You expect children’s animated films to be a little sad don’t you? A little salt to balance out the sugar, enough melancholy to allow our spirits to be lifted later on. Nobody expects the death of Anna and Elsa’s parents to be the entire trade of Frozen, they’re just another dash of something in the stock before it’s reduced down to the actual plot.
This movie is a mess.
Seriously. It is an ugly looking, confusingly paced, poorly acted thing that follows a script which lurches drunkenly between the incomprehensible and the banal. It is confused and focusless, any scene with more than a couple of characters turns into an exercise in geographic confusion, something of an achievement considering how small and empty so many of these locations are. It has the worst budget CGI sequences, which usually are excusable in indie films (the folks don’t have much money) but here they are disasterously conceived and feel so unneccessary. And, while I appreciate its intention in being a tonally diverse genre mashup, it does not have a strong enough control of either tone or genre to ever feel like a cohesive whole.
So, as far as romantic heroes go, island pig farmer has gotta be roughly in the middle of the pack right? Like, it’s all the necessary parts of rugged and parochial but slightly elevated. Nobody wants to fall for the dullard with a field full of leeks. And a horse breeder would obviously be some sort of unbearable in the other direction. Nah, this is a man who can look after livestock, whose hands are probably calloused after a tough day out with the animals, but soft enough for you afterwards. Besides, shepherds are either boring or stoners and cows basically look after themselves.
See, I have friends who didn’t like Early Man because it’s all about football. I get it, the early ad campaigns sorta downplayed that aspect, but coming up on release the signs were definitely there.
Now, the film is straight-up, legit goofball nonsense. Neeson plays a man who has rode the same train every day for ten years and on the day he’s laid off from work a mysterious woman boards with him and offers him $100,000 to identify and track a mystery passenger. Just from the premise it feels a little goofy.
There this thing which happen when comedians create autobiographical material and then cast themselves in it. Like, it’s an extension of everything they put up on stage, the way they turn experiences into stories, how their life is deliberately distorted around this stage persona they create. Everything around a comedian has to turn into comedy. Otherwise it never happened. It’s where the power of confession comedians comes from, the most unexpected thing we could possibly see on the stage is life.
I don’t have too much to say about From the Land of the Moon aside from how boring it is. Like, it’s real dull.
Michaël Dudok de Wit’s The Red Turtle is just sickeningly beautiful. Seriously. It’s like every frame is draped with so much perfection that it becomes impossible to glimpse the working parts underneath. It’s so striking, so mercurial that you really can’t deny the power of the thing.
It’s weird seeing the title cards in independent movies that were never supposed to be on the big screen. At the opening of Mindhorn Isle of Man Film’s logo looks like a shitty jpeg, stretched out awkwardly to fill the screen. There’s been some talk, a surprising amount of films shoot on the Isle but… Continue reading Mindhorn: These fair Isles