Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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I saw The Invitation at an advance screening two weeks ago and I haven't stopped thinking about it since. The film as a whole is a force to be reckoned with, but it's in the last thirty seconds that The Invitation earns the hype it's been given as it presents an intensely chilling conclusion that left me sitting in the dark theater long after the credits rolled.
It takes a lot to get me on the edge of my seat, but Green Room got me there and kept me there, and it would have taken a lot for me to sit back and relax. The production design, acting and story are top-notch and carry the film into brilliance. Green Room is an absolute thrill, truly delightful (in a murderous way), and wholeheartedly original through its last bar.
It's nearly impossible to imagine another adjective to substitute "hardcore" in "Hardcore Henry" because "hardcore" encapsulates the film in every ideation of the word. Hardcore Henry is a thoroughly crafted balancing act between unbelievable stunt coordination, solid writing, outstanding camerawork, and a knockout performance from Sharlto Copley, all of which pile atop one another like Henry's victims after he punches them in the face with the same surprising power and form with which the film is armed. The laughs, winces, and gasps come from every angle at all times until you're left in a dark theater thinking there's nothing more hardcore than this film.
The biggest question I was left with at the end of The Good Dinosaur wasn't whether or not everyone lived happily ever after, nor was it about how their version of earth missed a devastating asteroid hit (although that would be my second biggest question)-but rather, who on THIS earth made the creative decision to photorealistically-skimp on the rendering of the dinosaurs?! The environments in which the dinos lived were stunning and so authentic they could have been actual film footage. But the dinosaurs? Cartoonish, bulky and the polar opposite aesthetic pairing to the gorgeous landscapes, breathtaking water and rivers, and overall hard-to-believe natural setting. Even though I was left sobbing in the theater by the end of the film (the storyline was moving albeit generic, singular and lacking in scope), the overall impact was cut in half because of the artistic choice a Pixar honcho made to style the dinosaurs as if they were for a low-budget remake of The Land Before Time.
Bridge of Spies achieves the same suspenseful, intense war horror as films that rely on heavily CGI-ed explosions and gunfire, but did so without the explosions and gunfire. The edge of war and overall story are grounded in reality, and the powerful work of Spielberg, Hanks' smart and ethical Jim Donovan (who you can't help but love), and Mark Rylance's stunning performance as Rudolf Abel draw you close, politely ask for your time, and present a story that needs telling.