I watched a few bits and pieces lately. Let's see ...
Soderbergh's Side Effects
A *just above* average psychological thriller/mystery thing. Soderbergh is such a competent filmmaker that this floats by without ever truly exciting or disappointing, even with the twists and turns it feels a bit like going through the motions. It's tightly put together, and I do like Rooney Mara a lot, but Soderbergh is capable of better. Gangster Squad
Humdrum. Forgettable. Give it a miss. Even Emma Stone couldn't save it for me.
Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers
Well I really really liked this a lot. I have a bit of a thing for Korine, and whilst this has been dismissed as trashy exploitation by some, I think there's more to it than meets the eye in the sense that Korine is playing with the idea of exploitation, what that means, how it works with the story he's telling. That doesn't mean it's not an exploitation type film on some level, it shows some intelligence/awareness from the storyteller, but it kind of has that Tarantino "knowingness" about what it's doing in some weird self-referential way. If that makes sense.
And it's fun. I don't tend to watch an awful lot of films that are just fun. Check it out. Stoker
More worthy psychological drama that I should probably try to steer clear of because I think I'm a bit jaded by it all. It's OK. I do like Kidman, and she's decent, but it just feels like one of a stack of this type of film that I've watched over the past couple of years and it didn't stand out. I was hoping for a bit more tbh. Maniac
Rubbish. I predicted that a serial killer film with Elijah Wood as the protagonist would be crap, and I was proven right. Maybe I'm missing some kitsch b-movie appeal or something, but I was bored by this.
Noe's Enter The Void
Well now, here's a man who wants to get right down to it. Or not, as the case may be. Of all the things that you might want to call Gaspar Noe, "boring" or "safe" are not amongst them. If Irreversible was some kind of attempt to bring a physicality (on more than one level) into film, then this is an almost opposite attempt to tell a spiritual tale. It sits well with Spring Breakers with its "in your face" brashness, and Noe and Korine actually make quite the pair of complementary bedfellows in lots of ways.
I think with Noe at least you have someone who is genuinely endeavouring to tell stories in fresh ways, whatever your opinion of where he ends up.
I get a kick out of the sprawling, hallucinatory, resonatory stuff, so I loved this. But will have to watch it again.
Finally, honourable mention to documentary Project Nim
I only discovered after watching that this was made by the same director as Man on Wire (James Marsh), but it essentially broke my heart and rebuilt it about a dozen times during the course of watching the film.
If you like your documentaries, this is a must watch.
Fair to say, a mixed bag.