DAILY FILM DOSE: A Daily Film Appreciation and Review Blog: April 2013

Tuesday 30 April 2013

Cars 2

The first Cars film wasn’t that great, yet after repeated viewings at the behest of my toddler I learned to appreciate the tender message about the feelings of obsolescence and being left behind in an increasingly fast-paced world. Unfortunately Cars 2 remains the dullest entry in the Pixar canon.

Friday 26 April 2013

The Hurricane

This little-known, infrequently discussed John Ford picture features what might be the greatest action scene ever filmed. OK, Ben Hur might have it beat, but it certainly has the best action scene you’ve never seen or even heard about.

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Upstream Color

Years after Carruth’s cult hit Primer, Carruth’s finds himself playing in the same field with many of the same toys. But with an even more deliriously cryptic plot under a truly horrific mind-bending sci-fi concept, Carruth’s absolutely validates himself as an astonishingly original and inspired cinematic auteur.

Tuesday 23 April 2013

A Man Escaped

Robert Bresson fetishizes the minute details of a French man’s escape from a Nazi prison during WWII, assembled together with clockwork like efficiency and rigor. A benchmark in the procedural genre, A Man Escaped exemplifies the enemcumbered and remarkably focused cinematic style of Robert Bresson.

Monday 22 April 2013


Joseph Kosinski’s Tron Legacy followup mashes together plotting elements and visual design cues from other better science fiction films to arrive at another dead and soulless inert movie. At least the neon-infused Apple-inspired visuals of Tron connected to the previous film, here the cobbled together melange adds to something significantly less than the sum of its parts.

Friday 19 April 2013

The Place Beyond the Pines

A tad clunky in the ambitious sprawling narrative of this picture, Derek Cianfrance’s unbridled ambition to push his storytelling abilities above and beyond Blue Valentine is a wholly admirable risk. Despite a rickety third act, which pulls together the 20 year journey of two characters on either side of the law, Pines is a thrilling auteur cinematic exercise reminscient of the ambitious blue collar dramas of the late 70’s specifically Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter.

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Elite Squad 2: The Enemy Within

ES1 was one of Brazil’s most successful domestic films, a crackerjack cop thriller with comparisons to The Wire, or Heat. Along comes Elite Squad 2, when released, the highest grossing domestic Brazilian film of all time. Off this success we'll see Jose Padilha attempt to resurrect Robocop for the remake/reboot. Elite Squad sizzles with some impressive musclar action, as well as introducing American audiences to Brazil's megastar Wagner Maura, to seen stateside this summer in Elysium.

Friday 12 April 2013


The comparison has already been made but indeed Lincoln plays a historical episode of The West Wing, a modest affair considering the canvas of American history at Mr. Spielberg's disposal. By the story of Lincoln, admirably is confined to the two month period or so in which he sought to pass the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, with most of the conflict involving the political dealings it took to secure the two thirds House vote. With Spielberg histrionics kept in check, the only misstep is the needlessly long running time, and at times overly verbose Tony Kushner dialogue.

Thursday 11 April 2013

Django Unchained

Django Unchained is Tarantino at his most grisly, brutal, but also straightforward, a film made for instant satisfaction but little resonance. Tarantino’s pulp slavery-era Western is certainly in line with QT’s current fetish for grindhouse-worthy cult-cinema. While Django Unchained is more Inglourious Basterds than Death Proof, there’s a strange feeling of emptiness not present in both Kill Bill and Basterds.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Room 237

Perhaps the ultimate cinephile's playground, 'Room 237' details the obsessions of devoted fans of Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining', the now legendary, much discussed and debated horror film, which at a glance appears to be a simple story about the breakdown of a psychologically damaged writer from the effects of isolation. Yet, with microscopic frame-by-frame analysis there emerges some equally deranged but sometimes irrefutable dramatic subtext that deepens this already beguiling film.

Monday 8 April 2013

Rabbit Hole

 A painful film for sure, of a couple dealing with the absolute worst kind of pain – the loss of one’s son, a toddler. Despite the pain and stress between Becca and Howie, we so desperately yearn for them to get through it. Miraculously, the film manages to humanize every character, creating organic conflict without melodramatically exploiting the tragedy.

Friday 5 April 2013

Simon Killer

Just like 'Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer's' intense devotion to examining a despicable character Simon Killer exists to create discomfort for the viewer - putting us in the singular point of view of a psychopath, whom we only know as such by the film's title.

Thursday 4 April 2013

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp

A sometimes goofy, sometimes profound sprawling epic chronicling the 40 years of service of a stuffy British officer. A rare non-propagandist war film made in the 40’s, with Britain in the midst of the fight, Powell/Pressburger’s challenging picture both aggrandizes and mocks the superiority complex of upper class British soldiering.

Tuesday 2 April 2013


Michael Crichton’s terrific slice of speculative fiction exemplifies the allure of the pre-Star Wars science fiction genre. Sharp socio-political commentary, in this case the darkside of man’s insatiable desire for entertainment, trump kitschy low rent production values to arrive at a rivetting thriller with intriguing and complex underlying ideas.

Monday 1 April 2013

Sansho the Baliff

The monumentally powerful Japanese ‘jidai-geki’ classic which explores passionately the lifelong journey of a son and daughter of an exiled feudal governer from a life of privalege to slavery and finally salvation is realized by Japanese master Kenji Mizoguchi with immense emotional power and mythological thematic resonance.