White God may well be the best dog-centered movie ever made: violent, visceral, sobering, and even epic at its best. It’s the only movie in existence where you can see a throng of malcontented mutts charging through the abandoned streets of a city under curfew. And yet it still falls so short of perfection, from the generic Zimmer-like music to its abundant head-scratching moments that leave you going, “Waaaaa? Did they really just do that for the sake of moving the plot along?” Watch the trailer, then if you don’t mind seeing realistic depictions of animal cruelty, pull up the movie on that one streaming service to observe all the scenes conveniently omitted from the trailer.
In any case, it’s curious to me how the same man who made Do the Right Thing, a movie that seems to ridicule blacks’ desire for inclusion in every club (“Why aren’t there any brothers on this wall?”), would get so upset about the lack of non-white actors at the liberal American circle jerk that is the Academy Awards. Do the Right Thing, it appears, is too smart for even its own creator to understand.
I would recommend Spring Breakers to aspiring filmmakers who want to see how editing and cinematography and music can reinforce tone and communicate emotion in place of dialogue – in short, to anyone who wants to know how an effective movie is put together. This wordless montage in particular is one of the most emotive scenes I’ve yet encountered. I would not recommend Spring Breakers to my parents.
the soundtrack by Tracey Thorn is superb, one of 2015’s best, and the storytelling nothing if not unique. I just wish it was more likeable.
Kumiko: The Treasure Hunter had one of the more oddball premises of 2014, concerning a Japanese girl who obsesses over the movie Fargo and progressively ruins her life in search of the money bag buried by Steve Buscemi. It has visual humor, it has beautiful coloring, and I’d recommend it wholeheartedly if the main character wasn’t a conniving, two-timing thief. Unlike every other movie in this post, it’s also safe for the whole family, though kids under a certain age will probably find it boring as Fargo.
Nothing need be said about Ennio Morricone’s score to The Mission. If only the rest of the movie was as compelling for all of its two hours. The Mission, unfortunately, is kind of an agenda film first and a story second. That doesn’t mean it isn’t moving in places, or that it doesn’t document a very ugly period in imperial and church history, but I don’t remember much of anything about the characters. Robert De Niro liked stabbing people with his sword and Jeremy Irons let a bunch of women and children die because he didn’t believe in violence. What a maroon!
prototypically 90s big-beat score (complete with Massive Attack), while the latter literally put me to sleep. Only cinephiles or fans of Chemical Brothers/Aphex Twin-style music should investigate.
Pink Floyd’s going to pay for it.