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Daniel Matti: Movie Thoughts – Three New Film Reviews 2.0

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.)

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mother!

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.

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Death Note

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.

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Good Time

 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.

 

 

Daniel Matti: Movie Thoughts – Three New Film Reviews

Reviews of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (by Luc Besson), A Ghost Story (by David Lowery), and Kuso (by Steve Ellison, aka Flying Lotus).

BY DANIEL MATTI / BLURT FILM EDITOR

(Go HERE to view the Blurt Movie Thoughts master page.)

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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Directed by Luc Besson

(3.5 out of 5 stars)

Luc Besson is not a common household name. For most hardcore action movie fans he is something of a staple name when it comes to the genre. Directing such movies as Le Femme Nikita, Leon: The Professional, and The Fifth Element. Also on his resume is a long list of writing credits including the hits Taken, District B13, and The Transporter series.

Valerian and City of a Thousand Planets is Luc’s newest film to hit the screens. Based off the late comic book series “Valerian and Laureline”, Valerian is now France’s most expensive movie ever made. Essentially letting Luc make his dream project. A dream project that is stunning but has its flaws.

While watching the movie myself I was nothing but pleased with the visual effects that were on par with Avatar (c’mon, Avatar had some beautiful visual effects) and a story line that was fun and comic book like (unlike Avatar). The dialogue was a little campy at times, but it seemed to be meant to be that way. The ongoing struggle between main characters Valerian (played by Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (played by Cara Delavigne) was the ‘ biggest weakness. The two characters were not a 100% match made in heaven or space, for that matter.

Overall, the film is a fun summer popcorn flick that will definitely please some of the audience, but not all who are looking for the year’s perfect film.

 

A Ghost Story

Directed by David Lowery

(3 out of 5 stars)

The newest movie by David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara is an exploration of love, death, and the afterlife.

Spoilers ahead:

A brutal car accident that leaves “C,” played by Affleck, dead. “M” is played by Mara, and both will have to find their ways of dealing with death and the afterlife.

Most of the film plays around with the thoughts of an afterlife and that if when we die and were to become a ghost (with a sheet over us—yeah, like in Peanuts), we will wait for whoever fulfills our life most. “M” quickly leaves the house that she and “C” once shared, showing that “moving on” is sometimes difficult but also necessary at times. As “M” leaves, “C” is left there waiting for her as more tenants move into the house that they once shared.

 This movie is full of turns that will keep you here ‘til the end and will leave you with your own thoughts and expressions on death—but will also leave you scratching your head at times.

 The biggest flaw in the movie is the scene near the middle of the movie, where a group of friends throw a party and a partygoer goes philosophical and tries to sum up death and the afterlife while cracking jokes. For the most part it comes off as the guy at a party who, when he opens his mouth, you immediately go to the other room to avoid him at all costs.

 The imagery of the entire film is really what holds it together, but other than that I would say this one is a rental after you knock back a few cold ones.

 

Kuso

Directed by Steve Ellison (Flying Lotus)

(4 out of 5 stars)

Steve! Steve! Steve!

Recently the film Kuso by Steve Ellison, aka Flying Lotus, aka Captain Murphy, gave hardcore fans a real shock and awe for their money. With a cast that is full of Steve’s friends (including Hannibal Buress, David Firth, Anders Holm, Regan Farquhar aka Busdriver, and the one and only George Clinton) the film will have you saying what the fuck out loud more than just a couple times.

Clocking in a little over 90 minutes, Kuso is nonstop something. Something that is hard to stomach, visually that is. Something that is amazingly pleasing to the ears.

With the help of other musicians, the film is scored perfectly. Alongside the visuals that are hard to digest with your eyes, your ears are tested to keep the fuck up. Mr. Oizo, Aphex Twin, Busdriver, Akira Yamaoka, and Flying Lotus himself all lend their diverse taste in electronic music to the film—that I have to say, is one of the best and most disgusting films of the year. It’s easily of the most disgusting films I’ve ever seen, on par with films like Salo, or 120 days of Sodom, or A Serbian Film.

Horror geeks and fans of electronic music will find this movie to be a hit. Everyone else, grab a barf bag and prepare for your eyes to have “Kuso” rubbed in them.

 

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Daniel Matti is a 29 year old movie/music enthusiast who drinks too much whiskey and tries to watch movies on a daily basis. Contact him via email: dmrorschach (at) gmail.com

MOVIE THOUGHTS

 

BLURT’S MOVIE THOUGHTS ARE READY FOR SCREENING. Join our man in the Balcony, Daniel Matti, as he reviews recent films that are floating his boat, and even some that he feels should be sunk out of mercy. You’ll also be able to check out movie trailers, posters, and related ephemera. – Ed.

 

Welcome to Movie Thoughts!

My name is Daniel Matti (I go by Matti) and I’m the main writer/editor here at Movie Thoughts. A little spot where I will post my thoughts about recent movies here at BLURT. Contact me via email: dmrorschach (at) gmail.com

A little background about myself: I’m a 29 year old movie/music enthusiast with tastes in pretty much every edge of the spectrum. When it comes to movies, horror is my forte, but that doesn’t limit me from liking a good rom-com, action, or avant-garde foreign film.

I’ve created this little oasis on the edge of BLURT to voice my opinion without having to bother my friends and family about which hot new extreme French movie I thought was the best film of the year. Also in hopes of inspiring other people to go out and catch flicks sometimes they would never usually see—or ones to avoid.

 

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Serial Reel #1: Reviews of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (by Luc Besson), A Ghost Story (by David Lowery), and Kuso (by Steve Ellison, aka Flying Lotus).

 

Serial Reel #2: Reviews of mother! (by Darren Aronofsky), Good Time (by the Safdie Brothers), and Death Note (by Adam Wingard).