Fatal Attraction

“What am I supposed to do? You won’t answer my calls, you change your number. I mean, I’m not gonna be ignored, Dan!”

Review by Lewis Goodall

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Fatal Attraction, directed by Adrian Lyne, is an anxiety inducing nightmare of the dangers of having a one night stand. Dan’s (Michael Douglas) wife is away visiting her family for the weekend. While his wife is away, he is drawn to Alex (Glenn Close), a business associate with eyes that say “I can be discreet if you know what I mean”. After a night of nookie nookie (sex), Dan’s family life is threatened as that one night stand comes back to haunt him when Alex becomes obsessed.

This film is more of a PSA. Do not cheat on your partner! And heres why. This film creates an anxiety that’s similar, if not better than horror films. I think a lot of people do have those thoughts of cheating on their partner and this film shows the worst case scenario of what can happen.

The star of this film is Glenn Close and her depiction of the obsessive lover. She absolutely nails crazy. The beginning of the film when her and Dan first meet, shes a very appealing, direct woman. When Dan’s family life starts interrupting Alex’s plans, Alex unleashes her inner psycho to keep Dan for herself. The pacing of this film is what makes it such a nerve fest. Shes builds and builds throughout the film in an uber realistic way to really play on your mind to the point where you’re frightened by the sound of a telephone ringing because it might be her. I’ve read that Glenn Close has had a lot of people approach her to tell her that her depiction of Alex has saved marriages which I find hilarious but rightly so.

Something I will never get bored of in films is the use of opera music, I think it always fits well and the use of it in this film is spot on. Used at the beginning to represent a bond between Dan and Alex but then beginning used as a tool to get closer to Dan is brilliant. Other than that everything else regarding the film is fairly standard, no real cinematic camera angles that stick in my mind, the focus is more on the down right loonicy of Alex.

Overall if you’re looking for a horror film, picnic this. It’s not labelled as a horror film but it’s better than 98% of the horror films that are coming out now. The levels of anxiety throughout are through the roof. Plus theres a couple of juicy nookie nookie scenes in there too and while doesnt love that.

7.5 Wet Rabbits out of 10

The Shape of Water

“I am incomplete. He sees me, for what I am”

Review by Lewis Goodall

Love. God gave humans love so that they may have babies and then the babies can make love. It’s a weird concept because love is such a consuming feeling that everyone experiences. Usually you fall in love with a human you have a connection with or a fish you have a connection with. Love effects us all differently.

The Shape of Water, best picture Oscar winner in 2018, directed by Guillermo del Toro, is the story of unique love. Elisa (Sally Hawkins), is a lonely cleaner who works in a top secret research facility. Sally is a mute so can’t communicate properly with other people other than throwing up gang signs ( aka sign language). A new asset is added to the facility and held in captivity. The new asset is a strange, amphibious creature which Sally builds a bond with.

The Shape of Water is pure beauty. Everything about this film is beautiful, from the visuals to the direction to the music to the way Sally Hawkins masturbates in the bath within the first 4 minutes of the film, it’s beautiful. Guillermo del Toro did an incredible job making this film such a pleasure to watch. The two main factors that stick out for me is the cinematography and the music. This film is set in America but the music is very very very French which enriches the romantic feel to this film.

Looking at the script, I could seriously imagine all the actors being thoroughly confused at what was happening because when you really boil it down, it’s the story of a woman falling in love with a fish. It’s a simple as that, that’s the story. Is shows the true power of a wonderful director who can take a concept like that make it beautiful. This film is a modern day fairy tale.

Sally Hawkins plays a wonderful mute so we really connect to her and the relationship she build with the fish. There is one scene in particular that truly shows the connection she has towards the creature and it’s that moment that I felt fully invested in how she feels. That sort of moment is rare in films nowadays so having a character with perfect writing but no dialogue, shows how truly special this film is.

Overall this film is a moving painting. It’s truly one of the most beautiful films ever made so considering the bizarre concept, it’s one that humans can relate to on some level. This film will make you fall in love, either to the story, the visuals, the music or the fish, it’s mighty fine.

8 Mustard Fingers out of 10

Lost In Translation

The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.

Review by Lewis Goodall

I just looked up why some other people thought of this film out of curiosity. Most people are scoring it highly which Is where I’m gonna go with it but I’ll get to that. One review stood out to me because it was a 1/10 so naturally I want to see what they’re ranting about. The start of the review is this and I quote “I should preface this review by saying that my husband and I both have advance degrees and we see 50+ independent films a year”. Apparently if you’re smart you wont enjoy this film so if you have a degree you might as well leave now, everyone else who is thick like me should stick with it because this film is incredible

Lost In Translation, written and directed by Sofia Coppola, shows the story of two insomniacs as the build a relationship in the late hours of Tokyo. Bob Harris (Bill Murray), a washed up movie star is in Tokyo for business, shooting a commercial for a Japanese whiskey. Also there is Charlotte (Scarlett Johannesburg, as my mum accidentally called her), who is in Tokyo with her husband who is there as a photographer. Both of them help each other to make the sleepiness nights more bearable.

Now unlike the woman in that review, this film is definitely not a waste of time or money, its in fact quite the opposite. Both protagonists shine through the night setting throughout the film. In terms of performances I could not fault either Bill or Scarlett as they both brought so much character to each of their…. characters. This film is laced with a few moments of comedy genius from Bill Murray but to be honest would you expect anything else? A couple of moments really ruptured the funny guts inside of me which I feel is a credit to both the script and just in general Bill Murrays style. Scarlett Johanson brings the perfect girl next door vibe which would attract any middle aged man. Both work together to perfectly show a connection of forbidden love for one another that I feel many people would connect with on some level.

Not a lot happens in the film. Its certainly a plodder in terms of story but It spends more time just developing the relationship between the two. Not much happening isn’t really a big deal when the film is shot so nicely, I’d happily just watch a shot of Scarlett Johansson walking through a busy Tokyo street for 90 minutes with the right cinematography behind it. Matched with a cracking score this film is definitely a nice easy one to enjoy. Pacing and just everything about this film was fantastic, I still cant get the scene of Bill Murray in the gym out my head because that scene was comedy gold, but also there was a scene of both the two of them and some other friends singing karaoke and the whole scene is just so captivating to watch. Seeing both of them comedically sing their songs but at the same time stare deeply at each other was a feeling that you don’t get too much of in cinema.

My only sort of flat moment I felt was the end. Now obviously I’m not going to spoil the fact that Godzilla turns up at the end but I felt as though the end didn’t pack as much punch as I’d hoped. At the same time I feel like it was the best ending that it could’ve been without it being a piece of typical Hollywood cheese writing. Actually I’m going to have a spoiler section because I want to talk about it.

Overall this is a love story that will definitely stick to you like fly paper, but fly paper that you love having stuck to you, if that’s a metaphor you can relate to. It’s a slow burner but with the focus on this pairs relationship and watching it grow. The fact that its Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson should sell this film already but honestly it is a fantastic experience that I’m sure many people would relate to, but what do I know, i don’t have an advanced degree.

8.5 Lipped Suspenders out of 10

Spoilers

So as the story progresses, obviously so does the relationship between Bob and Charlotte. Both of them being in separate marriages it is very apparent that this is a forbidden bond that they have. The film ends with Bob having to leave the country for work. Neither of them want to leave each other but at the same time it is the right thing to do. They closely both love each other but it’s a case of if it happened in a different life then it would work. They say their farewells and they go their separate ways and it ends. The typical Hollywood ending would have had then leave their partners and live together forever but it doesn’t, it opts for the realistic ending which although flat, made way more sense and worked better for the story. The feeling of leaving each other wishing they had more is the same feeling the viewer gets, you’re watching it wishing for more but unfortunately it just doesn’t work that way which is boooo but I understand.

Love

“When you die, you die with your memories”

Review by Lewis Goodall

We’re getting quite close to the mark here on critically ashamed in terms experimental films. If you follow along then you can see I’ve been making my way through the films of the director ‘Gaspar Noe’. I loved climax and I loved irreversible so naturally I want to get through all his films. His films certainly have a certain style and he certainly likes to push the boundaries of film making which I’m a huge fan of. ‘Love’ is slightly different in the fact that I had to buy this from the adult section which was mighty embarrassing but it intrigued me as to why. Looking on the back and seeing the rating saying ‘features real sex’ I knew this was going to be the Christmas family film I’d been looking for.

‘Love’ follows Murphy (Karl ‘Lucky man’ Glusman), an american filmmaker living in Paris to shoot his latest movie. He reminisces about a past lover, Electra (Aomi Muyock), remembering the times they were together and how she was the perfect girl for him. He recounts plenty of sexual encounters he had with her and how they would get experimental. The relationship starts to crack as soon as a new girl is introduced to the four play to live out their sexual fantasies.

Let’s address the elephant in the room, this film features real, unsimulated sex, none of that fake, dry humping you get in Hollywood, the Dickinson’s real deal. its basically 2 hours of porn with a more intricate story. I currently feel like one of those people that comment on videos on Pornhub for some reason. So if you’re a fan of watching a man nut at the camera lens then this is the film for you. Adding real sex into the mix certainly made for a more raw experience and that’s exactly what Gaspar was going for, he set out to make a love story from a sexual point of view and he definitely achieved that. It made the connection between the two main characters feel as though I was just watching a real couple experiment which sounds super weird but did actually work . Although that being said, I was very uncomfortable whilst watching it, having the anxiety of someone walking in while I’m watching a woman getting fingered is not something I can easily explain.

Gaspar certainly doesn’t like to make a straight forward narrative, climax where the end was the beginning, irreversible where the end was the beginning and now we finally have love, where the end is the beginning. You certainly know you’re watching a Gaspar film. So we slowly start to unravel the story of how Murphy ended up in a broken relationship, forced together by an accidental baby. Through memories we learn what happened to Murphy and Electra and why they aren’t together anymore, telling their love story backwards. I say backwards but the timeline seems to be all over the place and I honestly found it difficult at points to know whereabouts we are in their relationship. Mostly its backwards but I’m sure there were random memories thrown in there but to mess with my head. Although told in the style of a spaghetti junction, you can work out that overall its the story of a seemingly perfect couple that drift apart through lies and deceit.

It’s a very real story, the way they drift apart is very natural and the sex is even more natural, literally as natural as you can get. Gaspar certainly nailed these aspects of a love story but where this film really seems to divert from reality lies within the screenplay. I don’t think I have ever been as confused at dialogue as I have at this film. What they are saying is fine, the conversations are comprehensible but the way most people speak is just so unrealistic. A pure example is when they meet the third lady they want to use for a threesome, the first time they meet, they invite her for dinner. Whilst they are out for the this girl instantly confesses that she was an accident and then proceeds to ask Electra if shes ever had an abortion…… ?!?@?@ what??? Why did you just…… what????? I don’t get it and there were a few other moments like this that are so out of nowhere and so unrealistic that it seriously distracts from the reality that he is trying to build by using real sex. The real sex makes it real but the language is just bizarre so It just completely cancels out everything else Gaspar is trying to achieve.

One last negative thing to say because it has to be mentioned. This film is insanely self indulgent, it seems like Gaspar made this film based around him. I’m going to have to give examples, the main character is a filmmaker who talks about how films should be made to be controversial (Gaspar) and how he wants to make a film showing sensuality and sex for what it truly is (Love, literally describing his film). The main characters were talking about having babies, Electra asks “if we had a boy, what would you name it?”, I jokingly said out loud to my dog, “Gaspar” and would you believe it, he responds “Gaspar” and I had to pause it because I didn’t believe it. There are plenty more examples of this during the film but it was just odd the whole way through, I get that you write from experience but to include props from your previous films as a direct reference to your films then I just find it strange.

It may seem like I didn’t like the film but I still very much enjoyed it. I love Gaspar’s style and the way he loves to push boundaries because it is super inspiring. I mean it doesn’t inspire me to make porn but a lot of filmmakers should follow his ability to not follow the same road as everyone else. That being said, this is a good film, but certainly not at the same calibre as his other films for sure. Weirdly, even considering you’re seeing a dude actually raw dogging a girl, this film seemed fairly mellow compared to his other films. I can only recommend this film if you’re seriously into experimental films and ones that push boundaries, otherwise I don’t think this is something you could watch with your mum and dad, but if you feel like the family would enjoy seeing CGI of the of a vagina being plowed by a dick from the inside then get everyone on the sofa and enjoy this sexploration adventure.

6 Tunnels Of Love out of 10

Love, Simon

” He’s dead, Si. Hacking him up with a mental machete as we speak”

Review by Lewis Goodall

I’m wondering at this point if Hollywood will ever run out of high school teen dramas to make. You’d think that at this point they’d all been done by now. They all follow the same template and 99% of them have the main character narrating over the top of them explaining about how high school sucks but they manage to get through it with the help of their best friends they’ve known since they were born. Love interest gets involved, usually a new kid who’s a bit edgier, “ugh, they’ll never fall for me”. They then talk because they were forced to be lab partners for the upcoming project, then they fall for each other before something drives them apart for a moment, around 15 minutes before the end of the film. All hope seems lost for the main character but then conflict is resolved and they fall in love, key upbeat music and scene, the end. Went off on one there but that’s the normal structure I find with these films. Love, Simon pretty much follows that structure but the main character is gay. Spoiler alert.

Love, Simon is a high school romance (if I haven’t given it away at this point) directed by Greg Berlanti and based off a novel by Becky Albertalli. Simon (played by Nick Robinson) narrates this coming of age story of a young man with a big secret of being a closeted gay man, navigating school life. A mystery person writes a post on a popular blog the school follows who confesses he is gay. Simon hops on this gay train and anonymously messages this mystery person who goes by the alias ‘Blue’. Simon goes by ‘Jacques’ and the two build a relationship via emails to each other. Simon, with clues within the emails, tries to uncover the masked man behind the emails by matching the hints to people in his school. Conflict gets added to the story to add tension when one of Simon’s ‘friends’ Martin (Logan Miller) finds his secret emails. Simon must decide whether to go along with the blackmail that Martin is putting on him to not out him as a homo or if it’s better for his secret to be known.

You can certainly tell this film was based on a novel, its screams typical teen drama novel and is portrayed in such a way as well with the acting, script, scenery, plot lines, plot holes and other such aspects of a film that all come together to create a teen drama. I would have to admit though that although this is very cliche, it is definitely on the high end of the high school film spectrum.

Although Nick did a good job of portraying Simon, I couldn’t say that there is anything that screamed out amazing for him, this pretty much goes for all the other actors in the film, including his friends Leah, Abby and Nick (Katherine Langford, Alexandra Shipp and Jorge Lendeborg Jr). All these characters are good for adding to the story in terms of filling the criteria for having the best friends since being kids. They all actors their parts well and so did Martin. I have to talk about Martin in particular because he is an annoying character and I hate hate hate that he is the character I related most to in this film. His room is filled with film posters, he’s spouting random movie facts at everyone and he even has a god damn Groucho Marx picture above his bed (Groucho is my hero). He was a character that shows promise in parts of the film but ultimately is kind of a dick.

So Martin is the one who discovers the emails that the two lover boys are sending each other and blackmails Simon into helping him try and seduce Abby. While all that story line is going on, the main one is Simon trying to find his mystery ‘Blue’. Its pretty interesting seeing the pieces come together as he tries to work out who is ‘Blue’ although one I took personally. So one of the clues that Blue gives is that his first crush was kit Harrington as Jon Snow in Game of thrones. So Simon keeps a look out of anyone wearing anything game of thrones and everyone who is wearing a night watch t-shirt or anything to do with the show, they are fucking nerds, the most stereotypical nerds you can imagine and it offended me (not really, I’m not snowflake I just found it funny how they portrayed the fans of the show).

Although I’ve kind of ripped into the film so far but I did really enjoy the way it was presented. Something I liked in terms of the presentation of the story is that it had funny cut-aways which were really enjoyable. One that sticks out is where he is mentioning as to why is it that gay people have to be the ones to come out, why is straight the default. It then had a cut-away of his friends coming out as straight to their parents and it was just a funny skit to break up the normal story which I did enjoy.

I think my overall opinion with these sorts of films is that there aren’t really any risks. They’re all very plain films that follow the same structure so they do kind of all blend into one, they are the marvel films of romances. Lime they are shot in the easiest way to progress the story and have scripts that are relevant to the time but fade very quickly, using memes in films is also stupid, memes die within weeks on the internet so having them in films just adds cringe comedy (there isn’t a meme in this film I just got sidetracked). With a typical story done well, added with a zest of semi decent humour which did get a couple of laugh out loud moments from me, if you’re in the mood for a teen drama then I would recommend this. Unless you’re a fan of continuity then I wouldn’t, in this film someone is having a party on Friday night but then later they say its Saturday. Make your mind up!!!

6.5 Ferris Wheels out of 10


Call Me By Your Name

“But to make yourself feel nothing, as to not feel anything. what a waste”

Review by Lewis Goodall

Call me by your names takes place in 1980’s Italy and follows Elio (Timothée Chalamet), a 17 year old in the midst of summer finding anything to pass the time, whether it be reading or playing classical music on the piano. Elio’s attention is drawn to his fathers new intern Oliver (Armie Hammer), a charismatic American who is helping Elio‘s father with his research. A relationship blossoms between the two as they both discover themselves through each other.

First off, Luca Guadagnino who directs the film; He should be employed by travel agents to create adverts to move to Italy because that’s exactly the effect this film had on me. Let’s talk about all the gay stuff in a minute because I want to talk about how Luca used every technique in the book to make such a beautiful film that made me wish I was there. It was such an incredible immersive experience that made me feel I was right there in the middle of the summer sun, acoustic guitar playing while I lay there among the apricot trees. But alas I was stuck in my room while it was too uncomfortably muggy to stay still. Everything displayed on the screen and pouring out the speakers was just incredibly beautiful. The music as well, composed by Sufjan Steven’s was just incredibly easy to listen to and I know I’ll be listening to it in the car to distract from the normal English weather and to draw me back to this Italian paradise.

Enough about how I now want to be Italian and back to the story. So as I mentioned it’s the story of Elio and Oliver who develop a friendship which grows to be more than that. The way they both play their roles sink you into their relationship and have you rooting for it every step of the way. Both of them have a clear connection from the get go when Oliver first arrives at the villa. Oliver stays in Elio‘s room while Elio stays in a bedroom next door, separated by a bathroom. As the story goes on you can see Elio fall for Oliver more and more purely through action and through his eyes which is a major credit to Timothée and his acting ability to really bring to life the saying “I wish someone would look at me the way Elio looks at Oliver”. Their relationship doesn’t come without its difficulties, an almost Romeo and Juliet, actually more appropriate Romeo and Romeo, forbidden love that they cant share with the world only has you rooting for them more. As barriers get but between them and decisions that they make to hide their secret only have you wanting to smash those barriers down.

The acting in general by everyone in the film is absolutely perfect, not once was I taken away by anyone’s performance which really helped with the immersion. The father to Elio (Michael Stuhlberg) has got to be by far my favourite character, although he wasn’t in it too much, he was just the perfect portrayal of a loving father, I’m glad they didn’t go with any cliche of he being a bad father so it was actually really refreshing seeing a father figure in a film be as sweet as he was.

Going back to the wonderful directing of this film, Luca manages to portray this gay relationship pretty much entirely through symbolism placed through the film. It didn’t rely on heavily pornographic scenes that most films like this would which really shows the power of the directing because it wasn’t just a story about a gay relationship, it was a story of love. Plus I’m glad there wasn’t any heavy pornographic scenes cause I felt it would’ve distracted from the overall tone of the film and quite frankly it would’ve been hard to explain if whilst I was watching it, someone walks in and there’s just a ballsack smacking the lens on the screen.

One example of this symbolism was that Elio‘s family and their friends are all standing around Elio as he plays the piano. The song he’s playing is very calm and soothing but then Oliver walks into the shot and the song Elio is playing instantly intensifies and then calms back down as Oliver leaves the shot. I couldn’t help but make the association of the song being Elio‘s heart as it starts racing at the sight of Oliver and having that translated through the music he is playing is just a stroke of genius.

One thing that did get to me and I don’t know whether it was intentional or not, maybe it would be reading into it too much saying that the characters felt unclear of their emotions but at points the camera was out of focus. It happened a few times which makes me believe that it might’ve been intentional but there were points when after a while the shot was become focused so I’m not sure. Again saying it was meant to be done could be over analyzing but the director did an incredible job with attention to detail it makes me wonder.

Overall this film is just beautiful, there was one thing that was off putting and it was the way Timothée kisses, like dude come on, you can close your mouth. Leaning in for the kiss he just kept it open like a chameleon waiting for the perfect moment to shoot its tongue out on a cricket. That’s only a small thing that just made me laugh and doesn’t effect my score I just had to say it. Like I was saying this film is beautiful in every aspect. The directing, the music, the acting, the script, the everything was just perfect and that goes for the ending also, and I’m not ashamed to say that it make me shed a tear. I’M HUMAN DONT JUDGE ME!

8.5 Traumatized Peaches out of 10