Recent User Reviews
The movie certainly looks cool, and the lead actress has amazing presence, but it's slow as molasses, which is a problem for a motion picture. I can't imagine who the target audience for this film is. Definitely not horror fans. I can see where it would be cathartic for a Persian woman living in Iran or another country in the middle east which is not so progressive when it comes to women's rights. I just wish the writer/director would have taken the story a bit further.… Full Review »
This true story of the breaking of the enigma code, which effectively ended World War 2, could so easily have turned out to be one of those overly clichéd and conventional bio-pics. However, in the hands of director Morten Tyldum it has, surprisingly, become so much more. Starting with a smart and dense screenplay, which hones in on three different periods of time in the life of code breaker Alan Turing, the story is utterly compelling. Wisely, it has also been told in a straightforward and un complicated manner and after about 10 minutes one gets a dizzying sense that the film is going to be an absolute gem, a feeling that reaches fulfilment 2 hours later as the credits roll.
The recreation of time and place has been lovingly captured via excellent production design. In fact, the film is rich in detail. There are breathtaking vistas of war torn Britain which includes shots of bombers wreaking devastation over London and submarines firing rockets, as well as more ordinary depictions of rubble strewn streets and houses. It is also good to see the appropriate use of historic Bletchley Park as a backdrop to where all these events actually unfolded over 70 years ago. The editing seamlessly takes us from year to year without confusion or jarring transitions and the scenes leading up to, and immediately following, the breaking of the code are just thrilling. The music is another plus and whilst not particularly melodic it underscores what is happening on screen brilliantly.
Criticism has been levelled at the film for not focusing more on Turing’s sexuality which is as untrue as it is unfair. Beyond seeing him actually bonking we have more than enough information as to the effect his sexuality had on his life and, ultimately his death. Scenes of his childhood also give insight into the man he would become. End titles, unlike the recent ‘Foxcatcher’ are also helpful and informative.
Ultimately, the film belongs to its powerful cast. Benedict Cumberbatch is a revelation and he brings real humanity to the tortured Turing. Some of his moments, particularly near the end, are almost unbearably moving. Keira Knightley is almost his equal in a smaller but crucial role. She has real power here as Turing’s one time fiancé, the lone woman breaker who as it turns out is better than the men. Supporting actors Charles Dance, Rory Kinnear and Mark Strong all contribute characters that are more than mere ciphers. Also, it is to the credit of the boy playing Turing as a young man that we believe in the subsequent actions and performance of Cumberbatch.
Rarely is a film as all encompassing and engrossing as this one. It is a triumph on every level and a cinematic treat.… Full Review »
Synecdoche, New York is undeniably one of the best films I have ever seen and, arguably, one of the best ever made. When I finished this one, I was absolutely floored and was on the brink of tears with my jaw hanging on the floor; I was that moved and that shocked by what I had just watched. Incredibly weird and at times almost unsettling, Synecdoche, New York is a tough nut to crack. However, before moving into my interpretation, let me discuss what I love so much. The direction, for one, is brilliant. Charlie Kaufman truly made his vision for this film into his own and in just one film, he has become one of my favorite directors. The acting is beyond brilliant. Delicate in nature and so artistic, it is just a treat to watch. The set design and writing are both of the highest order just are both impactful in their own unique ways. Truly a beautiful film in every sense of the word.
**SPOILERISH FROM NOW ON**
Now, this one can mean many things to many different people. I do not doubt that there are many interpretations of this one with all of them being right in their own way. For me, this was a film about life in every form: love, happiness, hope, betrayal, sadness, loneliness, and death, basically every element that make up every single person's life. Not only are our individual struggles not unique, but they are widespread. Everyone will go through all of those things in their life and while it may feel incredibly important to us in the moment, in the grand scheme of things, it means very little if anything at all. However, this sense of importance is what makes life almost like a play. After thinking about what I thought the film meant, I saw a quote by Shakespeare that essentially said that we are all the lead in our play, which is also something mentioned in the film itself. As depicted in the film with the continuous casting of new actors in the protagonist's play and the growing scope of the set, we all come together and play a role in the play that is life. We all mean something different to every person we come across and play many different roles in our life and embody many different personas.
But, what do I know? I am probably wrong on some fronts, but hopefully I am correct on others. Overall, this is simply a brilliant film with many different ways of solving it. Just watch it, please.… Full Review »
I'm not exaggerating when I say that Watermark has some of the most staggering imagery I've seen in film all year. A film about a topic as vast as water is bound to have it's reach exceed it's grasp. The attempt at unifying these gorgeous visual vignettes into an all-consuming theme is not so much a failure as it is incredibly vague. This movie is less a work of Terrence Malick (sans the poetic narration and disjointed narrative) than it is one of those 'OFF THE AIR' segments that plays on Adult Swim at four in the morning but stretched out to a feature-length runtime, which I see no real problem in. There are some slight gripes to be had. Each 'storyline' is so disparate from the next that a jarring effect is created. Maybe this is to make commentary on how universal and diverse the application of water around the world is, but, if so, the immense imagery we have on display here is wasted on such a tame thesis. I would have preferred the film simply overwhelmed me with sheer color and visual scope (which it has in abundance, believe me) than attempt to label some sort of 'meaning' to it. The human aspect of Watermark is severely lacking, is what I mean to say. In spite of most of the astounding shots of dams and farms having elements of humanity, when an interview is conducted or the focus of the film steers clear of it's cinematography, my interest seems to drift. But when it's all said and done, once Watermark hits a stride of optic grandeur, it certainly leaves it's MARK. LEEL LEEL LEEL. Seriously, though, check this out. If anything, convert some still shots from the movie to a slideshow background on your iMac. You won't be disappointed.… Full Review »