This article will contain short reviews of the following films in this order: Kodachrome, Star Trek Beyond, Pan’s Labyrinth, While We’re Young and Hunt for the Wildereople.
Kodachrome is an excellent example of how execution can change a more than mediocre story into a very decent film. The film’s quite predictable, to say the least, though the journey is sure one you don’t want to miss. The dialogue and characters were all written really well and the performances were all excellent as well. Jason Sudeikis and Elizabeth Olsen are both amazing and have great chemistry with each other, but it’s Ed Harris who steals the show with an incredibly complex and layered performance. The directing too was quite good, as Mark Raso was able to visually represent character’s relationships with each other by the use of the distance between them in the shot compositions. There were some moments that could’ve been captured more creatively, but mostly it was handled pretty well, as was the editing. The soundtrack was beautiful and nicely wrapped this clichéd, yet well-executed story nicely together. In the end, these clichés do in fact pay off, when the film closes with a very saddening and emotional, though predictable, third act. If I hadn’t seen any films in my life prior to having seen this one, Kodachrome would’ve been amazing. But I, have, so it isn’t, which is why it’s stuck in the B-category.
Star Trek: Beyond is the definition of a fun summer blockbuster. It’s self-aware, funny, well-shot and very colorful. The costuming and make-up department were crafted brilliantly and so were the practical effects and sets. The visual effects were fantastic except for one sequence where they were very blatant. I liked that they separated the crew and put two characters together that usually don’t spend that much time interacting with each other. This made for some fun character interactions and eventually led to great character arcs. Sometimes the action sequences were a bit hard to follow due to chaotic editing, though the last one was incredibly fun to watch.
As with every Del Toro film, it was very charming with a lot of heart and there was clearly passion behind it. The lighting and colors were used beautifully, creating some really stunning looking shots. The acting and sets were equally as well done and the make-up too was handled brilliantly. The film carries a really nice, fairy tale vibe around itself that gives the film a special kind of atmosphere. It’s very heartwarming, even with the harsh and crude things the film shows. The film serves well as a metaphorical depiction of how a 13-year-old would’ve handled the situations she’s thrown in, and the social commentary Del Toro gives works great.
The first two acts of While We’re Young were excellent, but by the third one, they try to cram in way too much at once without a proper setup. The film deals with some interesting themes that are discussed thoroughly and can be projected onto our society. There’s some great character development as to be expected with Noah Baumbach film. Unfortunately, some of these characters turned into complete jackasses, which could be jarring at times. The dialogue’s great and funny and the performances were equally as good, with Driver and Stiller as the standouts. They also had the most interesting characters, while we had Naomi Watts on the other hand, who, even though she gave a great performance, didn’t always have the writing by her side.
Hunt for The Wilderpeople is one of the most charming films I’ve ever seen. The writing was funny and the directing was handled creatively by Taika Waititi. The chemistry between the two leads is amazing and it was a blast to see their adventure play out and to see their relationship develop. The cinematography was also a big plus.