David Fincher proves once again why he’s one of the top filmmakers working today. This film is seriously good. Good on every level. I’m glad I hadn’t been spoiled on the story, and I appreciate how little the trailers have actually shown. It went a lot of places I didn’t expect, and I enjoyed the ride. Fincher’s direction really respects this, too - it’s not flashy or over-stylised. He clearly just wanted to tell the story the best way he could. Every performance is good, with Rosamund Pike being particularly impressive. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have delivered another perfect music score - one that creates a palpable mood and atmosphere and really elevates tension when it’s needed. The film explores some interesting ideas about men, women, and the media. It’s well-made, it’s engaging, it’s even darkly funny at times - it’s brilliant. Definitely a contender for film of the year.
This is a really cool film from Argentina. It’s an homage to early cinema, and as such, is black and white and mostly silent. It’s clearly a tribute to Metropolis (1927), in particular. It’s really well done, too. There were lots of shots that I would’ve been fooled by if I had seen them out of context. It has its own fantastic and whimsical elements, too, as well as being a pretty decent Orwellian story. There was some symbolism that was a bit too obvious, and some parts of the story didn’t make complete sense. Still, it’s a gorgeous-looking movie, and I really liked the music and the clever use of subtitles. I totally recommend it to fans of early cinema, or anyone looking for something a little different.
This was a pretty great South Korean film about a mother trying to free her intellectually-disabled son after he is wrongfully accused of murder. It’s similar to the director’s earlier film, Memories of Murder (2003), but I liked this one a lot more. It starts off like a pretty typical murder mystery, but soon reveals that the film is much more about motherhood and the lengths parents will go to for their children. The lead actress gives a brilliant performance. Definitely give this one a chance. It may just surprise you.
I don’t quite know what to make of this one. On the one hand, it’s cute and nice and emotional, but on the other, it’s cliché, contrived and infuriatingly hipster. I think it would’ve been at least 15% better if it didn’t have that horrible, manipulative soundtrack. At the beginning of the movie, the main character makes a point of saying that she won’t sugarcoat this story - that it won’t be like all the other movies about this subject. But the thing is, that’s exactly what it’s like! It pretends to be all cynical and different, but instead, it comes off as pretentious and false. Okay, yes, the emotion is there - I certainly felt it in a couple of scenes. But for every semi-genuine emotional scene, there were two fake and forced ones. The best aspect of the film has to be the actors. The two leads are good, and have nice chemistry together. And Laura Dern continues to be one of my favourite actresses. I haven’t read the book, and if it’s anywhere near as annoying as this, I don’t want to. I guess I liked about half of it, and it held my attention, but it just didn’t deliver on what it promised.
I expected this to be bad, but not quite as tedious as it was. I’m a fan of Seth MacFarlane in general, but I’m beginning to wish he’d just stuck to TV. While it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as this, I wasn’t a big fan of Ted (2012), but I’m sure they both would’ve worked better if we hadn’t already been inundated with MacFarlane’s style for 15 years by now. This movie just isn’t funny. There were maybe a couple of okay gags, but mostly it’s incredibly obvious stuff I’ve seen countless times before, or juvenile toilet humour. The characters aren’t interesting at all and the story’s incredibly predictable and conventional, too. There are several great actors in the cast, but they’re all wasted in this. It’s way longer than it needs to be - it drags on forever. The best scene was the Back to the Future Part III (1990) reference, and I’d already seen that online. Pretty much a waste of time, and lazy work from MacFarlane.
I’m not the biggest anime fan in the world, but it’s still surprising I hadn’t seen this until now. I can see why it was such a milestone for anime. The animation is fantastic, with lots of little details and beautiful backgrounds. The dystopian future setting is pretty cool, too. The narrative is a little hard to follow, and the characters aren’t terribly three-dimensional. I also thought there were some issues with the editing and music. But overall, it’s great. It creates a dark and atmospheric world, and contains some fascinating imagery. I definitely recommend it to any anime fan that hasn’t already seen it.
This was a strange little film. The direction was strange, the dialogue was strange, the performances were strange… It’s a good thing, though, mostly. The film has such an unnerving, bizarre quality to it, which is cool, because I think atmosphere is a really underrated aspect of film. Jodie Foster is pretty impressive at her young age. I’m not sure I’d call it a good film, but it’s an interesting one. I wasn’t too keen on the ending, however.