Had potential, but disappointing from the director of NIGHTCRAWLER:
D: Lucrecia Martel (The Headless Woman, The Holy Girl, The Swamp).
S: Daniel Giménez Cacho, Lola Dueñas, Matheus Nachtergaele, Juan Minujín.
Kafka-esque take on colonialism. No way as good as that might sound. Tedious to the extreme.
D: Paddy Considine (Tyrannosaur).
S: Paddy Considine, Jodie Whittaker, Paul Popplewell, Tony Pitts, Anthony Welsh.
Boxing tear-jerker. Thankfully no cliché comeback story. Not in the same league as TYRANNOSAUR.
THE SHAPE OF WATER ★★★½☆
D: Guillermo del Toro (Crimson Peak, Pacific Rim, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy, Blade II, The Devil’s Backbone, Mimic, Cronos).
S: Doug Jones, Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer.
Feels 1980s, e.g. STARMAN. Hawkins is the key to watchability. Needed another gear.
BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99 ★★★★★
D: S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk).
S: Vince Vaughn, Jennifer Carpenter, Tom Guiry, Udo Kier, Marc Blucas, Clark Johnson, Fed Melamed, Don Johnson.
F***ing hell. What a slice of gonzo cinema! Vince Vaughn is a revelation.
SMALL TOWN CRIME ★★★☆☆
Ds: Eshom Nelms, Ian Nelms.
S: John Hawkes, Octavia Spencer, Robert Forster, Anthony Anderson, Clifton Collins Jr., Michael Vartan.
Diverting neo-noir with some crunch. Hitmen and drunken P.I. cause pandemonium in pursuit of goals.
Is Mark Hamill going to be the new Yoda in THE LAST JEDI?
MADEMOISELLE PARADIS (Licht) ★★★☆☆
D: Barbara Albert.
S: Maria-Victoria Dragus, Devid Striesow, Katja Kolm, Lukas Miko, Susanne Wuest.
Solid period drama. Leaves important questions unanswered, and not in a good way.
A PRAYER BEFORE DAWN ★★★★☆
D: Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire (Johnny Mad Dog).
S: Joe Cole, Vithaya Pansringarm, Nicolas Shake, Panya Yimmumphai.
Brit in Thai prison becomes Thai boxer. Biopic. Brutal. Minimalist. Fights intensely constructed.
GOOD MANNERS (As Boas Maneiras) ★★☆☆☆
Ds: Marco Dutra, Juliana Rojas.
S: Isabél Zuaa, Marjorie Estiano, Miguel Lobo, Cida Moreira, Felipe Kenji, Andréa Marquee.
135 minute werewolf flick tests the patience. Ending is actually the best thing, though comes too late to save.
The Wes Anderson brand is so strong.
Will this open the Berlin Film Festival in February, like THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL in 2014?
BEYOND THE CLOUDS ★★½☆☆
D: Majid Majidi.
S: Malavika Mohanan, Swati Das, Ishaan Khattar, Shashank Shende.
Dark themes do not sit comfortably next to sentimental bonding montages. The ending is unsatisfying.
D: Cory Finley.
S: Anya Taylor-Joy, Olivia Cooke, Anton Yelchin, Francie Swift, Paul Sparks.
Shot with graceful, cold symmetry. Cooke and Taylor-Joy are inspired. Their characters are formidable.
FUNNY COW ★☆☆☆☆
D: Adrian Shergold.
S: Maxine Peake, Stephen Graham, Paddy Considine, Alun Armstrong, Christine Bottomley, Kevin Eldon, John Bishop, Diane Morgan.
An arduous stand-up drama that feels like a leaden biopic. What's up with the race-related jokes?
D: Jamie Thraves (Treacle Jr.).
S: Aidan Gillen, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Amy De Bhrún, Sophia Del Pizzo, Charlotte Gascoyne.
Funny, meta, bizarre. At 74 minutes still feels very padded. Not as amusing as TREACLE JR.
LAST FLAG FLYING ★★½☆☆
D: Richard Linklater (Everybody Wants Some!!, Boyhood, Before Midnight, Bernie, Me and Orson Welles, A Scanner Darkly, Fast Food Nation, Bad News Bears, Before Sunset, School of Rock, Waking Life, The Newton Boys, Before Sunrise, Dazed and Confused, Slacker).
S: Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, Steve Carell.
My first Richard Linklater disappointment. Political bite dampened by mawkishness and drab characters.
ON CHESIL BEACH ★★★★☆
D: Dominic Cooke.
S: Saoirse Ronan, Billy Howle, Emily Watson, Anne-Marie Duff, Samuel West, Adrian Scarborough.
A heartbreaking, Proustian love story. Memories within memories. Lump-in-the-threat stuff.
THE HUNGRY ★★★★☆
D: Bornila Chatterjee
S: Naseeruddin Shah, Tisca Chopra, Antonio Aakeel, Neeraj Kabi, Sayani Gupta, Arjun Gupta, Suraj Sharma.
'Titus Andronicus' updated to modern India. Brutal, compelling drama. Lushly shot.
THE SONG OF SCORPIONS ★☆☆☆☆
D: Anup Singh.
S: Golshifteh Farahani, Irrfan Khan, Waheeda Rehman, Shashank Arora, Kritika Pande.
What a disaster. Takes a violent male gaze and tries to make some sort of love story.
Filmaluation is an online magazine dedicated to arts culture, with a particular focus on film.
I care about intelligence, quality and entertainment.
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