Under the Skin (2013)

Seduction A fair enough way to divide filmviewers is between those that come for a coherent sequence of facts (to call a story) and those that come for an experience induced by any means. Most films address both communities, but grand experiments in contrasting the two can be powerful. For me, the greatest evocation of… Continue reading Under the Skin (2013)

Oceans Eight (2018)

Poor Planning So the overarching narrative here is that our scam artist planned this to the last detail while in the slammer. With the main trilogy, we never know, but the impression is that Danny and co agily adjust as difficulties and exceptions appear. The fun is partly in discovering the plan after it has… Continue reading Oceans Eight (2018)

Noah (2014)

Extended Myth, Extensible Missus The last 40 minutes of this is a shift from epic to soap opera. Future viewers would be best advised to stop watching once the flood hits and the villains (but one) have been destroyed. Until that point, we have the sort of reverse noir that Aranofsky has been perfecting. There… Continue reading Noah (2014)

Truly Miss Marple: The Curious Case of Margaret Rutherford (2012)

Unembellishments If you just come to this without the Christie context, you will be appalled. If you come understanding Christie, you will be doubly appalled. Here we have a quirky actress who plays a single quirky character. The character has some appeal in most of the fictional contexts we encounter. In those films, we suspect… Continue reading Truly Miss Marple: The Curious Case of Margaret Rutherford (2012)

Oblivion (2013)

Appropriated Appropriateness One measure of a science fiction movie is whether the science and fiction are coherent. I’ve been following the Hunger Games saga and this is driving me crazy. Some technology is advanced, some adopted from the sixties. In good hands, like with Nolan’s Interstellar, this could be used to advantage. In that case,… Continue reading Oblivion (2013)

Top End Wedding (2019)

Companion as Place Why does this earn a special space in my heart? It is a romantic comedy after all, deliberately designed to be discarded. The genre is defined by the attractiveness of a superficial love; the easy way problems are resolved and the balance of designed soulmates restored. This film follows the mandated pattern:… Continue reading Top End Wedding (2019)

Sherlock Holmes and the Shadow Watchers (2021)

Fiddling Around When you get something like this, you have to give allowances. No money was spent; friends did the acting. Production is brusque. What you have to look for is the intent of the writer/director/main actor. If he could have, would he have delivered a film that mattered? Well, he started with Holmes, one… Continue reading Sherlock Holmes and the Shadow Watchers (2021)