Sunday, 12 November 2017
Thursday, 9 November 2017
This is hardly a new premise: the idea of eternal youth is a perennial fantasy and there will always be mileage in it. New spins on the idea therefore really have work hard to bring some twist to it, and The Age of Adaline doesn't make much of an effort to do so, settling instead for a sugar-coated romance. The chemistry between the two leads is an asset, and Blake Lively conveys well the sense of a woman who's at once afraid of the pain of any more commitment and also like someone who has stepped right out of the past, with her old-fashioned bearing and diction. In a supporting role, Harrison Ford is as magnetic as ever as an unexpected blast from her past, too. But it's all a bit too wet to have any real substance.
Wednesday, 8 November 2017
Tuesday, 7 November 2017
The style is ponderous with lots of dwelling on animals and broad vistas, in the style of Malick, and you feel that if they could work in him swimming with dolphins too, they would. Meanwhile, the people he meets outside the cities are all salt-of-the-earth folk and kindly hippies, as you would expect of Penn with his usual putting of the 'common man' on a pedestal. To further underline the manly soulfulness of his quest, there's Eddie Vedder's dirge soundtrack seemingly stuck on a loop too.
Emile Hirsch's bright-eyed performance is a strong suit, as is the last chapter where he befriends Hal Holbrook's lonely widower. The character's end is also unexpectedly touching, despite his obvious stupidity at having brought it on inexorably. But the little fucker really could have perished at least an hour earlier, as far as I'm concerned.
Saturday, 4 November 2017
It's too much to expect that it could quite match the startling originality of the original, but it goes close enough. It's overlong, and while Ryan Gosling in laconic Drive mode occupies the screen comfortably as the replicant blade runner looking for the long-disappeared Harrison Ford and his own origins, he's also not allowed the acting licence Ford was due to the nature of the character. But my God, does it look stunning. The future is even more rain-lashed, toxic and grimy now. You'll be hard-pushed to find a film that captivates the eye so much in any genre. Also, unlike what the trailers would have led you to believe, it actually contains surprisingly little incessant action for a modern sci-fi sequel. This is also a good thing, because while they're sometimes fuzzily expressed, there's room for a lot of complex ideas about identity and purpose.
In short, it bombards you with mood for nearly three hours and then comes to a genuinely moving conclusion. A lot of questions are left open, even if some of the ones from the original film are also dealt with, so we'll just have to hope that the third instalment, when it comes, is handled with such panache.