#797 – Kelly + Victor

Drama

What Kelly + Victor isn’t is a bundle of laughs. It is a deep and powerful dissection of how fucked up life and love can get though. And that makes for a modern love story that’s bewitching as it is dark.

Kelly + Victor

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#796 – Prince Avalanche

Comedy

There is in Prince Avalanche a beauty. It comes mostly from the setting, but also the quiet contemplation of it all. It’s almost as if the four characters are ghostly inhabitants of the isolated scene they inhabit.

Emile and Paul capture a sense of renewal and rebirth and recognition in a location that does the same. And it’s created without grandeur too, there is no glib philosophising. In this movie there is only a pleasant and restful harmony.

Prince Avalanche Emile Hirsch Paul Rudd

#795 – Leviathan

Documentary

Leviathan is a documentary with barely any speech and absolutely no commentary. It’s shot in low res and every single shot is tight, too tight. Claustrophobically zoomed.

And it’s all shot aboard a trawler. If you want your fishing unromantic, this is it. Witness destructive, violent harvesting followed by profound amounts of blood and guts. This is grim. And raises the question, “Am I ever going to enjoy seafood again?”

Leviathan

#794 – Maniac

Horror

Thanks to Maniac I now know what it’s like to be a serial killer with a mannequin fetish. I don’t think this is knowledge I needed to or wanted to have.

Having not seen the original I don’t feel well placed to judge this movie. Maybe I’ll get back to you. That said I won’t be viewing the 1980 version anytime soon as I found this Elijah Wood vehicle a rather distasteful experience if I’m honest. Must be going soft in my old age.

Maniac

#792 – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Action

What do we learn in a The Hunger Games: Catching Fire? Peter is useless, Catnip is fairly fickle when it comes to the boys and that Woody Harrelson has a heart underneath his surliness. Didn’t we know all that already!?

The Hunger Games Catching Fire Josh Hutcherson Elizabeth Banks Jennifer Lawrence

#791 – Sin City

Action

I revisited Sin City in light of A Dame To Kill For being released in the summer. It’s good. More gruesome than I remembered and I’d forgotten it was a series of vignettes, but it’s good. Miller’s lines and imagery lose little being transposed to screen, “She smells like angels ought to smell…”

Clive Owen as Dwight is brilliant. It’s all so insane and over the top. His lines to Dawson’s Gail are outrageously ridiculous, but I love it.

SIN CITY

#790 – Passion

Thriller

The problem with Passion is it lacks substance. There’s no believable or rational reason why these people do what they do, or indeed stay in the situation they’re in. Is a job in marketing really so good as to forego any chance of a sane and criminality free life!? It’s cinephile friendly with canted angles and a load of references to the the italian thrillers of the late 70s, but it has no charm. Everyone in it is unlikable in very mundane ways and therefore you care little about their plights and the outcome.

Also that outcome lurches so sporadically out of nothing in the third act as to smash into oblivion any suspension of disbelief you’d actually managed to cultivate. Shame, it looked so good, but felt so bad.

Passion Rachel McAdams

#789 – The Way, Way Back

Drama

The Way, Way Back is good, really good. It has this delicate hand guiding it in terms of the sentiment and emotion, yet simultaneously manages to be clever and laugh out loud funny.

A lot of the humour stems from Sam Rockwell. His performance and delivery of genuinely great lines opposite the dead pan state of Liam Jones is perfect. The short sequence at the Pacman machine is sublime. It has the jive of Kevin Smith’s dialogue from the 90s, but with considerably less cynicism, making it an uplifting combination.

And there needs to be credit given to Toni and Steve. There’s a very subtle needy desperation in Collette’s performance as the mother, she’s the reality. As for Carrell? You don’t know the meaning of asshole until you’ve seen his turn as Trent, “I think you’re a 3!”

THE WAY, WAY BACK