Not only is ‘Spectre’ Craig’s best Bond film, it’s the most definitive artistic statement on the super-spy since ‘On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.’
Colin Farrell, donning a rather “Joaquin Phoenix in Her” disposition and attire, sits on the couch, facing away from his presumed wife as she tells him the details of the man for whom she’s leaving, doesn’t say much.
Back when Greek auteur Yorgos Lanthimos first clambered barefaced upon the international stage with his daring Dogtooth, quite a few hastened to mention its striking resemblance to Arturo Ripstein’s similarly self-contained The Castle of Purity, made some 35 years earlier. In the wake of his first English-language effort The Lobster, one might even go further and compare all that Lanthimos has done thus far to Ripstein’s film: the …
Paddington is a 21st century take on an icon of children’s literature that never feels constrained by its source material despite its closeness in spirit. In its playful craft, wit for all ages, fully realised human leads, and actual engagement with important, timely themes in a manner free of heavy-handedness, King and company have created what one hopes will become a future family film classic.
Rather than the political surveillance looked at in Brazil, corporate surveillance is the primary focus, though the film’s weak digs at both that and the impersonal nature of our online modern age lack any of the bite of the earlier film. Exploration of the latter idea certainly isn’t helped by the writing of Bainsley, a character lacking in any agency of her own. Thierry is victim to an uncomfortable amount of fetishistic objectification, present even outside of the few scenes in which it contextually makes a little sense. Kim Griest’s well-rounded, independent heroine is just one of the ways in which Brazil still has punch today as a key science fiction work; The Zero Theorem, an effort that never excels, is a light shove at best.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one already: a low-level cog in a comically large bureaucratic environment in a grotesque-looking “future” dystopia struggles in the face of obsolescence and oblivion. The character in question is fundamentally good, but incredibly weedy, their resolve and spirit having been ground to stumps by the world around them.
Though writer Pat Rushin scripted and conceived the story of The Zero Theorem, one can be forgiven for assuming Terry Gilliam came up with the narrative himself, being that it comes across as the work of someone who either saw every film Gilliam’s ever made or just happened to direct them. Indeed, The Zero Theorem sees Gilliam very much in his storytelling and thematic comfort zones, though sadly to diminishing returns. It openly scrounges scraps from earlier efforts, especially Brazil, but has little idea how to develop its ever so slightly different ideas beyond thin sketches.
Cloud Atlas Directed by Tom Tykwer, Andy and Lana Wachowski Written by Tom Tykwer, Andy and Lana Wachowski Germany/USA/ Hong Kong/Singapore, 2012 Beyond its unparalleled ambition, Cloud Atlas is a film that carries too little emotional heft to truly resonate. In what will easily go down as the most divisive film-going experience of the year, and potentially live on …