December 26, 2017 | Category: Films

Film Fight 2017: March

Boosted by Netflix putting out a heap of Original films, there are seven titles in the fight for March. That’s part of why I’m so far behind. Onwards…

First up, Logan is the X-Men film we’ve wanted for quite some time: Wolverine delivering some fairly brutal violence, tempered only by the last vestiges of his conscience. The film isn’t just dumb action, though. It’s a reasonable look at frailty and the effects of age. It just happens to also be a superhero film that thinks it’s also a Western. The last act is a little slow, but on the whole this is a very solid bigger budget movie. Watch. (See my Logan Twitter review)

Burning Sands looks at hazing in college fraternities. Rather than the usual silly comedy, we get to see the more violent extremes and, in this case, through the lens of a Black university pledgee. At times, it finds moments of humour in the pledgee’s camraderie, but more often we see cost these dangerous practices have on young men. Difficult, but engaging. Worth watching. (See my Burning Sands Twitter review)

Next up, Elle is… well, challenging. Isabelle Huppert’s central performance is stunning, and without the film would likely fall apart. The rest of the material is controversial and often hard to watch, dealing pointedly with subjects that are usually dealt with differently. Almost two months on, and I can’t honestly say I enjoyed it as a whole but it certainly made an impression. (See my Elle Twitter review)

Get Out is that rarest of horror films: a masterpiece that doesn’t use “horror” as an excuse. The direction and performances are as tight as anything you’ll see. Nearly every shot, every line, is aimed with purpose; that which seems throw-away, with hindsight, carries weight. There are clear messages that enhance, not hinder, the action. This is a film that is gripping and great throughout. I’m remaining somewhat vague because you deserve to see this film fresh, because there’s an awful lot to see here. An absolute classic. (See my Get Out Twitter review)

Deidra And Laney Rob A Train is one of Netflix’s Sundance picks, so hopes are high. We pretty much get what we see on the tin: two sisters decide, for their family’s survival, that they need to start robbing trains. Cue light-hearted mishaps and drama, as things don’t quite go their way. It’s a little incoherent and doesn’t carry much substance, but the film is a reasonable enough way to pass a few hours. Watchable. (See my Deidra And Laney Rob A Train Twitter review)

Madalyn Murray O’Hair is the title character in The Most Hated Woman In America, based on the real life of an atheist fighting for separation of church and state in the US. The film covers a large period of her life, but centres on her kidnapping. Melissa Leo is fantastic as the lead, and the film is fairly tense at times, but pacing is a real issue. Some moments are rushed, others far too long. Watchable. (See my The Most Hated Woman In America Twitter review)

Finally The Discovery poses an interesting question: a scientist discovers definitive proof of an afterlife (the form of which is unknown). What happens next? The film is well-paced and thoughtful, exploring its ideas reasonably. The leads (Robert Redford, Jason Segel, Rooney Mara) are turn in solid performances. The end becomes laden in exposition, but that’s a minor bump on the road. Definitely see this film. (See my The Discovery Twitter review)

The winner for March is Get Out, by getting everything right at almost every level. A serious contender for film of the year.