While We’re Young – Review (2014)

I probably should be reviewing Noah Baumbach’s newest film, Mistress America, but I saw this one recently and do plan to watch the latter! so stay tuned for that review.

Noah Baumbach is a director I am gaining interest in these days, being a friend and collaborator of Wes Anderson, it’s easy to see how they connect in their film making, the looks are different but a lot of the humour and atmosphere is the same. In addition there are many similarities in humour with Whit Stillman (Recently watched Metropolitan,1990) This type of humour and style of filmmaking, amongst the three (I don’t know any other directors like this? let me know of them please in comments!) can sometimes come across pretentious? or even too dry,with the characters not able to carry a lack of a plot. Also the lack of people of colour, is kind of disappointing, these are very male white directors and you can see that in their work. *Not saying I don’t enjoy their films.

However I watched Frances Ha, and that is one of my favourite films. I really loved that film, so I was kind of pumped for this one, with the pairing of Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts and its seemingly great story line. What started off fresh and promising , soon became… dull and disappointing by the end. This is very much down to personal preference, but the film didn’t go in the direction i would of thought it obviously could go down. Instead it went down a strange boring path that made the characters not so likeable, and hard to connect with. The annoying guy from GIRLS was in it and for some reason he just annoys me. I got what the film was trying to say, and while this film is supposed to be centred around a couple, i found it focusing on Ben Stiller and ignoring Naomi Watt’s characters goals in life, she becomes less important which I think is unfair, the female characters don’t get beyond a certain point, while the male characters become fully developed with their, hopes dreams and fears. The reason I have a problem with this is because it sets them up the go on the journey equally together but fails to do this throughout.

The ending was disappointing but also quite good? I thought a story about a couple who didn’t want kids would be stronger, but obviously the ending made sense with the dialogue throughout the film that told us that they had tried but had difficulty conceiving/miscarriages . SPOILERS: Their decision to adopt is fine… but I found their choice of baby to be so stereotypical of rich white celebrities, I didn’t know wether this bit was supposed to be a satire or serious… but the last scene was good in its message of how the characters felt.

I don’t really know what to make of this film, i felt overwhelmed in the end, felt there was something missing.

Ex Machina – Review (2015)

Written and Directed by Alex Garland (his directorial debut!) the film is about:

A young programmer who is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking female A.I.

An A.I. film like never before, not action packed but a small, almost hitchcockian suspense thriller/drama that holds grand ideas in its simple framework. A relatively low key cast but with incredible acting talent Caleb (Domhall Glesson, who I recently fell in love with) is our main character who we follow. He is joined by co stars Oscar Issac and Alicia Vikander who play their parts perfectly, behind each performance is so much unsaid about that character, their past seeps into their current performance, creating a wave of mystery throughout the whole film.

I can see how many people who go into this movie expecting something like Will Smiths I,Robot etc and thus come out disappointed there were no explosions, however go into this film thinking more of HAL from 2001. I know i’m all about interpretations, but this is where a lot of audiences come out of films frustrated… because the forget to see cinema/film as an ART form. Film is not JUST pure 2D fast entertainment , a lot of people, myself included make films to say something about something! of course these types of films can be entertaing too and they can also just be art for arts sake, not having to say anything important AT ALL. But for me, i came away not knowing what to think at all about what I just watched, a bit of a shocking ending, I had to read up more about it to really understand it. And I must say when you do this you will gain a good appreciation for this film. It reminds me of Under the Skin a bit, in terms of the female perspective.

Ex Machina, follow suit in recent Sci-fi films, such as HER(2013)that delve into the relationships between humans and AI, this theme is really taking off. Besides from  the futuristic simplicity, these films show a future that is more of a Utopia, than a dystopia like past films such as Blade Runner(1982) or Brazil(1985) Instead, exteriors are rosy, but the internal human relationships are what are crumbling and coming to an end. Even now the same argument is used with phones! A great shift in Sci-fi films is really interesting, If you like these kinds of human-A.I relationship themes check out an episode of Black Mirror which explores these again but genders are reversed.

All in all, go check this film out!

The Film Tag!

I thought it would be fun to do this, so you guys can see my preferences etc 🙂

1.What is your favourite film of all time?

This question is unfair to any cinephile! But I always answer with the following:

This film has the 80’s, the brat pack, stellar music and pure nostalgia for me!

Some other notable mentions: Amelie, A Brief Encounter, When Harry Met Sally, The Shinning, The Exorcist, Metropolis, and SO MANY MORE.

2.What is your favourite scene from that film?

There are so many!! like the whole film is my favourite, can’t forget that iconic ending though..

3. Who is your favourite actor and actress?

I really like French actresses so,

  • Marion Cotillard

  • Audrey Tautou

*Juliette Binoche too, and pretty much ALL old hollywood actresses.

ACTORS:

Heath Ledger before her left us 😦

Michael Fassbender

Ralph Fiennes

*James Mcavoy is really good too…

4. What was the first film you saw in the cinema?

Bugs Life… from what i remember 

5. Favourite director?

Stanley Kubrick!

6. Favourite guilty pleasure film?

Grease is the one!

7. What is a film you hate that everyone loves?

This is hard to answer… The Fault in our Stars? maybe? OR Magic Mike? Either way I don’t like em.

8. What is a film you love that everyone hates?

Only God Forgives, this film got such a bad reception, but I LOVED it.

9. Which actor/actress do you have a crush on?

Leonardo DiCaprio, & River Phoenix..

and James Dean, Montgomery Clift, 80’sEric Stolz and James Spader, and Benedict Cumberbatch .. SO MANY.

10. What is your favourite animated film?

Spritied Away! it really is perfect.

Other mentions though:, Anastasia, the Lion King and Lady and the Tramp.

11. Who is your favourite film villain?

Scar, i mean he’s so sassy.

And I can’t forget The Joker

12. One remake you wish had never been made.

WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACOTRY. no thanks.

13. Favourite film genre?

HORROR mwuahaha

OR simply a psychological thriller 😉

14. Ever walked out of a film?

Not for reasons of unenjoyment.

ANND that is it! thanks for reading, if you decide to do this tag, link me so I can read yours 🙂

Classic Review – Paris is Burning (1980)

This Documentary is going in my top 5.

Classic reviews are my favourite to write up because, 1. who doesn’t love a classic, and 2. I get to pick one i really love to write and share about. This one I watched recently on Netflix, go check out!! and I was blown away at how this little documentary packs so much in it. We see a culture that probably for the firs time when this was released was relevantly unknown to the wider average joe audience. We an authentic 80’s New York, it reminds me of Koyaanisqatsi, another favourite of mine, in that it captures the now, something that cannot be repeated. This is what makes it a classic.

The documentary shows an array of lively characters, their dreams and hopes and opinions, all the while showing their culture that they live in. Specifically the ball culture of the 80s in New York. Watching this film, it’s amazing to see how much of the underground culture the gay community has crafted now bleeds into the mainstream and is very much now in the open. With programs such as a Rupal’s Drag Race, what was once relatively unknown is now common knowledge and for all to engage with.

This documentary also has a tragic story line with the character of Venus Xtravaganza, which i’ll leave for you to go and watch and find out. This film is significantly important culturally and so is a documentary stable as far as I am concerned, it gives a voice for a minority that needed one at this time and provided a gateway for change in the way we perceive people, everyone is human with hopes, fears, desires and dreams at the end of the day.

Quick Fire Reviews Part 3 – Horror Edition!

When looking back on some of the films I have recently watched, I noticed a lot were horror films, that were also released  in 2014 according to IMDB, so I thought i’d make a horror edition to my every growing quick fire reviews!

Creep:

This one popped up on Netflix recently and has come to many peoples attention. While watching this film I didn’t know wether to laugh or actually be creeped out. I found myself laughing a lot throughout the film. It’s premise is eerie and so is the outcome. The use of ‘found footage’ is well done here and there are some creepy aspects but something felt lacking overall.

Unfriended/Cybernatural :

My most recent watch and the most probably well know of them all. This film takes found footage to a new level, incorportaing a modern twist. I say modern cringeingly as the internet subculture of todays teens is just that. It takes the very common slasher film which a bunch of teenagers, on the surface featuring all stock characters of a slasher film minus the token black guy or girl. But the film does give a good twist(not too surprising) by stripping the common tropes of the ‘Virgin- last girl’ to reveal our ‘protagonist’ is really the original ‘antagonist’ to prior events of the film. If we probably look more into that you could get a deeper meaning/message that the film has to offer on internet culture while inverting slasher conventions.NICE.

Honeymoon:

An interesting premise of a film that I had been intrigued since viewing the trailer. I was also interested in the leading actress outside of Game of Thrones. I don’t think the acting was that great, Something about it felt really forced in the beginning, but then again it made for great juxtaposition for the later half of the film. Sometimes that can happen, which calls to mind Mullholand Drive, your left wondering about Naomi Watts acting in the first half, but by the end it all comes apparent. Lots of mystery to the film, that borders on annoying at times, I liked the plot but needed a bit more, to flesh it out in terms of answers, I think this film could of benefitted from more clues as to WHY things are happening. However these are face value cons, looking deeper there is some good interpretations out there about the films message on maternity and/or relationships which I found to be quite interesting.

Tusk:

I was so intrigued by the trailer to this film, it looks so out there which I normally love. But this has to be the worst film I have watched this year and maybe ever. This film went from horror, to comedy and I was just plain confused as to what this film wanted to be. To make things worse a certain cameo appearance from a major star just ruined an otherwise already terrible film. He KILLED the film. It wasn’t funny, it was disturbing, it reminded me of the human centipede which i haven’t watched but at least it had a clear tone. Avoid this stupid film.

Coherence:

Another film I caught on Netflix, this film started off a chain of films about time travel, or whatever you call it that I got into! I really enjoyed this small, simple, yet complicated plot of a film. The film plays like Cluedo, with an array of characters, doubting one another, giving a great suspense. The science of the film is kind of mind blowing and makes for the real source of horror, the sheer scale of it. I’d give this a watch on Netflix, if you like films like Primer or Looper, anything to do with time and alternative universes. The end is a real twist in motive to the character which results in a real confusing ending that does not quite give a real conclusion, which to many will be VERY unsatisfying. For me though the joy was the centre of the film, learning how everything worked and the reveal of its never ending-ness.