Monday, 3 July 2017

DVD Roundup: STEM edition

 An empowering story of triumph against racism and sexism against the backdrop of the space race, we missed Hidden Figures in the cinema, but it is definitely one I want to see soon. While there may be some saccharine and populist storytelling elements, I can't see any better reason not to use these techniques in order to celebrate these women of colour who work amongst the STEM disciplines, a group of people who are under-represented, in a positive light at least, in the movies.

A Cure for Wellness gave me mixed feelings when I saw the trailer. It looked intriguing, with a mysterious illness keeping people at a spa that promises them a cure, but it just looked solidly naff. Perhaps its the B-Movie nature of the plot that's played up to be some intense thriller, but to give it credit, it does stand out as a distinctive original story amongst a sea of remakes and reboots, so maybe its a worth a watch just for that.

What's most interesting about Trespass Against Us is that it stars Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson, two thoroughly capable and engaing actors. However, the plot is frustratingly vague: Fassbender plays the son of outlaw criminal father Gleeson, and after a heist goes bad, he has to escape is father and the law. Sounds a little... standard, if I'm honest. Crime films are ten to a dozen, and they really have to pull something special out the bag to stand out, and unfortunately Trespass Against Us doesn't seem to stand out in any way.

Heal the Living is a French film that weaves together interconnected plots relating to a surfer who has a road accident, leaving him brain dead and in need of a transplant. Katell Quillévéré's film has a been praised for its lack of sentimentality in a story that would of been easy to sentimentalise, as well as being realistic yet lyrical, which leaves us with a story full of potentially intelligent and imaginative direction, something which can be sorely missing form cinema.

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