Posted in 5 Stars, Film Reviews

Time of the Gypsies – Review


This was only my second Emir Kusturica film, and there’s already an impression I’m watching the work of a madman. This four and a half hour long epic about the life of a boy living within his Romani family carries a sense of ambition that in itself seems so hard to replicate. What Emir Kusturica formed with Time of the Gypsies not only resulted in one of the most distinctive projects of its time but something so draining in its mammoth running time, yet always rewarding. These are only coming down to the outer layer of what’s most impressive about Time of the Gypsies, because I’m not even sure how exactly could any other filmmaker would even manage to put something like this on the screen. There’s far too much to deconstruct in Time of the Gypsies that allows it to work well, but it only sinks into my head all the more. Continue reading “Time of the Gypsies – Review”

Posted in 5 Stars, Film Reviews

The Long Day Closes – Review


I still remember that feeling of first discovery being made for myself at a young age. I came across Casablanca on Turner Classic Movies when I was 12 years old, and it was a moment that changed my life. And prior to getting into movies, I still found myself a sense of comfort from playing video games. It was a discovery of feeling that has only furthered where I wanted to go with my own life, being behind a shelter the whole time at the fear of what public perception would have brought upon myself. I was only discovering what films could speak large volumes for oneself, no matter what sort they were. And if any other film had spoken large volumes about what that sort of experience was like, there’s a reason I point to Terence Davies’s The Long Day Closes above all else: not only does it remain my favourite of the director’s work but an experience that came right at the perfect moment.

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Posted in 4 Stars, Film Reviews

War for the Planet of the Apes – Review


I’m still unsure on what ground these new Planet of the Apes movies have any right to being nearly as good as they are. The first reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was a pleasant surprise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes had put good use to what had already been set in motion by its predecessor to create a broader canvas within its narrative, and now with War for the Planet of the Apes, it may very well be all coming to an end. With director Matt Reeves returning behind the camera, it was only fitting to expect more exciting results would come by and my expectations were met perfectly. Knowing that one story was already about to come and meet its own end, what Matt Reeves has formed in War for the Planet of the Apes was only the most fitting conclusion that this new Planet of the Apes franchise has received – enough for me even to say they might as well be a better series than the original films at that.

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Posted in 4 Stars, Film Reviews

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Review


Right after Rise of the Planet of the Apes one already knew that the story would continue, and that’s where Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has come by. And if Rise of the Planet of the Apes only had come by in the same manner that any superhero origin story would have played out by setting up the tone for films yet to come, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes already has found itself more room to create a more distinctive identity. But being as I’ve never particularly been the hugest fan of the original film franchise, it’s nice to see that these new films are able to form an identity of their own for it takes me by surprise how much I enjoy them. These aren’t just mindless, disposable blockbusters that only find themselves living within the moment, these films leave behind an impact that calls out for far more – among many reasons I’m glad these new Planet of the Apes movies are around.

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Posted in 3½ Stars, Film Reviews

Rise of the Planet of the Apes – Review


I’ve never exactly been a huge Planet of the Apes fan (I do really enjoy the original film, even though the rest never did much for me) yet coming out of the theater from Rise of the Planet of the Apes back when it came out was a thrilling experience. Years of not having seen it only left me feeling that perhaps I was far more impressionable considering how perfectly the original Planet of the Apes film had managed to stand the test of time, and yet as I watched Rupert Wyatt’s reboot of the franchise in Rise of the Planet of the Apes for my first time since then – so much of the joy that I remember having felt seems to have faded away. That’s not to say I dislike Rise of the Planet of the Apes because I still enjoy it well enough as it is, but considering what has only come forth within the future, it doesn’t feel as exciting as it was back in 2011.

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Posted in 3 Stars, Film Reviews

Godzilla (2014) – Review


Was hoping to enjoy it more on this go after having been disappointed from a theatrical viewing, but on a revisit my opinion nevertheless remained the same. Gareth Edwards, a director only known at the time for a small scale science fiction film, Monsters, started off Legendary Pictures’s MonsterVerse on a more middling note than anything. Being the first American Godzilla film after the atrocity that is Roland Emmerich’s film, Edwards seems to have a grasp on what made a great monster film as a whole at least by remaining within the spirit of the original Japanese films – and yet it’s still somewhat lacking. As a star for the MonsterVerse it was intriguing to see what would have come out as a result from Godzilla but the most it evokes is that it’s just desperate to start up an entire series of films rather than standing out on its own: which I suppose I can get behind with what more it teases.

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Posted in 4 Stars, Film Reviews

The Beguiled (2017) – Review


Unlike many other people who’ve also seen the original film directed by Don Siegel I’m not going to spend so much of the review drawing comparisons between said film and this new version as told by Sofia Coppola considering how they’re telling the same story with completely different intentions behind them. It’s easy to admire how Sofia Coppola drastically changes the pace of her own works so that she can set herself out to be a harder filmmaker to pinpoint stylistically, but this isn’t the first time she’s made a period piece – although there’s a certain playfulness that can be detected from her own experiments that allows her to remain distinctive. And although I haven’t consistently loved her work (Lost in Translation still remains the pinnacle of her own directorial efforts to myself), it was easy enough for me to recognize she’s a talented filmmaker to keep my eyes peeled for.


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Posted in 2 Stars, Film Reviews

Spider-Man: Homecoming – Review


I was never a fan of Spider-Man growing up, the comics never grabbed me and I was never a fan of either film franchise whether it be Sam Raimi’s original trilogy (minus Spider-Man 2, which I do really like) and Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man films. The idea of a Spider-Man film being made now as another entry for the Marvel Cinematic Universe sounded even less appealing to me, with the lack of a real impact of Tom Holland’s own presence in Captain America: Civil War (which was already difficult enough to sit through) and the especially dreadful marketing. Now that an entire movie was set to be centered around him during the prime of his own life at high school, within the homecoming period – maybe it would be about time something more would strike me that would have me attached to Spider-Man’s arc like Spider-Man 2but I’ve expected a tad too much afterwards was what I thought. It was purely Spider-Man the way I’ve always seen him, just angsty and uninteresting.

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Posted in 1 Star, Film Reviews

Transformers: The Last Knight – Review

If the title’s caption, “The Last Knight,” doesn’t keep to its promise by having Michael Bay direct another movie for this franchise, I’ll probably just give up on humanity altogether. I feel that I do need to clarify I actually don’t hate Michael Bay wholly, but even with that having been said I can’t find myself defending the sorts of films he makes when it’s evident I don’t enjoy the time I’m having when I watch them. With every new Transformers film he’s made, it only turns me away all the more from the sorts of films he continues making with the fact the first film was actually one of the first films in which I recall having slept in the theater. The most that I can say for Transformers: The Last Knight is that after egregious experiences with Revenge of the Fallen and Age of Extinction, this was a better film than the preceding three, but one must take a statement like such as they will.

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Posted in 5 Stars, Film Reviews

Close Encounters of the Third Kind – Review


There’s a part of me that feels that where I’ve gone today is in part thanks to Steven Spielberg, because as I watch his films the way I do now there’s a line he blurs between what we can perceive as mere popcorn entertainment to something all the more beautiful. Films like Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark would have set an example for some among a few but Close Encounters of the Third Kind has only shown him at some of his most personal after having broken new ground with Jaws. If Jaws showed a side to Spielberg that blurred the lines between entertainment and art, then Close Encounters of the Third Kind presents another side of his work that embraces something all the more impactful: his own trademark sentimentality finds itself at its very best in here, it awed me at 12 years old and at 18 it still captivates me with the same impact that I can remember vividly.

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