Posts Tagged ‘Sean Harris’

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Macbeth (Justin Kurzel, 2015)

November 10, 2015

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Like its eponymous character, Justin Kurzel’s adaptation of Macbeth is a film pulled in myriad directions for a sense of purpose. It is faithful to Shakespeare’s text in many ways, including period setting, but the film also cuts iconic moments (no “something wicked this way comes”) and reframes many a key scene with notably different staging. Macbeth keeps Shakespeare’s dialogue, but the stars will often deliver the lines at considerably more guttural and mumbling pitches than you’re likely to find on stage.

Kurzel’s film veers from being upfront and unapologetic about its protagonist’s gory rise to power in some sequences (something carried over from the director’s debut, Snowtown), but then dilutes other moments of violence with editorial embellishments that pull back from the horror. The combat sequences range from thrashing Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones-esque melee to slo-mo sword-swinging somewhat akin to 300 (which Macbeth star Michael Fassbender was actually in), thankfully minus the part where it looks like a computer vomited up bronzer…

Click for the full review for Vague Visages

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Serena (Susanne Bier, 2014)

March 29, 2015

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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

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Prometheus (Ridley Scott, 2012)

June 3, 2012

Originally written for Reel Time, now at Sound on Sight

This review contains no explicit narrative spoilers.

Prometheus is a hugely disappointing film on several levels. The first is in regards to its director Ridley Scott, never the most consistent filmmaker but one with an especially underwhelming track record since 2003’s pleasant Matchstick Men. Scott’s two legitimately stellar works, Alien and Blade Runner, were both science fiction efforts and his return to the genre after a 30 year break is not even half as successful as either of those films. The second source of disappointment is in regards to Prometheus as a prequel to Alien, being that, among its many expansions of that fictional universe, one narrative reveal towards its end effectively undoes one of the central appealing conceits of Scott’s original film: that theme of the Darwinian brand of survival of the fittest, revised in Prometheus by having knowing but elusive engineering bearing a primary influence. The third source of disappointment, and the most crucial, is that the film, regardless of its relation to its director’s filmography and an established fictional universe, is a wholly unsatisfying work in its own right. Read the rest of this entry ?