There’s not much to say about Matt Schrader’s ever imaginatively titled Score: A Film Music Documentary. A documentary made in praise of the Hollywood elite composers (who, to be fair, deserve the praise), Score has the presentation quality of a TV special or DVD bonus feature with no original thoughts about its subject.
Charlie, a queer millennial in New York, is looking for love. His modest expectations are reasonable, yet the mission proves to be a constant bust throughout the course of Prom King, 2010. Charlie chats with friends, family, and other acquaintances within his community (mostly for catharsis or assistance), but these conversations lead to opinions – sometimes closed-minded views – about love, Charlie’s sexual orientation, and dating etiquette.
I’ve been patient and forgiving with filmmaker Seth Gordon (who began his career with 2007’s acclaimed arcade doc The King of Kong) because I can see he’s slowly amounting to be a dependable director. Despite the abysmal and mean comedy Identity Thief, he’s usually able to drum up a lot of laughs with small casts (Four Christmases, Horrible Bosses, TV’s The Goldbergs). I suppose he’s been itching to branch out, but Baywatch was the wrong way…
Over-saturation has certainly helped Julian T. Pinder and Adam Levins’ faux-doc Population Zero. Horror thrillers have overplayed the mockumentary/found footage sub-genre, which is why this serious dramatization of an elaborate conspiracy theory is a breath of fresh air right out of the gate.
The Transfiguration has an extraordinary premise. Judging by the way it’s carried out though, writer/director Michael O’Shea doesn’t realize just how special it is.
News of an upcoming feature from filmmaker Patrick Read Johnson (who had previously directed mid-90’s comedies Baby’s Day Out and Angus) lit up the Internet in the mid-2000s with a fantastic trailer set to music by ELO and Jon Brion. The trailer, centred around an awkward teenager in the 1970s anticipating a unique blockbuster called Star Wars, dropped when I was in high school and working at a video store. However, the film went silent…
Life can fluctuate, and I believe that’s the point Win It All is trying to make. Then again, filmmaker Joe Swanberg may have just set out to make a straightforward character study, in which case that works too.
While I’m completely aware that Alone in Berlin is based on a true story, I’m afraid Vincent Perez’s big-screen adaptation is thin and tedious. There’s not enough here for the director/co-writer to flesh out, and likewise for the talented leading cast (Brendan Gleeson, Emma Thompson, Daniel Brühl).
A racially-diverse group of children cause havoc until a teacher comes along and sets them straight. No, this isn’t about Stand and Deliver or Dangerous Minds. This is about Urban Hymn, yet another film which takes the familiar plotline and runs nowhere with it.
If documentaries were solely graded on how much they teach, then Charles Wilkinson’s Vancouver: No Fixed Address would get full marks.