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6:50 PM PDT 5/9/2018 by John DeFore

Courtesy of RLJE Films
Reference and attitude with no soul.

Margot Robbie plays a waitress/stripper/killer in Vaughn Stein's neon-lit pastiche.

An airless debut that says much about its writer-director's cultural diet and little about anything else in the world, Vaughn Stein's blends tropes from several sorts of crime flicks into a soundstagey affair that's more brittle than hard-boiled. Attention will be paid thanks to star Margot Robbie (one of many producers here) and supporting players Simon Pegg and Mike Myers, but the box office will quickly forget this outing for the actress in anticipation of more sturdy vehicles to come.

One of those roles (just officially announced) will be that of Sharon Tate in , whose writer-director Quentin Tarantino has an influence here that is obvious long before Stein starts nodding cutely at him. (He recreates QT's signature trunk-opening shot; he has Robbie plotting "bloody revenge" and brainstorming ways for Pegg's Bill to kill...Bill.) In addition to Robbie's revenge-minded diner waitress Annie (who goes by "Bunny" when she's stripping at a nearby club), Stein offers two talkative hit men (Dexter Fletcher and Max Irons' Vince and Alfred, respectively) whose chemistry and banter will not push 's Vincent and Jules from any fan's mind.

The two are working for the mysterious Mr. Franklin, who puts out contracts anonymously via voice-modulated phone calls, briefcases stashed in train terminal storage lockers and other tricks you may be able to imagine for yourself. (When his identity is finally revealed, it's via a gag straight out of .) Franklin has instructed the fellas to camp out in a hotel room for days, waiting to shoot someone who will appear in a room across the street. They get testy with each other during the wait, but they have other problems they're not aware of: At the film's start, we saw Annie (hiding her identity under a Mia Wallace wig) promise Mr. F that she'd kill all his go-to hit men so he'd have no choice but to hire instead.

That scene is an inauspicious start for the pic, as Stein keeps bouncing between extreme close-ups of Robbie's eyes and lips, unsure what to do next. But his direction quickly becomes less distracting. The film warms a bit with the arrival of Pegg's Bill, who is standing on a platform waiting sadly for a train he can throw himself under. But it's the middle of the night, and a station janitor (Myers) informs him there won't be another train for hours. So the suicidal English prof drags himself to the terminal's sole diner (dubbed End of the Line), where Annie has no other customers to keep her company.

As the two discuss Bill's plight and Annie's excitement about helping him end it, the movie bounces back to watch her manipulate Vince and Alf both in the diner and in the strip club. Stein piles up the femme-fatale indicators, all but hanging a "steer clear" sign around Annie's neck, but Alf falls for her, calling her "sugarplum" and scolding Vince when he uses less respectful nicknames. Then the men go off to their dingy stakeout, returning us to Bill and his discourse on the literary device called the pathetic fallacy.

Somewhere in here, the script goes crazy with Lewis Carroll allusions, which at least shakes things up. The pastiche and pretentiousness would be forgivable if there were something human underlying it all. But even the film's own characters eventually acknowledge they're in an "over-elaborate scheme" concocted by somebody who likes to have all his toys lined up tidily on the shelf. If Stein wants not to be the last stop on his filmmaking career, he's going to need to think less about ways to arrange his pretty toys and more about the stories they might tell.

John DeFore

[email protected]
The Hollywood Reporter

© 2018 The Hollywood Reporter All rights reserved.

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Adding audio session code to handle interruptions ensures that your app’s audio continues behaving gracefully when a phone call arrives, a Clock or Calendar alarm sounds, or another app activates its audio session.

An audio interruption is the deactivation of your app’s audio session—which immediately stops your audio. Interruptions happen when a competing audio session from an app is activated and that session is not categorized by the system to mix with yours. After your session goes inactive, the system sends a “you were interrupted” message that you can respond to by saving state, updating the user interface, and so on.

Your app may be suspended following an interruption. This happens when a user accepts a phone call. If a user instead ignores a call, or dismisses an alarm, the system issues an “interruption ended” message, and your app continues running. For your audio to resume, you must reactivate your audio session.

The Interruption Life Cycle

Figure 3-1 illustrates the sequence of events before, during, and after an audio session interruption for a playback app.

Figure 3-1

An interruption event—in this example, the arrival of a FaceTime request—proceeds as follows. The numbered steps correspond to the numbers in the figure.

Your app is active, playing back audio.

A FaceTime request arrives. The system activates the FaceTime app’s audio session.

The system deactivates your audio session. At this point, playback in your app has stopped.

The system posts a notification, indicating that your session has been deactivated.

Your notification handler takes appropriate action. For example, it could update the user interface and save the information needed to resume playback at the point where it stopped.

If the user dismisses the interruption—ignoring the incoming FaceTime request—the system posts a notification, indicating that the interruption has ended.

Your notification handler takes action appropriate to the end of an interruption. For example, it might update the user interface, reactivate the audio session, and resume playback.

(Not shown in the figure.) If, instead of dismissing the interruption at step 6, the user accepts a phone call, your app is suspended.

Handle interruptions by registering to observe interruption notifications posted by AVAudioSession . What you do within your interruption code depends on the audio technology you are using and on what you are using it for—playback, recording, audio format conversion, reading streamed audio packets, and so on. Generally speaking, you need to ensure the minimum possible disruption, and the most graceful possible recovery, from the perspective of the user.

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