The Village


The Village. I’d heard it was among the better of Shyamalan’s but I wasn’t expecting such a… masterpiece? So very, very good. Imagery and structure and theme and camerawork and characterization is all dialed in and thoughtful.

Song of the Sea

Song of the Sea. From the same crew that brought you The Secret of Kells. This one is lighter, and more of a mess. It is heart-stoppingly gorgeous at times, and I love the sound design. I also love how much the story was told visually. The direction tunes us in to the acting, their moods, what’s they’re interacting with, where they are, guiding us along as they meet their new challenges. That’s all lovely. But there’s a lot of mythology and plotting and tasks that got in the way for me, and when the climax came around, I just wasn’t invested enough to revel in it. I think The Secret of Kells is the stronger of the two.

The Secret of Kells

The Secret of Kells. Gorgeous, but a little thin, story-wise. It focuses on Brendan, and hints at so many possibilities about creativity, religion, fear, duty, and so on… but only hints, and left me wanting more. Not sure there’s enough in here for kids, either, now that I think about it. Beautiful, though. I love that it embraces the frame and uses big chunks of the screen borders just for mood/decoration when it feels like it.

Edge of Tomorrow

Edge of Tomorrow. THIS. This is the kind of genre action film we need. Superheroes can suck it. The best Cruise performance in a good while, and his character has a great arc from coward to competence (always likeable, though). I love the film’s learning curve, too. Just enough to string you along, while not weighing you down with unnecessary repetition. For 2014 releases, I have to put this up there with The Lego Movie and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

In Bruges

In Bruges. Plenty of dark humor presented in a carefree manner. You’re never too far from a laugh, but the pace isn’t manic. There’s a willingness to draw a scene out, let a situation linger. I liked it a lot.