1999 | David O. Russell
Russell’s cynical Gulf War film, shot and presented in a very journalistic style, seeks to deliberately detach us from its characters and their motives. We are merely observers, intended to be emotionally removed from the actions of Major Archie Gates (Clooney), Sergeant Troy Barlow (Wahlberg), Sergeant Chief Elgin (Ice Cube) and PFC Conrad Vig (Spike Jonze) as they chase down the hidden bunkers of Saddam Hussein, rumoured to be filled with stolen Kuwaiti gold, just like the journalists following them, desperate to find great stories about a war recently finished.
Continue reading “Three Kings | B”
2000 | Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
The Coen Brothers are no strangers to quirky, offbeat cinema. In the thirty years they have been producing, writing, directing and editing their films, their unique brand of metaphorical humour has shared time with their unbelievable knack for chilling drama. Never more than ambiguous, almost every film contains some aspect of deliberate humour, whether the film calls for it not, and more often than not it works. Continue reading “O Brother, Where Art Thou? | B+”
2009 | Wes Anderson
Creating a stop-motion animated adaptation of a children’s film and ensuring its multi-generational appeal is no easy task. A task so difficult it’s hard to think of a time when it’s ever been done. Of course there have been stop-motion animation successes such as Chicken Run and Corpse Bride, and there have certainly been adult adaptations of children’s books (Mel Stuart’s Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, another Roald Dahl story, immediately comes to mind) but it’s hard to recall a merging of two incredibly difficult styles being executed not only together, but executed perfectly. Continue reading “Fantastic Mr. Fox | A-“