YOF#10-16 | Cape Fear, Cape Fear, The VVitch, High-Rise, Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice

Let’s bring this thing up to date with some quick takes.

Cape Fear 62#10
Cape Fear (1962)

An absolute belter of a film. Robert Mitchum is great as Max Cady, and everyone else is at least ‘good’. The pacing is near spot on, and the story is mostly believable. Of the two versions, this is my favourite. [4.5]

Cape Fear 91#11
Cape Fear (1991)

A solid remake that gets better in its final third. The only things I think Scorsese’s remake does better is the second half of the final act on the boat, and Robert DeNiro is marginally better in the antagonist role (though, that’s like comparing something that’s excellent to something that’s better good).

Unfortunately, the film feels quite bloated. It’s 20 minutes longer for seemingly no reason, and the first half of the films has all sorts of pacing issues. Also, while Nick Nolte tries, he not in the Gregory Peck’s league.

There were a couple of needless changes too including having Nolte’s Bowden having a strained relationship with his wife. Also, while Juliette Lewis is good as daughter Danielle, her character makes some frankly bizarre choices. [3.5]

the vvitch#12
The VVitch

The debut film from Robert Eggers shows a lot of potential, even if it doesn’t live up to the lofty standards some published reviews have it at.

The first third is almost crushingly slow. It’s only a 93 minute film, but it feels two hours plus simply because of how sedate everything moves.

It’s nice that something that (partially) falls into the horror genre doesn’t rely on jump scares (there is a grand total of one, and it is quite well done/almost humorous). Tension is built slowly over the course of the film.

The cast are fine, the script is not bad (some will struggle with the 17th century northern English accent, though I found it mostly okay – the odd mumble aside).

It’s absolutely beautifully shot. Seriously, the framing is brilliant at times.

I don’t really need to see it again, but I can appreciate it for what it is. Eggers will be a film maker to watch down the line. [3]

high rise#13

My friend Mike summarised it well by calling it ‘an admirable failure’. The ideas behind it all are nice (the floors of the high-rise represent tiers of society, the plot loosely/simply translates to the top floor keeping the lower under foot by pitching them against each other).

The execution isn’t great, despite Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans and James Purefoy being particularly good/entertaining. [3]

Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

A wonderful family film; the spiritual successor to Willy Wonka. [4]

10 Cloverfield Lane

A really good, claustrophobic thriller with a silly last ten minutes that stop this from being great. John Goodman is particularly excellent. I’m giving this a [4], but its more like a [4.5] with a [2.5] ending.

Batman v superman#16
Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice

Oh boy. Here’s what I posted on Facebook about it:

  • It looked pretty (especially in IMAX 3D)
  • Affleck, Gadot and Irons are good
  • Eisenberg is fine, but the character really should have been called something different (it was also nonsensically written – for a genius he’s pretty stupid)
  • Cavill is average, though it’s not like he’s given any character development
  • Amy Adams is surprisingly *really* bland
  • Everyone else is forgettable.
  • Snyder has tried to cram in too much and, in doing so, leaves the plot feeling very underdeveloped
  • Doomsday is naff – like the Abomination from the Hulk franchise, with the face of an Uruk-hai. Except more rubbish.
  • The Bat/Supe face off is fine, and looks nice.
  • There are creative decisions that are stupid too, but I won’t go into detail as it would be too spoilery.

Or, to put it another way – at least it’s not as bad as Terminator: Genysis. As the former lurks around a [1.5] to [2] mark, a fair score for this seems like [2.5].


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