On this episode of Now Streaming reviews from The HMC, hosts Sarah Mason and Jake Essoe review SHOT CALLER and Netflix's DEATH NOTE.
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game ofThrones) stars as white collar working suburban family man whose negligence leads to vehicular manslaughter. Released from prison, he must orchestrate a major arms deal in order to appease gang leaders whose protection saved his life in prison.
Coster-Waldau shines in this bloody, gritty crime thriller. Outside of Thrones, SHOT CALLER showcases Coster-Waldau skill at navigating complex character archs. Aided by an excepitional cast of supporting actors including, Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead), Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice), Emory Cohen (BROOKLYN) and Lake Bell (NO ESCAPE), and a solid script from writer/director, Ric Roman Waugh (SNITCH), SHOT CALLER is engaging, layered and tragic. We give it much Justice, 8/10.
DEATH NOTE began its story journey as a Japanese manga series written by Tsugumi Ohba and illustrated by Takeshi Obata. It has since been adapted into a novel, video game, live action anime and now a live action film produced by Netflix.
The film is directed by Adam Wingard and written by Charles Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides and Jeremy Slater. The film stars Nat Wolff, Lakeith Stanfield, Margaret Qualley, Shea Whigham, Paul Nakauchi, Jason Liles and Willem Dafoe
High school student Light Turner (Nat Wolff), finds detention to be a bit more exciting after he discovers a notebook labeled "Death Note" that magically allows him to kill people by writing down their names. When Demon, Ryuk (Willem Dafoe), keeper of the Death Note, appears and educates Light on the rules of the Death Note, Light decides to launch his own crusade against bullies and criminals.
Other than Dafoe's entrance and some initial cow towing to horror fans with gore, this adaptation is so weak. The writers move the story from Japan to Seattle without developing culture backdrops, or commentary. There's no significant character development. The run away plot leaves you confused if you don't know the source material and, mad if you do. We were left wondering what the hell happened given the producers/director/writer had the blueprint to an amazing story. We therefore must Doom it 4.5/10