Posts Tagged ‘Sound on Sight’

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Sordid Cinema #95: ‘It Follows’

April 25, 2015

It-Follows

I’m on the latest episode of the Sordid Cinema podcast, discussing, with Ricky D and Simon Howell, David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows.

Stream the episode here.
Alternatively, you can download the episode or subscribe to the podcast by looking up Sound On Sight/Sordid Cinema on iTunes.

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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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White God (Kornél Mundruczó, 2014)

March 28, 2015

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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

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GFF 2015: Theeb (Naji Abu Nowar, 2014)

February 28, 2015

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Echoes of Rudyard Kipling adventure yarns and Hollywood’s more pessimistic classic Westerns permeate Theeb, the directorial debut of Jordan-based filmmaker Naji Abu Nowar, whose film was also shot in that region and features non-professional actors from one of Jordan’s last nomadic Bedouin tribes to settle down…

Click for the full review for Sound On Sight

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GFF 2015: The Little Death (Josh Lawson, 2014)

February 22, 2015

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The Little Death is an Australian comedy concerning five hetero couples (or potential couple in one case), whose relationships become defined by their fetishes. Though the lives of some of these characters intertwine through the setup of them living in the same neighbourhood, the film is more anthology feature than network narrative in that the stories basically act as shorts that we jump in and out of for 95 minutes – and one of them runs uninterrupted for the final 20. Writer-director Josh Lawson even introduces each plot thread with a title card akin to what you might find in a more traditional anthology feature. This isn’t so much The ABCs of Sex, but the title of recent Argentinean anthology Wild Tales wouldn’t be out of place if re-applied to The Little Death.

Lawson definitely tries to be wild, anyway. His film is relatively experimental in terms of its structure and theoretically risqué in content, but a lot of it plays more like rote sitcom than scathing taboo breaker. The characters are all white and middle class, many of the punch-lines are too obviously telegraphed, a couple of performers deliver lines like they’re expecting a laugh track to follow, and the film ultimately feels too cutesy even during its nastier diversions. To riff again on another movie title, it’s almost like Richard Curtis’ Fuck Actually

Click for the full review for Sound On Sight

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Mortdecai (David Koepp, 2015)

January 25, 2015

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Seemingly late in the game of David Koepp’s Mortdecai, the eponymous character (played by Johnny Depp) asks his wife, “Are you quite finished with your barrage of insults?” It’s an apt question for the film itself, a cataclysmically unfunny, unbelievably tedious disaster of baffling misjudgments and multiple career lows that feels as long as Shoah, and only a little less harrowing. No such luck, though, as the film goes on for another 25 minutes. It then ends on people about to throw up. Also apt…

Click for the full review for Sound On Sight

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Paddington (Paul King, 2014)

January 17, 2015

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A big screen, CG-assisted adaptation of Michael Bond’s beloved Paddington Bear book series could have gone so horribly wrong, becoming yet another offender in the line-up of pandering kids-aimed film atrocities like Yogi Bear, Garfield, and The Smurfs. Thankfully made with clear love for the material and smart execution from writer-director Paul King, Paddington is instead a welcome breath of fresh air in a family film market that, a couple of key talents aside, is increasingly built on too easy, self-aware smugness (the Shrek influence), garish excess, and empty, cheap laughs. Its producer, David Heyman, spearheaded the Harry Potter franchise, and Paddington is the best live-action family film since the highs of that series. And it may well be better than all of them…

Click for the full review for Sound On Sight