Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Lucky (2017) Review

Harry Dean Stanton's poetic send off "Lucky" is one of the most tranquil and meditative films of the year. Similar to Jim Jarmusch's Paterson in concept, yet more A Man Called Ove in execution, Lucky is a delightful little film with a whole lot to offer. Each frame of the film is perfectly crafted to give a touch of surrealist imagery and humor, and as well to set up and foreshadow several elements which will occur later on in the film. Same goes towards the production design, in which each element makes the film feel more tranquil and relaxed with every detail. Not to mention that the performances were fantastic. Harry Dean Stanton deserves a Posthumously Academy Award for this film. Each line and action from Harry, felt detailed and perfected to a tee. As Well, David Lynch had a hilarious short role in the film, in which he portrays an introverted turtle/tortoise fanatic. To quote Lynch's character in the film:

There are some things in this universe, ladies and gentlemen, that are bigger than all of us, And a tortoise is one of them!”

However, the film is flawed in some specific regards. First of all, there were several scenes which lacked a purpose and or meaning. These scenes which I'm referring too, usually happen in the Diner location in the film. Second, the pacing was a bit too degrading for the subject matter. Each scene in the film overstayed it's welcome, due to this problem. And Third, the sound mixing was a let down. I personally wished there was as much attention to detail in the auditory atmosphere, as there was in the visuals.

In Conclusion, Lucky is a terrific send off to a great actor. It's charming, sweet, and overall a good time. After watching the film, it made me appreciate the elders around my community a bit more, and gave me a larger sense of unity. There's a lot of great messages and themes throughout this film which I commend to every viewer. Just be warned that the pacing, is a bit too slow for the average viewer.

Rating: 7.4/10

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Monday, 11 September 2017

The Villainess Review

The Villaness is one hell of a ride. It pretty much has everything you want from a summer blockbuster:
-Red Hearings
-A Bad Ass Protaganist
-Sexual Tension
-Nicholas Winding Refn Lighting
-A Decent Yet Memorable Plot
-Good Acting
and a bit of Comedy.

However, it's far from great, and does have some flaws. First and for most, the ending pretty much ruined the film. The amazing build up was stellar in the first two acts, but when it got to the final act, it just felt lazy and just plain stupid. If you have seen the Villaness, you probably already know about the narrative continuity mistakes. Not only that, it ends on the cliche last shot evil grin thing (In which A Cure for Wellness did earlier this year.) As for technicalities, the cinematography, in almost all of the action scenes, felt extremely shaky. Basically it was on Paul Greengrass mode times 10 with a bit of First Person-Hardcore Henry like cinemetography. This got so annoying to the point I couldn't even understand what was going on screen. To finish off the negative, the musical score was nothing new. Just a plain, boring, action score.

The Villaness was a lot of fun, despite it's flaws. I would recommend seeing it in a cinema, just as long as you don't take the ending so seriously. Bring your friends, maybe some alcohol, and you'll have a pretty damn great time.


Trophy Review

Even though Trophy is jam packed with great insight and information, it lacks in having an identity. This Sundance winner has gotten the attention of several different critics, including myself, when the trailer dropped. It look dark, mysterious, yet intelligent in it's own regard. Information wise, the film delivered in all fronts. I learn't plenty about the legalities and sustainability of poaching. However, the film is both edited and directed without any flare. The film is quite stale when looking at it from a film making point of view, to the point that it got quite boring and redundant. It did have some nice shots and composition here and there, yet it still lacked in the directing department. Trophy could have been an extremely emotional ride. But, because of the lack of overall visual storytelling flare, it just became an informative, yet dreadful two hours.


Thursday, 24 August 2017

Ingrid Goes West Review

Ingrid Goes West is by far the most complex yet hilarious film I've seen all year. Matt Spicer has created a perfect blend of satire and Hitchcockian thriller, to create an entertaining yet thought provoking film. Each performance is on point, including but not limited too Aubrey Plaza. This is easily Plaza's best role yet, in which she plays a disturbed stalker, who befriends an Instagram Influencer. Not to mention the supporting cast of Elizabeth Olsen, Billy Magnussen, and O'Shea Jackson Jr, in which they portray exaggerated, yet realistic portrayal of several different millennials. As well, the cinematography helped the performances by blending a neon-esque color pallet, to set up the tone. My only complaint with Ingrid Goes West is the redundancy of the score. At times, the musical score felt like it was on loop, and dragged the pacing of the film. Overall, Ingrid Goes West is a smartly written, well edited, star studded film with plenty of discussion worthy material after you view the film. Don't miss it!


The 18th Animation Show of Shows

Just before I start, every year, I go to the biggest animation festival in North America, which is known as the OIAF. I see over 100 animated short films, which either sensationalize my inner film pallet, or is revolting, in all the sense of the word. Most of the time (like 95% of the time), I see brand new and fresh animated short films. With that said, The 18th Animation Show of Shows does NOT present the very best of animation. The 18th Animation Show of Shows is nothing more then a decent selection of some of the most commercially successful animated films from the last two years. Most of the short films range from meh to alright (with some exceptions of course.) Because it is difficult to judge a compilation, I'll be ranking each short films from least to greatest with my own personal opinion attached to said ranking:
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16. Shift: a terribly executed mess of a student film, overall thematic tone and characterization is all over the place 4.2/10

15. All Their Shades: Similar to Shift, the overall thematic message comes at the last couple seconds, making it feel more propaganda piece then thought provoking art 4.5/10

14. Corpus: Well animated, yet could of used more substance to tell a much more concise plot 5.2/10

13.  Crin-Crin: A charming, yet terribly directed film, in which the film makers can't decide to go fully animated or a live action music video 5.5/10

12. Blue: Well animated, but it didn't really connect with me on a personal and emotional level 6/10

11. Waiting for the New Year: A tranquil yet forgettable piece of art 6/10

10.  Afternoon Class: Well made and crafted, yet missed the mark in being anything more then good 6.3/10

9. Pearl: Works better as a virtual reality experience then a short film, yet still has some artistic merits in the final cut of the short film 6.4/10

8. Mirror: A beautiful piece of commissioned animation, which feels neither exploitative nor abhorrently commercial 6.7/10

7: Stems: A magnificent tribute to stop motion animation 6.8/10

6.  Last Summer in the Garden: A short film structured like a poem, smooth and well crafted with each stanza  7.5/10

5. Manoman: The definition of a messed-up fever dream, filled with social political commentary on mental illness 7.5/10

4. About a Mother: A simple yet highly re-watchable tribute to old folk tales and art designs 7.8/10

3. Inner Workings: A charming short film with hilarious hi-jinks and a great core message 8.4/10

Piper: Similar to Inner Workings, Piper delivers in almost every regard 8.8/10
Exploozy: A great work of satire, with delightful jokes and animation 8.8/10

1. The Boyg: One of the most beautiful pieces of experimental art that has ever been crafted. The overall concept and origin behind this short film is astonishing and a sight to behold 9/10

In general, I recommend seeing short films 6-1. Everything else is either good or meh. If your going to see this, I do recommend seeing it on the big screen. Each animator, no matter the project, worked hard on their respective pieces. I'm just not too big of a fan with this short film collection

Saturday, 19 August 2017

The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography Review

The B-Side, in no way shape or form, is Errol Morris's best work. In fact, it may be one of his weakest, which isn't saying much mainly because his wide filmography of documentary and film has been mainly great, or at the least satisfactory. From The Thin Blue Line to A Brief History of Time, his work is quite expansive in variety. This variety can be seen in The B-Side. The B-Side is pretty much a standard one hour and sixteen minute discussion with one of america's most famed photographers. It's interesting, and at times thought provoking to see Elsa's craftsmanship at play. The problem with the B-Side, is that there's nothing all the inventive about it. For example, in The Thin Blue Line, Errol created several different brand new inventive concepts to present his subject. In this, it just feels visually and tonally redundant. However, it's technicalities are well done. The cinematography is nicely polished, and the original score is one of the best I've heard all year. The B-Side is just a standard, yet delightful documentary.

Rating: 6.8/10
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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The Little Hours Review

The Little Hours is one of the rare exceptions when it comes to crude comedies. The Little Hours is a big delight. It's sense of humor is always top notch, from hilarious social satire, to random odd childish humor. The performances from all members of the cast, were all perfectly chosen for there respective parts. Aubrey Plaza plays a snarky nymphomaniac, Kate Micucci plays a shy yet jealous nun who enjoys spying on her peers, and John C Riley plays a pastor/priest who is incapable of keeping his convent afloat. Even though the script feels of bit rushed, and the dialogue doesn't resemble at all old English dialect, the overall directing and tone of the film makes it a good time, due to it's musical score, production design, costumes, and performances. Overall, this is a fun time, if your into intelligent yet raunchy comedies.

Rating: 7.3/10