Andres’ Film Queue: May 23rd – May 29th

I almost didn’t write this article because I was positive I didn’t see that many movies this week. I was sort of surprised once I realized how many I actually saw.

Death Sentence (2007)
Directed by James Wan

And thus marks my finally watching all of James Wan’s films, a director who I root for very often. Death Sentence was Wan’s third film, and first outside of the horror genre. There’s a sequence involving a chase in a parking lot that starts on the first floor and ends on the roof, which is designed to be all in one take, and it’s stunning.

The Brothers Bloom (2008)
Directed by Rian Johnson

I saw this on Brother’s Day, which was a complete coincidence but I can’t seem to think of a better film to have seen for that day. Maybe Sing Street again, the only other viable choice. This might also be Rian Johnson’s best film. Let me see his take on Star Wars and then I’ll decide.

Ouija (2014)
Directed by Stiles White

In hindsight, I didn’t need to watch this. It’s not good. It’s not necessarily awful, but the film just finds a way to be so utterly boring that I didn’t care about anything.

American Ultra (2015)
Directed by Nima Nourizadeh

I am a fan of writer Max Landis (say what you want about his online personality, his talent speaks volumes for me), and this film has interested me since I heard about it, but it took a while before I finally saw it. The film is good, not great. Very fun and entertaining. My only real complaint is that I didn’t like Topher Grace’s “I’m an authoritative asshole” performance, as it didn’t feel real to me. The relationship at the core of the film is wonderful though. I wasn’t expecting to believe it so strongly.

Chi-Raq (2015)
Directed by Spike Lee

Spike Lee is truly angry, but he’s attempting to figure out how to make things better. It’s very easy to get absorbed in the theatrics of the whole film. So much so that, by the end, you’re entirely invested.

Nina Forever (2015)
Directed by Ben & Chris Blaine

Nina Forever is a very fascinating and dark film about what it’s like to have past lovers stay on your mind. The film is very literal, as Nina (who died in a car accident) comes back from the dead every time Rob attempts to sleep with his new girlfriend Holly. It plays on the idea of not being able to let go of your past loves.

The Club (2016)
Directed by Pablo Larraín

A Chilean film that makes a great companion piece to Spotlight. Larraín paints an ugly picture in which every character that religion has touched is an ugly character. The film shows that even though there are attempts at establishing a difference between churches (the Old vs the New), by the end of the film we are essentially where we began, so maybe there’s no cure.

The Invitation (2016)
Directed by Karyn Kusama

A film about trying to find ways to cope with grief. Some may actually try and work it out, but never succeed. Some end up trying to find their own way of dealing with it, and the people who do in this film, can be quite dangerous.

The Player (1992)
Directed by Robert Altman

My first Altman film is one where Altman decided to make a statement about the ugliness of the Hollywood industry.

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