A look at the life of painter Vincent van Gogh during the time he lived in Arles and Auvers-sur-Oise, France. (IMDb)
The constant melodramatic mono/dialogue either comes off as pretentious (“Maybe God made me a painter for people who aren’t born yet”) or just aimless and tiring (see Vincent and the priest)–and same goes for the fidgety and cold aesthetic (trying to mirror the character I suppose but it was still hard to like). Neither are able to make up for the lack of a plot, and I think in the end they both just distract from what could’ve been (it occasionally was) an engaging and unique character study.
A former neurosurgeon embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts. (IMDb)
Falls prey to a few tiresome cliches (an unremarkable villain played by Mads Mikkelsen; our hero finishing training just in time for a world catastrophe) but subverts others (see the brains over brawn climax). Thoughtful discourse on violence and “the greater good”, loads of ambitious and interesting visuals, a unique blend of ancient-exotic and modern America settings with the dashes of lightheartedness and unique situations that result (see The Ancient One in the hospital) are more pros.
Armed with a licence to kill, Secret Agent James Bond sets out on his first mission as 007 and must defeat a weapons dealer in a high stakes game of poker at Casino Royale, but things are not what they seem. (IMDb)
Craig’s Bond has enough athleticism (see the fabulous opening chase sequence), smarts (“How the hell does he know these things?”), and devil-may-care charm (see his valet impersonation) to make most of this film a really fun watch. Only his female-related exploits fail to entertain, moving from eye-rolling alpha male smoothness (though surprisingly it’s Mathis who takes the misogyny cake with his mansplaining of poker) to unwanted and unwarranted romance that really drags out the film’s ending.
7.5/10 (Really Good)