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Non-Review Review: The Place Beyond the Pines

This film was seen as part of the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2013.

The Place Beyond the Pines is a movie best seen without the weight of expectations. The safest thing I can probably say about The Place beyond the Pines is that it’s a compelling study of the multiple relationships between fathers and sons. Writer and director Derek Cianfrance has crafted a beautiful piece of cinema here. Running almost two-and-a-half hours, it makes the most of its extended runtime to draw the audience into the film, and to craft a rich and multi-faceted world the remains so intimate that actions ripple and consequences can’t be completely avoided, even if they can be temporarily evaded.

There's a lot riding on this...

There’s a lot riding on this…

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Non-Review Review: Bridesmaids

It’s kinda interesting. Bridesmaids opens over here a month or so after it does in the States, so I’ve had the opportunity to pick up quite a significant amount of chatter on the film, as a good film tends to attract on the information super highway. Most of the discussion around the film has been centred around the movie’s gross-out humour, with reviews branding it as The Hangover in heels”or some such, and a great deal of discussion focusing on the fact that it demonstrates women can do that sort of disgusting and crass physical comedy. Such a discussion seems to be just a little bit over-the-top, as the movie really only features three absurdly crass set pieces (one of which admittedly opens the film, another competes with anything else in a comedy this year, and the third is tucked away in the credits) – so much so I doubt anyone would bat their eye if the same level of juvenile conduct were contained in a film about a bunch of dudes. It’s a damn shame that this seems to monopolise the conversation on Bridesmaids, because it’s actually just a really good film.

Maids of honour?

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Non-Review Review: Insidious

I’m of two minds about Insidious, the latest entry in the “haunted house” horror subgenre. On one hand, I definitely respect its attempts to return to the roots of these types of films without dwelling on gore for the sake of gore. On the other, it doesn’t seem like the film is entirely certain what to show you when it can’t fill the screen with fountains of blood and guts erupting. Film is obviously a visual medium, but horror is very much an exception to the old maxim “show, don’t tell.” The problem is that Insidious shows too much.

A (para)normal family?

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