A Nightmare Masterclass in Revenge

You were never really here

You Were Never Really Here follows a familiar enough shape of a thriller. Directed by Lynne Ramsay, known for We Need to Talk About Kevin. The movie, stars Joaquin Phoenix as Joe, a private operative – formerly a US soldier – who spends most of his time rescuing victims of sexual slavery.

Balancing between feverish dreamlike hallucinations of a tormented past and a grim disoriented reality, the grizzled Joe–a traumatised Gulf War veteran and now an unflinching hired gun who lives with his frail elderly mother–has just finished successfully yet another job. When Nina, the innocent 13-year-old daughter of an ambitious New York senator, never returns home Joe is hired to find Nina and punish those who put her through hell.

So much stands out. There is nobody better than Phoenix at conveying numbed psychosis and, more bearded than a retired buccaneer, he excels in tussles with a kaleidoscope of inner torments. He has the look of a man who is never more than five minutes away from processing bad news. He seems weighed down by generations of sorrow. But he is also allowed moment of gentleness.

Ramsay expands Joe’s story in ingenious fashion. The traumas he suffered in the army are dealt with in a brief ambiguous flashback that lasts little longer than three minutes. His own childhood abuse is referenced in muttered shouts on the soundtrack and through a continuing need – apparently inspired by his dad’s bullying – to wrap his head in cellophane… read more from The Irish Times

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How Quiet Can You Be?

A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place is the perfect title for this almost silent horror movie. Centring on familial tension in a post-apocalyptic world, a world cobbled-together headlines and notes reveal the presence of an alien invader, one that hunts by sound.

A nerve-racking overture follows a family as they tiptoe stealthily through abandoned streets and stores in search of medicine. While mother Evelyn (Blunt) searches soundlessly around shelves, father Lee (Krasinski) takes a rocket toy away from the youngest of his three children just before the sound effects kick in.

We soon learn that this family had something of an edge on the mysterious creatures that have depopulated the planet: the eldest daughter, Regan (the remarkable Millicent Simmonds) is deaf. Sign language has allowed them to communicate in their remote, survivalist-friendly farm, while others have perished.

The location and different abilities bestowed by the presence of Simmons’s character locate A Quiet Place somewhere between the post-horror of The Witch, and the woke-horror of Get Out.

The film’s nail-biting tension makes for pleasing genre thrills and a conduit for parental anxiety… read more from The Irish Times

Hilarious Dogs and a 12-year-old Boy!

Isle of Dogs (1)

Isle of Dogs, the new animation comedy from Wes Anderson, known for The Fantastic Mr Fox movie, is about a group of hilarious dogs and a 12-year-old Japanese boy who is fed up with the status quo. The Little Pilot, as he’s called by the dogs on Trash Island, doesn’t stick to society’s rules. He misses his dog and he’s piloted his way to the island to retrieve Spots (Liev Schreiber), his prized bodyguard dog.

The comedy here isn’t in-your-face. The jokes take some thinking. They arrive at strange times, causing a hilarious mishmash of humour and sadness. Emotional moments will be punctuated by dogs sneezing, and it’s impossible not to laugh right after you were about to cry.

Set in a near-future Japan, Isle of Dogs proposes a population that’s afraid of dogs because of the diseases running rampant through canine populations. Because of the hysteria over the dog flu jumping to humans, all dogs are banished to a nearby trash island to fend for themselves.

The stunning visuals can make you forget you’re watching an overtly political movie… Read more from HJ News

80’s Memorabilia in Ready Player One

Ready Player One

If you’re a fan of the Ernest Cline novel, Ready Player One, you’ve been waiting a while for the movie adaptation. Now the wait is over.

In the year 2045, the real world is a harsh place. The only time Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) truly feels alive is when he escapes to the OASIS, an immersive virtual universe where most of humanity spends their days. In the OASIS, you can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone-the only limits are your own imagination. When James Halliday (Mark Rylance), the creator of this virtual reality world dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune.

Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ready Player One, like the source material, is chock full of references to 80s music, movies, and video games. It also throws in a few Master Chiefs, Overwatch characters, and the Iron Giant for good measure. Usually these references are surface level and fleeting, but a few carry more weight—like the appearance of Adventure for the Atari 2600… read more from Kotaku.