Pablo Larraín’s latest film, a biopic about Jacqueline Kennedy from the days after JFK’s death, is one of the year’s most frustrating films, one in the sense it feels far too much like an obscured portrait of its own subject. On one hand there’s a technically impressive feat that’s allowing itself to shine all the way through but somehow it seems that Pablo Larraín’s handling of the subject is just so alienating where it should be intriguing. My assumption was that if it were the point to get a grasp on what Jacqueline Kennedy was like after JFK’s death, it was one among many factors to why Jackie never finds itself working as well as it should. Rather instead, it just feels so empty and never moves out of the single spot it remains within.
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Antoine Fuqua remakes another remake with The Magnificent Seven, his latest offering thus far. Being a remake of a remake, there’s always room to turn something into one’s own vision and that’s part of what I was hoping for in this new take on the story inspired from Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, but something about it also feels empty. What happened to the excitement of watching a group of seven fight for good? Sure, there’s fun to be had within certain moments of the film but perhaps they only work because of how the film presents itself out to be as a result of those involved rather than offering much to stand on its own. Quite surprisingly, that is actually not what bothered me most about this re-imagining of the classic tale. Continue reading →
Mismatched pairings aren’t particularly new for action-comedies, but it’s easy to do them just wrong and Knight of Day isn’t any different. It starts off from having Tom Cruise, an actor who can be extremely charismatic if he’s inside of a role that fits him, paired together with Cameron Diaz, who has always hit me as nothing more than a bland if pretty face. Those aren’t the least of my many problems that arise from Knight and Day, but with that factor out there, it’s already a bad sign. There are moments in Knight and Day that are funnier than all of the rest, but at best it’s only a light chuckle as opposed to what the film wished it could have brought out even more. Stuff really doesn’t get all that much worse from right down there though, but Knight and Day still never finds itself working even with the effort it tries to display. Continue reading →