Once two overzealous cops get suspended from the force, they must delve into the criminal underworld to get their just due. Despite a synopsis that sounds pretty standard, this is anything but. Unafraid to show us totally different lives and stories without much context to begin with, Dragged Across Concrete plays the slow game with its build up towards its magnificent endgame. While we know everything will soon link up, there’s no rush in showing us how. There are a lot of moving parts within and while certain characters get more development, everyone is given just enough time to leave an impression as well as an impact on the narrative.
After their teacher jumps out of a window during a lesson, a technically gifted class is given a new substitute teacher, Pierre Hoffman (Laurent Lafitte). As soon as Hoffman takes his first class, we know something is off about a handful of the kids. They’re arrogant and snarky but this doesn’t come across as annoying. Instead, it’s all rather unsettling. Is their behaviour down to what they witnessed, or something else?
Netflix may get a lot of stick for releasing generic rubbish, but I really think ‘Cargo’ would’ve struggled to get funding or a wide release through any other studio. For one, it’s a zombie film with a real lack of action, instead focusing on the harrowing task of survival. Setting it in an empty Australia as well as having an indigenous tribes involved may have put studios off as it’s very different from any zombie film that’s fine before. But, as we all know, when something new comes along and works, it really stands out.
Last year, my twitter went into meltdown when a film called ‘Get Out’ was released. Everyone was saying how badly I NEEDED to see this film. Fast forward to 2018, ‘A Quiet Place’ was emulating the same buzz. Touted as one of the tensest films of recent memory, as well as making more people annoyed about popcorn munching, this was probably the most excited I’ve been for film that’s not a “nerd” one since ‘Three Billboards…’. Thankfully, the film mostly lives up to the insanely high expectations it’s received, and is easily one of the best cinematic experiences you’ll see all year on the big screen.
Corey Finley’s directorial and screenwriting debut is absolutely mesmerising. We follow two upper class school friends, Amanda (Olivia Cooke) and Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy), who have fallen out of contact. As they begin to bond again, it becomes clear that Lily’s step father is a complete asshole. So, thanks to Amanda suggesting the idea, the two plot to kill him. The plot is a recipe for one of the best black comedies of recent years, and the two leads each give their best performances of their careers.
Right off the bat, I’ll state I’ve never seen the original ‘Death Wish’ so I had nothing to compare this too. My opinion is based solely on this film and this film alone. Eli Roth isn’t a director who’s work appeals to me. My favourite film of his is ‘Knock, Knock’ and even that is pretty mediocre. ‘Death Wish’ is a poor film, but what’s worse is it actually started pretty well and just deteriorated as it went on.
A few years ago, a film called ‘Tangerine’ broke barriers within cinema by being entirely filmed on an iPhone. ‘Unsane’ follows the same technique and the tone of the film suits this filming style perfectly. The extreme close ups and the distant, creepy following shots are just a part of what makes this such an unnatural but uniquely enthralling cinematic experience.
Francis Lawrence returns after completing his work on ‘The Hunger Games’ series with something completely different. He reunites with Jennifer Lawrence (no relation) in this spy thriller, which centres around a ballerina, Dominika Egorova, being recruited by the Russian government into becoming a ‘sparrow’. These men and women are trained into becoming spies who use their bodies as weapons for the Russian government.