Film Review : Post Tenebras Lux (2013)

IMDB Score – 6.6
Rotten Tomato – 55%
Netflix Instant Watch

Directed By – Carlos Reygadas
Starring – Adolfo JimĂ©nez Castro, Nathalia Acevedo, Rut Reygadas, Eleazar Reygadas, and Willebaldo Torres

Juan and his urban family live in the Mexican countryside, where they enjoy and suffer a world apart. And nobody knows if these two worlds are complementary or if they strive to eliminate one another.

Hmmmm. Ummmmm, well….hmmmmmm.

I don’t really know what to write about with this one. I heard about this film from film.com and their annual “25 Films of 2013” montage. I forget what number they had it listed as but the fact that they included it on the list at all is telling. I have no idea what I really just watched. I like ambitious cinema. I can deal with experimental films that don’t necessarily have a plot or story but basically rely on scattered ideas. I just couldn’t with this film. It was like it was trying to be edgy and deep and only came off as pretentious and stupid.

Mexico’s Carlos Reygadas seemed like he took very personal events in his life and tried to symbolize them in the form of this film. The problem is that nobody but him has any idea what the hell he is trying to say. There were red glowing devils, people tearing their heads off, random ass rugby games in England, sex parties with the joy of sex completely taken out of the equation, robberies gone wrong. All of these things were just strewn together as if they were supposed to scream something but I just didn’t get what they were trying to tell me.

I will say thought that the only reason this wasn’t a complete bomb was that there was some great still camerawork in the film. Shots of a Mexican forest and dark thunderstorms were the highlight for me. The filmed opened with a gorgeous shot at dusk as a thunderstorm came roaring through. A little girl is wandering through a damp muddy field looking for her parents and at one point it’s so dark that you can only see the silhouette of her during each lightning strike. That was gorgeous. It’s on Netflix so if you’re adventurous enough to check it out it is readily available. You can at least take in the wonderful opening scene as it’s really one of only a few highlights.

2/5


Film Review : Panic (200)

Netflix Instant Watch
IMDB Score – 6.7
RT Score – 92%

Do you have Netflix? Add this to your queue. I think I’ll be doing a feature article soon on some of the ACTUAL hidden gems on Netflix. Every single list I come across on google has the same movies. I’m sorry said lists, but The Untouchables is not a hidden gem even though it’s cool it’s on Netflix. This film however is one that I’m sure not a lot of people have seen and I’ve never seen it on any list generated in the Neflix lobby but it’s a film well worth your time. William H. Macy, who is amazing in everything, plays an assassin who no longer wants to live his life of murder and enters therapy to try to deal with his emotions about it. There he meets Neve Campbell and the two hit it off.

What has the makings of a typical dark romantic comedy actually turns out a very well crafted and subtle piece on what it means to be truly happy doing what you do for work and how what other people want for you may not always be the best thing. I was very surprised by the film balancing the dark subject matter with little splashes of humor and heart. It also features probably one of the most adorable five year old kids I’ve ever seen even though his dialogue would never be utter by a five year old no matter how smart or sarcastic they are. The late John Ritter and Donald Sutherland also star in this so check it out if you have the time. You have the time just do it.

3.5/5