Out Now – 29th August 2014

Obvious Child

Let’s Be Cops
One third of the cast of New Girl star in an appalling looking comedy about two guys who pretend to be cops. That’s it, there’s your plot.

As Above, So Below
A team of explorers go poking around underneath Paris and find all manner of spooky goings on near the gates to hell. When I visited Paris I was satisfied with a trip up the Eiffel Tower but each to their own.

If I Stay
Emotional book adaptation that doesn’t star Shailene Woodley, where were you Shailene?! A girl is forced to decide whether to live or die during an out-of-body experience. Her body is in a coma while her spirit does sufficient acting to fill a feature film.

Night Moves
Dull and uninspiring thriller about three environmentalists who want to blow up a dam and do so. The characters and emotions were a little too subtle for me and what some might fight brooding I found boring. Some reviewers bloody loved it so what do I know?

Million Dollar Arm
Jon Hamm goes to India in search of future baseball stars and instead finds out that people can be valuable in ways that don’t generate millions of dollars. A two-hour Disney sports movie. Eeesh. An American in India! Whatever next!

The Grand Seduction
A small island has to convince an American doctor to stay so that they can build a factory or some such nonsense. Confusingly the island in the trailer appears to be in Ireland but is in fact in Newfoundland which is some kind of Canadian island filled with English, Irish, French, and Scottish immigrants. I’m baffled.

Mystery Road
Australian thriller in which an “indigenous detective returns to the Outback to investigate the murder of a young girl.” I’ve heard good things and Australian crime dramas are so hot right now.

Obvious Child
The best decision you could make at the cinema this week would be buying a ticket to see this gem. To quote myself; “I cannot stress enough how much I enjoyed Obvious Child. It is the rarest of cinematic creatures; a romantic comedy that has something to say.” Prepare to love Jenny Slate and wonder why more films can’t be about real women.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
German 1920s horror about one scary piece of furniture. Probably the first horror film every made this is the direct root of every scream you have released whilst in the dark cocoon of the cinema.

The Guvnors
“The Guvnors is a violent thriller set amongst the clans and firms of South East London, bringing two generations together in brutal conflict.” As I currently live in South East London I prefer to not watch any films that aim to highlight the constant peril I am living in. Admittedly my life is less like a violent thriller and more like an episode of Spaced with gentler pace.

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
“The story of programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life at the age of 26.”

Night Moves – LFF Film Review

Night Moves

I am someone who loves their bed; I love to be in it and hate to leave it. Because of this a film has a lot to answer for when I am forced (by nobody other than myself) to attend a screening that starts at nine o’clock on a Saturday morning. Night Moves was off to a bad start before it had even begun.

Night Moves is the low-key portrayal of three environmental activists (Jesse Eisenberg, Peter Sarsgaard, and Dakota Fanning) who plot together to blow up a dam in an attempt to reclaim a river for the sake of the salmon because according to Sarsgaard people never think of the salmon when they want to charge their iPod (I’m paraphrasing here). The film itself is not preaching an environmental message however, in fact the film is not trying to do a whole lot.

None of the three characters in Night Moves are well-developed or particularly likeable so my connection to them was minimal at best. This is a film not focussed on character, imagery, or a message but one that simply shows the events unfolding in the least interesting way possible. This is a completely humourless film with nothing to say that showcases its actors at their least charismatic.

Every scene in the film feels perfunctory as we witness the characters carrying out some task or other before, during, and after their act of sabotage. The film does not waste time exploring things like the motivation of the characters or the real consequences of their actions and even when we are supposed to be witnessing them struggling with what they have done all three members of the group come across as quite cold.

I don’t have the energy to write much more about Night Moves as the film itself simply doesn’t try hard enough. Here we have a film that is not funny, moving, tense, or scary; this film just left me empty and it is nowhere near artistic enough to be this dull.

Night Moves screens at the festival on the 15th, 16th and 17th October.

BFI London Film Festival 2013