It’s Lord of the Flies with suits and ties.
The original may not be the best, but it remains the most cinematic of the series.
With A Cure for Wellness, Verbinski goes all out in an epic-length exploration of madness and the macabre.
For fuck’s sake, even I don’t know what I’m talking about.
James McAvoy’s character is both the best and the worst thing about SPLIT, which was both written and directed by Shyamalan.
Even with expectations properly tempered to the low expectations of the January dumping ground, Blood Wars still comes off as an immense disappointment.
The metaphor of the Golden Buddha is a humorous bit of Hollywood lore. Lew Hunter passes it along in his classic Screenwriting 434 (Revised ed., 2004). In a nutshell, it teaches the lesson that every screenplay is, in essence, a pile of crap. It’s how the writer molds, crafts, and adorns that lump that matters. Artistry determines whether s/he can transform it into a thing of beauty like a golden statue of the Buddha.
Applied to The Neon Demon, Nicholas Winding Refn’s 2016 slow-burn horror-thriller, the Golden Buddha metaphor is apt. From the standpoint of form and style, it is a well-made film, beautiful to watch. In other words, Refn has applied the golden paint to his Buddha with skill. As a story, the movie is a rather thin and clichéd tale. In other words, the statue’s gilding does not hide the material from which its maker has created it.
To those of us jaded toward this type of thing, it becomes more about marking off boxes on our mental checklist of cliches rather than experiencing any real fear.
It is tempting to compare NEON DEMON to STARRY EYES, but I think that would sell both films short. Both films deal with the predatory nature of fame and are strong visually, but they each have their focus. The lead in STARRY EYES, Sarah, understands what she has to sacrifice and does it willingly. But there is, at least in the beginning, a genuine naïveté and original drive about her.
Despite the paradoxical gruesomeness and “what if?” curiosity of the premise itself, the entirety of The Purge series has possessed a through-line of altruism and nobility.