Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Call Me By Your Name follows a teenage boy, Elio, played by Timothée Chalamet, over the summer of 1983.  Elio is living with his parents in the northern Italy countryside.  His father is an archaeology professor and brings on graduate students each year to assist him in his research.  When Oliver, played by Armie Hammer, arrives at the Italian estate, Elio becomes interested in him and they soon begin to have a romantic relationship.

With all of the hype this movie received, I expected it to be a compelling and emotional love story.  However, it came across more like an inappropriate and abusive relationship.  This film is branded as a coming of age story, following an adolescent going through his first love experience.  Although, Oliver’s predatory nature makes the romantic love story seem gross.  Call Me By Your Name instead follows the story of a young kid subtly seduced by an older and more experienced man, and then manipulated into a confusing and involved relationship that is way over his head.  On top of that, there seems to be a lack of communication conveyed through the storytelling; perhaps it was the lack of chemistry that I felt from the two leads.  Their relationship seemed to escalate at a rate that did not make sense given the information we had been presented with.

If you are looking for a compelling and emotionally driven film about LGBTQ subject matter, then you should watch some more eloquently executed films like God’s Own Country or 120 Beats Per Minute.

Suicide Squad (2016)

I am not 100% sure what I was expecting when I went in to this one.  I had a good idea from the trailer that it was going to be full of cheap, gimmicky laughs and overdone, bland action sequences.  That turned out to be wishful thinking.  I wanted to enjoy it as the concept of a villain cast is much more appealing, or at least refreshing, than just another good guy action flick with little to no turmoil or struggle.  Unfortunately, DC relied too much on the antihero theme, explosions, and corn ball lines instead of character development.  I suppose I should have set my standards to generic blockbuster action flick, but I was hoping to get a little more out of it.  The biggest impact this film had was introducing people to Harley Quinn in a cinematic way and setting the stage for the most popular Halloween costume.

Cloverfield (2008)

The concept behind this movie is one that sounds good on paper, but to fully capture that idea leads to unforeseen problems.  The decision to take the “handy-cam” approach to fully immerse the viewer into the moment can be compelling and also disorienting to the point of exhaustion.  If you exclude the scenes where the camera is shaking so vigorously for such an extended period of time that I feel a seizure coming on and the cornball love story dialogue, then you are left with a suspenseful and engaging film.  Perhaps some find the handy-cam style appropriate, but I just cannot do it.   The positives to the handy-cam style are that we get to feel that we are there with the characters more intimately and the viewer can possibly buy that they are watching “found footage”, to add to the realism.  It is just at the risk of distracting the viewer from the actual substance of a film, or lack there of.