With A Cure for Wellness, director Gore Verbinski returns to the glossy horror of his meandering 2002 remake of The Ring. An ambitious whiz kid executive, Lockhart (Dane DeHaan) is tasked with travelling to an unorthodox “wellness centre” in the Swiss Alps in search of the company CEO who seems to have permanently left his business pursuits behind. Lockhart’s pressing need to bring his boss back to New York – so that he can sign off on a company merger among other things – seems lost on the centre employees, especially Dr. Volmer (Jason Isaacs) who stresses the importance of “the cure” and his distaste for the complexities of modern life. “The cure” it seems, involves frequently drinking, swimming and being submerged in the water that runs through the Alps; careerist ideals are the illness. Continue reading “Review: A Cure for Wellness”
Burdened with superhuman focus, agility and the ability to kill busloads of criminal cohorts, former assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is back after doling out revenge for the death of his dog Daisy and the theft of his vintage Mustang. Only a few days after the previous film – a satisfying action epic that continues the recent trend of hearty, fulfilling action movies like Mad Max: Fury Road and The Raid – John is visited by an Italian crime lord Santino D’Antonio in the home he made with his late wife. Contractually obliged by form of a “blood oath”, John is told he must work for D’Antonio despite his retirement. John refuses and the mobster leaves his home in ruins. Continue reading “Review: John Wick Chapter 2”
Se7en is less violent than I imagine most people would remember. Its ugly, damp, mordant atmosphere perfectly introduced with an intricately stylised, morbid and scattered opening credit sequence belies a lack of violence. The creative, grizzly murders left behind for detectives Somerset and Mills – Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt – to dissect and analyse leave such an impression as to make us feel like we’ve actually witnessed the events. In David Fincher’s 1995 crime hellscape masterpiece, we are left to voyeuristically peer at what is left in the wake of violence. Continue reading “Classic Review: Se7en (1995)”
What a great treachery that will be!
This review contains spoilers. It is advised that you watch the film before reading this review.
In his made-for-TV documentary Wings of Hope, Werner Herzog details the account of Juliane Koepcke, soul survivor of the 1971 LANSA Flight 508 – an aircraft carrying 92 passengers that broke up mid-flight after a lightening strike over the Peruvian jungle. Continue reading “Classic Review: Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972)”
When M.Knight Shyamalan sent James McAvoy the script for his film Split, the actor emailed back “What’s my characters name?” “Um, just read it” McAvoy plays Kevin Wendell Crumb, inflicted with a severe case of dissociative identity disorder (DID) and host to 23 differing identities. His most dangerous, steely personality Dennis kidnaps three teenage girls from a birthday party and keeps them captive in a labyrinth of underground tunnels – home to his ever-changing identity. The three girls are subject to the different egos and their unpredictable behavior. Continue reading “Review: Split”
La La Land follows two souls, connected by their shared struggle to fulfill their desires in the city of dreams. Mia (Emma Stone) is an aspiring actress who earns her living as a barista but spends most of her free time practicing for and going to auditions. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a musician with an affinity for jazz; strong willed and stubborn, he isn’t swayed by criticism, drives an uninsured car because he doesn’t have a steady job and his apartment is filled with unpacked boxes. Continue reading “Review: La La Land”
Jacob’s Ladder is a high dive into the fractured mind of Jacob Singer; a divorced Vietnam War veteran who carries the mental scars of war and the loss of his youngest child with him. The film opens with his battalion under attack from an unseen enemy. Panic, unease and chaos usually accompany war scenes as they do here, but in this case we understand something unusual is happening though it is unclear what. In the aftermath of these disturbing events, Jacob is taunted by what he can only describe as demons, hellish beings. Some of them are without faces; sometimes they pull him out of reality, bring him close to death and lay bare his issues. Continue reading “Classic Review: Jacob’s Ladder (1990)”