Celluloid Junkie - 3891 Rankings
Member Since: Apr 15, 2006
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Bio: A score between 91 and 100 indicates a masterpiece.
Full reviews: https://www.criticker.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5869#p55513
|45 T4||American Made (2017) - Dec 10, 2017
"The filmmakers clearly aimed to create a rollicking adventure with some ironic points to make, but the key repeated line about "don't tell me America isn't the greatest country" is a clunker that can't carry the weight of those aims. The overall impression is of a film that is rather empty at its core and too desperate to entertain, in a way that fails to justify what seems like a very cavalier approach to the facts of the story. Either needed to strike a better balance or have a wittier script."
|75 T9||Our Little Sister (2015) - Dec 09, 2017
"Perhaps we could say that emotions are not really states, but a dynamic process through which the finite, unfinished beings that we are weave the fabric of our relationships by negotiating the way our own limitations relate to the limitations of others. There is nothing easy about illustrating the way this process of coming to terms (of acceptance) operates, especially without showing major dramatic conflict. Here, all the big events happen offscreen, the better to show the small-scale shifts."
|75 T9||Like Father, Like Son (2013) - Dec 08, 2017
"Is there an element of soap here? If so, it is very high grade: the construction of the awful situation is both subtle and complex, with convincing performances by all players. The decision to load all the worst reactions onto one character is maybe a little contrived, even if the filmmaker's real concern is to examine the conflicts of a certain kind of Japanese masculinity, but the issues about fatherhood, adoption and so on exceed that local context, and raise some meaningful questions."
|55 T6||The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) - Dec 07, 2017
"On fantasy and imagination as not just elements of the world but performatively constitutive of it, at the same time as (and because) they make it possible to go beyond the world. Perhaps the first of those now-common retiree-focused remakes of THE BLUES BROTHERS, this certainly exemplifies its theme and makes plain the loss of image-making craft that would be the heavy price of the coming explosion of CGI (landmarks being TERMINATOR 2 in 1991, JURASSIC PARK in 1993 and TOY STORY in 1995)."
|60 T7||Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) - Dec 05, 2017
"Some of the retrospective claims made about this little melodrama may be slightly overstated, but as a study of conflict and struggle – at once personal, economic, sexual and artistic – it does indeed contain a few surprises, offering a perspective almost entirely absent from contemporaneous Hollywood works, and evincing a sophistication and understanding exceeding numerous more recent efforts to tread the same ground. Definitely more than just a curiosity."
|25 T1||Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) - Dec 05, 2017
"Bickering workmates struggle to turn flirtation into romance, culminating in one of them making a speech claiming that love has the power to overcome genocide. Despite the obvious effort to paint a phantasmagorical world, many of the images and designs seem rather familiar, as if the technical power of digital tools functions to thwart imagination rather than enhance it. The most serious flaws, however, lie in the weak screenplay and a cast lacking charisma sufficient to sell the poor dialogue."
|70 T8||I Wish (2011) - Dec 04, 2017
"Just a tinge of sentimentality, perhaps, but Koreeda is undeniably an exceptional director of children and a superior writer of subtle, understated family drama. A notable virtue of his work is that he avoids both easy answers and fatalistic pessimism: here it is a question of individually and collectively inventing a pathway to the future, an improbable possibility here referred to as a miracle."
|65 T7||Nobody Knows (2004) - Dec 03, 2017
"Drawn from a distressing case of childhood neglect, many viewers no doubt react to the carelessness of the mother, even though the ironic title indicates the real target is social if not systemic. The filmmaker works very hard to create a convincing portrait of children struggling to subsist in an untenable environment, avoiding any hint of melodrama, with many quasi-Bressonian shots of feet and hand, and quasi-Ozuian narrative ellipses. Despite everything, did not quite achieve greatness."
|60 T7||Buta to gunkan (1961) - Dec 02, 2017
"While for most of the film we may think this is about how postwar Japan is a wannabe gangster trying to turn the scraps doled out by the US military into viable profit, by the end of the film we understand that this was merely childish fantasy, and that the real question for Japan in the 1950s is how to avoid being a whore for a corrupt and corrupting America and instead strike out on its own path. Dynamic camerawork and generally well done, if a little too melodramatic and hysterical in parts."
|35 T2||Chappie (2015) - Dec 01, 2017
"This attempt to thematise various technological and political issues is hampered by a screenplay that at times approaches "film school" levels of mediocrity."