Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Quick Reviews #8

So here's some more quick reviews for you. This time, two very different films about relationships, one with someone who is terminally ill and the other with a couple who are immortal. Read on to find out what I thought of both The Fault In Our Stars and Only Lovers Left Alive.

The Fault In Our Stars
Based on the book of the same name (which I have not read yet), The Fault In Our Stars follows Hazel, a girl who is terminally ill and how her life is affected when she meets Gus, a happy and optimistic guy who wants to live life being remembered. When I first saw the trailer for this, I thought it would be yet another film about cancer that will have you crying by the end of it. And although this film will no doubt make the waterworks flow, it is a lot more moving and uplifting than the films that have come before it. It may start kind of cliched with the two star crossed lovers bumping into each other, but the film becomes something a lot more heartfelt and this is only helped along by the terrific chemistry between Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, who really allow you to care about the characters. It is difficult for me to give a complete review of this film because of the people in my cinema screening who thought it would be great to talk and answer the phones on loudspeaker throughout, so i wasn't fully invested in the film at all times! Even so, I was still able to care about these characters and their hard times, which are more than just the fact that one was ill and the other used to be. The film respected the fact that cancer wasn't the only interesting talking point about the characters, it was also about living life to the full and making others happy. You are beaten over the head a bit with the mood of each scene that always ended with some atmospheric song. I also feel it could have been cut down a bit as the ending did seem to drag on, but overall it was surprisingly a lot better then I thought it would be going in to it. It definitely deserves a second viewing where I can watch it in peace and give all my time and concentration, but for now I am rating the film a 3.5/5.

Only Lovers Left Alive 
Jim Jarmusch's latest follows two vampires living in present day Detroit as they go about their lives. This beautiful film creates a snapshot of the two lovers lives so elegantly and romanticly that it keeps you gripped within their world easily for the duration. Everything about this film is great, from the two leads, Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton, to the attention to detail on the set design and music choices. I was completely enthralled by this film and its dark romantic setting, the characters were so interesting and their lives captivating. The vampire mythos is intriguing and the complications and dilemmas that arrive in their lives is entertaining to watch being played out. I can't find anything bad to say about this film, its dark and moody, weird and wonderful, and another masterpiece by Jarmusch who proves that he has not lost his touch. Definitely one of the best films I have seen recently, and thankfully I saw it by myself and not with any rude cinema go'ers. The supporting cast are great, especially Mia Wasikowska's vampire, Ava, who's bubbly free natured personality creates a humorous breath of fresh air in the film. Just when you thought vampires were on the way out, Jim Jarmusch comes along and creates the best take on the genre yet. I saw one critic describe it as Before Sunset meets vampires and I could not agree more. I am rating Only Lovers Left Alive a 5/5.

What did you think of the films? Agree with my reviews or not? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

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