RSS feed for Glen
  • We Are the Best!

    We Are the Best! 2013

    Watched 25 Sep, 2016

    Boys ruin everything. Even good movies.

  • Tokyo Tribe

    Tokyo Tribe 2014

    Watched 16 Apr, 2016

    It would take booming sound system and an excitable crowd to drown out Tokyo Tribe's multitude of sins which I suppose is how it got by. It's often described and promoted as a hip hop musical but that's a bit like calling a pantomime a Shakespeare play. Hardly any of the performers could be reasonably described as competent rappers and I defy any of Tokyo Tribe's fans to recall a single beat from the film. That's to say nothing of…

  • Spotlight

    Spotlight 2015

    Watched 23 Mar, 2016

    As professional and reliable in its style as its characters are in their vocation.

  • Hail, Caesar!

    Hail, Caesar! 2016

    Watched 23 Mar, 2016

    Hail, Ceasar! works just fine as a That's Entertainment style compilation of movie magic but unfortunately the Coens were compelled (probably by dirty capitalist incentives) to add something as gauche as a story to their celebration. So this thing is saddled with a perfunctory plot that nonetheless feels more convoluted than it ought to be and characters literally declaring the divinity of motion pictures even though the Berkeley-esque mermaid routine and its like get the message across just fine. Let's…

  • The Boy and the Beast

    The Boy and the Beast 2015

    ★★★½ Watched 06 Mar, 2016

    The Boy and The Beast strains a little too hard for its effect - the metaphors just start piling up like a train wreck towards the end - but it manages to be affecting anyhow. I particularly like the way it emphasis the difference between its two worlds by way of formal techniques. The "real world" scenes are often given a distorted security camera effect, bright lights are emphasised and 3D effects are often employed. In contrast the beast world is comparatively rustic - not just in it's mise en scène but also in its lack of such formal flash.

  • The Dressmaker

    The Dressmaker 2015

    Watched 09 Dec, 2015

    The Dressmaker is so naked in its contempt of its imagined small town Australia - from which no one escapes unless they're in a bodybag or haute couture - that it seems improbable that more reviews don't seem to have tackled this aspect of it head-on. Once the poison is out of the bottle the film's various caricatures seem less like grating but well-intentioned quirk and more like hateful send-ups. I'm not going to argue that small towns can't be…

  • Ex Machina

    Ex Machina 2015

    Watched 06 Oct, 2015

    Ex Machina is the kind of science fiction movie that hammers home Solaris' point (or one of them anyway). Attempts to investigate the inhuman or post-human almost always collapse into yet more navel gazing. Ex Machina is a decent film about a very particular delusion: The god complex as it manifests in twenty and thirty-something male technology professionals. But it fails utterly when attempting to depict an artificial intelligence. The best it can imagine is something yearning and learning to…

  • The Gift

    The Gift 2015

    Watched 05 Oct, 2015

    The Gift is an efficient, machine tooled film in which not a second is wasted and every detail is essential. As a result it feels more than a little airless. That's a fault I could forgive - if it's end purpose was a little more ambitious or if it was more interesting on a moment to moment basis.

  • Phoenix

    Phoenix 2014

    Watched 11 Jun, 2015

    The rare holocaust film that attempts to convey its impact beyond immediate terror and broken bodies. Which is not to say it's a state of the nation address although it includes that aspect too. it's occasionally a little too blunt for its own good. Pheonix happens to be the name of a bar in the film and Hoss' character explicitly remarks that the the process of pretending to be herself is helping her reclaim her pre-trauma identity in a way…

  • The Assassin

    The Assassin 2015

    Watched 14 Jun, 2015

    Seeing as everyone has an opinion about this now (courtesy of TIFF) I decided to stitch together some of my SFF tweets into something almost coherent:

    One of the really neat things about THE ASSASSIN is its sound design. It's very quiet - even in action scenes. But violent blows - fists, arrows and blades striking - are very loud. It makes the violence feel abnormal and very aggressive even though there's virtually no visible blood. It's a choice that contributes to its rhythm of long periods of plotting, spying and regretting interrupted by brief, furious bursts of violence.

  • Spring

    Spring 2014

    Watched 10 Sep, 2015

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Cleverly locates romance in biochemistry and history but, like its fumbling hero, reaches a little too hard for profundity.

    It also fails to get beyond the hurdle of how to characterise an immortal (or at the least a very long lived person) and falls back on the usual solution: An otherwise ordinary person with a great deal of knowledge and skills.

  • Painted Skin

    Painted Skin 2008

    Watched 30 Aug, 2015

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Painted Skin doesn't always put its best foot forward. There are a number of clumsy moments: The most egregious being an attempt to create drama by cutting around the moment a character suddenly turns to face another. The absence of the turning movement is intended to shock but instead it just jars. That said, as The Bride with White Hair showed, I'm more than capable of overlooking some oddities (both films share an extreme fondness for Dutch angles) if the…