With so many movies logging 2½ – 3hrs standard these days, its easy to forget how good, simply, a movie at an hour half can be. Again, very straightforward, well executed story delivered with a minor twist, the inspiration for the film, The Archer is a great survival/revenge story well worth a view.
While the direction is understated, often echoing the works of Cianfrance in its quiet demeanor, Lewis and Thomas add a lot of personality into the anxiety induced by the camera. The way the shots often linger on Katie’s boiling frustration, locking down her pacing with stewing medium closeups as she struggles to maintain stability, adds to the internal dilemma of the audience. The aforementioned question: “What would I do?” It gives us pause. Because at first glance, you may say to yourself that you would never consider something so dastardly. But the longer the film presses on, the more you attempt to rationalize. Until we ultimately feel culpable. The White Lie passes on to us. And in that aim, this is a film that undoubtably succeeds.
I don’t know how much of Spacewalker is historically accurate, but Leonov himself was a consultant on the picture and everything feels authentic enough. An overall lack of characterization ultimately makes the film less emotionally engaging than Apollo 13, though it’s certainly bursting with Russian pride. As such, it’s kind-of interesting to see the Space Race from a different point of view.
The film bears other similarities to Braveheart (besides fudging some historical details). In addition to giving us a main character who’s initially motivated by revenge, The Legend of Tomiris is highlighted by massive, lengthy battle sequences. Though not quite as visceral as those in Braveheart, they are big, brutal and bloody. I really like how these scenes show Tomiriis’ strategies unfolding just as she planned them.
The Sin of Nora Moran is creatively ambitious, narratively challenging and visually impressive. Unusual for American cinema of the era, it’s almost like an experimental film, yet still manages to be emotionally affecting. All-in-all, a nifty little gem worth discovering for adventurous viewers.
While The Painted Bird tells a compelling story (based on a Jerzy Kosiński novel), it is also relentlessly sombre and frequently horrifying. It’s the kind of film that leaves the viewer emotionally drained and one most will be content to experience just once. But love it or hate it – I can’t imagine much middle ground – nobody is likely to forget it.