‘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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‘The Goldfinch’ TIFF Review: A Gorgeous, Incomplete, Almost Incomprehensible Disaster of Sorts

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Donna Tartt won the Pulitzer Prize for her 2013 novel, but the idea of adapting such a dense novel for the screen already seemed like a daunting task in and of itself. There’s a lot to admire about the effort that director John Crowley had tried to put into adapting The Goldfinch into a film but it’s also rather apparent how much of this does at all translate well onto the big screen. There’s a great story that could easily have been told from reading Donna Tartt’s novel, but even with John Crowley’s literate directorial approach, there’s so little sense to be found out of what he could churn out from bringing The Goldfinch to the screen. At its long running time, it still feels really slight yet even then you feel like you’re being overloaded with information that won’t ever be leading yourself anywhere. The more it goes on, the more it only becomes confusing, and any trace of meaning that it’s reaching for only results in more jumping around in terms of its structure, adding up to nowhere.

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‘Aquaman’ Review: Working with Too Much Within Too Little

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There’s a lot about Aquaman that easily should have placed it above most other films from the DC Extended Universe, but even if that were the case it also shows how much they still have yet to overcome after starting off with a rather rocky note. In bringing the underwater superhero to the big screen, James Wan does the very best that he can in order to try and improve upon the rather rough introduction that we got from him through the halfway-completed Justice League but even the roughest patches of Aquaman still ended up reminding me of what held back Justice League from being as great as it could have been. Yet despite that, it’s also a case where the film’s weirdest moments also churn out some of the more fascinating aspects to come out from the film because it’s hard enough having any clear idea what’s going on, the least of what can be said when you have so much going on underwater with so much dramatic heft. You’re left wondering how much of this really is necessary, and how much actually means anything.

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Boy Erased and the Stigma of Gay Conversion Therapy: TIFF Review

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During my high school years, I had often made an effort to hide the fact that I was queer from many of my peers – even my closest friends and family members. After coming out of the closet, I found myself within a greater state of freedom and yet even some of my biggest fears were also more realized too. I was always worried about what people would be saying to me, given as I had often been living under a conservative environment, and even been made to believe in – even if I never felt most comfortable with what I would be made to say about the world around me. This already feels most fitting for me to talk about as I talk about Boy Erased, because of the very fears that I know conversion therapy would be placing upon many LGBTQ+ individuals all across the world. Which makes talking about Boy Erased especially complicated because there’s another stigma that comes by that is also triggered by the concept of a church-funded conversion therapy. So among many reasons I wanted to see Boy Erased was because of what I hoped it would make the general public understand about what conversion therapy does to people like myself.

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Paddington – Review

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I’m not really sure what I was expecting from Paddington as I first watched it, but it reminded me of something that I wished more family films had carried in this day and age. It carries all the best aspects of any family movie so that kids can enjoy it, but even adults would be left in awe as they watch together with their own children. It’s a film that knows how to invite a new audience to come along the ride, because it’s hard not to be won over by the sweetness of the presence of Paddington Bear himself. Those of you who would come into Paddington only expecting as much as a cute film about a bear coming into England will end up finding something more special, because what that sets oneself up for is a live action/CGI hybrid for the family done right.

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2017: A Year in Review

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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The Killing of a Sacred Deer – Review

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At least a whole day has passed since I had seen Yorgos Lanthimos’s The Killing of a Sacred Deer in theaters and I am still struggling to put together how I actually felt about it. After a rewatch of The Lobster had gone horribly for me, I was rather skeptical that his next English-language effort would end up leaving the same effect on me but I didn’t get exactly that. Perhaps there’s something about this that I had missed because I know Lanthimos’s films are characterized by social commentary under the guise of incredibly morbid humour and for every moment that I laughed in The Killing of a Sacred Deer I also felt like I wasn’t fully within the moment. But for everything that I admired about The Killing of a Sacred Deer there was also so much that I could not get behind at the exact same time.

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The Beguiled (2017) – Review

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Unlike many other people who’ve also seen the original film directed by Don Siegel I’m not going to spend so much of the review drawing comparisons between said film and this new version as told by Sofia Coppola considering how they’re telling the same story with completely different intentions behind them. It’s easy to admire how Sofia Coppola drastically changes the pace of her own works so that she can set herself out to be a harder filmmaker to pinpoint stylistically, but this isn’t the first time she’s made a period piece – although there’s a certain playfulness that can be detected from her own experiments that allows her to remain distinctive. And although I haven’t consistently loved her work (Lost in Translation still remains the pinnacle of her own directorial efforts to myself), it was easy enough for me to recognize she’s a talented filmmaker to keep my eyes peeled for.

 

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Lion – Review

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Garth Davis’s Lion feels like a debut film, not exactly on the count that it is in fact one such but since all he was known for prior was directing episodes of Top of the Lake together with a few television commercials, something quick were only set to come forward. With Lion he takes a powerful true story and the sort of mood it carries all throughout is not a particularly assuring one. On one hand you have what already is what you can recognize as material that could easily be so compelling and heartbreaking then suddenly said mood is gone creating a frustratingly disjointed product. Every awards season there’s a film with this sort of feeling that comes out, pertaining to how it seems only around to garner awards: Lion is arguably the biggest case scenario for 2016.

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To Die For – Review

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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 →