You know what? The robots in this film are BIG. I don’t quite know what it is, they certainly aren’t better realised or animated than megastructures in other films. I weren’t even watching it in 3D, lol who even does that anymore, but however it is that you generate that elusive concept of bigness, Steven S. DeKnight pumps that through every frame. Like, the ‘exterior’ scenes are often pretty wonky, the lighting is off, the characters awkwardly composited onto the backgrounds. But way off in the back there there’s a big metal fella out of focus and despite the artifice there’s a little part of my brain still going, ‘Wow, so big tho.’
There’s a whole lotta movie in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It doesn’t all work, it can feel muddled and disparate at times, the wild variety of tones that it tries to capture don’t quite settle into a script that feels far more invested in being funny.
When I left the screening of Detroit I felt sick. Katheryn Bigelow’s exploration of the killings in the Algiers Hotel during the Detroit race riots of 1967 seems pretty much designed to do that. It’s so unflinching and brazen in its depiction of the brutalisation and murder of its characters that it just pulls a reaction out of you. It ain’t hard to feel emotional and exhausted when a film puts you against the wall for two hours with a gun to your back. It ain’t hard to generate empathy when the faces of these great actors are slick with blood and tears. It harder to turn that into something, make the sorta film that’ll turn that empathy into meaning.
I don’t think Dave Eggers ever heard of Justin.tv. Or maybe he had and then decided to base his psycho-intrigue tech-thriller on a world where people would latch onto that idea.