Saturday, October 21, 2017
A disgraced member of the Russian military police investigates a series of child murders during the Stalin-era Soviet Union.
An interesting topic is spoilt by an overladen plot with a cop on the run from the government and at the same time investigating a suppressed serial killer murder series, romance and personal intrigues included.
Friday, October 20, 2017
The last days of the life of famed and disgraced film director James Whale.
Carefully staged period drama with an excellent cast and some lovable details, but a bit lighthearted considering the topic.
Halliwell**: "Enjoyable, if fictional, account of the last days of a director who reinvented himself in America as a middle-class Englishman and a master of horror; if the material is sometimes a little thin, the acting carries it through."
Maltin***1/2: "Exceptional (if entirely fictional) character study of film director James Whale...An exquisite rendering of time and place, with a superb performance by McKellen, matched by Fraser...and Redgrave...A quiet, deliberately paced film; beautifully rendered, with a unique blend of flashback and hallucination."
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
An English professor, one year after the sudden death of his boyfriend, is unable to cope with his typical days in 1960s Los Angeles.
Intense psychological study, the professor's homsexuality just one aspect of his person, has a timeless quality to it (you hardly notice that it is set in the 60s) and offers Colin Firth one of his best roles.
On rewatching: the story appears a bit silly and maybe it's satirical; visually, the movie is a joy to watch.
Maltin***: "Flawlessly detailed visualization of Christopher Isherwood's landmark novel benefits from a superb performance by Firth, but its resolute restraint also keeps it a bit aloof at times. Impressive directorial debut by fashion designer Ford..."
A paranoid mathematician searches for a key number that will unlock the universal patterns found in nature.
Intense low-budget indie debut of director Darren Aronofsky fascinates with its b/w expressionistic cinematography and overheated maniacal story; you do have to ignore the science, though, if you know a bit about math.
Halliwell**: "Gripping, clever theological and psychological thriller, which is less about explanations than observing varieties of monomania in action."
Maltin**1/2: "...this attention-getter is a true original. Well acted by a no-name cast and, we hope, a harbinger of things to come from filmmaker Darren Aronofsky."