With a penchant for press relations, Clint Eastwood in the later stages of the 1990s was obsessed by the charms and cutthroat nature of newspaper reporting. True Crime is better for showcasing that rougher edge than Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, his preceding piece to the against-the-clock thrills found in True Crime. Murder is still the key to this feature, with a reporter usurped by a sudden revelation in a case he is covering. A classic case of getting too close to your sources, and the dangers of that are adapted briskly and intensely by Eastwood. He ducks behind the camera and throws John Cusack into the spotlight. It is a sink or swim situation for the up and comer.
Those grotty streets of London town have been traipsed by so many greats wishing to adapt the role of Sherlock Holmes to the big screen. As unlikely a candidate Robert Downey Jr. may be, his eponymous role as Sherlock Holmes under the watchful eye of director Guy Ritchie is well-rounded and realised with a love for the source material. It takes certain leniencies with the broad stylings of Arthur Conan Doyle, and represents them with a cluttered, comfortable iconography. With such a dedication to the role, it is unsurprising that Sherlock Holmes, while not the most faithful of adaptations, is still a tremendous turn for all included. Characters and casting choices that feature around the titular role make for an effective crash of Doyle’s best bits.
Eventually, we will be overrun by robots. So many films are saying it will happen, and I am hard-pressed to agree with them. A.I. Artificial Intelligence sees the world in a panic. Rising sea levels have wiped out a good chunk of us, and in the place of these casualties, artificial intelligence is created and brought to the world. They struggle with their emotions, and cannot convey them whatsoever. That sounds like me, honestly. The key for A.I. Artificial Intelligence, then, is that director Steven Spielberg wishes to access the idea that these man-made machines will soon develop emotions. That is why humans are necessary, to depict those of us who are genuine, and those that are artificial, created to kindle happiness and efficiency.
With a smirk and a wink to camera opening nearly every episode, Jude Law provides us with his finest role to date. A bold statement to make, but when you have ten episodes to flesh out a character as seemingly villainous and traditional as Pope Pius XII, you must hit the ground running. That he does, and Law provides audiences magnificent tension throughout The Young Pope, a series from director Paolo Sorrentino. What a superb pairing the two makes, and in turn they make some of the most dependable, engaging television the modern era will ever see. It is a fascinating, near-perfect piece of drama, with stories flowing over and around characters who grapple with their conscience and faith under the strained formalities of Vatican City living.
Virtual Reality really does feel fresh in our minds right now. Thanks to its mainstream advent, throwing away the novelty first applied to the bulky, nauseating feeling of being in a completely different environment. As the trends of gaming now swing toward trying to impress newcomers with flash technology that can turn their living room into a battlefield or a meadow, it’s rather comforting to see that director David Cronenberg had his say on the subject twenty years ago. How dangerous Virtual Reality could become if thrown into the wrong hands is investigated thoroughly well in Cronenberg’s final 20th century outing, and is perhaps one of his strongest films.
Seems quite topical really, doesn’t it? The first film I watch on the beginning of a new mini project while I spend my time in self-isolation, sitting on a throne of toilet paper and surrounded by cans of chilli should be a film that gives me a glimpse of the outside world. The closest I will come to seeing the light of day ever again having sealed the door to my bunker, Contagion looks to demonstrate the effective measures a competent government would put into place when a global pandemic starts bumping off the population at an alarming rate. Continue reading Contagion (2011) Review