Film Review : Side Effects

IMDB Score – 7.1
RT Score -84%

Ahhh, Steven Soderbergh. The man apparently has retired from directing films but I don’t think the man can stay away. I think he’s just burnt out. He’s made ten films since 2007 and has been a producer on countless other productions. I hope he doesn’t stay away from the camera for too long because he’s a one of a kind director that is constantly doing unique projects one after the other. He has directed films such as The Informant which cause me to walk out of the theater early (which never happens) and has directed films that have hooked me in like Contagion, Traffic, and this film…Side Effects.

The story follows Emily Taylor played by Rooney Mara as she deals with her depression and sees a psychiatrist played wonderfully by Jude Law. This is all I can tell you without going into spoiler territory. The film twists and turns that much.

I thought the film did a good job fitting into the “Hitchcock” mold that most thrillers try to adhere too but most end up failing to accomplish. The mystery that Jude Law is trying to uncover is a well written mystery that had me guessing. It managed to flip itself around multiple times without giving the viewer the spins although the final act was a bit muddy at times. Also, was Soderbergh trying to make a political statement about pharmaceutical companies trying to make money at the expense of the health of others? It’s certainly possible the way the plot progressed but what we have here is a classic mystery story that would have worked great as a Noir film which was a pleasant surprise to me considering how much I enjoyed my last film, The Third Man. The acting was good borderline great with Law really shining.

Don’t quit making films Mr. Soderbergh. The business will miss your versatility.


Film Review : Ain’t Them Bodies Saints (2013)

IMDB Score – 7.0
RT Score – 76%

A big thanks to these filmmakers for having their new films released on VOD because without them I think I wouldn’t be seeing a lot of films this summer. I still have to get out to the theater to see You’re Next and The World’s End but for now I’m going to be watching VOD releases closely because it seems that the quality films are being released there instead of on the big screen this summer. This is no different. David Lowery is now a filmmaker that I’m going to keep an eye on because he directed a great little film here. The story is a bit run of the mill as we follow what happens to a young couple (Mara and Affleck) after a run in with police and years apart. The story didn’t really show us anything new and besides a few great moments was mostly filled with a lot of holes but that isn’t what makes this film one of the better ones I’ve seen this year. First off the acting is fantastic. Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck give incredible performances that in my mind rival their Academy award nominated performances. Ben Foster delivered a subdued but very emotional performance and Keith Carradine was mesmorizing every time he appeared on screen. The film also boasts some of the best cinematography this year as every single shit is lighted to perfection. You really get a great sense of the feeling that Texas can bring at night and with Affleck’s voice narrating most of these shots you get a real sense of wonder that Terrance Malick brings to the table. Actually, that’s a good way to describe this film, an almost Malick-lite film. It definitely shares themes with Badlands and would offer a one two punch if watched together. With the never ending crap that is being spewed at us this year as far as summer movies go, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints is a breath of fresh air from the stink that is big budget movies and for only seven bucks you can watch it from your couch. Not a big deal.