RSS feed for Chris
  • Sun Don't Shine 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 25 Feb, 2015

    It's always great to see a film without expectations and Sun Don't Shine was a pleasant surprise for me. Understated and impressionistic, it's a film that starts right in the middle of things and as a viewer you need to piece things together to figure out what is going on. A character study of people who are opaque and not in touch with their feelings, it's a casual feeling feel with a deliberate structure. With an intimate shooting style, great editing, and haunting sound design it's a clever and unnerving film that shows what is possible in indie film.

  • Dazed and Confused 1993

    ★★★★½ Watched 24 Feb, 2015

    I probably hadn't watched Dazed and Confused for a decade or two and watching it again I appreciate it a whole lot more. I remember liking it, but now I'm a lot older and it seems to resonate a lot more. Linklater perfectly captures the feeling of the end high school in the late 70s and weaves it all together with a fantastic soundtrack. A very nice, gentle slice of life.

  • Black Pond 2011

    ★★★★ Watched 22 Feb, 2015

    Blending reality tv, documentary, animation and a bit of experimental filmmaking too, Black Pond is a unique and very dark comedy. Constructing the story with the style of reality tv, but told in a much more impressionistic fashion, it's a strange little film that I knew very little about, but quite enjoyed.

  • Boyhood 2014

    ★★★★½ Watched 21 Feb, 2015

    With Boyhood Richard Linklater takes the idea of filming small bits over a decade and it works wonderfully well. Keeping the focus on the moments and not trying to stitch together an overarching narrative was the right approach as the power and interest of the film (and many films) is in seeing the interactions between the characters. Linklater was lucky with his choice of central character played by Ellar Coltrane along with Lorelei Linklater as his sister. With Patricia Arquette…

  • Kingsman: The Secret Service 2015

    ★★★ Watched 21 Feb, 2015

    Visually interesting, but without a lot of coherence in terms of plot and tone, Kingsman: The Secret Service benefits greatly from the presence of Colin Firth elevating the proceedings. It's an over-the-top reworking of the spy movie with some clever touches, but the first person shooter visual treatment for some of the action sequences took me out of the film as did the shallow characters and extreme violence at times. I wanted more Layer Cake, but ended up with more Kick-Ass.

  • Heartbeat Detector 2007

    ★★★★ Rewatched 19 Feb, 2015

    Heartbeat Detector is an intellectual film that has a naturalistic heart. With a story told obliquely and musically, it's a bit of a mystery about history, corporate structure, and the Holocaust all woven together and filtered through Mathieu Almaric's character, who is a corporate psychologist. Slowly building to a haunting conclusion, it's an interesting take on the echoes of World War II and how it continues to affect life in Europe.

  • The Overnighters 2014

    ★★★★ Watched 18 Feb, 2015

    A documentary that went in some unexpected places, but did so in a way that was respectful and interesting. Shot in more of a naturalistic style with a bit of distance from the main character, The Overnighters is a portrait of a Pastor in a small town and the challenges that he faces in providing shelter for men looking for work in the oil fields of North Dakota. Solid filmmaking that makes you think about the costs of development in human terms and how things work in small towns.

  • Florida Man 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 17 Feb, 2015

    A casual documentary about men in Florida, Florida Man explores personal stories from men who usually show up in headlines. With a loose structure, but compelling faces and small stories, it's a look at people who usually don't get to tell their stories on film.

  • I Will Follow 2011

    ★★★½ Watched 15 Feb, 2015

    A subtle character study about loss and family dynamics, I Will Follow is an engaging debut feature drama about a woman dealing with the loss of her aunt and her own life. Solid performances and a simple story anchor the film which has some lovely moments in it.

  • Starring Adam West

    ★★★ Watched 08 Feb, 2015

    I didn't know a lot about Adam West before seeing this film, and now I know more. Sticking mainly to the surface and built around the campaign to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, it's a gentle look at a man who had a career, made it big and then later embraced the typecasting and rolled with it.

  • Eraserhead Stories 2001

    ★★★½ Watched 14 Feb, 2015

    A companion piece to the DVD release of Eraserhead, David Lynch's Eraserhead Stories consists mainly of him telling stories about the production of the film supplemented by photos, black and white video footage, and a speakerphone conversation. Lynch is an odd and compelling storyteller and the film zips by as he talks about the unique collection of people who helped to bring his odd vision to life.

  • Eraserhead 1977

    ★★★★½ Watched 14 Feb, 2015

    I hadn't seen it for a while, but I always seem to forget how deeply strange Eraserhead is. A surreal masterpiece years in the making, it contains so many of the elements that David Lynch is known for. From the unnerving compositions and incredible sound design to the deadpan performances, it's a dark and gorgeous surreal masterpiece. Definitely not for everyone, but it's a unique achievement where Lynch created his own personal vision.