RSS feed for Matt
  • Romancing in Thin Air

    Romancing in Thin Air 2012

    ★★★★ Watched 04 Jul, 2015

    "Dedicated to 033"

    biggest takeaway from this: everybody needs help - whether you're hopelessly lost in a forest, escaping an intensely scrutinised life, or trying in vain to reverse a truck out of a ditch.

  • Party

    Party 1996

    ★★★★ Watched 04 Jul, 2015

    Oliveira uses long, philosophical conversations about love + sex as a means for his characters to distract themselves from the sudden, potentially life-changing romance developing between two of them over two separate parties in a pretentiously overstuffed palace in France - until these numbing (by design) exchanges can't hold back their emotions and the whole thing collapses into the futile escapist fantasy that it is. Inventive, exciting, romantic, tragic, frustrating - and so much fun.

  • La Cérémonie

    La Cérémonie 1995

    ★★★★★ Rewatched 01 Jul, 2015

    "I feel sorry for you"

    one of the great films about manipulation and belittlement: nonchalantly throwing a dirtied tissue back at the person who provided it without saying thank you; offering to drive someone into town as if it's the noblest thing in the world; finding out someone can't read and instinctively offering to teach them. The rich family treat Sandrine Bonnaire's maid with such casual disdain and dehumanising pity that it's no wonder she's drawn to the chaos of…

  • PTU

    PTU 2003

    ★★★★ Watched 27 Jun, 2015

    "You know this isn't right. We'll get into trouble for this."

    To equates respecting the police to respecting a violent gangster who could kill you for not bringing him a beer quickly enough in a restaurant - and why not, when the cops spend so much of their time covering up their own mistakes/incompetence by planting drugs on the innocent, stealing evidence from crime scenes, and torturing people for information when they should be, y'know, solving crimes/catching bad guys -…

  • Blackhat

    Blackhat 2015

    Rewatched 24 Jun, 2015

    I guess I missed how down and dirty this is first time round - a movie about cyber-terrorism in which a hacker scratches around in the dirt to find information; the violence and suffering of every death is highlighted with lingering close-ups/slo-mo; an online conversation with a terrorist (who could be anywhere in the world) escalates into a knife-fight with a gang in a bar in less than 10 seconds. This isn't a world that exists only online. It's real,…

  • In the Mouth of Madness

    In the Mouth of Madness 1994

    Watched 20 Jun, 2015

    "It's about people turning into things. Creatures that aren't human anymore."
    "It's fiction, Styles. Fiction."

    Carpenter's tight framing/slow panning offers a world of potential horrors just out of sight, which is basically what this film is: an unfathomable danger that may not exist, emanating from a place that's impossible to accurately comprehend. A town, not on any map, and only found following a bizarre transportive nightmare, is the source of a demonic plague affecting the readers of a smash-hit horror…

  • Dead Ringers

    Dead Ringers 1988

    Watched 14 Jun, 2015

    "There's nothing the matter with the instrument, it's the body. The woman's body was all wrong."

    except it wasn't wrong - the most tragic and horrifying thing in Cronenberg's cinema is the biologically normal human body.

  • The Happening

    The Happening 2008

    ★★★½ Watched 13 Jun, 2015

    again with Shyamalan, small communities under threat is the thing here, this time with a rapidly shrinking group of people, the only constants being a troubled married couple and the young daughter of a friend, trying to escape plant toxins that force the infected to kill themselves (some seriously harrowing images come out of that). But they're not just under threat from these toxins. As TV and radio reports, frantic phonecalls from loved ones and lo-res phone footage of "events"…

  • Lady in the Water

    Lady in the Water 2006

    Watched 11 Jun, 2015

    Shyamalan loves closed-off, self-sustaining communities (the farm in Signs, the village in The Village etc), in which some kind of unfathomable alien threat is closing in from outside. Here, the threat is so strange; it's basically a fantasy in real life, but taken seriously to the point that nobody questions it: a water nymph appears in the pool of an apartment complex, and the concern of the characters isn't "who are you really?", but rather "why are you here?" and…

  • San Andreas

    San Andreas 2015

    ★★★ Watched 10 Jun, 2015

    This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    I read a ton of those review synopses on Rotten Tomatoes after going to see this by accident, because the Mad Max: Fury Road screening I wanted to go to was in 3D and my friend can't see 3D, and without knowing anything more about it than the words "earthquake" and "the rock". I guess I was curious and I guess the 50% score they give it made sense - I found it exhilarating for the most part - but…

  • The Village

    The Village 2004

    ★★★★ Watched 09 Jun, 2015

    "there are secrets in every corner of this village"

    a great romantic fable and a truly terrifying horror movie - all recontextualised to make something weird, mystifying, and unbelievably tragic - feeling > seeing, so why not preserve the mystery?

    so much here - esp. the brief moment in which Jesse Eisenberg (!) runs to inform the elders that BDH has returned from her "mission" to find medicine, and that she's killed one of the "creatures", which features such a stunning juxtaposition of conflicting emotions that it's hard to know how to process it.

  • La libertad

    La libertad 2001

    Watched 08 Jun, 2015

    reminded me a lot of the second half of Blissfully Yours, for many reasons (rich sound design/observations of man as an extension of nature, etc), but mostly in the sense that it also exists virtually without context: this guy could be cutting down trees anywhere in the world, at any time - from 20/30 years in the past, to 20/30 years in the future.