Thursday, April 28, 2016

the invitation

Taking cues from Clue and Heaven's Gate, The Invitation is an all-nighter set in California hills, where a boyfriend (Logan-Marhsall Green) and his recent girlfriend (Emayatzy Corinealdi) goes to gather with strangers and the boyfriend's ex-wife and old friends. The film opens with tension and symbolism when a coyote is hit by a car. Accidents happen, tragedies occur, grief is resilient and humans can be inherently violent beneath their veneer are the themes, as a dimly-lit, seemingly genial dinner party devolves into suspicious, strange events. Though the film is edited well (by Plummy Tucker) to keep you on edge, the acting and shadowy, beige-hued visuals aren't particularly notable. Marshall-Green's face is buried in beard and there's something lacking in his quiet performance. Tammy Blanchard, who killed in the TV Judy Garland biopic Me and My Shadows, is the most intriguing in the cast but is never quite believable and held at bay. The point-of-view, the somber slowness, and flashbacks of a young son's death blunts the story's potential for lump-in-the-throat, Polanski-dread. Director Karyn Kusama admirably creates a distilled mood and some playful mind tricks but the movie often feels flat and gauzy up until the somewhat predictable, violent and action-stuffed finale which reaches The Purge-territory in hokeyness. **1/2

-Jeffery Berg

into the distance

Check this disco remix of Surahn's "Into the Distance" by WEALTH.

Also, a fun April throw-down of dance tunes mixed by WEALTH.