Reviews of mother! (by Darren Aronofsky), Death Note (by Adam Wingard), and Good Time (by the Safdie Brothers).
BY DANIEL MATTI / BLURT FILM EDITOR
(Go HERE to view the Blurt Movie Thoughts master page.)
3 out of 5 stars
mother! is the most recent film from director Darren Aronofsky (Pi, Requiem for a Dream) that hit theaters last week, and it has left some lasting impressions among movie-goers. Some that absolutely love the film, some that hate it, and the rest conflicted in its hot mess of storytelling and allegories.
SPOILERS! From strange marketing in which the film is almost perceived as a horror movie, and trailers that left you asking, what the hell is this movie even about, the movie has one of the most eccentric tellings of the Bible in recent times—possibly ever.
I went in blindly, wanting to know as little as possible before seeing mother!, and for good reasons. Most Darren Aronofsky films have been thought provoking pieces of cinema, so after making his blockbuster flop Noah, I knew that he would want to return to his roots of making a “balls to the wall” film.
Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence move into a house into the middle of nowhere, disconnected from the outside. Javier’s character, simply named “him” throughout the movie, is a poet and has retreated from the busy world to try to get out of his writer’s block and have a child with his wife, “mother,” played by Jennifer.
mother! is a powerful retrospective telling of the Bible, ultimately, including worshiping idols, the telling of Cain and Abel, and the powers that religion can turn any event into something of extraordinary violence.
1 out of 5 Stars
Netflix recently partnered with horror director Adam Wingard to deliver one of the worst films of 2017. It really pains me to say that, too, since I am a big fan of Wingard’s work (along with Netflix’s ongoing premium programming).
Based on the hit manga where a shinigami—or death god—drops a notebook called the “Death Note” in the human realm, the main character, Light (played by Nat Wolff), finds the notebook and then is shadowed by the shinigami, “Ryuk” (voiced by Willem Dafoe). The Death Note is a notebook that you can write down whatever and however you want to get rid of someone—yes, that kind of getting rid of someone. As Ryuk lets Light figure out how to use the Death Note, and if he is should use the book for good or evil, Light sees himself using it for his own good. Other characters, including the main counterpart “L” (played by Lakeith Stanfield). start to figure out who is using in a pretty basic cat and mouse game.
The biggest reason the film was atrocious… well, pretty much the entire movie is atrocious due to the overacting and scrambled screenplay, with the worst ‘90s TV show dialogue imaginable. If you think the plot has you intrigued, I suggest watching the anime series—or simply just reading the original manga.
5 out of 5 stars
Every now and then a movie comes out that is destined to be a cult hit from the get-go. Good Time is a movie that will do just that. From blending art-house cinematography to the gripping, harsh abrasive soundtrack by Oneohtrix Point Never, the film never gives up and is one of the few films that can uphold through film history books.
Earlier in the year The Safdie Brothers took their film to the Cannes Film Festival. There, they won Best Soundtrack Award, beating out Jonny Greenwood for You Were Never Really Here, Ibrahim Maalouf for Hikari, and Jed Kurzel for Jupiter’s Moon.
From the film’s opening week until now, more and more people are starting to see Good Time, as it ends up being a word of mouth movie rather than using a large budget to heavily promote the film. The film has come close enough, having already surpassed It’s budget, a little over a cool million, in box office earnings.
The film is based around Robert Pattison’s character, who gets his brother with learning disabilities to rob a bank together with him. It examines the road between the characters and what ultimate fate they both must face.
In words that I would use more commonly to someone in person—go see this movie immediately, and definitely in a theater if you still can.