A white-collar suburban father Kyle who is surprised at his office by long-lost college buddy Zack. Zack is as wild and crazy as ever, brimming with excitement about the self-actualization program he’s just finished called Rebirth. He talks Kyle into going on a weekend-long Rebirth retreat,handing over his keys, wallet, and phone. Thus begins his journey down a bizarre rabbit hole of psychodrama, seduction, and violence.
Genre : Thriller
Country : USA
Fran Kranz : Kyle
Adam Goldberg : Zack
Nicky Whelan : Naomi
My opinion on “Rebirth”
Hey, you still have the Manifesto?
The Manifesto, man.
Don’t tell me you threw it away.
“Rebirth” is a psychological thriller of the Netflix collection. I certainly won’t deny that I have become a fervent supporter of the Netflix Originals series. I’ve seen already some great movies (“Spectral“, “iBoy“, “Before I Wake” and “Message from the king“). And also some less successful experiments (“Mute” and “Death note” eg). “Rebirth” is a special case and ends somewhere in the middle. In essence, it’s not such a bad movie, but there were certain aspects that made me really hate it. Some will even find it an annoying film. I still don’t know whether I should take this film seriously or not. If it was meant to be serious and tried to create an image of how similar organizations function, then it was rather frightening. If, however, it was meant to be satirical, I guess I haven’t noticed it then. For me it wasn’t really funny.
Don’t be boring.
For Kyle (Fran “The Living” Kranz) every day is a duplicate of the previous day. He can be seen as a settled and satisfied model citizen who carries out his day-to-day job. This seemingly carefree existence is thoroughly shaken up the day his crazy, hyper-kinetic ex-school friend Zack (Adam “Once upon a time in Venice” Goldberg) turns up in Kyle’s office and reminds him that they once wrote down a promise. A “Manifesto” with one important slogan : “Don’t be boring“. And that’s something Kyle, after agreeing to go to some bizarre reorientation weekend, is told several times. Unfortunately, “Rebirth” turned out to be somewhat boring with a disappointing final piece.
Don’t like your life. Love it !
Fran Kranz convincingly plays the confused and panicky Kyle, who sees his smooth going civilian life reduced to a chaotic, uncontrollable nightmare. It’s obvious the propagated message of the “Rebirth” program is all about self-control. “Rebirth” is about getting a grip on yourself and not apathetically following the course of the system (as zombies). According to Zack, it’s all about rediscovering yourself and start loving life back again. The only thing Kyle seems to experience is that it’s an insane and degrading program. The fact that Zack looks as if he has eaten too many psychedelic mushrooms, doesn’t seem to help him either.
I’d join this, just to experience the “Honesty Circle”.
To be honest, the film really got on my nerves at certain moments. For example, there is the dazzlingly handsome Naomi (Nicky Whelan) who has the annoying habit of answering every question with a question. It was driving me crazy. The exaggerated group events also felt like a sort of mass hysteria. And it became a bit too predictable when Kyle ended up in a pillow-filled room with a couple lovely, very tasty looking women whose sex lives are clearly as exhilarating as watching a chess game. It looked like a hippie commune. It also felt rather surreal and unearthly.
The denouement is kind of disappointing.
As I said before, specially the end is disappointing. Initially, you see an organization trying to recruit members by means of brainwashing and psychological pressure. I admit it was intriguing. But in the end it felt incomplete. Perhaps also due to the lack of any explanation. Initially, “Rebirth” looked like a sort of sect, full of esoteric ideas and dogmas, with the aim of allowing the participants to experience a rebirth in which all connections with their inculcating, self-centered living environment are cut. It wants to hold an imaginary mirror up to them and show that the participants are living in an artificial world controlled by others. That they are puppets in a social puppet theater where others pull the strings. Or also, an artificial bubble that you don’t want to pierce because of the comfort, their acquired status and financial security. Afterwards, it seems to be nothing else than a cheap sales organization of food products, which they try to sell through networking at well-organized home parties. In the end it felt like I had just attended a Tupperware demonstration.
My rating 5/10
Links : IMDB
The Silence – This Type of Film Involves More Than Just Portraying a Lot of Hysterically Screaming People
Film Review : The Silence
What the hell does that mean?
“Don’t make noise.”
There are still certainties in this world. First of all, you can expect that if a type of movie has enormous success, something similar will appear in no time. A matter of surfing on the wave of success, I guess. “The Silence” resembles, for instance, the successful film “A Quiet Place“. It’s not exactly the same thing, but there are a huge number of similarities with the latter (And yes I know both films were made almost simultaneously and it’s based on a novel from 2015. But still!). And then it appears once again that humans are the cause of problems. So this time no space monsters with a sophisticated hearing organ, like in “A Quiet Place“. Now there are some over-enthusiastic speleologists who can’t resist sticking their noses into something out of curiosity. In particular, a cave that they have discovered. Cries of joy are quickly replaced by cries of fear and hysterical whining, the moment they break through the cave wall. What these human moles didn’t realize was that they were about to release some prehistoric bat-like creatures into the world. Beings who, after years of living in the dark, only rely on their hearing so they can find another victim. Best advice? Be silent.
“A Quiet Place” all over again.
The biggest difference with “A Quiet Place” is the unveiling of the bloodthirsty, ruthless flying monsters. In “A Quiet Place” it took a while. In “The Silence” you don’t have to wait that long before you see the little monsters at work. Yet there are several similarities to be discovered. So the word plagiarism is very quickly dangling off the tip of your tongue. Again it’s about a family with two children with daughter Ally (Kiernan Shipka) also having a hearing problem. Although not congenital but because of a terrible accident in which her grandparents also perish. Here too there are certain confounding factors among the family members that could put others life at risk. In “A Quiet Place” it was a newborn baby whose crying was a lure for the terrible creatures. Here it’s grandmother Lynn (Kate Trotter) with an annoying cough and the dog Otis who barks all the time. And just like in “Bird Box” there is a safe haven where everyone is heading for.
No need for hard thinking to figure out where they got the inspiration from.
“The silence” clearly has similarities with a whole bunch of other movies. The disadvantage is that you have an early feeling of haven’t-we-seen-this-already-before. Even though it is all a bit more action-packed and at certain moments more exciting. On the other hand, it’s true that not showing the imminent danger immediately (such as in “A Quiet Place“) ensures that you’ll be waiting with bated breath for that revelation. The biggest difference lies in the religious aspect that’s incorporated in the story. The Apocalypse breaks out and before you know it there’s some ingenious person who immediately starts a cult.
Religion and smartness. Not an obvious combination.
As with any religion, this self-proclaimed religious leader also introduces a dogma that makes it impossible to jeopardize the cult through unexpected, loud noises. The dogma involves a radical intervention on the followers. It is hoped that none of them will get stomach flu, with noisy flatulence as a result. Or that one of the short-sighted followers is a bit too obese, which makes that moving around is quite noisy. Away tactical advantage, I would say. In short, another proof that religion cannot be associated with logical reasoning. On the other hand, they were interested in the fertility of the young girl. Well, that says a lot.
More ridiculous things.
And unfortunately, the film is full of such pathetic ridiculous things. Actually, it was already stupid of them to ride off in a noisy car. And of course, they flee, even though the authorities advised to stay indoors. And wasn’t there anyone smart enough to simply keep the wood chipper running constantly? Maybe an annoying, maddening noise. But anything’s better than being eaten by naked, bat-like flying dinosaurs. With united forces, they could easily have destroyed the colony of animals in one fell swoop. Or were there really so many of these creatures? And nobody here who thinks to throw an object to mislead these bastards. Nope. They do things the hard way and start waving around with a mop.
The acting is not that bad.
Not a horror at all.
All in all, this film is the weakest one from the “Netflix Originals” stable. As a horror, it’s a total failure. It’s never really scary or exciting. The tension is removed by portraying the scary animals very early in the film. This type of film involves more than just portraying a lot of hysterically screaming people (which in turn has bad consequences for them). No, there are certainly better alternatives to view. And if you don’t know which one I mean, I recommend a reread.
You can watch The Silence on Netflix now!
My rating 3/10
El Bar – If You Love One-Location Movies Stuffed With Emotions and a Pinch of Dark Humor, You Should Give “El Bar” a Chance
Film Review : El Bar
Hey, a little respect.
We’re all human beings here.
We have to stick together and stay calm.
“El bar” pretends to be a thriller comedy, but falls short on both levels. The film leans rather towards the comedy genre. But in terms of thriller, it’s a bit too weak. What’s actually the ultimate cause of the incident witnessed by a number of persons, isn’t really clear in the end. Are they witnessing a terrorist attack? Or is it the umpteenth viral outbreak? Or are we going back on a zombie tour? If the latter were the case, the film would fit more into the horror genre. It’s not clearly explained. But I think it’s a combination of these assumptions. When you look at the opening sequence, full of microscopic viruses and other whimsical creatures from the microbial world, you are already assuming that some pandemic will break out. But again, it isn’t really clear.
Well, Spanish isn’t my strong point.
I don’t know why, but I enjoy watching non-English films. Not that I’ve seen many foreign films because the frequent reading of subtitles remains a disturbing factor for me. So after the Finnish film “Euthanizer“, the Argentinian “Los Olvidados” and the Russian film “T-34“, I didn’t hesitate to watch this film. Even though I didn’t understand one iota from the start (because my knowledge of Spanish is limited to the words “cerveza” and “paella”), the film still managed to hold my attention. And not only because the beautiful and sensual looking actress Bianca Suárez appeared immediately on screen as she makes her way through the busy streets of Madrid. It’s also because of the energetic intro.
The way in which the film jumps nervously back and forth between the soon-to-be victims creates an intense feeling. Not only the rapid pace of the film but also the busy gesticulating of the main characters give it a fiery character. Maybe it’s normal for people from the big city. Or it’s something typically Spanish. In any case, every spoken word is shouted out here, as if one wants to be sure that everyone has heard it. No quiet, but excited and sometimes theatrical-looking conversations. Only at the moments that the shouting guarantees a deadly outcome, the individuals calm down and the hot-tempered Spanish characters go into whisper mode.
Personalities change in a life-threatening situation.
In itself, the terrible event of shooting two innocents isn’t the main focus. It’s the way personalities change in a life-threatening situation. Admittedly, we’ve already seen this in several other films. A film such as “The Divide” for example. At first, it’s all friendly, despite the differences in character and temperament. And then the situation becomes threatening and hostile. The changing moods make this film interesting enough. Just like in real life, bringing together characters of different backgrounds creates tensions on the one hand and interesting developments on the other. It’s quite obvious that a person as Elena (Bianca Suárez) doesn’t frequent such an establishment as this bar often. She just stumbled in to charge her mobile phone. This well-dressed high-society looking lady soon realizes that she’s among people of a completely different level in society.
A colorful group of persons.
How could she squeeze those boobs through the hole?
Once the characters are introduced, one is ready for the radical event and the guessing game can start in which suspicions and accusations swing back and forth. What started as an average day is soon replaced by an atmosphere of dismay and panic after the two innocent men are shot. However, when these two lifeless bodies disappear and an obscenely fat dead man is found on the toilet with a collection of syringes, the whole mood changes into hysteria and fear. The very last chapter shows how survival instinct and the law of the strongest takes over. And all this is shown with the necessary humor and agitation.
The highlight is, of course, the escape plan through a drain hole. Anyone who’s secretly guessing at the outset how the graceful Elena looks like under her stylish clothing will be rewarded. And yes, I guessed she would be wearing sensual-looking garters. I only wondered how she succeeded in what Israel tried to achieve in vain, despite the fact she a nice pair of breasts which are in the way.
A pinch of Dark Humor.
Even though “El Bar” is entertaining and intense at times, it’s a movie people will forget easily. You can call this film satirical. And yet it also gives a realistic view of our current society. A society in which terrorist attacks are the order of the day. And I can imagine how anxious people react in such circumstances. The humor, on the other hand, is sometimes razor-sharp and subtle (I had to chuckle during the scene with the suitcase). The most striking acting performance may be attributed to Jamie Ordóñez. The way in which he portrays this marginal is simply brilliant. His appearance contrasts sharply with that of Bianca Suárez. A kind of “Beauty and the Beast“. The sensual Spanish beauty in front of the ugly, unkempt hate preacher and somewhat crazy oboe. So if you love one-location movies stuffed with emotions and a pinch of dark humor, you should give “El Bar” a chance. It’s definitely worth it.
You can watch The Bar (El bar) on Netflix now!
My rating 6/10
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