Saturday, September 26, 2015

Film Review: Self/less (2015)

Copyright: Focus Features
There are several key points to this film which really remind me of the movie Limitless, and it’s not just because of its name. In both films, fringe science unlocks something incredible for the main protagonist, but also opens the door to something really dark once the protagonist breaches its chrome and shiny surface. 

In both films, the main character is a person full of energy and the will to live, but who is somehow bound to their current, undesirable state – in Limitless, it was the lack of professional drive that kept its main character down.

In Self/less, the main character is Damian, an incredibly wealthy old man who is coming to the end of his natural life. But Damian can’t accept the notion of mortality that easy, so he seeks a company offering a chance to start all over, using a device that transfers his mind into a new, synthetic body, grown from scratch.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Film Review: Broken Horses (2015)

Copyright: Fox Star Studios
For me, Broken Horses is a strange, ill-fitting mixture of a distinctive cinematic sensibility and a precisely defined time and place in which the film is supposed to be set. The film’s director, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, started working on films over 40 years ago, but in this piece, he only manages to end up as a person who is coming from a completely different place of creative thinking, and gets lost in a strange land of different cultural values and approaches to telling tales.

Broken Horses is a story of two brothers who get separated in a small southern US town when their father and the local sheriff, gets murdered. One brother goes away and becomes a successful musician, while the older one remains, falling under the influence of a local crime boss. Many years later, the younger brother returns, but he is not wanted in the dust bowl of his old hometown.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Film Review - Insidious: Chapter 3

Copyright: Stage 6 Films
No matter how I approach it, I have to conclude that Insidious: Chapter 3 is an okay film. As a whole, it lacks any serious problems, but also any cutting-edge twists on the defined formula to make the movie anything more impressive than a slightly average horror. If this film was a car, it would be a 5-year old Volkswagen Polo – sure, it’s a comfortable and reliable vehicle that doesn’t mostly leave anyone hanging because of an unexpected issue, but it’s still hard to get really excited about it.

Leigh Whannell, an old buddy of the Insidious/Sinister/Conjuring horror guru James Wan, got a chance to direct this film and he did a solid job. The film moves at a steady pace and like most Wan-like modern horrors, it builds up its tension quickly and effectively, mainly because all those Millennials watching it don’t have the time to sit through a prolonged introduction. Still, as a not-too-ambitious film, it keeps its viewers interested throughout.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Film Review: Love & Mercy (2015)

Copyright: Roadside Attractions
The goal of the Love & Mercy and its director Bill Pohlad are clear from the first moment of the film, which show John Cusack as an older Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys who wants to buy a car somewhere in the 1980’s. Wilson, now an unrecognizable middle-aged man, lost all of this drive and creativity that help him create one of the most successful bands in the U.S. history.

Deeply troubled by emotional issues and under the constant supervision of a strange psychotherapist, Wilson loses days and months, maybe even years in a haze of prescription drugs and complete lack of interest in anything in the world around him. Then, without any warning or sign, the story rewinds 20 years into the past, where the young Brian, now at the top of his game, desires to make an incredible album which will break away the Beach Boys from their fake surfer vibe he gradually came to despise.