Earlier this year, I was hired as a film critic for the East Tennessean, and starting today, I am going to post the reviews that I wrote this year for the newspaper -- starting with M. Night Shyamalan's Knock on the Cabin, which I saw back on February 5.
Here are some excerpts from my review of the thriller (with the entire review being on the following slides):
When one discusses the batting average of filmmakers, there are the ones that are usually at the top, such as Martin Scorsese, Ingmar Bergman, Quentin Tarantino, and Jean-Luc Godard, amongst others. On the other hand, there are the filmmakers whose hit to miss ratio is rather mixed. This is where M. Night Shyamalan enters, a filmmaker whose films can either be great, pretty good, or abysmal. Knock at the Cabin falls under the middle category. I went to a screening of Knock at the Cabin on its opening weekend, and it is a pretty good film.
Dave Bautista stars as Leonard, the leader of this mysterious group and a schoolteacher, who befriends Wen at the beginning of the film. Bautista’s performance as this calm leader, also doubles as a showcase of his acting range, with his monologues about what would happen if the family doesn’t make a choice (with these monologues containing vivid descriptions of armageddon), sticking with the viewer. This factor is a great example of why he is the best wrestler-turned-actor, and why his casting was a great choice.
Abby Quinn gives an excellent performance as Adriane, a line cook who is one of the other members of this cryptic group. In one of her first major roles since her appearance in Charlie Kaufman’s brilliant 2020 film I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Quinn emphasizes the anxiety and awkwardness of her character, such as when she is introducing herself to the family.
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