ScarletLion's Movie Log

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'Rabbit Hole' (2010)



It's yet another movie about grief coping mechanisms, but it is Directed very well by John Cameron Mitchell. Based on a play by David Lindsay-Abaire it tells the story of a couple dealing with tragic loss, and shows how their behaviour is effected because of it. Some scenes reminded me of elements of 'Manchester by the Sea' (although 'Rabbit Hole' pre-dates it by 6 years) in terms of the portrayal of coping with devastating loss. Though not as effective as Manchester, this is still a valuable, albeit less subtle look at tragedy, closure and family repercussions.

The main problem I had with the film is the lack of chemistry between Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. They both give suitable performances (Kidman especially), but there's just something that didn't connect them to me. I just didn't really get emotive from Eckhart's outbursts.

The star in this show is Miles Teller though. He doesn't have a great deal of screen time but when he's on it you can't take your eyes off him for some reason. His distant expressions and slow paced dialogue just draws you in. One scene in particular with Kidman is brilliantly captured and Teller does an amazing job of letting us get a little glimpse of his world. Diane Wiest is also very watchable as the affable, long suffering mother.

Overall the sum is greater than its' parts and it is a thought provoking enjoyable journey. Recommended, if you can look past Eckhart.

7.2 / 10




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'Okja' (2017)

Directed by Bong Joon-Ho



This film has been on my watchlist for months. The little viral ad campaigns have been tantalysing and the cast / director combination absolutely mouth-watering. The movie is a combination of endearing bond between man (or girl) and animal and an ecological warning to us of how our food resources might be affected if we donít wise up.
Firstly, the visuals and special effects are stunning. The film looks as youíd expect from a master of his craft like Bong Joon-Ho. From Korean wilderness to New York street parades, the scenes are awesome to watch unfold.

As for the performances, Seo-Hyun Ahn steals the show as the young Mija, although Tilda Swinton is her usual ridiculously good self. Thatís it though, thereís a disappointing lack of other characters that shine through. I have a lot of time for Paul Dano and Jake Gyllenhall but neither really played to their strengths in this one. And Gyllenhallís zany, neurotic character seemed out of place, as if he was in the wrong film.

The film also struggles with deciding what tone it really wants to be. It is part dystopian dysfunction, part heartwarming tearjerker, part thriller and part zany comedy. Whilst that's not a combination impossible to meld on screen I'm not sure Bong Joon Ho quite nails it as the shift from sad animal shot to crazy Gyllenhall shot sort of takes something away from each.

That said, it was an entertaining movie with a few laughs and a tear or 2, and although it didnít quite live up to my expectations, Iíd recommend it easily as one of the top films of 2017 so far.



NB: Submitting this post using this button was just weird:



If you've seen the film, you'll know what I mean.



H&K MP5 deserves more praise.
'Okja' (2017)



NB: Submitting this post using this button was just weird:



If you've seen the film, you'll know what I mean.
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'Entre Nos' (2009)


This film caught me square on the jaw, and will probably stay with me for a while. There have been many movies about poverty stricken families struggling at their lowest ebb....from Will Smith Hollywood productions to Ken Loach's recent 'I, Daniel Blake'. But I don't think I've ever seen such a realistic and heartbreaking portrayal as 'Entre Nos' ('Between Us').

Paola Mendoza was absolutely brilliant as a mother that has nothing but will do anything for her children. I was so curious about the film's background (and after seeing the end credits) that I looked online and found:

The script for "Entre Nos" was created after Paola Mendoza sat down with her mother to ask questions she'd never asked and, as well, to ask her mother's blessing to make the film. Having received her mother's blessing, Mendoza got to work with Gloria La Morte and wrote the script over the course of two years and subsequently received the Panasonic Digital Filmmakers Award from Independent Film Week and were accepted into Tribeca's All Access Program. These successes allowed the partners access to the cameras and equipment needed to make "Entre Nos" a reality.
So she Directed, wrote and starred in this movie about her own mother. That made it seem even more heartfelt and you can see why some of the scenes are so realistic and very personal to Mendoza.

It's a very, very good film.

8.5.10 at least



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'Dark City' (1998)

Directed by Alex Proyas


Finally got round to watching this much recommended movie. What I found is that:

1) Rufus Sewell can't do an American accent
2) Jennifer Connelly can't sing
3) This was not Keiffer Sutherland's best role

Apart from that it's a very solid sci-fi mystery flick with an excellent dose of noir. The stand out is the set design. The morphing streets, menacing skies and overbearing buildings just give us this sense of claustrophobia and doom. Excellently done, if a bit too fantasy heavy for my usual tastes.

7.5/10



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'Valhalla Rising' (2009)

Directed by Nicolas Winding Refn


It looks beautiful, but I didn't really have a clue what was going on.

6/10



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Berberian Sound Studio (2012)

Directed by Peter Strickland


I came in to this blind. I went out of it in awe. It feels like it's what would have happened if Bergman and Lynch met Argento in the bar and made some notes.

The terror is really the mystery and suggestions that you don't see but are aware of because of the anxiety of the lead character played very well by Toby Jones. The last third of the film is bound to raise more questions than answers, but because I'm still having fun trying to answer them, I like that aspect.

This isn't your typical modern horror flick. Far from it. I can imagine people being very disappointed by this movie if they went in to it expecting your average scare flick. But that's why it's good. Highly recommended to those that like a bit more to think about in their horror movies.

8/10



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'It Comes at Night'




After enjoying 'Krisha' so much I was keen to see what Trey Edward Shults did next. He doesn't disappoint with this. Superbly tense, and with a chilling atmosphere of dread, this is a post apocalyptic psych chiller. This movie will probably get lots of hate from those who are expecting a horror film. Because it's not a horror film.

The paranoia and isolation that the family go through must have been quite personal to Shults as he has spoken about his losses quite openly. There was not a single dud performance, so much so that it's difficult to pick a stand out. Plus, the score by Brian McOmber is absolutely spot on in nailing the creepy dread at every corner. Movie of 2017 so far.

8.5/10



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'The Nice Guys'



The first half was very funny. The second half wasn't. Worth a popcorn watch but nothing more.

6.5/10



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'It Comes at Night'




After enjoying 'Krisha' so much I was keen to see what Trey Edward Shults did next. He doesn't disappoint with this. Superbly tense, and with a chilling atmosphere of dread, this is a post apocalyptic psych chiller. This movie will probably get lots of hate from those who are expecting a horror film. Because it's not a horror film.

The paranoia and isolation that the family go through must have been quite personal to Shults as he has spoken about his losses quite openly. There was not a single dud performance, so much so that it's difficult to pick a stand out. Plus, the score by Brian McOmber is absolutely spot on in nailing the creepy dread at every corner. Movie of 2017 so far.

8.5/10

Great news! Cant wait to see this!! Have you seen Hounds of Love yet?
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'James White' (2015)


Josh Mond's debut feature contains a brilliant performance from Christopher Abbott, as a troubled youngster facing even more tragedy. It's a very candid look into addiction, illness, loss, grief and hope. Not an easy watch, but a very good one.




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'Bottom of the World' (2017)


Excellent concept but slightly muddled. Jenna Malone is very good as the lead. It's an abstract, mindf**k dreamlike movie mystery that slightly loses it's way mid way through. But is worth a watch if you enjoy movie puzzles.



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'A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night' (2014)
Directed by Ana Lily Armipour


Absolutely loved it. Clashes of culture, clashes of genders, stigmas, depravity, loneliness, good Vs evil. A very impressive debut.

8.5/10



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'A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night' (2014)
Directed by Ana Lily Armipour


Absolutely loved it. Clashes of culture, clashes of genders, stigmas, depravity, loneliness, good Vs evil. A very impressive debut.

8.5/10

Thought you would like this. Great score too!



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Thought you would like this. Great score too!
Yeah loved the whole thing. I intend to watch her follow up "The Bad Batch" this week but it's been panned almost everywhere.



I was pretty disappointed with Okja... a lot of interesting ideas, but it was so split in tone and quality throughout. Okja is my spirit animal though.

Dark City and A Girl Walks Home are two very long overdue watches of mine. I should really get around to them. I felt the same about Valhalla Rising though probably felt a little more spiritually connected to it than you. I don't know, but I kinda felt drawn in and the atmosphere was great. I wanna see it again now actually.

Really liked It Comes at Night and liked The Nice Guys okay. Some good watches you've had lately!



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I was pretty disappointed with Okja... a lot of interesting ideas, but it was so split in tone and quality throughout. Okja is my spirit animal though.

Dark City and A Girl Walks Home are two very long overdue watches of mine. I should really get around to them. I felt the same about Valhalla Rising though probably felt a little more spiritually connected to it than you. I don't know, but I kinda felt drawn in and the atmosphere was great. I wanna see it again now actually.

Really liked It Comes at Night and liked The Nice Guys okay. Some good watches you've had lately!
I'm a big Refn fan, so if Valhalla Rising set him on the path he's taken, then that's fine by me. But it was a bit hard to connect with. I see what you mean about Okja. Bong Jon-Ho usually introduces tonal shifts in his films (maybe some with comedy / slapstick type elements). But this was something else. It didn't quite fit.