Movies reviews

  • She Dies Tomorrow

    Watched on

    7

    Amy thinks she's dying tomorrow...and it's contagious.

    She Dies Tomorrow

    Review

    This is such an unusual movie. I went in not knowing anything about it, except reading a review which said "most people might not like (it)" – they are right.

    This movie isn't your standard three-act narrative feature, but more about emotions and feelings and questions. To make the most of this movie you need to pay attention, a lot of seemingly unrelated scenes come back to make sense further down the rabbit hole the story goes. The is some really good use of music and colour to give you a sense of unease but also unite the scenes throughout the movie.

    You quickly ask yourself WTF is going on, but peices start building and you can put them together. You can follow what is happening, but not why or how. When you realise what is happening, there is a bigger impact as you understand the scope of the story. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't resolve any of the questions and is very open ended.

    If you like weird, artistic movies that make you ask questions, then you should check this out. If not, the movie is best avoided because you won't enjoy it.

  • Vox Lux

    Watched on

    6

    An unusual set of circumstances brings unexpected success to a pop star.

    Vox Lux

    Review

    The movie starts with grainy film, personal camera work and dull colour palette really work to generate a unique aesthetic.

    The first five minutes certainly grab your attention and the opening credits evoke a homage to the start of The Shining.

    The main focus – on a damaged pop-star’s rise and spiral – has been done better. And there is an odd relatedness to acts of terrorism scattered throughout the story, but they never form a relation or help deliver a conclusion.

    Defoe’s interlude voice-overs are well versed but detract from the flow of the movie. Around the halfway mark the movie loses all soul and spirals towards a messy and disappointing ending.

    The movie is visually distinctive and starts to explore some interesting ideas, but fails to follow through of any of them.

  • Reprise

    Watched on

    8

    Two competitive friends, fueled by literary aspirations and youthful exuberance, endure the pangs of love, depression and burgeoning careers.

    Reprise

    Review

    The movie has an unusual start and the narrative takes a while to get going, but once you learn about the two main characters – their motivations and heartbreaks – there is a pure raw emotional feel.

    There is obsession, dread, depression, and spiralling relationships. Deep connections through difficult times, though happier times. Always melancholic, close to the edge but never tipping over.

    I felt I knew these people, understood their lives. I didn’t want to leave their world – following a rich tapestry of their deepest emotions – but it would pain me stay.

    This movie caught me totally of guard.

  • The Front Runner

    Watched on

    5

    In 1987, U.S. Senator Gary Hart's presidential campaign is derailed when he's caught in a scandalous love affair.

    The Front Runner

    Review

    A very muddled start, it was difficult to follow what was supposed to be the focus. After a “four years later” jump, a lazy paragraph of text sets the scene. Even then, the film struggles for another 10 minutes before it starts in a focused direction.

    Political stories often suffer from a dry narrative, but this feels especially stodgy. I’m sure the set design and costume design is period accurate but suits and brown jackets add to the muted tone of the movie.

    Hugh Jackman carries the role, but the rest of the impressive cast have little to do. The movie starts to get going but then ends. I expected better from director Jason Reitman.

  • The Dig

    Watched on

    8

    An archaeologist embarks on the historically important excavation of Sutton Hoo in 1938.

    The Dig

    Review

    The framing and cinematography throughout this film is truly beautiful. Every scene is flooded with natural light. The opening tracking shot is majestic. Even shot is perfectly considered and accompanied with classical soundtrack.

    There is some really clever use of camera movement when required, injecting energy while contrasting with the more understated photography, which reflects the story itself.

    The reflective conversations overlaid with thoughtful closeups work well and resonate with the general tone of the film. Carey Mulligan dwindles naturally throughout, but Ralph Fiennes carries the brunt of the work.

    However, the film loses its way throughout the second half, with too many characters and too many themes that distract unnecessarily from the core of the story. Aside from this muddled ending, the redeeming characteristics of this film outweigh these problems.