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Weekly Reviews: Brigsby Bear, Whiplash and Thoroughbreds

    Brigsby Bear – Dave McCary


Watch this film if you are a CREATIVE

Originality/Creativity 8/10     

Direction 7/10                  

Writing 6.5/10

Structure 5/10

Performances 7/10

Cinematography 6/10

Overall Score 7/10

Brigsby Bear is about a man, of nondescript age, obsessed with a children’s programme. It’s very easy to consider the types of films that Brigsby Bear is following in the footsteps of. When watching, you can feel obvious parallels to films like Ted and The Disaster Artist. In both cases, although hope might win out at the end, the film are more focused on grounding childish dreams and ambitions. These themes more than make a home for themselves in the world of Indie cinema which, more often than not, tip to the depressing side of the scale. Brigsby does everything in its power to fight for the power of imagination and the morals taught to us in children’s media.

It’s most impressive aspects are its production designing but there are some stellar performances on display (Mark Hamill shines in a role that feels tailor made for him). In all honesty, the writing may be one of the film’s weaker aspects. It never truly shines beyond its concept but, in concept, it speaks to the journey of the writer and the director the most. In the hands of a lesser filmmaker, Brigsby might have ended up feeling sickly sweet, or worse, disinguine. Instead, we get a solid film that speaks to the soul of the creative, especially the little child inside that got their start by writing fanfiction or their own home movies, inspired by what they loved watching growing up.  


Whiplash – Damien Chazelle


Watch this film if you are a CINEMATOGRAPHER

Originality/Creativity – 9/10

Direction  9/10

Writing 9/10

Structure 9/10

Performances 10/10

Cinematography 9/10

Overall 9/10

Whiplash’s premise may seem mundane, a drummer trying to succeed met with a terrifying tutor, but any doubt regarding the film’s premise is diminished within the first 5 minutes of viewing. Outstanding performances, a script which will send your emotions on a rollercoaster ride, and perfectly paced; this film will keep you on the edge of your seat, and will stay with you long after seeing. For anyone who is determined to succeed, or feels knocked down, Tellers character will leave you feeling more motivated than ever.

Thoroughbreds – Cory Finley

Mood : DARK

Watch this film if you are a WRITER

Originality/Creativity  8/10

Direction   7/10

Writing   8/10

Structure  7/10

Performances 8/10

Cinematography 8/10

Overall 8/10

Reminiscent of established films such as Heathers and American Psycho, Thoroughbreds is a sleek, stylish, and seductive psychological thriller that showcases all of the familiar elements you would expect to see in a film of this genre.

The concept may seem simple, two distant friends rekindle their estranged relationship over a plan to murder one of the girls’ relatives, but, the intelligently written script, brought to life by more than qualified and intriguing performances, partnered with an unorthodox and intent score, sets the film apart from any others within the category, and indefinitely ensures for a gripping and memorable watch. 

Images courtesy of Sony Pictures and Focus Features.

Written by Reece Mawhinney, April-Rae Hughes and Lauren Macaree.