The Hunger Games return with such a sequel twist that you can't believe writer Suzanne Collins didn't think of film when writing. Catching Fire builds up with all types of subversive messaging which is interesting but also brings into relief the limitations of the genre and film.
Cormac McCarthy’s bones and Ridley Scott's style do not make The Counselor something more than an interesting curiosity. A film that seems destined more to be remembered as that move where Cameron Diaz does that thing with the car than anything else.
All Good Things is not a bad movie. The acting is above that of your run-of-the-mill cash in flick. The plot hits all the right points to keep you interested, and the fact that is a true story really strikes a chord. So where is all the hate coming from? After about thirty minutes into the film it becomes fairly obvious the glaring flaw that has marred it from any praise. All Good Things does not know how to tell its story. As it starts out you hear the narration from Marks as he is being questioned in court. Naturally your expectation from this would be a heavy focus of Marks to learn why he is in court. The thing is this is only half true.
From a narrative standpoint, the film shows you who its interest lies in with Marks but spends 3/4 of the film on his wife. This defeats its original setup as a character study of David Marks. So this film is about is wife, Katie McCarthy, right? No. The court hearing shown in snipids throughout the film as a form of narration do not suggest that. What we see is a cause and effect train of events throughout the span of 30 years with little to no knowledge on who our main character is and why we are watching a movie about him. However, the film is all effect, with very little focus on cause. According to director Jarecki, David Marks is a man who may not be very trustworthy and his wife's disappearance may or may have not been his most darkest. However watching this film, one would come to think perhaps Jarecki isn't sure what to think and is merely guessing.
The editing also does not help the movies case. Suffering from a poorly scripted case of jumping back and forth through time, it can leave the viewer very confused. With a plot like this it would of been easier to stream line everything. Simple cuts used to tell a slowly progressive story of Marks slip into this dark insanity. Considering David Marks resembles a real life Michael Corleone in his transition from the beginning of the film to the end, a heavier focus on him would also of benefited the narration. Everything seems so confused by a writer and director's standpoint. This in turn leaves us confused and giving us the mixed feelings we have.
The film is worth a watch. There is enough salvageable from the acting and story to remain entertained, but expect yourself to get lost from time to time trying to piece together everything that is going on.