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Enemy 2013 2014 José Saramago, The Double, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Kedar Brown, Stephen R. Hart, Frank Welker, Denis Villeneuve Spider Ring

Enemy [Mild Spoilers]: when a history lecturer spots his doppelgänger in the background of a movie scene he becomes increasingly fascinated by the actor. Quite a difficult film to articulate, this probably falls vaguely under the Psychological Thriller banner. There’s a deliberately slow and intense build up, magnified by a doom-laden score that the intensity relies heavily on. This is completely Jake’s film, as we see him pull off playing two people, and then each character ‘impostering’ the other (Imagine Face/Off^²). Stylistically, there’s an intense amber hue for the duration, which I didn’t really see the point of – or understand. Naturally, there’s a lot of playing around with duality, repetition, mirrors, doubles, from the get-go, and although the film’s not explicitly wrapped up (the ending is a bit of a mystery/clusterfuck) there are a lot of clues and lines in there; namely that our lead may have a split personality. Definitely the least accessible film since he started working with ‘big’ names; this bleak, tense, and dark thriller is the perfect appetiser for Arrival; and lays out the “un film de Denis Villeneuve” style that he’s kept right through to his current, mega-budget films.

Score: 6.5/10

Enemy 2013 2014 José Saramago, The Double, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Kedar Brown, Stephen R. Hart, Frank Welker, Denis Villeneuve Doppelganger

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Frankenweenie: when a young boy loses his dog, he brings it back to life using a Frankenstein-esque experiment. The story is a fairly trite by-the-numbers tale of re-animation; when you name-check stories like Frankenstein, Van Helsing, Dracula, and include a barrage of iconic monster-movie references, you’re immediately setting the bar pretty high. It looks great, but the decision to have it entirely black and white is a strange one, particularly as it’s fairly dark/gloomy, and the 3D version would lose even more light. An even stranger aspect is that it’s difficult to figure out who this film is for: several scenes would freak the shit out of young kids; it’s not grown-up enough for Twilight/Hunger Games fans; there’s not much in it for adults (a couple of smiles at best),- who’s watching it? Frankenweenie is Über-Gothic and Über-Burton, who’s visuals haven’t changed much in the past 20 years – style over substance can be passable, but this is starting to feel very old.

Score: 3/10

Only time I laughed was at the stupid cat’s face.