Ted K


Ted Kaczynski mulls over his alter ego.

(2021) Biographical Drama (Super LTD/Neon) Sharlto Copley, Drew Powell, Christian Calloway, Tahmus Rounds, Kate Scott, David Ward, Lois Keister, Teresa Garland, Nicole Welch, Andrew Senn, Megan Folsom, Brandon Seaman, Vincent James Carnevale, Ian Primus, Ben Fundis, Bobby Tisdale, Joe Felece, Amber Rose Mason, Travis Bruyer, Robert Braine, Nancy Rothman. Directed by Tony Stone

We are aware of those folks who for whatever reason choose to withdraw from society. We envision them, in their lonely cabins in the wilderness, shouting at the universe, their rage echoing harmlessly off the walls of their place of exile, taking no effect on the universe or those living in it. There are those, occasionally, who venture from their lairs and do real damage.

We are informed in a pre-credits crawl that Ted Kaczynski (Copley) was a math prodigy who got his PhD in mathematics at age 16 and was well on his way to a brilliant career as a college professor when after a year he withdrew from his university and went to live on the land near Lincoln, Montana, in an isolated cabin he built with his brother Dave.

Ted’s natural reverie is interrupted by the noise and damage of snowmobilers. Ted waits until they are away from their luxury cabin, when he breaks in and takes at their things with an axe. One gets the sense that Ted is a powderkeg of rage just waiting to explode, but he turns out to be more of a slow-burner, one whose frustration and anger percolate and simmer, releasing from time to time in acts of violence – constructing homemade bombs that would kill three and injure 22, some horribly. His acts of domestic terrorism, aimed at random targets he felt were advancing technology which he thought would destroy the human race, or defiling nature, would earn him the name he is better known as – the Unabomber.

If you’re looking into insight about what makes Ted click, you won’t find it here. Although the film uses Kaczynski’s own words (from over 25,000 pages of writing found in his cabin after his arrest) for the voiceover narration. Kaczynski’s writing style can be dubbed radical academic. A brilliant, literate man, he was nonetheless a pompous writer.

Stone, who previously directed the lyrical documentary Peter and the Farm, utilizes cinematographer Nathan Corbin’s talents extensively, creating beautiful and often bucolic images of life in rural Rocky Mountain Montana. He also utilizes the electronic noodling of Blanck Mass to often create a disturbing, discordant background. Stone doesn’t use the narrative tropes of your average biopic, but rather intersperses surreal dream images in an effort to give audiences a taste of the madness that Kaczynski was experiencing, including manufacturing a fantasy woman figure (Mason) to illustrate Ted’s simultaneous longing for companionship and misogyny.

We are not meant to understand what turned a brilliant mathematics professor into a remorseless, heartless bomber and Stone wisely doesn’t try. We get the broad strokes that Kaczynski left behind in his manifesto, but no sense of how the transformation actually occurred. We are left, then, to wonder at how someone so rational could change so radically that any logical thought he had – and it’s clear Stone believes that he had some – were suborned by acts of chaos. We never feel sympathy towards Ted Kaczynski, but we get the sense that Stone is saying that just because the Unabomber was insane doesn’t necessarily mean he was wrong.

REASONS TO SEE: Copley is mesmerizing. Wonderful cinematography.
REASONS TO AVOID: If you’re looking for answers as to what made Kaczynski tick, you won’t find any.
FAMILY VALUES: There is violence, plenty of profanity and some sexual situations including brief nudity.
TRIVIAL PURSUIT: A good deal of the production was filmed where Ted Kaczynski’s cabin actually once stood (it has since been torn down).
BEYOND THE THEATERS: Amazon, AppleTV, DirecTV, Google Play, Microsoft, Spectrum, Vudu
CRITICAL MASS: As of 2/19/2022: Rotten Tomatoes: 84% positive reviews; Metacritic: 67/100.
COMPARISON SHOPPING: One Hour Photo
FINAL RATING: 7.5/10
NEXT:
A Banquet

New Releases for the Week of February 18, 2022


UNCHARTED

(Columbia) Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Sophia Ali, Tati Gabrielle, Antonio Banderas, Stephen Waddington, Tiernan Jones, Rudy Pankow. Directed by Reuben Fleischer

Based on the best-selling videogame, this long-in-gestation project features Nathan Drake at the very beginning of his adventures. A street-wise thief, he hooks up with a seasoned treasure hunter to search for a fabulous treasure that Nate’s brother was also on the hunt for before he disappeared, but other, less savory, characters are also looking for it.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Adventure
Now Playing: Wide
Rating: PG-13 (for violence/action, and language)

A Fairy Tale After All

(Vertical) Emily Shenaut, Gabriel Burrafato, Tobin Cleary, Amy Morse. A stubborn teenage girl finds herself magically transported to a kingdom of magic and fantastic creatures.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Fantasy
Now Playing: Studio Movie Grille Sunset Walk
Rating: NR

The Cursed

(LD Entertainment) Boyd Holbrook, Kelly Reilly, Alistair Petrie, Roxane Duran. In the late 1800s, a peaceful country village is suffering from uncharacteristic murders and disappearances. A big city pathologist is summoned to help discover what’s behind it, but he discovers an evil far more insidious than anything he could have imagined.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Horror
Now Playing: Wide
Rating: R (for strong violence, grisly images and brief nudity)

Dog

(United Artists) Channing Tatum, Jane Adams, Kevin Nash, Q’orianka Kilcher. A former Army Ranger is tasked with bringing a bomb-sniffing dog with PTSD to the funeral of the dog’s former partner. Each battling their own demons, they find themselves on the trip of a lifetime.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Comedy
Now Playing: Wide
Rating: PG-13 (for language, thematic elements, drug content and some suggestive material)

Finding Carlos

(Vertical) Maximus White, Michael Andreaus, Branjae, Jabee Williams. A teenager with a skateboard has to learn to live with his estranged dad, even as he pursues his passion for hip-hop and dance. The story is inspired by the classic holiday celebration of The Nutcracker.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Family
Now Playing: Studio Movie Grille Sunset Walk
Rating: NR

Jockey

(Sony Classics) Clifton Collins Jr., Molly Parker, Moises Arias, Logan Cormier. An aging jockey, looking to win one last championship, has his life turned upside down when a talented young jockey confesses that he is the older jockey’s son. Previously reviewed in Cinema365; see link below under “Scheduled to Be Reviewed.”

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Drama
Now Playing: Cinematique Daytona
Rating: R (for language)

The Ledge

(Saban) Brittany Ashworth, Ben Lamb, Louis Boyer, Nathan Welsh. A young woman out on a rock climbing trip witnesses the murder of her best friend, capturing it on her cell phone. The killers will stop at nothing to escape justice, so she is forced to climb a treacherous mountain path, knowing that one wrong step could be fatal.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Action
Now Playing: Studio Movie Grille Sunset Walk
Rating: R (for strong violence, language including crude sexual references, and some drug use)

Ted K

(Super LTD) Sharlto Copley, Drew Powell, Travis W. Bruyer, Wayne Pile. A former university professor, appalled at how technology had begun to take over our lives, removes himself to an isolated cabin in the Montana woods. But despite his efforts to remain secluded, the modern world intrudes, driving him to acts of local sabotage and, eventually, sending deadly bombs, earning him the nickname of The Unabomber.

See the trailer here
For more on the movie this is the website

Genre: Biographical Drama
Now Playing: Enzian
Rating: R (for language, some sexual content and brief nudity)

COMING TO VIRTUAL CINEMA/VOD:

A Banquet (Friday)
Caught In His Web (Saturday)
Downfall: The Case Against Boeing (Friday)
Double Play (Tuesday)
Erax (Thursday)
Fistful of Vengeance (Thursday)
Incarnation (Friday)
King Knight (Thursday)
Swim Instructor Nightmare (Sunday)
Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Friday)
They Live in the Grey (Thursday)

SCHEDULED FOR REVIEW:

A Banquet
The Cursed
Dog
Downfall: The Case Against Boeing
Fistful of Vengeance
Jockey
Ted K
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Uncharted