11 April 2015

Frank's Film Recap: What I Watched this Week


I've been spending a bit of time over the past couple of weeks trying to catch up with my never-ending movie watch list. Because spring and summer are usually quieter when it comes to big movies I tend to do most of my catching up then. This is what I watched over the past 7 days.

Even though I am not a sic-fi connoisseur I know my way around a space-time continuum and a wormhole. Having watched other titles like District 9, which tackle the low-budget approach to the genre with mind-blowing creativity, I was excited to watch something along these lines.
The plot is not necessarily full of unexpected twists and turns but I found it interesting enough to continue watching. Perhaps what made me appreciate it the most was the very elegant and restrained way in which they used their special effects budget. Definitely enjoyable, especially for those who appreciate the beauty of filmmaking.

As I said recently on my first movie post I enjoy watching mostly everything – you're not always in the mood for a five star film. And that was exactly my mood when I chose to watch Focus.
It was definitely easy to watch but in that way that makes you want to check your Instagram every 10 minutes. The script runs on cliche after cliche and feels proud of its carefully choreographed and absolutely unbelievable pick-pocketer scenes. Its attempt to be slick and stylish reads more like and overproduced and tacky episode of Revenge. It's a great movie choice to have playing in the background on a lazy Sunday in.

I had been waiting quite some time to watch this documentary, which won the Oscar for tis genre this past February. A real-life government conspiracy is usually enough to make a good story but when the topic is currently hot news and told by a talented director it also makes a gripping and informative film. I especially enjoyed its very sincere and non-sensationalist tone, which shows the human side of everyone involved and doesn't make a hero out of Snowden. This one will most definitely keep you from checking you phone for the entire 114min in runs.

Lost River
I only read movie reviews after watching them myself – mainly because I probably wouldn't watch half of the films I do if I did. In this case, my flatmate made sure I was aware of the very few stars Ryan Gosling's directorial debut had received.
It wasn't a bad film – the art direction and photography alone made it something worth watching for me. If you're a fan of Gosling you'll easily recognise all of his favourites – 80's Americana and neon lights, a touch of dark gospel and voodoo à la Monkey Island and a love for finding the beauty in decay. Matt Smith's, Iain De Caestecker's and Ben Mendelsohn's performances are some of the highlights of a movie that is perhaps too overindulgent but that makes it hard for visual freaks life myself to say anything really bad about the film.

Remember you can follow my movie-watching on my Letterboxd film diary.

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