ChrisReynolds's comments - page 8

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ChrisReynolds

Solid, though generic, slasher. Despite a predictable and slow-moving storyline, some good direction and an excellent performance from Berdal help lift this above average.
9 years 6 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

Some impressive stunts, especially towards the end (with several tributes to Buster Keaton), but definitely not as good as the first Project A.
9 years 6 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

The bike chase and clocktower sequences are some of Chan's best work.
9 years 6 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

Excellent. Lots of symbolism and a very well-made film which twists and turns and looks beautiful, though the ending is a bit disappointing.
9 years 8 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

Good concept, but it needed to do more with the kids' imagination transforming the forest into a warzone than just give the kids real weaponry. The limited forest setting and variable acting made it feel repetitive at times. The change in tones is also a problem: it switches between attempts at comedy, a nostalgic Stand by me-esque examination of childhood friendships and attitudes (where it works best), and a dark Lord of the Flies tale. The sudden switches between lightheartedness and nastiness feel very uncomfortable at times.
9 years 8 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

I feel this would have worked as a mini-series where the characters could have been developed, the major events could have been given space to breathe and have a sense of time. As a film it has none of these and just felt disposable.
9 years 8 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

A solid thriller with good camerawork and lighting and some tense scenes. Robert Mitchum's performance is great, but Gregory Peck feels miscast: too stiff and reserved for a role where he has to become consumed by anger.
9 years 8 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

It's hugely ambitious, and Aronofsky is an accomplished visual stylist, but it's let down by a bad script that's full of clunky lines and has a strange structure where it redundantly repeats the same story in three time periods. Hence the big emotional moments didn't carry enough weight for me when they occurred and felt flat.
9 years 8 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

the found footage and superhero genres have both produced a lot of product recently, but this is one of the better ones from both categories. It shares some of the problems of the superhero genre in that it's too predictable and its SFX filled final act is the weakest, but it avoids two of the main problems of the found footage genre in that it's well-paced and has well-developed characters.
9 years 8 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

"Everybody's got something to do, everybody but youuuuu..."

The three films edited down to incomprehensibility here are:
Marilyn Alive and Behind Bars (1992) - the sanitarium story
The Dark Side to Love (1984) - the death club story
Cataclysm (1980) - the satan's minion story
9 years 8 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

Hamfisted and thin allegory that makes no sense even if you accept the sci-fi premise. It's not internally consistent and characters act in foolish and contradictory ways. That the film is stylish is pretty much all I can say.
9 years 8 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

Boyer does a wonderful job of making you hate him: he's truly one of the slimiest and most unpleasant of film noir villains. Brilliant performances and beautiful art direction and costumes, even if aspects of the plot stretch credulity.

Maybe this and the even better Double Indemnity split the Best Picture vote at the Oscars that year to allow Going my Way to win.
9 years 8 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

A rare misfire from Mike Leigh, though there's still a lot of things to like about it. The cinematography achieves some beautiful recreations of Turner's paintings, and there are some excellent performances, but a lot of the characters are caricatures and most importantly the film lacks a sense of connectivity and progression, so plays as a series of episodes from Turners life, and unfortunately becomes tedious in places.
9 years 8 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

I'm pretty sure a gorilla could write a more intelligent script.
9 years 8 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

It has the same premise as the first one, so if you've seen that you'll know if you're interested or not. For those new to the franchise, it's a showcase of short films from up-and-coming directors, and you get the upside of seeing a variety of work in different styles but the downside of a lack of overall control, where everybody's work has to be included no matter the quality, and too many directors just going for gross-out and shock value. I think I'd rate it about the same as the previous one: it has less really awful shorts but also a few less really good ones.

My rankings from best to worst:
A 7/10, ZDXMQ 6/10, HUKBVW 5/10, ROFCI 4/10, JTYELNG 3/10, SP 2/10.

About half of those are at least decent, but it does mean that the other half of the film is bad, and it's a much worse ratio than you'd get in a curated short film showcase. I should give a special mention to "A is for Amateur": it's a model for what these shorts can be, playing with expectations by using its letter of the alphabet to misdirect as to what the word is going to be, it's stylish, it's funny, it subverts expectations, and it's actually themed around death. Too many of the other shorts fulfil too few or none of these criteria.
9 years 8 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

I thought this was slightly better than the first one but a disappointment considering how good the Soskas' American Mary was. It tries to do something different by switching the sexes of a few of the standard slasher stereotypes, but the script is so generic in the first place, and lacks any sense of thought or logic, that it doesn't help much.
9 years 9 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

It shares with The Secret of Kells the basic concept of a young boy adventuring into the world of Celtic mythology, though here the backdrop is updated to the modern day. The film benefits from beautiful animation and design, blending simple animation techniques with CGI effects. With most animation being 3D CGI these days this gives a fresh feeling to the film, and continues the distinctive style used in The Secret of Kells. Where the film is less successful is the story: it takes a while to set up the main plot, and the quest narrative throws up encounters that aren't always engaging or particularly logical. It does all come to a reasonably satisfying conclusion and there is decent (though too obvious) use of the trope where the "real-world" events are parralleled by the fantasy narrative.
9 years 9 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

This film takes a real-life murder case and turns it into a version of Spike Jonze's Adaptation, focussing on a screenwriter (Daniel Bruhl) and his attempt to adapt the events into the film we're watching. Even setting aside the tastelessness of this, this creates two problems: firstly, focussing on the screenwriter removes the murder case to the status of a background event yet the film tries to have its cake and eat it by having Thomas do an investigation into the truth behind the murder. This aspect is impossible to care about and really half-baked. The investigation goes nowhere and eventually just gets dropped. Secondly it injects an air of self-satisfaction into the proceedings, it's impossible to watch this without feeling that the film is praising itself, with Thomas explaining how he's going to use the structure of Dante's Divine Comedy as a model for the screenplay. And despite being talked up and explained endlessly within the film, the Divine Comedy structure barely comes through at all. Thomas also comes across as unpleasant and hard to sympathise with, yet of course his talent is praised to the sky by the supporting characters, and he has no trouble bedding Kate Beckinsale and Cara Delevigne's characters. Despite all of the things going on the film still manages to be incredibly boring and throws in some dream sequence fakeouts in a very irritating attempt to liven things up.
9 years 9 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

Describing this film as exploring the sado-masochistic relationship of two lesbian entomologists in Eastern Europe almost makes it sound like a parody of an art-film, and film critics are going to be falling over themselves to show off how many influences they can recognise. It's not too heavy though; the only time it was too blatant was when Strickland recreates Brakhage's Mothlight. A lot of the time it does feel like Strickland is winking at the audience, though he saves the most obvious gags for the credits, often feeling like he's pastiching lesbian fetishism and 70s arcadian European films. On the one hand this is a strength of the film in that it lightens the mood and entertains, but I do feel as though it stopped the film from entirely drawing me in. The core of the film that examines the relationship is romantic, sweet and moving: about growing old and the demands lovers put on each other in a relationship. For a film about S&M it was a lot less explicit than I thought it would be: there's no nudity and the sex is all obscured or off-screen. The metaphorical parallels were less successful: the moths and entomology never truly feel like a successful metaphor or that they sufficiently enhance the story to justify the attention paid to them. It is an interesting and beautiful film and well worth your time.
9 years 9 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

With regards to the political leanings of this cartoon spoiler
9 years 9 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

This film contains one of the best creepy-sequence-followed-by-a-shock scenes ever made, some good performances and an often effective atmosphere. However it's also heavily compromised by studio meddling that forced Blatty to make cuts to the movie and insert more explicit call-backs to the original film. The major problems I have with the film: uneven pacing, scenes which don't make sense, a cheesy exorcism and the unnecessary switching back-and-forth of Brad Dourif and Jason Miller to play the same part are products of this interference, and I hope that a director's cut can be released at some point.

It's still a lot better than the insultingly bad Exorcist II, the events of which are ignored, although this film is actually careful not to outright contradict it.
9 years 9 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

I was really enjoying this as an intense thiller filled with twists up to the crappy ending where the writer just decides to paper over all the cracks and give the viewer a pat ending that isn't really justified. Still at least we had a lot of cool moments with Coster-Waldau while it lasted.
9 years 10 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

The books are great, but this film was repeatedly compromised during the scripting and editing phase to remove elements perceived to be anti-religious or unpalatable. So we end up with a film where people have unclear motivations, where the nature of the world is unconvincing, where there's little jeopardy and no ending. A bland product that looks good, but, like the people seperated from their daemons, is soulless.

And the religious right still didn't want to see an anti-religion film with all the anti-religion removed, so New Line lost money because they'd foolishly sold all the overseas rights.
9 years 10 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

Neill Blomkamp follows up District 9, an excellent and witty satire about immigration and intolerance with this, a completely boneheaded satire about immigration and intolerance. Filled with stupidity and desperate attempts to be cool and manipulative: mainly realised through the use of an level of slow motion that Michael Bay would deem excessive. Utterly charmless, and without a single character I cared about. Plus it has Jodie Foster giving easily the worst performance of her career.
9 years 10 months ago
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ChrisReynolds

A visually arresting, funny and fascinating documentary on an underground subculture. The conceit of having the interviewees wearing animal masks adds a Wicker Man-esque vibe to the whole thing and makes implicit parallels with pagan fertility rituals.
9 years 10 months ago

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