Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
This was less moronic than it could have been. It is 20 years later and toxic kitsch flies as Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman and others face the return of the aggrieved extraterrestrials. The social circumstances of Earth had been improved thanks to the use of alien technology but the sneering and craven aliens are returning. There is no arthouse noir here. There is some narrative momentum but this new effort spares no cliché from the aliens malevolent presence.
This is not a searing depection of war with incendiary levels of tension. It is simple and banal but does entertain. There are no real memorable set-pieces. Various characters fight the inequitable foe by scowling at them. There is a sequel hook. Nobody has any psychological damage from the attrional nature of the attack. While enjoyable this does hold empathy at bay and is not affecting or beguiling. The attacking aliens have no real underlying motives.
Earth is systematically demolished. But there is no dignified individuality or sad silences. There is defiant optimism, a lot of it. There is social theorising about the aliens, cold-fusion bombs and no Will Smith or Adam Baldwin. Humanity (or rather the US) is indefatigable. Nobody has a total psychological shutdown and they seemingly shrug off as inconsequential all the death and damage the Earth suffers, again.
“Probably should have kept running.”
“There will be no peace.”
The Hallow (2015)
A man, his wife and their baby come to Ireland as part of an EU initiative. Their new house has iron bars over the windows which the wife removes. A scary menace lurks in the woods. Yokels make impassioned pleas. This was a dour affair and the husband won’t listen to warnings and is not insightful. The husband, Adam, annoys and the wife, Claire, is there. They’re informed of the chilling details of local superstition. People stumble around in the dark. This was a scathing portrayal of rural horror. Their dog is doomed.
Dramatic momentum stalls. The couple have no social horror. Unpleasant looking and really gross things drag Adam out of manchildland. There is no innocent explanation as to what is going on. The core intellectual provocation tries to explain what fairies are. Any potential is shameful wasted. This was unsettling in places but preposterous in others. Their operational plan to survive is bad. The baby ends up in peril. Adam waves a flaming scythe. Where did he get it? The characters are moving props to be tormented. There is more yelling and no help and then it ends.
“The Free Our Trees rally.”
“It’s his job.”
“Buy him a pint and hear him out.”
“500 years of ancient Irish sludge are dripping all over Finn‘s bed.”
“Don’t creepy-eye me, Ant-Man.”
“We’ve not been well-received here.”
“I’m not the one that’s going to hurt you.”
The Fifth Estate (2013)
Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Bruhl star in this tale of wikileaks as does Peter Capaldi. There are bad wigs and bad fake moustaches, silly accents, yelling, yapping and this was all fallacious nonsense.
“Wake up our lawyers in California and in New York and in London.”
The Darkest Hour (2011)
I rewatched this film about declared cool ass kids running around Moscow after invisible aliens attack and while it looks good it is really dreadful. Untalented actors gripe and moan so an interesting proposition is ruined by people who get to emote badly. A lot. This was not convincing or sincere or complicated existentially. Despite an alien invasion, their clothes seem sprayed with wrinkle release. This was a negative narrative full of obstinacy and stupidity and complacency.
“It’s the wind! Stop freaking out!”
“And go where?”
“Aggressive assault strategy.”
Carry On Don’t Lose Your Head (1966)
Funny if not highly impressive.
Blue Is The Warmest Colour (2013)
Boring French film.