Jonathan Glazer directs this delicate science fiction film that divided audiences. Personally I thought it was incredible, a really gritty and interesting film that explores issues around gender and identity, whilst providing a twisted narrative. There’s much debate over which parts of the film were planned and which were genuinely improvised interactions with random members of the public, but this adds to how haunting and mysterious the film is. The cinematography is beautiful, with shots of the natural world juxtaposed with shots of city landscapes, which are both accompanied by the score from Mica Levi which is utterly perfect.
Modern horror just found its masterpiece. Jennifer Kent’s first film is absolutely phenomenal and shows that she is a force to be reckoned with as a director and a writer. This isn’t the usual cliched splattering of jump scares and gore, it is a genuinely scary film that crawls under your skin and makes every hair stand on end. It goes back to basic visual effects and uses a fantastically written screenplay to develop characters and inject substance into the narrative. In the waves of useless horror projects this film stands out as one of the best of our time.
It may have been overlooked by the Academy and passed many people by, but I rather liked it. A delicate and slower paced film from The Coen Brothers who apply their humourous writing and unique directing style appropriately to the sixties folk music scene. The main character isn’t particularly likable but Oscar Isaac does a terrific job of playing him, and his singing voice is also very impressive. I had to watch this a couple of times before I fully enjoyed it and it isn’t one of the Coens’ best, but it is still an enjoyable and unique experience.
Hayao Miyazaki returns for his last film, one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. An animation that is not necessarily for children, but instead stands as the mature conclusion to Miyazaki’s catalogue. Based partially on true events The Wind Rises is placed in an interesting historical context which includes natural disasters, an oncoming war, and the inspiring determination of a young man following his dreams. It may be a more mature subject but it still has the imaginative and experimental flare of Miyazaki’s previous work. Both heartbreaking and moving, this exceptional film makes grown men cry.
As blockbusters go, this is one of the best you’ll see. There are ultimately plot holes, and points in which the film does feel a bit silly, but it does hold together in a solid structure and makes for an entertaining experience. Living legend Guillermo Del Toro sits in the directors chair and so the film is visually stunning with some fantastic creatures and pieces of technology that add to his beautiful back catalogue of creations. If you are to see a big blockbuster that features giant machines trampling through cities, this is the best of the bunch. Not Transformers.
Not since Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin have I been so bored by a comic book film. Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man is an annoying, cocky little shit who diverts so far away from the comic books and makes me wish that one of the three flimsy villains will win and make the film end sooner. At nearly two and a half hours long with appalling visual effects, poor directing and an awful screenplay this stands as one of the most ill disciplined Marvel films of recent years, and joins Gavin Hood’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine as one of the worst.