By: Henry J. Fromage –
Yeah, the work continues unabated and for the first time, I am now officially off pace to hit 365 movies this year. I’ll catch up, probably…
114. Personal Shopper
I don’t know why I’ve been suckered into two opaque, slow-moving Oliver Assayas & Kristen Stewart team-ups, but both Clouds of Sils Maria and this definitely qualify as opaque and slow-moving. In this one Kristen Stewart is a personal shopper for a pop or movie star of some sort who is also a medium trying to contact her dead brother, who may be texting her from beyond the grave. To be honest, it’s not as dumb as it sounds, Stewart’s rightfully earned her new reputation as an Indie darling, and Assayas frames some scenes in interesting ways. Did I mention it was slow, though?
115. The Girl With All the Gifts
This British zombie film is more steeped in genre tropes than it would like to think it is, but does match a great cast (Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine, and the brilliant young Sennia Nanua) with some new twists. In this zombie world, the “hungries” produced some hybrid human zombies when mothers infected by the disease passed it to their fetuses. Close is a scientist trying to find a cure for the disease in these new creatures, but as always, things go horribly awry. Nanua is the real protagonist, though, an intelligent young girl who is also something primal and dangerous but who wants to protect those that have kept her like a lab rat nonetheless. Zombie fans will not be disappointed.
116. The Discovery
This one makes Personal Shopper look like Fate of the Furious. Jason Segel just wasn’t built to play sad-sack, and despite an intriguing premise (Robert Redford plays his Dad, who also discovered definitive proof of the afterlife, causing millions to off themselves) and some interesting design, I honestly have forgotten half of what happened in the film, and I only watched it like six hours ago. Skip this and go watch The End of the Tour again.
117. The Lost City of Z
It feels like for the first time I actually get where all that James Gray love is coming from. A man seemingly transplanted from the New Hollywood of the 1970s into the present day, but a with present day attitude towards social mores, I’ve often found his style to be a bit oil & water. Here it works beautifully, though, as his sweeping tale of Percy Fawcett’s multiple attempts to find a lost civilization deep in the Amazon hits all of that sweeping Hollywood grandeur while still earning the grit he pocks it with. Like a great lost Michael Cimino film, this will satisfy all lovers of epic filmmaking or just film in general- a grand, thought-provoking, and often gorgeous endeavor.