#929 – Fruitvale Station

Drama

If you don’t know the reality that Fruitvale Station addresses then here’s a quick summation. White cop shoots unarmed black male; sound familiar? It’s a pertinent watch in the current climate and a powerful movie. Sadly, but arguably accurately, it does leave a viewer with a heavy feeling of futility and hopelessness in the face of social inequalities and injustices that won’t quit.

Fruitvale Station

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#928 – Joe

Drama

Joe is of a type, as in you’ve seen this story before. It doesn’t harm it though. Cage is, well like Cage, and the support is good as we watch characters struggle against their circumstance in a dog-eat-dog world. In case you miss that this is what’s going on there’s plenty of non-too subtle metaphorical dog-based nastiness thrown in, notably a dog eating another dog… I’m doing it a disservice, yes it’s Alsatian to the balls subtle, and predictable, but it’s also good movie.

Joe

#925 – Blue Ruin

Drama

I love it when an indie film you think might have a chance of being something special turns out to be even better; Blue Ruin is one of those movies.

Emotionally this film is epic, tragic in proportions rarely seen or felt in cinema. The flashes of violence are savagely realistic, as is the brick wall unreasonableness of the antagonists faced by the lowly and misguided vigilante, Dwight.

Director and writer Jeremy Saulnier made a film called Murder Party, which wasn’t great, but had real spirit and a clear knowledge of film. I can’t wait for his next outing…

Blue Ruin

#924 – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Comedy

Wes doesn’t seem to miss a beat and The Grand Budapest Hotel is no different. His vision is never not fully realised, which I’ve said before, but it’s worth mentioning, because it’s a rare gift for a director. His casting of Fiennes is inspired, the comic timing he brings to the central character of M. Gustave is perfect.

Against it, this film does miss the endearing charm that exists in most of his other work. It is due to the characters, they’re not lovable in the usual Wes way. They’re flawed and interesting and easy to sympathise with, but they all get (just about) what they deserve for their ultimately selfish endeavours.

#922 – Chef

Drama

Wow, what is Chef? Drama, comedy, an excuse for Favreau to learn how to make a decent Cuban sandwich? It’s not offensive, or even bad and does have quite a bit of food porn, plus Dustin Hoffman is in it! I’m so baffled by this movie. It’s not really anything. It’s so middle of the road as to be undefinable… Yet, I don’t want to slam it. Is it because it’s nice!?

Chef Jon Favreau Sofia Vergara

#920 – The Wind Rises

Drama

The Wind Rises is a pleasing experience, especially visually. It does though touch on that feeling of being educational rather than entertainment. It’s like when you learn that you’re going to be watching a film at school, you’re excited! But it turns out it’s actually didactic crap informing you sniffing glue is bad. That, or it’s Threads, and you’re left terrified forever…

The Wind Rises