Despite a rough start, there are some very, very funny parts later on; but, unexpectedly, it also works pretty well in more character-focused sections. You’re not going to mistake this for an emotional drama, but there’s more investment in the characters than you might anticipate given the cast and crew’s pedigree.Read more here.
Howl's Moving Castle (2004)
The affable characters are quite delightful to get to know even as they’re getting to know each other, and there are some magical sequences. Plus it’s all beautifully designed and animated, as you’d expect from Studio GhibliRead more here.
Where it comes unstuck is the tone. How many superhero films are going to feature gang rape? Well, somewhat appropriately, I guess the Netflix ones might. But the disjunct between iBoy’s daft premise and the grim world of inner city gangs (there are more acts of shocking violence) is a difficult one to negotiate.Read more here.
Into the Wild (2007)
The true story of Christopher McCandless, who abandoned regular life after college to go hitchhiking and become one with nature or something, then accidentally killed himself by being a pretentious wanker.Read more here.
The Pianist (2002)
It may not poke at your emotions quite so readily as, say, Schindler’s List, but that’s because Polanski and screenwriter Ronald Harwood dodge histrionics or an operatic envisioning of events. Instead this feels like a grounded relation of the facts, with everyday heroism (and cruelty) the order of the day — but, of course, there’s nothing “everyday” about it.Read more here.
Wuthering Heights (2011)
Andrea Arnold’s earthy, plausible take on Emily Brontë’s beloved novel won’t be to all tastes — particularly anyone after an epic romance feel — but its sparse dialogue, Malickian attention to nature, and oppressive mood make for a benumbing work of cinematic art.Read more here.
More next Sunday.