Tag Archive | 4.0

117- Everything Must Go [3.5]

The same day Nick gets fired, for falling off the wagon one last time, he returns home to discover his wife has left him, changed the locks on their suburban home and dumped all his possessions out on the front yard.

Though I’d prefer not to shove a film into a specific genre, Everything Must Go is so incredibly indie it borderlines on the offensive. From the fingerpicked guitar and electric piano-filled soundtrack to a talented comedic actor taking a dramatic turn, down to the
cute, troubled supporting child actor, the whole affair felt incredibly unbelievable. I kept waiting for Everything Must Go to take an unexpected turn but alas it was nothing but one boring scene after another. As oppose to say an Adam Sandler in Punch Drunk Love performance or Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Ferrell can’t seem to shake his comedic chops in spite of a handful of good scenes.

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114- Prometheus [4.0]

A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe.

Might as well get this out of the way first: Prometheus is a gorgeously shot movie. The opening sequence is jaw-dropping beautiful and one of the few things Ridley Scott’s film maintains from beginning to end is its interesting visual palette. Everything else is such a crushing disappointment. The biggest offender is Damon Lindelof’s awful script, which like his work for Lost, is all about setting up big themes and throwing enough shit at the wall to lead message board fanatics to hypothesize for days on end when in truth there’s so little substance onscreen to warrant anything more than a unsupported debate. Nothing is more offensive than the manner in which the film ends. It is no matter to me what relation this film has or doesn’t have to the rest of the Alien series. All that was necessary for me to enjoy was for it to work as a standalone movie. Unfortunately, Prometheus suffers under the weight of its own stupidity.

56- Big Fan [4.0]

A parking garage attendant and lifelong New York Giants fan finds his life spinning out of control following an altercation with his favorite football player.

Big Fan offers very little into the psyche of an obsessive sports fan. Director Robert Siegel (who wrote this as well as Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler) shows little respect for his characters, thus making it difficult to get behind anyone. It seemed to me that Patton Oswalt’s Paul is meant to be looked at as pathetic, which I take no issue with– it’s the fact that not a single person in the film is treated any better that makes Big Fan hard to enjoy.

41- The Troll Hunter [4.0]

The story of a group of Norwegian film students that set out to capture real-life trolls on camera after learning their existence has been covered up for years by a government conspiracy.

At one point early on in The Troll Hunter, a character says “We are patiently waiting for something to happen.” Regardless if this was a wink at the audience or not, I certainly felt the same way. The film doesn’t add much to the shaky camera, found footage genre, and suffers most when attempting to be political. The troll CGI (that’s something you don’t say everyday) looks best in broad daylight but doesn’t fare as well when the cameraman has to turn on night-vision. For a low budget film, it’s still somewhat impressive, and makes me wish that the filmmakers took a different visual approach to the material.

39- The American [4.0]

As an assassin, Jack is constantly on the move and always alone. After a job in Sweden ends more harshly than expected for this American abroad, Jack retreats to the Italian countryside. He relishes being away from death for a spell as he holes up in a small medieval town. While there, Jack takes an assignment to construct a weapon for a mysterious contact.

Anton Corbijn is an exceptional photographer. His debut film Control was a beautifully shot biopic about Ian Curtis and Joy Division. The American is also a pleasure to look at, but it is awfully boring to watch. I’m not sure if it’s writer Rowan JoffĂ© or author Martin Booth’s (whose book the movie is based on) fault, but they waited entirely too long to get the audience invested in the protagonist. Regardless, it is my hope that Corbijn can find the right material that doesn’t feel like such a chore.

27- Never Let Me Go [4.0]

An alternate history story of a woman who, as she reflects on her private school years in the English countryside, reunites with her two friends to face the dark secrets tied to their communal past.

The one thing I appreciated about Never Let Me Go was its alternative “what if?” historical fiction slant. It took me a while to grasp that the premise is one of science fiction, though it doesn’t play out in the conventional science fiction sense. Andrew Garfield is always a pleasure on screen, but Keira Knightley doesn’t do much with the material. Never Let Me Go is a dull film, and from what I’ve read, a far better novel.

19- Fish Tank [4.0]

Fifteen-year-old Mia’s world is turned upside down when her mother brings home a new boyfriend.

Fish Tank hits you over the head with symbolism. There’s a chained white horse and a fish gasping for air out of water. First time actress (a casting agent found her after overhearing her fight with her boyfriend) Katie Jarvis does a fine job as Mia, but the film spirals out of control as it proceeds. You know who Michael Fassbender’s Connor is right away, and the end of his character’s arc is quite puzzling. Fish Tank is worth watching only if you wish to re-confirm that is indeed very often cloudy in England.