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A visually lavish film, the visuals in Prometheus never disappoint.
It’s just too bad. One one hand, Prometheus will be a victim of hype. There’s almost no way it could ever have lived up to the amount of anticipation that’s been fueling it for over a year. That said, Ridley Scott and writers John Spaihts and Damon Lindelof are the most at fault for what is essentially 2/3 of a good, possibly great film and 1/3 total fucking bullshit. A lot of people are saying that it’s the 3rd act that is weak and are blaming Lindelof for being unable to stick yet another landing with his non-existent, sequel-bait ending. I’d say that even though I’m somewhat facetiously dividing it in thirds myself, the problems start much earlier than the third act. Prometheus is a huge disappointment but there’s an extent to which we have to look in a mirror to find the source of that. Thankfully, this isn’t one of those movies where anyone’s ever going to be taken seriously for “you didn’t get it” defenses. There just isn’t that much to get. Prometheus is a beautiful film with some great ideas and decent performances, but it is also the kind of film that falls apart the more you think about it.
Fassbender continues to be the new Daniel Day-Lewis in yet another poignant character study from Steve McQueen.
Shame is a movie that gives little away, but invites you to sort of observe and potentially invest in the characterization of Brandon (Michael Fassbender), a sex-obsessed loner who may be quietly but violently experiencing a catharsis. Whether or not you interpret catharsis out of Brandon’s journey in this film is entirely left to you and honestly,Shame is the kind of experience where interpretations are all you’ve really got but there’s always enough to hang them on that the act of watching this film is constantly compelling.
What is to follow will largely be my interpretation of the film with some caveats given for stuff that is particularly interpretive. McQueen and co-writer Abi Morgan’s refusal to spell much of anything out might be off-putting for some but I’d encourage them to stick with it and pay attention to the little establishing details that tell us enough to haunt us.
Shame may not really be the type of movie that can be spoiled in the usual sense, but I’ll warn you all the same that I don’t plan to hold back about this one. It’s been out long enough anyway.
A Dangerous Method is sort of unfriendly to people who don’t have a significant amount of background knowledge about the people and the dynamics involved. I’m here to say that’s fine and well, though, since the film isn’t really so much about the specific events or details of Jung or Freud’s friendship and theories so much as it is about, and subtly so, their psychology. So a movie about psychologists which tends toward the psychological, pretty straightforward when you think about it that way. On that level, the film functions as an incredibly deft character study of Carl Jung that places its dramatic propulsion in the performances of the three leads and complete trusts the audience to read between the lines and find the psychology behind small scenes that might seem extraneous on the surface. In other words, A Dangerous Method is a movie for thinkers. Especially ones with an interest in human behavior and the more troubling questions of sexuality, repression, manipulation, etc. Read the rest of this entry »
Ah the illusive young-girl-coming-of-age movie.
I know, I know… I already put up a Friday Night Netflix today. Oh well, today you get two. I debated bothering with this movie but I guess I have some things to say about it so I might as well do it now while it’s fresh and not wait til next week when, depending on my mood, I’ll probably rather write about Breaking Upward or The Shape of Things. Fuck it, on to Fish Tank! Read the rest of this entry »
The obvious thing to get out of the way is that X-Men: First Class is the best of that particular franchise of movies. Easily. It is one of the best of the superhero movies period.
While people still tend to say X-Men United (the second one) is a really good movie, it pretty much isn’t. It’s better than the first one and that’s about all you can say for it. The X-Men trilogy without First Class added (and the less said about Wolverine the better) is mostly a cheesy mess with some superb casting, a few great performances and cool moments, and a seething well of missed opportunities and utter nonsense.
But this is not a review of those movies, let alone the entire franchise. Maybe that’ll come at another time but let’s take the focus back to First Class. Read the rest of this entry »