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Showing posts from September, 2017

mother!

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In his past work, acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky has crafted stunningly surreal and often shocking films that seek to push boundaries and challenge audiences. With mother!, he has taken this formula and pushed it to the extreme, delivering a nightmarish and powerfully intense experience that has been criticised by some for going to far, including a review from the National Review calling it perhaps "the vilest movie ever released by a major Hollywood studio."

While mother! is very graphic in places and definitely deserves it's 18 rating, it is hard to describe how much of an overreaction many have had towards the film. Yes, it's brutal. But it's also an absolute thrill-ride of a film that is completely captivating in its increasingly outrageous and daring style. 

Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence excel as expected as the central couple of the film, with Lawrence being the absolute focus of the proceedings and the eyes through which we see the story unfold. H…

In Between

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The debut feature film of female director Maysaloun Hamoud shows she is clearly not afraid of confronting hot-button issues. In Between takes on themes of oppression and backwards ideology head-on, shining a vital light on the lives of oppressed women. The central three characters each suffer differently from the restrictions of their culture and Hamoud expertly balances the focus of the film between the leads, with each character given ample room to develop. 

The most affecting thread follows the shy and religiously devout Noor (Shaden Kanboura), who moves in with Leila (Mouna Hawa) and Salma (Sana Jammelieh), two free-living and rebellious friends who couldn't be more different to Noor. While this initially leads to a number of amusing clashes, Noor's story takes a darker turn as the issues between her and her fiance lead to disturbing clashes, addressing themes of patriarchy and abuse. 

But by sharing the story with Leila and Salma, the film also offers a vital view on famili…

It

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Let me make this clear straight away: this film is definitely not for the faint-hearted. It is by far one of the most horrifying experiences I've had in a long time and, even though it gave me stomach cramps from trying to sink further and further into my seat, I absolutely loved it. Delivering some of the best established scares in years while maintaining an adventurous spirit and a brilliant cast of teen actors, it is pretty much the perfect Stephen King adaptation. It's Stand by Me with a demonic terror thrown into the mix. What more could you want?

As much of the film is centered around a group of teens, who style themselves as the "Loser's" club, it's such a pleasant surprise to see a film that for once nails teen dialogue without descending into a cringey embarrassing mess. The teen cast are all spot on in their performances, with Finn Wolfhard as Richie and Jack Dylan Grazer as Eddie getting many of the best lines. In fact, motormouth Richie often ends …

Terminator 2: Judgement Day 3D

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There's little to say about James Cameron's action masterpiece that hasn't already been said countless times. Managing to one-up the already brilliant original with a perfectly paced story, an ingenious character flip (bad guy Arnie becomes good guy Arnie), and some of the best action sequences to this day, it still remains Cameron's best (in my opinion, it is superior to Aliens). 

The major difference with this re-release however (one that Cameron has been fighting for for years) is that it has been converted into the infamous 3D format (something that Cameron played a huge role in making mainstream with 2009's Avatar). 

I have extremely mixed feelings on this decision. On one hand, it is clear that a lot of love went into the conversion process and it is admittedly used more sparingly and in a far less invasive manner than I've previously experienced. I will also admit that, despite being a long time cynic of the format, it does add something to a number of sho…