An audacious and demented film, tailor-made for its recent Midnight Madness slot at the Toronto International Film Festival, Julia Ducournau’s Titane also has intimations of profundity - quite a claim for a film about a woman who is impregnated by a car.
The film version of the multiple Tony Award–winning hit Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen is a mixed bag and a wonky adaptation that doesn’t always quite scan. Yet I’d be lying if I didn’t say that despite its flaws, it’s also strangely affecting.
Rarely do remakes capture the lightning in the bottle of the source material. But The Guilty does, no doubt in part because screenwriter Nic Pizzolatto, best known for the True Detective series, drafted Gustav Möller, who wrote the original screenplay for and directed the original. Whether a remake was needed remains debatable, but the vision remains intact.
There’s not even a useful exploration about the gap between ideologues’ shoddy personal ethics and big picture rationalizations. What’s left is pantomime, a Halloween costume movie about characters who are far too simple-minded to explain the Bakker’s extraordinary, dubious success.
The praise for the film — a one-man show by a Korean-American filmmaker at a time of heightened anti-Asian racism and a focus on unjust immigration policies — is understandable. But the film itself is a disappointment, a message film that relies far too much on artless, melodramatic contrivances for its emotional impact.
What makes Cry Macho fascinating to watch, even in an uncomfortable high-wire act way, is Eastwood — stoop-shouldered, sometimes pausing in his dialogue, but determinedly taking on a character he probably should have taken on back in 1988 when he was first approached about doing the part.
Yakuza Princess is a passable actioner with a few memorable scenes, the highlight of which is a fight in a karaoke bar (yes, MASUMI gets the chance to sing). But it’s unable to get beyond a level of mediocrity, and MASUMI’s performance fails to resonate with the sufficient conviction required of her role.
What the film lacks in traditional scares, it makes up for with an unsettling scenario that plays slowly throughout the film, indicating harsher realities even legends can't compete with. And DaCosta's vision is highly stylized, accented with performances that resonate with disquieting accuracy.
Anyone considering a movie called American Sausage Standoff (a.k.a. Gutterbee) should expect an odd comedy, though they might not expect one quite as eccentric as this Western by Danish actor-turned-director Ulrich Thomsen.
Animation director Jane Samborski’s richly eclectic miscellany of visual styles depict a bestiary of mythic creatures and outré scenes of sex and violence that are matched to director/writer Dash Shaw’s allegorical narrative.