October could very well be the single best month to watch movies of 2013. When you do a quick overview of the films being released this month, five of them are the frontrunners to win Best Picture at the Oscars 2014. Many of these movies possess all star casts, top flight directors and innovative and fresh stories. They are also coming fresh off of great reviews at Venice, Telluride, Toronto and New York Film Festivals. Not to be ignored are the commercial fare which includes Arnold and Sly together in a full feature film as opposed to cameos and one of the greatest assembled cast of Hispanics in film history in ‘Machete Kills‘ and ‘The Counselor‘. Do yourself a service, if you haven’t been to the movies all year, this is the one month you should step out and watch one.
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‘Edge of Darkness‘ was directed by Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) who also directed the English mini-series from the 80’s with the same title on which the movie is based on. Not being familiar with the mini-series I thought the previews had given too much away and I could guess the outcome of it. I was wrong. There are many surprising moments and twists that have you guessing and wanting to know more. The story unfolds nicely and though at times it is hard to understand Gibson’s mumbles as well Winstone’s english accent, I enjoyed the thrilling ride.
This is the story of a Boston police investigator in the quest to find out who brutally shot his daughter and the reason why. Thomas Craven (Mel Gibson) is a widowed parent who has a estranged relationship with his only daughter Emma (Bojana Novakovic), he seems to love her deeply but know very little about her life. Once she’ shot he’s got nothing to loose and decides to put justice in his own hands. On his road to finding his daughter’s killer he opens up a can of worms and finds himself in the middle of a big corporation/governmental plot. In this quest he ends up getting to know his daughter more than he did when she was alive and finds that her principals were just what he taught her. A professional killer (Ray Winstone) sent to kill Craven proves to be his only ‘friend’ through his dilemma, a character that complements him well. Craven states the premise of the movie perfectly ” you had better decide whether you are hanging on the cross or banging in the nails”, this is exactly what the film makes us think of as we are introduced to new settings and characters.
The one thing that bothered me about the film were the moments where Craven hallucinates hearing and seeing his daughter as a child and an adult, there was no need to play the crazy card; his irreparable pain was enough and his misplaced anger worked to show it. Craven acting as a superhero for the later part of the film would have bother me except that knowing he’s a father that finds himself on ‘the edge of darkness’ and his only purpose is to revenge his daughter’s death lets me accept his ‘superpowers’.
Gibson’s words from our interview resonated as the movie continued, I got the connection he made to Jacobean tragedies and this film and you will too. It is a film that does make you think about how much power the government and how little we may be able to do about it. For those that know the series they might not find it as appealing as they already expect the shocking moments but it may appeal to them to see it under a new light. At some points the thought provoking plot does get in the way of the action but the moments of surprise make it worth it.
ShowBizCafe.com (SBC) got a chance to talk to the actor, screenwriter, film director and producer Mel Gibson about his new film ‘The Edge of Darkness’; opening January 29th nationwide. He excitedly gave us the back story of the movie and also spoke to us about his upcoming projects.
ShowBizCafe: So Mel, how does it feel to be back in a starring role? We haven’t seen you in one since the movie ‘Signs’ in 2002. How is this role different from the other ones we’ve seen you in?
Mel Gibson: Wow 2002, that’s 8 years? Well it’s about 8 years different (laughs). Well if you haven’t been on the board for so long you make different choices, time informs that, so it’s different. [In this movie] the character is a blue collar cop who is dealing with the loss of a child and dealing with grief; he’s on the edge of a nervous breakdown. I guess I’ve been on similar territory before but this has a nice feel to it. I liked the original TV series when it was on during the 80’s, also done by the same director who decided to add something new to it. It’s kind of a harbinger; it gives a social warning of where we might be headed.
SBC: Talking about the director Martin Campbell who is behind both projects, what can people expect in the film and was there more pressure because of its association with the series?
M.G: Well it’s essentially the same, it’s a very human story involving heighten circumstances, it was changed according to the times. The original series was on during the coal miner strike, union stuff, and civil unrest; so he found a new backdrop for the movie. It resides in the healthy paranoia we all have perhaps, on what our leaders may be up to. [The script] reminded me of Jacobean tragedies from the 17th century, this film kind of has the look and feel of them, and I’ve always been a big fan of them so this was one of the things that attracted me to it. It’s about getting even, and everyone getting their justice served, nobody gets a free ride.
SBC: Are you working on any projects right now that we can look forward to seeing soon?
M.G.: Well I have 3 projects lined up – Am writing a story to be shot down in Mexico, which will be rearing its ugly head soon. I’ve also signed to work with Shane Black on his next directing effort. [Finally] I’m writing another story with Bill Monahan and Graham King who I worked with on ‘The Edge of Darkness’, I don’t think anyone has done the Viking movie right yet, I’ve seen plenty but none that do it for me; so I’m gonna make one that does it for me and everybody else, I’m gonna put the ‘V’ back in Viking. It’s the biggest punch in the balls you’ll ever get.