We have seen a slew of Jessica Chastain films recently, either in the cinema or on DVD. We watched Zero Dark Thirty both in the cinema and again on TV which I reviewed last summer on here then we saw Interstellar and A Most Violent Year. Both were disappointing so I didn’t put up any reviews.
I couldn’t find anything positive to say about A Most Violent Year. Talky, talky exposition about a New Jersey businessman and his wife [Chastain] who is being blagged by his business competitors written by someone who has never ever been in business. There are a couple of completely unnecessary violent scenes that have almost nothing to do with the plot; a blood-spattered suicide for no reason that I could detect and a car chase along a railway line that must have taken a month to shoot and orchestrate and contributes nothing to the film. Maybe it was a good book. Or a good treatment. Or a good idea on the back of an envelope. Didn’t make a good film.
Interstellar cost $185m and made around $200 million at the box. It was directed by Christopher Nolan an English guy best known for the Batman Dark Knight films none of which I have ever seen, I am afraid.
I quite liked the idea of it, Earth is dying and the Americans attempt to save mankind by finding another planet to inhabit but again, talky, talky dialogue that has far too much plot to carry. And too much plot: it detours all over the place; it’s a good hour too long. Such a shame; it’s an excellent idea with some realistic CGI scenes, a pretty fair cast [Chastain] and enough budget to really drill down to the subject matter and examine the physical implications as well as the philosophical implications. But Nolan aims too low: he aims at the 15-year old Batman audience with silly fight scenes and unlikely emergencies and explosions to maintain their attention.
It’s Hollywood, again.