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Good Time was everything I wanted it to be and more. I found it to be incredibly intense and gripping while also being extremely overwhelming, as it was intended and as it should be. It reminded me a lot of Requiem for a Dream in its insistence to not let the viewer take a moment to breathe or gather their thoughts. On a superficial level it works because it's filled with adrenaline that not many films carry and that allows it to be thrilling and entertaining. More importantly, however, it succeeds on a deeper level by showing the way a person can incite an endless cycle of depravity and corruption that manages to affect the lives of so many other people. Beyond the initial thrills and the aesthetically-pleasing elements (like its score, which is so effectively used to create the environment that the characters live in), the film manages to write its characters with incredible care and surprising nuance. It's one of the best recent examples of the crime film that I've seen, one that is completely unafraid of showing you the ugliness of it all. And did I mention that Robert Pattinson is amazing in this? He's shown himself to be quite talented, most notably in The Rover with Guy Pearce. He's worthy of a lead role like this and he's flawless, his final scene being the perfect demonstration of his abilities.
This isn't a perfect film by any stretch. It seems to stall quite a bit in its middle act, sometimes feeling like all it's doing is biding time until the third act. Still, the wonderful performances at the core keep it interesting. Rooney Mara is fascinating at internal characters like this and it's no wonder that she is perfection here. We get to feel the longing, pain, and echo of her memories in her glances throughout the film. It's a performance that relies on someone who is naturally gifted in conveying emotions under the surface and Mara is up to the task. This is definitely a film that is to be recommended.
Thoughts on Two Lovers? I've got to say, I was a bit disappointed. It's pretty good and there's nothing actually bad about it, but it's all a little too safe and it's all a little too predictable. At no point are any of the turns in the story surprising. On one hand the characters and dramatic moments do ring true (even the ending, which may not be what we want because it's pretty depressing in its implications but rings true to the lead character), but it just lacks a certain bite that a film like this needed to have. However, it's still an interesting film and Joaquin Phoenix and Gwyneth Paltrow are very good with the material they are given, particularly the former.
I've always had problems with Nolan. He uses too much exposition, it feels like he makes things overly complicated for pretense, and he just seems to overstuff his films with more and more (the last film that didn't suffer from this was Memento). Here, he finally makes a film that seems to go out of its way to not touch on any of those things. The premise is simple and we are out in the middle of various characters at wartime. Many scenes go on without dialogue. Further, this is one of his shortest films, definitely in quite a long time. I don't think it's a perfect film (sometimes the mostly effective score seems a bit much and at times the film would benefit from not jumping back and forth between story lines). However, the more simple approach taken here actually elevates his characters to become actual human beings rather than thematic symbols, which is also something that he has suffered from in the past. It's not an overly emotional film at all, but I found myself more emotionally invested in these characters than I have in previous films. The ending montage seems like it was a bit overdirected, but other than that I left the theater feeling quite satisfied. only time will tell how my feelings change (and with Nolan films, many times they do).
The premise of this film surely does it no favors. It sounds very much like a standard type of narrative when it's actually not. The way the film progresses in unexpected ways and it never feels forced or contrived. The performances are a testament to how natural it feels, but the screenplay is quite strong as well. Tracy Letts and Debra Winger are both very resonant and vulnerable when they need to be and they hit the various notes of the film in a pitch perfect way throughout. Someone else might have made this a complete melodrama and overblown but the film is anything but. This is highly recommended.
"Love is timeless. Love knows no bounds." A Ghost Story gives new
meaning to those phrases and really makes them count.
I had high expectations for the film and it managed to surpass them. It went beyond what I initially assumed would be its premise. It's a beautiful, poetic tale of love and the way that the connections we make throughout our lives can shape us. It's really mostly a silent film but the mesmerizing cinematography and the delicate, ethereal directing really help make this gem some sort of masterpiece. Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck aren't given a lot of dialogue but they're perfect in these roles. They're both two incredibly talented actors who are at their best playing internal characters and here they completely inhabit the meditative nature of the roles. If anything this deserves even greater attention than it has gotten.
I'm not a big fan of Marvel films. I've liked a few of them, and none of them have been outright terrible, but they're mostly just average and nothing to write home about. I think Spiderman: Homecoming feels so fresh because it isn't concerned with the usual "save the world" plot that many of these films are. It's incredibly grounded and what it has going for it is a lot of relatable, actually funny humor centered around Peter Parker's life as a teenager. More than anything that is what the film gets right: the tone of high school. The action sequences in this are well done but none of them bog down the film's true heart. This is pretty much everything the film needed to be.
No doubt this may end up being the studio surprise of the year. It's not difficult to think of Drive when watching this. Just like Drive, its opening car chase scene and the subsequent credits opening are simply fantastic and set the mood for the entire thing. The real star of this film is Edgar Wright, who I haven't seen show this much directing flair and skill in quite a while, if not his entire career. This may truly be his best film yet. The screenplay is quite good and does a nice job with these characters, but it's everything else that seems to really bang. Elgort is so fantastic that you forget how unlikable his real life persona is. This is a fantastic film that should no doubt be recommended.
As far as documentaries go, there have been more substantial and significant, affecting ones that have come out about artists' work. However, considering that David Lynch is one of the most enigmatic directors who fully represent and defy what art means, of course any film revolved around him would get the job done. This film takes a pretty simplistic approach in examining him and it's a collection of stories he gives about his childhood, but they're all worth it. This would be a fascinating documentary for any die-hard fan as well as any other film buff in general. Definitely recommended.
I'm going to try to be very delicate with expressing my following
(strong) opinion because it seems like the film has quite a lot of fans
on here, but watching The Beguiled was the most surprising film
experience I've had in years. I'm surprised anyone would even think of
remaking it, I'm even more surprised that someone is Sofia Coppola, and
I'm most surprised its gotten favorable reviews and any positive
When I watch a film I think is good or successful in some way, I don't necessarily think back to its themes or what it was trying to tell me. I feel it and it doesn't need to be something explicit I check off. But it's definitely noticeable when you feel absolutely nothing for a film. I am utterly at a loss as to what the point of The Beguiled was. What was it trying to say? What were its themes? Jessica Chastain's comment at Cannes must have been directed towards this in particular, because it proves that a film starring several women does not mean it has any feminist themes whatsoever. The Beguiled comes across as very hateful and sexist in general, painting no gender in any positive light and definitely portraying women in a very negative way. It's a period film, sure, but what was its intention? What was it trying to say? Did it really just go over my head? As far as I'm concerned, it's absolute trash. Not only is it problematic, the filmmaking isn't even that good either. There are some nice shots here and there, but much of the cinematography is awkward and unambitious and the editing pretty disjointed. As for the performances? Colin Farrell was pretty terrible in the third act, and while Dunst, Fanning, and Kidman weren't bad, their characters didn't allow them to be anything of note. I am particularly shocked at the buzz for Kidman. She did absolutely nothing of worth.
I'm not asking for a film to be explicit in its themes or character intentions. This film wasn't even ambiguous in any sort of way. The character arcs (if you can call them that) were wholly unsatisfying. 90 minutes later and I still wasn't sure who these people were. More than anything, the film didn't know what it wanted to be. If it wanted to be an art-house drama, it failed. At least had it become an entirely trashy thriller it may have been more enjoyable. The filmmaking is mediocre, the storyline dull, and the implications very problematic.
Since I know there are people who liked it, I really am just wondering if anyone would be kind enough to post why they liked it. What did I miss? How was this film even conceived and remade? What was its point? I haven't been so surprised and disappointed by a film in years, and it's shocking to me that this was made by the same person that made The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation. I guess I am more inclined than ever to read its positive reviews. More than wondering how anyone could find it enjoyable and all that (which is a very subjective opinion), I really want to understand how this could be anything other than completely sexist.
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