The Report is an American docu-drama that follows Senate Staffer Daniel J. Jones (Adam Driver) and his small team as they investigate the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” (EIT) on detainees after the 9/11 attacks and the struggles and hurdles to get their findings released. As the title suggests, Director Scott Z. Burns based the film on 500-page summary of the Senate’s classified report on the use of torture in the “War on Terror.” Focusing on the actual report not only allows the film to reflect it’s opposing views, but also the nature that sometimes truth is what you decide it to be – a central theme throughout the film.
Unlike other reviews that cover how truthful the film is to the actual events, the main focus of this review will be on the film itself.
Continue reading Amazon’s The Report: A Dark Chapter of History Following 9/11
Fans of Daredevil may find that Oldboy is just as stylish, although far more intense. More realistic and unforgiving in his storytelling, director Park Chan-wook delivers a graphic hard-hitting action-thriller.
The second installment in The Vengeance Trilogy, Oldboy primarily focuses on revenge, with elements of romance. Park occasionally presents moments of black humor, although these moments lessen as the film fully embraces its serious tone. Combined with neo-noir style cinematography and thrilling fight scenes, Oldboy becomes a daunting tale of vengeance and atonement. Continue reading Oldboy: The Daredevil of Vengeance
Robert Eggers’s second feature film, The Lighthouse, proves that he’s a director to keep an eye on. Robert Pattinson plays Ephraim Winslow, a man who travels to a remote island to work as the assistant of an aged, eccentric lighthouse keeper (Willem Dafoe). The two men spend several tense weeks alone, keeping the lighthouse until a disastrous storm strikes. The Lighthouse is packed with intense acting, surreal imagery, and having been shot in 1.19:1 aspect ratio, it is a claustrophobic descent into madness. Continue reading ‘The Lighthouse’ Delivers Bizarre Art-Horror
Released a little over two decades ago, Eraserhead is David Lynch’s feature film debut and the beginning of a filmography both wonderful and strange. Set in a grimy, industrial town, it tells the story of Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) a young man who finds himself in a tumultuous relationship after his girlfriend has given birth to their child. After a long night of listening to their child cry, Spencer’s girlfriend leaves him to watch over the sick, mutant baby. At its core, it’s a film about fatherhood and the struggles and fear that come with it, but Lynch’s approach results in a nightmare fueling film unconcerned with the conventions of traditional storytelling. Eraserhead is a prime example of what makes Lynch’s films great — it’s shocking and innovative in its storytelling, visuals, and even sound. Continue reading “Oh, You Are Sick!”: An Eraserhead Review
Unlike Steven McQueen’s film Twelve Years A Slave and Toni Morrison’s literary novel Beloved, which cover the horrors of slavery, director Kasi Lemmons’ biographical drama Harriet showcases the powerful freedom fighter Harriet Tubman in a way that is accessible and emotionally invigorating. The film portrays Harriet Tubman’s (Cynthia Erivo) escape from slavery and the dangerous missions she led to free hundreds of slaves through the Underground Railroad. Minimalist cinematography paired with an emotionally intriguing score, and grounded performances capture the power of this heroic figure. Continue reading The American Hero: Harriet Hits Theatres
Actor Edward Norton returns to the director’s chair almost two decades after his directorial debut with the crime drama Motherless Brooklyn. In addition to directing, Norton wrote, produced, and starred in the film based on the 1999 novel of the same name by Jonathan Lethem. The film centers around Lionel Essrog (Norton), a private investigator with Tourette syndrome as he tries to solve the mystery behind the death of fellow PI and mentor Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). Taking on multiple production roles, Norton’s labor of love showcases his remarkable sense of style in this creative adaptation.
Continue reading Edward Norton’s Directorial Return: Motherless Brooklyn
Last week’s GEMS mini-festival–the Miami Film Festival’s annual fall showcase–featured an interesting mix of highly anticipated new projects from prominent directors and first features, films that traverse familiar directorial ground and movies that represent departures. The festival, which once again focused on international hits with arthouse crowd, brought an advanced screening of some sure Oscar contenders as well as more niche fare to Miami audiences. Read our first takes below.
Continue reading GEMS 2019: Festival Dispatch