Archive for March, 2015


My Month in Films: March 2015

March 31, 2015


27 films, 19 first time viewings

Best first time viewings
1. Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Andersen, 2003, USA)
2. Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains (Lou Adler, 1982, USA)
3. The Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland, 2014, UK)
4. It’s Such a Beautiful Day (Don Hertzfeldt, 2012, USA)
5. The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (Isao Takahata, 2013, Japan)
6. Mommy (Xavier Dolan, 2014, Canada)
7. Cleopatra (Cecil B. DeMille, 1934, USA)
8. Kumiko the Treasure Hunter (David Zellner, 2014, USA)


Best rewatches
The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982, USA)
Hard Boiled (John Woo, 1992, Hong Kong)
Cleo from 5 to 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962, France/Italy)

Serena (Susanne Bier, 2014, USA/France/Czech Republic, 2014)
2 Fast 2 Furious (John Singleton, 2003, USA/Germany)

Slugs: The Movie (Juan Piquer Simón, 1988, Spain/USA)


Serena (Susanne Bier, 2014)

March 29, 2015


Based on a bestselling novel by Ron Rash, Serena, as brought to the screen by director Susanne Bier and screenwriter Christopher Kyle, feels like a husk of an adaptation even to one completely unfamiliar with the source material. It’s the sort of film that, at least in the form prepped for theatrical release, makes one inclined to believe its makers have completely lost the ability to tell a story. And it’s not like that ever seems like a deliberate stylistic choice, with Bier actually focusing on some thematic flourish off on the sidelines. Serena is always focused on its plot. Its perpetually rushed, choppily told, borderline confusing plot…

Click for the full review for Sound On Sight


White God (Kornél Mundruczó, 2014)

March 28, 2015


Kornél Mundruczó’s White God does for Budapest canines what Rise of the Planet of the Apes did for San Francisco simians. Instead of Caesar the ape, White God has Hagen the dog, who endures various means of suffering at the hands of human abusers before leading an animal uprising of his own. That plot point isn’t exactly a third act spoiler, as White God has an in medias res opening wherein Hagen and hundreds of dogs pelt through abandoned city streets, seemingly chasing a girl on a bicycle; the reveal is also the main image being used to advertise the film, so you might also draw a comparison to the Apes series there (“Statue of Liberty… that was our planet!”). It’s certainly an immediate attention-grabber, but it’s a ploy that undermines the power of that eventual climactic turn into ‘caninepocalypse’ mode. It’s not the only thing in the film undermined by the execution…

Click for the full review for Sound On Sight


The Voices (Marjane Satrapi, 2014)

March 17, 2015

There’s an unwritten rule that has been present throughout filmmaking history: when making a movie in which an insane Ryan Reynolds talks to a sour Scottish-accented cat that encourages him to kill people and a comparatively angelic dog that suggests he do the opposite, go all the way or go away. Either fully commit to the horror-comedy trappings of the premise at hand, or, if feeling particularly brave, forge a drama regarding the mental health issue of hearing and being influenced by disembodied voices. Merging the two tones is a trick few people can pull off. With the disastrous The Voices, graphic-novelist-turned-director Marjane Satrapi demonstrates she is not one of those people…

Click for the full review for The Skinny


My Month in Films: February 2015

March 2, 2015


37 films, 34 first time viewings

Best first time viewings
1. Eden (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2014, France)
2. Inherent Vice (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2014, USA)
3. Autumn Sonata (Ingmar Bergman, 1978, Sweden/France/West Germany)
4. Ex Machina (Alex Garland, 2015, UK)
5. Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014, France/Switzerland/Germany/USA/Belgium)
6. Spring (Justin Benson/Aaron Moorhead, 2014, USA)
7. It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014, USA)
8. Blackhat (Michael Mann, 2014, USA)
9. While We’re Young (Noah Baumbach, 2014, USA)
10. Force Majeure (Ruben Östlund, 2014, Sweden/France/Norway) Read the rest of this entry ?