‘Triangle of Sadness’ TIFF Review: Palme d’Or Winning Satire Comes Packaged Without Filter

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Ruben Östlund wins the Palme d’Or at Cannes again, following his first win with 2017’s The Square – and he certainly hasn’t gotten any less vicious ever since. With Triangle of Sadness, Östlund goes without being filtered, his satire feeling like it’s reached a new height, showing the lifestyles of the rich at their most vulnerable. It’s only the least of where all the riotously funny moments from Triangle of Sadness come about, but watching everything come together is where one could only get the feeling that it’s only playing out like a time bomb and as the audience, you’re waiting for everything to explode at some point or another. And the moment the explosion hits, it’s hard to look away from the chaos.

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Solo: A Star Wars Story Adds Nothing New to a Story We Already Know – A Review

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Usually there’s always some form of excitement coming right before stepping into a Star Wars film but in the case of Solo: A Star Wars Story I could not ever bring myself to be even find myself even able to get enthusiastic in the slightest. As a matter of fact, my potential enthusiasm had already died off given the film’s troubled production history which involved numerous reshoots after the firing of the film’s initial directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, only to have been replaced by Ron Howard – a director who I’ve never exactly been the fondest of for the most part. As I walked into Solo: A Star Wars Story, I was hoping that all of my skepticisms would have faded away from watching the final product given as it was only properly marketed just a few months before its release – only to have found that every reason I had for being skeptical of how this would turn out would have been reaffirmed. Even Rogue One had given me some hope as much as I was never on board with the idea of a Star Wars anthology, but I can’t say that I felt anything from Solo.

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General Thoughts: The 90th Academy Awards

One knows already how predictable the Academy Awards can become after the route of the Golden Globes and the SAG Awards among many more, but in the 90 years that we have seen them moving onward, what they had managed to turn forth was not only one of the strongest lineups in a while but also one of the most pleasantly surprising, knowing where their own habits lie. If there was anything else to be said about what the Academy Awards have in store for us this year, then it only makes this year’s ceremony – unlike the past few at least, worth looking forward to.

Bold indicates my vote for said category.
Underline indicates who I think will win.

To read more about the picks this year in the major categories, click “read more.” Continue reading →

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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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Review

✯✯✯✯½

At first I thought I knew what I was expecting because of the fact that Martin McDonagh was writing and directing. From In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths I would already have expected yet another dark comedy reveling in bloody violence and clever dialogue. What I didn’t expect was for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri to also have much more of an emotional arc on its own behalf – all in order to back up what might also be one of the year’s most sociopolitically relevant films. This is a film that builds itself on anger, but it all seems so controlled to the point it even finds the perfect time for us to laugh. But many contradictions come along the way and soon reveal something all the more insightful and even if it may be drenched in what we’ve come to recognize from McDonagh’s trademarks it still feels so beautifully refreshing.

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War for the Planet of the Apes – Review

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I’m still unsure on what ground these new Planet of the Apes movies have any right to being nearly as good as they are. The first reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a pleasant surprise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes had put good use to what had already been set in motion by its predecessor to create a broader canvas within its narrative, and now with War for the Planet of the Apes, it may very well be all coming to an end. With director Matt Reeves returning behind the camera, it was only fitting to expect more exciting results would come by and my expectations were met perfectly. Knowing that one story was already about to come and meet its own end, what Matt Reeves has formed in War for the Planet of the Apes was only the most fitting conclusion that this new Planet of the Apes franchise has received – enough for me even to say they might as well be a better series than the original films at that.

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Natural Born Killers – Review

✯½

Oliver Stone’s films have been loud about whatever subjects they wish to carry and in some cases they have been beneficial but me not being a fan of his generally speaking, there’s a level to which they just come off as meaningless shouting. One of the most evident cases of such is Natural Born Killers which quite evidently wants to be something more clever deep down (Quentin Tarantino developed the story) but everything soon enough just goes nowhere. I understand already it’s supposed to play as a satire upon media’s fascination with serial killers but even on that count it never works well enough and instead it takes comfort in an ugly aesthetic.

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The Edge of Seventeen – Review

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High school films have never been my cup of tea, so naturally I would have wanted to skip The Edge of Seventeen – only to have been proven wrong the moment I actually watched the film for myself and it hit home even more from then onward. Kelly Fremon Craig’s directorial debut is not a teen film, it’s a film about teenagers overcoming a sense of themselves and finding comfort, one that hits on many more authentic notes especially in catching on awkwardness that arises when one is at the point where they must free themselves from control and become more independent – something I caught onto rather quickly, and from there on I knew I would enjoy The Edge of Seventeen much more than I initially expected.

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The Thin Red Line – Review

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Terrence Malick breaks a twenty year hiatus by presenting audiences with The Thin Red Line, a poem set during WWII beautifully detailing the humanity of the soldiers from C Company and their trial amidst the Battle of Mount Austen. Where The Thin Red Line becomes a truly special film to experience arises from how it is no ordinary Hollywood war film, but in some manner, a universal tale that in the end creates a beautiful resonance within one’s mind. At near three hours, Terrence Malick takes his audiences on a journey amidst the lunacy that would be present within the war and in the end, an easy contender for the best WWII film of all time. It may not be my favourite of the sort, but when talking about such, it certainly is not a film that I would leave out. Continue reading →

Triple 9 – Review

✯½

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 →