Critical Dissolving

THE DISSOLVE 

Thanks to Rotten Tomatoes, I found a site about movies called The Dissolve. Its reviews are the heavy-handed type that you should save and read after you see the movie. The type of reviews that begs the question–

Can you skim the analysis without reading spoilers? 

Consider that my new barometer!

Here are two movie reviews with analysis aplenty:

inherent-vice-last-supper

Inherent Vice

Review by Keith Phipps

Plot: it’s hard to decipher the plot without an anguished deluge of spoilers, but it’s something about a cool, stoned PI (played  by Joaquin Phoenix ) who is hired to find a whole bunch of missing people. Josh Brolin plays a mean cop who is Joaquin’s frenemy. This is a film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Thomas Pynchon, who also wrote the screenplay.

Review Skimmable? No! The review is as convoluted as the plot seems to be. The reviewer even says that you can’t get everything in one viewing. It hurt my frontal vortex (or somewhere in my brain) trying to skip over the spoilers.

Auto-correct can spell his name. Now that’s cool

Analysis Skimmable? No, but I tried: the movie relates to the inability of someone quintessentially 1960’s to move on to the 1970’s.

Bottom Line: 4.5/5 stars. Phoenix is fantastic. This novel could  not have been adapted without him.

Of interest: the director, Paul Thomas Anderson, also directed Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will be Blood and The Master.

safemovieSafe (1995, on DVD)

DVD release date 12/8/2014

review by Scott Tobias

STOP THE PRESS!

FILM CRITIC SCOTT TOBIAS DECREES SAFE TO BE “ONE OF THE BEST AND MOST DEFINING AMERICAN FILMS PRODUCED AS THE CENTURY TURNED.”

(I dig histrionics.)

Plot: Directed by Todd Haynes, SAFE is about Carol White, played by Julianne Moore, who is experiencing anxiety in a life that to all appearances is stress-free. She is a housewife in LA, who develops a mysterious illness in reaction to the toxins in the environment.

Review Skimmable? For the most part.

Analysis Skimmable? Yes. I found Tobias’ conclusion helpful in my decision to watch this movie–

[Moore] and Haynes bring across a feeling of late-20th-century loneliness and suffocation that isn’t limited to Carol.

Bottom Line: Moore is brilliant. Her character may sound like a dweeb, but “she makes the audience connect to her vulnerability.”

My take: I don’t remember the late-20th Century having a pervasive “loneliness and suffocation,” but I can absolutely relate to Carol’s fear of toxins in her environment!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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