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Mostly, this is about science-fiction, but not exclusively. It simply so happens that it's the field where directors with the most interesting ideas are.
One thing they all have in common is innovation in technics, cinematography and mastership of storytelling. Basically, I'm looking for original directors of great talent with total understanding of what cinema is as an art.
A brilliant war drama
(Please remember this is an opinion and not an objective review) Fury comes in a very long line of war movies. But David Ayer manages to transform a good but not perfect screenplay into a near perfect piece of art.
The acting is great. Look at the list on the casting. The rhythm is flawless. From quiet silence or talking moments to gut-wrenching action.
I've really liked David Ayer's visceral movie style since the beginning. Violence, brotherhood, have been his central themes. And it feels like he found a perfect subject in this movie.
The character study is powerful. Fury is built around an initiation process that reveals all of the characters' background and complex personality. A brutal, terrifying initiation. The first scene is a clear indication of the tone of the movie : harsh, almost silent, Grey.
The violence is terrible. Blown up bodies, pieces of flesh. I was shocked more than a few times. as the end credit beautifully portrays it, there is a total sense of realism and brutality that transpires through this. It is packed in an relentless death and carnage, to demonstrate how it physically and morally destroys those who face it. All of them.
Now what I liked most is a ballsy move by the director : when the final scene begins, and a seemingly hopeless and endless violence starts, he moves from day to night shooting. It is a quite surprising and bet-it-all move. And in my opinion, it works brilliantly. It becomes hauntingly beautiful, colored in red and orange, and shows to me, that this is the kind of director I like. One that takes position and tries things.
As the main character, we start the movie all clean and shaved, and finish it with mud, blood and despair all over us. There is no escape.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
A good piece of fun
So, by the title and the Michael Bay production name, you should already know what to expect. I went in expecting a bad fun movie, bu instead, i was well surprised. Not by the action, or the fun ( the effects are ILM kind of good, there is nice, though over-cut, action), but by the fact that it was actually a smart blockbuster. Not Dark Knight smart. By a league. But as in "with nice jokes, playing with the rules of the genre (kid-friendly, bad guys/good guys simple narrative, full blow-up show), and without the usual bad lines. A lot of lines were aware of the context, the references, and played with that. The characters were actually nice.
Oh, and don't forget what kind of material this stems for. In that sense, this movie was a nonsense fun, well made, but mostly well written movie. So all in all, I was extremely pleased with the result and didn't feel taken for a stupid no-brain human consumer.
As a ps, I actually like the director. I think he does very good entertainment. Most time, i see people get disappointed in movies because of the expectation. so expect action, jokes, and a well oiled fun machine.
TRON: Uprising: Beck's Beginning (2012)
If you've seen Tron Legacy, you might have noticed the magnificent designs and visuals. Tron : Uprising uses the same visual codes, but brings it to another level thanks to animation. Lots of crazy designs are used in this episode.
When you add that to an intense storytelling, you get a rhythm that doesn't leave you time to get bored. They managed the story nicely. Voices are good, even thought not perfect (a bit too much sometimes). As per usual, we get a simple story of a single man fighting a just war against an evil empire. But the result seems is not bad.
Tron Uprising is visually stunning, done with skills and with means. It is not a poor child of Tron Legacy. However, the music is less of a success : they use Daft Punk's score on Tron legacy as a basis for basically everything. So even though it may be nice, it shows a lack of inventively.
Despite the defects, this first episode shows great promise.
Farscape: The Hidden Memory (2000)
Just a little word
The Farscape series start in a very deceiving way : everything looks cheap, the action takes place inside a ship that looks more like a medieval castle. But as you get acquainted with the characters, as more of them come in the light, things start getting more serious, deeper, more powerful and more real. Every character gains richness little by little.
Just a little word about this episode, which is the best i've seen so far. Amazingly rich, dense, in the direct continuity of the "Nerve" episode, these are forty minutes you will remember. Some of the best characters of the series (Scorpius, his assistant, other characters we already know...) in a brilliantly written and not so cheesy screenplay. The quality of the screenplay is a direct consequence of the double episode aspect of this story line. Besides, there is quite a lot of action, and i even cried... for the first time in this series.
To sum it all up, a great episode, that takes hold of you and doesn't let go !