Steve McQueen’s Hunger is One of the Most Impressive Debut Films of the 2000’s: Review

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Of the many impressive directorial debuts to come out within the 2000’s, there’s not quite another one much like British filmmaker Steve McQueen’s own Hunger. A film like Hunger is the sort that is so hard to even see as a first effort, because it’s also a film whose subject would be so difficult to capture so seamlessly in a directorial debut. But the very roots of Steve McQueen’s best tendencies as a director already feel so fully formed, whether it be the visible anger that you feel in the film’s more quiet moments or the long shots lingering upon every small detail of what its characters feel, everything flows far too perfectly in Hunger. But if there’s anything that keeps Hunger within one’s head, it would also have to be the manner to which its own political commentary has retained its relevance in a modern world, despite our means of convincing ourselves that we truly have moved past mistakes that are inevitably going to be repeated. It is a film that feels every bit as painful as its subject matter would sound, but there is never a moment in which Steve McQueen ever lets go of how visceral it feels to be within that very setting by creating a world of pure upset.

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Wendy and Lucy is One of the Most Shattering Films of Last Decade

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Kelly Reichardt is one of the most understated American filmmakers working today, but she is also one of the very best. There’s always something more beautiful within the quietness of her movies that ends up making them so much bigger than what they look like – and that brings me to Wendy and Lucy. Right here is the sort of movie that doesn’t need more than what it already has to show how life is as hard as it is, because of how much it draws from the experience of the title characters – struggling to even find themselves living a lifestyle that can support either of them, it works almost like an Italian neorealist picture would. It feels almost like a perfect reminder that sometimes quietness is what speaks more than enough about the state of one’s life, and what Kelly Reichardt manages to achieve in Wendy and Lucy is a film that builds itself around Wendy’s own ambition while recognizing her limits and thus comes by one of the most heartbreaking films of the 21st century, maybe even Reichardt’s masterpiece.

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Let the Right One In – Review

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John Ajvide Lindqvist’s original novel is one of my favourite novels, and I feel that having read it (sadly not in its original text) would have ended up dampening my own memories of Tomas Alfredson’s film adaptation, but watching it again as I find has also helped me with my own appreciation of the work. Beyond being what I had simply remembered it for being as romance between a bullied boy and a vampire, there’s yet another tale about the discovery of sexuality hidden underneath the surface through a clever allegory. Though not quite as explicit as the novel’s detailing, just looking at how well does this film adaptation function on its own creates a tangible universe in which Lindqvist had initially created for the screens already makes it worth talking about, for not only is this one of the best vampire films in recent memory (not like there really is much competition anyways) but also one of the most unique horror films of the past decade.

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Step Brothers – Review

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I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve watched Step Brothers before I got into movies, for I’d always come out laughing at the silliness shown inside of a concept that revolves around 40-year-old man children still trying to acquire normal lives for themselves. But I was worried what coming back to Step Brothers for my first time in so long would do to my own opinion for my own taste in films has only grown within the many years, although to my own delight it didn’t only hold up. I’ve only found myself laughing even more from watching Step Brothers than I could remember having done so years back. And I’m not always a fan of Will Ferrell in the meantime, but with watching him in Adam McKay movies he makes this silliness work so perfectly, and that’s what I’ve always loved about Step Brothers, the manner in which it embraces how silly it is without pretending to be more.

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The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Review

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Less offensive than Forrest Gump in terms of how it alters history for the sake of its own self-important sense of sentimentality, but at the hands of David Fincher – it was the most that one can hope for with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Granted, Forrest Gump will be among the first films that one will think of when one talks about David Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button because the similarities within the sort of narrative experimentation which they are working with are not limited from the fact that the two of them share Eric Roth as a screenwriter but also from what they make of their setting. And for as much as I love the work of David Fincher, this was always one of my biggest struggles in regards to his filmography for by my own personal experience, it took me three attempts to make it through The Curious Case of Benjamin Button without feeling a need to fall asleep, but even describing such a film as “bloated” doesn’t even begin to cover why it’s such a frustrating, even annoying experience.

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Still Walking – Review

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When I first saw Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Still Walking, the first thing that would have come to mind from my own experience with it was none other than the work of Yasujiro Ozu. My own love for the work of Ozu was something that only compelled me to watch Still Walking for my first time and on many subsequent revisits, it retains that power – for in the simplest actions it manages to become something all the more profound. I’ve read somewhere that Hirokazu Kore-eda is not fond of the Yasujiro Ozu comparisons (he said he would much rather be linked to the likes of Ken Loach) but with a film like Still Walking it feels irresistible. About as close as we can get to modern day Ozu.

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Ponyo – Review

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Despite my usual love for the films of Hayao Miyazaki, Ponyo has always been one of my least favourites from him. Regardless, there’s still a lot about it that I like and I can’t really call it a bad film by any means, because it’s still enjoyable while it lasts. Sure, it still has a whole lot of really goofy elements behind it but I think there’s enough to keep one waiting for more to come along. It’s rather disappointing especially when you compare it to a masterwork much like Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, or My Neighbor Totoro, but it should provide enough to keep one satisfied. It feels like a film so wallowed with its approach which shouldn’t be a bad thing, but in this scenario it had me thrown off although not to the degree which Howl’s Moving Castle had done so (the only Miyazaki film which I found rather difficult to absorb). Continue reading →