‘Come and See’ Review: Carrying The Burden of Survivor’s Guilt

✯✯✯✯✯

To call Elem Klimov’s final film Come and See one of the finest of war films would not be enough in order to describe what the experience of watching it would feel like. There has never been a more raw, more horrifying depiction of pure evil onscreen, one that ever made you feel like you were a part of everything that unfolded as the war kept going. Make no mistake, this is not an easy film to watch, but you’ll never come out from watching Come and See feeling like you’re the same person again – if anything it stays with you the moment it finishes, and provides one of the most visceral of any cinematic experiences that you can imagine.

Continue reading →

‘After Hours’ Review: A Hitchcockian Comedy from Martin Scorsese

✯✯✯✯✯

After Hours isn’t the sort of film that many would normally associate a director like Martin Scorsese with; yet despite that I also believe it to be one of his best films to date. Amidst his struggle to find the necessary funding in order to bring The Last Temptation of Christ to the big screen, he follows up the box office failure of The King of Comedy with After Hours, one of the funniest films of the 1980’s. What already shows itself to be one ordinary guy’s bad night, Martin Scorsese turns what should seem like a simple comedy about a blind date gone horribly wrong into the most bizarre film of his career. Yet the fact that Martin Scorsese was able to make something like this in his long career also showcases his many talents as a filmmaker.

Continue reading →

‘Police Story’ Review: A Perfect Blend of Death-Defying Action and Slapstick Comedy

✯✯✯✯✯

There’s no one who quite matches a modern day equivalent of Buster Keaton the same way that Jackie Chan does. Like Keaton, Chan has also directed himself as he performs many of his own stunts, no matter how dangerous they may be, but there’s no denying that the spectacle of what was to come by is something out of the ordinary. But he also manages to perfectly mix the excitement with a touch of comedy too, and there’s no film that best sums up everything that Jackie Chan has always been able to do at his best than Police Story. From first moment to last, Jackie Chan presents an action spectacle unlike any other – because who needs the elaborate action of gunplay when you also start off with Jackie Chan driving right through a shanty town in the opening, especially since none of that excitement ever stops. This is a film that best shows everything that the action genre can be like at its best, and the more it goes on, the more you’ll only find yourself wanting it to continue. But most importantly, there’s so much to love about the very dedication that Jackie Chan puts into making Police Story possible, because no one puts their audiences in the mood of the sequence in that same way Jackie Chan does.

Continue reading →

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters – Review

✯✯✯✯✯

I never knew anything about Yukio Mishima prior to my first watch of Paul Schrader’s biopic about him. What I did know about the film beforehand, it came from the Philip Glass score which I already had recognized from its use in Peter Weir’s wonderful The Truman Show – but I didn’t know it came out from here. When I watched this film, I did feel like I was growing closer to another process of a different person’s artistry. But I’m not even sure how Paul Schrader managed to form something like this out of the life story of Yukio Mishima, and thus what he has left us with is without a doubt one of the greatest biopics ever to have been made: it was the sort of experience that wasn’t placing you around oneself in order to get a taste of what the man was like. Because Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters isn’t so much a film entirely about Yukio Mishima, it was living and breathing in his culture.

Continue reading →

Ran – Review

✯✯✯✯✯

From the many filmmakers out there who have adapted Shakespeare over the years, no one has understood such works better than Akira Kurosawa has. With Throne of Blood he provides the very best version of Macbeth that the screen has ever witnessed but with Ran comes arguably the finest of all Shakespeare adaptations with its own rendition of King Lear. My own affinity for the films of Akira Kurosawa stems more from the sheer fact he has directed my favourite film of all time but from how he grasps a means of setting up sequences one after another, for no other cinematic storyteller had carried a grasp much like that of his own. With Ran he has only created one of the finest examples of the craft as of yet but even my first exposure could not have allowed me to grab onto what made thus particular film above all else as the greatest Shakespearean tragedy adapted for the screen.

Continue reading →

Brazil – Review

✯✯✯✯✯

Terry Gilliam’s Brazil is one of the biggest struggles I’ve had in a long time, not in the sense that it is a bad film, but because I find it so hard to pinpoint every last detail about why I love such a film. On first watch, I had a very odd impression of it and it didn’t leave very much of a clear taste in my mouth, but over the years, my love for the film has developed and it has quickly become a film that only goes to remind me of the intelligence to be found in such an art form. Brazil just goes to remind me what I love about movies in the first place. In that sense, I always love how a film like this is willing to play around with our own senses, but it leaves more that resonates like many of my own favourites do. Brazil is truly something remarkable. Continue reading →