12 Years a Slave, a Harrowing Confrontation of America’s Past Mistakes and One of Humanity’s Greatest Tragedies: Review

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Steve McQueen’s third feature film sees the British filmmaker returning back to the roots of adapting history to the screen, but much like Hunger, he only ever remains so uneasy yet his perspective can only make clearer what it really felt like to suffer at the hands of slavery in America. It’s one thing to note the very willingness that Steve McQueen has when it comes to bringing these stories to the big screen for as difficult as they may end up being, but as uncompromising his approach may be, his choice not to hold back already feels eye-opening. From watching 12 Years a Slave you’re made to see the very hell that Solomon Northup had been made to live through in a world that only tried to establish him as being of a lesser kind; but McQueen leaves you wondering the very extent to which we truly have moved further as a species. It’s one among many things that solidifies why Steve McQueen is among the best working filmmakers, but even at showing the most difficult atrocities that one can be made to endure there’s an incredible sense of empathy that his approach evokes that makes 12 Years a Slave a powerful experience.

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Man on the Moon – Review

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“Man on the Moon” has always been one of my favourite songs from R.E.M.’s Automatic for the People, because it was as beautiful a tribute to Andy Kaufman as one can create. It was only fitting that when Milos Forman were to direct a film based on Kaufman’s life, he wouldn’t only take the title from the R.E.M. song but he’d also have them score the film. And to play Andy Kaufman himself, he’d cast a comedic actor who’s already odd in his own ways, Jim Carrey. But as I’ve never known so much about Andy Kaufman prior to watching Man on the Moon for my first time as a younger kid who would look up to Jim Carrey’s comic persona, only to find myself appreciating the man all the more after looking into his performances and my appreciation for Man on the Moon had only grown stronger. And it still remains a side to Jim Carrey that I wish was more common.

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Morgan – Review

There was a time I remember when Ridley Scott had managed to create one of the most unsettling and thus one of the greatest horror films ever made by playing upon the fear of the unknown with the original Alien film. I’m not even sure if his son, Luke Scott, had gotten a grasp on what it was that made Alien a genre defining work just as it did, because there’s a lot here that almost rings from the beats that made Alien as effective as it was; only numbed down as a result of its attempts to reach out at pseudo-philosophy almost as if it were aping on Alex Garland’s Ex Machina from a year prior. It’s almost like a diet mix of both Alien and Ex Machina in the very worst sense possible, because there’s no thrill to be found within the action they present nor is there anything insightful to come about: Morgan is just a film that lies dead in the water all around.

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San Andreas – Review

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The formula to making a film like San Andreas is inherently clear from the moment in which it starts up, giving away the many problems that will soon arise as they continue to plague disaster films. While not particularly something extremely harmful, what is presented in San Andreas is so obviously lacking when it comes to its own intelligence and care for where it wishes to head. What San Andreas displays through the course of its near two-hour long running time is an exercise in laziness that would try to pass itself off as “dumb fun,” but in turn succeed in leaving the audience with nothing else but utter disinterest for what goes on, for at its worst, it is boring. Continue reading →