Baby Driver [US – 2O17] – Short Review

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Nick Cabelli for Cinetalk.net

Baby Driver is a ‘car chase’ movie by Edgar Wright with only 2 brief car chases and 1 scene of mild parcour. The guy from Madmen is one of the thugs, Jamie Foxx is another thug, Kevin Spacey is the head thug, yadda yadda. Two whitebread leads [Ansel Elgort and Lily James], terrible lip-syncing, a selection of tunes so facile that a cursory search for “top 10 [genre] songs” would generate most of the film’s soundtrack, and a plot that is pure convenience leaves this flick full of good performers delivering terrible dialogue until they can get to the next plot point. For a movie that is both narratively and stylistically centered on music, Continue reading

The Bad Batch [USA, 2O16]

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Nick Cabelli for Cinetalk.net

The Bad Batch follow the trials and tribulations of a [mostly] unnamed female protagonist in a cordoned-off section of Texas treated as some sort of laissez faire penal colony, where a bunch of genderfluid body builders survive off cannibalizing their prisoners. The Bad Batch is like a mean Escape from New York in the desert which somehow aims to address ethics and the social construction of morality but which gets distracted by babes, hunks, drugs and romance. The Bad Batch is full of style, attitude and personality, but is emotionally all over the place and narratively meandering. Parts of The Bad Batch are boring and pretentious, and yet it is a film with some new and interesting ideas and memorable characters. A standout scene features the demi-cannibalized protagonist suffering silently through some body-image issues, but like a wandering Philip K Dick book, it might be more enjoyable to remember the interesting parts of this film months from now than to actually enjoy yourself while watching it.

The main character [Suki Waterhouse [Love, Rosie, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies]—who says one line in the first half hour, and whose name is revealed only about twenty minutes from the end—serves as Continue reading

It Comes at Night (USA – 2017) – Short Review

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for Cinetalk.net

It Comes at Night is Trey Edward Shults’ second feature starring Joel Edgerton (Black mass, Midnight special) Carmen Ejogo (Selma, Alien: Covenant) and Christopher Abbott (A most violent year, James White)

A world threat, coming under the form of a virulent disease, forces a family to isolate itself under a set of rules. The sudden arrival of another family seeking refuge puts their domestic order and empathy to test.

It Comes at Night is your behind closed doors – let-them-come-I’m ready- minimalist take on the end of civilization. It shares the pessimistic views on the subject of pictures like Time of the Wolf (2003), The Road (2009) Take Shelter (2011) and countless others. It pretty much covers known territories to film buffs of the 21st century, basically making honest and efficient use of what looks like a shoestring budget. Yet it is not totally successful in Continue reading

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

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Nick Cabelli for Cinetalk.net

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a swashbuckling PG-13 fantastical science fiction adventure, starring Chris Pratt [Jurassic World, Parks and Recreation] Zoe Saldana [Avatar, Star Trek], Kurt Russell [um this guy’s been in movies since the 195Os, let’s say The Thing, Captain Ron and Death Proof] and an ensemble cast of dancing trees and talking rodents, written and directed by James Gunn [Guardians of the Galaxy, Dawn of the Dead]. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 delivers on its faux-mix tape title, giving audiences what they want in a film which can be considered either as an expansion on the characters and themes of the first movie or a total rehash. Either way, the result is a sparkly, glistening 3D-enabled space romp adventure with more personality than a dozen big grim movies.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 relies heavily on characters and story arcs established in the first film, and a newcomer to the franchise TM might be left in the dark if indeed the details of the earth-life of some sassy quipper named ‘Star Lord’ are all that relevant to the popcorn munching experience. A wafer-thin plot is armature to hang big action set pieces and Continue reading

Life [US – 2o17]

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Nick Cabelli for Cinetalk.net

Life is an R-rated science fiction movie, with elements of action, horror and melodrama directed by Daniel Espinosa [who?] and starring Jake Gyllenhaal [Donny Darko, Nightcrawler], Rebecca Ferguson [The Girl on the Train, Mission:Impossible] and Ryan Reynolds [Deadpool, Van Wilder]. Written by the people behind Deadpool—a film whose success is the biggest reason why there are suddenly big budget R-rated genre films coming out of America—Life starts with a promising premise and timeless sci-fi trope, a crew of astronauts investigating alien life on the claustrophobic International Space Station. Life has a strong first act with tension, humour, visual spectacle, brooding doom and doom delivered. Unfortunately, Continue reading