SONG TO SONG (2017)

Written & Directed By: Terrence Malick 
Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki
Editor: Hank Corwin, Keith Frase & Rehman Nizarali 

Cast: Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Val Kilmer, Berniece Marlohe 

Two intersecting love triangles. Obsession and betrayal set against the music scene in Austin, Texas.


The film offers cameos from bands and musicians. Like Robert Altman’s THE PLAYER only less about the life and business just what kind of culture it takes place in 

The film is filled more with moments of the day-to-day. That is broken into fragments and left for us to witness and examine. As really the film takes place and shows us the lives of those attending a music festival. 

As it becomes a travelogue of the surroundings with a love of narration, that is supposed to help explain but becomes more oddly poetic. Meaning that what we see while visually stunning is a surface. While we learn what is underneath from the narration. Which offers up an explanation of sorts. 

The films of Writer/Director Terrence Malick usually revolve around the individual and their relationships with the world. Romantic and intimate ones are at the heart of the films. 

This could have easily been a modern NASHVILLE type ensemble, but the music festival is a backdrop for the intentions of music. With emotions and thoughts expressed through the melody with words. just like an album has a bunch of songs. Some are in the same Mold and some are distinct. Others offer a different slice of life and a continuation of themes,  but still a different moment and rules.

Going in you don’t know what to expect. But when it comes to director Terrence Malik’s later films. You kind of do, wide-angle lenses, narration, beautiful cinematography, poetic license almost abstract to the non-existent story. Left for you to meditate on, believing that this new film will be the one they have wanted from him and waited for. That will be his next BADLANDS or DAYS OF HEAVEN 

He tries to stick with the story more and each time while considered good. Not the classic fans hoped for. Though that seems better and is taken more seriously later,  then When they come out originally slow them to be seen more as pieces of art. Then just movies. Even if more and more end up as passable yet disappointing to a certain degree rather than good or even memorable 

The camera never really stops. We see private moments more glossy and pretty people doing normal things. Only with more shine and attention on these moments. Offering Communication through images. Never let lies during full conversations do it.

Though you might know what to expect. Though he offers you shards and then Leaves you to interpret and figure out what just happened. Sometimes with Narrations that sound like excerpts from books 

Usually, Actors clamor to work with Mr. Malik and his films usually are star-studded. Only then did he cut out half of them from the film. As they are not needed in what he wants to present. Which he finds during the editing process. 

So his films always seem like a cut he came to that was releasable after cutting down in the editing room from what might be the first draft filmed. If there was even a script. That it ends up feeling like A book with missing chapters and characters whose fate we never learn.

It ends up feeling more Like a music video with a score but missing the main song as there is a score but no singing necessarily. 

As characters who are almost like newborns come in and take out the narrative partially after an initial connection. Twisting things around a bit. 

Then the actors are filmed like fashion shoots. Like a footnote or introduction to a side story that affects the overall narrative.

Usually one can get excited when he sets his films in the present. Not so much historical epics,  but his strongest films are those usually based on books and true stories that have actual plots. Allowing them each a few chapters they tend to overlap through each other. To be the one In control of their own POV and their marriage and romantic missteps with guest stars.

The film seems to want to be ambitious but leaves itself hard to grade as it comes across more as an art installation rather than a film. 

TO THE WONDER was his last most consistent film.  As it seems the most focused 

This ends up as A long movie that feels longer than it is and monotonous 

It seems like Michael Fassbender’s character is a music manager who is in love with Rooney mara’s character, who works for him and is mildly in the know but once she falls in love with Ryan gosling’s character. At first, she still cheats with Fassbender. Then once she stops, Fassbender meets and marries shortly afterward a waitress he picks up quickly. Where it is all love at first then they start to sleep around. Until she has a romantic liaison and he gets her into drugs and groupies 

Then His wife dies and Mara’s character is with gosling. But he seems to still have feelings for his ex and they break up. Once he finds out Rooney had an affair. She signs with Fassbender and then has a same-sex relationship. Gosling moves home to be around family and falls for Cate Blanchett who no one seems to think is good for him. So it continuously plays with this melodrama. 

This is one of these Films where you find yourself constantly checking the time where it’s headed and shocked it’s not over yet. 

A film that might be smarter than the audience. It is also a film that wants the audience To Interpret it all rather than explain. which can equal big filmmaking wishes handled by a true artist or someone who knows what they are doing.

He sets himself apart as Brave. Most filmmakers choose to have the audience interpret relationships or endings or characters. 

Whereas by the end explaining the plot/story is simple as there is so little of it. It whereas it is started out with visuals montages narration poetry, but barely any music which the title suggests there should be more of some 

It all feels Pretentious where One might wonder if the director had a script as it feels like there is none and they are making it up as they go along at the location and trying to fit it all In

In the end, the film doesn’t offer as much music as expected 

Grade: C

SOLO CON TU PAREJA (1991)

Directed by: Alfonso Cuaron  Written by: Alfonso Cuaron & Carlos Cuaron Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki  Editor: Alfonso Cuaron & Luis Patlan 

Cast: Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Claudia Ramirez, Luis De Icaza, Astrid Hadad, Isabel Benet, Toshiro Hisaki, Dobrina Liubomirova, Ricardo Dalmacci 

A womanizer is falsely diagnosed with AIDS by a jealous lover and falls in love with a woman equally suicidal as he.


The film already feels outdated. The humor seems a bit lost in translation with the town being so dark. A misdiagnosed aids story played for laughs. As a kind of slapstick sexual comedy.

There seems to be so much in the slapstick situational first half of the movie. That it never feels quite enjoyable or cohesive.

There is plenty of sex yet the films never quite achieved becoming erotic. Instead, it feels crueler.

The last third of the film feels ridiculous as only one scene throughout the film truly feels actually funny.

Most of the film feels so far-fetched and then over-the-top romantic that it takes a lot to believe most of it. 

The thing the movie does have going for it. It is artistically directed by director Alfonso Cuaron making his feature film directorial debut for what ends up such a slightly heavily comedic premise. Which ends up coming off as soft and weak though. Ever seems to penetrate its own artifice.

The best friends are set up to be so over the top nerdy that they lend themselves to stereotypes.

The shocking part is that considering the subject matter you would expect more shocks but the film Is surprisingly bland.

Maybe looking back at the film through modern eyes. Makes what might have been cutting edge seem like an artifact that was of the time more of a fad and modern that fell out of fashion quickly. As it might have been looked at as In Bad taste.

It also seems like a film whose story was made to shock to get attention, for the rookie director to get noticed but ended up pretty lightweight 

Grade: C

BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE) (2014)

birdman

Directed By: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Written By: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris & Armando Bo
Based On The Writings of: Raymond Carver
Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki
Editor: Douglas Crise & Stephen Mirrione

Cast: Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Amy Ryan, Zach Galifianakis, Andrea Riseborough, Naomi Watts, Lindsay Duncan, Merrit Wever, Damian Young, Paula Pell, Bill Camp, Stephen Adly Gurgis

Riggan Thomas, once known quite well to movie theater goers as an iconic super hero called “The Birdman” had recently turned down a third installment of the franchise. Now washed up, he attempts to reinvent himself as a director by staging a new retelling of a classic Broadway dramatic play called “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”. The events leading up to the Saturday night premiere prove to be one disaster after another as the original lead actor is injured while on set and Riggan scrambles to find a replacement, but the replacement proves to be exactly who he needs – a method actor who takes the job way too seriously. But Riggan has a hard time juggling between the set, his replacement actor, his equally washed up daughter, and a host of other disasters that prevent a proper staging of the play. Meanwhile, a New York Times critic who Riggan has to woo threatens to shut down production of the play before it even starts with a scathing review of the dress rehearsal. Does Riggan have a hit on his hands or will he even make it to opening night?

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KNIGHT OF CUPS (2016)

knight

Written & Directed By: Terrence Malick
Cinematography By: Emmanuel Lubezki
Editor: A.J.Edwards, Keith Fraase, Geoffrey Richman & Mark Yoshikawa 

Cast: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Wes Bentley, Brain Dennehy, Frieda Pinto, Natalie Portman, Teresa Palmer, Isabel Lucas, Imogen Poots, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Cherry Jones, Michael Wincott, Jason Clarke, Antonio Banderas, Thomas Lennon, Nick Offerman, Kevin Corrigan, Joel Kinnaman, Clifton Collins Jr, Dale Dehaan, Shea Whigham, Ryan O’Neal, Bruce Wagner, Joe Lo Truglio, Fabio, Jocelin Donahue, Joe Manganiello, Beau Garrett, Nick Kroll, Danny Strong

Once there was a young prince whose father, the king of the East, sent him down into Egypt to find a pearl. But when the prince arrived, the people poured him a cup. Drinking it, he forgot he was the son of a king, forgot about the pearl and fell into a deep sleep

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