Film Reviews, page 4

  1. Baby Driver 2017

    Watched 2 September 2017

    This had exactly what I came to see: Edgar Wright’s meticulous visual storytelling, this time applied to a more full-fledged action film. Hot Fuzz had proved him capable of doing action, but here the amazing attention to detail is directed towards excitement instead of caricature, and it works just as well. The care that went into every single shot is palpable. (I wholeheartedly recommend watching this video if you don’t know what I’m talking about.)

    That being said, this film didn’t feel like that much of a revelation — more like a step sideways. It left me really curious to see where Wright goes from here; I’d like to see him bring his skills further outside of his comfort zone.

  2. Focus 2015

    Watched 2 September 2017

    This is a completely uninspired film that turns into even more of a turd if you’ve ever heard of Apollo Robbins. Am I supposed to care for characters just because they’re good-looking?

  3. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 2017

    Watched 21 August 2017

    Astounding VFX on Kurt Russell’s character, but an otherwise bland sequel that does little to take the characters further.

  4. Timecrimes 2007

    Watched 10 August 2017

    This one is going in my “Faves Under 90 Minutes” bin. Even though the script isn’t perfect (well, it is about time travel), it nonetheless manages to feel very original, with some iconic moments that I won’t forget anytime soon.

  5. Okja 2017

    Watched 6 August 2017

    Bong Joon-ho cementing himself as one of my favourite living directors.

    Even though this film shows its influences very clearly (Spielberg, Zemeckis, Miyazaki), Bong imbues it with his own brand of weird to deliver an exceptionally surprising and endearing film, with brilliantly fleshed-out characters. Okja hits all the notes it reaches for, and then some.

  6. Dunkirk 2017

    Watched 23 July 2017

    Beautiful character-focused cinematography, hair-raising tension, confusingly messy editing.

    What did this gain by opting for a nonlinear timeline? Certainly not more than it lost. Felt like Nolan trying to make the genre feel new, and failing.

  7. The Shallows 2016

    Watched 9 June 2017

    This is exactly like The Revenant, except much more focused and actually able to get under my skin at times.

    Films with brutally simple plots (not simplistic, mind you) executed well seem to be a rare delight these days. Bonus points: under ninety minutes.

  8. John Wick: Chapter 2 2017

    Watched 4 June 2017

    A bit too much of the original’s blunt simplicity is missing here, but it’s still damn good. The mirrors scene is one for the ages.

  9. Alien: Covenant 2017

    Watched 20 May 2017

    If you thought characters did stupid shit in Prometheus, wait ‘til you see this one. Ridley Scott is more concerned with establishing capricious moments than he is with putting out a coherent film, it seems.

    This is a hopelessly misguided doubling-down on everything Prometheus got wrong, but with that film’s amazing production design and worldbuilding completely removed. Future humans on an interstellar colonization mission are literally still using GoPros.

    The classic Alien title sequence is reused, but it’s no longer the opening shot, and it’s sped-up. Instead of yielding an atmosphere of slow-burn creepiness, we get low-attention-span throwback. And that sadly matches up pretty well with what Alien: Covenant feels like.

    The creatures are as cool as ever, though.

  10. Get Out 2017

    Watched 9 May 2017

    This strikes a brilliant balance between creepy and fun — it manages to be both things at once, without either detracting from the other. It’s built entirely with this duality as a central mechanic, and does a great job of exploring its limits.

    I saw one of the big twists coming miles away (avoiding spoilers, let’s call it “the box of photos”), so I wondered if this could have worked even better as a Touch of Evil-esque “the audience knows what’s coming” kind of deal. But then I realized that having a nagging feeling that that is what’s going on is really well aligned with the film’s themes and so now I’m thinking I want to watch this again.

  11. Shin Godzilla 2016

    Watched 29 March 2017

    Godzilla emerges.

    Down to the dramatic putting-down of phones and title card fetish, this is exactly what I was hoping for: a live-action manifestation of Hideaki Anno’s cinematic obsessions with giant monsters, heavy machinery, and the flaws of humanity.

    It’s just missing that extra bit of directorial precision he manages to pull off with animation, especially in terms of acting and camerawork.

  12. Godzilla 2014

    Rewatched 23 March 2017

    Don’t let anyone ever tell you that the monsters don’t show up enough in this movie.

    The Ligeti-scored skydiving scene and the atomic breath reveal are just as awesome as I remembered them. This stands up as one of the most gripping giant monster movies ever.

  13. Kong: Skull Island 2017

    Watched 17 March 2017

    This is nothing to write home about, but it’s a solid monster movie. Which is all I was hoping for, really.

    The tone is the polar opposite of Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla — it feels fun instead of tense. That in itself is perfectly okay, but I wish it could have kept some of that Jurassic Park-like subtlety that worked so well for Godzilla.