REVIEW: The Future

The Future
Directed by: Miranda July
Written by: Miranda July (screenplay)
Starring: Miranda July, Hamish Linklater, David Warshofsky and Isabella Acres

What happens to hipsters when they get old?  The writer/director/actress Miranda July would argue that there is not a true answer to that question, but it’s just a rather interesting one to ask.  In The Future, she ponders the existence of Sophie (July) and Jason (Hamish Linklater), two similar looking thirty-somethings on the brink of the end.  They have decided to adopt a cat, which they can take home from the shelter in one month.  This is a big decision for them.

In the meantime, the couple realize (after a couple of logical jumps) that this is their last true month of living.  Though the cat is likely to live only six months because of its illness, it could live as long as five years.  By then, they will be forty, and of course it’s all downhill from there.

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REVIEW: Rango

Rango
Directed by: Gore Verbinski
Written by: John Logan (screenplay)
Starring: Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Ned Beatty, and Bill Nighy

Go ahead, label Rango an animated vehicle for Johnny Depp driven by his Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski.   You wouldn’t be wrong, but you would be guilty of oversimplifying one of the most outlandish and downright weird animated movies to cross mainstream audiences in a long time.

It seems almost mandatory at this point to acknowledge that Rango is indeed not a product of Pixar.  However, it doesn’t come from Dreamworks either, but rather Nickelodeon.  To this end, the bizarre twists and somewhat more mature material seem more at home.  So too does Depp, voicing The Chameleon With No Name who later assumes the identity Rango when he stumbles into an Old West Town.

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ARCHIVE REVIEW: Antichrist

Antichrist
Directed by: Lars von Trier
Written by: Lars von Trier
Starring: Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg

Much has been made of this visually striking, grotesquely dark film from Danish auteur Lars von Trier.  The rumors are true, almost all of them.  There is a talking fox.  There is a gruesome climax filled with not one, but two, genital mutilations.  If the latter doesn’t draw in today’s torture porn crowd, it’s only because the barbarity doesn’t fall within the tight moral coding and sugar-coated bloodbath of the Saw franchise.

Von Trier likes to think of himself as above mere mutilation for the sake of it, but viewing this film as a tale with morals when the content is so morally reprehensible creates kind of a paradox.  His film is at times visually striking, and at times brutally unwatchable.

It begins with a beautifully filmed yet tragic slow-motion black and white sequence of a couple (William Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg) making love while their son sneaks out of his crib and plummets out a window to his death.  Mr. von Trier is not above starting out his film with the most cliche form of tragedy: kill the kid.

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