Thursday, December 15, 2016

Three Films Make A Post: The emotions are real, everything else is questionable.

Wither aka Vittra (2012): Do you like Sam Raimi’s original Evil Dead? So do Swedish directors Sonny Laguna and Tommy Wiklund, so they made this near-remake. Alright, there are a few differences: the possessed aren’t as chatty as those in Raimi’s classic and sometimes act more like zombies, nobody is raped by a tree, all colour has been desaturated out of the picture, and there’s no Bruce Campbell to be found. Otherwise the film keeps rather to close to its big inspiration without ever reaching its energy level nor its air of unbridled creativity, which is what happens when one plays in other peoples’ sandbox instead of building one’s own.

The gore is nice to look at though, and the film certainly isn’t boring.

Black Rock (2012): Katie Aselton’s film, on the other hand, sets out to play the good old game of role and trope reversal with the survival horror genre. The film isn’t interested in being ironic, though, so it’s still very much a highly focused survivalist thriller, but one with added feminist subtext that doesn’t overwhelm the text, and a deft hand at slightly undercutting expectations in favour of better characterisation. The acting by Aselton herself, Lake Bell and Kate Bosworth is fine too, so there’s little here that doesn’t work rather wonderfully. Which is not a daily occurrence in a sub-genre whose tales about thin veneers of civilization breaking down again and again and again can become a bit tiresome.

Star Trek Beyond (2016): Reboot Star Trek the third, this time directed by Justin Lin (who actually manages to shoe-in a motorcycle sequence into the plot) is a very pleasant loud SF adventure movie, containing many a moment of great and loveable silliness, much loud and rather exciting adventuring, various explosions, generally rather stiff acting – basically all the charms I hope for in a contemporary blockbuster. It’s not up to Marvel standards in sudden bouts of humanity or half-hidden cleverness, but it’s far beyond (sorry) Michael Bay style blockbusting by virtue of having an actual flow, a story that makes some kind of sense, and by being actually fun instead of just being loud and obnoxious.

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