I just finished season 4 of Boardwalk Empire. Thoughts:
I’m a big fan of Kick-Ass (2010) and I’ve been waiting for a sequel ever since I saw it. Unfortunately, what I got didn’t match up to the original. It simply lacked the charm of the first one, which must have had a lot to do with the change in director. It kind of just felt like a pale imitation. Part of what made the first one so good was how unpredictable and surprising it was, but we kind of know what to expect this time, and they didn’t try to subvert that very much. I guess there were some dark parts that took me by surprise though. The film has a lot of great elements, but they don’t really come together. I liked all the violent moments and action scenes, and there were some great ones. Hit-Girl is still awesome and she had some fantastic lines, but while I appreciate them trying to give her development, it’s done in the same, boring way as a dozen other high school movies. Yeah, it just doesn’t have the fun, fresh attitude and feeling that the first film had. I can’t help feeling disappointed, but maybe it will grow on me.
I quite liked this film. I was prepared to label it as just another story about a manic pixie dream girl, but it’s clear that Zoe Kazan, who wrote the screenplay and stars as the titular character, was aware of the trope and decided to play with and subvert it. I really like how dark it became in the end. The film still feels very much like a lot of other indie films, but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment of it. The cast is good, with Kazan being the stand-out, and Paul Dano doing fine as the lead. I don’t think I was satisfied with every aspect, the ending being the main one, but I though it was good overall.
This is really horrible news.
He always had such a likable presence. He was part of the reason I like Roadkill/Joy Ride (2001), despite it not actually being that good. I’m really sad that we’ll no longer see him.
I don’t usually find politics very interesting, but there are certainly films and TV shows that make it amazing. This isn’t quite one of them, but it was pretty solid. I really don’t have much to critique about it. All of the performances were good. It might have been better in the hands of a different director and writer, but as it is, everything is totally competent.
Man, was I mislead about this film. I’ve heard a lot of positive things about it, but I found it to be pretty mediocre. First of all, the whole thing would’ve been so much better if it wasn’t done in the found footage style. At no point does it feel realistic or not like it’s clearly staged. Even the dialogue and acting suffers from it. Aside from the style, the general story idea is cool and entertaining enough, but it’s still let down by everything else. The characterisations and themes are all very basic. The visual effects aren’t completely awful, but they were never believable. The film just felt amateurish to me, and not in a good way.
This is one of the better horror films to come out in recent years. It has a lot of similarities to Insidious (2010) and Insidious: Chapter 2 (2013), but it’s probably better than both of those. Unfortunately, it also has the same problem as them. It starts off genuinely scary, with plenty of great atmosphere and tension, but once the real plot comes into it and things are explained, it loses its scariness. I realise that it’s kind of inescapable - you can’t just have random, unexplained things, but it’s still an issue that holds it back from being really great. The performances were all fine. The cinematography was excellent, and I enjoyed the ’70s vibe it had. James Wan is amazing at creating suspense, so I really hope he will return to the horror genre someday. It’s a well-made film, and a fun watch.
I thought this was a decent, but not quite great film. I’m a fan of Sofia Coppola and I really liked her direction here. It was simple, yet effective. I almost want to complain about the superficiality of the film and its characters, but I think that was the point. These people are incredibly vapid and shallow, and the film succeeds at showing that. I didn’t think the performances from any of the actors were particularly good though. The whole thing reminded me a lot of Spring Breakers (2012), but it wasn’t as strong.
I’d never heard of Temple Grandin before, but she’s clearly an extraordinary person and I’m glad I got to learn about her in this film. The way in which autistic people think differently to other people is really interesting, and I liked how they showed it. Claire Danes was very good in the role - I soon forgot it was her. It’s fairly typical in terms of biopic films, but I emotionally affected and never bored, so I call it a success.
I can now group this in with other very disturbing films, like Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975) and A Serbian Film (2010). The truly sickening part about the film is the real animal killings involved. The turtle scene was especially difficult to watch. There’s really no reason why these animals had to be killed either; it’s completely for shock value. Besides, the gore effects on the humans are pretty good - I’m sure they could have faked the animal ones too. And yeah, the rest of the film is filled with horrible stuff too. Part of what makes it so unnerving is the hyper-realistic way it’s shot, even though the actors and dialogue are pretty bad. Purely as a film, it’s not all bad. The structure’s kind of cool, and the message is interesting enough, if incredibly obvious. However, I really cannot recommend this to anyone, unless they’re really trying to challenge themselves.