Archive for October, 2019

25th October
2019
written by Adam

Chosen to steward a lighthouse on a clandestine rock off the coast of New England, young Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) and the much older Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe) are an odd couple to say the least; but, learning to navigate each other’s peculiarities and preferences for their 4 week stint together may prove to be more than either can bear. Directed by Robert Eggers, and written by Max Eggers and Robert Eggers, tales from the sea, superstition, creatures from the deep, and storms of biblical proportion are just the tip of this cabin fevered and allegory rich iceberg. Heavily inspired by the works of Herman Melville and historical events that took place in an actual lighthouse off the coast of Wales, this black and white work of art combines beautifully composed cinematography, stunning sound design, and two powerhouse actors to create the suspense masterpiece you didn’t see coming. In particular, DaFoe’s theatrical muscle and ability to recite impossibly long monologues of great nautical vengeance in single takes and Pattinson’s measured windup makes for the perfect slowest-fuse-ever to reach a powder keg– haunting in its imagery, leaving an indelible mark in the viewer’s mind. An art house film by definition, this will be a challenging watch for pedestrian film goers, but for those who long to feel the blaze of St. Elmo’s fire from their masts, this is the rich and satisfying experience being sought.The Lighthouse is rated R.

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25th October
2019
written by Adam

Rookie to the New Orleans Police Department, Alicia West (Naomie Harris) is discovered as an accidental witness to a brutal killing at the hands of a vice cop Terry Malone (Frank Grillo). Now sought by every dirty cop and criminal in the lower wards she’ll have to rely on her wits and the least likely help, shop clerk Milo Jackson (Tyrese Gibson), to survive the night and upload her body cam to the evidence database. Directed by Deon Taylor and Written by Peter Dowling, this conventional and tropey/Fugitive-esque cop drama operates with most systems go and by all means would receive the “it’s fine but not great” vote were it not for a tanked ending. For a film with the central theme of a female African American police officer struggling in her own community to effectively be “saved” or “redeemed” in the manner which she is, is disingenuous, disappointing, and frankly insulting. Meanwhile, Harris and Gibson do a fine job holding their own and selling the drama for the balance of the film, shoulder shrugs to the rest of the cast. You could do a lot worse, but a missed opportunity to do better is the sad reality here. Black and Blue is rated R.

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25th October
2019
written by Adam

Just before the turn of the 19th century the battle to determine which electrical system would become the global standard raged on with a cut throat vengeance. In one corner inventor and genius Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his DC system, in the other, businessman George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) aided by inventor and genius Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) and their AC system. Lies, deceptions, electric chairs, and world’s fairs, who would rule the world and who would history remember, the two might not be mutually exclusive. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and written by Michael Mitnick this potentially crackling shower of sparks unfortunately arrives with barely a pulse; partially a victim of circumstance surrounding the film’s original release but mainly due to the painfully dry writing and the subdued direction of very capable actors. Additionally, further relegation of Tesla, arguably the most interesting cast member, to barely a supporting role seems to be gross oversight, even with additional footage added to this Director’s cut. On the positive, art direction, costumes, set design, and graphics make this a pretty film to look at despite the lack of lightning otherwise, it’s just not enough to advance the droll pace of this seemingly unending hour and 47 minutes. Pass. The Current War: Director’s Cut is rated PG-13.

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