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Better Things: White Rock (2017)
I'm English and so this episode means something special to me. I mean I've loved every episode of Better Things, I really love it all but this episode made me cry. It's a perfect gem with some surprising cameos, the writing is perfect, the direction and editing are just sublime, perfectly paced so the narrative flows smoothly. The mysterious Sad Lady is inspired, so enigmatic and such a perfect device to show Duke's private world. God, I don't want to go on about it and I don't want to dissect such a fabulous piece. It's fantastic and many more people should watch it and love it like I do. That's it.
This is a fabulous film but not an easy watch, by any means
This is a fabulous film but not an easy watch, by any means. The story has hopeful aspects, at it's conclusion, but the journey to that point is relentlessly dire and hopeless. All the characters are on the bottom rung of society with precious little hope for the future. It is hard to see adults in such a desperate situation but much harder to see innocent children, cast adrift with no support from any adult or from the state. Having said that, it's very impressive to have made such a convincing film with such young actors in an obviously difficult environment, unsuitable for the logistics of film making. The acting is fantastic and the editing is perfect, moving the story at such a speed, your attention is held throughout.
I'm surprised by the negative reviews of this series. I've watched two episodes so far, I found it well written, well acted and very enjoyable. The contrasting motivations, of the two newspapers, cleverly provides extra depth to the characters who are both plausible and engaging. Charlotte Riley is outstanding as Holly Evans, an intelligent, hard working journalist with lofty principles but enough experience to know how to uncover the real story. Ben Chaplin is convincing as the world weary editor of the sleazier of the two papers with a set of pragmatic philosophies that give him an attractive earthy wisdom. I wonder if some of the IMDB reviewers are confusing an assessment of the series with an assessment of UK Journalists, whose shortcomings have been well publicised recently. For the sake of clarity, UK Journalists - not great, this series about UK Journalists - great. I hope that's clear.
The Limehouse Golem (2016)
The craft of film making at it's very best
I really loved this film. Right from the beginning, the music hall feel of the unfolding drama was very engaging. Intelligent editing and the fabulous script kept the pace of the plot at a rate which held my interest from start to finish as each twist and turn was revealed. John Kildare (Bill Nighy) was the methodical, steady influence which balanced the emotional excesses of the other characters. He only showed emotion when confronted with the inevitability of the fate of the intelligent and articulate Lizzie Cree (Olivia Cooke). The film used dramatic devices to great effect, showing several characters actually committing the awful crimes as each became suspect. The interleaving of the music hall version of the Lizzie Cree story with the live action which somehow heightened the suspense by making you smile thus relieving tension. The sets were a total joy, completely recreating Victorian environments in very convincing fine detail. The cast were superb, totally plausible and very engaging. Don't miss this fabulous film, the craft of film making at it's very best.
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
It's a superb film in virtually every way.
I saw it 3 days ago at a preview screening for PictureHouse members in Brighton England, I am still affected by it. It's a superb film in virtually every way. The acting is so good and understated by the whole cast, it's impossible not to believe that you are part of these lives as they are laid bare before you. The plot is simple but cuts straight through to your heart, the perfect editing ensures the pace of it keeps you entranced the whole way through. I haven't cried in a film since my parents took me to see Dumbo but I sobbed in this. The cinematography is quite beautiful, showing these down to earth people in a normal environment with perfect clarity, some scenes framed like paintings. Even the music, some classical and some contemporary, is chosen well to enhance the mood effectively. I will definitely see this film again...and again....and probably again...and I can't wait.
Most original thing on TV at the moment - brilliant!
I wasn't sure from the trailer but the 3 episodes that have screened so far are hysterical. Simon Bird and Joe Thomas are brave choosing such an original format to follow the monumental success of Inbetweeners but it works really well for them. The scripts are so original, what on earth inspired them to choose the first world war as a setting, brilliant. Their portrayal as anti-heroes is so appealing I just can't resist. The supporting cast are perfect, Jonny Sweet is great as Bert the three of them mesh so well, clever casting. It's going to be a cult and I'm in at the beginning while the rest of the world catches up, see you soon suckers :-)
Mediocre, not great.
The whole film is shot using the same camera technique as Cloverfield, intentionally amateurish, disjointed with annoying camera shake during the action scenes. Initially, the dialogue is fast paced but the characters are 2 dimensional so I found little to care about in any of them. They do acquire some depth eventually but the pace of the plot is so slow that for the first 30 minutes I didn't feel any buy-in to the story which is too long in my opinion. Eventually the special effects are well executed and the film kind of redeems itself but then it's over and I was left feeling a little cheated. Shame as the trailers are great and I was expecting a great film however, I would say it's mediocre at best.
Burn After Reading (2008)
Very Funny Black Comedy - A Coen Brothers Tour de Force
The movie follows an unlikely scenario where a data file is discovered on the floor of a gym which is then used by staff members to attempt to extort money.
This film is very 'Fargo' like with the funniest moments being the most gruesome. There is definitely a shock factor when a surreal plot in a contemporary environment suddenly shows violent acts such as the Brad Pitt punch on the nose.
I loved this film and found it very funny but I laughed out loud during Fargo as well so I guess I'm just a sucker for well made, well acted black comedies.
I recommend it highly and I have been surprised to read that some people did'nt find it a real belly laugh - takes all sorts I guess....