Saturday, March 26, 2016

Film Review: Trumbo (2015)

Copyright: Bleecker Street
This movie is more about Bryan Cranston than it is about Dalton Trumbo, which is not necessarily a bad thing. On the other hand, it is definitely not about Communism in any shape or form, even though it should be at least a bit. Instead, it is about how the US when through a dark period by learning their lessons, which they obviously (like any other super-power in the world) did not do.

Like many big films about a dodgy period in the US history, it slithers away from the slippery ground which might not go so well outside of the relatively liberal costliness of the country.

Here, in the mostly blood-red interior of the US, I bet that calling someone a “communist” is still a hard-hitting insult but also a social system that armed Christian Caucasian still fear deep down inside. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Film Review: Remember (2015)

Copyright: A24
The best way to describe Remember is to call it nauseating in a really mellow way. Atom Egoyan, its director, works really well with bland locations, where the depth of space is measured in meters that are in their single digits. Virtually all of the film, except its finale, takes place in rooms, basements, run-down houses and other places that are both enclosing and claustrophobic.

Here, in these spaces from where there is no room to escape, a simple plot unravels. Zev Guttman, played by Christopher Plummer, is a Jewish man gripped by late-stage Alzheimer’s, who mourns the death of his wife in their nursing home residence. But, Zev is soon reminded by Max, one of his friends about a promise he made: as a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, he will find an SS officer who stole the identity of a killed camp prisoner and immigrated to the US after the war. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Web Series Review: Gaby’s Revenge (2016)

There aren’t many cinematographic forms better suited for small, independent productions than the neo-noir thriller genre. In the past couple of years, several brilliant films of this type were made, including the phenomenal Blue Ruin. Now, it seems that filmmakers are trying to use a similar setting and tone and move it to the domain of the online forms like web series.

Jonathan Vargas is one of these people and his new series called Gaby’s Revenge is aiming for a thriller vibe, produced using a limited budget. The first episode begins with the character of Gaby returning to her home, masked and armed.

Through a contact with her handler, the audience learns that Gaby works as a hitman (hitwoman?) but one who is particularly inept in completing jobs in a manner that is not, as the film states “a scene from a Quentin Tarantino movie”.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Film Review: Black Mass (2015)

Making films about gangsters, especially real-life ones, can often turn into a quite a boar and Black Mass is an ideal example. The story revolves around a steady rise to fame of James 'Whitey' Bulger, a Boston kingpin in the 1970’s and 1980’s, mainly thanks to his connections with the FBI task force in the same city.

Directed by the talented Scott Cooper, who made the impressive Out of the Furnace before this film, Black Mass falls short of being either thrilling or compelling.

As if he was star-struck by Johnny Depp, who plays Whitey, Cooper seems to struggle whenever he is not in the frame. The film just adores Depp and his evil, vampire-like persona, but does not succeed in showing the audience why should they care about this pale-eyed monster.