Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game is yet another dull tortured genius biopic in a very long line of dull tortured genius biopics. Before I get into my analysis of these types of films, I want to be clear about something from the onset. The Imitation Game is not an inherently bad film. In telling the story of how famed mathematician Alan Turing cracked the Nazi’s unbreakable Enigma code, thereby helping the Allies win World War II, Tyldum has made a perfectly average film. Tyldum, writer Graham Moore, and star Benedict Cumberbatch, spend 114 minutes capturing the full and tortured life of Turing, resulting in a safe movie that will surely tap directly into the hearts of many Oscar voters.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Friday, November 21, 2014
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Monday, November 17, 2014
“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than Good Job.”
These are words of discouragement from Terence Fletcher – renowned conductor, accomplished musician, teacher from Hell. By the time Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) utters this phrase in the thrilling new film, Whiplash, we have a full understanding of who he is: a maniacal tyrant who pushes his students at the Juilliard-like Shaffer Conservatory to the brink of emotional collapse. The harder, longer and louder he berates his pupils, the easier it will be to weed them out. If they manage to survive his cruel tutelage, then Fletcher knows he will have crafted a truly great musician.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
The new Swedish film, Force Majeure, concerns itself with a fascinating concept known as fight or flight. That is to say, how do people respond to catastrophe? A question we love to debate over, but one that we never really know the answer to until we’re thrown into such a situation. We’re all guilty of sitting in the comfort of our air conditioned homes and yelling at the television when we see movie characters respond to situations in a way we don’t approve of. We call Corporal Upham a coward as he lets Private Mellish be stabbed to death in Saving Private Ryan, we argue that we could’ve formulated a better plan while the passengers of United 93 storm the cockpit. And on and on. We think we know, but do we really, truly know how we’d react when faced with certain death?
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar opens in an undisclosed place at an undisclosed time in the future. And though the setting is opaque, the film makes it immediately clear that life on Earth is running out. Cities are unseen, populations are low, the military is nonexistent – all that remains is the need for steady farming, and the will to combat the dust that blankets every feasible area. The dust is so thick on Earth that a thin layer of it can be seen on most every surface. On the kitchen table, in the principal’s office, in the car, on the pillows – it’s everywhere. And by now, it’s killed every crop except corn, which we soon learn is too in short supply. Corn is how we’re introduced to Cooper (Matthew McConaughey), a farmer and single father of two who gave up his career as an engineer, to literally help cultivate the Earth.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Christopher Nolan doesn’t get enough credit for his casting. Sure, most of his movies are headlined by very popular and very talented stars, but if you dig deeper, you see that his films are almost always fully cast to perfection. As I sit mere hours away from watching Nolan’s new film, Interstellar (in 70mm!), I thought it’d be fun to take a look back at the supporting players who helped make his films so good.
Monday, November 3, 2014
John Carpenter’s Halloween is a horror classic, quite nearly my favorite film ever produced for the genre. Interestingly enough, upon revisiting it this past weekend, I found myself most taken with its modesty. For being such a groundbreaking film, it really went about achieving its terrors in a rather subtle way. I hope you enjoy my thoughts Halloween, do be sure to share your favorite aspects of the film as well.