Showing posts with label Dakota Fanning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dakota Fanning. Show all posts

Thursday, 8 May 2014

At The Back At The Tribeca Film Festival

Late last month, a scheduled trip to New York happened to coincide with The Tribeca Film Festival. When I discovered this a couple of weeks before crossing the Atlantic, I immediately looked into the possibility of going to see some films and was fortunate to find the time to squeeze three in. With only six days in the greatest city on the planet, I wouldn’t have been able to justify any more than this. Tribeca was my first film festival and overall I had a positive experience. The event was well run by knowledgeable and enthusiastic staff while the locations were excellent. The cinemas themselves were less desirable however. The three screenings we went to were situated in two theatres, both multiplexes and both with very shallow seating rakes. At 6’ 3” I still struggled to see through the heads of those in front of me and was very conscious of the views I was obstructing behind. I’m not sure if this is consistent with all American cinemas but on the only other occasion that I’ve seen a film in the States, in the same city, a year before, there was no issue. Anyway, I digress.

The first film we saw was Night Moves at the AMC Loews Village 7 on 3rd Avenue. Both my girlfriend and I were excited and nervous about our first film festival experience and eagerly joined the long line outside the theatre. Night Moves is a drama with a political edge. Directed by Kelly Reichardt (Meek’s Cutoff) It stars Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard as environmentalists who plan to blow up a dam in rural Oregon. The film initially reminded me of The East, thematically at least but it soon becomes apparent that this is a significantly smarter film which takes a different direction. It doesn’t bombard the audience with back story or justification for the crimes. It assumes that the audience is clever enough to understand their motivation. The central characters also remain half hidden and you’re never sure if they’re showing their real selves to each other or the audience. The planning and preparation are interesting and the execution of the dam’s destruction is incredibly tense. What follows soon after is rather predictable but the character’s transformations surprise.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Man on Fire

Midway through watching Man on Fire last night I wanted to look something up about it so paused it and put a search into Google. One of the top results was its IMDb score which was a very impressive 7.7/10. Now the IMDb is a great resource but its rating system is susceptible to the whims of the masses and as a result, many films which don’t deserve them get high scores. On a related note, Star Trek into Darkness just yesterday crept into the IMDb Top 250, perfectly illustrating my point. For me Man on Fire is another example of this sort of overly hyped mass critical reception. While at its heart there is a great revenge story, it is surrounded my poor musical choices and cinematography which is so ill judged that it made concentrating on and enjoying the movie close to impossible.

Mexico City is one of the kidnapping capitals of the world and to protect his daughter (Dakota Fanning), businessman Samuel Ramos (Marc Anthony) hires a bodyguard to protect her when she’s out of their home. The bodyguard is former Marine and covert-ops officer John Creasy (Denzel Washington), a man with a drink problem and issues connecting with other people. Unsurprisingly the child is kidnapped and in the ensuing fire fight, Creasy is seriously wounded. When on the mend, though still critically ill, Creasy takes it on himself to track down the girl’s kidnappers and on a revenge/killing spree gets closer and closer to ‘the voice’ a master kidnapper, responsible for the taking and murder of several children.