This article will have short reviews for the following films in this order: Annihilation, The Descent, Call Me By Your Name, Paradox, and The Wrestler.
As you might know, I was really looking forward to seeing Annihilation, and now that I’ve seen it, I’m glad to say that I loved it. The cinematography was fantastic, the score amazing and the directing equally as good. The suspense and horror were so different from other movies, yet it still worked incredibly well. Everything in this film just works, except for some bits of dialogue at the start, but since the film became progressively better, I ultimately didn’t really mind. The fact that it had me thinking long after the film had stopped, makes me love it even more. It’s exactly the type of film I like, which is why I’ll be publishing my interpretation of it next week.
The suspense was great, the screenplay decent and the majority of the performances were fine, there were just some rotten apples here and there. The film utilizes claustrophobia to its fullest and creates a very suspenseful and exciting film, for the first half at least. Once the monsters are introduced and fully integrated into the story, the film takes a dip; it becomes too bombastic for its own good. The well-made sets and lack of natural light mostly make up for this and they gave the film a more realistic feeling, which made it the scarier. Ironically enough, everything about The Descent is decent.
Timothée Chalamant and Armie Hammer carry this wonderfully written film about two men falling in love in Northern Italy. Luca Guadagnino captured this film with fantastic cinematography that caught the summer feeling extremely well, and a gorgeous score, written by Sufjan Stevens, who was able to create some memorable original songs.
If Neil Young’s music wasn’t involved, Paradox would be purely terrible. Just make a mental list of things a good movie should have, then throw it away and grab a pile of dog shit instead, because that’s what Paradox did. The film whimsically attempts to create a thought-provoking piece of art, but ultimately ends up being a western incarnation of The Room featuring Neil Young and a fairly decent soundtrack. It could be my lack of knowledge and life experience, but I really can’t comprehend what Paradox was going for. It just feels as if it’s a pretentious thing filmed through the lens of an inexperienced cinematographer, led by an equally as inexperienced director. I think that there’s something I’m missing, which could potentially explain quite a lot of things, but I just don’t know what I’m missing, so if you do, please enlighten me. I got the sense that it all was just an excuse to film a Neil Young concert live in a creative manner, unfortunately, though, that creative manner didn’t work out too well and instead made for an incoherent and nonsensical story consisting out of a string of different songs.
Grade: D- (solely because of the soundtrack)
Mikey Rourke gives one of the best performances of his career, though he isn’t the only one who gave an amazing performance in The Wrestler. By his side, there was Marissa Tomei, who was at least equally as good as Rourke. I really loved Aronofsky’s trademark in-depth look at both of their characters, how they mirrored each other in their core aspects, yet were still able to find love with one another, and what the willingness of greatness can do to a person.
Note: you might’ve noticed that I haven’t been really active on WordPress. This is because while this post will be online, I will be in Italy and probably won’t have the best WiFi or any WiFi at all. I’ll be able to comment back from Saturday on. This side note will also be irrelevant if I do in fact have good WiFi, but I’m expecting the worst.