RATING: ***½ out of ****: This is a terrific film, giving you another chunk of narrative after another — plopped down right in front of you — to keep you alert, and guessing, and intrigued. Some critics seemed to have balked at some ethical issues in the movie — not unlike the problems Joel & Ethan Coen have presented for same sorts, previously — but, I suspect, such contentions would have a lot more to do with how much a person’s sorted out “ethical” issues before entering the theater (i.e., shit does happen that way, sometimes!). A voice to watch, and a good time at the movies that stays with you.
RATING: *** out of ****: For better and for worse, this is a very “play-sy” movie, based on something adapted from theater, with all the attributes and shortcomings of “gotta have something have next” dramaturgy; revelations, reversals, post-Chekhov “gun in first act must be fired by third act” kind-of stuff. Don’t get me wrong: I liked it, hugely, and thought the mise-en-scène, actorly, and cinematographic shit was well brought: it just felt a little “wrought,” as though the strings were showing, more so than lived through, and immersive. Understand? Still well worth seeing, if a psychodrama’s your taste, for the better part of that afternoon, or pizza party, or whatever … Don’t take my word for it!
RATING: **** out of ****. For absurdist tableau to work, you’ve got to have a “quiet minded” approach that isn’t feigned; you “still the world” so all sorts of pathos, death and waning chances, can be witnessed right in front of you. If you like Ionesco, you’ll like this picture. If you don’t know who Ionesco is, Google him, you stupid fuck, I’m in a grumpy mood and don’t feel like being your taskmaster. Pathetic!
RATING: ***½ out of ****: I liked this much better than Gone Girl, because, despite David Fincher’s direction and other things-to-value in that production, this one doesn’t take swerves out of the range of plausibility that have other implications than the ones (gender roles, marriage partnerships) allegedly being broached (HINT: Not both of the characters in that one are loons!). Adapted from another Gillian Flynn novel, this one probes stuff (hark hark!) not-always dredged up in fiction films, save Andrew Kevin Walker’s screenplays (for Seven and 8mm). This film evidences a real good grasp of how far “underground” (read: simply unobserved) cultural “scenes” can go, particularly when coupled with economic privation and human depravity. If this film didn’t get more praise, it deserved it. Fuckin’ critics!