Damaged people trying to cope with skewed outlooks and corrupted psyches in their own ways, some more drastic than others, while body horror ensues. The ending made no sense at first, but then it was explained in a joking fashion during the end credits, and now it makes even less sense except as Smith, undoubtedly influenced to film this after binging on a Tarantino marathon, failing to rise above his comedic standard to present something tragic. The Canadian detective is exactly who you think he is, is rather distracting, and goes nowhere beyond a diva's acting exercise. The score (and its spotting) are quite nice.
The struggles of a Puritan, vying between the virtues of king and country, are on lavish display in this biopic centering on the rise of British Parliament. Guinness gives a surprisingly fidgety portrayal of a figurehead drunk on his wife's discrete bidding. The action is forgivably era-effective and the plot, though at times scant on detail, makes politics uncommonly interesting.
One of the more (if not the most) metaphysical movies ever made, though not without its snags. Joe's journey from life to afterlife does have a clear flow, and I absolutely love how the film portrays the various states spirits can exist within the life/death spectrum, as well as the notion of a spirit being adamantly anti-life, but when it charts through the bureaucracy of it all, especially treating a beancounter foil as a secondary conflict when the main conflict serves the film best, it's when Pixar becomes their most Pixar-iness in their Rob Schneiderian quest to codify all of existence in a thematic bubble for the sake of relatability. I'm not sure how I feel about a soul's pre-existing nature superseding any influence of nurture (even with a good throwaway joke about why there are dipshits in the world), but that's the hill Pixar wants to die on, I guess. Batiste's "jazziness" truly shines here, and while moments of Reznor/Ross's passages have an ethereal quality to them, the Great Before sequences may test one's willingness to hear them go full Thomas Newman - seriously, those parts sound like WALL-E 2.0, which I didn't mind, but others might. Others also might mind the film's blatant secularity, even with mentions of Gandhi and Mother Theresa thrown into the agnostic mix. Overall, it goes where it does in dutiful fashion without much surprise, but I mostly appreciated how it got there in its bid to portray passion beyond purpose
This works better as a barebones character study of a subject afflicted with a haunting rather than anything approaching suspense or terror, emphasis on barebones (sparse, unconnected clues are sprinkled to lend an air of mystery that ultimately goes nowhere), ending in PSA fashion accounting what happens when you keep doing the same thing over and over again while not having any friends to tell you otherwise.