Arrival

I’m sorry. I’m really, really sorry. I tried. I promise I tried. I really did.

I made it to minute 35 of this almost two hour film (and if you’re counting, that’s more than a fourth) and I turned it off, beacuse nothing happened. You think I’m kidding. Nothing. Happened.

If you’ve read any of my other discussions, I mention cinematography a lot. I’m not particularly knowledgeable or techincal with that subject, but I notice when the camera is directing focus in an unusual way or moving with a different feel. However, there is one caveat: I like cinematography when the camera is looking at SOMETHING. Ten minutes of panning around in an ‘artful’ way around fog and a giant gray rock that I guess is supposed to look interesting, impressive, or foboding is not creating atmosphere or ‘cinematography’. It is boring and unnecessary. Continue reading “Arrival”

Fences

The movie that proves plays can be adapted into really good movies: Fences. It didn’t look like a play. It didn’t feel like a play. But its focus was on the essence of any play: acting and dialogue. There wasn’t fancy, eye-catching camera work or a flashy score. No special effects. Just sparkling, dazzling dialogue and mesmerizing performances from everyone in the cast. Two minutes into the film, I was hooked.

First, let’s discuss my favorite thing to discuss in these rambles: metaphors! Fences were pushed to their literary limit, and I mean that in the best way. There’s nothing like a tenfold metaphor that happens to double as the film’s title. First, there’s the obvious– the barrier between blacks and whites in that time. There was an insurmountable divide between the two in America in the 1950s, and the movie emphasizes that without ever overstepping the line into preaching or handholding. It’s in every scene: were there any white characters? I don’t remember, and I don’t think so. If I remember correctly, the only white person with dialogue came from the scene where Troy was about to go ask to be a driver, and the tension between them was palpable. It’s in every one of Troy’s electric dialogues. Continue reading “Fences”

Hell or High Water

Hell or High Water felt like the lovechild of Fargo, Smokey and the Bandit, and the state of Texas. Which, as you might imagine, is bizarre, not particularly phenomenal, but definitely intriguing.

Now that I’ve been witty and clever, let’s talk about the movie. 🙂

It was tight and sharp, from the beginning to end. Those were the words that kept coming to my mind, through the witty, quick dialogue, the focus on the story at hand without many diversions, and the refreshing simplicity of the plot. There wasn’t anything fancy going on, but that focus what made this movie stand out a little for me from a typical bandit-western type story. The important characters were the two criminals and the two cops chasing them, and, I would argue, Texas. No frills. No one else to distract you. Continue reading “Hell or High Water”