Again, another far too quiet film watching month for me in September. The writing of Sydney Underground Film Festival reviews took up pretty much all of my time devoted to film. And Amy and I were married a week ago, so the planning and carrying out of that awesomeness took up most of the rest of my energy. Let me know your thoughts on these flicks though in the comments section below.
- Easy Virtue (1928), Alfred Hitchcock – This is the first of Hitch’s silent films I have seen. It almost looks like Kubrick shot it in parts. There is plenty of playful camerawork and creative POV shots. Based on a play, in terms of story, there is next to nothing going on. Though the family politics/machinations right at the end are of moderate interest. If you are a Hitch completist, this is a cool exhibition of his early style. Everyone else can probably afford to skip it though. You can check the whole thing out here:
- The Past (2013), Asghar Farhadi – I actually prefer this to A Separation (2011). There are dense layers of meaning and relationships. Which makes it sound like a slog, but it is so well written and acted that it breezes by. Ali Mosaffa brings Ahmad to life with a really nuanced performance and he is one of the best characters of recent memory. A very good, slow burn drama film.
- What We Do in the Shadows (2014), Jermaine Clement & Taika Waititi – What a stellar year for Kiwi comedy. This is a piss-funny film, both silly and smart. Actually one of the few recent films that drew genuine laughs pretty much non-stop from me. Jermaine Clement and the other stars are all really ggood with the characters helping to hold interest. The sharehouse familiarity, combined with vampire ludicrousness and mockumentary stylings help it to stand high above the average comedy.
Not Worth Watching:
- God’s Pocket (2014), John Slattery – The stellar cast – Philip Seymour Hoffman, Christina Hendricks, Eddie Marsan, Caleb Landry Hones Richard Jenkins and John Turturro – can’t save this poorly scripted effort. There is a reasonable sense of place, but no sense of character and story. There are just no stakes and the grime and dirt of the life that is supposedly being shown is just not there. No texture and some horribly misjudged characters make for a dull overall experience.
- The Maze Runner (2014), Wes Ball – A killer concept wrecked by appalling writing and performances. The latter coming from some people who I have seen do really good work, such as Will Poulter and Thomas Brodie Sangster. A pity as the cool sci-fi ideas are tops and the film encompasses some really dark and tense sequences. Plus it’s got a giant frickin maze. It’s an utter sausage fest for some reason too.
If you only have time to watch one What We Do in the Shadows
Avoid at all costs God’s Pocket