Absolute garbage. Another self-indulgent snooze-fest. A total waste of Sienna Miller and Alec Baldwin’s talents. Makes you mad at yourself for finishing it.
ninety-eight things tagged “movies”
Via CO. Succinct and appropriate for a gamut of events.
Ronald Ray Cobb was “an American-Australian cartoonist, artist, and film designer” who passed away in September last year. He worked on movies like “Back to the Future”, “Jodorowsky’s Dune”, and “Alien”.
Absolute rubbish but I enjoyed the heck out of it.
Watched with CK. This was Hitchcock’s favorite movie:
This was my father’s favourite movie, and it was because he loved bringing the menace into a small town1, into a family that had never known any bad things happen to them. They adored this uncle. They just adored him. Yet they had no idea what he is like. The whole suspense of the movie is, “When are they going to find out?”
And then there’s this exchange 🤣
Oh, what’s the matter with you two ? Do you always have to talk about killing people?
We’re not talking about killing people.
Herb’s talking about killing me, and I’m talking about killing him.
It’s your father’s way of relaxing.
Can’t he find some other way to relax? Can’t we have a little peace and quiet without dragging in poisons all the time?
The thick black smoke at Uncle Charlie’s arrivals is meant to be a bad portent. He uses this a lot. ↩︎
Watched with CK. The plot doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. But very, very entertaining. Anyone who claims to understand what’s going on after the first 32 viewings is a damned liar. A perfect one-line review:
It has no goddamn ‘meaning’ other than being a middle-school palindromic curiosity (and contributes nothing other than names to the plot.) ↩︎
Entertaining. Thought the alternate ending would’ve been more likely (the highly-trained armchair psychoanalyst that I am 😆)
Watched because Denzel and Revenge. Not sure why I bothered finishing it. Absolutely awful. The cinematographer appears to have borrowed the ghastly verdigris-like palette from this terribly photoshopped poster, and keeps twitching the camera with the giddiness of a raver who’s taken two of them Mitsubishi pills that were in vogue at the time.
Dakota Fanning is the only other reason to endure this. She was only ten in 2004 but acted like she’d been at it for at least three decades.
Watched with LD. Reminded me of “Hereditary” (it’s a slow burn) but with The Evil being this chimera of financial insolvency, really bad trust issues, childhood trauma, and severe affluenza. Jude Law was perfect, but Carrie Coon was so fucking good as the beleagured yet passively complicit partner and mostly grieving person. The scene shot from the stable facing the manor was genius. Sean Durkin (writer and director) stuck the landing perfectly. Lovely stuff.
Pretty version with all those lists here. #covidplanning
Well this was certainly most unexpected.
Michael Keaton and Christopher Lloyd were excellent. But Peter Boyle steals the show as “Jack McDermott. Christ fixation. Megalomania.”
Hey, Doc, isn’t it true that if even one of those tiles were to come loose, millions and millions of gallons of water would come pouring down on us and squash us like tiny little bugs? Is that a leak up there? You see those tiles? They’re leaking water right there!
Bill. Cut it out. Oh, my God!
I will hold back the waters.
Dr. Verboven can be such a perfectionist.
Yeah, but that’s what makes him such a great diagnostician.
HENRY (DR. VERBOVEN)
Vital signs are good. Zip code checks out.
Let me hold the gun.
I let you sit in the front seat.
(HENRY HANDS GUN TO JACK)
Jack, Jesus Christ would never point a gun at another human being.
Stay out of my psychosis and get your ass in that van.
and finally (even though there’s a lot more understated gold)
I drove the moneylenders from the temple. I can handle a ten-spot.
Saw this after about 18 years. Some assorted notes: Thought I heard “Boléro”. Every frame is a fucking painting. Just so wonderful: sunshine through the leaves and at the interrogation, characters walking into and out of the audience, the gate’s history and state of decay, and of course Tajomaru’s sword when he’s under the tree 🤣 No idea what his constant fly-swatting signified. Faces sometimes resembled those in Ukiyo-e paintings (like this one). Save for the hapless priest, every character is demon and human. Storytelling: tension between whether it is to be regarded a fable or a real account. ‘The lies we tell ourselves don’t matter as long as they’re in the service of mending and preserving our humanity.’ Professor David Thorburn breaks down the movie.
Stars David Lynch, his spouse Emily Stofle, a monkey, and a chicken. The oddest and most hypnotic thing I’ve seen this year (and twice.) A mere 17 minutes in length and like if film-school students used GPT-3 to generate a script an hour before the assignment was due.
. I mean yes, Denis Villeneuve and all that. But please don’t suck.
Saw with CK. Excited because Charlie Kaufman. Mostly self-indulgent tripe. The conversations in the car were interminably tedious1 and missing PBR hats and gauloises. The weirdness in the first third-to-a-half of the movie was excellent. Top-notch performances and camerawork.
No, this is neither clever nor the point. ↩︎
Known as “The French Angel”, the wrestler Maurice Tillet is rumored to have inspired the look of Shrek. He suffered from acromegaly caused by a benign tumor on his pituitary gland (which regulates the synthesis of Human Growth Hormone - Wikipedia). Here’s a color video of him chilling 🤗
About as predictable as it gets. Chadwick Boseman is excellent.
Am a sucker for a good revenge story. This one was very slow and kinda haphazard. But I didn’t think it was bad enough to deserve this:
The film received negative reviews from critics and was a box-office bomb, having the worst wide opening weekend of all-time, the biggest drop in theaters, and is projected to lose Paramount $40 million.
– Wikipedia (emphasis mine)
Good grief Basel! Blake Lively put in one of those “triumphant” performances 👏💯🏅
An entertaining, unsettling, dissatisfying Lovecraftian allegory for suburban life and child-rearing (esp the teenage years.) Dragged on for a bit: I imagine it would’ve worked great as a Black Mirror episode. Jonathan Aris and Senan Jennings were supremely creepy and magnificent and perfectly cast for their roles 🙌
Another jingoistic saffron shitshow a la “Padmaavat”1. Quite the visual spectacle: like walking through a racist and revisionist Amar Chitra Katha. Saif Ali Khan’s Uday Bhan is the only interesting character. Of noble Rajput blood, he succumbs to eating crocodile meat, sexual assault (of chaste Hindu women who need protection), comical levels of bloodlust, a fuckton of kohl, and villainous-looking sartorial choices.
Because that’s what hanging out with evil Muslim foreigners will do to you 🤷♂️
Prof. Ruchika Sharma’s take on its historicity is worth reading for these things called ‘facts’ your WhatsApp relatives won’t appreciate. ProTip ✨: Please don’t make the mistake of suggesting that the “India” depicted in the movie did not exist until independence, three centuries later #swaraj
Sayaji Shinde as Anwar was the MVP. Ode to The Exorcist and The Ring.
Ireland. Liam. Mick. Belfast. Mary. IRA. Patrick. Belfast. Liam Hennessy. Sean. Sinn Féin. “You should try a real whiskey. Two Jamesons, Single Malt.” Belfast. Belfast.
Also Jackie Chan. But watch for Orla Brady 🇮🇪
Finally saw this with PLG. Daniel Day-Lewis’ best performance IMO. Astounding, really.
Mr. Day-Lewis’s outsize performance, with its footnote references to Huston and strange, contorted Kabuki-like grimaces, occasionally breaks the skin of the film’s surface like a dangerous undertow. The actor seems to have invaded Plainview’s every atom, filling an otherwise empty vessel with so much rage and purpose you wait for him to blow. It’s a thrilling performance, among the greatest I’ve seen, purposefully alienating and brilliantly located at the juncture between cinematic realism and theatrical spectacle.
– Manohla Dargis “An American Primitive, Forged in a Crucible of Blood and Oil”
Paul Dano is great as an ageless vampire-pastor 😑 The excellent soundtrack was written by Jonny Greenwood (!) and features works by Arvo Pärt and Brahms.
Slow start but gets pretty exciting towards the end. I couldn’t wait for Lynn to rid herself of her parasitic friends (especially the cloying Grace, played to perfection by Eisaya Hosuwan.) Cheating on standardized tests is big business in India and China. The Atlantic has a relatively recent article on the phenomenon.
The usual commentary on class and meritocracy. Lots of love for Boston University.
The last 15 minutes are the best depiction of old age, loneliness, and isolation I’ve ever seen committed to film. Two masters at their very best.
Need to read up more on the de-aging process they used in the film.
Moody and plenty gruesome. Got tired of the commune’s many ‘rituals’. Florence Pugh is 💯, as is the creepy-ass soundtrack. Learned about senicide. First half is a bit of a slow burn like “Hereditary”.
Entertaining, very nicely done, two-hour long desi “Black Mirror” episode1. Taapsee Pannu was 💯. You will want to hug Vinodhini Vaidynathan’s character. Saw with Deepu and we wondered what makes Tamil directors so good at this genre.
“Presented” by Anurag Kashyap. Not sure what that means. ↩︎
A wafer-thin afterthought of a plot undergirds an important and harrowing commentary on the history, pervasiveness, and evil of the caste system in India.
Kashyap on his journey to become one of India’s most important filmmakers.
The cover picture is clickbait. No “shocking” revelations. Just a good story about pursuing one’s chosen vocation with grit and perseverance (with a bit of luck along the way.)
On “Josh Talks”, who look like a TED clone and are “on a mission to raise the aspirations of Young India.”
In Ramayya Vasthavayya, Avinash is a mononymous “Central Crime Branch” officer who, according to the barcode on his IDENTITY CARD, loves new-agey mind meld books. Or so I gather. Couldn’t decipher the other barcode but submit that it might reveal his preference for reasonably priced cutlery sets at Bed Bath & Beyond.
Yakeen maan-na, Baghban dekhne se pehle mujhe idea bhi nahin aaya tha ki maa-baap ko nikaala bhi jaa sakta hai.
Watched with Paaji. Third Anurag Kashyap and Amit Trivedi film. Superb. Maybe a little too drawn out at times (gotta fit in all 14 tracks of that sweet Trivedi score) and was dismayingly Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam-predictable towards the end.
This travesty should make it very clear that Guillermo del Toro loves and paints his monsters better than anyone else in the business.
Completely predictable plot and twists, ridiculous ending, cookiecutter songs (features the laziest, dullest, ‘You composed it the day before it was due didn’t you?’ qawwali I’ve ever heard.)
Fantastic cinematography. Sikander Kher is great. Got a lot of digital errands done whilst watching it, so there’s that.
Stumbled upon this nearly three-hour, real-time, annotated simulation of the Titanic sinking. Late night1.
Which led me to James Cameron’s 2012 documentary Titanic: The Final Word, in which he assembles a group of engineers and historians to fix the simulation in the 1997 movie, which leads to this ‘final’ version.
Cameron, in the documentary:
Part of the Titanic parable is of arrogance, of hubris, of the sense that we’re too big to fail. Well where have we heard that one before? There was this big machine, this human system that was pushing forward with so much momentum, that it couldn’t turn, it couldn’t stop in time to avert a disaster. And that’s what we have right now. Within that human system onboard that ship, if you want to make it a microcosm for the world, you have different classes, you know, you’ve got first class, second class, and third class. Well in our world right now you’ve got developed nations and undeveloped nations. You’ve got the starving millions who are going to be the ones most affected by the next iceberg that we hit, which is going to be Climate Change.
We can see that iceberg ahead of us right now, but we can’t turn we can’t turn because of the momentum of the system. Political momentum, business momentum. There are too many people making money out of the system the way the system works right now, and those people, you know, frankly have their hands on the levers of power and aren’t ready to let them go. Until they do, we’re not going to be able to turn to miss that iceberg and we’re gonna hit it. When we hit it, the rich are still gonna be able to get their access to food, to arable land, to water, and so on. It’s going to be the poor, it’s going to be the steerage, that are gonna be impacted. It was the same with Titanic and I think that’s why this story will always fascinate people. Because it’s a perfect little encapsulation of the world and all social spectra. But until our lives are really put at risk, the moment of truth, we don’t know what we would do.
Excellent stuff again from Jordan Peele. Thought the first half was about slavery and lost identity. Wisecrack has a great video on the movie’s various interpretations.
Absolutely amazing stop motion by Daniel Cloud Campos & Co.
Here’s the making of. They did it over 17 days. I wonder when they got any sleep. At one point he says “we got 2 seconds after 4 hours.” ~3 minutes of video = 360 hours, or 15 days 😬
And it reminds me of the Oldboy fight scene!
Watched because “Sherlock Holmes.” An awful, unnecessary, ghastly shitshow.
The first two-thirds are brilliant. As for Olivia Wilde and her riveting performance:
[. . .] it’s still good to see a cunning and capable actress rise above her usual projects, such as stupid fodder like Tron or Cowboys and Aliens, or labels like “Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity of 2010.”
After Enough and five Death Wish movies, the revenge genre is not without its recurring clichés, many of which get defrosted and microwaved again in A Vigilante. The point, if there is one, is that “heinous criminal felonies are acceptable if they are justified by a woman driven beyond the limits of reason.” As one battered wife says, “Every graveyard is full of people who didn’t make it.” The same is true of old movies gathering dust in Hollywood film vaults.
A bit tedious. Nicole Kidman is 💯
Captured the city’s many contrasts quite well. Felt like I was watching Mirzapur again. The excellent Pankaj Tripathi plays the same wealthy, powerful, morally bankrupt, declining patriarch as in the show. Pretty much the same deal if they’d cast a mannequin instead of Akshay Oberoi.
Everything I expected from an Anurag Kashyap movie. Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Vicky Kaushal were 💯 The real Raman Raghav story is quite crazy.
Not much of a story but loved the cinematography and pre-Independence setting. Easily the best Indian horror movie I’ve seen after Manichithrathazhu.
Fell asleep about three times trying to finish this visual overload. Ended up taking a walk right after this exchange
“You expect me to call you Your Highness?”
“No, I expect you to call me… Ocean Master.”
Saw with LD. Long, slow, visceral, beautiful, gory. Kept me guessing. Excellent stuff.
There’s a pervasive hush and sense of stillness that lingers over the region of Gokseong, and scenes of brazen, crazed madness are often preceded by shots of tranquil mountain vistas whose lush, thickly forested landscapes increasingly feel smothering and secretive. This is a film as beautiful as it is gory, as painstakingly scenic as it is committed to stark visual interplays between darkness and light.
All the while, the story of Gokseong unfolds in fits and starts, each puzzle piece more confusing than the last. Are the residents of the town being systematically poisoned with a drug that causes them to become frenzied, savage killers? Are they being cursed? Or is it both, and for what reason? Na’s writing layers tension upon tension, particularly through the escalating paranoia that each of the townspeople comes to feel for any and all outsiders.
However, answers are much harder to find in this film than accusations. Horror fans wanting a plot whose ending dovetails nicely with all the elements that preceded it may wind up feeling frustrated, though many more may be drawn into the heart of its darkness: the conviction that terror has come to this town and there is no escape to be had.
Rajnikanth was 49 when this “mega-hit” was released.
Does The Dog Die? is a publicly curated database of sensitive, “emotional spoilers” for books, movies, TV, and many more categories. Unconsenting Media is a similar database of “sexual violence in broadcasting”.
Watched with D and M. Good thriller. Dharmendra was great. Was made aware of Neil Nitin Mukesh jokes.
“No really, why do you do this to yourself?” - KS
Features, in my estimation, the greatest solo special ops scene ever committed to film. No expert, but the knee-pillow fire might be related to why Seal Team Six attempted to destroy one of their damaged choppers.
Cached a list of CNN-IBN’s list of “the 100 Greatest Indian Films of All Time” for later perusal because the source website is cancer.
I don’t understand the ratings and the hullabaloo over what was affluence porn with a tired Bollywood plot (Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham came to mind but I’m sure there’s something else that aligns better with CRA.) Might be a satirical, over-the-top take on new and old money in Singapore, though I wonder it was construed as such by the target audience.
Racism against minorities is endemic in Singapore. Job advertisements frequently only ask for those who can speak in English and Mandarin, and even if minorities are able to do so, they are told that only ethnic Chinese are wanted. Muslim women in hijabs are kept out of certain civil service jobs because of their headwear. While there are police bans on speaking in Tamil, there are yearly tax-funded programs to promote speaking in Mandarin. Minority representations are rife with stereotypes and the idea of the quintessential Singapore girl is one that embodies only East Asian beauty standards. The country’s ruling power has stated that Malay-Muslims in Singapore cannot be trusted in the armed forces due to their divided loyalties between religion and state. It has further accused them of being unable to ‘integrate’ an irony considering that Malay people are considered the original inhabitants of the land. The founding father of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, holds views on genetics that would seem disconcertingly similar to eugenicist and white supremacist ideals, as he has touted the genetic superiority of the Chinese as stronger and hardier, with Indians not being as bright, but still better than the lazy, un-driven Malays. Chinese people wear Indians in ‘brown face’ and many elite public schools are reserved for them.
[. . .] Given this context, this movie is actually perpetuating the state of racism and Islamophobia in Singapore. The only Brown people in the movie are opening doors or in service of the elite Chinese in the movie. Minorities only exist in the periphery of the film. Why is this being lauded as revolutionary?
What people celebrating this movie are doing is bringing a Western racial framework to bear upon a Singaporean one.
A slasher version of A Quiet Place except The Monster gets you when you open your eyes (but only at key moments that further the plot.) Snoozefest after the first half. Had no idea that the lanky, highly tattooed extra is a famous rapper. A few plotholes that bugged me:
What exactly constitutes a safe barrier between your vision and the outdoors? By the movie’s standards, a thin-fabric blindfold and a sparse canopy of leaves count, but a security camera does not.
How did Trevante Rhodes manage to keep such a defined six-pack over the course of five home-bound years, and would he be willing to share that workout routine?
Elsewhere, Gizmodo on how the unseen monster is an allegory for the pernicious effects of social media on our lives. Huh.
Recommended by Uber driver. Watched since I love a good revenge flick. Terrible. Had a good nap, though.
As wonderful as the first one. Could not fucking stand Sarah Silverman’s cloying Vanellope von Schweetz, which I suppose was the intended effect.
Venom goes from evil alien mastermind who wants to take over the planet to Toothless in “How to Train Your Dragon” in about five minutes.
His new motivations make no sense whatsoever.
But in the case of Venom, the action follows nothing. There’s no reason for Venom to risk his life because he doesn’t seem to care about people, and it’s never been his arc to learn about why caring for humanity is important. Venom is not about an alien symbiote coming to Earth and learning that people are worth saving. It’s about a cannibalistic, violent force who merges with a hapless shmuck and decides to stick around. Venom’s sacrifice means nothing because even if you buy that he’d be willing to save Earth, that’s different than being willing to die to save it.
– Matt Goldberg, “The Ending of ‘Venom’ Is Familiar Except It Makes No Sense”
Honest Trailers on the movie. I suppose it’s all forgiven if you make $0.9B. Of course there’s a sequel. Of course I’ll watch it.
Watched with LD. Clever, clever! Loved all but the last 15 minutes.
Excellent stuff. Tabu is a National Treasure 🙌 Second Sriram Raghavan movie, first being Ek Hasina Thi.
TL;DW? Denzel Washington is Liam Neeson from Taken (with a lot of that movie’s tropes.) Over on Reddit, an essential discussion of who would win a fight. Features my favorite hipster-henchman, Tait Fletcher whom I last saw in The Accountant.
Loved the first half of this song:
Dan Fogler is as awesome in this one as he was in the first. A role he was born to play:
Did you feel like you had an advantage while auditioning because you’re actually from New York?
I think I brought some real authenticity to it. I grew up in Brooklyn. When I read the part, I thought, “Oh, man, I know this guy. He’s one of my ancestors.” I have a great-grandfather, Isaac, who was a baker in New York on the Lower East Side. It’s really surreal stepping into the role. I felt like it was written for me. I felt like he was family already, so I loved him.
Then I paid homage to a lot of my favorite actors from that era, like Chaplin and Buster Keaton. When Eddie and I are together, it’s like Laurel and Hardy or Abbott and Costello. I tried to infuse him with all of that great, elegant kind of comedy, that real physical kind of comedy. Also [James] Cagney. I liked how Cagney stood. He was very conservative in his motions – because I’m such a broad, wacky guy, I thought that it helped me stay in the period. Cut to me flailing and running like a maniac. [Laughs.]
– From an interview with The Los Angeles Times’ Meredith Worner
Which looks like this in a cheap wig
lt="Varalakshmi Puja head)
Because I saw Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher in the cast. And they were excellent.
The climax is an absolute knock-out with an accolade-winning speech by Naseer who becomes a flag-bearer for all those nameless, ordinary people battling with this modern-day scourge, the world over. The highpoint of the film is the class act by the two stalwarts of the industry: Naseer and Anupam pitch in riveting performances as the shuffling, seemingly inconsequential, nameless bomber and the no-nonsense cop. Add to this some finely nuanced acts by Jimmy Shergill and Aamir Bashir and you have a topical, gritty, high-adrenalin drama.
Neeraj Pandey wrote and directed “Special 26” as well.
Title made me think it was a sequel. Not bad as far as remakes go.
Terrible. Expected this, so not sure why I did this to myself. Thought it was a weird mashup of Varsham and Dredd. Features this ‘Grandmaster Shifuji’ who attempts to act like a Kung Fu/Kalari master in the movie and a combat veteran and “special forces trainer” in real life.
Watching what they did to Sunil Grover and Sanjay Mishra’s talents was depressing. As for Kota Srinivasa Rao: they used a North Indian voice actor to dub over his South Indian accent… with a ghastly South Indian accent 😐
As if I needed another reason to fall in love with Tilda Swinton
Swinton penned a phony IMDb biography to keep the secret, and wore fake genitalia, created by makeup artist Mark Coulier, while in character. (“She did have us make a penis and balls,” Coulier told the paper. “She had this nice, weighty set of genitalia so that she could feel it dangling between her legs, and she managed to get it out on set on a couple of occasions.”) Both she and Guadagnino were miffed when their secret got out. “Frankly, my long-held dream was that we would never have addressed this question at all,” Swinton told the Times. “My original idea was that Lutz would die during the edit, and his ‘In Memoriam’ be the final credit in the film.”
Based on “–All You Zombies–” by Robert A. Heinlein. Sarah Snook is phenomenal. But “John Doe” is an extended, uncredited cameo by Leonardo Di Caprio and I won’t be convinced otherwise.
Like if Rashomon and The Usual Suspects had a child. The ending got me.
Deeply upsetting. One of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen. Anthony Lane of The New Yorker on what gives it its potency
Should you want to measure the psychological disturbance at work here, try comparing “Hereditary” with “A Quiet Place.” That recent hit, for all its masterly shocks, is at bottom a reassuring film, introducing people who are beset by an external menace but more or less able to pull through because, as a team, they’re roped together with enough love to fight back. “Hereditary” is more perplexing. It has the nerve to suggest that the social unit is, by definition, self-menacing, and that the home is no longer a sanctuary but a crumbling fortress, under siege from within. That is why there are no doctors in Aster’s film, and no detectives, either, urgently though both are required; nor does a man of God arrive, as he does in “The Exorcist” (1973), to lay the anguish to rest. Nothing, in short, can help Annie, Steve, and the kids, and they sure can’t help themselves, stationed as they are inside their delicate doll’s house of a world. There is no family curse in this remarkable movie. The family is the curse.
Update 25 Oct 2018: If this was a movie:
😴. Watch for Tom Cruise being a stuntmaking beast (esp in the helicopter chase scene.)
Watched with Catherine. Dark, tense, predictable. Uashamed to admit that I thought Logan Marshall-Green was Tom Hardy for the duration of the movie (even after watching “Upgrade” … must’ve been the hair.) Excellent stuff by Lindsey Burdge.
This is the jingoistic view of American force so familiar from films like ‘Black Hawk Down.’ This is American power as an unstoppable beast.
You would be forgiven for asking what religious extremists have to do with a film series that previously focused on Mexican drug cartels. You would also be forgiven for finding this film problematic as it focuses next on a craven terrorist attack in a grocery store. Three suicide bombers enter the crowded building and commit mass murder. We are not spared the image of a mother begging for the life of her little girl. We discover that the terrorists are being smuggled across the border by the cartels. Two of our greatest enemies have now become one.
Watch for a masterclass in tension, Benecio Del Toro being a badass again, and for Isabela Moner’s excellent performance.
Watched with JS and LT. A solid 2.5 hours of Telugu Sampradayam-porn for the 50+ members of your family. Culture and Tradition are static and immutable constructs that are absolutely not subject to examination and revision, especially when it comes to gender roles. Features cameos by yesteryear supporting actors who appear plasticine with the amount of makeup employed.
Michael Cavna at The Washington Post with a roundup of the cultural appropriation controversy around the movie. Steve Rose at The Guardian:
Some critics are barking “appropriation!” on Twitter and online, but where Ghost in the Shell and Doctor Strange (and there are many more) took a Japanese story and cut-and-pasted in white people, here Anderson engages with Japanese culture and references on an almost scholarly level, while the cast is filled with Japanese names1, from Ken Watanabe to Yôjirô Noda, lead singer of Radwimps to, er, Yoko Ono.
Isle of Dogs is a movie that seems custom-made to set off appropriation dog whistles but, for all its questionable moves, the result is a story that’s one of a kind. If we police boundaries too strictly, we’re stifling the possibility of cross-fertilisation and invention. If you do it well enough, it’s not appropriation, it’s conversation.
Also from that article: “cultural Pinterestism”.
I can watch stop-motion “making of” videos all day and here’s a dismayingly short one on Isle of Dogs:
Spielberg managed to Indiana Jones Sherlock Holmes 😐
Jesse Plemons steals the show even though he has very little screen time. In my book, he
- is no longer Todd from Breaking Bad, and
- is never to be referred to as “Meth Damon” or “Discount Matt Damon”
Predictable twists. This guy was awesome.
A mother in suburban Chicago breathes a huge sigh of relief this week, as she was reunited with her 8-year-old son Kevin, who was accidentally left at home alone as the family went on vacation to Paris. Apparently no one had noticed the boy was missing on their drive to the airport and through airport security and while boarding the plane.
Only once when they were in flight did the mother sense that a cherished family member may not have been present. She then shrieked, Kevin. She would rush home where she, along with police, found the boy unharmed physically, though he may deal with abandonment issues for years to come.
In addition to the boy, the police also found two career criminals who appeared to have suffered great bodily damage while attempting to rob the house. One man had been shot in the groin with a BB gun and had his hands severely burned by a hot doorknob. The other man had a nail and pieces of glass Christmas ornaments lodged in his foot. Both men also miraculously survived being hit in the head with a paint can that was apparently swung from a rope at high speeds, something which would normally crush a human skull.
Child Protective Services say they will not remove the child from the family since they believe it to be only a one-time occurrence, and certainly not something that could happen again the next year.
– Hari Kondabolu on Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me!
Saw this with SC. Doesn’t let go for 90 minutes. Jim from The Office is killing it these days. MS: “This is what happens once you get away from a toxic workplace.” 😂
A “state-of-the-nation” Netflix mini-series. Excellent performances by Jeany Spark, Carey Mulligan, and John Simm. Plenty of commentary (pontification?) on the refugee crisis.
Entertaining Rashomon-esque whodunnit. Great performance by Akshaye Khanna.
Longer than it should’ve been and unevenly paced. Predictable ending. Still very enjoyable, since I’m a sucker for a good vengeance flick. Lee Byung-hun was absolutely fantastic (first saw him in “I Saw The Devil”.) Found myself hating this guy’s character with the same bile as Imelda Staunton’s Dolores Umbridge.