This article will have reviews of the following films in this order: Dogman, Faults, Mississippi Grind, Logan Lucky, and Alien.
Once again, Italy delivers a fantastic film. Dogman is currently even one of my favorite films of the year, next to Fallout, Hereditary, and Annihilation. It’s a beautifully acted film, especially by the lead performer. Both with his expressive posture and delicate mimicry he was able to portray his well-written character that underwent a gradual character arc throughout the film. The cinematography was stunning as well, due to well-lit compositions, but also due to some clever usage of headspace, that showed that there was some actual thought put into the shots. The overarching metaphor was also very subtle, and it’s something you’d realize on your way home, rather than something that’s continuously pushed into your face, during the film’s runtime. There were some tonal problems, though, like scenes where humor was integrated, while it really wasn’t necessary and thus took you out of the film for a split second. All in all, this is just a minor issue that I have; it’s still an excellent film.
The odd humor in juxtaposition with the dark themes work surprisingly well and it makes the film a unique viewing experience. The main character arcs could be foreseen from the first fifteen minutes, though it still makes for an interesting character study. There were some things at the end where they explained the plot that I felt were a bit redundant since the film already does a good job at explaining itself, just in a more subtle manner. It’s a really captivating film, with excellent writing, acting, and directing.
It’s no surprise that the couple behind Half Nelson would go on to write and direct another complex character study. Once again, the duo succeeds at capturing that sense of addiction really well, though this time it’s no addiction to drugs, but to gambling. Ben Mendelsohn wonderfully plays the lead role with by his side Ryan Reynolds, who also gives a fantastic performance. The writing and acting might’ve been top notch, but it’s the chemistry between the two leads that makes the film as fun as it is. It’s an emotional ride filled with ups and downs that I enjoyed more than Half Nelson mostly because, in this one, the couple’s directorial style is more refined. The usage of color is amazing as well and I really recommend you watch it.
What surprises me the most is that Logan Lucky didn’t earn any awards, even though it should’ve gotten at least some nominations for the performances alone. If not for that, then for the screenplay, since both were the best things the film had to offer. The cinematography too was excellent and so was the directing. The main problem with the film is that it’s way too long. They should’ve resolved everything quicker than they did now so that the film would’ve been 20 minutes shorter.
The first Alien film was a pretty good start off for the series. It had some good acting, great directing, and excellent set design. Some of the practical effects come off as rather silly nowadays, but the majority really holds up. Ridley Scott was able to generate this uneasy atmosphere throughout the film that had you on the edge of your seat the entire time. I really liked Scott’s approach to the characters as well, since it makes you care for the group as a whole, rather than one individual person. Unfortunately, the film didn’t really manage to scare me, but I’m still able to appreciate the techniques and all of the work that’s been put into it.