MOVIE REVIEW | Lion (2016)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “A moving, inspirational, feel good story, in none of the corny ways that those words would suggest.”

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“It would take a lifetime to search all the station in India.”

It’s that time of year…  The Oscar nominations are out and prestige movies are everywhere.  That can be a good and a bad thing.  In the last few years we’ve had amazing, but none the less, “Oscar bait” prestige that I really enjoyed.  Movies like The Imitation Game, Spotlight and Foxcatcher.  But there’s also been plenty of really on the nose, pandering, bullshit faff that is just too impressed with itself.  Movies like 12 Years a Slave and Whiplash.  I find it hard to articulate why some of these movies feel like authentic artistry, while others come off as desperate and cloying.  Whatever it is, I feared I was in for one of those categories, and was so glad I got the other, with Lion.

It’s 1986 in northern India, and five year old Saroo (Sunny Pawar) lives in poverty, but happiness, with his mother (Priyanka Bose) and older brother, Guddu (Abhishek Bharate).  Saroo doesn’t just look up to Guddu, he idolises him.  One night, Guddu is about to leave their small village and look for work.  Saroo convinces his older brother to let him tag along.  Guddu’s initial reluctance to bring Saroo Is proven correct when Saroo ends up locked on a train that takes him thousands of kilometres from his family to Calcutta, where he doesn’t speak the language or know his way back home. (more…)

MUSIC REVIEW | Japandroids – Near to the Wild Heart of Life (2017)

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Two blokes, eight songs, just over 30 minutes of music. That’s some incredible economy from Japandroids. But what’s more incredible is the punch packed by Near to the Wild Heart of Life. It never feels slight, rushed or in any way lacking. In this tight half hour of riffing guitars and thunderous drums, they find room for plenty of the Japandroids signature sweaty, break neck rock and roll in songs like the title track and No Known Drink or Drug.  They find room for soaring fist raisers like In a Body Like a Grave and the ode to their native Canada, North East South West. They even find room for a rare moment of more subdued ontrrospection in the synth heavy, seven and half minute epic Arc of Bar, which somehow actually sustains its full seven and a half minutes.

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MOVIE REVIEW | La La Land (2016)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It delivers flashy song and dance numbers that somehow manage to be fantastical and real at the same time.”

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“This is the dream! It’s conflict and it’s compromise, and it’s very, very exciting!”

I’ve been very slack in writing this review. Generally, I write a review they day of, or maybe the day after, watching a movie.  If it’s a new movie and still in theatres, I try to post the review within a week.  I’m writing this more than three weeks after watching La La Land and by the time it’s posted, it’s a little over a month later.  In that time, the movie nerds and sites I read have declared La La Land a masterpiece and Oscar front runner, before backlash saw it painted as an overrated piece of style of substance, before a backlash to the backlash had much of the public opinion coming back around to masterpiece and Oscar front runner.

Breaking the record for number of Golden Globes won by a single movie could be seen as a good thing or a bad one, depending on your opinion of the trashy celebrity jerk off that is the Golden Globes.  For me, La La Land is a movie that I loved when I walked out of the cinema.  It’s a movie I have recommended to anyone who’ll listen in the weeks since, and it’s a movie I’ve thought about every day since seeing it, and smiled whenever I do. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | The Unforgiven (1960)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “I’d never say that The Unforgiven is a good movie. But I also can’t say that I wasn’t entertained by it.”

Audrey Hepburn, The Unforgiven (1960, John Huston) starring Burt Lancaster
“I’ve left my family. They’ve changed. Turned into Indian lovers; Injun lovers.”

John Ford and John Wayne’s The Searchers is widely recognised as one of the greatest westerns ever made. In fact, when I wrote about it here on Bored and Dangerous, it was as part of my countdown of the American Film Institute’s Top 100 American movies. While the performance from Wayne is one of his absolute best, and the film making of Ford only gets more impressive with every rewatch, the political and social views haven’t aged so well.  So when I read that The Unforgiven (similar to Clint Eastwood’s 1992 masterpiece in name and genre only) was director John Huston’s answer to those troubling political and social views, I was intrigued to see what he had to say.  The Unforgiven is a response and polar opposite to The Searches. It just does something I had assumed was impossible, and presents something even more troubling than the movie it’s responding to.

With his father dead, Ben (Burt Lancaster) has become the patriarch of the Zachary family. There’s his old but spry mother Mattilda (Lillian Gish), hot head brother Cash (Audie Murphy) and adopted sister Rachel (Audrey Hepburn). It’s Rachel and her adoption that brings trouble to the Zachary clan and drives the plot of The Unforgiven. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Sully (2016)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “One of the best movies of 2016.”

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“Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time.”

Heroics are what movies are made for.  Sure, there’s drama and pathos and catharsis and comedy and a million other things that movies are made for.  But big screens, surround sound, movie star charisma and stunning visuals all get the chance to show off and really go for broke when a movie is built around a hero doing something extraordinary.

On the one hand, it was only a matter of time until a movie was made about the real life heroic daring do of pilot Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger.  Almost just as inevitable was the fact that he would be played the ultimate everyman, Tom Hanks. With so much seeming so obvious about this movie, the one thing that had me optimistically unsure of what to expect was its director. How would the stripped back, no nonsense story telling and film making of Clint Eastwood translate the possible inspirational schmaltz of a movie like Sully? (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “It made me care about superficial, childish, self imposed problems.”

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“There are two types of people in the world: The people who naturally excel at life. And the people who hope all those people die in a big explosion.”

A year or so ago, I wrote about the movie The Diary of a Teenage Girl, and I said, “It’s a story so foreign to me and my teenage years, but it’s told and acted in a way that makes it seem somehow relatable.”  A year later, I don’t remember any of the specifics that made me find that movie so relatable at the time.  What I do remember are the more sensationalistic, button pushing plot points, lines of dialogue and images.  And now, as a fading memory, The Diary of Teenage Girl seems kind of cheap and obvious, especially after watching The Edge of Seventeen.

Since her earliest years at school, Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) has been an outcast.  While her older brother (Blake Jenner as Darian) has always been good looking, popular and a master of everything he attempts, Nadine has only ever found solace in two people, her father, and her best friend since grade two, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson).  When her father dies in her early teens, Krista becomes even more vital to Nadine’s life. (more…)