Sure The Shallows is nothing more than a Jaws meets Gravity meets All Is Lost riff where the outcome is never in doubt, but that doesn’t make the thrills and chills any less sublime. Collet-Serra has managed to craft an efficient B-grade chiller that gets right to the point and never overstays its welcome.
The best decision directors Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) and Jake Paltrow (Young Ones) make in regards to their Hollywood documentary De Palma is let the man at the center of the maelstrom, fiery, opinionated and legendary filmmaker Brian De Palma, do all of the speaking for himself. He alone speaks on his career…He alone opens the viewer’s eyes to an era of auteur-driven Hollywood filmmaking unlike any that came before, and almost rest assured unlike anything that will ever come again.
Central thrusts involving racism are readily obvious right from the start, figuring out who is killing all the Mexicans not particularly difficult. But there are also threads involving revenge, cults, religious fundamentalism, misogyny and politics that all come into play, all of them sewn together in ways that are as random as they are bizarre.
It’s quite possible that Independence Day: Resurgence might take home the prize for being 2016’s most pointless sequel…Not so much bad as it is boring, the sequel is a lot of sound and fury that adds up to precious little, everything building to a ho-hum climax that’s nothing more than a gloried cliffhanger for a potential third adventure.
Andrew Haigh’s Weekend is every bit as sensational the second (and third) time around as it was the first, the depth and breadth of the emotional undercurrents running through it simply stunning. Rampling and Courtney are extraordinary, delivering performances ranking as two of the best either of the pair has ever delivered. In short, Weekend is amazing.
Hart and Johnson got me to laugh, their antics just ridiculous enough to keep me entertained. There’s fun to be had, and here’s hoping if [Central Intelligence] ends up being a massive hit someone writes a better script as it would pertain to the almost certainly inevitable sequel.
Finding Dory doesn’t need to go beyond what the first film did, doesn’t need to reinvent its own wheel. What Stanton does is to instead remain true to his characters, never belittling them, never undercutting their personal truths, and in doing so, crafts a portrait of family and togetherness so rewarding, it’s practically priceless. In other words, much like its titular character, it keeps swimming, and in doing so teaches all of us life lessons that we likely already knew yet still could use to revisit all the same.
The Conjuring 2 could be better, there’s no denying that. It’s too long and gets too frenzied as it reaches its climax, never digging as deeply under the skin as the first film did. But Wan knows what he is doing, and more often than not this sequel offers up enough in the way of thrills and chills to satisfy.
The themes lurking at the center [of The Fits], what it is talking about in regards to race, education, peer pressure, gender and just growing up in general, all of it comes through marvelously, the finished feature a stunning achievement all involved should be proud to have had a hand in creating.