M. Night Shyamalan used to be the "big idea" guy, and in a way I guess he still is, but the idea is no longer the draw for me. Shyamalan is such a great visual storyteller. He has a sixth sense for efficient and effective framing and compositions. I didn't find Knock at the Cabin's central conceit to be hugely compelling (though in the case of this adaptation, the "big idea" isn't actually even Shyamalan's), but the filmmaking and Dave Bautista - the movie's real secret weapon - are so magnetic; I couldn't look away.
The way the tepid response to Three Thousand Years of Longing lingered throughout the second half of the year diminished it somewhat in my memory, but in rewatching it, I was reminded just how striking it is, especially the first two-thirds. The imagery put onscreen by George Miller as Idris Elba's Djinn tells his long life story to Tilda Swinton's Alithea is iconic and remarkable. The final chunk of the movie as it pivots to London is a bit weaker - maybe the chemistry just isn't quite there between Elba and Swinton - but the ways the relationship and the narrative progress are suitably touching.
The best moment in Beeban Kidron's To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar may be its opening in which it introduces us to Patrick Swayze, practically the masculine ideal for much of the 80's and early 90's, and proceeds to feminize him to an almost unrecognizable extent alongside another man's man, Wesley Snipes. We never see the Swayze and Snipes with whom we are already familiar again in this movie, and that's an excellent decision by Kidron and screenwriter…
Passengers is fucking gross. I don't watch trailers, so I'm not sure how much of the premise is known to the general public. With that in mind, I'll toss out a SPOILER ALERT, because I cannot talk about why this movie is awful without talking about particulars of the plot that come into play at around the 30-minute mark.
I love the opening of the film. For the first five minutes or so, we just watch the Starship Avalon hurtle…