DRAGGED ACROSS CONCRETE
2018, Summit Entertainment, 158 min, USA/Canada, Dir: S. Craig Zahler

Hot on the heels of the spectacular pugilism of BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99, S. Craig Zahler closes out a triptych of blunt-force trauma that hasn’t been witnessed since the sweaty grit of Peckinpah and Schrader at their muscular peaks. Here suspended cops Ridgeman (Mel Gibson) and Lurasetti (Vince Vaughn) attempt to subvert a bank heist for private gain - but best-made plans don’t transpire as they should, resulting in murder, mutilation and a script that divides, conquers and challenges from the opening shot. Zahler expertly immerses us in a toxic environment where right and wrong are indistinguishable, and Gibson and Vaughn give him all the ammunition he needs with flawless performances as iconic antiheroes out of place and out of time - bad men doing bad things whom we willfully embrace as the lesser of the evils presented.


TRUST ME
2013, Starz Digital Media, 90 min, USA, Dir: Clark Gregg

THE AVENGERS’ Clark Gregg directs and stars as former child actor Howard Holloway, who now represents young performers - at least the ones not stolen away by rival agent Aldo Shocklee (Sam Rockwell). Holloway thinks he’s hit the jackpot when an unsigned teen actress (Saxon Sharbino, in a breakout performance) about to land a major role enlists his services … but things aren’t always what they seem in Hollywood. This dark comedy boasts an outstanding ensemble cast, including Felicity Huffman, Allison Janney, William H. Macy, Amanda Peet and Molly Shannon.


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