Ben has written 79 reviews for films during 2021.
The Green Knight 2021
An absorbing, chronic and alluring film pleasurably hazy in both structure and aesthetic, The Green Knight is an incredible cinematic achievement from director David Lowery.
I won’t pretend that I fully grasped everything this film was trying to express, Lowery’s artistic thematic work is very hard to digest after one watch. This is a beautifully directed film, from the visuals to the performances, everything Lowery does is assured and awe-inspiring. From the lingering cinematography to the brilliant shot selection the…
The Gateway 2021
The Gateway is a drab and unfocused film which ungracefully gets hauled in too many different directions. It’s yet another film with character development so weak that multiple character actors are brought in to cameo, as the filmmaker struggles to develop the protagonist narratively. The protagonist is written to solely bounce off the side characters, as he lacks any individual substance, generally the characters carry a lack of substance across the board. Bruce Dern is incredible, it’s so disappointing to…
He's All That 2021
He’s all that isn’t quite as vomit inducing as expected but it’s far from competent and its a very sluggish addition to Mark Waters’ tiring filmography.
The film presents us with immediately unlikeable characters who exist in a glossy, overly-polished world with weirdly sickening backdrops. The lack of relatability in the protagonists as characters is partly due to the complete lack of chemistry between the leads. However the blame can’t all be put on the actors, this is a horrifically…
After Love 2020
After Love is a wonderful cross-cultural examination of betrayal, grief and the duality of character.
Joanna Scanlan gives what must be a career best performance here, she is endlessly compelling while giving a beautifully unburdened but coercive performance. Nathalie Richard and Talid Ariss are also excellent, each character is used in such a clever way narratively, the parallels between Mary and Genevieve can be credited to some of the strongest writing I’ve come across in quite some time. The film…
Really Love 2020
Really Love boasts excellent chemistry between leads Kofi Siriboe and Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing. The pair are both individually charismatic enough for their relationship to be believable and interesting throughout.
Other than the performances, there isn’t an awful lot of substance to hold onto here. The script is stiff, the dialogue is often awkward and the story is overly predictable. Not once did I feel challenged by the film thematically or amazed by the film visually, but that’s not to say that…
Fear Street: 1978 2021
The second Fear Street film continues to accumulate a cohesive story while providing some solid standalone horror. I struggled to gather my thoughts after part one due to the unanswered foretelling and build up of the films lore, Part two is also frenetic in it’s existence as a piece in this trilogy. As such the film can feel hesitant in providing resolution and parts of the film can feel awkward when the story focuses on narrative teasing.
The Fear Street…
I’ve never fully connected with Blompkamp’s work but I never expected the man to make a film as mundane and lifeless as Demonic.
This feels like an experimental film for Blompkamp to try out some new technology and effects. The barren story wrapped around the effects is inherently inaccessible, and runs out of steam as soon as the “dream sequences” become repetitive. The writing is repetitive and the characters feel completely distant from the narrative. The films biggest blow is…
The Last Letter from Your Lover 2021
The Last Letter from Your Lover begins with a tinge of confusion as two storylines are introduced with noticeable discrepancy but with little context. The film then makes the past and present storylines distinguishable, leaving only Shalaine Woodely’s story being told in a non-linear fashion. Felicity Jones’ story is told linearly, the two different narrative approaches can be confusing, and there is a noticeable struggle to cleanly adapt the complexly told novel. The non-linear storytelling can also provide a few…
The Suicide Squad 2021
Putting together a stronger Suicide Squad film than 2016’s disaterclass doesn’t seem like the most demanding task, but James Gunn’s outing is not only levels above it’s forgotten predecessor, but levels above the majority of recent DC projects. The Suicide Squad is a sharp, agile and wonderfully violent film, that I think manages to stand out from the other overwrought post-deadpool superhero outings.
James Gunn is a severe improvement from David Ayer, every actor who was in the previous film…
Boss Level 2021
Joe Carnahan is creative enough for Boss Level to surprisingly lack repetitiveness, however the ability to surpass time-loop conventions doesn’t correlate with the ability to build a comprehensible narrative.
Boss Level is an incredibly rushed action thriller with genuinely interesting plot developments, characters and action sequences. However the interesting parts of the films being rushed help elongate the less interesting parts, making for an unnecessarily turbulent and vacillating film. One of the main problems is Frank Grillo’s lack of charisma,…
Pig is a reticent and appropriately wistful film, boasting a perfectly enigmatic Nicolas Cage performance.
The cryptic but readable display of emotion through Cage’s performance creates a wonderful build up of emotion and sentiment that helps ground what could’ve been an overly distant narrative piece. Cage has great chemistry with Alex Wolff, who’s character not only provides some comic relief but allows Cage’s character to feel more personal and understandable. The enigmatic storytelling works brilliantly as a force working against…
How It Ends 2021
How it Ends raises genuinely interesting questions and in turn provides a very unenthusiastic and uninteresting resolution to said questions. They don’t meaningfully explore any of these themes, the idea of reflecting with your younger self becomes drained very quickly and the entire concept of the end of the world is handled in a strangely prevailing way despite the films idiosyncratic and slightly overbearing energy.
The inherently ominous plot is directed with such as weird amiable energy that makes the…