Postmodern Media, Post Modern Analysis, Share, & Repeat

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Agent 47: The Silent Assassin (fan trailer for the 2015 Hitman movie)

Last post, I said "I'm definitely taking a break from videos after this. I need to get back to basics" and reviews. And then...


If Hollywood can crank out remakes, why can't we? For reference, please go here to watch my fan trailer for the 2007 Hitman movie. And reviews for both movies are here (2007) and here (2015). If you'd like to know more about this rehash, and the personal value I felt in putting it together, please keep reading. 

In all honesty, I'm out of fresh trailer ideas for the time being. What I figured instead was that I could give Hitman: Agent 47 the same treatment I gave the original movie, but with some technical and visual upgrades thanks to switching from Blender to Final Cut Pro and additional editing experience since the summer. However, that also made me a bit conflicted, as someone who always says that everyone should at least try free and open-source software first, and not shell out money unless it's absolutely necessary. So, Blender was used for the text, that Fox logo is someone else's (beautiful) Blender model, and that scramble effect is not something I would've figured out in Final Cut. Quick sidenote, unless it wasn't allowed for some reason, I'm really surprised 20th Century didn't do something special with the searchlights in movie's actual opening. Felt like a missed opportunity. 

For a ridiculous concept, as far as copying something I did earlier in the year, I ended up going all out and getting good editing practice in with this project. I did a lot more sound work than usual, and I have my main process/pipeline pretty much down at this point. As someone who's mostly self-taught and regularly flailing through these, feeling like I was successfully following some kind of checklist for this one flattened the uphill battle of getting this movie to pretend it's faithful to its source material. (One day stealth will be its own tv and film genre...but today, unfortunately, is not that day.) My first complete draft of a trailer is usually much rougher, but what I initially showed people really felt like 80 or 90% there. So, I'm getting better at this, and it's a nice thing to celebrate. Still, I'm really glad they got a first glance at the video before it went public. 

Like I always say, these wouldn't come out as well as they do without the screen tests with the FanTrailer community. TheMarvelStark and Will Wallberg gave me some great notes on finishing touches. Sound design was improved further under their direction, and they found an area where one more mechanic of the games could be shown, disguises! Please check out their wonderful work and other projects that people are doing, too.
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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Emancipation of Harley Quinn | Birds of Prey Horror Style Trailer

Update: Winners of the Halloween/Horror contest can be seen here. Sadly, I didn't place, but there's always next time. These guys, really all of us, did fantastic work. The whole community, on and off reddit, always does. 


I'm definitely taking a break from videos after this. I need to get back to basics. 

At the end of my Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) review, I said there was "a depth given to Harley Quinn that hasn't been seen since her beginnings on Batman The Animated Series." What made me think of that was her abuse by The Joker and the fear that a breakup in this movie would lead her to replacing him with Roman Sionis. It's definitely a viable option for the character and film, and the filmmakers demonstrate that it could literally be triggered by a slap. At least, that's where my mind immediately went in the theatre. Please read more for a bit more info on how this was cut together and a "Thank You" section.

Thanks, once again, to the FanTrailer community, I got to explore that for their Halloween/Horror contest. And thanks to the Blender community on reddit and their contests, 3d models I made of Harley's weapons were thrown in for good measure. Animation was added just for this though. If you're curious about Blender or 3d art, please leave a comment or message if you'd like help getting started. Same goes with editing, of course, especially since Blender is one of many free editors out there...although this was done with Final Cut Pro. 

Speaking of the theatre, I'm so glad this was one of the last ones I got to see before all hell broke loose. If Hollywood immediately halted all production and releases in March, this would probably be in the Top 5 of 2020.

While it worked for me, the movie and actual marketing for it were both a bit all over the place. So, besides creating this "romantic" abusive relationship between Harley and Roman, I also wanted to try to re-focus everything a bit. The diamond weirdly wasn't mentioned in the official trailers, so it became a trailer plot point, and this largely replaced the focus on The Birds of Prey. That's why the title change happened, too. Probably not the right move for WB to make, but that's why this community exists, to play with fun ideas. 

Joining in for the fun this time are Harrison and, once again, TheMarvelStark. Harrison made sure the music, which I really just put down and didn't edit to this time (thank goodness) had a huge impact on the overall video. Based on his work, incorporating music well appears to be his specialty. TheMarvelStark gave me a full workup of technical improvements and suggestions. They're both great editors, please check out their channels!
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Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Booksmart: Teenage Dirtbag TV Spot (Fan Made)

Update: Please check out Riptide Fugitive's work. They saw this and decided to use the song for their own Alita: Battle Angel video. They're also just an awesome person!

I ended my review of Booksmart saying "One more thing, before or after seeing it, I recommend listening to this cover of Teenage Dirtbag [by Jax]. They match up together pretty well." To put that to the test, I made a short ad powered by the song. Read more for a tiny bit more background and a "Thank You" section.

Two of the greatest gifts of college (SUNY New Paltz) was swing dance lessons and a re-introduction to the music. Specifically swing covers of non-swing songs, like this. Before that, it was mainly the soundtrack to The Mask. It just opened up a whole new world, and not just instrument-wise. Whenever a song went from a male singer to a female singer, or vice-versa, they usually wouldn't adjust the lyrics. So gay relationships were finally being "talked" about the same way straight ones have been forever. That's what Booksmart does, too, with Amy (Kaitlyn Dever). Something about that, mixed with the universal relatability of surviving high school, and the personal relatability of not partying until college, struck a chord, made me actually tear up a little, and made the idea more than worth pursuing. Adding onto that, I wanted to replace the raunchiness and wackiness in the real marketing with sweetness that's also more relatable to all of us. And it may have helped lessen the Superbad comparisons.


Plus, while this has been in my head for over a year, I really wanted a quick bounce back after being told about the issues in The Devil's Advocate trailer. You shouldn't sweat the small stuff, but sometimes you just can't help yourself.

Again, the FanTrailer community on Discord and Reddit was a huge help. This time, William Eklöf took the lead and gave me fantastic advice about how to add some more shots and give the spot more life. His work can be found here. Additional feedback from TheMarvelStark and, again, Will Walberg.
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Saturday, October 24, 2020

The Devil's Advocate Fan Trailer - Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Style


First, it's hard to believe Theron is misspelled in the cast listing. I thought for sure I'd screw up Nielsen or Matarazzo. A lesson learned for next time, run through everything again and again. Sound off/on and video off/on. Lessons to lookup, how to handle audio popping. Most importantly, check the FPS of the project and videos. Changed project settings afterwards, and each one after this was perfectly synched from start to finish. No more adjusting and matching dialogue manually!
  
Read more for additional info on how I made this, the benefits of the errors mentioned above, and a "Thank You" section.

To continue getting this out of the way, for myself more than anyone, a reason I'm not fixing the errors I made is because Why We Watch should be a bit unpolished. I told my brother and professor medium-quality/semi-professional was the brand. The purpose of that was so that others who came across videos like this would feel encouraged to at least give content creation, whatever the medium, a shot. If the creativity and fun of making stuff like this is clear, everything else people see is just a bonus. This'll hopefully show that there's nowhere to go but up

So, Al Pacino being in both movies is what made the idea come up and be worth trying. Once I really got into editing,  it was not as hard as it could've been. Thank goodness for that. The Devil's Advocate, if you don't look at the actual marketing beyond the DVD cover, initially appears to be a conventional courtroom drama. It's not, for a lot of reasons, and one of those reasons is the already bouncy editing and visuals I had to work with. Another is the eccentricity of Pacino's John Milton. So, the goal was to put that fun into a more modern trailer, avoid spoilers (even if the movie is over 20 years old), and, above all, put together a concept people haven't tried yet. Of course, that last part can only go so far when you're also inspired by a Revenge of the Sith trailer in the same style. The creator of that also helped me out and made sure I had the song names I needed and placed them in the right order.

This is my first big project with Final Cut Pro, and the workflow was incredible. Blender has better A/V sync, in that you can instantly tell if it's off or not, but it runs very slow as an editor and also needs a magnetic timeline. Hopefully, that happens in the next 5-10 years. 

Also, a little funny part of this whole project is the pickup shot that had to be grabbed from somewhere else. The subway is from The Amazing Spider-Man. Putting that movie into an editor is always a treat.

A big thanks the FanTrailer community on Discord and Reddit for early feedback. Thank you especially to one of the mods (Will Walberg), whose YouTube channel is here, for offering a lot of support. 
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Sunday, October 11, 2020

Young Adult (2011)


The first time I watched Young Adult, the ending was so frustrating that I went back to the box office to watch The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as a palate cleanser. While taking in a second show certainly wasn't a mistake, discounting more than Charlize Theron and Patton Oswalt's phenomenal performances and the careful depiction of a disorder called Trichotillomania in Young Adult was.

It's better if this starts with what Trichotillomania (Trich) is because it's what prompted this review. So, Trich is a body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) that causes people to compulsively pull out their hair. Other BFRBs include skin picking (Dermatillomania), nail biting (Onychophagia), lip and cheek biting, compulsive nose picking, compulsive hair cutting and shaving (Trichotemnomania), and hair eating (Trichophagia), among others. It's often triggered, as depicted in this movie, by stress or anxiety, but some people with Trich pull without realizing they're doing it. It's believed that 2-3% of people have it, and a significant percentage of those people are women. How that affects Young Adult's main character, Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron), is more prominent than I even remember, but it's still subtle. Trich is clearly something that she has, not who she is. I'll go more into that toward the end.

The movie's summary from Vudu is "Charlize Theron stars as Mavis Gary, a 37-year old former prom queen, and current writer of young adult novels, who returns home to relive her glory days and win back her now-married high school sweetheart, Buddy Slade (Patrick Wilson). When she finds her homecoming more challenging than expected, Mavis forms an unusual bond with a former classmate, Matt Freehauf (Patton Oswalt), and both must face the harsh realities of growing up in this brilliant and bittersweet story." It is directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diabolo Cody.

I'm not sure there's anything that can be added about Theron and Oswalt that hasn't already been said. Still, on rewatch, what did stick out to me is the moments Theron has of vulnerability and clearheadedness as Mavis. In a way that works and feels rewarding, those moments feel so different from the character we get to know. So, when they quickly vanish toward the end of the movie, you may want to shout at the screen or, like I did, reach for silver-screen-colored mouthwash. That didn't happen this time around, and I may know why.

Anti-hero led tv shows are huge now, and it's not just The Sopranos anymore. The best comparison I can make to Mavis is Bojack Horseman. The worst comparison is to other YA authors, so let's get that out of the way first. YA is a diverse genre full of more than high school drama and romance, and even if it wasn't, and these writers have to become part of that world, a lot of them still know how to "turn it off" when it comes to business and just interacting with people. This movie reminded me of a video (here) about Twilight's Stephanie Meyers, and how she is in fact an adult, treats fans and non-fans with respect, is the exact opposite of Fifty Shades of Grey's E.L James and Harry Potter's J.K Rowling in that regard, and should at the bare minimum be recognized for not being a narcissist. Mavis, especially as a ghostwriter of a declining series, falls into this mix on a sliding scale. While she's an adult, she tends to slip down as she struggles at times to maintain that role. She's the type that would stir the pot if Twitter had been as prolific in 2011 as it is now.

Back to the Bojack comparisons, whenever he tries to make big changes all at once, he backslides hard. Mavis is kind of the same way; a long week in her hometown isn't going to do much, if anything, as far making substantial changes. Plus, this isn't a Lifetime movie where the hometown is full of the nicest souls in the world. Mercury, Minnesota is just a regular, albeit fictitious, town. Which brings us to Buddy Slade, a regular guy in this regular town.

Patrick Wilson has gotten better with age and is sinking into more exciting roles, like Ocean Master in Aquaman. At the time though, he was taking these love interest roles that, to me, didn't seem right and needed an actor who was a little more eccentric in some way. Dan Dreiberg/Nite Owl in Watchmen is kind of in-between because it's about finding that spark again. Anyway, Wilson is a great fit as Buddy Slade, playing the stable husband and new father perfectly. And it's not like it's a boring role either. It's easy to imagine him getting his dad jokes ready for after the baby's first words. His wife even has the drum set and rimshot he needs. The only issue with Buddy is that he seems a little too civil to Mavis and allows her to take her plans for him a little too far. He doesn't lead her on whatsoever, but he brushes off her reminiscing and going into intimate recollections a little too easily and often. She may be the same person, but he's not, and there are things I've seen floating around social media now that make that topic perfect to bring up.

One small thing about Oswalt's character that gets better with age is how they handle his high school bullying since the U.S. is taking bullying much more seriously these days. Honestly, the whole movie gets better with age, much like Matt's home-brewed bourbon. This is still Oswalt's best performance. He said that he consulted with an acting coach and physical therapist for the role, and it shows in more than just how his character walks. Here's hoping he returns to more dramatic roles, or at least collaborations with Theron, Reitman, or Cody, soon.

The recent expression online is something like "if you knew me in high school, no you didn't." Mavis didn't grow up, but most people around her did, at least to some extent. Matt may make action figures as a hobby, but he also does bookkeeping and accounts payable work for a bar. Meanwhile, Mavis is an author who regularly blows off her publisher.

Actions like that, social media in general, and the concept of "adulting" make Young Adult perfect for now. Although it’s not exactly social media, Mavis is borrowing lines she overhears from people in stores and restaurants and parroting them as dialogue and thoughts for characters in her book. And as far as "adulting" goes, she lives like a recent college grad who's just scraping by, and honestly there's nothing wrong with that even for a 37-year-old. It happens, especially in the real world in 2020. The problem is that she doesn’t have the emotional maturity she should at that age.

As I mentioned, Mercury is a fictional town, but it's very far from an unbelievable one. It's a place that's just starting to get some big name restaurants and stores, and Reitman and Cody's way of showing that is similar to how Theron is shown. Some people don't change, they just appear to change. The same thing goes for some old, rural towns. The place doesn't look great, but it's not supposed to. So, strictly visually, the best visuals come from the awesome opening credits and seeing the inner workings of a cassette player. Anyway, getting a combination KFC-Taco Bell-Pizza Hut isn't a real milestone (although it's a first lesson in corporate consolidation) if the school mascot is still a Native American and the school team is still called The Indians. Although, the movie does note that it's a step up from Injun, and that's true, and this was 2011. Baby steps can still be steps. And this movie was a big step forward when it comes to Trichotillomania.

Young Adult, Example of Trichotillomania from Mavis
Mavis (Charlize Theron), a fellow Tricher, and her parents, who are well-intentioned but uninformed on Trich | Copyright 2011 ViacomCBS 

When looking for other writers who covered that angle of the movie, there wasn't a lot, unfortunately, but something interesting did stick out. Mavis is the first character in a mainstream movie, that I've seen, to clearly have Trich. Based on what I’ve seen on forums, like here and here, some people in the BFRB community take issue with that because they think others will think only people like her have it or that you can't recover from it. It's very clear though, that she just pulls when stressed or anxious, and it's separate from who she is. It's also clear from the clip-on hairpieces and hairstyles she wears that people involved in that aspect of the movie either did their research or have first-hand experience (we have no way of knowing which).

The first time I saw her pull and the glimpse of a bald spot felt like real milestones on their own. I’m a man, so I saw myself represented by someone who doesn’t look like me, and the impact of that is unexplainable. The moment her parents (Jill Eikenberry and Richard Bekins) brought up her pulling really brought it home. This is the clip, and it is EXACTLY what so many uninformed parents, close friends, significant others, or even teachers (who are some of the worst triggers just, at best, because of the nature of school and test taking) have said to so many kids and others with Trich and other BFRBs. "You're not still pulling it are you?" and "it's just that your hair is so beautiful." That scene is brief, but just imagine it over eighteen years, or a lifetime. Even people, usually men, who don't mind being bald, hear it sometimes, and they just want the constant badgering, guilt, and shame to stop. Add wanting to feel beautiful and being a woman on top of that, and it's unimaginable. So for a better perspective on that, I have some recommendations to share.

My friend Abby Andrew has a YouTube channel where she talks about, among other things, alopecia, which is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss. She's done some videos about how bald women are represented in popular media. Please check her stuff out, too. For more information on BFRBs, please go to The TLC Foundation for BFRBs and The Canadian BFRB Support Network. For Trichotillomania specifically, there are a lot of YouTubers out there now who are talking about it openly, and they're just a quick search away. There is also a wonderful documentary called Trichster on Amazon Prime and VHX. It is directed by Jillian Corsie and features one of the more prominent YouTubers with Trich, Rebecca Brown.

As for Young Adult itself, 5/5! Even someone who's not approaching the movie that personally can find a lot to appreciate about it.

Note: This review was edited by Laura A. Barton of the Canadian BFRB Support Network (CBSN).








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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Devil All The Time (2020) [Short Review]

The Devil All The Time is by Antonio and Paulo Campos, and IMDB’s summary of it is “Sinister characters converge around a young man (Tom Holland) devoted time protecting those he lives in a postwar backwoods town teeming with corruption and brutality.”

That’s really just one of several stories being told, actually. It’s great that everyone gets a complete follow-through, but if I was to write a headline for a (longer) review it’d be like “Choose your own adventure, and stick with your favorite.” This movie may have better presented as a miniseries. Every story and character reaches a satisfying conclusion, but it still doesn't feel like enough either. 

I liked the multifaceted takes on religion, good, bad, and ugly. The bad has a lot of dimensions, as we have people who are just misguided by their strong faith, and they’re much more than simply using God to fulfill acts of greed and lust. Some of that is present too, but seeing them all together keeps the movie’s voice at least somewhat new. That, along with the setting, gave me a There Will Be Blood vibe, in a good way. It probably helps that There Will Be Blood is actually (finally!) a recent watch.

The cast was very good. Robert Pattinson, of course, stood out. Sebastian Stan did too. Tom Holland was great, but Marvel is just really hard to shake off. This doesn’t help, but he’ll be fantastic in an “Alien Costume” adaptation, when the time comes. The biggest surprise is Harry Melling (Dudley in Harry Potter) as one of the preachers. His energy, similar to Pattinson’s in this, is absolutely infectious.

Since some of us are starved for the theatre experience, that definitely is influencing things. I put this on without hesitation because I just turned in my laptop for repairs. This is being typed out on a goddamn phone. Still, The Devil All The Time will keep audiences engrossed in its story, as it seamlessly jumps back and forth in time, and I will be looking forward to the next project from The Campos.

3.75/5, and at least 4 if it was a miniseries.

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Saturday, September 5, 2020

The Addams Family (2019)

When I reviewed Storks I said, "No one gets society like Warner Brothers Animation." To add to that, almost no one gets joke-a-second animation like MGM. Sony's Pictures Animation would be one of the other studios that gets this, since it animated Storks for WB, and they do the Hotel Transylvania and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs movies from start to finish. While the stretchiness and exaggerated expressions of those characters aren't in this, the spirit of the jokes, and movie as a whole, is a mix of 90s Addams Family and cartoons like Tex Avery's Red Hot Riding Hood.

The movie's plot is as standard as it gets, but it was used to deliver some great humor, so let's get into it. Summarized by IMDB, "The eccentrically macabre family moves to a bland suburb where Wednesday Addams' (Chloë Grace Moretz) friendship with the [normal] daughter (Elsie Fisher) of a hostile and conformist [HGTV-like personality (Allison Janney)] exacerbates conflict between [Wednesday and her mother Morticia (Charlize Theron)." Also, Gomez (Oscar Isaac) is preparing Pugsley (Finn Wolfhard) for his rite of passage ceremony, The Mazurka, which will be attended by their extended family. So, of course, it's parents letting kids be themselves and kids compromising. It's basic stuff. This plot, luckily, is elevated by a screenplay from Matt Lieberman, and Sausage Party directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon, who plays Lurch as well. 

Speaking of Sausage Party, their animation team at Nitrogen Studios was notably exploited. Nitrogen was acquired by Cinesite, and Cinesite's the credited animation studio on this project, so hopefully, the acquisition led to a change in corporate culture and better working conditions. What is clear is that the animation in The Addams Family is a lot more polished, even if there's a step backward in some design choices. The final shots in Sausage Party didn't look final but more like lighting and rendering were still be tested. It's not bad by any means, but there's certain student film feel to it that is just off the mark from the Pixar aesthetic they wanted. 

The Addams Family is brighter and prettier for the most part, but also that "bland suburb" lives up to its name and The Mazurka doesn't look as much fun as The Mamushka of the 90s. So, the townspeople look like stock characters from an Illumination movie. No actual offense intended toward Illumination's visuals, they're okay. It's just that creepiness and kookiness that Cinesite developed for the main characters, by very faithfully capturing how they've looked in comic strips, should've extended to the background characters a little bit. It would've made up for the suburbia plot being something of a rehash of the first Hotel Transylvania. A lot of effort did go into these visuals, but that $24m budget possibly stopped them from going all the way with it. Another possible example of this limitation is with the Mazurka itself. It has a spotlight lighting style like the big circus number in Madagascar 3, but it's not nearly as big as that, partly for story reasons, and it feels like a mismatch. Seeing more of the spectators throughout the whole thing may have helped. Mazurka to Mamushka, by the way, is going to be the only real point of direct comparison because it is the one place where this update should have been superior. 

Speaking of direct comparisons, all characters are brought to life well by the cast, but there's a surprising few that are worth mentioning: Pugsley, Grandmama (Bette Midler), Margaux Needler (Allison Janney), and Fester (Nick Kroll). Short and sweet, Pugsley and Grandmama are given a lot of personality that I haven't seen before in past interpretations, and it really gave the movie a reason to...well...exist. Janney has played a character like Needler before, as the kangaroo in Horton Hears a Who, but she's a lot less insufferable this time around. So, that's an improvement. I expected the worst from Kroll's Fester because Kroll has, with exceptions, a disgusting and crass filmography, but he was pretty restrained in this and the character had some great jokes. Gomez, Morticia, and Wednesday are as perfectly cast and played as expected, of course. 

Finally, to wrap things up, I'm just going to pick out a couple of jokes that I liked. The opposite day dialogue and stuff that's been part of Addams Family can be confusing and hit-or-miss, and it is in this movie too, but the delight of newlywed Gomez and Morticia saying "we hit something" after crashing into Lurch with their car set a solid tone for the remaining eight minutes of movie left. Most of the humor won't be dated, except for the It joke in the trailer, and those that are still may bring a chuckle, like a devil character lighting his head on fire before proclaiming that the Mazurka is "gonna be lit." The Mazurka wasn't as lit as I wanted it to be, but the entire movie was more fun than I thought it would be. 

3.5/5 

By default, that makes the 90s version and the sequel at least 4/5

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Filth (2013)

I want to say that a while ago I saw a big article, or message board post, about if it's okay to write a protagonist who doesn't change. The most immediate thought that works was that as long as the surrounding characters do change, go for it. There's a version of Filth that's an improvement if it followed this, in a way similar to how Bojack Horseman characters evolve, or don't, over the series. An ensemble makes a movie like Filth, and the cast is there, but the screen-time isn't.

Filth, from the movie's official site, is about "Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson (James McAvoy), a scheming, manipulative, misanthropic man who spends his time indulging in drugs, alcohol, sexually abusive relationships, and 'the games' – [manipulating] his coworkers and friends. While working on the murder case of a Japanese student, he starts coming unhinged, slowly losing his grip on reality and suffering from a series of increasingly severe hallucinations as he desperately tries to hold his life together." It is written and directed by Jon S. Baird, based on the Irvine Welsh novel. 

In my Babysitter review, I said that I'm pretty easy and a movie hitting hard personally starts it out at like 5/5, and a cover of Creep, in this case by Clint Mansell, definitely qualifies as hard-hitting. That and Jim Broadbent's performance as Robertson's psychiatrist, Verme Rossi, are what's been rattling around in my head since the first viewing of Filth years ago. Also, that cover dates the first viewing as after 2014, while attending New Paltz, learning to dance, and discovering many versions of Creep. So, with all those memories and warm feelings, it's a shame to have to knock the movie down a few notches. 

The best place to start with this one is the easy complaints. Watching this with captioning is advised because the Scottish accents can be hard to understand, and the dialogue didn't sound that crisp-and-clear in general. You still know what's going on but could miss some little details. During a trip Bruce takes to Germany, Baird and cinematographer Matthew Jensen switch to a handheld camera, and it doesn't make a big difference to the sequence, so it's slightly distracting. The use of 99 Luftballons and Sandstorm is great though. 

The larger issue is best explained during a scene where Robertson is finally called out on his crap by fellow officer Amanda Drummond (Imogen Poots). McAvoy's stellar performance is even better when his character can't simply steamroll over another. Something clicked, for me, when she gets him to break down for a moment. It's hard to nail down why, but it might be because of how sick "'the games'" he plays are against mostly innocent co-workers. From an acting standpoint, where going from a whole movie of McAvoy showing his range as the Anti-Xavier to revealing further layers of this character in just a couple moments. Anyway, if the movie was more about screwing over the people who murdered that exchange student, maybe that would improve things? I'm honestly not sure and will be looking into other takes on this movie because that uncertainty is throwing me off more than expected. Another possible reason might be that she seems like the best-developed side-character in Filth, so that's worth investigating and digging through other write-ups and reviews of the movie. 

The murder itself, on the bright side, does show Baird's great strength when it comes to style and expressing a love of Stanley Kubrick. This scene happens in a tunnel and looks similar to A Clockwork Orange's opening. Robertson's boss, Detective Inspector Bob Toal (John Sessions) has a 2001 poster in his office, and further influences and references are dying to be discovered. One possible example may be the score by Clint Mansell because at least one part of it sounded like The Sex Pistols. Deeper than that though Kubrick and Baird are looking at fairly dark and degrading characters who don't adapt to change well. At least Robertson occasionally better recognizes that need to change than Clockwork's Alex did, although those are very different circumstances. Robertson's visit to his psychiatrist explains a lot of the great visuals Baird treats the audience to, like characters having animal heads for a split second. Most commonly, a pig head for Robertson himself. Oppression, to put it lightly, by police is a touchy subject in the U.S. Similar stories of abuse of power from officers, but from a slightly different angle may help some people having trouble wrapping their heads around how horrible aspects of the system are. The movie isn't really about that though, so it'll mostly just go as far as Robertson's personal depravity...and how you take in that depravity is probably going to be the main factor in grading Filth

3/5 but I know I would've given it a higher rating if it was that first view and the shock was fresh.

Whether they make it onto the site or not, Unbreakable, Split, and Glass are the natural followups. Split can just be watched on its own, but we've still got nothing but time for the foreseeable future. Speaking of which, my mom and I liked the M. Night Shyamalan-produced show Servant. It was our first time seeing Rupert Grint in anything post-Potter, and just like Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson, he's doing great work.
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