Adventures in Cinema: November 2014
Continuing Kinnemaniac’s new regular monthly column, offering short reviews of every new film seen at the cinema during any given month. This will be updated after every cinema visit for an ongoing summary of what’s worth seeing on the big-screen. See also January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October.
It would have been so easy to make storybook bogeyman the Babadook a figure of devilish fun, a Freddy Krueger in pop-up form. But writer/director Jennifer Kent isn’t interested in the shock and gore of the slasher genre. Instead, her impressive debut is a more insiduous affair of considerable thematic and emotional weight HIGHLIGHT: Essie Davis’ multi-faceted performance as a grieving widow and mother-at-her-wit’s-end, at once sympathetic and troubling.
Who needs a Taxi Driver? Jake Gyllenhaal’s ambulance chaser is doing just fine at making his own way into the cinematic underworld, thanks, in Dan Gilroy’s jet-black study of corporate amorality, ethics-averse journalism and the woozy, caffeinated rush of tarmac and neon.. HIGHLIGHT: That rarity, a terrific final act during which the film’s themes and Gyllenhaal’s electrifying performance click into thrilling focus.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
The title is a misnomer: there are no games here. Instead, it’s all a bit serious, as the franchise is simultaneously strengthened and weakened by its final chapter being cleaved in half. While there’s enviable space to dig into the themes, it makes for a slightly dull ratio of killer to filler. HIGHLIGHT: The continuing excellence of Jennifer Lawrence, whose range and maturity as the soulful (and singing!) Katniss is an about-face from her ‘adorkable’ public image.
Thanks to Showcase Cinemas.