Film Brief: Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot

Gus Van Sant has been an important figure in Hollywood going back nearly 30 years to Drugstore Cowboy, and made the Cinematic Greats Good Will Hunting and Elephant.  Two Cinematic Greats by one director is quite an accomplishment.  His latest movie, the biopic Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot, contains some touching moments, but misses some obvious opportunities in telling its story — like focusing more on making the comics.  The performances are terrific and spirited.  A marginal recommendation with an extra helping of caveats, as this movie borders on being a slog and contains significant factual lapses that could only have improved the picture had they been correctly dealt with.  6/10

VOD Log: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead

Sidney Lumet’s last film features great performances by a top-notch cast but is structurally a mess, and does not bring much in the way of originality.  4/10



Comparison Notes (ranging from simply better to vastly superior): The Drop, Fargo, Jackie Brown, Killing Them Softly, A Simple Plan

Film Brief: Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace may be thought of as an antidote to Captain Fantastic.  There are some powerful elements to the film, but it’s not without its own issues and left me wanting for more.  Still, there’s a lot I did like about it, like walking across the bridge.  A marginal 7/10

Comparison Notes: American Honey, Into the Wild, 127 Hours, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Wolfpack, A Quiet Place, Swiss Army Man

Hereditary Encumbrances

You go into Hereditary thinking it’ll be some sort of wonderful all-out creepfest.  There is a definite creepiness factor, but the film morphs into yet another fairly conventional haunted house/haunted spirit flick.  For all of its careful consideration of factors such as visual design, Hereditary pays much less attention to presenting a strong compelling story.

Which is not to say it’s not compelling.  Certainly not boring.  But if you remove the miniatures, I doubt I’d recommend.  An absent starting title for no reason doesn’t help.  At least A24 didn’t revert back to the square frame on this one.

I’ve largely forgotten about this movie already, but in its immediate wake it did get under my skin a bit.  So — a begrudging 7/10.

Comparison Notes: Thelma, Poltergeist, Drag Me to Hell, and others in my Spirit” post, Rosemary’s Baby, The Shining, Psycho, The Ring, Cube, Mother!