Thursday, 12 January 2017

What's on at the Movies? reviews

Two Show-Stoppers for Holiday Entertainment 


Instant appeal to people who love high  quality Hollywood musicals


La La Land. The title says it all. I thought I wouldn't like it. But most things about this musical were sheer class. Dancing, singing, story line. Faultless. It won me over. La La Land blends girl meets boy along with which way is up. It's Hollywood happiness pure and simple. The future can go this way or that way. By the end of the film we had two versions of what might have been, but only one way can and does lead to La La Land. There's a hint of things to come from the freeway frenzy choreography. It arrives with in-step, pitch perfect brilliance, looking out over the city, up on observatory hill. Ok, that's all that's not just good about this movie, but exceptionally good. However, I didn't feel the score was compelling, but the performances of Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling made it so. And maybe the story really didn't handle all that well the odd bits of philosophy of art and life thrown in. But will anything stop this bit of Hollywood magic on it''s way from Golden Globes to Oscars. 4.5 stars from me, and although I'm a convert, once was enough. I'm David Bell for Cinemaddicts.


The equivalent of a book that can't be put down. Sublime blend of image, script and poet's text


Paterson. The name of a city. Paterson. The name of a bus driver who was born there. Fragments of poems form in the small details of Paterson's working and home life. Visually compelling, as shots and angles become the vehicles for lines and eventually stanzas. It's all in the detail. Each character, Paterson, wife and homemaker and cupcake champion Laura, and others, especially, Marvin, the English bulldog, perhaps on the brink of being snatched for dog-fights, - each is a study in being comfortable in solitude and company. Binding the whole is crafted, compelling performance. Iranian born Golshifteh Farahani and Adam Driver infuse their own love of the story into realistic warmth and depth. Underneath the spell of ambient happiness are deeper threats. An intrusive dream of twins, a fake gun waved by a lovesick actor, and the ultimate temptation of Marvin. Binding the whole back together is the chance? encounter with a Japanese poet at Paterson's great waterfall. What next? Director Jim Jarmusch's film could be in every English Lit 101 paper but should be on everyone's list of must see. More than 5 stars. More is necessary. David Bell for Cinemaddicts.