David Ayer writes and directs this action drama set towards the end of WWII. I haven’t been a fan of Ayer in the past but this is his most promising piece of work. It’s not perfect, and some parts do feel as though a Film Studies student at university is attempting to remake Saving Private Ryan, but overall it is a solid film that balances action and drama in an acceptable manner. If anything I would argue that this film is unimportant; it was worth a watch but doesn’t hold up as anything significant or groundbreaking.
I confess myself disappointed. When I first watched The Raid I was taken back by how fantastic it was; I loved it. What happened with the sequel? It seems like both the style and the substance were drained out, not completely, but a rather high percentage, leaving us with this deflated balloon of a film. I know it’s a larger scale and it was ambitious but I just didn’t like it. I liked The Raid because it was simplicity mastered perfectly. This is a large scale film not done particularly well. It’s not totally awful, but it is massively flawed.
It’s surprising that such a tedious film can be so infuriating. If John Green wants to write appalling literature then fine, but keep it off the cinema screen. To say this film is bad understates just how foul and self indulgent it is. Quite simply, it’s one of the most sickeningly badly written films I’ve ever seen. Not only are the characters dull and irritating, but the screenplay is nauseatingly poor, lacking both drama and comedy. It’s like a hipster comedy and a self-help guide fucked and gave birth to mutated piece of paper with this film printed on it.
As someone that loves science fiction I confess myself disappointed with this film. I like the premise and the different themes that it explores, but what’s poor is the delivery. What I don’t like is the convenience of plot points to move us along, stereotypical characters, and a screenplay that even Morgan Freeman couldn’t make sound interesting. Some parts are intriguing and capture some interest but as a whole the film was a disappointment. And with Luc Besson as writer and director it just proves that he has rather lost his touch since Leon. Think of it as Limitless reworked.
As far as big blockbuster films goes, this is not the worst you’ll see. It’s quite flimsy in places and the plot becomes all too predictable, but I rather liked it. It was the sort of film I wasn’t constantly analysing throughout, I could just sit down and enjoy it. It asks some important questions and is paced well enough to aid character development so it wasn’t all that bad. The visuals are still very good, with Andy Serkis’ performance holding the film together at its core. There are countless flaws and plot holes, but it could’ve been much worse.
Lenny Abrahamson directs the big screen adaptation of Jon Ronson’s novel of the same name, an obscure comedy that is an odd but enjoyable experience. The film is held together by the central performance from Michael Fassbender as the titular character, who really throws himself head first (pardon the pun) into this complex and somewhat scary character. It’s an interesting look into experimental music, mental health issues, and the idea of becoming famous on your own terms, and I have to admit I thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s well written with a great soundtrack; the true underdog of last year’s comedies.
Terry Gilliam returns as director with this obscure sci fi centered around a theorem, which if solved, proves all of exist is worth nothing. It’s an interesting concept and as we would expect the visual style is very impressive, however it did not feel as good as it could have been. I absolutely love Terry Gilliam and so I still enjoyed this film thoroughly, mainly because it was interesting. If I’m going to see a quirky and intellectually perplexing film that asks philosophical questions without holding together properly, it would have to be made by a genius like Terry Gilliam.
A perfect example of how bad a sequel can be in comparison to the first film. We all know the original, we all love the original, so can someone please explain to me what happened? It feels like a film that is compiled of unused footage from the original that’s stitched together to make a vague plot that doesn’t interest anyone or add to a bigger picture. Some elements are half decent, but ultimately it feels too forced and is trying to cling onto the style of the original, with no success. Not Mr Rodriguez’s finest moment I’m afraid.
Woody Allen continues with his impressive and consistent flow of work with his latest feature starring Colin Firth and Emma Stone. Having made some of the best films of all time (Annie Hall, Midnight in Paris etc) it is easy for Allen’s now yearly films to fall into mediocrity, which is ultimately the case here, but that does not mean the film is without merit. It’s interesting to see such a different romance film that asks if love can transcend our beliefs, whilst presenting charming characters in an intriguing historical context. It’s not groundbreaking, but it is lighthearted fun.
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.