The hitman comedy seems like something that is so played out. Even in the case of Paco Cabezas’s Mr Right, it appears that way too. With a script from Max Landis (Chronicle, American Ultra), everything just feels super conventional and safe. But a by-the-numbers screenplay does not automatically mean the film is garbage, especially in the case of Mr Right. Utilizing great comedic performances from all of its actors, the film is a gleefully violent time hurt only by its need to be unique.
Charlie Kaufman is one of America’s preeminent writers of existentialism and nearly all other forms of humanity. Anomalisa is another example of Kaufman’s look into the droll life of a man, but with his usual quirks and outlooks on love and infidelity added in. With this film being served to the audiences in Kaufman’s first use of animation, there is sure to be some worry among his fans on whether his style can be translated in a different visual medium. It’s safe to say that being lost in this droll, ugly world has never looked so beautiful. Continue reading →
Greek cinema has started a small, but powerful movement in film satire. As I mentioned in my review for The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos, and Chevalier director, Athina Rachel Tsangari, came into the arthouse scene by storm with the Oscar nominated Dogtooth, and Tsangari’s equally transgressive debut, Attenberg. Tsangari proved to be as big a talent as Lanthimos with her tale of sexuality and grief, ultimately gaining attention at the Venice Film Festival with a nomination for the Golden Lion. With Chevalier, Tsangari creates another story with sadness and reality, but doesn’t lose the humour that are found in the repertoire of the previous films in the Greek new wave, perhaps with even more laughs than before. Continue reading →
With Dogtooth, Yorgos Lanthimos created a new wave of filmmaking that is still rarely seen from anywhere outside of Greek cinema. After an Oscar nomination for best foreign language film and another acclaimed film in the warped Alps, Lanthimos has crafted another dark comedy in his English language debut, The Lobster. Audiences familiar to his style will expect the deadpan sense of delivery and pitch-black humour from the director, but it is hard to understand and, in some cases, may be seen as impenetrable emotionally, but this strips The Lobster down to its essential message and tone. Anyone that is worried about the jump from Greek to English should be put at ease. Continue reading →
Saturday Night Live has constantly been graced as the place where comedy is found and grown upon. You either live or die on that stage, but the writing has to carry you through. Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead wants to show you where the first generation of SNL came from and where they started. While the National Lampoon magazine was the source of what may be considered as the most taboo mainstream magazine to have ever been made, director Douglas Tirola carries the viewer on a journey of where National Lampoon started, and right where it died; no more, no less.
Too often do I wind up feeling like quirky films botch their execution because of their quirkiness. The idea that being weird is enough to make a film good is hardly appealing, which is why it is refreshing to see movies that can land that balance. Especially when some drama can be injected into the absurd. Collective Invention is not without its flaws, but for something that has a mutant fish-man as its connective tissue, it is surprisingly heartfelt and politically-charged in its initial throes.
What makes a thriller? Is it a consistent sense of dread? Or a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety? A thriller in the sense of this film relies on the terror of two grandparents and a week-long visit between them and their two grandchildren. What this film centers around is more than just dread, it’s focused on the family and their connections, the tragedies between them, and the occasional bit of scatological humour that surprisingly works. But no matter what it is, M. Night Shyamalan has written and directed his latest film about these things in The Visit.