Tag Archives: Willem Dafoe

Pasolini Review

Willem Dafoe, the man cannot do wrong. His performances are infectiously touching, they are intimate and cold as evidenced by Pasolini, but the legend of the figure behind the performance is close to the greatest working professional today. His range is incredible, and the style of his creativity is a genuine pleasure to watch. That is what makes Pasolini so engrossing, so invigorating to see, even for those who may not have seen a Pier Paolo Pasolini feature. As long as some semblance of interest there, that spark is enough to engage with this Dafoe performance, which takes on the final days of the Theorem and Accattone director.

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Adam Resurrected Review

Killing the traditional icon of stage comedy presents the birth and rebirth of what an audience can and can no longer connect with. Clowns were a staple of the circus. They likely still are. But for other mediums that moved on from the trivial history that surrounds the art of clownery, the repossession of painted faces and red noses has taken sinister turns. Stephen King’s IT or the less-remembered Killer Clowns from Outer Space both spring to mind. Taking on a new form as a tragic entity or horror beast is a long and winding road that leads audiences far, far away from what Adam Resurrected hopes to possess. Within this Paul Schrader-directed feature are the howls of Jerry Lee Lewis’ work on a holocaust drama that had a clown at the heart of it.

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Nightmare Alley Review

Ambition and nightmares fuse rather nicely throughout Nightmare Alley, a modern spin on the defiant, dormant neo-noir genre. Every so often, a creative will come along and be so sure of their abilities in reviving it. Naturally, whether the work they offer is great or godless, they are met with stirring reviews and a box office bomb. Nightmare Alley is on that course regardless and probably knew it. To know that and persevere is bold and inevitable because Nightmare Alley is a certainly grand film and far closer to the top of the Best Picture pile than any of the others to be given such a nod. It is at least filled with worldbuilding and experimentation, which is no surprise since Guillermo Del Toro helms this delightfully twisted feature.

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Inside Man Review

Armed robbers storm a Manhattan bank and this Spike Lee ensemble. What a loss Clive Owen was to the mainstream playing field. It is hard to tell why he dropped out of the spotlight after a strong track record. In the same year Inside Man, a braggadocious detective feature released, so too did Children of Men. On the up and up, it is hard to see a way down. But it is better to appreciate the cold and tense work he provided, rather than whatever he got up to after this. With tension looming and excitement growing, Inside Man is a slick and clear bit of film from Lee, whose running commentary on gang warfare and the rise of violent video games is as mixed as all his other messages.

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Spider-Man: No Way Home Review

With a grand ensemble like this, it is clear to see that director Jon Watts is acting on the orders of Marvel. Cram the well-refined characters of the Sam Raimi universe and the not-so intensified versions of the Andrew Garfield features into the Marvel meat grinder. Chow down on a big bowl of nostalgia, where once defined characters come together for a big, boring blowout. The Multiverse was hyped up long before Spider-Man: No Way Home was ever announced, yet it is still, in the words of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) something we know “frighteningly little” about.  

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The French Dispatch Review

Visual anthologies are hit or miss. There is, undoubtedly, going to be a segment that doesn’t work as well. It will feel bulky or slower. Rare it may be to find much balance; The French Dispatch at least tries to. Director Wes Anderson’s collection of fictional works of great journalism are the ensemble-heavy notes of love to the boundary-pushing journalists at the heart of great stories. Anderson’s sickly, Mr. Kipling French-Fancy variation of colour, technique and cinematography is abruptly halted. His stylistic dependency is changed. Most surprising of all for The French Dispatch is its reliance on drab tones. Black and white cinematography is the common treatment for these three stories. Reflect on the past, the simplicity of the times. That is the point, but in practice, it makes this latest feature from the distinct visual creator a bit run of the mill.

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Spider-Man 2 Review

Mad scientists mark a stream of bad luck for Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire). As if the steroid popping alter ego of Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) was bad enough, Spider-Man 2 has the web-slinging wunderkind square off against Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), a man inevitably tied to octopus-like villainy considering both his surname and forename start with an “O”. But the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man is burnt out. Smart scientists are here to blow up the city, but the twenty-nine-year-old teenager has other issues at hand. He has lost his job, no longer providing people with any form of pizza time, and his relationship with everyone around him is fraught with grief and an inability to focus.  

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Spider-Man Review

Passion. That is what Spider-Man can showcase. It and director Sam Raimi wear that on their sleeves. His love for the source material and desire to bring the fashionable world of web-slinging action to life is a bold and exciting attempt that, thanks to the joys of hindsight and nostalgia, feels far stronger than it did upon its initial release. Audiences clamour for the days when Danny Elfman and Willem Dafoe could be attached to a project about a man bitten by a radioactive spider, swinging his way through the streets of New York. Woody Allen wishes his love for New York were this strong, Spike Lee yearns for such passion, and Martin Scorsese wishes he could pull off a superhero movie this fun. Hell, he probably could. 

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Out of the Furnace Review

Violent crime is, inevitably, the only way out of the furnace. For two brothers stuck in the Rust Belt, that is their only salvation. Out of the Furnace, from the promising Crazy Heart director, Scott Cooper, sees men who wish for more. Don’t we all? They are not special. What sets them apart is striking good looks. But that is an inevitability of casting Christian Bale, rather than a character defect or advantage. Not all of us have the benefit of being a strapping young steelworker with a penchant for theft and violence. He will utilise those tools later on, because of course, he will. He was tailor-made for the deluge of danger he soon finds himself in. 

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Mr. Bean’s Holiday Review

We can never trust a man named after food. That snivelling weasel Linguini from Ratatouille. The Burger King. Stromboli from Pinocchio. Bean. No trust there. Mr. Bean’s Holiday thrusts him towards France after he pulls off a raffle heist of the century, switching his losing ticket for a winning one after a magic train takes it through a tunnel. The man is an idiot. A simpleton. That is the charm Rowan Atkinson brings to his portrayal of this loveable klutz. A man of this calibre could not exist in the real world. He barely lives on in the fictional lands he plagues, yet somehow Atkinson preserves a relatively nice charm that has lasted for decades. 

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