Friday, 28 April 2017

Green Room | making good decisions

Finally got around to watching the two most interestingly weird films of 2016: The Neon Demon and Green Room. Both on Netflix.

I must say, the latter is far superior.

Green Room is pretty much a perfect film in my eyes. Talk about a functional film that also stays in your head for quite a while after you've seen it for all the right reasons...

Not only is Green Room suitably intense, well acted, gory, well scripted, tense, well paced and even quite fun, but it is also the most effective thriller I have ever seen (mainly because of these reasons).

In many ways this film reminded me of Hot Fuzz in that the majority of dialogue comes back round by the end to get closure. And man is that dialogue ever brilliant; there's no exposition here, every line feels authentic and natural (something films lately have been lacking, I've noticed) which only adds to the realism factor that is very prominent throughout the run time.

Something that also adds to the realism is the decisions made by the characters at certain points in the film.
You need to have a truly clever film to make a dumb decision pay off as character building. So many times do bland, unoriginal leads decide to touch that gooey alien- seed- pod looking object
 for no reason other than to advance the story.
Not here.
Instead characters make choices in the film that make sense for their character and the overall themes, sometimes for the best, most of the time for the worst.

But I was never left wondering why a character would do that, or go there, or kill that character, but instead their motivations are crystal clear from the get- go and empathetic, leading to me understanding each motive and decision with ease.

And as brutal and gory and angry as the film may be, it does have moments of humanity and humour.
At certain moments the scenario becomes so ridiculous that you just can't help but laugh at how absurd everything is. (In a lesser film, I'd question if this was intentional.)

All in all this really is a fantastic film, and I really can't wait to watch it again.
Green Room gets a tense 9/10.

(Ps, this film gets bonus points for having Patrick Stewart swear often and say the N word.)

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The Neon Demon | eh

Never before have I been so torn on a single film.

The Neon Demon is in essence very split in terms of overall narrative.
The story and characters are very simple and in no need of much interpretation, while the visuals and nuances of the cinematography are left up entirely to the audience 90% of the time.
This, to me, is the film's biggest "yay" and "eh".

Once I've seen a film I think to myself on how functional the film is (did it evoke any emotions that are in- keeping with the genre and actual intention of the film?). And usually I come to a conclusion relatively quickly.
Take Fargo:
I'd finished watching Fargo about half an hour before deciding to watch TND, and I came to the conclusion that Fargo is a very functional and important film for the genre.
But with TND I couldn't make up my mind.
Not only is it incredibly subversive of its genre, but it's also very difficult to understand what the director wanted, thematically, to come across in certain segments of the film.

Because of this I find it difficult to come to any proper conclusion for the film.
The characters and the story itself are pretty bland, as I said, but can be attributed to the themes at play; people and the outside would are boring but the world of fashion is spellbinding and classy. But even though the idea of having these essential cogs in the machine behave how they do makes sense on a thematic level, it's simply not enough to keep the same machine running.

But as everyone else says, the visuals really are exceptional.
Even Netflix not being able to run at full HD because of our shitty Virgin broadband couldn't detract completely from how dazzling the film looks.
But really, that's the biggest thing I can praise it for.

Ultimately I feel disappointed with TND, I feel as though the film had major issues balancing its priorities in too many ways for it to come out a successful film.
And this damaged the entire experience for me.

The Neon Demon gets a freaky 6/10.