Film Reviews Blog

This page only shows films that have a review. By default in date order of reading with newest at top

Saturday 7th May 2022

USA 2019

Running time: 149 mins

The Goldfinch

Director : John Crowley

Film Summary :
Young boy caught in terrorist bombing at Art Gallery looses mother but gains a famous painting, which he then looses without knowing it and eventually it is recovered
Film category
Film Tags

Reviewed by rogerco, DVD proj @ home on 07 May 2022

Review Summary :
A good telling of a complex story

Ignore the official critics

Despite being "a critical and commercial failure" this is actually very good




Saturday 30th April 2022

France 1934

Running time: 89 mins

L'Atalante

Director : Jean Vigo

Film Summary :
Young girl escapes rural village by marrying the captain of a barge passing through on the canal .
Film category
Film Tags

Reviewed by rogerco, Streaming proj @ home on 30 Apr 2022

Review Summary :
Difficult to rate as it is so dated, and also apparently a reconstruction from fragments of the original

An Accidental Classic?

As an early talkie the acting style still owes a lot to silent methods, The narrative is a bit disjointed - but this may be due to the director having dies before the editing was complete and the original version having been lost, so what we have is a modern reconstruction/restoration job.

I think if it is a classic it is only because of the accident of it having survived.




Saturday 23rd April 2022

USA 2017

Running time: 103 mins

Wind River

Director : Taylor Sheridan

Film Summary :
Winter murder in Wyoming
Film category
Film Tags

Reviewed by rogerco, DVD proj @ home on 23 Apr 2022

Review Summary :
Could have been a very good film with a different director and cast

Not a good telling of the story

The premise is promising, the location interesting, the plot has potential - but the realisation is very weak.

Olsen is hopelessly miscast as the 'rookie' FBI agent, Jeremy Renner as the hunter is much better, but we never really get under the skin of his character. In fact all of the characters in the film remain very two-dimensional. The hunter's backstory is hinted at but never properly connected to the plot, the agent has no depth at all.  The locals are simply there to provide colour. The security guards at the oil rig are mere cartoon characters for a violent shoot-out at the end.

The nature of the community on the reservation and its relationship to 'outsiders' working in the area is not properly explored, 

The plot trundles along leading to a confrontation which reveals what happened to the girl to cause her to flee barefoot through the snowy wilderness. In the end naturally the good guys win, and the bad guys are all dead, and you've just wasted 100 minutes of your life watching a technically competent but emotionally unsatisfying telling of the story.




Saturday 9th April 2022

USA 2018

Running time: 98 mins

Searching

Director : Aneesh Chaganty

Film Summary :
Daughter goes missing and father attempts to find her through the internet

Reviewed by rogerco, DVD proj @ home on 09 Apr 2022

Review Summary :
Quite good thriller plot with novel way of telling the story

Found on a computer screen

The most notable thing about the film is the novel way of telling the story through the medium (largely) of computer screen shots. This relies of the father making extensive use of video calls (this was filmed pre-covid and the ubiquitous use of Zoom) - and even the outdoor live action footage is largely shown as captured on phone cameras or by broadcast news reports on a computer screen. It also relies on the daughter having been an extensive user of social media which dad gets access to via her laptop and happening to know a password for one of her email accounts so he can reset passwords on Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr etc. 

On the whole the technique works well once it has set our expectations but I'm not sure it wouldn't start to interfere with the story if it was done again. On the other hand it is often said that the existence of mobile phones have made conventional thriller plots far harder to construct and this is one way around that problem. (The TV series Casa del Papel - Money Heist - also managed it quite well, embedding the use and abuse of technology into the core plotlines)

The plot itself is a fairly straightforward thriller/missing person mystery well executed. The twists are subtly telegraphed beforehand so the viewer can have the satisfaction of thinking "I though something like that was happening" after each is revealed.

On the whole an enjoyable movie. We watched it on a 5ft home projection screen - it might be a bit overwhelming on a large cinema screen - and sitting on a sofa where we normally spend far too much time with a laptop so it seemed quite normal.




Thursday 31st March 2022

Korea 2018

Microhabitat

no director listed

Film Summary :
Young woman working as cleaner leaves her flat after rent increase and couch-surfs round her old buddies.

Rated by Roger CO, Streaming proj @ home on 31 Mar 2022

Review Summary :
Miso's downbeat trajectory, but are her friends really better off?



xbFilms by CrOsborne