Toronto Film Review: ‘Mom & Dad’

September 11, 2017 – Film Review From Variety.com

Toronto Film Review: ‘Mom & Dad’

SOURCE
Dennis Harvey
Film Critic

This splatstick romp couches its social critiques of shallow materialism and casual racism in breakneck action.

“We love you but sometimes we just want to kill you” is a thought that crosses nearly every frazzled parents’ mind sooner or later. That figurative sentiment is taken all too literally in “Mom & Dad,” which finds the gonzo sensibility that writer-director Brian Taylor applied most usefully to the “Crank” action movies working at least as well in comedic horror. Though sure to be distasteful for some viewers even to ponder, this giddy exercise transcends mere bad-taste humor to become one of the great jet-black comedies about suburbia, destined for the same cult-classic status accorded “The Stepford Wives,” “Parents” and “Heathers.”

After a particularly good example of the 1970s genre pic homage that has infiltrated so many movies’ opening credits of late, we settle into discordant ordinary life on a seemingly ordinary day on a generic middle-class cul-de-sac in Whateversburg, USA (the movie was shot in Kentucky). Our protagonists are likewise very ordinary, if dysfunctional: Cellphone-glued teenage daughter Carly (Anne Winters) rendezvous with her forbidden (black!) boyfriend, Damon (Robert Cunningham); little bro Joshua (Zackary Arthur) is a bratty little terror who’s about 10. Brent (Nicolas Cage) can still pull it together to be the “fun dad,” but simmering just beneath that is a volcano of midlife-crisis resentment. All this wears heavily on mom Kendall (Selma Blair), who sacrificed her career and any other outside life for a family that no longer seems to appreciate her.

As they go their separate ways for yet another day of work, school, aerobics class, etc., it gradually emerges that something inexplicable has occurred. (There are vague hints that some kind of neurological virus transmitted by TV and computer screens has brought “mass hysteria.”) It’s only when a full-on bloodbath erupts on the high school football field that audience, the characters and then the mass media begin to grasp what’s going on: For whatever reason, parents have suddenly developed a compulsive urge to kill their children.

Realizing Joshua may be in mortal danger, Carly makes her way home through the now carnage-strewn suburban landscape — while, unfortunately, a newly energized Mom & Dad are also heading there, with a vengeance. The resulting standoff soon sees the kids lock themselves in the basement, with their parents using every unscrupulous means to get at them. Just when you think the situation is tapped-out, Taylor throws in a monkey-wrench with the arrival of Brent’s parents (Lance Hendricksen, Marilyn Dodds Frank), who were expected for dinner but bring something else to the party.

Couching its social critiques — of shallow materialism, casual racism and other privileged woes — in breakneck action and merciless splatstick, “Mom & Dad” is a gas. Taylor and his terrific tech/design collaborators avoid wearing out the joke with just enough spry variation in tone and pace, alleviating the frequently frenetic content with stretches of ironic lyricism and even poignancy. (Credit for that should be fully shared with d.p. Daniel Pearl, editors Rose Corr and Fernando Villena, composer Mr. Bill and music supervisor Ryan Gaines, all of whom knock it out of the park.)

The juvenile actors play it straight, with skill; the adults get the more interesting task of conveying various balances of cartoon and genuine menace. An unlikely star from the start, whose shaky choices of late have imperiled that status, Cage has always been at his best in precisely this zone of maniacal comic invention. That you see him doing variations here on what he’s done before doesn’t lessen the performance’s unpredictable, inspired hilarity.

Blair, on the other hand, feels somehow underappreciated even if she’s hardly been underemployed. She covers a gamut from bittersweet sympathy to farce to monstrousness, running amok like a cat on piano keys, yet hitting each note perfectly. “Mom & Dad” isn’t the kind of movie they give acting awards to — but in a just world, it would be.

Toronto Film Review: ‘Mom & Dad’
Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Midnight Madness), Sept. 10, 2017. Running time: 83 MIN.

With
Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair, Anne Winters, Zackary Arthur, Lance Hendricksen, Robert Cunningham, Olivia Crocicchia, Rachel Melvin, Samantha Lemole, Joseph D. Reitman, Marilyn Dodds Frank, Joseph D. Reitman, Rachel Melvin, Bobby Richards, Sharon Gee, Edwin Lee Gibson, Adin Alexa Steckler.

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TIFF Midnight Madness Screening of Mom and Dad Starring Selma Blair

Midnight Madness

MOM AND DAD

Directed by Brian Taylor

USA | 83 minutes | 2016 | STC | Colour | English | World Premiere

TIFF September 7th-17th 2017

Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair star in this pitch-black horror-comedy about a worldwide mass hysteria where, for 24 brutal hours, parents turn violently against their own children.

Mommy and Daddy ain’t alright, and they’re definitely more than a little weird in this pitch-black horror comedy that imagines a 24-hour nightmare where parents worldwide succumb to a mysterious mass hysteria that turns them violently against their own children. It’s a macabre and inspired conceit, and one mined for biting social satire by writer/director Brian Taylor on his first solo outing since his gonzo collaborations with Mark Neveldine (the Crank films, Gamer), which similarly provoked and parodied cultural bugaboos.

Quickly narrowing the premise to the perspective of an average American family caught in the midst of the mayhem, Taylor gleefully teeters with the tone throughout, dipping from swaths of ironic slapstick horror to a white-knuckle postpartum set piece in a hospital delivery room. Selma Blair and Nicolas Cage portray the titular ‘rents, and while Cage is fully engaged, delivering a hysterical performance that’s manic and memorable — not to mention meme-able — Blair is the film’s emotional anchor. She imbues the family matriarch with an empathetic and depressed weariness that underscores the tragedy and horror of the twisted scenario.

Mom and Dad is riotous entertainment for those who wished that Paul Lynde didn’t just complain about “kids these days” in Bye Bye Birdie, but also chased after them with an electric handsaw.

Director

Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor is an American filmmaker who received his training from the Los Angeles Film School. He began his career as a cinematographer before switching to directing. His credits include Crank (06), Crank: High Voltage (09), Gamer (09), and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (12). Mom and Dad (17) is his latest film.

Cast + Credits
  • Director

    Brian Taylor

  • Cast

    Nicolas Cage Selma Blair Anne Winters Zackary Arthur Lance Henriksen

  • Cinematography

    Daniel Pearl

  • Editing

    Rose Corr Fernando Villena

  • Executive Producers

    Jere Hausfater Cassian Elwes Nate Bolotin Ali Jazayeri Nick Spicer David Gendron Wayne Marc Godfrey Robert Jones Rob Gough

  • Producers

    Chris Lemole Tim Zajaros Brian Taylor

  • Production Companies

    Armory Films Dovecheck Productions Limited The Fyzz Facility XYZ Films Momentum Pictures

  • Production Designer

    James C. Wise

  • Screenplay

    Brian Taylor

  • US Sales

    XYZ Films Creative Artists Agency (CAA)

  • International Sales

    XYZ Films

  • Original Score

    Mr. Bill

SOURCE

SITGES Fantasy Film Festival To Include Screening of MOM and DAD

August 2, 2017

Selma Blair’s new movie MOM and DAD will be screening at the number one fantasy film festival in the world this fall at SITGES Film Festival in Spain.

I will be uploading pics and movie trailers as they become available, so check back soon!

MOM and DAD (Directed by Brian Taylor) is a dark comedy/horror film about a teenage girl and her little brother that must survive a wild 24 hours during which a mass hysteria of unknown origins causes parents to turn violently on their own kids.

SITGES Film Festival runs from October 5th – 15th.

TIFF 2017 Midnight Madness Lineup Includes Selma Blair & Nicolas Cage New Film MOM AND DAD

Selma Blair’s new film with Nicolas Cage will premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival this fall during the Midnight Madness screenings.

Mom and Dad is a pitch-black horror-comedy about a worldwide mass hysteria where, for 24 brutal hours, parents turn violently against their own children.

Selma Blair is scheduled to attend TIFF this year so check back here for photo updates!

ORDINARY WORLD Movie Trailer Starring Billie Joe Armstrong and Selma Blair

September 17, 2016

Good news!

ORDINARY WORLD_1SHT@50% AW.indd

Ordinary World (previously known as GEEZER) starring Selma Blair and Billie Joe Armstrong will hit theaters October 14th, 2016!

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong is a ex-punk family man living in an ordinary world married to “Karen” played by Selma Blair. Fans have been waiting patiently for this film to release since it premiered at Tribeca Film Festival back in April.

Check out the official movie trailer for Ordinary World right here!

Legally Blonde Turns 15 Today!

July 13, 2016

Legally Blonde turns 15 today!

Legally Blonde

Hard to believe it’s been 15 years since its release! Check out these throwback pics of Selma Blair, Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson and the rest of the cast of Legally Blonde back in 2001.

Legally Blonde Selma Blair Matt Davis 1Selma Blair Legally Blonde 3Selma Blair Luke Wilson Legally Blonde

Selma Blair
Selma Blair Reese Witherspoon Legally Blonde Premiere

Nicolas Cage, Selma Blair Starring in Thriller ‘Mom and Dad’

Mom and Dad

Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair will portray parents who inexplicably attack their children in the independent thriller “Mom and Dad.”

Brian Taylor is directing from his own script, which centers on a teenage girl and her younger brother must survive a 24-hour mass hysteria of unknown origins — which causes parents to turn violently on their own offspring.

Tim Zajaros and Christopher Lemole are producing through their Armory Films. Jere Hausfater is executive producing along with Cassian Elwes, who’s joining partners Zajaros and Lemole as an executive producer through their Zeal Media Co.

XYZ Films is also executive producing and handling international sales.

Blair recently starred as Kris Jenner in the FX series “American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson” and in the feature ensemble drama “Mothers and Daughters.”

Cage previously worked with Taylor on 2011’s “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.” He’s in post-production on “Vengeance: A Love Story” and will be seen in September in Oliver Stone’s “Snowden,” playing a former US intelligence official.

Production on “Mom and Dad” is expected to start later this year.

Cage is repped by CAA. Blair is repped by Gersh. Taylor is repped by Verve. Armory is repped by attorney Dan Stutz. XYZ is repped by attorney Pamela Delaney. News was first reported by the Tracking Board.

SOURCE: VARIETY

Selma Blair Takes Pregnancy News as ‘Death Sentence’ in ‘Mothers and Daughters’ Trailer

April 6, 2016
Entertainment Tonight

A mother’s love is unparalleled, as seen in ET‘s exclusive first look at the new trailer for Mothers and Daughters!

The upcoming family drama features interwoven stories about motherhood, which are tied together through Rigby Gray (Selma Blair), a single photographer at the peak of her career whose unexpected pregnancy turns her life upside down.

“How long do I have?” Rigby solemnly asks Dr. Hamilton (Quinton Aaron).

“It’s not a death sentence,” Hamilton replies with a laugh.

As she comes to terms with being a mom, Rigby seeks to repair her relationship with her own estranged mother. She learns how different maternal relationships can be through a series of photographs documenting motherhood in all its varieties.

“Mothers come in all shapes and sizes,” Rigby says in the trailer. “Sometimes there for just a moment, and sometimes they remain for a lifetime.”

Mothers and Daughters, also starring Susan Sarandon, Sharon Stone, Courteney Cox, Christina Ricci, Eva Amurri Martino, Mira Sorvino, Paul Wesley and Ashanti, opens on May 6.

Mothers and Daughters Selma Blair

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