Thursday, March 14, 2013

Theater Interruption (Mama / Side Effects)

Mama (2013)

Director: Andrés Muschietti
Writers: Neil Cross (screenplay), Andrés Muschietti (story and screenplay), and Barbara Muschietti (story and screenplay)

Stars: Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Megan Charpentier

If there's anything that totally derails the film, it is its uneven storytelling; the first and final acts are more of a dark fairy tale, with emphasis on character, theme and atmosphere. Meanwhile, the middle act is a typical ghost story, overly reliant on jump scares and easily the weakest segment. I also have to say that Jessica Chastain looks way out of place here. However, I absolutely loved the creature design - both in sound and visual style. The feral children are definitely unsettling as well. The story was never anything great, but worked well enough when it took on the more fairytale-esque tone.

Score: 4 / 10

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writer: Scott Z. Burns (screenplay)
Stars: Rooney Mara, Channing Tatum, Jude Law

A modern-day Hitchcock that does a wonderful job of keeping the audience on their toes, but may go a bit overboard on some of the plot twists in the later stages of the story. It really does feel like two different films and I would have liked to see more of the first half's atmosphere carried over into the second, but both are very good in their own ways. If this turns out to be Soderbergh's last film, at least it is a significant step up from "Contagion." Mara and Law are fantastic and make up for the abysmal work by Zeta-Jones and the 6'1" void that Channing Tatum leaves on screen.

Score: 6 / 10

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