The apologies for late film fights continue as March finally appears in October. Onwards…
First up, Anomalisa is Charlie Kaufman’s follow-up to the excellent Synechdoche, New York. This time, the odd world he has created is filled with puppets in existential crisis. Without saying too much about the film itself, it’s strangely sweet and funny, yet challenging and uncomfortable. It’s a smaller film in many ways to his previous work, but Anomalisa stands up well. Very worth seeing. (See my Anomalisa Twitter review)
10 Cloverfield Lane is the strange thematic sequel to 2008 monster movie, Cloverfield. However, don’t expect more of the same. 10 Cloverfield Lane is a taut psychological thriller that twists and turns as a woman (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) tries to figure out if she has been kidnapped or saved by a somewhat unhinged man, played brilliantly by John Goodman. The core of the film is the unwitting cat and mouse game between the pair. The last act takes something of a questionable turn, but everything before then is great. (See my 10 Cloverfield Lane Twitter review)
While Marvel are being consistently decent with their MCU films, DC drop the ball with Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Drop it, puncture it, set it on fire, and bury it. It fails on almost every level. The action sequences are almost all flat (the Batman warehouse attack aside), there’s no real threat from the combatants in the title, the plot is truly awful and at a bad pace, there are layers of terrible dream sequences, some clunky exposition setting up future films, bad CG… I could go on, but I won’t. The only highlight is Ben Affleck as Batman. Do not see. (See my Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice Twitter review)
Set in a slightly warped version of the 70s, High-Rise is a brutal and satirical look at class and inequality. Full of dark humour, and elegantly stylish shots, the film shows us a microcosm of Britain in a tower block. Hiddleston is excellent as the lead, a doctor trying to move up in the world. The director does a fine job of walking a line between absurd, brutal and thoughtful. Odd, but very good. (See my High-Rise Twitter review)
Finally, Zootropolis is one of the best kids films in a few years. It’s a little predictable, but it’s both sweet and genuinely funny, and a little clever. Set in a world where predators and prey of the animal kingdom live together, the characters explore issues of race and prejudice with great care; a remarkable achievement given the target audience. Worth seeing. (See my Zootropolis Twitter review)
The winner for March is High-Rise for its dark humour, beautiful shots, and engaging story.