‘The Northman’ Review: Valhalla Arises in Robert Eggers’s New Epic

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The third feature film of writer-director Robert Eggers isn’t a horror film much like The Witch or The Lighthouse were, but the way in which Eggers brings you into his worlds whether it be through the usage of old age English or the elaborate sets – when considering the historical settings of his films, is nothing short of impressive. It was easy enough to see that from The Lighthouse onward, Eggers certainly would have found himself growing to become more ambitious as a filmmaker and it’s perhaps best reflected by what you’re seeing in The Northman, which may just as well be his most visually stunning film to date. Yet to Eggers, it’s not simply about mere aesthetic, it’s all about transporting the audience back through time, which I believe he succeeds at beautifully in here.

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Hold the Dark is Ugly, Lean, and Mean, but Maybe Not Enough: TIFF Review

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The source material upon which Jeremy Saulnier’s Hold the Dark is based on already seems like the perfect ground for him to cover after Green Room, but coming after said film I’m also rather surprised by how much of a slog this also feels by comparison. But with a small body of work already you can see that he has established a keen eye for capturing violence on the camera, and he still retains that power in Hold the Dark, yet to a less straightforward degree. Being Saulnier’s first film to have been adapted from another source, there’s another constraint that comes on board with telling such a story for the screen but at the same time it’s so unlike Saulnier’s previous films – there’s at least something to admire about what he creates here. But the more it sits in my mind, the more I find that I’m just unsure of what to say about everything that had come prior. It feels so weird to have left a film of this sort feeling inconclusive about what it was supposedly trying to get across, but I still have faith that Jeremy Saulnier can retain such a skill to come back on the top again.

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Mute – Review

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I think it’s already occurred to me, what doesn’t work about Mute is the fact that it doesn’t feel like a product of its own setting. Director Duncan Jones’s fourth feature film is a noir of many ideas, but never do they feel as fully realized as he wishes. For during the running time of Mute, all that I was wanting to say was that it kept reminding me of Blade Runner and as I sat there, it never left my mind – because I knew on the spot that I would much rather be watching said film. At least from watching Blade Runner, I get the idea that I’m watching ideas coming together, but considering the state in which Mute‘s production had lasted, it almost feels like it has no excuse to be so empty thematically. In fact, if this was Duncan Jones’s own attempt at being Blade Runner, it feels more like the complete opposite of Blade Runner.

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