Review: Call Me By Your Name (2017)

4

“We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new.”
– Mr Perlman

SYNOPSIS: In 1980s Italy, a romance blossoms between a seventeen-year-old student and the older man hired as his father’s research assistant. – via IMDB

I recently popped this on to watch – I remember when it came out, people raved about it, and I always said that I would get to it and then, you know, life. But then it was on Netflix and I had some chill time and I figured “why not?” and let me tell you, I had no idea what I was in for whatsoever.

Call Me By Your Name is a visually stunning movie. Honestly, it is just beautiful to look at, and it has the feeling of a memory, this charming look back into a summer in the eighties, and I loved that. It almost feels dreamy, and everything just seems to chilled and summery. The music also comes in and just vibes with everything going on. It is never too in your face, but totally the shaping the experience.

Then there is the main meat of the story, and that is (obviously) Elio and Oliver. You get swept up into this story, watching a young boy coming to terms with his blossoming sexuality, and an older research assistant of Elio’s father very much the object of desire. To watch the back and forth between Hammer and Chalamet is very rewarding. You see that while Elio comes across as very cultured and smart, there are still larges swathes of innocence for him. You also see that while Oliver is a confident young man, he, too, has struggles with his feelings towards Elio and the situation in general.

Michael Stuhlbarg is fantastic in this, and it is so lovely to watch him with his family and the relationship he has with his son. It is fantastic to watch his scenes, and I thought the family dynamics between mother, father, and son were wonderful.

Call Me By Your Name creates a beautifully sensual movie that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure. It is an emotional journey you undertake and enjoy throughout. This is a movie about first love, not just sexuality, and will resonate with many people. I highly recommend it, it is a beautiful watch and it has lingered with me after the fact. I have bought the book and audiobook already because I just need more of this!

Review: Nocturnal Animals (2016)

6

“Do you ever feel like your life has turned into something you never intended?”
– Susan Morrow

SYNOPSIS: A wealthy art gallery owner is haunted by her ex-husband’s novel, a violent thriller she interprets as a symbolic revenge tale. – via IMDB

Ah, Nocturnal Animals. Where do I even begin? I had forgotten about this completely, except Natasha wanted to check it out, and so we did. Goddammit, so we did. Two hours folks. Two. Nocturnal Animals is a pretentious pile of garbage that actually has some semblance of potential which is unceremoniously pissed away. The opening alone was just grotesque and came across as pretentious, right out of the gate. To shock, to inspire, to make you think that the movie has more depth than what appears on the surface? Screw that. It did not. Revenge tale, and that is that. Not even a good one, while we are at it, despite what it would have you think.

This also seemed like something I would like – dark and a thriller, plus Gyllenhaal? Ticked all the boxes. In fact, I liked the cast for the most part. The film is divided into three segments: the past, the present, the story in a novel. Three. Of these three, the novel coming to life is a fantastic revenge tale, a mysterious story that gets you worried and draws you in, and you feel for the main character of it, and are intrigued by his plight and the relationship he forms with the detective investigating the crime which the main character is a victim of. Awesome. But then there are the other two parts of the movie – the past and the present, and they are both boring and bland and just annoyed me.

My reception of the movie was not helped along by Amy Adams, whom I cannot stand. Her character was such a waste of space. Armie Hammer, too, felt like he was useless here – the script was so skinny. He was pretty much there for some aloof eye candy, and that is that. Gyllenhaal and Shannon are the stars of this, without a doubt. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, too, shone here. Every moment they were on screen, you were engaged. They were so good. A whole movie just about them and their segment would have been fantastic. Instead I had to sit through all that drivel and possibly one of the worst endings I have seen in my life.

I see this movie being lauded as dark, thought-provoking, deep. Pretentious, I will say it again. The movie is not as deep as it wishes to be, and because of that comes across as desperate. While we are at it, it is generic and brings nothing new to the table. I cannot in good conscience recommend this to anyone, though I am aware my opinion is in the minority.

Rapid Review: The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

21

the man from uncle poster

“There are only two masters in this world: fear and pain.”
– Uncle Rudi

SYNOPSIS: In the 1960s with the Cold War in play, CIA agent Napoleon Solo successfully helps Gaby Teller defect to West Germany despite the intimidating opposition of KGB agent Illya Kuryakin. Later, all three unexpectedly find themselves working together in a joint mission to stop a private criminal organization from using Gaby’s father’s scientific expertise to construct their own nuclear bomb. Through clenched teeth and stylish poise, all three must find a way to cooperate for the sake of world peace, even as they each pursue their own agendas. – via IMDB

the man from uncle opposing sides

GRADE 8.5Ah, this! This was incredibly entertaining! I expected to enjoy it because it looked really good, plus Henry Cavill (I mean seriously now, as if Guy Ritchie’s name wasn’t draw enough), and because of the era. I am fascinated by the WWII era and the Cold War aftermath. This movie was so much more than I was hoping it would be.

Let’s start with Henry Cavill’s Napoleon Solo and Armie Hammer’s Illya Kuryakin. The two worked together phenomenally – so much great chemistry there and they dominated every time they were together on screen. Their constant one-upmanship and little skirmishes were dead entertaining, and how they are similar and yet polar opposites of one another never ceased to entertain me. Solo just oozes charm and is suave, collected and very slick, whereas Illya has a volatile temper that can barely be kept in check, and is so patriotic you cannot help but smile and definitely has quite a set of morals set in stone.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. is stylish to boot, and it looks amazing. I mean all of it. The outfits were fantastic and Cavill and Hammer were simply delicious, not to mention Vikander thrown into the mix, too. I was a big fan of the way that the whole arms race of the Cold War was not forgotten, as Solo and Kuryakin constantly throw their respective technology in on another’s faces the whole time as being more superior to the other’s. Each has something that is better, and it is hilarious to see this. I like how those little things were brought in. They were at odds the whole way through. A particular scene that I enjoyed involved a motorboat and a picnic – it was brilliant!

Alicia Vikander was, again, worth a watch, and I really did like to see how she and Armie played off of one another – awkward when necessary, just a little haughty, undoubtedly attracted to each other, it just worked so well. Really good chemistry. In fact, they drove me mad at the best of times. The cast was actually exceptionally good for the film. The story is simple, no super fancy frills and not nearly as complicated as other Ritchie plots are known to be, but it was fun and simple and came together nicely. I know that the movie brings nothing new to the table, I know that it isn’t revolutionary or anything like that, but it is fun, and it is entertaining, and it is well worth a watch, just once at least. If you nitpick and expect something super serious, you are likely going to miss what makes this a simple joy to watch.