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— MOVIEMEDITATION PRESENTS —

"MANCHESTER BY THE SEA"
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"Look who came back..."

This little hidden treasure berths beside the harbor of the non-English town called Manchester and is directed by a man named Kenneth Lonergan, who, among other things, has been the captain of a few selected film scripts, such as' Analyze This' and ' Gangs of New York ', all the while he has also directed his own projects and with great success to flow with it.

Lonergan has maintained a relatively high level for all his films up until now, but if 'Manchester by the Sea' can hit the same wave of success as his earlier films, without either succumbing to high expectations or overflowing with ambition in forced frustration, is one pretty good question. The film has proved to be extremely popular during a solid sailing through various film festivals, in which we have witnessed a strong momentum for the movie and great tailwind as well, which have resulted in various victories and a huge array of awards. But with the question watered completely down – is ‘Manchester by the Sea' truthfully this comprehensive cinematic tsunami of torn and frustrated feelings, which is what it is primarily being praised for all over the globe, as well as what gave it the golden globe as well…


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The Story
The film follows Lee Chandler; a very lonely and mentally lost janitor, who mostly stays by himself and holds a brutal and almost unbearable past, which has led him to live a very repetitious, routine-filled and reluctantly life. But everything suddenly changes when he gets a call about his brother, Joe Chandler, who has suffered a heart attack, which unfortunately claims his life before Lee manages to reach the town of his childhood and tough past, Manchester. It isn’t easy for Lee, having to confront both the people and the feelings of which he has tried to escape from for all these years. The situation doesn’t exactly change for the better once Lee receives Joe’s Testament; wanting Lee to be the guardian of his brother's teenage son, Patrick - and this despite of the fact that it was never discussed between the two brothers - even if Joe has been sick long enough to plan it properly. But evidently, he has everything planned out carefully, with enough money to cover the expenses for moving to Manchester and settling in. But Lee has a tough time seeing himself go back the town he tried to forget for all these years; tough to look his family in the eyes; tough to change behavior and lifestyle and ultimately very tough seeing himself as a guardian and father figure to his nephew, Patrick.


'Manchester by the Sea' is simply a perfect slice of cinema, served on a silver plate with a strong but steady hand, by someone who truly understands the human mind as much as he does the movie medium. Not even every single summary online – nor the oversimplified overview of the plot above – is in any way worthy of the final film. This movie can’t be properly explained, but must be personally experienced from beginning to end, down in the comfy cinema seats, with the brain in one hand and the heart in the other – no popcorn and soda needed here, because I promise you that the brain is popping enough on its own while the heart is close to the bubbling over the edge, once the film catches the inner and intense emotional heights of which it is capable of. Keneth Lonergan truly knows how to stimulate the mind and set the feelings free, but what exactly is it that makes this film so damn successful on this level?

I think it can be presented as two oceans meeting, right in the middle of a scenic but subtle silence, where emotions speak without strenuous approaches and the visuals are wonderfully moving, without having to manifest themselves in metaphors. Director Kenneth Lonergan has a very sophisticated narrative style, which particularly shows its true strength when numerous flashbacks are woven almost unnoticed into the film. With these interwoven immediate plot points, as well as with the general editing throughout the film, Lonergan really shows us how to create an utterly unique tempo for the film, which is in perfect balance with the story as well. It is punctual, without being pompous and restrained without feeling too retreated. Too often we see flashbacks fumble instead of flowing and usually feeling way too fragmented in the plot of the movie. Sometimes you even lose track – or lose time – along the way. But somehow, ‘Manchester by the Sea' makes it all feel so flawless throughout. I have very rarely seen a film make such a good use of flashbacks as this. Actually, it might be an understatement to call flashbacks, when, at its core, it feels more like timeless moments, woven seamlessly into the contemporary narrative. Furthermore, the film does it ever so flawlessly, that it never quite feels like two or more timelines at the same time. In a way, it kind of works as this wielded companion piece to what precedes right then and now. It is almost like adjectives to an ongoing picture poem; it is explanations and extensions of the story we see and hear, right here and now, and it simply comes off so natural and pleasing to the eyes of the moviegoer.

Due to Kenneth Lonergan’s approach to the story, both in terms of the tactically told plot elements and the independent though oddly inviting aura, which lingers around it, 'Manchester by the Sea' hits completely different notes; looking like a small drop of water but feeling like the aftershock of a minor earthquake – it is something that really resonates through entire the body and soul. The film is very calm and restrained in its pace, yet the plot passes time more elegantly than other slow-moving movies I have seen – constantly evolving naturally, at a consistent level, which never feels completely clear to you until you suddenly find yourself at the end of the journey. I guess it is almost an enigma for me; trying to understand how a film filled with countless flashbacks, fragile characters who can’t speak out properly, narration which is nowhere to be found, and a story which never focuses on just one thing at a time, can evolve so elegantly and set itself up so smoothly without missing a beat?

The concept of ‘movie magic’ is often used in connection to something we have never seen before, but rarely will it be used in conjunction with a film like this, which honestly is a shame. But 'Manchester by the Sea' is movie magic in every sense of the word; make no mistake about this… superheroes, fantasy fables or various versions of invented voyages is nothing but a drop of water in the ocean that is ‘Manchester by the Sea'. But they aren’t in the same boat either, since ‘Manchester’ isn’t about being blown backwards by what you see; it is about sensing an inner storm out of what you experience. The film doesn’t have huge turning points along the way, nor does the plot feel pre-designed or produced within a common narrative context. What Lonergan has created here is neither linear nor traditional, but it is a perfectly competent story anyway.


This movie just feels so genuine and true to me, especially since there is finally a film, which understands how to use humor to support realism and vice versa. It isn’t overly silly nor unbelievable, but it isn’t too timid to be deceptive either – and as is the case with the rest of the film, these two elements are intervened excellently once again! Lonergan manages to create real and not the least realistic situations, where people are frustrated, in sorrow, feel miserable, appear frightened – or by human nature – become unable to repress their oppressive emotions about what is happening right then and now. But as I said earlier, there is no clenchy clichés to uncover anywhere... everything is put forward in a straight and honest manner, but with an underlying layer of humor that managed to truly maintain a much-needed balance in an otherwise extremely tragic tale.

'Manchester by the Sea' is like a collection of characters being stranded at sea; each at their own little individual island; each having tried to overcome the waves of the wild ocean; each having partly or completely giving up on themselves and thereby swimming back to their own empty island; each living alone because there isn’t any room for more people on their island, without one of them going under; each living in shame or regret of being on this island, but not wanting to deal with it or help others, even if they are in the same situation, because they have their own problems. But when the tide lowers, they are suddenly forced to walk through the strong stream and try to reach comfort, before the tide comes back and hits them when they are at their weakest point. ‘Manchester by the Sea’ has this feeling of fragile human beings walking around amidst each other, in the wide-open world of very small town, and as an audience we get to see the result of this, for better and for worse.



The Acting
It must be said: Casey Affleck delivers the performance that Ben could only hope to give. Ben Affleck is a bulky, slightly clumsy, though admittedly charming character, who has a face and a voice that have suffered in the same bearings as Ryan Gosling; good looking and quite charming, yes perhaps, but otherwise incredibly flat and monotonous acting skills unless typecast in the right role. Casey Affleck, in the role of Lee Chandler, delivers one of the best performances in recent memory – and it is completely without ever screaming in pain, screaming in grief, screaming in anger or scream in delight. Personally, I scream of pure joy over that fact.

When the distinguished golden trophies are distributed for the year’s most admirable performances, at the annual awards shows all over the globe, the price-pickers often select someone who really strives in physical or mental ways, up on the big screen. Leonardo DiCaprio finally got his Oscar last year, even though he should have gotten it much earlier. His role in 'The Revenant' is in many ways very good, but it is as ambitious as it is strenuous. A short summary of the plot could probably just as well have been as follows, "In the role of Hugh Glass, we will witness Leonardo DiCaprio crawl, cry, slobber and goggle through his prolonged and painful journey to get the golden man of the hour, called Oscar." DiCaprio is a great actor and it is a pity that he doesn’t win for some of his more intellectually challenging roles.

Although the film is indeed called 'Manchester by the Sea', I apologize anyway for getting a little off course here, but I promise you that there is a point to it all. Because Casey Affleck delivers the complete opposite in the role of Lee Chandler. His performance is driven by intense inner turmoil and emotional torture, which don’t appear very often in the shape of physical exertion, but more so with a simple glance or a sudden pause within a sentence or in his general tone of voice. I sincerely hope that the Oscar Academy awards him with a statuette for this all-time achievement. As mentioned earlier; all too often you will see actors who win because they endeavor a lot, exteriorly; either exposed as tears of anger or angst – to such a great degree –that the audience almost acts entirely out of a state of shock and awe; agreeing that this performance must be amazing because of how perplexed they become just by watching it. Admittedly though, this case can often be correct as well, while other times it just tends to come off as either preposterous, overplayed or just all in all a tad too much.


It is so wonderful to witness a role like the one Casey plays, where he says so much with so little and where the role is believable in the bareboned characteristics of the character – at any given point in the movie – and not due to any movie highlights filled with tears or rage. You know that one overly expressive scene, which the Academy always uses every time they announce the nominees for best performance? Well, Casey doesn’t have that scene, and that is exactly why his performance is so great. His performance is consistent, complete and complex, despite how natural and subdued it feels – yet one can easily spot his inner turmoil, tortured past, fragile frustrations and so on. For example, try awarding extra attention to his eyes when he enters the morgue of the hospital, in a particular scene in the movie… It is these moments that impress me most – moments that are true to being just that – a moment, which will disappear as soon as you blink, yet will remains on the retina for an extended period in time.

The acting is also extremely solid all-around. The rest of the cast has the same restrained and low-key approach, which shows that the director knew exactly what he wanted from his actors. Michelle Williams is a good counterpart to Casey Affleck, although I would argue that her presence is too short-lived to judge probably, thereby having a ‘best actress’ nomination feeling a little hard to support in my honest opinion. She is indeed very good, but I don’t view her as having one of those standout spare-minute performances of all time. Kyle Chandler is the perfect and charismatic brotherly bear of man, who is charming and good-natured to such a degree, that the fact that he has an incurable disease hits you even harder. He doesn’t spend much time on screen, but his role feels tentatively timeless when he is... C.J. Wilson is also worth mentioning, acting as another character with so much heart and significance stored in one single person. Lonergan has honestly chosen the perfect actors to play in the role of "human being" just right – and that is fundamentally crucial in a movie like this.



The Technical Aspect
Both the direction, the script and the seamless editing makes it a desired dream for any actor or actress to present their character perfectly, while getting the best out of each individual moment, and this is furthermore the case for the film as an experience and thereby empathy of its audience. As mentioned earlier, it is especially the elegant storytelling-style using flashbacks, which is being put forward so flawlessly throughout. It is rare to see flashbacks appear so thoroughly and thoughtfully as they do here. Lonergan really understands how to set up scenes and simply let them speak for themselves; often in complete silence. There aren’t a lot of intense close-ups throughout, but when they are there, they are in fact used more faintly, while the more aggressive or intense scenes holds the camera at a deliberate distance. Additionally, there is even another scene worth mentioning, where Lee sits in a chair and listens to Joe’s final will being read out to him. Notice the carefully crafted cross-cutting of the scene, which makes use of a single flashback, but presents it in several individual pieces. Incredible that something so simple can be so effective and feel so complex all at the same time.

Generally speaking, ‘Manchester by the Sea' plays out tremendously natural and truthful in what Lonergan is aiming for with this film; which means that the image isn’t visually abused with strong color contrasts or fancy, free-hand camera work throughout. Lonergan doesn’t wish to impress by using methods having the same effect as splashing a bucket of cold water straight into the face of his audience; that is too easy, too eccentric and not the least out of character for the film. Because even so, both the setup and editing of each individual image appear almost perfect in their every execution. The visual language is extremely pervasive - not notably on an individual level - but as part of the entire narrative. Therefore, ‘Manchester by the Sea' isn’t the kind of film you should pause, print and pin to the wall as a framed photograph just because the cinematographer paints every picture with potent and flamboyant brushstrokes. It isn’t all about the words, but the visual phrases that the film creates. The visual language doesn’t simply linger in the midst of its surroundings... the visual language is there to enhance the storytelling and even evolve and advance it several places along the way. The visuals are the voice between the lines or the narrator within the film... though not in a direct way. But it adds several subtle layers of depth and even draws you in with a huge palette of perspectives along the way – serving as visual poetry for both eyes and ears…



The Soundscape
The soundscape elegantly accompanies the cinematography with the auditory counterpart to the visuals... The central piece of music acts as an important intermediary between story and image. In a way, it beautifully binds the two even better with this powerful pendant and the music helps generate a better balance than previously experienced. The focus is on the biblical, with classic choir compositions, which seems to suggest something uplifting, which lies in wait at the end of the road. I seem to notice a certain disconsolate darkness in between turning tones, with a few selected musical séances that even calls for a sense of something dangerous, though it remains lurking underneath a sign of something better in the future.

The main soundtrack also seems to create an atmosphere that calls for a sense of traveling – there is a feeling of something that is constantly being built, developed and brought forward, which fits very well with the character's current situation and the tendancy of the film to act as a partial “road trip”. Like everything else about this film the music demands attention, if you want to catch every detail and fortunately the soundscape complements everything else about ‘Manchester by the Sea' so well, with its subtle sense of great detail.



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SHORT SUMMARY // 'Manchester by the Sea' is courageously confident in itself and what it wants to create. Much of this is due to the wonderful work put in by writer-director, Kenneth Lonergan. The story seems so natural that it is hard to believe that everything is artificially constructed when it all comes down to it. The editing is punctual and often feels almost invisible, despite multiple timelines, and your thoughts flow towards films such as Richard Linklater's 'Boyhood', which also evolved effortlessly over the course of several years. The music also goes hand in hand with both the story and the visuals, which together form a complete circle, where Lonergan has found and created his own little cinematic calling. 'Manchester by the Sea' is a sea of ​​emotions that washes in and above its audience; a film that truly understands its audience on a human level and respects them on an intellectual level as well. This is simply a sublime masterwork of a movie, simple as that.



FINAL RATING //

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"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



QUESTION

My 200th review is coming up and I thought I'd make it a little bit special...

So, is there any movie - no matter time and date and genre - that you would want to see reviewed? If I want people in my threads I might as well make those same people help choose the content.

Fire away. Any movie. Any year. What should I review next?



QUESTION

My 200th review is coming up and I thought I'd make it a little bit special...

So, is there any movie - no matter time and date and genre - that you would want to see reviewed? If I want people in my threads I might as well make those same people help choose the content.

Fire away. Any movie. Any year. What should I review next?
Andy Warhol's Empire - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_(1964_film)

Hope it's first come first served then i've successfully ruined someone's day today




obviously don't expect you to review that haha



MOVIEMEDITATION PRESENTS
– THE REVIEW OF IT –

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It comes to town every 27 years
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The horror-thriller 'IT' is based on Stephen King's novel of the same name that follows a group of children and their fight against evil. The year is 1988, and several children have disappeared without a trace in the village of Derry. When Bill's little brother Georgie disappears, he starts an idle quest to find answers. The 12-year-old boy and his friends, known as The Loser's Club, search the city thin until they end up in the sewers of the town, where Pennywise the clown awaits. The children experience a summer that will come back to haunt them forever and they must look their worst fears in the eyes as their mentality and friendship is put to the test.
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THE STORY
There has been quite the confusion about the rather uneven construction of this film adaption, constantly changing its style, director, writer and main actors. Finally, ‘IT’ emerges from the sewers of production hell, exactly 27 years after the television mini-series – precisely as the legend of the plot goes, and director Andrés Muschietti does not let things go quietly...

It is New Line Cinema who produces and Warner Bros. who distributes, so it certainly isn’t some small studio, who Muschietti has had to stand up to, in order to complete his own vision and realize 'IT' in the spirit that it truly deserves. Right from the opening scene it seems just as clear as blood in rain that ‘IT’ won’t hold much back for the imagination with this new imagining of the book. The people behind the movie clearly isn’t planning to spend two hours running around, screaming "gotcha” in between the shadows. In fact the film opens just as I had hoped, but not quite the way I had expected, as this mood–establishing and re-telling tribute piece testifies not only to its core audience, but drags every audience member deeper into the universe and pulls them straight into the dark and sadistic atmosphere, which clear-cut characterizes Pennywise the clown and the rest of 'IT' as it is envisioned today.


To everyone out there, who thought this would be just another "sophisticated shadow game", sharply cut after the outline of James Wan’s unofficial ‘lesson in horror chapter one’, you need to think twice. James Wan definitely knows his demons and how to dance with them, squeezing every inch of oxygen out of the audience through the use of shadows, lighting and sound. But after watching this dying formula being reanimated over and over again, it is refreshing to stumble upon a movie like 'IT', which turns the classic ghost approach on its head and lets the entire “scare scale” tumble down upon its audience, until they suffer from an atmosphere that is thicker than the blanket of the night. Andrés Muschietti’s 'IT' almost feel like a fatal crime done in broad daylight – it couldn’t care less about who is looking and what they might say – it, or ‘IT’, just hungers after being seen and heard, as well as simply scaring the living hell out of you along the way.

However, the film isn’t completely free of formulas and fascinating ideas that just never really float my balloon, so to speak. Put more clearly, the film isn’t perfect. 'IT' is anxious to make each scene a kind of crazy circus act of constantly circulating terror, where the fear ends up going a bit in circles after a while. Throughout the forty minutes to an hour of the film, the plot acts as some kind of "hoop of horror", which turns to every single protagonist in the movie and introduces them to IT and their worst fears, so that they can nod in agreement later in the movie about the experiences that they all seem to have had. It may be a bit monotonous in the long run, and 'IT' seems a bit fragmented, uneven, unfinished and confused in its plot structure, but luckily, hell breaks loose almost every time and the tone and pace of the film are pushed to towering heights and the scares moves faster and wilder than our pulse can keep up... a scene in a deserted and abandoned house is to be mentioned as one of the highlights of the film.

Andrés Muschietti treats the thrills as some a type of cinematic interval training, where the classic plot construction is cast to the side in favor of a plot curve that plays more in line with the pace of the audience's heartbeat. The scares are being delivered in rapid and raging segments, which break the taboos and former prejudices of a movie genre, respectively, and this is both the strength and the weakness of the film to some extent. Personally, I was dearly missing a tighter and more direction-determined script to keep things from floating away or lose steam, but there is definitely something different and refreshing about not caring about rules and norms and deliver the scares like on an assembly line – especially since IT can change appearance so often that it never becomes too tried or tiresome, so at least there is always that certain element of surprise inside the otherwise not-so-surprising setups – at any rate some have more success than others.


As mention, the presentation doesn’t falter much, but what binds the terror together on paper is often a passing obstacle that holds the movie back a bit from time to time, keeping it from functioning like a complete story, where story and characters shine in the same way as the carefully constructed cruelties. Admittedly, the expectations for this one were higher than usual, but I think it is acceptable when thinking of the fact that Andrés Muschietti and the rest of the team seem to have had ambitions that match our expectations. In addition to missing a straight and firm line through the story that the director can hold on to – so that the film stays close to its foundation up until we hit the climax where the balloon finally pops and the pressure slowly decreases – we also lack a script with better dialogue.

'IT' is another classic example of when adults try to write dialogue for children and younger generations. It becomes too forced, doesn’t fit or falls flat to the ground. There are certain jokes and funny remarks that do work, especially when combined with some of the scarier moments, but much of the humor and dialogue falls back into foul language and limp dick jokes, in an attempt to imitate the age group of the main characters in the movie. Dead serious here, I think the first ten minutes had at least two your-mother jokes and four penis references, and it seems neither natural nor necessary.

Fortunately, 'IT' is firm and fearless when it comes to the actual horror, and it dares and does where others don’t. At times the movie holds absolutely nothing back and you ask yourself the question "are they really doing that?" or "can they even do that?" ... Honestly, I don’t know, but "IT” does it no matter what and holds our complete attention in the matter of milliseconds. Hopefully, that is at least something it will be remembered for, because it, or ‘IT’, deserves it.


THE ACTING
The faces that make up the main characters of the movie are primarily a collection of new stars, all of which have been successful in recent years. 'IT' has, among others, Finn Wolfhard from 'Stranger Things' and Jaeden Lieberher from 'Midnight Special' and 'The Book of Henry'. All kids are doing a good job, some better than others, but sometimes their interaction and delivery may seem a bit forced. As mentioned earlier, the script is definitely part of the blame here, since the so-called youthful dialogue doesn’t come natural in the mouths of the young cast, even if it should have, and that’s quite a shame. The adult actors are few they do not have much screen time, but they are all very convincing.

But of course, the big act that everyone has been waiting for is when the clown takes control, with Swedish Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise! Personally, I was nervous, especially since the look was very different from the original and perhaps more like the horror of today, which has a thing for not leaving much up to the imagination. Some had even compared his voicepattern to that of Scooby-Doo, which of course would threaten to wreck the entire film...


I'm pleased to announce that Bill Skarsgård brings an intensity and unreasonable, uncontrollable madness to the character, which gives film the necessary energy and atmosphere. As with the shape of IT, his voice and speech pattern also changes during the film, depending on who, what and when he speaks, creating an uncertainty from the audience that makes it impossible to calculate his next move. He is unpredictable, unstable, unhinged and extremely eerie as Pennywise the Dancing Clown.

Many had feared that Bill would just play Pennywise the so-called "easy way" and appear somoen who is 100% psychotic and crazy, but I think he instead seizes something internally devilish with his dedicated performance; going far deeper than just ugly faces and a broken voice pattern – both of which does indeed fit the inhuman concept of IT. In a way, his performance is like a clown in a box, where you wait for him to jump out, but it isn’t always that he does – yet you're still waiting for it and that's why it is extra efficient. He can be constantly felt, always, and when he is present, he is a nightmare in physical form ... a frightening and dreadful realization of the clown with the colossal cult status ... Pennywise is reborn.


THE VISUALS
Here 'IT' isn’t just shadowy joining of jump scares from begninning to end, fortunately. Together with the cinematographer, Chung-hoon Chung, Andrés Muschietti has created a film that doesn’t cover up the lurking anxiety or the many mutilations. The movie is a foul breath of fresh air for the genre, which always seem to be so dark and monotonous. 'IT' paints the town red in a refreshing take on the presentation of horror, in which Muschietti proves that one can easily create fear during daylight or any time a day. This also adds another layer to this unawareness, where you can no longer feel safe under the sun or in the public library, for example… IT can get you anywhere, any time of day and he does not stay in the shadows. I really liked how they presented the scares completely without cover-ups. A huge plus for the movie.

The computer-generated effects are also minimal and disregarding maybe two scenes, there is absolutely nothing to complain about here. There are lots of good old-fashioned and fully realized make-up and majestically filthy production design, which both impress and terrorizes you throughout the film.



THE SOUND
The film has a soundtrack with lots of mystery and magic that captures both the year, the youth and not least the yearning for staying eerie. The murderous intermediary between hovering mysticism and razor sharp terror constantly wonder in the tones of music, but only thunders forward when necessary. There is a good balance in the underplaying of music, and it is a soundtrack that understands that its purpose is to gently stroke the film; not choke it. It is often that it stays in the background and lets the atmosphere spread naturally, but isn’t shy either to aurally kill the audience when the movie truly calls it. Also, the movie contains a great multi-speaker Atmos-mix, which during some scenes, especially in the abandoned house, really closes in on you from every angle…


THE SHORT SUMMARY // 'IT' has created at least a small step towards a new standard in modern horror, even though it doesn’t come out the other side completely without flaws. The film takes more time with the characters than your typical horror and although it does many things differently, the script makes it feel like there is a checklist to be checked off, story-wise, before the movie can run smoothly. But when it works, it is hauntingly scary and Andrés Muschietti has created a movie that isn’t about being scared because of what hides in the dark, but for what hides in plain sight. The film loosens itself completely from its chains and pushes and plays with the audience until IT doesn’t have more tricks up its sleeve. It is a brave production, with everything from R-rated handling of G-related characters, to pedophilia, rape, incest, extreme bullying, absurd violence and full-blown terror! 'IT' tells and sells itself where others keep quiet, and this is what really keeps this movie floating ... like a red balloon in the wind ... so come and take it. If you dare.
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Knock, knock. Who’s there? It... It who?
It’s been a hard day’s night at the cinema I can tell you...

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++



Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
holy sh-IT what a review!
__________________
They say: that after people make love there's a kind of melancholia, the petite mort, the little death. Well, I'm here to tell you, after a romantic night with yourself there's a very acute sensation of failed suicide. ~Dylan Moran



Nice review of IT Med .
Optimuuuuus!!! *Shia Lebouf voice*

I missed ya in here! Nice review you said, BUT YOU DIDN'T REP IT!? The hell dude!

I'm just effing with ya hah, thanks man, I really do appreciate it a lot. Y'all comments always warms my heart, especially those from long-time followers like you, Optimus.



"""" Hulk Smashhhh."""
Optimuuuuus!!! *Shia Lebouf voice*

I missed ya in here! Nice review you said, BUT YOU DIDN'T REP IT!? The hell dude!

I'm just effing with ya hah, thanks man, I really do appreciate it a lot. Y'all comments always warms my heart, especially those from long-time followers like you, Optimus.
Fixed that Rep problem .

Hopefully i should be around a little more now mate.



MOVIEMEDITATION RETURNS
TO CINEMA REVIEWS

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"LOOK AT ME!"
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The gifted Greek genius Yorgos Lanthimos returns with a beautiful royal rubble of a film, which in approach and atmosphere fits like a glove into the company of the already impressive catalogue pieces; containing the perfectly peculiar class acts 'The Lobster' and 'The Killing of a Sacred Deer'. Films that equally equip themselves with a distanced and deep-seated satirical ideology. But will Lanthimos write history without having written the script himself? Or will he sit as a ventriloquist doll on his own throne?
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THE STORY
The year is 1708, England is in constant war with France and the monarch herself, Anne, is inert, incompetent and overall incapable of ruling a country. Fortunately, the politically active Sarah is standing faithfully by her side and more or less controls everything for the queen, which is very much to Sarah’s satisfaction. Right up until her cousin arrives that is, and turns everything upside down – for herself, for Sarah, the queen and the entirety of England.

As stated, Yorgos Lanthimos didn’t write the script for 'The Favourite' but his favoritism for fiendish violence, pitch-black comedy and caricature characters – who, in a fairly realistic universe, behave either half or wholly absurd – is thankfully still intact. But where the previous oddball outings did have a tendency to appear somewhat subdued and perhaps even emotionally out of reach for some, with its relatively deadpan delivery and offbeat way of building universes, ‘The Favourite’ comes off as being far more flagrant and conscious of its apparent ridicule of everything – all the way from political ruling and debate, war and peace, false facades and flashy costumes and overall high-horse "court life". All this is thrown into a blender and makes for some bloody, gut-busting fun, which enhances the satirical elements excellently!


What at first glance is a pretty little portrait is now being tactically torn apart in a whirlwind of madness, wherein the royal life is approached with an almost animalistic caveman quality, shaping up the movie nicely and sharpening the satire even more. The humor is both overstated and understated throughout, often even at the same time, and it is so carefully constructed that it makes it hard not to leave all this quirk with a smirk on your face. Lanthimos skillfully boils down the epic costume drama period piece and turns it into a domestic love triangle of both power-hungry and power-horny proportions. This is, quite simply, entertainment straight from the upper class!



THE ACTING
The acting goes happily hand in hand down the long, empty and ephemeral hallways together with the already dark humor, which is (purposely) stiffer in its appearance than the amplified costumes those in the castle walks around in. The required accuracy with which humor is being provided is not a problem for the actors and actresses, who all seem to be "in on the joke" and also understand the balance between excessively flamboyant, predominantly repulsive and often outright offensive – and I loved to observe every bit of this madness… from a safe distance, of course.

Olivia Colman is outrageously funny from start to finish, both when she commands people around on the castle, for the benefit of herself and not the country – because she is useless in the latter department and honestly also a bit wobbly in the former – and when she cries because of her own pitiful self. Thankfully, there is a nice contrast going on here, through the more self-confident and politically conscious Rachel Weisz, which later results in the riveting rivalry between her and Emma Stone’s character, who is equally excellent in the movie, especially with her carefully executed comic timing and sophisticated mimicry.



THE VISUALS
Never has a film, which plays out inside something so cold and cynical, been augmented with such a massive amount of personality and energy thanks to director Yorgos Lanthimos, who takes on swords and lances with pitchfork and torch. Particularly the use of extreme wide-angle lenses provides a breath of fresh air to the often too-perfect period dramas, giving the audience the feeling of observing the true hollowness of the fancy upper class, as well as the associated foolish behavior and rituals, at a distance that truly gives you observatory anxiety.

There is something playful and not the least bold by granting the luxurious an unforeseen and unparalleled low-point, in which the inner royal narcissism and the expensive empty exterior is stripped down to its own ridiculousness, being left looking like the emperor's new clothes. ‘The Favourite' tosses the high life straight into the ditch and awards the audience an insight into the royal inner circle, which does not concern exclusive carriage rides or expensive carat rings. The visual language is a very significant part of Lanthimo's precious narrative, and it is a pleasure to see him point fingers at the pretty facade and the punctual schedule of a majestic monarchy – and not only succeed – but do so with pinpoint accuracy through every possible satirical bullet point.



THE SOUND
As the twisted titan Yorgos Lanthimos is, ‘The Favourite’ sports a soundstage-filling symphony that couldn’t be more classical and traditional if it tried. The big musical arrangement just oozes fake wigs and fancy dresses and sets the apparent tone for the film… right up until the beautiful orchestra abruptly turns ominous with what seems to be the sudden disappearance of almost all of its musicians – except for one, single, monotone key still playing, which is also key to the definite tone and style luring under this feature film. It is a tone, which sends triumphant terror down through your spine and spins the lovely-looking surface out of control and finds comfort in something a lot creepier and more surreal; containing light callbacks to the simplicity and effectiveness of the horror genre.



THE SHORT SUMMARY
Yorgos Lanthimos has created a biting little barbaric satire, which turns the world as we know it inside out and confronts realism with surrealism, spicing up the drab political debates and social commentary without appearing too direct or too demanding. It is weird and wonderful to flip the worlds around and have the audience look at this childish chess game of power and politics, coming off as the film representative of a court fool. As an audience we look up on the big screen while looking down on the characters that are there, clashing with each other inside a costume drama so far from the custom, that you are constantly surprised and confused the deeper you look.

Several scenes are still on your retina a good while after the film ends and it is hard to remember seeing something so crazy coming off so controlled – delivered with expertise and precision – as it is the case with ‘The Favourite’. It is, quite simply, a royal flush of a film and I bow down to Yorgos Lanthimos' ludicrous luxury service of a masterwork! ‘The Favourite’ is the fancy and fiery F-word to the world… then and now.



++



I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
Liked your review of The favourite, spot on. Excellent film.



Liked your review of The favourite, spot on. Excellent film.
Thank you so much. Means a lot. Been a while since I wrote these. Glad it was a film like this I had the pleasure of reviewing.



MOVIEMEDITATION RETURNS
TO CINEMA REVIEWS

________________________________



"LOOK AT ME!"
________________________________

The gifted Greek genius Yorgos Lanthimos returns with a beautiful royal rubble of a film, which in approach and atmosphere fits like a glove into the company of the already impressive catalogue pieces; containing the perfectly peculiar class acts 'The Lobster' and 'The Killing of a Sacred Deer'. Films that equally equip themselves with a distanced and deep-seated satirical ideology. But will Lanthimos write history without having written the script himself? Or will he sit as a ventriloquist doll on his own throne?
________________________________


THE STORY
The year is 1708, England is in constant war with France and the monarch herself, Anne, is inert, incompetent and overall incapable of ruling a country. Fortunately, the politically active Sarah is standing faithfully by her side and more or less controls everything for the queen, which is very much to Sarah’s satisfaction. Right up until her cousin arrives that is, and turns everything upside down – for herself, for Sarah, the queen and the entirety of England.

As stated, Yorgos Lanthimos didn’t write the script for 'The Favourite' but his favoritism for fiendish violence, pitch-black comedy and caricature characters – who, in a fairly realistic universe, behave either half or wholly absurd – is thankfully still intact. But where the previous oddball outings did have a tendency to appear somewhat subdued and perhaps even emotionally out of reach for some, with its relatively deadpan delivery and offbeat way of building universes, ‘The Favourite’ comes off as being far more flagrant and conscious of its apparent ridicule of everything – all the way from political ruling and debate, war and peace, false facades and flashy costumes and overall high-horse "court life". All this is thrown into a blender and makes for some bloody, gut-busting fun, which enhances the satirical elements excellently!


What at first glance is a pretty little portrait is now being tactically torn apart in a whirlwind of madness, wherein the royal life is approached with an almost animalistic caveman quality, shaping up the movie nicely and sharpening the satire even more. The humor is both overstated and understated throughout, often even at the same time, and it is so carefully constructed that it makes it hard not to leave all this quirk with a smirk on your face. Lanthimos skillfully boils down the epic costume drama period piece and turns it into a domestic love triangle of both power-hungry and power-horny proportions. This is, quite simply, entertainment straight from the upper class!



THE ACTING
The acting goes happily hand in hand down the long, empty and ephemeral hallways together with the already dark humor, which is (purposely) stiffer in its appearance than the amplified costumes those in the castle walks around in. The required accuracy with which humor is being provided is not a problem for the actors and actresses, who all seem to be "in on the joke" and also understand the balance between excessively flamboyant, predominantly repulsive and often outright offensive – and I loved to observe every bit of this madness… from a safe distance, of course.

Olivia Colman is outrageously funny from start to finish, both when she commands people around on the castle, for the benefit of herself and not the country – because she is useless in the latter department and honestly also a bit wobbly in the former – and when she cries because of her own pitiful self. Thankfully, there is a nice contrast going on here, through the more self-confident and politically conscious Rachel Weisz, which later results in the riveting rivalry between her and Emma Stone’s character, who is equally excellent in the movie, especially with her carefully executed comic timing and sophisticated mimicry.



THE VISUALS
Never has a film, which plays out inside something so cold and cynical, been augmented with such a massive amount of personality and energy thanks to director Yorgos Lanthimos, who takes on swords and lances with pitchfork and torch. Particularly the use of extreme wide-angle lenses provides a breath of fresh air to the often too-perfect period dramas, giving the audience the feeling of observing the true hollowness of the fancy upper class, as well as the associated foolish behavior and rituals, at a distance that truly gives you observatory anxiety.

There is something playful and not the least bold by granting the luxurious an unforeseen and unparalleled low-point, in which the inner royal narcissism and the expensive empty exterior is stripped down to its own ridiculousness, being left looking like the emperor's new clothes. ‘The Favourite' tosses the high life straight into the ditch and awards the audience an insight into the royal inner circle, which does not concern exclusive carriage rides or expensive carat rings. The visual language is a very significant part of Lanthimo's precious narrative, and it is a pleasure to see him point fingers at the pretty facade and the punctual schedule of a majestic monarchy – and not only succeed – but do so with pinpoint accuracy through every possible satirical bullet point.



THE SOUND
As the twisted titan Yorgos Lanthimos is, ‘The Favourite’ sports a soundstage-filling symphony that couldn’t be more classical and traditional if it tried. The big musical arrangement just oozes fake wigs and fancy dresses and sets the apparent tone for the film… right up until the beautiful orchestra abruptly turns ominous with what seems to be the sudden disappearance of almost all of its musicians – except for one, single, monotone key still playing, which is also key to the definite tone and style luring under this feature film. It is a tone, which sends triumphant terror down through your spine and spins the lovely-looking surface out of control and finds comfort in something a lot creepier and more surreal; containing light callbacks to the simplicity and effectiveness of the horror genre.



THE SHORT SUMMARY
Yorgos Lanthimos has created a biting little barbaric satire, which turns the world as we know it inside out and confronts realism with surrealism, spicing up the drab political debates and social commentary without appearing too direct or too demanding. It is weird and wonderful to flip the worlds around and have the audience look at this childish chess game of power and politics, coming off as the film representative of a court fool. As an audience we look up on the big screen while looking down on the characters that are there, clashing with each other inside a costume drama so far from the custom, that you are constantly surprised and confused the deeper you look.

Several scenes are still on your retina a good while after the film ends and it is hard to remember seeing something so crazy coming off so controlled – delivered with expertise and precision – as it is the case with ‘The Favourite’. It is, quite simply, a royal flush of a film and I bow down to Yorgos Lanthimos' ludicrous luxury service of a masterwork! ‘The Favourite’ is the fancy and fiery F-word to the world… then and now.



++

Loved your review of this film, agree with everything you've said and love the way you said it.



Loved your review of this film, agree with everything you've said and love the way you said it.
Thanks so much, Gideon! I’m also really happy how this turned out - the review and the movie.