Reviews

‘The Lighthouse’ Review

Strap in for an unlikely pairing of William DaFoe and Robert Pattinson as lighthouse keepers who drive each other insane, all while drinking and farting up a storm. It’s a remarkable film.

The hypotonic and hallucinatory tale of two lighthouse keepers on a remote and mysterious New England island in the 1980s.


Boy, these two guys must have just stunk. Levels of smell I can’t even fathom. One of the first takeaways from Robert Eggers newest movie, The Lighthouse, which finds two men stranded at a lighthouse, where everything isn’t as it seems. There is so much to unpack from The Lighthouse as it deals with many themes, and takes a lot of its mythos from Greek Mythology. Curiosity, obsession and insanity, all 3 of these things drive these men. The Lighthouse is the central figure of this story. Thomas Wake (DaFoe) is the keeper while Ephraim Winslow (Pattinson) is the new comer who mostly acts as a house wife. He does everything except see whatever is inside the lantern room. He is forbidden from going inside, and that is what ultimately drives him to madness.

It acts as a forbidden object, where Icarus once flew to closely to the sun or how Adam and Eve ate the fruit, there is a mythological factor to whatever is inside, and no one truly knows the power behind it. As these men bond over alcohol and argue over everything else, including farts, the chemistry between was palpable.

One thing I should mention, it’s a pretty big detail, this film is in black and white, and it elevates it, in ways colours simply could not do. It makes for a more surreal experience and makes things seem more eerie and more bizarre. These two men, are isolated, trapped on this rock for weeks. Their only outlet is one another, and the only time they are truly bonding is when they are both getting hammered drunk. It’s what brings them together and what tares them apart. Both Pattinson and DaFoe give carrer defining performances, I was blown away by the pair. DaFoe’s character acts much like a god would, with his biblical monologues, his beard and his overall presence. While Pattinson is driven further into madness with each passing scene. The answer he is seeking most, what’s atop the lighthouse, will drive him to his breaking point. Parts of this film reminded me of The Shinning, where being alone and isolated can drive a person mad, being cut off from resources and any form of communication. And actually the one scare in it, works so well and reminded me of one of the more iconic scares in all of horror, from Psycho. Jump scares work so much better without the use of sound, and just everything about the making of this film is pretty much flawless. The score, which beats you to death, with the overbearing sound of a foghorn, never stops. The set design, the use of water, the script. I just thought everything worked so well, but it’s one of those movies where everything sort of has a double meaning and really makes you think.

Even the ending, which can be broken down, and with further watches, answers will be revealed, it’s hard to decipher what Eggers is trying to say. One thing is certain, do not, and I mean do not, mess with seagulls. That will come back to haunt you in a big way.

The Lighthouse = 90/100.

News

Final ‘Rise of Skywalker’ Trailer

Buckle up people, Kylo Ren is back. I’ve never rooted harder for a villain in my life

EHcowqhX0AAxMNe.jpeg

Holy space battle Batman! It’s the one night of the year, where jocks and nerds unite, and nothing brings people together better than Star Wars. The newest and final trailer just dropped during Monday Night Football. You wonder who knows less about their subject, jocks and Star Wars or nerds and football.

What a doozy of a trailer that was, the finale, the final showdown, countless decades of fandom have been waiting for this exact moment. Whether you love the newest trilogy or not, it’s all coming to a close sooner than a lightspeed warp. So regardless of your feelings, enjoy this because you truly don’t realize what you’ve had till it’s gone.

All of the questions you’ve wanted to be answered will finally be revealed (hopefully) as JJ Abrams steps back in the director’s chair to finish what he started. If Disney hadn’t already made enough money at the box-office this year, tack on another billion-plus because this thing is going to be huge. JJ is promising us the biggest space battle in a Star Wars movie, or it at least seems that way, the fight we have all been waiting for between Kylo and Rey, and the answer to the question on everyone’s mind, how the heck as Palpatine been alive for so long, and how did he survive?

In classic Star Wars fashion, they have teased a lot. Palpatine is back, and they showed the slightest glimpse of him, well perhaps. He’s teasing that all of these people coming together is meant to be, so again could be alluding to Rey and Kylo, who knows. Everyone will have to find out for themselves on December 20th, when this movie either destroys more childhoods or brings peace to the force once and for all!

Check out the trailer below!

Reviews

‘Joker’ Review

Dive deep into the mythos of one of the most iconic and beloved comic book villains of all time. Joaquin Phoenix transcends into another atmosphere while playing the Clown Prince of Crime, but it’s not enough to save this film.

Joker-Movie-Set-Photo-Joaquin-Phoenix-Smoke-Break.jpg

A gritty character study of Arthur Fleck, a man disregarded by society.


The Joker sure likes his cigarettes. He might not even be around long enough for Batman to punch him in his face, lung cancer might be the cause of death for this clown. Joker, written and directed by Todd Phillips, stars Joaquin Phoenix as Batman’s arch-nemesis, The Joker. What a complete whirlwind this movie as caused. So much controversy going into the release of Joker, but I will not be going into any of that here in this review. Another day, another comic-book movie that has divided the masses. Some are praising this to be a ‘masterpiece’, while others think it’s rather forgettable. I find myself somewhere in the middle.

A 1970’s character study about someone who is mentally ill. Struggling with everyday life, Arthur Fleck feels rejected and neglected from the outside world. He thinks up until a certain point that his life is, in fact, a travesty. Cut off from the world, Arthur feels alone and has a hard time connecting with anyone. Joker examines what it’s like to be severely mentally ill and how the outside world, not only treats you but perceives you. This is his origin story, how a simple man becomes the greatest foe to our Caped Crusader. It’s a haunting and dark tale, one that we’ve never seen told in a movie. Arthur has a hard time finding any joy in the world, that is until confronted with a decision to finally stand up for himself, and not let high-class society push him around anymore. Once Arthur breaks that point, once he is submerged into the deep end, there is no going back for this man. Anarchy, madness, mass hysteria are the driving force behind this man, he simply wants no order in the world. Chaos is his form of pleasure, and towards the end of this film, he’s neck-deep in it.

Honestly, Joaquin Phoenix is a revelation, he’s brilliant in every aspect of this role. He took this seriously, and it pays off for him. That doesn’t mean he makes for a great Joker, and that’s my biggest problem with the film, I could never get behind him or even take him seriously. I’m not taking anything away from his awe-inspiring work here, but I just don’t think at the end of the day, he was a great Joker. Call me crazy, but that’s how I felt. The movie for being so twisted, and dark and chaotic, I never felt a sense of horror or shock from what I was seeing on the screen. The tone of the movie at times is all over the place, especially in scenes where the tension is high and you know something terrible is about to happen, it never struck any sort of fear or intrigue on my part. Arthur has a disorder, where at times, he has an uncontrollable laughing attack, a homage to The Man Who Laughs, and this occurs a lot throughout the film. I disliked every aspect of his Joker laugh, I thought as the movie went on, his laugh would evolve and evoke more actual laughter, than a laugh that felt almost forced. It’s hard to explain, but I was so turned off by it, I felt it was taking me out of the entire movie.

This is a new tale about this character, but another thing I disliked a lot, was how terrible of a criminal he was. The Joker is supposed to be this criminal mastermind, someone who can intellectually go toe-to-toe with Batman, he is the master of grand schemes, huge plots that push Batman to his brink. Where Fleck can barely think 5 minutes into his future, and walk 10 feet without causing some sort of damage to either himself or someone close by. Like he is playing everything he is doing by ear, expect his one planned out ploy that comes to a pretty horrific conclusion towards the end of the film. Again, this is a new take on the character and this is how Phillips wanted to portray him, I just thought it was a misstep. Whereas, how they show his descent into madness, how when the literal curtain is pulled and Joker is essentially finally revealed his almost done to perfection. It’s slow and cathartic, where his mind is slowly breaking. He’s quote on quote “bent out of shape” mentally and physically. Not only his is mind breaking and contorting, but so is his body. Phillips does an incredible job at showing just how weird and twisted his body is, Joaquin is contorting his body and it was the most disturbing part about his performance. His body is so skinny and weak and empty, as his mind goes, so does his body and I thought that was an interesting theme.

Another aspect of the film that they do unbelievable service to, is the depiction of Gotham City. In every Batman tale, Gotham City is a character in itself, it becomes one with the movie. Where we are so used to seeing it through the eyes of the rich and powerful, through Bruce Wayne and Batman, while here we are seeing the very underbelly through the eyes of Arthur. It’s gross, dirty and a place where all hope is lost. Gotham is a disease and it’s dying. So when your body is infected, there’s only one thing to do and that’s fight back. The anti-virus just so happens to be Arthur, the symbol of hope for these people that feel they have been thrown away by the upper-class society of Gotham. Little do they know, this symbol they are rooting for is the worst thing that will ever happen to Gotham.

There’s a ton to unpack about this film, many layers, and themes, mostly surrounding mental health and how we ignore it for the most part. Joker has a quote, “The worst part of having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t” was something that really stuck out for me. The world just wants him to be normal, they want everyone to be normal, and believe that mental illness is something one can shake off. When you ignore something, it tends to bubble up, it boils to a certain point where it’s no longer safe. The untreated disease will destroy the body, the infection will spread, and that’s exactly what happens to Arthur. There’s a great scene with Bruce Wayne, the Batman stuff is somewhat explored here, wherein this universe, the Joker is the reason why he will eventually dawn the mask. It’s a shame we won’t ever get to see that interaction, and when this movie was announced I wondered how seeing the Joker not interact with Batman, be in the world without Batman would work. I believe they need each other, I believe they feed off each other, and I just don’t think one works without the other.

I wanted to love this movie, but it falls flat, the first 30 minutes drags and I felt overall there are a solid 10 good minutes in here? The score by Hildur Guonadottir is chilling, hauntingly beautiful and one of the best of the year. This is a real film, there are no green screens, something that is expected with a comic-book movie, but not here. The cinematography is stunning, so many enriched shots, so many images that kind of burn into your mind and soul. All of this is not enough to save the movie. There are some great things happening here, but overall, I think it’s pretty hollow and empty. It’s the biggest flaw, the director. In more capable hands, I feel like the elements are changed and the tone and the vibe when things are gritty could have struck a more powerful cord. It’s going to be a massive hit, and people will love this movie, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

JOKER = 66/100

News

‘Richard Jewell’ Trailer

The year just doesn’t feel complete without a Clint Eastwood movie.

Seems like just yesterday this movie was even announced, let alone started production. Oh wait, this film literally starting filming in June and we already have a trailer for it. Clint Eastwood seriously doesn’t mess around when it comes to banging out his production schedule. When you think about it, it’s quite something having a movie trailer come out and have this much footage only 3 months after it’s start date.

The latest Eastwood flick, follows Richard Jewell, the hero of the 1996 Atlanta Bombings. Based on the incredible true story, once again, the film seems intriguing enough, and it’s always fascinating to see a man that is Eastwood’s age, pump out a film each year, remarkable really.

Chalked full of talented people, Jon Hamm, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates and Paul Walter Hauser, playing the lead role. Not completely a household name yet, but I loved him in I Tonya and he’s been taking great roles ever since.

The thing about most of Eastwood’s films is you never really know what you’re going to get. Since he makes a movie every year it can be difficult to stay consistent, but whenever Jon Hamm is playing a hard nosed cop, I’m all in. I think this looks better than last years, The Mule.

News

‘Birds of Prey’ Trailer

It’s the return of Harley Freakin Quinn.

So after a slight tease in front of IT: Chapter 2, Birds of Prey finally gets itself a full length trailer, and it’s just okay…

Obviously front and center is the star of the show, Harley Quinn, her name is in the title of the movie, so what do you expect? The trailer has a lot going for it, from its stylish and colourful cinematography, really creating quite the atmosphere for our birds. Paired with the well executed action set-pieces, the trailer flows pretty nicely. We even get to see Harley and her hyenas in live-action, probably the highlight of the entire trailer.

Here’s the big concern. If you are a casual fan and know very little about any of these characters, this trailer I feel will leaving you scratching your head. Yes, it’s a teaser, but you need to gain some momentum from each new trailer you release. There wasn’t even a name drop for any of the other birds in the trailer and not even trying to introduce them in the slightest. I know you want to focus on Harley Quinn, but in order for people to fully grasp what this movie is about, just felt like they should have done a better job in that aspect. Same with Black mask who’s being played by Ewan McGregor, he’s in it a ton, but no mention of his name or really what he’s even all about. They did at least foreshadow what will be happening to him in the film, but I’m just worried about the causal fan, not understanding who any of these people are.

It looks like a ton of fun, Margot Robbie really was destined to play this role, and there’s even a slight Joker tease in the trailer, so expect Jared Leto to reprise his role as the Clown Prince of Crime. I expect WB to go heavy on the marketing for this one, because it truly appears to be special.