David Lowery’s latest film pays an homage to the days of classic Hollywood crime films often led by a charismatic actor just simply being themselves on the screen, and in The Old Man & the Gun, we have one last spin for Robert Redford. At least what’s supposedly going to be, at that – but as a modern day tribute to the films that we’ve come to love Robert Redford for over the years, there’s a sentimental value present in The Old Man & the Gun that may also make the ride more heartfelt as it keeps going. But of course to those who have stuck so closely with the films of Robert Redford for as long as they have, we don’t simply view Redford as being any other “old man,” he personified a gentlemanly attitude that not many other actors could copy – and it’s not hard to be won over by that charm. Yet if this were truly going to be Robert Redford’s final film, you can still feel how much he really loves living in his prime; as if that wouldn’t already make a longtime fan feel so warm inside.
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Another year is complete, but not without having talked about the wonderful experiences we’ve had at the cinemas. Together with the not-so-wonderful films. But alas, this has been an extraordinary year for films for the highlights still managed to stick their landing inside of our minds – and the inevitable “what about such and such?” will come but I will remind you that it would have been outright impossible for me to have been able to catch virtually every movie that had come out the previous year to make sure I wouldn’t forget other highlights that may not have made it.
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It’s easy to find influences from Terrence Malick spreading everywhere, for David Lowery’s debut Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is only making itself clear its own homages to Badlands and Bonnie and Clyde among a few. But the fact that it lays upon these influences only is one thing that keeps me from coming closer, for it tries its best to feel soothing as a sight for the eyes and a sound for the ears, and yet on the inside it still feels so thin. I’m not even sure that writer-director David Lowery seemed especially interested in going beyond these stylistic influences to make something all the more compelling. It’s easy to see why Ain’t That Bodies Saints has drawn such a divided reaction towards the manner to which it is channeling Malick for some say it is a loving homage and others say it is a flagrant copy, and unfortunately I happen to be on the other side of the fence.
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It’s inevitable that after a passing year one must go about with talking upon what they’ve witnessed while time had gone on and with 2016 gone, a great year of cinema has indeed passed upon us and we’re only hoping for even more with a new one. In this blog entry, what I wish to cover are some of the best and worst films that I caught all throughout 2016 as of February 25, 2017. Continue reading →
There are three stories that I wish to share with each and every one of you as you read what I want to express after watching Manchester by the Sea. At only three feature films, Kenneth Lonergan has been able to create nothing but the most intimate portraits of flawed humans to have graced the screen within the 21st century and only this decade he has achieved the most power such seemingly simple studies of character could elicit – thus showing something only a director and screenwriter like Lonergan could have evoked within such a manner. And without further ado, said anecdotes will follow along as promised, in the order of chronological occurrence. While it may not be unfamiliar to see similar reactions coming out from Manchester by the Sea, there’s a shared gathering of emotion that I would nonetheless be happy to add to.
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I dislike many of Gus Van Sant’s films, so I was admittedly rather steady before coming into To Die For. Coming out of To Die For, the most pleasant surprise to which I have acquired out of it was that Gus Van Sant has indeed created a film that I also found myself never completely detached from in the end. With To Die For, Gus Van Sant has created a satire unlike any other, something that still rings quite amazingly with the mentality of people and a fear of their lack of relevance as time passes by especially among people who have earned fame for a short while. I only wish that Gus Van Sant had stayed so consistent in terms of the quality of his films especially when he has something as great as To Die For under his own belt. A film that’s truly as funny as it is also scary. Continue reading →
Another one of those frustratingly inspirational by-the-numbers “based on a true story” films once again. I’ve taken issue with films of this sort whether it’s blatant Oscar bait like The Theory of Everything, but this isn’t particularly any surprising when you have Disney as the producers of said film. Directed by Craig Gillespie, who was prior responsible for Million Dollar Arm (which I already rather disliked), what he’s created is once again another by-the-numbers biopic but while it’s not inherently a bad film, not enough is present that would have me considering it a good film either. Continue reading →
There’s a joy to watching heist films that felt so stunningly absent while Triple 9 was going on. Remember how expertly crafted the tension can be at least when done so perfectly under the hands of Michael Mann, Jean-Pierre Melville, or Jules Dassin when they were directing Heat, Le Cercle Rouge, or Rififi? Try to imagine any of those three films which I’ve mentioned without the suspense that kept everyone at the edge of their seat, and within no time, you’ll have whatever it was that Triple 9 was offering. Admittedly, you have two fantastic heist sequences setting the bar for the film, but my only wish was that John Hillcoat, whose own body of work I haven’t particularly been the most fond of, had chosen to handle them in a manner it would really stick within my head. Continue reading →