Film thoughts from Max


Film commentary by Max Pitchkites



Fifty Shades of Grey (February 14, 2015)

The long-anticipated film adaptation of the bestselling novel was slated for an ambitious Valentine’s Day release, which is rather humorous in light of the story’s emphasis on the sexual content, as opposed to any emotional aspect it might contain. Even if the film turns out to provide any significant merit, the film  has received an extraordinary amount of lucrative controversy with regards to its explicit content, which will certainly play a key role in its performance at the box office. From the trailer it is clear that the film is well-produced, but it is quickly burdened by the dubious acting and a thin plot immediately reminding me of those hackneyed old adult films that introduce a ludicrous story before proceeding onto its gratuitous main course. “I don’t do romance,” says the eponymous character, as the trailer uses nearly every shot and line to lead up to the violent sexual content revealed by the end.  It is difficult to see an intelligent or entertaining film of quality lurking within its two hours of runtime.

Kingsman: Secret Service (February 13, 2015)

Coming from Matthew Vaughn, the director of the well-received X-Men: First Class, this spy film looks like it will have enough action and comedy to satisfy a large number of moviegoers, most likely among male teens and young adults. I can’t foresee many of these attendants showing up for the sake of an interesting story, but any dramatic shortcomings it might have are overshadowed by what looks like a purely entertaining Friday night movie–the action shown in the trailer has a good chance of  maintaining the interest of action fans, as it is surprisingly easy to make action boring its in relentelessness, such as the abysmal Transformers films. The trailer pauses enough on amusing characters (including one Samuel L. Jackson) and plot points to suggest a pacing that will contribute to the quality of the film’s acting and writing merits, in addition to the action. This film looks well-rounded and guaranteed of quality for those seeking a fun time at the movies on the weekend.

Knight of Cups (December 11, 2015)

The new film from Terrence Malick (The Tree of Life, The Thin Red Line) is ambitious in its undertaking, but will most likely polarize critics and audiences alike as his films have consistently done in the past. Right away the trailer suggets to the viewer a debauched party film similar to The Wolf of Wall Street, but at its most hectic moment, the tone abruptly shifts to show the humanity of a wealthy, materialistic man’s search for meaning, played by Christian Bale. Malick was a philosophy teacher before becoming a filmmaker, and fittingly enough, the trailer touches upon ideas regarding the purpose of one’s own life and what that means in the face of the world, particularly in the bloated, hedonistic culture of 21st century America the director is clearly musing upon. “Nobody cares about reality anymore,” says a woman in the trailer, which speaks volumes about the state of America today. Malick’s films have consistently proved to be engrossing and challenging films for a mature audience–with that said, this will probably not be a fun movie for a Friday night, but certainly an enlightening one, and one of the year’s most promising.