Film: Lucy (2014)

Lucy @

As with Nymphomaniac (2013), Lucy frustrates due to a tendency to keep telling us what we are seeing.  Whether it’s the Nature Channel foregrounding of the hunter / prey scenario being played out in the opening scenes or Morgan Freeman’s Basil Exposition character, popping up more and more to explain what we are seeing, the whole thing, despite having that Luc Besson comic book feel, just gets in the way of itself.

Then, the film suddenly becomes something else and we are in a mixture of X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963) and The Tree of Life (2011) and Transcendence (2014).  Does it suddenly become a satisfying movie?  No, not entirely but it does become a bit more interesting even if it is crippled by being neither one thing or another.

Film: Nymphomaniac: Vol. I and II (2013)

Nymphomaniac @

The problem with Nymphomaniac is the same problem I have with stage musicals; zero subtext.  Telling the tale of Joe, the film’s titular nymphomaniac, we move between story and storyteller with interjections by the on-screen listener that play like a visual director’s commentary.  At times, tedious barely covers it and that’s a shame because elsewhere in this film you will also find director Lars von Trier at his playful, artistic and provocative best (or worst depending how you feel about him) and there is something quite undeniably spectacular about the whole enterprise.