Suburbicon unites director George Clooney with the celebrated Coen Brothers in this sharp, bitter 50's crime drama. After a home invasion rattles a seemingly perfect american neighbourhood, Matt Damon alongside Julianne Moore attempt to rebuild their lives by any means necessary.
Clooney's unstuck white picket murder mystery is a knife that keeps on twisting. The Coen Brothers' sumptuous style incorporated with Clooney's unconventional direction presents this year's most ambitious entry. This twisted tale of corruption and deception highlights, even in a glossy american dream setting, you can't change society only society can change.
Equally ambiguous in meaning: Suburbicon requires you to make of it what you will. It isn't a film that demands only one meaning but let's the viewer draw conclusions in whichever way they please. Isolated from its audience and no protagonist to empathise with, this perilous picture challenges you in a not only surprising but complex way. Slapping two contrasting ideas together however, the two don't quite gel sharing the same story - better to leave the second one out for a possible future Clooney picture.
Juxtaposed against the setting, this sickly sweet plastic town holds some of the most disturbing secrets. Suburbicon plays as a convincing 50's setting that is the for the most part used as a diversion of the senses. You're reassured its perfect reputation it upholds indicates no sign of danger - ultimately increases the shock value once things take a turn for the worse. Humour slotted into the cruelest moments delivered wonderfully by a line up of unhinged characters intensifies Suburbicon's delightfully sickening tone.
This toy town film noir has a winding narrative that never settles. Following the beginning fifteen minutes - Suburbicon is a lush stylistic piece that has its audience in a constant state of anxiety. Sinister, intelligent and applaudably subtle, the Coen brothers drop hints yet never reveal the full picture. Compelled by Clooney's sugary cinematography and a distinctive score screeching throughout; as the dark story spirals out of control the thrills only ramp up.
I am going to give Suburbicon:
Justice League finally arrives after much anticipation, controversy and drama. Directed once again by Zack Snyder; overseen by the notorious Joss Whedon due to Snyder's tragic departure from the project. As the world morns superman's death earth is flagged for a apocalyptic alien invasion. Chief villain Steppenwolf on the hunt for the world destroying mother boxes, Batman, along with the help of Wonder Woman, must assemble a team of unlikely heroes to save humanity itself.
Unite for DC's awaited dawn of justice. Snyder and Whedon join forces in an attempt to shake up DC's dull and unconvincing formula. A vivid colour template, a roster of fabulously fresh characters: 2017 sees a coming of age for the Batman led franchise.
Justice League thrives in being something other DC contenders failed to do - a fantastically fun, comic book adventure. It goes without saying Batman vs Superman and Suicide Squad breach no imagination and bog themselves down in a swamp of wooden scripting, painful pacing and horrendously boring storytelling. Justice League however, promises a new age of heroes and (with a helping hand) Snyder finally delivers.
Though it's mostly rushed and feels as if missing chunks of scenes and dialog are floating about the ether, it's a far better job done than before. Something quite magical about this unlikely team, is their gift of exciting abilities and contrasting personalities to sink your teeth into. The ensemble of excellent actors benefit from a smaller team as Justice League magnifies each hero rather than an avengers line up bursting out its seams.
Snyder's tour de force of stars zap, zoom and kapow in perfect symphony. Flavourful dialog captures the charm and unity as their worlds collide - vividly lifting these heroes from print to picture. Their own spin on the character adds colourful personality to DC's previous one note heroes; whether it's comic book accurate or not, it builds a unique league worth investing in.
As expected, Gal Gadot steals the show as Wonder Woman and seems to still be learning about the world and how human relationships work: it's an enjoyable shift to see her modern day self hot off the heals of Wonder Woman. Though Wonder Woman is the frontrunner, (personal influence has been noted), Snyder balances the team offering an evenly spread look at each hero. Ezra Miller's Flash is a sweet spot and Jason Momoa's Aquaman promises great things - along with Ben Affleck who outlines his authority as Batman and how good he is playing both the caped crusader and the man behind the mask.
It suffers primarily from a B-movie storyline followed by a C even D-movie villain. Both are serviceable but lack focus and prove that although DC are on the rise they still have some learning to do. Their past mistakes and disappointments should not been seen as a place to dwell but only a way of building themselves up to the top.
It's not perfect but it's good, very good in fact and sets up even more exciting things to come. Snyder brings colourful cinematography yet still captures the dark, brooding mood of Gotham. Whedon's lighter approach is noticeable and gives Snyder the boost he needs to ultimately win the heart of fans. Justice League offers an exciting look at newer crowd pleasing heroes and finally pieces the DCEU together.
I am going to give Justice League:
Paddington 2 sees the welcome return of our favourite marmalade loving bear. Directed once again by Paul King, Paddington 2 focuses on the young bear's new life with the Browns. With Aunt Lucy's forthcoming 100th birthday Paddington sets out to find her the perfect gift; a pop up book of London; only for it to be stolen!
This extraordinary brown bear sequel thrives as both a sweet and sharp marmalade fantasy, provoking a warm, fuzzy, almost tingling sensation inside - Paddington 2 unfolds page by page as a treasure trove of childhood delights.
Paddington Bear has offered us all a comforting paw to hold over the years, guiding us through the nasty little bits in life, providing us a remarkable escape from it all. He is a symbol, as a reminder of all the good in the world. At the core we find a strong, beating bear-heart with a whole lot of charisma that translates perfectly to the big screen.
Paddington 2 illustrates childlike fantasies in its own unique way. A delicate pop up book sequence plays as one of many poignant scenes in this pick n mix of imaginative visuals. Brought to life once again by the endearing Ben Whishaw, Paddington embodies Britain's Greatest Bear in perfect fashion. Perfect comic support is provides by the wonderful Hugh Grant, ably supported by Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville and the brilliant Brendan Gleeson - with a start studded list of cameo credits following.
Paddington 2 It doesn't over complicate or simplify its plot. King recognises his audience and hits with pitch perfect comedic timing - displaying many laugh out loud, often side splitting moments. It's self-awareness is key and invites you to delve into the sensationally silly yet wonderfully charming world it so proudly presents.
Stuck together as firmly as a marmalade sandwich, this is inspiring, uplifting and often dreamlike - driven by magical cinematography. Paddington 2 easily offers this year's most exceptional family outing.
I am going to give Paddington 2:
From 20th Century Fox comes the second big screen adaption of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express. Kenneth Branagh directs and leads as Hercule Poirot: as a train ride from Istanbul to London goes horrible wrong a group of strangers must band together in suspended isolation and help uncover a murderer.
Star Studded Steam Train speeds down the right track. Branagh's lavish reimagining of Agatha Christie's defining novel plays as a simple though exciting whodunnit. It doesn't do more than it needs to neither does it add much more than previous adaptations, but for a modern generation it's a murder mystery delight.
There's an undeniable British whit, brought to life by a sharp script. Branagh finds the right balance between whimsy and urgency, equally delivering an extraordinary performance as the monstrous moustache owner Hercule Poiroit. He sets a bizarre and particular standard for the iconic Belgium detective and proves he is as able directing a film as he is leading it.
Murder on the Orient Express' dazzling cinematography resonates against an isolated, snow caped backdrop. An opening landscape shot of Jerusalem's 'wailing wall' is one of many jewels making up a crown of delicate camera work.
Though it doesn't ask much of its co-stars, Branagh makes use of his roster of stellar actors. Well established if un-ambious, its by the book (quite literally), but for those who aren't familiar with the outcome it will most definitely surprise you.
An all star cast, driven by excellent direction - Murder on the Orient Express is a exuberantly enjoyable whodunnit. There's only so much one can do with the restrictions of its source material however Branagh successfully interprets Christie's luxuriously rich murder mystery for modern audiences.
I am going to give Murder on the Orient Express:
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.