Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monthly Round-up: September 2014 Viewing

So our trip and the Toronto International Film Festival is over. We had such a great time. I could live in Toronto. Seriously, we felt like locals after just a few days. Everyone was so nice. We saw some great films, and some rubbish (listed below) but that's the chance you take at an International Film Festival. But I would not have given up the experience for anything. Amongst the fantastic people we met and hung with regularly on our travels are regular readers and fellow bloggers Ryan McNeil, Courtney Small, Kurt Halfyard, Bob Turnbull, Matt Price and Max Covill, amongst many others. 

In LA we stayed with Alex Withrow (And So It Begins), who was the best host we could have imagined. Not only did he let us into his house, but he drove us wherever we wanted. We went to Hollywood, Venice Beach, the Griffith Observatory and some of the funkiest bars and cafes in his home suburb. The weather was wonderful. Thank you Alex!

In addition to watching 49 films, I also read a pair of crime fiction novels - The Walker and Birdman - which were okay. Coming home to re-immerse myself in Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch has been welcomed, however. We have also started re-watching Entourage from the beginning. I never made it to the very end. From memory it loses the plot quite badly, but I am determined to stick it out and try and spot the sites in LA that I visited.

Favourite album at the moment: Kanye West's College Dropout and Justin Timberlake's FutureSex/LoveSounds, both of which we picked up on vinyl in Toronto for absurdly cheap prices. 

Of course, I am now very behind what is now out in cinemas but what of it. I hope to catch The Boxtrolls, We Are the Best and Gone Girl (again) in the weeks to come. On Thursday we have The Judge booked in.

New-to-Me Films (In Order of Preference)

-------- Essential Viewing --------

Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy, 2014) - This is such a bold and relevant film. In this exhilarating thriller we are sided with one of this grotesque disaster-media hungry societies super villains. This is an incredible performance by Jake Gyllenhaal. I said he was one of the best in the business after Prisoners, and since then I have seen this and Enemy, which separates him further from the pack. Considering the horrible things he does, the fact that we have empathy, and respect, for this guy is extraordinary. He's endlessly fascinating. It addresses a very prominent problem in today's media culture, but who is to blame? The person exploiting these victims and capturing the tragedies, the network buying the footage, or us consuming it? Very LA, it looks incredible courtesy of PTA's regular DP Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood), and ALL of Dan Gilroy's decisions hit the mark. The music. The casting. The ending. Following a car chase the audience at TIFF burst into applause. That is something I have never experienced. This is a morally stressful experience that was physically overwhelming, as only the great films achieve. IndieWire described Nightcrawler as a combo of Taxi Driver and Network. Collateral and Drive also come to mind. Comparisons are beside the point. It is in a league of greatness.

Foxcatcher (Bennett Miller, 2014) - Du Pont stabled the Shultz, a vulnerable victim of post-Gold obliviousness, and possessed the monetary power to use and manipulate him as he pleased. Then he learned that he responded only to his family-man brother Dave, a symbol of hardworking middle America. For Du Pont, who saw this as a chance to be worshipped and viewed as a father-figure, this was a rejection he could not accept. The complexity of the three relationships will long be bearing on my mind. Bennett Miller's best film, and Moneyball is GREAT, features amazing performances from Tatum, Carrell and Ruffalo. Especially Ruffalo, who received little comment post-Cannes, and seems to be in the shadow of his mighty colleagues. This is a heartbreaking story of compromise at the wrath of dynasty-inherited privilege and greed. It has been enriched with metaphoric commentary, and artisan creativity. Everything in this film feels like the real deal - the make up, the wrestling maneuvers performed by the actors, the wonderful detail in the Du Pont estate at the least. I had enormous emotional investment in this film. One of the few films I have seen that deserves award consideration and that may actually get it. Still, it may be too brooding for the voters to embrace. Ruffalo missing an Oscar for this would be a travesty.

A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (Ana Lily Amirpour, 2014) - An Iranian vampire western with a romantic twist. Not something you see every day, and it is pretty special. In a small death-riddled town call Bad City, ruled by drugs and illegal enterprises, the citizens are stalked in the night by a lonesome female vampire. A young man, at the mercy of a drug dealer whom his junkie father owes money, finds his luck turn through the circumstances of her presence. This is sexy - gorgeously photographed in B+W and accompanied by a funky soundtrack (which I hope exists somewhere) - and a remarkably confident debut feature from Ana Lily Amirpour. It thrives on style and atmosphere and is really fucking cool. Creepy too. Only Lovers Left Alive's shady cousin. A great year for Vampire films, this.

The Infinite Man (Hugh Sullivan, 2014) - An essential time travel film that successfully remains smarter than its audience, offering consistent twists and revelations, while actually making sense. This is micro-budget filmmaking at its very best, managing to inventively fuse elements of some of the genres great works in Primer and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Average-joe Dean creates a time travel headpiece that allows him to go back one year, to the date of his anniversary with his girlfriend Lana, to try and make the disastrous events of that day perfect and save the relationship. He is equipped with notes, he knows the obstacles that will arise and he is prepared with everything he knows Lana loves. But, when there are multiple Deans and Lanas in close proximity and dressed identically, and with Dean blindly obsessed with controlling Lana and the course of events, trouble ensues and be begins to battle his alter-egos for the woman he loves. The results are hilarious, mostly, but even a little upsetting. This is such a tight film, and Hugh Sullivan does a fantastic job at ensuring that the potentially confusing parallel timelines operating at once are sharply edited, extraordinarily avoiding continuity issues. THE Australian film of the year, and a future classic. Out now on limited release. Don't miss it.

Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas, 2014) - My first Assayas...and I now want to see more. Set in the gorgeous Swiss Alps a veteran stage star Maria (Juliette Binoche) and her assistant Valentine (Kristen Stewart) hide out as she prepares for her latest play - the same one that made her famous as a young woman, but the opposing 'older' role. Unable to identify with this character, due to her own concerns about ageing and being unable to adapt this character into a new context, she turns to Valentine for advice on the actress taking on her old role (Chloe Grace Moretz), challenging her to rehearse the role with her at length. Tension mounts when Maria is disagreeable with what Valentine brings to the role. As the material and their relationship begins to merge, this takes a Persona-esque twist that is quite a hook. This is a very pretty and bonkers look at performance as role (Stewart's role is blurred every which way), textual interpretation influenced by age (and how measures of age in the business have changed) and 21st Century 'celebrity', and the opposition of personal privacy vs. public openness. And very meta. All three women excel. Binoche obviously, but the film, forgivably, drops the ball in the extended Stewart-free epilogue (my only real criticism). She brings terrific energy to film. The little details have all been carefully calculated (the fade-outs are perfectly timed) and that night drive may haunt my dreams. This is a film rich in ideas and subtexts. It is both funny and eerie, and most of the second half is food for puzzling over.

Girlhood (Celine Sciamma, 2014) - Celine Sciamma is the real deal. My goodness. Girlhood is better than Boyhood. How's that for controversy. I don't know where to begin with this film, but it manages to be, extraordinarily, explosive and quietly intimate at the same time. The best use of music (Rihanna's Diamonds!) of any film at TIFF, and wonderfully performed by its non-pro cast. The film's finale is so brave, too. 

While We're Young (Noah Baumbach, 2014) - Well, Noah Baumbach still hasn't made a bad film and this may become my favourite. And I am a big fan of the mostly despised Greenberg. Whatever. Stiller sure is at his best in this partnership, but Naomi Watts and Adam Driver (each in multiple films at this year's TIFF) are also excellent. This is such a funny and relatable study of the differences between Gen X and Y - a couple approaching middle age who become alienated from their baby-obsessed friends, and have long wasted time using their stilted professional ventures as excuses to not..live, find their sense of youth invigorated when they meet a carefree 20-something hipster couple with a whole different outlook on life. The evolution of documentary filmmaking (a pursuit of both Stiller and Driver's characters) is an avenue that doesn't quite work as successfully as the interweaving relationships and the satire of generations, but this is thoroughly enjoyable throughout.

Beyond the Lights (Gina Prince-Bythewood, 2014) - This beautiful and inspiring rom-drama deals with the mental strain of celebrity superficiality and the process of re-learning and loving a true self that has long been forcibly suppressed by a climate that demands a mechanized product, not a free-willed creative individual. It also deals with the over-sexualization of female pop stars in a world craving flesh, and how Noni, having long been stripped of her identity and driven to suicide, is reinvigorated not by a 'man', but someone who acknowledges that she is suffocating and needs some help. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, following her breakout performance in the lovely period drama, Belle, is stunningly convincing in the role. She's going to be huge. Nate Parker also brings a real generosity to his character. Their chemistry is excellent. This is a powerful and uplifting film that never becomes too soppy, and while clearly a female-centric story, it has universal appeal in that Parker's character is also on his way down a path imposed on him by his father, and he must consider what he really wants. Several years in the making, this is a very accomplished film from writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball). I hope it is released theatrically in Australia. It would be a real shame not to receive the exposure it deserves.

It Follows (David Robert Mitchell, 2014) - Loved the Goblin-influenced score (think TENEBRE-esque, oh yeah) and there is some inventive direction. A creepy ghost-stalker thriller with a sexual-transmission-anxiety angle. Interesting. There are some lazy jump scares, and an effects-heavy sequence that went a tad amiss, but this is a stressful film. The simplicity of the threat works in it's favour, and the performances from the youngsters are all pretty good. The horror film of the year, at least from what I have seen. Got pipped by The Babadook at Fantastic Fest, which is my #2.

Memories of Murder (Joon-ho Bong, 2003) - Unsettling, distinctively contextually-specific procedural thriller gets very good in a hurry. Jarring tone, big second half character leaps aside.

St Vincent (Theodor Melfi, 2014) - Murray and co. (Lieberher, Watts and O'Dowd are especially great) carry this charming unlikely hero-next-door tale that gradually reveals the layers beneath Murray's cantankerous war vet-turned-babysitter, with mirth and sorrow aplenty. It is a poignant celebration of sacrifice and features some great visual comedy.

Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014) - Isolated in a desolate coastal boneyard, an aging patriarch battles a corrupt official seeking to purchase the land his home stands upon and then finds his cherished relationships begin to crumble around him as a result. Marvelously constructed and photographed, this is a gut-wrenching story of a proud everyman whose oppression grows increasingly closer, eventually enveloping everything he cares for and has stakes in. So. Much. Vodka.

Tales of the Grim Sleeper (Nick Broomfield, 2014) - I feared for the safety of documentary filmmaker Nick Broomfield (and his son, the DP) in this distressing ground level, police-skirting guerrilla investigation into a notorious South LA serial killer, who had been plaguing the town for 25 years. It is quite an extraordinary film as Broomfield interviews many local residents, from family members and longtime acquaintances of the man eventually arrested as well as near victims, drawing enough evidence to suggest the perp is on trial, while indicting the LAPD for their class and race prejudiced treatment of the case. Kudos.

-------- Essential Viewing --------

Tabloid (Errol Morris, 2010) - Wow, that's a story. What Morris does so well is leave us with little concrete evidence as to what actually happened.

Shopping (Mark Albiston, Louis Sutherland, 2013) - An affecting NZ drama about youthful calamity. A disillusioned teen breaks tether to reliant younger brother and a volatile father, joining a shoplifting gang who bring him in like family.

Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014) - I still don't know what I think of it yet. Definitely lesser Fincher. Faithful all the way, surprisingly. Fincher's stylishness is less showy (the editing, though!), but the casting (I especially loved Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon and Kim Dickens, but Affleck and Pike were right on too) is excellent. Sinister look at the at marriage as façade and how convincingly the truth can be shrouded by media shitstorm. 

Laggies (Lynn Shelton, 2014) - Lynn Shelton's latest is not quite a return to the peaks of Your Sister's Sister, but a pleasing bounce back from the ill-fated Touchy Feely slump. It is an organic, genuine, subtle and altogether pleasant look at different spectrums of young-adulthood - clinging to a past you are beginning to feel a stranger to, and the importance of maternal guidance through the confusing teenage years - and cultivating personal growth from unique circumstances. Sam Rockwell ricks, igniting the film when he comes into it, but the Knightley/Moretz pairing works wonders on its own.

Adult Beginners (Ross Katz, 2014) - I could watch Byrne, Kroll and Cannavale in anything, and the latter pair are consistently turning in excellent comedic work. This is a pleasant look at the trials and tribulations of parenting, fresh starts and the power that youngsters can have in repairing frayed relationships and bringing family together.

The Keeping Room (Daniel Barber, 2014) - The fear, power and protection a uniform can create. This is a tense well-acted and impressively shot female-centric Civil War survival western that follows three women forced to defend their home as the conflict approaches their doorstep, and two scout soldiers who meet their opposition as they attempt to rape and pillage their way through the town.

Detention (Joseph Kahn, 2011) - A wild, hilarious and lightning-paced acid trip ripe with 90's pop culture references, shuffling genres at will - teen slasher et al. *Shrugs*. A lot of fun.

House (Nobuhiko Obayashi, 1977) - A film that I am glad to have now seen. Utterly ridiculous, but you can't fault its trippy energy, and unwavering inventiveness.

The Dark Horse (James Napier Robertson, 2014) - Cliff Curtis is terrific as a bipolar ex-chessmaster who takes some troubled youngsters under his tutelage and teaches them that the tiny world of chess offers many paths, and not everyone needs to follow the one assigned by the circumstances of their upbringing. Long, perhaps, but it sure is affecting.

The Drop (Michaël R. Roskam, 2014) - A beguiling film. This slow-building, character-driven Brooklyn underworld-set thriller feels different. Always interesting, if plot-holey at times. Hardy is terrific, Gandolfini ditto in his last (?) role. Also, Matthias Schoenaerts is a giant human. 

I Am Here (Fan Lixin, 2014) - An intelligently focused and highly energized behind-the-scenes look at one of China's most popular reality shows. The contestant brotherhood opposes the 'Big Brother' like treatment - which is the core study, not so much their performances and the 'Competition' - but the physical and emotional strain was shocking.

The Humbling (Barry Levinson, 2014) - Barry Levinson's varied tone tragi-comedy, the first adaptation of a Phillip Roth novel, features a grizzled 60-odd Al Pacino back in top form. He plays a career actor whose reality has always been the role he inhabits. Having mysteriously lost his craft, as he calls it, he finds himself swaying between conscious states as a result of depression and potential mental illness. After diving off the stage mid show he has a stint in a psychiatric ward, and then finds himself in a relationship with the daughter of a former acting friend (Greta Gerwig), who is undergoing a transformation herself. The Humbling is at it's best when addressing Axler's frayed identity and mental state than about Pegeen's past sexual exploits, who visit and turn Axler's house into a circus. Pacino fits so snugly into this role because his career descent is similar to Axler's, and Levinson allows the camera to linger on his face as he delivers rambling, confused monologues about how acting has shaped his life, and how the world is a giant stage with everyone performing in it. A peek behind the curtain reveals that there is a new Simon Axler, the aging man, unable to hide in a role forever. The length is a problem, but it is odd and compelling throughout. Wavers between being gut-bustingly hilarious and deeply saddening, as suitably wild as Axler's grasp of his mind.

42 (Brian Helgeland, 2013) - Jackie Robinson is one of baseball's greatest stories. This is easily digestible and often rousing. Not a bad performance from Harrison Ford either.

The Duke of Burgundy (Peter Strickland, 2014) - Peter Strickland's latest film is unique, to say the least. But from the man who brought us Berberian Sound Studio, what more would you expect? Peculiar sexual role play and a woman's unsatisfying compromise at the behest of her lover (her master adopting the role of a submissive servant) are just some of the ideas infused within the many weirdo elements that make up The Duke of Burgundy. It is a film about deviant sex during a winter 'hibernation' (it is set in a sprawling noble mansion free of technological distraction, and men), but it remains non-judgemental and playfully serious. It is very effective on a sensory level (as we would expect). I especially loved the score and the sound design, with shots of butterflies, moths and grubs cut aggressively (and hypnotically) into the sequences of elliptical sexually-charged interactions between the two women. I was always engrossed because it is kept me guessing the entire time, but I felt like it was building towards something substantial, and then didn't really get there. The creepiness was rising, and it felt like the relationship was becoming increasingly tense and destructive. The film, at this time in the realms of overlong, then spirals back on itself, again, relinquishing its grip. I much preferred the mind-melting Berberian Sound Studio, but this also takes on some giallo elements on its way to toying with fringe genres for the fun of it. In the very entertaining Q&A that followed Strickland expressed that some of his choices have no reasoning. A mannequin in the background of a scene looked cool, the title started out as a joke and has no relevance whatsoever. The fact that a filmmaker can bring such technique and artistry to the medium, and leave a sense of point behind, is somewhat refreshing.

Bad Words (Jason Bateman, 2013) - What's your favourite word? Can it be 'shut the fuck up'? I enjoyed this, if only really the scenes featuring Bateman and the kid, and of the spelling bee in full swing.

Eden (Mia Hansen-Love, 2014) - Hansen-Love's 2+ hour epic drama fully immerses a viewer into the world of French electronica through the story of Paul (Felix De Givry), influenced by the experiences of Mia's brother Sven (who co-writes). Unfortunately, the film doesn't sustain that level of engagement. Technically, it is superb (the club sequences!) and some of the relationships have real emotional weight. The music is great, but having never been exposed to this music before I didn't bring a personal nostalgia to the film. Not that it is needed, but I have spoken to others who found it their only way in. Paul is an ambitious guy, and what he and his friends create with Cheers - their sets, the bar, the radio spot - is significant (though a level below Daft Punk, operating at the same time). The price of having pursued that dream for so long - ending up broke, single and with a debilitating drug habit - is the most poignant facet, but Paul doesn't really change as the musical culture does so I was left unmoved. De Givry's performance is also inconsistent. Told in episodes, there are too many here that are unnecessary. The film lacks an overall point, outside of observing the development of this subculture. As a personal drama, it flatlines after about 45 minutes. It could have been a masterpiece, but it just lost it's way.

The Riot Club (Lone Scherfig, 2014) - Well, that escalated quickly and unexpectedly. A savage and distressing representation of the centuries long gluttonous defilement of the lower classes. Largely well performed by those with characters of substance, the behaviour of these privileged posh brats in the hour-spanning dinner party is absolutely putrid. Has depreciated the further I get away from it, but pretty confronting.

Haemoo (Sung Bo Shim, 2014) - A crew of a fishing vessel turn crazy when their dangerous smuggling mission fails. Not at all what I expected at all. Things get...rapey. I was on board with this for a while, but then I found myself extremely conflicted and less interested. I wanted more of the captain, because he disappears for quite a while as the film explores a blossoming romance that has more to do with everything than it should.

Next Goal Wins (Mike Brett, Steve Jamison, 2014) - I watched it on the plane. I should re-watch sometime. It was okay.

A Second Chance (Susanne Bier, 2014) - Deals with a young parent's worst nightmare, and the ensuing decisions in this case are morally dubious but acceptable (to an extent). It all becomes melodramatically contrived and is lacking finesse, but there are some affecting twists and Coster-Waldau is very good. I thought Susanne Bier's In A Better World was very good, but has she lost it?

Pasolini (Abel Ferrera, 2014) - Ferrara's film is short and unconventionally specific (Pier Paolo Pasolini's final days and speculated death, and an interpreted posthumous work) for a biopic. It is shot like a Pasolini film - think the dark interiors of The Godfather - and Dafoe is perfect casting. Due to fatigue, and the pace and look of he film, I had a long blink in parts but this is a compelling portrait of one of cinema's most controversial figures, equipped with uncomfortably graphic sex and violence.

Itsi Bitsi (Ole Christian Madsen, 2014) - This is a remarkable story; the romance and world adventure that inspired one of Denmark's most influential 60's psychedelic rock albums. The aesthetic choices suit the wild lifestyle documented, but for a film about sex, drugs and rock n roll the latter arrives very very late. I got lost in the drug haze that makes up the lackadaisical middle act, but the film is bookended by sexy/entertaining and tragic/moving stretches respectively that work quite well. The story is drawn from Eik's letters, poems and pages of his unfinished novel, written on his drug-riddled travels. It is his passionate love for the free spirited Iben that became the catalyst for the lyrics that changed the Danish music scene.

Good Kill (Andrew Niccol, 2014) - An ex-military pilot now black op drone strike trigger-man (Ethan Hawke) unravels into alcoholism and depression as a result of the role's moral stress - the ever-present risk of taking down innocent civilians along with the CIA-selected targets, and taking the word of the CIA that the targets are viable - which places further tension on his marriage. This is a provocative topic and Andrew Niccol, when he introduced the film at TIFF, claims that all of the missions depicted are based on actual cases. That is terrifying. Unfortunately, it lacks substance at every juncture, despite the drone strikes themselves being very convincing and unsettling.

Aire Libre (Anahi Berneri, 2014) - A couple, Lucia and Manuel (Celeste Cid and Leonardo Sbaraglia, both excellent), in deep crisis find their marriage and their ability to care for their young son put to the strictest test in this Argentinian drama from writer/director Anahi Berneri. I was consistently appreciative of the authenticity of the verbal sparring, the dynamic between the couple and their extended families, and the direction of the cast, but just wasn't emotionally involved. Definitely critical of this pair's parenting, though. I liked the restraint towards the end, not falling into a predictable trap and going all Broken Circle Breakdown on us. Lots of different things are plaguing this couple - straying interests, middle-age depression, stressful financial situations - and their ever-worsening resentments have gone unaddressed for too long. While their behaviour is aggressive and hysterical, and ripe for scrutiny, a lot of their decisions are plausible considering everything going on. They are forever in a state of conflict, and the film's loud, angry and destructive latter half makes for wearying viewing, with neither earning much sympathy. I admired Lucia's efforts to renovate their new country home (a not subtle metaphor for their crumbling marriage), but Manuel's erratic behaviour (repeatedly visiting the wife of an injured labourer threatening to sue his father's company and general privileged whinging) left me alienated from him. Not bad, but an aggravating watch. That's likely the point, but this is somewhat similar territory and it didn't stand out.

Batman Returns (Tim Burton, 1992) - Far weirder and out there than I remember as a kid. Also, I may have watched this when I was too young. Either that or the film's pretty full on violence and erotic-ness went over my head. This deeply flawed and disjointed film sidelines Keaton's Batman for a large portion, favouring the scene-chewing villains De Vito, Pfeiffer and Walken. Pfeiffer, especially, is nothing less than iconic. And here I am thinking that Hathaway pulled Catwoman off pretty well in The Dark Knight Rises. The oddly present festive setting, Burton's gluttonous mise en scene and crazy production design (that duck!) contribute to one of the ballsiest costumed hero films I can recall. Still, I didn't care for it.

Monsoon (Sturla Gunnarsson, 2014) - There is some amazing footage of the monsoon season (cloud formations and immersive post-onset coverage), but this was disappointing on a sensory level, after promising so much. It also gets very distracted, taking tangents that aren't that interesting really. Still, I am glad I don't live in India and have to deal with all of this.

They Came Together (David Wain, 2014) - I laughed pretty hard for about fifteen minutes and then not that much after that. I wanted more of Bill Hader. Christopher Meloni steals the film, but. "You people disgust me!"

Fading Gigolo (John Turturro, 2014) - Not particularly funny. Not particularly anything.

The Cobbler (Thomas McCarthy, 2014) - What can I say? I watched this because I like Thomas McCarthy's films. He's responsible for such touching dramas as The Station Agent and Win Win. The shoe doesn't fit. It's like Uwe Boll put on McCarthy's shoes and fooled everyone. After a pleasant enough foundation, once this outrageously premised fantasy bears its secret it grows increasingly dumber, more convoluted and, surprisingly, offensive. Sandler's character bears a unique ability, and how he chooses to exploit it is dubious. Everything, from the overzealous jazz score, to the surprise twist everyone saw coming an hour earlier, to the horrifically misjudged conclusion, is a mess. Sandler does his best, I guess.

The World of Kanako (Tetsuya Nakashima, 2014) - Relentlessly and aggressively violent and awful. At 2+ hours it is an ordeal unlike any other and within seconds you know what you're in for. As sick as some of this shit is, the immense achievement in editing, the performances and the make up and effects are impressive. Takes the revenge thriller to a whole new level of grotesque. Despicable on every level. There's the pull quote. Hated it.

The Last 5 Years (Richard LaGrevenese, 2014) - I have no doubt this would be a lot of fun on stage but this is dull, boringly directed and hideously shot treatment. This is despite an earnest performance from Anna Kendrick. The crowd was loving it - mostly for the hopelessly miscast male lead, in fact - but for any newcomer it is torturous.

Waste Land (Pieter Van Hees, 2014) - A burnt out cop (Renier) obsesses over his 'last' case and despairs about his pending fatherhood, and goes inexplicably insane. These anxieties are related not only to the state of the world he lives in, but also the fear of a child sharing his DNA. Most of what happens is very hard to accept. Euro-moody and macabre, I liked the establishment of the story. Moderately compelling as a procedural, but it soon abandons that avenue and takes a preposterous turn. Oh boy.

Manglehorn (David Gordon Green, 2014) - Hopeless film. 

Re-watches (In Order of Preference)

What We Do In The Shadows (Taika Waitit, 2014)

My Darling Clementine (John Ford, 1946)

The Lego Movie (Phil Lord and Chris Miller, 2014)

1 comment:

  1. Good gracious you've seen a lot! Disappointed to hear that Gone Girl is "less Fincher-y", but I kind of anticipated that with the trailer. Still excited for that one though. Also looking forward to see Nightcrawler, St. Vincent and Foxcatcher!