Audiences around the world go to see a Wes Anderson film for many reasons; imagination, creativity, wonder and most of all, amazement. A man who has crafted and added to, not only a branch of the film industry within the independent market, but an individual who arguable has his own genre of film, proves with his latest that you are able to make an independent success, commercial darling and fading animation style feature film revolutionary. After eight feature films which enrich the medium as a whole, Wes Anderson delved, for a second time, into the stop-motion foray with his ninth future film, and quite possibly his best yet with Isle of Dogs.
Starting from scratch never tasted so good.
Chef is a film about a battle we all face to reconnect with our passions when the flame has burned out. Jon Favreau, a jack-of-all-trades in Hollywood who has hidden behind his passions for the last decade or so, has stuck to his guns on this one and delivered an indie film that not only delivers a tasty slice of one’s person’s struggle to keep their passion alive, but also shows the consequences when one follows their passion too closely. Carl Casper (Favreau) is a phenomenal chef but a lousy father to his son Percy (Emjay Anthony). Carl tries hard to entertain his son with artificial activities that he thinks would allow them to bond by taking him on roller coasters, to town fairs and the beach, while failing to realize that all Percy wants to do is just hang out with his dad. In an early scene, Carl and Percy connect over a homemade grilled cheese sandwich, discussing twitter, social media and the effects of the Internet on youth and an older generation of users. Percy smiles and the art of subtly is established. Chef could then best be described as the perfect grilled cheese sandwich; familiar and fattening, yet, when cooked right, its gooey, cheesy deliciousness and soft center always finds a place in your heart. Chef may be cheesy and formulaic at times, but at its core it’s just plain comfort food that is perfect for the soul. Simply put, Chef is mm-mmm satisfying filmmaking in the shape of a surprisingly delicious film.
The future sure has been quite a time for Captain America (Chris Evans). His first encounter with the modern world saw him running through Times Square, confused and scared. Next, he assembled with some other Superheroes to save the world from the disgruntled brother of a fellow Avenger. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Cap faces off against an internal threat and an organization that is just as powerful as S.H.I.E.L.D, as well as a familiar face and new adversary from his past. Life is rough for Cap. On top of everything, he is still trying to find a way to successfully assimilate himself into present day society. You think saving the world is hard? Try figuring out the internet, getting back on the dating scene, and making new friends at the age of ninety-five. Thankfully, there are only a few things Cap needs to get through the day; his trusty vibranium shield and his handy notepad with a slew of suggestions for catching up with the last seventy years, and Cap is ready to take on the world–or corrupt government organizations. Either or, Cap is always ready to save the day, even if he has to take a beating while doing it.
From the moment the screen fills with light, and we come face-to-face with Theodore Twombly (Joaquin Phoenix), his eyes are desolate while his voice is filled with love as he recites the poetically romantic words of Loretta’s letter to her husband of fifty years, Chris. Theodore works for BeautifullyHandwrittenLetters.com, a company established sometime in the near future where people are either too lazy or just mentally incapable of writing their own letters to their loved ones. The irony of her begins (as do so many other films) with someone else’s love story. The trials and tribulations of Theodore’s love story not only mirrors the love we share with others but also portrays our uncontrollable and inexplicable dependence or ‘love’ for technology. In that sense, her becomes part science fiction love story/part docudrama, with a message that is both a parable of the direction human behaviour is headed and a misunderstood, timeless love story for the ages. Either way, her is the most captivating and responsive film of the year, demanding attention with a grueling look at our ability to love and be loved.