REVIEW: Under the Silver Lake (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – A24

The following is a review of Under the Silver Lake — Directed by David Robert Mitchell.

In 2014, David Robert Mitchell’s It Follows was released to critical acclaim. It was one of the first horror films that I ever reviewed and I remember the film mostly for its riveting score and the unique premise of the film which was really more of a parable. In 2016, Mitchell shot his follow-up to the aforementioned horror film. His film, Under the Silver Lake, was eventually acquired by A24, and it competed for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018.

I remember watching the trailer and being intrigued by the cast and the mystery. It was meant to be released that summer, but then A24 pulled it from its release schedule. In 2019, Mitchell’s film was released without much fanfare. Supposedly, this was one of those polarizing films that you either hate or love. Recently, I found myself watching Mark Kermode’s review of Under the Silver Lake during which time I was struck by the severity of his reprimand as he proclaimed: “It’s so tooth-grindingly boring.” I’m a big fan of Mark Kermode, but, I have to say, I really dug Mitchell’s film. Continue reading “REVIEW: Under the Silver Lake (2019)”

REVIEW: Greta (2019)

US Theatrical Release Poster – Focus Features

The following is a review of Greta — Directed by Neil Jordan.

It’s been a while since I last felt like walking out of a movie in the middle of it. It still hasn’t ever happened, because every time I feel this way, I’m watching the film with someone I know. Though I did watch the film in its entirety, Neil Jordan’s Greta really pushed me to my limits. Though it starred multiple actors who I enjoy, I had nowhere near as much fun watching the end product as much as it seems Isabelle Huppert enjoyed chewing the scenery in this terribly dull thriller. I’m sure some might say Greta is so bad it’s good, but, to me, it was so bad that even its most outrageously funny lines became infuriating in the long run. Continue reading “REVIEW: Greta (2019)”

REVIEW: The Silence (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of The Silence — Directed by John R. Leonetti.

John R. Leonetti’s The Silence — not to be confused with Martin Scorsese’s Silence, which has a similar title, or John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place and Susanne Bier’s Bird Box, both of which have similar plots — follows a family during an apocalyptic event in which prehistoric bat-like creatures have come out of hiding to attack and feast on anything and anyone they hear. Stanley Tucci plays the family father, Miranda Otto his wife, and Kiernan Shipka plays one of his children — a deaf teenager. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Silence (2019)”

REVIEW: Dronningen (2019)

Danish Theatrical Release Poster – Nordisk Film

The following is a review of the Danish film ‘Dronningen‘ (international title: Queen of Hearts) — Directed by May el-Toukhy.

Dronningen is a disturbing and twisted tragedy about double-standards, hypocrisy, and gender-roles from the female Danish-Egyptian filmmaker May el-Toukhy. The Danish film — and controversial conversation starter — stars the outstanding actress and critical darling Trine Dyrholm in the leading role as Anne, a Danish lawyer and mother of two girls. Anne is married to the Swedish doctor Peter (played by Magnus Krepper, who recently appeared in the Danish film Før Frosten), who has a 17-year old troublemaking son, Gustav (played by Gustav Lindh), from a previous marriage in Sweden.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Dronningen (2019)”

REVIEW: Triple Frontier (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Triple Frontier — Directed by J. C. Chandor.

From the director of All is Lost and A Most Violent Year, J. C. Chandor, and the writer of The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Mark Boal, Netflix’s Triple Frontier — named for the tri-border area of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay — includes arguably the most star-studded blockbuster-like cast for a Netflix Original Film yet. Continue reading “REVIEW: Triple Frontier (2019)”

REVIEW: Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Velvet Buzzsaw — Directed by Dan Gilroy.

In 2014, Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut — Nightcrawler — became a hit with critics and audiences alike. It gave us a brilliant and rivetingly unhinged performance from its leading man, Jake Gyllenhaal, and it showed us that Dan Gilroy was a supremely talented filmmaker.

With his second directorial effort, Roman J. Israel, Esq., Gilroy stumbled a bit, even though that film had another committed lead performance — this time from Denzel Washington. Now, Gilroy and Gyllenhaal have reteamed for a horror film about the art world with Netflix’s Velvet Buzzsaw, and, though it isn’t quite a return to form, it shows us that Gilroy is perfectly capable of having fun with his art. Continue reading “REVIEW: Velvet Buzzsaw (2019)”

REVIEW: Burning (2018)

Theatrical Release Poster – CGV Arthouse

The following is a review of Burning (‘버닝‘) — Directed by Lee Chang-dong.

There are a couple of news reports during the first hour of Lee Chang-dong’s Burning. During the reading of these reports, the frustrated Lee Jong-su (played by Yoo Ah-in) is walking through his family home, a farm house so close to the North Korean border that he’s able to hear North Korean propaganda out in the open. As he is walking through the house, we hear how his generation is struggling to find work in South Korea, and we also see President Donald Trump on a television screen. Continue reading “REVIEW: Burning (2018)”