Film Briefs is our way of giving our opinion on films we might not necessarily have the time to review in full. This is a column where we sum up our feelings about the last few movies we saw and throw ‘em up just to give you an idea of what’s out there.
Follow the jump to see briefs for Keep The Lights On, Lawless, and Samsara
Keep The Lights On
New York gives a backdrop for this sexually thrilling love story. I love being taken out of my comfort zone and I am thrilled to experience something I have yet to see. Director Ira Sachs tells a story two men exploring sex, drugs, dysfunctional love and each other in thoughtful and relatable way.
The film is about a documentary filmmaker Erik Rothman (Thure Lindhardt) who meets Paul Lucy (Zachary Booth) through a gay sex phone line in 1997. When they meet Paul is a ‘in the closet’ lawyer with a girlfriend, but that does nothing to deter Erik from quickly falling in love. Watching the journey of these two was remarkably romantic. Navigating their way thru addiction, defining boundaries and themselves makes this love story a pleasure to watch.
Just as he did with The Proposition (2005), director John Hillcoat once again proves to audiences everywhere that his ability to capture bloody-knuckled brutality on film is fantastically gruesome and just plain awesome. And that’s where my praise ends.
No amount of visceral and realistic violence can make a film great on its own accord. There needs to be interesting – and more importantly – believable characters, instead of cartoony ones; a score that enhances scenes, not give a play-by-play song detailing events as they are happening on screen (unless of course you’re watching R. Kelly‘s masterpiece, Trapped in the Closet); and – this is probably the most important part – the film’s lead actor should not be upstaged when sharing screen time with a more experienced cast. Gary Oldman and Guy Pearce, both of whom’s comic book-esque villainous charactertures were more believable than Mr. Lebeouf’s first attempt at more less-mainstream fanfare.
Watching Samsara was like taking an incredibly superficial stupid girl on a first date. Oh sure, at first she’ll appear to be pretty and have a lot to say, but once she starts to open her mouth you soon realize that the whole thing was just an incredible waste of time. It’s the type of date where she tries to articulate her world view and winds up saying something along the lines of, “Like, modern people with money have so much, and the world is so big, so, like, other people don’t have so much stuff, and they’re like happy, you know?” And even after trying, or not trying, to decipher the extent of her meaning you continue on with the date because, well, she’s super pretty to look at, and hey, what’s wrong with an abundance of eye candy every now and then?