a tornado. From there, he encounters a strange and mystical land that seems ripe to gain his fame and fortune, as everyone believes he is the “great wizard” that the Land of Oz has been expecting. This changes when he encounters three witches who are not convinced he is the wizard everyone else thinks that he is. A Wizard of Oz prequel, of sorts. Should be interesting… Bizarre

What movies are YOU looking forward to? What trailers would YOU like to see reviewed on the next Trailer Tuesday? Leave a comment below and let the Cinedork staff know!

Review: Trishna

Spoiler: beware of quiet, knife-yielding, humiliated damsels with a class grudge. Or maybe you’d rather sit through Winterbottom’s new film, Trishna, based on the Thomas Hardy classic Tess of the D’eubervilles. Its star, Frieda Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), is very photogenic and has an alluring if distant screen presence. You’ll also get a real feel for India, where the film takes place, that will make the recent The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel seem like a mere postcard in comparison. Shot on location in Jaipur and Mumbai, Trishna is Winterbottom’s third adaptation of Hardy and modern India would seem perfect fodder for a tale of socio-economic cultural comparisons.

Winterbottom (see his excellent Road To Guantanamo and the recent The Trip) fashions a story about a woman from a lower caste, Trishna (Pinto), being swept off her pauper feet by a rich guy who is not only from a higher social plane, he’s not even fully Indian. Only they must sneak and hide their love, which comes well-earned for Jay (Riz Ahmed), who chases after Trishna at great distances more than once. He seems to always show up to rescue her, no matter the circumstances. Once he literally swoops her onto his motorbike just before she is in danger of getting attacked by two ominous men. The film has a habit of cutting to travelogue-style lush scenes of India’s teeming cities or the lush gardens of a plush hotel (owned by Jay’s father) where Jay sets up Trishna with a job. Winterbottom, who wrote the screenplay, has a problem of covering for his inexpressive lead characters with such embellishment. Is he merely accurately expressing Trishna’s diffident deference to Jay, or hiding behind it? A lot of the film meanders with the inertia of the two leads’ non-chemistry. We’re given a somewhat good feel for the oppression of Trishna, at first by her circumstances, and then eventually by Jay. It doesn’t hep a key scene involving Jay’s initial seduction of Trishna occurs off-camera. Then late his movement from great-guy savior to deviant scumbag seems to come out of nowhere, or, more specifically, one (quite understandable) blunder from Trishna that causes Jay to overreact in a way that would have seemed a lot more credible if we’d been given more character development and less atmospheric fluff.

For what it’s worth, Winterbottom also went out of his way to make the film flat in terms of eroticism; he spares no forthrightness after Jay loses his cool and becomes a meaner lover near the film’s conclusion.
All in all, even a misfire from Winterbottom has its moments. It’s a shame they’re couched in what can only feel like filler. The film, listed at 108 minutes, seems at least a half hour longer. There’s only so much scenery we can soak in before we’re on overload, waiting for a character with at least minimal emotional depth to emerge. In Buddhist lore “Trisha” stand for the second noble truth, that of thirst and craving, which cause suffering. Here Trishna’s thirst and craving are barely seen, and even rarer, felt.

2.5 noble truths (out of 5)

Philly Premiere: Degenerate Art

The roaming film series known as The Awesomefest makes its return to The Trocadero on Tuesday, May 29th with Degenerate Art: The Art & Culture of Glass Pipes. It’s a documentary about the taboo multi-millions dollar underground culture of glass pipe blowing, directed by renowned glassblower M. Slinger. Slinger will be in attendance for a Q&A following the film, along with a live glass blowing demonstration accompanied by a DJ set from Ryan-I of Blessed Coast Sound.

The movie’s director, M. Slinger, is a local glass artist. He’s making his first foray into feature films with Degenerate Art, but he’s been a professional glassblower, filmmaker, graphic designer, painter, and installation artist for 15 years who has taught glassblowing across the USA, Canada and Japan.

His new film discusses the origins of the color-changing pipe as well as the blossoming art movement glass blowing has become today. The subversive art form has seen some glassblowers prosecuted for making drug paraphernalia, which allows the subject of glassblowing to become a launching pad for discussions of free speech and expression.

Degenerate Art was an official selection of the South By South West Film Festival of 2012, and it will be making its Philadelphia premiere when it plays at the Trocadero during The Awesomefest. Doors open at 7pm and the film starts at 8pm. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased in advance at

For more on the film check out

For more information on this and other upcoming The Awesomefest events check out

Review: Bully

"Fishface." That’s what many of his classmates call the 12-year-old, wet-behind-the-ears Alex of Sioux City, Iowa, when they’re not slapping or smacking or stabbing him in the school bus, or in between episodes of sitting on his face (a feat which requires specially adjusting the school bus seat). Seems in Iowa and elsewhere oblivious school bus drivers and school administrators are as blind to bullied kids as Mitt Romney is to poor people. Alex’s parents feel his Assistant Principal "politicians" them in a meeting concerning the problem. It’s not their first meeting but it is their first after the filmmakers share school bus footage with them. This time she’s patronizing to the point of showing them a photo of her own young child in a plea of inappropriate defensiveness. For the first time in the film, though, an investigation of sorts begins and the perpetrators of the bullying are brought in for questioning.

That’s the closest the new film Bully comes to demonstrating the presence of any sanity regarding any specific responses to the bullying phenomenon. Five interweaving stories, all in America’s heartland or Deep South, give accounts of bullied kids facing a wall of inaction or hostility. An Oklahoma girl who comes out of the closet demonstrates mettle and conviction beyond her years when seemingly the entire town and school population ostracize her. Her parents, of an evangelical bent themselves, show a newfound empathy but they’re alone in their backwater environs. Would that Alex’s impassive dad shared their sensitivity. His initial answer to Alex’s plight is to blame Alex, encouraging him to get tough.

Then there’s a black girl from Mississippi who decides she’s had enough and grabs Mom’s gun to bring onto the school bus, not to hurt anyone but just to “scare them.” Though no one dies in the film, two of the stories depict parents’ agony after their tortured kids committed suicide. By the film’s end they’re all organizing awareness groups to prevent other families from experiencing a similar fate. The film operates in its own little microcosm, ignoring the macrocosm of any overview of the extent of the problem or expert opinion on its causes and prevention. Cyberbullying isn’t even mentioned. There’s plenty of time, however, for numerous superfluous scenes that make the 99-minute film seem much longer.

Nonetheless, elements of this film will stick with you. Despite the film’s thematic blurriness, the human spirit prevails. None more so than Alex, who demonstrates a tenacious optimism even when he finally admits, when asked how he feels, that he’s afraid he doesn’t “feel anything anymore.” Word has it that he was quite the rock star among prepubescent female fans when he made an appearance at a promotional screening of the film. While he may not be entirely healed, that’s probably a good start.

7 Fishfaces (out of 10)

Review: Wanderlust

With a massively comedic cast and the backing of Judd Apatow, this movie had a lot of promise, so what went so wrong? Wanderlust ends up falling short on too many fronts. With writers Ken Marino and David Wain (Role Models) penning this, anyone walking into the theater expected a lot more. Don’t get me wrong, parts of the movie were quite sharp and witty but those parts weren’t consistent through the movie. This was one of those movies where you see all the best parts in the trailer (with some of those scenes not even making it into the final film).

Rudd and Aniston are a New York City couple who decide to join a “free love” rural commune where the shit hits the fan. Each gag of this highly unique idea is drawn out just slightly longer than it should. There’s a fine line between “awkward” and “over it” and Wanderlust has no idea where that line is. Especially when you have most of the cast of “The State” and “Wet Hot American Summer” together again you walk in the theater expecting great things. The short cameos of Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter ended up being the most enjoyable parts of the film. Wanderlust just tries too hard to be “wacky” and “off kilter”. I enjoyed each character individually but together, they never seemed to mesh.

I think the movie would have been better if the plot had been the slightest bit more believable. I understand that it’s not supposed to be the strongest point of a movie like this but a touch more realism might have held it together. Who knows, this may be a sleeper hit when it’s released on DVD like so many other movies of it’s kind. When people can enjoy this in the privacy of their homes and partake in activities that some would say “enhance” the viewing experience it may become a cult classic. I, for one, am hoping that is the case. Free Love and Peace

There’s always hope for “Wet Hot American Summer 2” to make up for Wanderlust’s shortcomings.

4 Friends out of 10

Interview: Ti West - Writer/Director of The Innkeepers

Guest Contributor – Irv Slifkin from

Although he is only 32 years-old, writer-director Ti West has five horror films under his belt and more in the planning stages. And while he is too old, perhaps, to be called a “wunderkind” West’s age and amount of realized projects are certainly nothing to sneeze at.

West, a native of Wilmington, Delaware, has a new film about to open in theaters called “The Innkeepers.” The movie was actually shot and is set in the Yankee Pedlar Inn, an aging hostelry in Torrington, Connecticut, that, in the movie, is about to close. Clerks Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy) tend to the place in its final days. Only a woman and her young child stay there, while an aging actress who is now a New Age psychic (Kelly McGillis) checks in. Is the place haunted…or not? Luke has a website devoted to the Inn with live webcam feeds that may prove it is.

Like West’s previous film, 2009’s acclaimed House of the Devil, The Innkeepers relies on slowly building tension, characterization and edginess to win its scares—gore and violence are kept to a minimum. There is also an element of humor in his treatment of horror, particularly in the first portion of the film, when the focus is on the interplay between the naïve Claire and the cynical Luke.

“It was a concentrated effort to make it funnier,” says West by phone. “I could relate to the kind of job of working at a hotel,. I’ve always said I am either qualified to direct movies or have a minimum wage jobs. I spent ten years doing minimum wage jobs. There’s a charm with coworkers. You make the best of the situations when things are like that.”

What sort of jobs did West have? “I mowed lawns, worked at Dick’s Sporting Goods, worked at a shoe store and a video store and Diesel (a clothing chain) at the King of Prussia Mall.

West said things got a little weird while attending a film festival.

“I was in span with my first film and there were lots of people there,” he recalls. “I was standing next to Quentin Tarantino and I realized that I had to be on a plane the next day asking people what size they wanted.”

West, who is planning a science fiction film next, now lives in Los Angeles. The idea for the Innkeepers came from staying at the actual Yankee Pedlar Inn while shooting House of the Devil.

“People think it is haunted and there was a special allure to it,” says West. “It’s kind of a kooky place. I had wanted to write a ghost story, and I figured now I could since I lived it.”

West recalls that the crew for The Innkeepers comprised most to the patrons at the Yankee Pedlar at the time. The shoot, which lasted an amazingly short 17 days, had to be scheduled between wessings and proms that were booked there.

Like his other films like The Roost, Trigger Man and cabin Fever 2 (which he disowns and tempted to have his name taken off of because of studio tampering), The Innkeepers was filmed on 35mm, a format West prefers to the digital shooting, so prominent today, especially with horror films.But he realizes he may have to make the move to digital soon because of costs. “It’s going to be hard to justify an extra $160,000 to shoot in 35 mm soon,” West laments.

Meanwhile, West is “desperately trying” to make a studio film. From his Cabin Fever 2 experience with Lionsgate, he admits he’s been a little ”gunshy.”

“I come from a do-it-yourself indie background, but it’s all about the right pairing. I don’t want to make a movie not a sequel. Test screenings scare me. If someone liked my movies and want to make a big movie with me, when it gets to test screening, everyone panics and then they change their mind after agreeing with me. I was shocked to see people go 180 degrees who were with me before.”

The writer-director has a strong opinion on what makes a horror film work—and not work. “The key is the contrast between horror and non-horror,” he explains. “That’s all it takes. They (the filmmakers) are afraid of losing the audience. If you put time into making all the non-horror elements good, it should work. A lot of horror movies are kill, kill, kill.”

“My brain doesn’t work this way. My sensibilities are old fashioned. Everything I am inspired by…they have respect for audience and the notion that the audience doesn’t have to be titillated the whole time.”

West’s influences are films that he saw when he was a kid, but they all share on thing in common.

“I like to see movies where I pay attention closely,” he relates. “Indiana Jones and the Karate Kid And I became interested in horror when it was one step above porn. It was back in the corner of the video store. They were daring you to watch these movies. As far as making films, Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste was important, a goofy disgusting film. It was the first movie I could watch and I could wrap my head around how they made it. It was silly but good and you can see how they did it and it was homemade. The Evil Dead was the same way and (director Sam) Raimi was only 19.”

Like House of the Devil, The Innkeepers has adapted a multi-platform release strategy, available On Demand, then being issued in (mostly art) theaters by Magnolia Pictures, and eventually getting a DVD and Blu-ray release. All of this follows extensive exposure—and praise—in film festivals.

How does West view this new way of releasing films?

“It is what it is,” he says. “I didn’t believe in it until House of the Devil cam eout. hen I saw it was really successful. It didn’t really make sense, but it worked—you can’t argue with the fact. Ever since then, I realized that we’re not a big movie. We’re going to come out in 25 cities and people in Des Moines will order it (on demand). It becomes a home viewing experience. I want them to see them in theater, but it is silly to expect them to.”

Irv Slifkin, the author of Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, writes for

Contest - Free Screening Passes - “In The Land of Blood and Honey”

Welcome back to the land of the living! Happy New Year! We are back! And starting off strong with a contest for Admit-2 passes for the new Angelina Jolie film “In the Land of Blood and Honey” The screening will be…

This Wednesday - January 4th - 7:30PM - Ritz in Philadelphia

Email “" with the Subject "Blood and Honey" for your free tickets! (Deadline is Tomorrow at Midnight!)

Written and directed by Angelina Jolie, IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY is set against the backdrop of the Bosnian War in the ‘90s. This bold new film illustrates the consequences of the lack of political will to intervene in a society stricken with conflict. IN THE LAND OF BLOOD AND HONEY features a completely local cast, most of whom were children of the war. The film was simultaneously shot in English and their native language. During the time of the war the language spoken was Serbo-Croatian and is now referred to as BHS. FilmDistrict will release the English language version on Dec. 23, and it opens in Philadelphia on January 6.

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PFF - Review: Miss Bala

According to the new film Miss Bala, the bizarre level of corruption in response to Mexico’s drug cartel violence infests every nook and cranny of the country’s society. Director Gerardo Naranjo offers a searing peek into this harrowing, topsy-turvy world in one of the year’s most inventive films (Mexico’s official entry into this years Academy Awards competition).

Main character 23-year-old Laura Guerrero (an enthralling Stephanie Sigman) her eyes as big and piercing as full moons, transfixes nearly every frame of the film. The aspiring beauty pageant contestant faces no good choices once she’s kidnapped by a nasty gang after witnessing their invasion of a nightclub which she reluctantly attends with a girlfriend. She chooses to comply with the gang’s leader, a self-assured, rigorous Lino Valdez (a convincing Noe Hernandez) rather than watch her father and younger brother go down. Navanjo adroitly and suspensefully shoots even the film’s action strictly from Laura’s standpoint and what follows is a just-enough stylized vision of all hell breaking loose. He perfectly interweaves the gang’s self-described “fearless” progress toward increasingly daring battles with overwhelmed and often corrupt authorities with Laura’s steadfast and stoic coping. In a tribute to Naranjo, whose cinematic style evokes a more pensive Michael Mann, the more outrageous events become, the more plausible they get.

Laura goes on more determinedly with each new humiliation as she chauffeurs, smuggles, and seduces her way into survival. She transcends that very survival instinct with a pathos that surely symbolizes the Mexican people as they have endured the 36,000 drug cartel deaths in the last several years.

The film returns to the beauty pageant theme at a most surprising time. The sullen Laura doesn’t seem to be enjoying her participation, yet the ensuing pageant serves as an incongruous reminder that somehow Mexico’s “normal life” goes on despite many wasted billions of dollars a year joing the lost lives to put a blight on a buoyant country’s aspirations. Like Laura’s non-choices Miss Bala suggests there seems to be no way out of the violence other than emulating Laura’s extraordinary ability to persevere.

8.5 Wild Ass Cartels (Out of 10)