Jafar Panahi’s Taxi begins on an extended POV take of a taxi picking up passengers in Tehran. These passengers engage in a long debate over the ethics of execution as a deterrent of crime. It is a strangely humorous meditation in the poetic form of bickering.
Taxi is a series of vignettes told exclusively from Continue reading Taxi (2015) Movie Review
Over, the short film from director Jorn Threlfall, begins quietly. We get static long shots of a suburban street. At 11:45 pm. Then at 7:30 pm. The first two minutes are silence, save for ambient noise, as we see a couple park their car and cross the street, where they see a letter and a bouquet of flowers near the median. They speculate that someone has died there.
The story soon becomes clear. In reverse chronological order, we get to see Continue reading Over (2015) Short Film Review
Anomalisa begins on chatter over a black screen. This chatter is clearly multiple people, but the voices are distinctly similar to each other. This fades in on a lush cloudscape with an airplane emerging out of the grey. Inside the plane is Michael Stone (David Thewlis), a man famous for writing a book about good customer service.
Michael lives in a world of isolation. On a trip to give a self-help speech, he is completely Continue reading Anomalisa (2015) Movie Review
The Revenant has the viscera of a Braveheart or a Gangs of New York, with the now familiar touch of director Alejandro G. Inarritu. His style shows through with an even stronger flourish than that of his previous film Birdman, as it links itself more naturally with the thematic elements that are in play in the film.
The film centers on Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), a hunter on a fur trading expedition who seeks vengeance after becoming severely wounded and left for dead in the 19th century wilderness.
The only true way to describe this film is to call it Continue reading The Revenant (2015) Movie Review
As far as mumblecore goes–a genre defined by its hyper-naturalism–Your Sister’s Sister comes off as one of the most natural.
Unmotivated and perhaps alcohol dependent Jack (Mark Duplass) has just spent a year without his late brother Tom. He has no Continue reading Your Sister’s Sister (2011) Movie Review
The Loft begins with distracting shots: intentional blurring and tightly framed, hyper-wide angles. These grotesque wide angles return frequently throughout the length of the film.
A groveling Karl Urban tepidly growls his lines as Vincent Stevens, a man being interrogated by police after a woman is found dead Continue reading The Loft (2015) Movie Review
The “Roadshow” 70mm exhibition of Quentin Tarantino’s eighth film, The Hateful Eight, begins with a three minute overture. It is a haunting piano, string, and xylophone melody that plays over a red splash screen. This overture, and the films full score, are handled by master film composer Ennio Morricone.
Morricone’s career spans decades, and his work has included iconic scores in Sergio Leone Westerns. It is thus apropos that he tackles this films soundtrack, which is at times the dominant attraction, crescendoing into Hellish tremolos from thunderous strings. It is a brilliant score that mixes Western and Gothic motifs.
Tarantino begins The Hateful Eight by Continue reading The Hateful Eight (2015) Movie Review