Polluting Paradise (2013) - dir. Faith Akin
A documentary for only the most compassionate of folks. It’s unrelenting in its depressive tones. There is no hope, no reason to root for the people. Apparently Faith Akin is the Turkish MIchael Moore. It’s a tragedy… but presented only as such, and Akin fails as a filmmaker to make his story compelling.
Cars 2 (2011) - dir. John Lasseter & Brad Lewis
Sometimes you have to refuse to see a film. I will not watch Cars 2 unless I am paid to do so. Until then, I present you Cars 2: my lowest rated revue of all time and also a celebration.
This marks review #500.
The White Ribbon (2009) - dir. Michael Haneke
Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke frustrates to no end with his somber children’s tale that takes place in the fictional Eichland, Germany. The White Ribbon has some incredibly powerful scenes, and might have the best black-and-white cinematography of all time (courtesy of Christian Berger). But what’s missing from the fictional Eichland is hope and love. The film was very reminiscent of von Trier’s Dogville - but what Dogville had was a Tom. Someone to introduce the town to the audience in a loving way.
The White Ribbon is an episodic narrative that centers around a singular place… and one thing about Eichland is for certain: you would never want to go there. Haneke succeeds at painting a near-morbid picture of a small pre-WWI German town… but to watch the White Ribbon is to subject yourself to pain and suffering without anything to latch on to. A frustrating film because of how well it was made… and how little you’ll care.
Cosmopolis (2012) - dir. David Cronenberg
Do yourself a favor and go out and buy a stopwatch, come home, make a bowl of popcorn, pull up Netflix, start the stopwatch, start Cosmopolis and see how long it take until you think of thirty other things you’d rather be doing. If you make it halfway through the film… I’ll be impressed.
David Cronenberg is a prolific filmmaker whose filmography takes a definite hit with this… well… drivel. This is my second time seeing a film with Robert Pattinson (the first being the Goblet of Fire) and it’s safe to say I am not impressed. I’ve actually heard some really terrific things about the source material, but it’s obvious from the opening shot and sound design that this film is a complete failure.
Somewhere Slow (2013) - dir. Jeremy O’Keefe
If I were Jeremy O’Keefe I would do everything in my power to have my name removed from this… er… “film.” Yeah… it was that bad. The worst part about Somewhere Slow is how dedicated the actors and director were to making this. It reminded me of the Room. Somewhere Slow is the worst love story you’ll ever see… and it’s bad, bad, so so terribly bad.
Like Crazy (2011) - dir. Drake Doremus
A realistic portrayal of young love, and - more importantly - the morons whom it affects. The set-up of Like Crazy happens much too unnaturally and far too quickly. We get that Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and Anna (Felicity Jones) fall in love with each other… but there’s nothing about their romantic puppy-dog love that’s entertaining or unique. Nearly every person who studies abroad has some romantic interest that they look at dreamily but in reality was only perfect because of its imminent end. We never get a chance to meet Anna and Jacob for who they are - though apparently neither one of them has trouble finding the exact job they want after they graduate.
I don’t care if it’s based on real life, it never feels real. It’s always a movie and it’s always tragic and there’s no dramatic tension, and Jennifer Lawrence shows up and then just fades away and ugh. Ugh, ugh, ugh.
The Descendants (2011) - dir. Alexander Payne
I’ll keep this quick, because Payne wouldn’t: the opening narration was too long, the art direction overcomplicated a very simplistic film, the time device used to push the plot along was never interesting, a lot of things just happened without consequence… I’m not sure if most of the characters wanted anything at all, and the score was far too present. There.