GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

September 4, 2014

Las Vegas Weekly

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A& E | screen F I L M School daze Innocence is a lethargic teen horror story Jane Mendelsohn's 2000 novel Innocence has been praised for its sensitive and nuanced portrayal of teenage emotions, but you'd never guess that from watching Hilary Brougher's lifeless film adaptation. The lurking evil that Mendelsohn keeps ambiguous is very real in Brougher's film, although it takes a frus- tratingly long time to emerge. Before that, teenage protagonist Beckett Warner (Sophie Curtis) does a lot of moping around her new school, an upscale all-girls academy outside Manhattan. Something is obviously not right at Beckett's school, which is run by a cabal of suspiciously placid, fashion- ably composed women, whose weekly book-club meetings hide something sinister. School nurse Pamela (Kelly Reilly) is the eerily calm ringleader, and she soon starts romancing Beckett's novelist father (Linus Roache), a recent widower. Beckett sees flashes of horrors as she's drawn more deeply into the school's secrets, but neither Curtis nor Brougher do much to make the situation feel truly menacing. When the supernatural threats finally show themselves, they're disappointingly pedestrian and cheesy, and just as disappointingly easy to defeat. Whatever allegorical potential existed in Mendelsohn's novel is lost in favor of generic teenage petulance and worn-out horror- movie devices. –Josh Bell T V Seven- year itch Five burning questions going into Season 5 of Boardwalk Empire Boardwalk Empire's upcom- ing final season promises to be full of changes, especially given that seven years have passed since the end of Season 4, dumping us square in the middle of the Depression. So many questions ... 1. Is there any hope for Eli and Nucky? When last we saw Eli Thompson (Shea Whigham), he'd betrayed his brother (Steve Buscemi) and became a fugitive after brutally murdering a fed- eral agent. Something tells us Thanksgiving dinners may not be in this family's future. 2. What's become of Eli's son, Will? Will (Ben Rosenfield) was a focal point of Season 4, as his father went to insane lengths to protect him after a college scandal. Nucky stepped in as his benefactor, and with Eli all but out of the picture, the ambitious Will seemed primed for a Michael Corleone-style transformation. 3. Will Al Capone's rise to power be complete? After the attack on syndicate head Johnny Torrio (Greg Antonacci), Capone (Stephen Graham) was poised to inher- it it all. So seven years later, where, exactly, will he be— not to mention his conflicted but extremely capable lackey, former FBI agent Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon)? 4. How does Chalky White respond after the loss of his daughter? It shouldn't take Chalky (Michael K. Williams) long to figure out that Nucky was behind the failed assas- sination attempt on Valentin Narcisse (Jeffrey Wright) that led to his daughter's accidental death. And we all know that Chalky doesn't let things go. 5. How are we supposed to go on when so many of our favorite characters keep dying? It was bad enough los- ing Jimmy (Michael Pitt) a few seasons ago; now we've lost war vet Richard Harrow (Jack Huston), and we hear crime boss Arnold Rothstein (Michael Stuhlbarg) will be absent from Season 5—because the char- acter he plays actually died during that seven-year period. Damn you, history! –Ken Miller > shArp-drEssEd mAn Buscemi ponders his character's uncertain future. aaccc InnOCEnCE Sophie Curtis, Kelly Reilly, Linus Roache. Directed by Hilary Brougher. Rated PG-13. Opens Friday. BOArdWALK EmpIrE Sundays, 9 p.m., HBO; premieres September 7. 115 E. Tropicana • $4 Miller lite & Coronas $3 BlaCkjaCk

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