Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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A fun, brainless ride but pretty underwhelming, Birds of Prey doesn't really add much to the interesting character of Harley Quinn and mostly wastes a decent opportunity. In terms of thrills there are few and far between, the fight sequences are well choreographed, although similar and when it comes down to it not a lot actually happens in the movie. Robbie is a brilliant screen presence as always but her supporting characters aren't given enough meat on the bones and feel almost disposable. The VoiceOver style becomes a little grating art points and some of the choices feel a little tacky, it's not funny when it tries to be and there's never really a sense of jeopardy for the characters, I never felt they were going to lose. The conclusion is quite half baked and solved rather easily and it does feel a bit like a lot of ideas thrown at the wall seeing what would stick. On the positive side it looks nice and is predictably infectious and vibrant with great costumes and detail. More disappointing than outright bad.
Perhaps one of the most unsettling and original movie experiences of all time The Lighthouse delivers a hammer blow in bizarre circumstances completely destroying the term formulaic. The fact Pattinson and Dafoe aren't both nominated for oscars is absolutely ludicrous as they descend into anarchy and madness in the most infectious and effective manner possible. The strange dream like sequences manage to keep the audience guessing and are cleverly brought back down to earth in-between strange monologue between the pair. While the film is ambiguous this never morphs into indulgence and only makes the creepy and strange goings on all the more difficult to pick apart which leaves the audience contemplating multiple outcomes and reasons for the protagonists behaviour. While not outright terrifying it's incredibly unsettling and you'll definitly need t o sit down for 10 minuets after and process the madness. Eggers use of black and white 16mm film affirms the film the authenticity all the incredible period detail, research and dialogue already provide. It's a tale that can be seen as a cautionary tale towards addiction and the power or unreliable nature of the human mind. A must see on the big screen, this is exciting, scary, idiosyncratic filmmaking at it's best, no one should play it safe when ,taking films.
An effective and genuinely uplifting examination of a bizarre legal case highlighting everything wrong with America's judicial system. Just Mercy has a lot more going on beyond the surface than you might first imagine. Destining Daniel Cretton knows his way around themes portrayed in Just Mercy as we saw in his fantastic "Short Term 12" and he delicately guides us through the murky waters of the death penalty and systematic racism that runs through American police forces. The films strength is in its understated nature, no one screams at the camera hammering the points home but instead thorough character examination delivers more power than any over egged passion can. It also benefits from a fantastic ensemble cast, none better than Jamie Foxx who gives a heartbreaking rendition of a man punished so horribly for a crime he so obviously didn't commit. A powerful true story that uplifts and inspires ending with a flourish.
If this incredible, tense, immaculately constructed masterpiece doesn't win best picture this year (which it probably won't) there will be something terribly wrong. This is one of the greatest directors of all times best film and a razor sharp observation on class issues that rings painfully true. Bong's screenplay is fantastic, enticing us through every scene as the mystery and suspense builds to almost unbearable levels in the idyllic yet uneasy setting. The acting is top class and should all really be Oscar nominated as each character is developed and lethally uses in mouth watering situations building to a resonant finale that shocks and excites. Bong's direction is out of this world, almost luring the audience along with him towards the depths of despair and trapping us with genuinely funny humour. It's practically pitch perfect and the tone is immaculate throughout, you'll struggle to find a better film all year and it's only February.
Entertaining if a bit uneven Queen and Slim is an enjoyable ride but leaves you wanting more. Kaluyaa and Turner-Smith are both great and carry a lot of the film with their gleeful, awkward exchanges when thrown into a situation way out of their control. There's something about it that lacks punch, there's no real sense of danger as the characters earnest nature makes for a lack of stakes. They seem to evade a lot of problems fairly easily and you're never scared for them until right at the end. The dialogue is snappy and the film ticks over nicely, effectively embedding important themes with subtext and external characters. The ending is great and doesn't play it safe but the ride towards the explosive finale is a little too smooth.