lowbrowculture

collects stories and ideas from John Kelly

Recent Film Reviews

(I try to post reviews of all the films I watch over on letterboxd. Here are some of my most recent reviews)

Black Sea ★½

When you’re making a submarine film, I’m sure it’s really tempting to default to autopilot and cross off the tickboxes of all the scenes you expect to see in these films. The near-miss collision, the accident that sends the sub to below crush-depth where they just barely survive. Etc. etc.

So it’s not enough for Black Sea to lazily trot out the same hackneyed bullshit we’ve seen countless times in films like this while claiming to be different because this time it’s all in service of a story that’s really just a commentary on the exploitation of the working class.

Plus, it has Jude Law (with the worst Scottish accent since Christopher Lambert) saying “the shit is fighting back”. Honestly, that’s an actual line from this film.

Good grief.

Predators ★★★

Predators isn’t a bad film. In fact, it’s got some really great bits in it: the smash opening; the reveal they’re on an alien planet; any time Walton Goggins is on the screen. In fact, it’s a good enough film that you’ll actually overlook the fact that they cast (lol) Adrien Brody (lol) as a badass soldier (lol).

But if there’s a complaint to be made about the film, it’s that it’s just too goddamn bleak. For the entire 107 minute run-time, there’s not a single moment of hope to be found in this film.

Exhausting.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith ★

Honestly, the next time some dickbag comes along and tries to tell me that Episode III is the best of the prequels, I’m going to smack that person in the goddamn nose.

White God ★★

I know White God is supposed to be a parable, but I’ll be damned if I know exactly what it’s supposed to be. Current list of theories:

  • Social Exclusion
  • Teenage Angst
  • Immigration
  • The prison system
  • The oppression of the Jews before and during WWII (what dog pounds have such prominent chimneys?!)

It could be any one of these things. It could be all of them. I don’t know. And I’m not sure the film itself actually warrants the kind of time it would take to develop these theories. It’s 100 minutes of a dull, emotionless domestic drama with 20 minutes of interesting images tacked onto the end. Seeing 200 dogs running through Budapest dishing out vigilante justice like some canine Mr Majestyks was at least something I hadn’t seen before. The rest of the film was just filler.

Groundhog Day ★★★★

For most of this film, it’s all very clever and enjoyable and even if it doesn’t sweep you off your feet, you think “I’m so clever, I can see all the mechanics of this plot at work and I can appreciate on an intellectual level what the film is trying to do. Yes, very clever.”

And then the last scene rolls up and hits you like an ton of bricks. Even if you’ve seen the film before, it’s still a gut-punch of emotion.

That’s the real genius of this film.

Force Majeure ★★★½

Force Majeure is an interesting reflection on the ways that relationships can be affected and tested. There are the large, obvious events, like a father leaving his family to save his own life under the threat of an avalanche. But these are just the sparks that ignite the fuel that’s already there: the years of insecurity and resentment. And those are the things that really test relationships.

I guess it says something about my own marriage that we chose to watch this on Valentine’s Day.

Wild Card ★★★

Jason Statham IS Nick Wild in WILD CARD.

If this sentence doesn’t make you want to immediately run out and watch this film, forget it, this is not the film for you.