This article will have short reviews of the following films in this order: Deadpool 2, Anon, Lady Bird, Bullhead, and Black Panther.
With more fleshed out characters that have a well-executed arc and with better-developed humor, Deadpool 2 makes for one of the better sequels to have come out in recent years. It felt like a more refined and more original film than the first installment. Basically, everything was done better. One of the main things Deadpool was criticized for was the stale visuals and lack of creative directing. In Deadpool 2, however, the cinematography was gorgeous with a vibrant use of color and David Leitch, the director, brought a lot of his own to the film. He didn’t only rely on the verbal jokes, but he truly utilized the medium of film to tell his jokes. He was also able to capture each fighting sequence brilliantly, with a nice balance of humor and tension. The soundtrack too was great as it could both give a scene more oomph, but it could also make them funnier.
Ryan Reynolds is brilliant as Deadpool, which was to be expected, and by his side, there was a whole arrange of actors who’re giving it their all as well. The cast had some extremely good chemistry. It was mostly the dynamic between Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, and the Julian Dennison that really shines. I might’ve been praising the film, but it certainly isn’t flawless: the editing could be choppy at times, the CGI wasn’t always great (though certainly better than the special effects in Wonder Woman and Black Panther), and the film also tried to be emotional at times, but this didn’t always work out that well.
Much like Andrew Niccol’s previous film, In Time, Anon has a great premise but is lacking in execution. Out of the things Anon did well, the directing’s the most definite stand-out. Niccol was creative with the camera in showing us the dystopian world he’s created. I liked how well he was able to integrate the first person shots into the film, though the continuously changing aspect ratio could be jarring at times. This did, however, give Anon a very distinctive look. The cinematography as a whole was pretty decent as well, filled with well-made special effect. The problem with Anon¸ lies within its weak screenplay. The characters were all paper thin and some were served with a backstory, but that was usually very clichéd. The dialogue felt wooden at times and the acting was often very and stoic too, which made it feel as if the characters were played by robots, though this might’ve been the director’s intended effect. The film surely has its flaws, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless. The premise, while extremely dumb and un-self-aware at times, and the creative directing can keep you entertained for as long as it lasts.
It’s been a while since a film was able to touch me on an emotional level as much as Lady Bird did. Call Me By Your Name and Short Term 12 came incredibly close, but Lady Bird managed to outdo them both. For some reason, it really struck me. The characters were all realistically written and handled with a lot of care. The characters shown in Lady Bird are so diverse, that everyone’s at least able to recognize a piece of themselves in one of them, or a combination of a few could make up who you are. It’s an incredibly funny and touching tale that all of us can somewhat relate to, which is something I really appreciate. It’s so beautifully acted and shot. The directing was done simply, yet effectively. I absolutely adore it. The soundtrack’s gorgeous; it was able to emote, but also capture that early 2000 feeling really well, just like the costuming. The only issue that I have with Lady Bird is the same problem the titular character has throughout it; I’ve had enough, I just want more. It’s one of those films that make me glad I didn’t make a top 10 list of films released in 2017 at the beginning of this year.
Bullhead was the strong left-handed punch dealt by Michaël Roskam that had the entirety of Belgium in awe at its release. It was such a strong debut, that it still has people talking about it even till this day. It’s the film that launched Matthias Schoenaerts’ international career, it’s the one that led to Roskam directing the phenomenal The Drop and it’s all rightfully so; Bullhead deserves all the praise it’s been getting. Schoenaerts gives a career-best performance as Jacky, a complex and layered character, whose tragic backstory makes you feel sad for an unsympathetic anti-hero. Schoenaerts had a certain charm around him, which made you care for him, even though he’s quite an asshole. To portray his complexity, Schoenaerts utilized his emotionless/full eyes extremely well.
Roskam’s directing was great too, as he’s building up slowly to the slightly predictable, yet truly enjoyable finale of this neo-noir tale. He was able to write realistic and layered characters for everyone in the cast, who then were able to portray them equally as realistic as they were written. His decision to have the characters talk in the regional dialect was great, as it added an extra dose of realism to the film, but, of course, to have this work out well, the dialogue on its own had to great as well, which it most certainly was. Surprisingly the film also had some funny moments and characters thrown in there, which took away from the serious undertone the film usually carries. It’s good that Roskam put them in his film, as it gave the film some much-needed breathing room.
As with Wonder Woman, Black Panther too was received extremely well, but also as with Wonder Woman, I was somewhat underwhelmed by it. The film has a lot of good things going for it, but there are quite a few bad things that drag the film down. The writing, for example, was sub-par at best and the comedy was horrendous. The sound design was lacking in some aspects and as if anyone hasn’t complained enough about it; the special effects too were quite bad too. The CGI models felt like puppet rather than real human beings, which took away from the suspension of disbelieve. The villain, however, did surprise me as I found him one of the most interesting characters the film had to offer. He was also performed really well by Michael B. Jordan. Not all characters were equally as interesting as Kilimonger, though. T’ Challa’s sister, for example, who’s supposed to be the comic relief of the film, was more annoying than anything else. They also try to add some depth to T’ Challa himself, but this could be boring at times, which made me wish that we’d spend more time with the villain.
Ryan Coogler’s directing was pretty decent. He was able to capture the fighting sequences pretty well. The action was most of the time pretty cool, though sometimes the fighting choreography could be lacking. Coogler utilized interesting angles and camera movements that made Black Panther stand out more from the other Marvel films, as did the colorful cinematography and the well-made rap-centered soundtrack. He introduced some cool technological advancements of Wakanda, which were fun to see used in the film and it gave me an itch to see more of the country. Coogler explored Wakanda already pretty well, but it could still be explored more in the inevitable sequel, which I like. I also really liked the message he tries to put forward, it’s just that that can’t be the only thing to judge a movie by.
Side note: Next month exams start again so I won’t be active on WordPress as a reader, I will, however, still be uploading since I’ve written four articles in advance.
3 thoughts on “Shorties #11: “Deadpool 2”, “Anon”, “Lady Bird”, “Bullhead”, and “Black Panther””
Keep trying my best to get to the cinema for Deadpool. I so know I’m gonna love it like the first one. Thanks for putting me on to Bullhead, not heard of that and will keep an eye out for it. Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca is still a supreme piece of sci-fi and I will watch Anon if it appears on Netflix but haven’t been getting my hopes up for it. It will be hard for him to get that Gattaca greatness again me thinks 🙂
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Hope you get to see “Deadpool”! I had a great time watching it and I hope you will too. “Bullhead” is also a great film, it’s on TUBITV in the US for free, so you can watch it over there if you’d like. Andrew Niccol hasn’t been making decent films for quite some time now. After “Lord of War” he hasn’t really made anything good.
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I’m hoping Deadpool will still be at the cinema next weekend when the family are all together. can’t wait to see it…….. I’m in the UK so might not be able to access that but will have a look, thanks for the tip. I’m sure it will cross my path one day soon……… You know what I’ve had “Lord Of War” for years but have never got round to seeing it. Cage looks his usual crazed self. Based on a true story I believe! Never realised it was directed by Niccols. Need to bump it up on my watch list. Cheers
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