Sunday Short Reviews

Every Sunday, Gill delves into his archive of over 800 movie reviews and randomly selects three for your enjoyment! Here are this week’s…

It’s Such a Beautiful Day
Don Hertzfeldt is best known for his surreal, grotesque and humourous animated shorts which typically aim to shock the viewer into laughter with their weirdness. So imagine my surprise when I started watching It’s Such a Beautiful Day – Hertzfeldt’s first hour-long film – and realized that, while it contains the usual brand of Hertzfeldt weirdness, it is a sad, beautiful meditation on the fleeting nature of life. The main character, Bill, is suffering from an unspecified neurological condition, and we’re told very early on that Bill will die from it. But the condition doesn’t fill Bill with fear. Instead, it causes him to drift quietly through the world, appreciating its beauty, and occasionally interrupting him with horrible seizures or lapses in memory. It’s Such a Beautiful Day is melancholy, funny, tragic and smart. It showed me a side of Hertzfeldt that I didn’t know existed, and although it may not be the best animated film you’ll ever see, its reflections on these, our passing lives, have caused me to revisit it more than once.
4 out of 5

We Are the Best
An utterly charming look at adolescence, We Are the Best discards all the cliches of the coming-of-age film in favour of a sweet, funny and entirely realistic look at the trials of being in your early teens. The film follows two grade seven girls in Stockholm in the 1980’s. Punk has been officially declared dead as a trend, but the girls don’t care, and on a whim decide to start their own punk band. They enlist the help of an unpopular yet talented girl from their school, and the band quickly starts taking shape, even if only 1/3 of it can play an instrument. As the trio work towards playing their first gig, they struggle with love, identity, school, and their parents, and yet none of it feels trite or cloying. We Are the Best is a terrific film for any aspiring musician, and proves that you don’t need any flashy special effects or epic-scale stakes to make a quality movie. Just a good script and some great actors.
4 out of 5

The Interview
The conversation surrounding The Interview is much more interesting than the movie itself. Sony being hacked, unreleased movies being leaked online, and North Korea supposedly threatening terrorist acts should the movie see the light of day are all more interesting things to talk about than the actual content of The Interview. That being said, this film was considerably better than I was expecting. James Franco plays a Ryan Seacrest type talkshow host who dreams of being taken seriously. He and his producer Seth Rogen decide that the best way to do so would be to interview Kim Jong Un. Hilarity ensues when the pair go to North Korea and meet the man, who is a weird, flamboyant, but entirely human caricature of a modern dictator. The Interview is pretty standard Rogen/Franco fare, but nowhere near their best work. It views like someone mashed up Pineapple Express with Frost/Nixon, and there are a number of moments that got a laugh out of me. It’s not bad, but you could do worse if you’re looking for a raunchy comedy with a dash of political satire. Perhaps the most perplexing thing about The Interview, though, is why anyone made such a big deal out of it.
3 out of 5

See you next Sunday for more thrilling short reviews!

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