Posts Tagged: ‘STBYM movie review’

In 2012, Alex Garland and Pete Travis reintroduced moviegoers to Mega-City One, the sprawling city state from 2000 AD‘s long-running “Judge Dredd” comic book series. Prior to that, we only had the 1995 Stallone adaptation to go on — which, for all its flaws, at least delivered on the sets and FX. But just as the comic’s setting was a sci-fi product of late 1970s, Stallone’s Mega-City One was a post-”Blade Runner” vision of city living.

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Panos Cosmatos’s “Beyond the Black Rainbow” is the best looking non-slasher slasher film since “Drive.”

That’s to say, both films hypnotize viewers with a phenomenal visual style and a fantastic retro synth score. Both films descend somewhat unexpectedly into slasher horror movie motifs in their third acts. The difference is that while “Drive” told a traditional and solid story (albeit at a slow pace), “Beyond the Black Rainbow” attempts something far more ambiguous, far more ambitious and at an exceedingly slower pace.

The movie takes us back to a VHS-fueled 1983, where an ominous scientist named Barry (Michael Rogers) observes a mysterious mute girl named Elena (Eva Allan) within the confines of a highly-stylized scientific facility. Think a healthy mix of Kubrick’s “2001” and Don Coscarelli’s “Phantasm” — that’s the sort of world the film takes us through.

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If you’ve ever seen Ron Frickle’s 1992 non-narrative masterpiece “Baraka,” then I don’t have to sell you on his latest film, “Samsara.” Both films take the viewer on a visual odyssey around the world, through scenes of ancient human devotion, ruins set against the backdrop of time-lapse starscapes and the relentless advancement of human culture — all shot in breathtaking 70 mm.

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