I feel like it’s worth pointing out two things up front: I am not a huge anime fan, and I am fully up to date with the still-running manga this show is adapting. The medium is one that has given me a few shows I really love, but I am often put off by certain attributes that come up time and time again.
The manga, which has left plenty of material for the show to bring to the small screen by this point, has left me in the position where I know pretty much exactly what is going to happen each episode. Continue reading →
A fired-up Shia LaBeouf tries and fails to salvage this muddled war drama.
An assembly of soldiers wade through the shallows of the sea, approaching the forested coast with guns in hand. One laughs as he takes in the scenery. “Fucking beautiful!” he says. Yet the image Man Down presents is of a world drained of colour – the film’s pallid hue inspiring lethargy rather than awe. It could be that Dito Montiel’s ambitious psychological thriller is not what it thinks it is.
A hostile situation on a deep sea sub off the coast of North Korea – it’s sadly not as fun as it sounds.
The world is teetering on the edge of doom. So says a montage of real-life footage that plays over the opening passages of Ben Parker’s The Chamber, highlighting the fragility of international relations. The precarious global situation even impacts a small submarine as it surveys the Yellow Sea on behalf of a private company looking to establish oil rigs in the area.
The only residents of an isolated coastal town are women and young boys. After Nicholas sees a dead body on the seabed one day, he begins to question his surroundings and the legitimacy of the women looking after them.
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Season one of Daredevil was brutal and occasionally brilliant, setting up the world of Matt Murdock, lawyer-by-day and vigilante-by-night; a darker side to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The introduction of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk as the antagonist brought things to another level. It was a strange, unpredictable performance that was elevated by some excellent characterisation. Continue reading →
J.G. Ballard’s 1975 novel has seen many attempts at adaptation over the years. The book’s significant lack of dialogue and strange narrative structure has led many of its fans to say it’s an impossible task. Enter Ben Wheatley, a British director who hit the ground running with a filmography diverse, bizarre, and utterly brilliant. In the last 7 years he has gone from kitchen-sink gangster dramas to mushroom-induced hallucinations set during the English Civil War. It’s fair to say that we never really know what we’re going to get from a Wheatley film, other than that it will likely be very dark and very funny. But in the case of High-Rise, it’s impossible to even know what to expect from the next scene. It is made with the same mad energy it is portraying, and so it always has the upper hand on its audience. Continue reading →
A lot of the buzz around Tangerine coming out of Sundance was focused on the fact that it was filmed exclusively on an iPhone 5s. Hoever, I should note that if I hadn’t been told so beforehand, I never would have guessed this to be true. The film looks great, even beautiful at times, visually accomplishing far more than might be expected from its $100,000 budget. And the device with which the movie was shot accounts for only one element of a make-shift production. Writer and Director Sean S. Baker wanted to make a movie about two people who meet at the small doughnut shop near his LA home. He knew the area was known for being a red-light district frequented by transgender sex workers, but didn’t have a story until he met his two leads. Alongside co-writer Chris Bergoch, he immersed himself in the culture and his familiarity and subject compassion is apparent in the loving detail seen in the finished film. They met Taylor outside a nearby LGBT Center, who knew some sex workers who were willing to talk. Some of the cast were found through Vine and Instagram. Most of the score was discovered on Soundcloud. Rodriguez’ real-life stories formed the script, and the charismatic actresses often went off-script to create some the finished production’s funniest moments. Continue reading →