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Love It Or Leave It? US Cinematic Review Roundup January 27th

Today we’re doing our regular rounding up of the pick of the week’s US cinematic releases to see what’s worth a visit to the local multiplex, what’s probably best left to a later viewing at home and what’s not worth wasting your precious time at all… Love it – or leave it!

A DOG’S PURPOSE – Lasse Hallstrom

George Wolf states that ‘dog’s are cute and they can teach us many things’, but, ‘apparently, though, subtlety and the tenets of reincarnation are not among them’. Lasse Hallstrom and writer Cathryn Michon ‘draw each character and every situation with the most broad, most one-dimensional brushes available, efficiently plowing through a checklist of contrived plot points seemingly chosen for utmost manipulation potential. Even a modest farmhouse isn’t complete without a picture perfect crescent moon above it, situated like the northern star in a cloudless sky’. He continues; ‘Framing the story through the simplicity of a canine viewpoint may have been a worthwhile goal at some point, but the mix of melodramatic schmaltz and slapstick comedy (dog on the loose at a fancy dinner!) quickly becomes overbearing. Yes, the pets are lovable, but ultimately a film aimed at dog lovers develops the foul odor of exploiting what it claims to celebrate’. George, in his ☆1/2 review, addresses the recent controversey around the film, but asserts that ‘there are plenty of other reasons to avoid A DOG’S PURPOSE’.

WE ARE THE FLESH – dir. Emiliano Rocha Minter

Hope Madden asks, ‘are you squeamish?. First time feature writer/director Emiliano Rocha Minter ‘announces his presence with authority – and a lot of body fluids – in this carnal horror show’. He’s created ‘a fever dream as close to hell as anything we’ve seen since last year’s Turkish nightmare BASKIN’. Hope asserts that ‘there’s little chance you’ll watch this film in its entirety without diverting your eyes – whether your concern is the problematic sexuality or just the onslaught of viscous secretions, the screen is a slurry of shit you don’t really want to see. In her ☆☆☆ review, she writes that ‘though Minter’s movie boasts deeply unnerving ideas and compelling performances, in light of other Mexican filmmakers making social commentaries – Jorge Michel Grau’s brilliant 2010 WE ARE WHAT WE ARE, in particular – WE ARE THE FLESH comes up slightly lacking’.

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Love It Or Leave It? US Cinematic Review Roundup January 27th


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