Snapshots - #37: It, Breathe, Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House

It (2017), (♦♦♦♦): Four inseparable friends in middle school bond with other three newcomers. They all have in common that they are bullied by the same people. Over the course of one summer they'll fend off bullies and face a centuries-old demon in the form of a clown, named Pennywise, whom has been disappearing kids and terrorizing the town of Derry, Maine, every twenty-seven years since the town was founded.
Based on Stephen King's novel of the same title, It is a movie with a smart script and a sympathetic ensemble of nerds that deliver light humor, and deep thrills. It doesn't hurt that each and every character has his or her own arc, thus one gets to know their motivations and fears before Pennywise enters head on into the picture.
In a nod to 1980s movie classics such as The Goonies, and the Brat Pack ensemble, the newest adaptation of It takes place at the end of that decade, when it seems, at least from the Hollywood perspective, that every kid harbored a genius insi…

Prisoners (♦♦♦½)

Two young girls vanish in front of their house in the suburbs in midday. The only clue pointing to their whereabouts is a white van parked in the street but no one knows to whom it belongs.

Early on in the investigation an unlikely suspect emerges, one supposedly with the IQ of a ten year-old. A young detective with a perfect record assigned to the case divides his time between following the limited leads and trailing the father of one of the girls after the main suspect disappears.

As I was watching, the plot of Prisoners kept reminding me of the novel Down the Darkest Road by Tami Hoag, among other things because of the unassuming nature of the suspects and ultimately of the killer. I have to say that the screenplay was successful in not giving much away. I couldn't figure out the culprit before the end but I'm glad they didn't make it up; the killer was there all along.

Despite a star-studded cast composed by Hugh Jackman, Maria Bello, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard, Paul Dano, Melissa Leo and Jake Gyllenhaal, Jackman and Gyllenhaal virtually own the movie, the former as an enraged father and the latter as a determined police detective.

In summary, Prisoners is a gritty film, more complicated than the standard movie fare, yet quite satisfying.