The perfect definition of "Pff...ehh yeah... sure... okay?"
So what happened here? A decently sized budget, with a cast that have proved themselves various times before with a pretty decent soundtrack (although very copied from other soundtracks from other, better films) sounds like a formula for a 10/10 film right? Well that's not exactly it. For a few hours after my viewing I couldn't decide weather this film was articulate or terribly made, and I'm afraid to say it's just terribly made.
Let's begin with the acting: No real complaints there, no one was exactly bad but no one shined at all, and I can't blame the actors because the script really lacked in ability to help them. The child actor was terrible. In a specific scene which I shall not spoil but I will say it's supposed to be very emotional, there was no expression in the kid's face whatsoever; at one point you could see tears from his cheeks but it was so obvious that they interrupted the scene just so they could add fake tears because he can't act. Another complaint about the acting is that there was little to no Meryl Streap... 0/1000000 for that I'm afraid.
Now given the whole film and it's political message, I bared in mind just how that message would be portrayed; Would I be beat over the head with it, will it tell me to hate men, will it make stand at the corner of streets with signs telling me to vote women, or will it subtly cue me in, will it let me form my own opinion? No. It beat me more than the men in this film beat the woman. Every single time we are shown a male every aspect of the film begins screaming at us "Hate this man, hate him now or you are a horrible human specimen". We get this right from get go, with narration from equal rights protests and t... okay hang on... t... text... as if it weren't black and white enough already. Text at the beginning of a film that does nothing other than explain the world the film has set up for us, is a pet peeve of mine, because everything is later explained anyway, sometimes in great ways which let us to absorb the information rather than be spoon fed it.
The character logic was also pretty horrendous. I get it, the director really wanted us to be angry at what we're being shown by having the women just walk away from a conflict even though there were literally so many things they could have said to end the argument, and if that's what they're going for then it could have been coordinated a little better, because instead of being annoyed at the conflict and message, I was annoyed at the script for its terrible understanding of human psychology.
The cinematography also was hand-held... there you go, need I say more? Horrible fast cuts, not sure what's going on... and so on.
The sound design also really bugged me. Our protagonists work environment is a loud steam... place... thing, you get the point, very loud, and yet characters would almost whisper things to each other and it was just as audible to us as any other dialogue scene in quieter settings?
And last but not least, the film not only rushed the ending, but ended it so very awkwardly. (no spoilers, see it for yourself)
Despite this film not being as pretentious as I first thought it might be, I can safely say that it is not worthy of any Oscar nomination that it received. Check it out for yourself and see how you feel, you may love it who knows.
After having recently just seen Spike Jonez's "Her" I can safely say it's my 5th favourite movie of all time (check out my full list over on my profile). So, why is this? Well let me first start by saying that no one should trust these 1/10 reviews for this film... Because... You have to be an idiot not to see everything this film did so perfectly (if you don't enjoy it then obviously that's fine but that doesn't mean the film is bad). So yeah, sod all of these 1* ratings.
The music in Her plays as much a part of the film as the script. Not only is the soundtrack absolutely fantastic but it's also pretty broken. So why is it fantastic if it's broken? Because it's so very intentional. Some keys and notes were deliberately not hit and some instruments were made to sound like others, and this fits so perfectly well because to have a perfect soundtrack would be so fake and disingenuous because the world it exists in isn't perfect. If such a tiny detail such as keys in music being played deliberately wrong was a priority for Spike Jonez then it's fair to say that the music isn't the only thing with masses amounts of detail put into it. So even if you don't enjoy this film at least you can study it for months on end so I'll be surprised if anyone is genuinely board with this film.
The acting is phenomenal as expected by a cast such as this but not only do they play their parts so exceptionally well but the script is written in such a way that you (the audience) almost become the character. You are no longer watching Joaquín Phoenix (not sure if I'm spelling that right I'm on my iPad) you are Joaquín Pheonix. You no longer watch this relationship between characters build, you experience it. And it's little subtleties in actors performances like this that really bring this film to life.
The cinematography is expertly crafted and not once did I ever feel cheated by long takes. Spike Jonez was incredibly careful about what he chose to keep in the frame and not what to. (For instance: some extras would be on their phones to exaggerate the tone of the film and to prove a point that technology is slowly becoming our oxygen, but not all extras because Jonez is merely making a point that you can observe instead of being spoon fed it) not only that but the year is never established and we can roughly estimate where and when this film takes place through everything else we are presented with which increases our involvement.
I love everything about this movie and would highly recommend anyone with a decent eye for cinema to go and see it. This isn't a film, this is an experience and it's one of the best.
Not only is Charlie Kaufman the best screenwriter working in the business today, he's also made one of the best debut's in cinematic history.
To date, he has 2 films to his name (directorial wise: Anomalisa and Synecdoche New York) and both of them I would consider to be pretty flawless. Why? because no matter how many times you watch these films, you will be able to find new meaning. This is something only the best of writers can do.
On a surface level of cinema, everything was done to perfection alone: The acting was excellent, the pacing is perfect, the plot is one of the most in depth plots ever, the cinematography is perfect, the framing is amazing... look, it's all perfect okay?
So I wont go into to detail about the meanings I found within the plot because it's better left up to the imagination in my opinion, but it's a very personal film to me and I've never related to a film this much.
I'd recommend this film as one of the best films ever made and if you like your cinema smart then give this one a go. And don't just take my word for it Roger Ebert (rest in peace) said that this was the best film of the decade.
A beautiful metaphor for what should otherwise be a dull narrative!
One of things I keep in mind whilst reading reviews and ratings for films I like is that it shouldn't impact how I feel, except reading the reviews for this film really hurt me, because it seems people don't like what they don't understand.
to put it simply, much like the Tree of Life (which I consider to be Terrence Malik's better film) Knight of Cups is a metaphor for an old story... a myth or whatever. I wont spoil that story for you, but it's never a hidden story for at the beginning of the film we are presented with a shortened version of the story that they're portraying, which leads me into my first issue with the film. How are we supposed to interpret the message of the film if we are given it on a platter? literally if you remove the text at the beginning of the film (which by the way is on a black screen so any kid who uses WMM who can also torrent it can remove) the film would be leagues better. Terrence didn't do this in the Tree of Life so why did he do this in this film? it's pointless, cost more money (I'm sure) and detracted from the over-all experience of the film.
The cinematography was absolutely stunning as expected from a Terrence Malik film: His flow combined with his selective use of colouring and setting mixes so extraordinarily well together it's hard to believe he pulls it off as well as he does every time. If I was judging this film on what I saw visually alone I would be giving this film a 10/10, but alas I am not judging this film as a picture but as a film.
In the Tree of Life not once did I feel it ever beat me over the head with it's shot composition, but in Knight of Cups I kinda felt, due to it's run time, like it's pretension was a little obvious.
The acting was pretty great considering it was just actors moving about the frame to narration. Talking of Narration it really sucked. I'm sure it was intentional but it was way too distractingly quiet. All I could hear was Christian Bale making a "Shushing" noise the whole time. Yes if I tried a little harder I'd be able to hear, but it was distracting none the less.
Regardless I'd recommend this film to anyone who likes a new, different style of filmmaking and having it done right.
So it seems that this title hasn't been received all too well by critics or the general public alike, but for the life of me I can't see why.
From the tremendous use of framing and shot composition, to the outstanding acting and pacing, Biutiful is one of the most underrated films I have ever had the pleasure of seeing.
Javier Bardem was fantastic as usual and Maricel Álvarez really brought home the show. She was able to bring such character to an otherwise lifeless prop. All of the child acting was pretty good which is rather hard to come by in this day and age. (Unless you're Haneke, then it's easy.)
The cinematography was also pretty solid with some excellently crafted and well coordinated one-take shots which takes a genius to perfect, and Inárritu has pretty much done that by this time in his career (Birdman really solidifies that fact). For this exact reason I can't figure out why the Metascore is so very low, (same with the Rotten Tomatoes score, but apparently they see some pretension in Inárritu's art, because different = pretentious).
However, I do have a few issues with the film: .Some of the character logic was consistently annoying and progressively got more unbearable as the run time continued. .There were at least a few scenes with some poorly dubbed dialogue which was hard to unnotice on repeated watches. So it may not have been the most immersive film ever but it's pro's most definitely make up for its flaws.
I would highly recommend this film as one of the better films from 2010 and I would also recommend picking it up on Blu-Ray like me, for it is one film that deserves to be experienced to it's highest potential.
It's hard to beat such a genius duo like the Coen Brothers, and this film really solidifies that fact. Next to Inside Llewyn Davis, No Country for Old Men is possibly my favourite Coen brothers film to date.
Now to give a little context on the Coens, they've made some great films, and they've made some not so great films *cough* *cough* Ladykillers *cough* *cough*. And No Country is one of the best. But, No Country is the most drastically separate film in the entire filmography, if you are not familiar with the Coens and want to start someone then I highly suggest checking something else out first.
The impressive use of little to no music combined with some of the most intense action scenes is more than enough proof that this film was nothing short of genius. Sounds such as shells from shotguns hitting the floor, the whistle of the wind through the leaves of a tree, the shutting of a door becomes the music.
All of the acting is fantastic. Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem are two of the most watchable enemy duos cinema has ever given us. The pacing is also fantastic; many people say that the lack of music rendered the film somewhat boring, but I'd say it made it all the more thrilling.
The Coens and Roger Deakins are also two of the best cinematic duos working today. In all fairness this whole film was just a film showing off some of the best cinematic duos.
aside from a few noticeable dubs this film was practically flawless and I highly recommend checking this film out as soon as you can.
The Hunt is one of the best films from 2012, to put it simply. Whilst the pacing does take a little while to develop at first, once it hits, it hits hard. Needless to say I was glued to the screen and refused to pull away.
I wont tell you the summery for the Hunt for you must have clicked on this film's page in order to get here, sop read it from there. But what I shall say is that this film has no where near the right amount of attention it deserves.
Whilst the story isn't so complex it requires your utmost attention (Unless you don't speak Danish then... well it does) but it is one that, come the end, does deserve some insight which I can tell will already have some shaking their heads, so in that, despite my love for this work of art, it's not for everyone.
Its riveting plot combined with its interesting and incredibly well defined characters makes for one hell of a film. I'm a naturally angry person, so take it from me when I say, this film got me more than angry... or at least, more angrier than I needed to be at 2 o'clock in the morning. The trip of emotions this film shall take you on will be one to remember, from pure hatred to pure anger, to relief, to satisfaction.
Mads Mikkelsen did a tremendous job of performing his character, I might even say it to be his best, accompanied by a pretty great child actor (Annika Wedderkopp). All of the acting was pretty solid and really brought this film to life.
The cinematography and the amazing soundtrack really flowed pretty much perfectly with one another, giving yet more life to an otherwise dark and dead toned film.
I do have a few issues however. One being how sometimes the character logic ranged from really annoying to unbearable in my opinion. Like apparently no one tries to convince anyone about anything until it's almost mandatory to further the plot. It really felt like the plot was being stretched there. The other issue being with Annika Wedderkopp. Like I said she did a pretty damn fine job but there were at least 5 times where she slipped up and became a little too unconvincing.
Anyway I'd go check this out if I were you for it is one of the best films from 2012 followed by my all time favourite film "Amour". Thomas Vinterberg, Bravo my friend, bravo.
So one of the reasons I try my hardest to ignore IMDb reviews is because they off times are written by people who can't see the bigger picture. If you give a damn about your cinema and how things are crafted then Eternal Sunshine is one of the best films for you.
Not only is the directing from Michel Gondry pretty solidified as rather fantastic, the writing from Charlie Kaufman is nothing short of perfection. He is currently my favourite screenwriter and closely turning into my favourite director (if his next film is above an 8/10 for me).
One of the things that stands out to me as perfect is not necessarily the dialogue (which is pretty great on its own) but the use of story telling. Now this isn't like Memento in which the the story telling was so subtle and unique in its structure as such, but more through the overall pacing. By this I mean there is extremely minimal exposition to guide you along the way, and where there is some, it's only there for a few seconds at that and I never feel cheated because it genuinely feels like the characters are talking to each other and not the audience. From this we are able to absorb all the information we need without being treated like we're 5 years old. Every second that flies a voice in my head just says "Oh, that's because this is happening".
The Pacing is great, the acting is stellar; most noticeably from the God that is Jim Carey, the characters are well defined and interesting and it is all crafted so wonderfully.
Everything that Charlie Kaufman has done, weather it be written or directed, is absolutely breathtaking (everything he has had some involvement with I consider to be a 10/10 if you check my ratings list) and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is my favourite of his.
I'm not saying you're an idiot if you don't like this film, I'm saying you're an idiot if you can't at least see some of the genius put into this film (again, I'm only emphasising my love for this film, you are not an idiot, don't worry).
If you like your cinema smart, funny, sweet, fast paced and just genuinely perfect, then this film is for you. So grab your pop-corn and your coke... and your cola (ayy) and get hyped because this film is genuinely one of the best films that I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing.