Saturday, November 10, 2012

Celluloid #158

In Theaters

Cloud Atlas (2012) Wachowskis & Tykwer - Adaptation of a beloved recent novel, but scraps many of the strengths of the book, namely the structure, to present a chaotic, jumbled film full of cheesiness, voiceovers, and heavy-handed messaging about how we are all connected. There are six distinct settings and sets of characters ranging from the 1800s to a post-apocalyptic time. I wouldn't say that I was ever bored for the nearly 3 hour run time, but probably best left in text form. 6/10

the Loneliest Planet (2012) Loktev - A couple is travelling around the Georgian Caucuses with a guide. Minimal plot, but incredible scenery - almost like watching something from National Geographic (and I'm guessing the title is a play on the Lonely Planet travel guide series). Not much happens until a group of men show up with guns and start speaking aggressively in a foreign language to the couple. Then something kinda small happens, but it changes the mood for the rest of the film, and undermines this seemingly ideal relationship. 8/10

the Sessions (2012) Lewin - This is the story of a man suffering from polio who has spent the vast majority of his life in an iron lung. In his later 30s, he gets a gig interviewing subjects to write an article about people with disabilities and their experiences with sex. This prompts Mark to start thinking about losing his own virginity. He gets in touch with a sex surrogate that provides him with his first sexual experiences, and maybe even falls for him. Crowd-pleasing, but a little too tidy-inspirational for my tastes. 7/10

In Home

Bernie (2012) Linklater - Bernie is a well-loved assistant funeral director in a small Eastern Texas town. He gets involved in a scandal when one widow develops a particularly close relationship with him. However, the widow soon becomes very toxic, jealous, and extremely possessive of Bernie, to the point that it's not surprising that he would feel smothered. Anyway, when she turns up missing, and Bernie is the primary suspect, the town refuses to believe that he had anything to do with it, or if he did, she most certainly deserved it - so deep is their affection for him. 7/10

Oslo, August 31st (2012) Trier - A man is finishing up a stint in rehab after struggling with drug addiction. His friends no longer know how to treat him, and he seems to struggle to find meaning in any human interaction. Trier is great with party scenes (see the "Deceptacon" sequence in his last film Reprise), but everyone should know this is a huge bummer of a movie...not that I have a problem with that. 7/10

We Need to Talk About Kevin (2012) Ramsay - Eva maybe always felt a little ambivalent about having a child, and Kevin fulfilled her biggest fears. Manipulative, even as an infant, Kevin cries constantly unless his father is around. He refuses to speak or potty-train long past appropriate ages. It's clear from the beginning of the film that Kevin has committed some Columbine-styled atrocity, and we are left to sort of the blame with Eva. 8/10

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