A biologist enters a mysterious area called “The Shimmer” to discover the reason behind several disappearances.
Annihilation is an experience. Each visual, sound and bit of music immerses you into the world presented, putting you in the shoes of the characters. Writer and director Alex Garland (Ex Machina) gives every moment in the Shimmer both a sense of dread and wonder at the same time, bolstered by the beautiful cinematography from Rob Hardy. The characters are interesting in how they are not completely 100% good or bad, each one giving a different performance on how their characters view the strange situations of the story. It drags a bit in the first act, but when Annihilation gets going, it’s fantastic.
Two friends create a plan to murder the stepfather of one of them.
Cory Finley’s debut feature is…. something. The tone can be jarring, but it really works in many of the scenes, having some darkly humorous moments. The deadpan acting is rather mixed, with Olivia Cooke’s character working due to the character’s lack of emotion, but Anya Taylor-Joy’s performance feeling odd, given the character is supposed to “feel everything”. The late Anton Yelchin gives the best performance as the creepy Tim, however, playing a hateable but weirdly funny character. Finley’s camerawork and editing also adds on to the uncomfortable feeling, with several long takes featured in the film. It’s probably not a film for everyone, but anyone into strange films with insane protagonists will probably like this.
A former ballerina becomes a type of Russian agent called a “Sparrow”, and faces potential danger when she is confronted with the possibility of becoming a double agent for the CIA.
Watching Red Sparrow, I thought director Francis Lawrence (Hunger Games sequels) was the wrong choice for this film, as his style doesn’t fit with the dark tones of the film. The leads, Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton, also seem bored throughout the film, very rarely feeling like they’re invested in the intensity of certain scenes. It’s another example for me where the supporting cast is much better, with this film mainly coming from Matthias Schoenaerts and Jeremy Irons. I also have to give the film credit for not holding back on a lot of the graphic material seen in the film. It’s rare to see a really hard R rating in mid-budget film from big studios nowadays, but I’m glad Fox is still keeping them alive, even if they’re not always the best.
A Wrinkle In Time
A young girl, her brother and friend travel through the universe to find her father, with an evil force taking the shape of darkness in their way.
Ava DuVernay’s (Selma) new film is one that is full of clichés and dialogue/moments you’ve seen plenty of times before. But the film has a surprising amount of scientific terms and talk in the screenplay when compared to usual kids film like it, which makes me appreciate its ambitions more. The lead, Meg Murry (Storm Reid) is likable, and I did believe her struggle from the disappearance of her father. Surprisingly, the best performances were from minor roles from the characters played by Michael Pena and Zach Galifianakis, both having very strange and intriguing characters that take over the scenes they are in. It must also be noted that the film’s visual style is diverse, with a new type of landscape in nearly every scene.