I figured somewhere on Rotten Tomatoes that I’d find a capsule I could swallow, but no such luck.
So, here’s mine: a terrific and unexpected first half, a let-down in the second half, and lots of great thematic elements and rich gothic atmosphere that’s never fully exploited. Crimson Peak deserved a story with ever-more eventful intrigue, but it falls way short — as if the writers became further and further bogged down in their own thick red mire. Still, there’s some enjoyment to be had, so a marginal recommendation. 6/10
The Double, an adaptation of the Dostoyevsky novella, earns lots of style points, with its bleak, Eraserhead-conjuring industrial world. The writer-director Richard Ayoade certainly has an idea. But this movie is fairly pointless, and worse, not entertaining.
With Synecdoche, New York, Birdman, Fight Club, Secret Window, The Machinist and Moon, and the granddaddy of all, Mulholland Dr., there is little reason to watch this rather weak take on the doppelgänger sub-genre. 4/10
Sometimes when watching a movie, I get the feeling that I am seeing a series of scenes strung together with little or no cohesion binding them together. I’ll often throw out the word “disjointed” to describe such a film. It’s another way of saying the film lacks a strong narrative thrust; the first two-thirds or so of Maps to the Stars suffered in this way.
It’s a sort of heartless, anti-Grand Canyon, or perhaps a weak cross of The Uninvited, Mulholland Dr. and The Player. Inherent Vice kept running through my mind as well. I found Maps to the Stars driving me, but ultimately it’s a broken picture that can’t put a spark to the kindling it has assembled. Very much on the fence with this one, because there was a lot I did like. A marginal thumbs-down; 5/10.
Note: I saw this film in-theater, but it is also available via VOD.
Updated 3/9/15: upgraded to 6/10
Looks intriguing. Credit to The Verge, which has developed from a more or less exclusively tech-oriented site (when known as This Is My Next) to a very wide-ranging news, opinion and lifestyle destination, still though with a heavy emphasis on tech. Lately The Verge has had a number of features on the situation with Syria.
Stoker, with Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Matthew Goode, smolders and smolders, but never quite catches a full fire. With good and mysterious performances by all and a well-stylized production, this movie entertains. I am glad I saw it, but it has plot problems — not enough meat on its bones. 6/10.
This movie made me think about Lars von Trier’s great movie Antichrist, and the movies I really love. I want a movie to stick in my brain, otherwise what’s the point? Though I liked Stoker, I hardly think I’ll remember it a few years from now. More on Antichrist later. Now there’s a movie no one can forget.
Matthew Goode and Mia Wasikowska in Stoker