10 Cloverfield Lane, High Rise, The Boy and Risen
Typically in Ben Wheatley’s (Director) and Amy Jump’s (Writer) other films, there’s a single moment where the films unexpectedly transform into something completely different, much darker and stranger. High Rise is continually becoming darker and stranger right up until the end credits roll, and I don’t know whether or not that is a good thing, but I do know that I need to experience High Rise again. Despite the dark and distressing images and plot points, there is an overwhelming sense that this film is held up, and made all the more worthwhile, by the socio-political themes and commentary at its core, and the more invested and involved you can be in that the more you can enjoy the beautifully brutal production design, and simply gorgeous style that High Rise effortlessly exudes. Where there are undoubtedly films that are all style and no substance, this film can proudly claim to deserve its ingenious style because of its strong substance. ONLY SEE if you think you will enjoy 70s styled literal Class Warfare condensed into this microcosm of The Building.
Paint by numbers JUMP SCARE!!! “horror” movie which does nothing new, and doesn’t really have the energy to go anywhere with the tried and tested formula of isolating an innocent female character (read: Audience Cypher) in one location and then have a few unexplainable and unexpected goings on, continue to add story and plot devices until the movie ends. A few interesting shot ideas, most coming from the perspective of the titular Boy, do nothing to lessen the fact that this movie is an utter waste of time, for both fans and non-fans of horror alike. DO NOT SEE.
For the “spiritual sequel” to Passion of the Christ, this ought to be a rather notorious film to review. However since the film is rather poorly made and does nothing but provide a direct retelling of the post-crucifixion Biblical narrative, any notoriety or interest this film could have garnered is already lost. A lot of the dialogue seems to have been lifted directly from the Bible which has the same impact as the shoe-horned Shakespeare quotes do in Shakespeare in Love (possibly thanks to Joseph Fiennes for that mental connection). Every single digital effect (from flames to birds) looks as if it was completed very quickly in After Effects, or using the same equipment as they did for Jurassic Park (whose wide shots haven’t aged as well as people say).
While the dialogue is written awkwardly and the narrative is not inspired by any means, the cast, for the most part, do a very fine job in being entirely committed to their roles. Tom Felton, Joseph Fiennes and the actors playing Bartholomew and Simon Peter being the most notable. There is only one role that I definitely have questions about the performance, and that would be the Brummy Roman Guard, how that decision was allowed into the film I do not know.
For a film that is about a Roman Mars-worshipping Tribune, looking for answers regarding the disappearance of the corpse of “Yeshua (Ieshua) the Nazarene” (Or as they actively avoid saying “Jesus”), there is nothing of any substance to this film for non-believers. Even going so far as to incongruously pose the question “Why send the messiah to Roman-occupied, widely illiterate Palestine?” And the only answer the characters and screenwriters can offer is the disciple Simon Peter laughing “I don’t know, I don’t know, but isn’t it amazing that it happened…?” This film is the ultimate example of preaching to the converted, and it can’t even manage that entirely competently. MAYBE SEE of you are a Christian and are looking for a film that will satisfactorily confirm your current beliefs and you can’t stand the gore and suffering of Passion of the Christ.
10 Cloverfield Lane
DEFINITELY SEE. I’ll get that out of the way just in case for inadvertently spoiling the film as the best way to see it is to not have any knowledge of the film before, much like Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character does as she ends up at the eponymous address.
It does have to be said that John Goodman is brilliant in this film. His character unrecognisable from his previous few years of playing Movie producers (Argo and Trumbo at least), and still just as chillingly believable as he always is.
While the final act may put some off, for how the film wanted its tone to come across in those moments, I had no problems with anything that this film throws at its audience from beginning to end. It is engaging, thrilling and all round entertaining for the darkest (both from colour palette and tone) 12A release I have gladly seen for a while.