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I like to write about films

Thought On: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

A product of the Harry Potter franchise, and arguably one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Dir. David Yates) is an ambitious attempt to extend the former’s universe that, although making a valiant effort, ultimately misses the mark. Suffering from the common problem encountered by most spin-off series, Fantastic Beasts both struggles to emulate the core elements that made its predecessors so successful and to separate itself enough from Hogwarts to allow itself its own breathing space.  Continue reading “Thought On: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)”

Nocturnal Animals (2016)

Based on the novel Tony & Susan (1993) by Austin Wright, and following A Single Man (2009), the long anticipated Nocturnal Animals marks not only the second entry in Tom Ford’s filmography, but another instalment of his brand of meticulously crafted appearance and a much more playful venture in storytelling.

Focusing on an art gallery owner, Susan Morrow (Amy Adams), as she simultaneously struggles to read and struggles to put down a manuscript sent to her by her ex-husband Edward (Jake Gyllenhaal). Becoming increasingly unable to separate its fictitious plot of violence, suffering, and revenge from the reality of their relationship, Susan is forced to contemplate and re-live her past mistakes. Continue reading “Nocturnal Animals (2016)”

Thoughts On: The Wrestler (2008)

Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler is a brilliantly poignant hybrid film that exists somewhere between the genres of a tragic drama and sports film, with a narrative concerning the struggles of a faded professional wrestling star, Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke), as he attempts to navigate the world outside the ring in the aftermath of a heart attack that forces him to retire. Not only functioning as an amazing career comeback for Mickey Rourke; The Wrestler is a definite nod towards the style of Aronofsky’s earlier films, arriving at an aesthetic appearance that would slot in perfectly amongst independent cinema.

Continue reading “Thoughts On: The Wrestler (2008)”

Doctor Strange (2016)

Ushering a return towards more experimental films for Marvel, Doctor Strange (Dir. Scott Derrickson) is an commendable attempt to bring the more mystical dimensions of the MCU into the foreground. Much like 2015’s Ant-Man, we see a recycling of the traditional origin story formula for a hero without much stock as a ‘household name,’ and the result is an impressive, if not slightly predictable, venture into the creation of an unlikely hero.

Continue reading “Doctor Strange (2016)”

Thoughts On: American Honey (2016) [contains spoilers]

The latest film from Andrea Arnold, American Honey takes the aspects of social realism and absurdity that permeate British cinema and transposes them onto American soil in the form of a hedonistic road movie. With equal parts grit and fantasy, Arnold manages to create a film that dishes out thick layers of realism while simultaneously distancing itself from the real-life with its unrelenting dreaminess.

Despite being Arnold’s first film to be made outside of the UK, there are definite comparable elements with the rest of her filmography, particularly with Fish Tank (2009) and its endeavour to “give a voice” to the youth of Britain. In the same vein—and following the story of Star (Sasha Lane) in her decision to leave her life behind and follow a troupe of travelling magazine salespeople in their drug and alcohol fuelled tour of Midwestern America—American Honey strives towards giving a realistic representation of apathetic teenagers searching for a purpose amidst their marginalisation.

Continue reading “Thoughts On: American Honey (2016) [contains spoilers]”

Wild At Heart (1990) Dir. David Lynch

Based on Barry Gilford’s novel (1989) of the same name, Wild At Heart tells the story of Sailor (Nicolas Cage) and Lula (Laura Dern) as they take to the road in order to escape Lula’s deranged mother (Diane Ladd), her private detective lover, and the hit-man she has hired to kill Sailor. As the narrative progresses, their travels are frequently interrupted by encounters with bizarre strangers, outbursts of violence, and explicit sex scenes that take the traditional road-movie and transform it into something undeniably ‘Lynchian’.  Continue reading “Wild At Heart (1990) Dir. David Lynch”

Celebrating 23 years of the The X-Files

As a self-confessed X-Files obsessive, any opportunity to talk/think/write about the show has me standing in an open armed embrace. So, what better time than the 23rd anniversary of its pilot episode?

By any means one of the most recognisable television shows to come from the 1990s, The X-Files began its ascent to cult status on the 10th of September 1993, with the simply titled ‘Pilot’. Combining an ingenious script by Chris Carter and direction by Robert Mandel, the result was an intricate weaving of a paranoid distrust of governmental establishments and authority with supernatural phenomena; tapping into already established preoccupations with conspiracy theories and fascinations with the extraterrestrial (such as Kennedy’s assassination and Roswell) and turning them into deliciously post-modern critiques of pre-millennial society. Continue reading “Celebrating 23 years of the The X-Files”

The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) [mild plot-point spoilers]

Unfolding in a seemingly idyllic neighbourhood in upstate New York, Derek Cianfrance’s The Place Beyond the Pines follows the story of Luke Glanton (Ryan Gosling), a motorcycle stuntman who resorts to robbery in order to provide for his son and ex-lover Romina (Eva Mendes), with the narrative little by little progressing into an intricate mapping of  how Luke’s recklessness, and an altercation with rookie cop Avery Cross (Bradley Cooper), affect their own lives and those of their families’.

Continue reading “The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) [mild plot-point spoilers]”

Suicide Squad (2016) – A Ramble (no spoilers)

kathdawgg

I’m not going to lie I went into Suicide Squad with quite low expectations and whilst I usually like to go into a film pretty open minded I had sort of began to form a few opinions based on what I had heard about the reshoots and editing process of the film.

My main reservation was that Warner Bros have run into this massive emsemble style film too quickly in order to keep up with the Marvel Cinematic Universe hype. The problem with this is that they try to introduce too many characters to the DC film universe at the same time causing the film to seem rushed and bitty, and I’m assuming it could be very confusing to someone who hadn’t read any of the comics. As a result of this the film begins to feel like pieces of several different films sewed together none of which really formed…

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