FilmStruck Review

A thorough look at the ups and downs of FilmStruck, the movie streaming service by TCM and Criterion.

I’ve been a subscriber to the new-ish movie streaming service FilmStruck for a few months now, and I’m fairly happy with it. It’s got some issues though, and I don’t think it’s for everyone. Here are my thoughts on FilmStruck as of mid-2017.

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Dune Review

My thoughts on David Lynch’s 1984 film Dune.

Where are my feelings?

Dune is among the worst films I’ve seen.  It’s disappointing because it’s written and directed by my favorite director. It doesn’t work on any level, especially when compared to contempary sci-fi films. The story is illogical, the character development is nonexistent, the special effects have aged very poorly, and the dialogue is often laugh out loud cheesy. 

Also, Patrick Stewart’s mullet. I can’t even. 

Going in without having read the book and hearing pretty divided opinions on the film, I tried to stay open minded. Woof, a bit of a let down. 

Honestly, the best part was the pug.

Dune - Kyle - Pug
Dune - Family Pug
Dune - Patrick Stewart - Pug

Dunkirk Review

Why Christopher Nolan’s 2017 war thriller didn’t work for me.

I feel like I need a weekend at the spa after seeing Dunkirk. It’s certainly impressive, but it’s too intense for its own good. The nonlinear editing was a strange choice, and the dialogue was mostly impossible for me to understand (bad mix or bad speakers?). 

The raw carnage of the events at Dunkirk hit hard, more so than any of the characters the film invents. It’s still difficult to believe that less than a century ago the world was at war for the second time. It, at times, almost feels fictional with the current state of things. The visuals displayed in the film felt real, which is what I find most impressive.

I keep drawing comparisons between Dunkirk and Mad Max: Fury Road. Not because they both feature Tom Hardy not talking much. But because they are both non-stop intense action thrillers. Fury Road, for me, succeeds on a higher artistic level. Even though neither slow down much, Fury Road strikes a better balance for the intensity. 

To me, Dunkirk is a lesson in intensity. I appreciate quiet films and the quiet moments in loud films. It’s very hard for me to enjoy a movie where there’s a stopwatch ticking almost the whole time. It felt like I was being manipulated over and over with each scene in a way that was upsetting at a deeper level than most manipulation in film.

I didn’t enjoy Dunkirk, but I appreciate that it exists and that I got to see it in 70mm.

Okja Review

Why Bong Joon-ho’s latest film should have gone further

Okja is the latest film from Bong Joon-ho, the director Snowpiercer, Mother, and a handful of other movies. It tells the story of a girl, Mija, who raises a super pig named Okja on her grandfather’s farm in South Korea. The corporation that owns Okja comes and takes her away, leading Mija on an emotional journey across the globe.

I enjoyed Okja and the themes it presents, but it fell short for me in a few different ways.

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Chungking Express Review

My thoughts on Wong Kar-wai’s 1994 film Chungking Express.

Chungking Express is a 1994 film by Wong Kar-wai set in Hong Kong. It consists of two parts, each following a different police officer and their experiences with love. It’s visually stunning and incredibly stylish.

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Baby Driver Review

Thoughts on the masterful new film by Edgar Wright.

Baby Driver is the latest film from director Edgar Wright, who is known for Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Shaun of the Dead, and a handful of other movies. The premise is simple: Baby is a getaway driver, but he’s got a hum in his ear that requires him to listen to music to drown it out. The music plays a big role in the film. Baby gets pulled into some messy work, and he eventually tries to break free from it, but isn’t quite so simple.

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Bottle Rocket Review

A look at Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket, with a focus on how it compares to his other films.

On the run from Johnny Law. It ain’t no trip to Cleveland.

Three years ago my partner and I dug into Wes Anderson’s filmography to check out the films that we had not yet seen. We started with Moonrise Kingdom, which was an absolute joy. We then moved on to Rushmore, which is brilliant and one of my favorite films. After that was The Darjeeling Limited, which was funny and visually interesting but not quite up to par with the rest of Wed Anderson’s filmography. We then decided to give Bottle Rocket a go.

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