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Thread: High-Rise (Ben Wheatley, 2016)

  1. #1
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    High-Rise (Ben Wheatley, 2016)

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  2. #2
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    Man oh man is this weird. Totally not my kind of film but I really kinda loved it.

    Also, easily the best and most beautiful movie Wheatley has made.
    Matchcut: A vicious snowflake

  3. #3
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    As much as this is my kind of film, I wanted to like this so much more than I actually did. Spoilering because I can't elaborate on it without going into plot details:

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  4. #4
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    Those are all fair criticisms. Normally I'd skewer this movie for its lack of plot, but I rather enjoyed the way Wheatley created something more impressionistic.

    I kinda sorta half agree half disagree about Hiddleston. That character has a such great arc and has such subtle requirements. It made me admire Hiddleston again, in a different sort of way.
    Matchcut: A vicious snowflake

  5. #5
    The Pan megladon8's Avatar
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    I want to rewatch Kill List.

    I was a touch underwhelmed on my first viewing.

  6. #6
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    The film plays loose with internal logic and clearly positions itself at a sort of figurative / fantasy level, but that decision mutes the descent into bacchanalia and social disintegration. I didn't feel like there was any normalcy to be "broken" by the film's overall plunge, just a slow, almost relaxed slide sideways from the surreal to the dystopic. Maybe that's what Ballard's novel was all about.

    Hiddleston proves a capable avatar, but a bit passive after the first half, which gives him a bit more to chew on; that internal anxiety that keeps him running back into the safety of the tower and manically rowing.

    The Portishead cover of "S.O.S." - hell yeah.

    The brief scene with the upper class in Victorian (?) dress felt like a response to Bong Joon-Ho's equally on-the-nose (and welcome) 1920s train car in Snowpiercer. Although it's probably a pull from Ballard's novel.

    Luke Evans is the revelation here from an acting standpoint;he proved capable but relatively uncharismatic in the action and fantasy films I've seen him in, but he plays his character here as a boor with oddball energy and a severe dark side. There's dimension, nuance, and an internal confusion in his personal failings and professional duties. He's noble when it comes to telling the truth, so long as that truth is never really about himself.

    The man falling in slow motion down the building feels like the film's mission statement packed into a single moment. Cinematographer Laurie Rose captures it perfectly, just as she finds new ways to shoot between those angled futurist pillars, new ways to keep those beige/gray walls interesting. Agreed with Irish that it might be Wheatley's best-looking film.

    May have to watch it again while I have the rental.
    Last edited by Dead & Messed Up; 04-03-2018 at 04:05 PM.

  7. #7
    Replacing Luck Since 1984
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    Oddly disturbing, like a clash between the Divide (wicked disturbing) and Casino.

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    A bunch of crap until Infinity War

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  8. #8
    Montage, s'il vous plait? Raiders's Avatar
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    If you're telling me this is better looking than the exquisite (and so damn underrated) Field in England, then I am really eager to see this.
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  10. #10
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    This is still the best thing I've seen all year.

  11. #11
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Surprised to see this is on Netflix. Will be watching soon.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator dreamdead's Avatar
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    This one was a disappointment for me. Irish, have you read Ballard's novel? If so, what did you make of the adaptation?

    Wheatley understands part of Ballard's appeal, playing with surface and animalism with skill; and while there are many indelible images throughout, they don't so much layer atop one another as they wash over one another and render the prior images invisible. In other words, it's edited but without as clear a sense of value unfolding from each addition. While Ballard regards his characters with clinical dispassion, this film fails to find a cinematic way to engage us with Hiddleston or Evans or the others. There's something in Ballard's writing, though, that anchors these characters to a sense of humanity that Wheatley never adapts, and that lack makes it a beautiful survey, but one that doesn't build upon itself.

    The cast is good overall
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  13. #13
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    This is the first time I see anything by Ben Weathley and it was kind of fascinating. He knows how to bring unexpected turns even from actors like Jeremy Irons who seem like they already gave their everything on screen. Luke Evans was particularly fantastic here.

    I kind of hated two things about the movie at first - that it started by giving you an unnecessary glimpse of the ending and that the geography of the building is never properly addressed. I ended the film feeling both might have been deliberate.

  14. #14
    Kill List put me off seeing anything else by Wheatley- such a diseased, grimy little film.
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  15. #15
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    Now I'm going to have to see that. Looks good.

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