Connect with us

HTML Image

Drama

Downsizing (2017)

Published

on

I’m Dusan Mirkovic, your neighbor.
Neighbors are friends.
Friends tell friends the truth.
Okay, maybe sometimes I’m a little bit asshole,
but the world needs assholes.
Otherwise where would shit go out.

Are you expecting a movie such as “Honey, I shrunk the kids” or something similar to “Gulliver’s Travels” then you’re going to be a little bit disappointed. No, “Downsizing” is not a comedy about shrunken people. And it’s certainly not a fairytale where little people capture a giant man. Or am I wrong about that? Maybe it is a bit of both. First of all, “Downsizing” is funny at times. The whole process of shrinking and the way they travel with normal people are unique ideas. The first half hour or so you look with child-like amazement at it all. Just like children who visit “It’s a small world” in Eurodisney for the first time. Then the film gets a more critical character in which the ecology and our materialistic thinking are denounced. Just like in “Gulliver’s travels“. That ancient story was also a satirical view of the English and European society.

Let’s get small and rich at the same time.

The starting point is, to be honest, reasonably ingenious. Do you have a limited income and is it hard to come by every month, as Paul Safranek (Matt Damon) and his wife Audrey (Kristen Wiig) experience? No problem. The Norwegians have perfected the technology for shrinking people. Trouble-free and without side-effects (besides the fact you’ll be completely hairless and toothless during the starting procedure) one can reduce your body to a mini-person of about 13 centimeters. Initially, the intention was to significantly reduce our ecological footprint. But the reason why most chose to get small, is the financial benefit you have of it. The cost of living is much lower and everything only costs a fraction of what it’s worth in real life. “Ok, that’s simple.” thinks sheepish-looking Paul. So he and his wife decide to take the step. They sell everything they’ve got and they buy a spacious villa (Playmobil size) in Leisureland to retire for the rest of their lives.

Now let’s get serious.

Until then, it all feels like a fairytale and sounds funny. But then the socially critical atmosphere sneaks into the film bit by bit. First of all, there’s the report on how scaled down immigrants cross the borders of the U.S. very easily. That’s where the Vietnamese environmental activist Ngoc Lan Tran (Hong Chau) appears. Then the Serbian Dusan (hilarious role of Christoph Waltz) is introduced. A cunning businessman who imports luxury products from the ordinary world in smaller quantities and distributes all of it in mini-people’s country. Voila, that’s where the macroeconomics and capitalism aspect comes into play. And finally, poverty turns out to be an aspect in this miniature country as well. That means there are people there who lack a decent health care. The frivolous mood disappears systematically (but still here and there another comic note) to make way for more serious subjects.

A movie that brings up lots of questions.

Maybe the second part is a turn-off for some. The romantic part felt rather forced in my opinion. But otherwise, I thought it was a pleasant film. A film with ups and downs. Matt Damon plays the subdued Paul in a great way. But it’s mainly Hong Chau who steals the show. An energetic person who talks in an edgy way with a cynical undertone. A magnificent piece of acting. In the end, the problem of the ecology and the survival of our planet was slowly being pushed to the background. And maybe the makers of this film have put too many ideas and philosophies into this film. But the result is that it’s almost impossible to get bored during this movie. However, I was just wondering. The removal of hair is a necessity. But what if you suffer from ingrown hair? And bald people? Do they get a reduction? And who makes all the daily necessities such as a comb, hair dryer or drill? I don’t think these are ridiculous questions.

My rating 7/10
Links: IMDB

Continue Reading
Advertisement Get video games delivered to your door with GameFly
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Crime

The Untouchables – A Retrospective Look

Published

on

I watched this in honour of Sean Connery who sadly passed away the day before. It must be 10 years since I have watched this, and I had forgotten how brilliant it actually was.

What is often overlooked with ‘The Untouchables’ is just how emotional it is in parts, from Ness (Kevin Costner) meeting the mother of a girl blown up by a cafe bomb to the touching climax between Ness and Stone (Andy Garcia). It is a film that is genuinely upsetting to see the end, you would be quite happy to spend more time with these people.

It is also undoubtedly a film about friendship and that is where the late great Sean Connery stands out from the cast. As supposedly past it beat cop Malone, he strikes as a man of lonely isolation, just trying to get through every shift alive. He is at first suspicious of Ness but soon warms to what Ness is trying to achieve and there the bond between the two starts. Malone’s relationship with Stone gets off to a less auspicious start but by the end of the film, the relationship produces one final emotional wallop that we all deeply feel. Throw in accountant Oscar Wallace, played for the comic relief by Charles Martin Smith and we have four disparate men bonding over their end goal, to catch and see justice brought again crime lord Al Capone, (played with menace by Robert DeNiro).

There is so much to admire here, some of the setpieces are simply astonishing, the stakeout and subsequent battle on the Canadian border are sensationally choreographed, and a homage to the Odessa Steps sequence from Battleship Potemkin is nerve shreddingly executed. The violence is brutal and shocking at times and as stated previously the deaths are graphic and in one particular case deeply moving.

Kevin Costner was a star on the rise at this point, with big hits like ‘Field of Dreams,’ ‘Dances With Wolves,’  ‘JFK’ and ‘Robin Hood’ to come, he is excellent as the clean-cut family man Ness. A young Andy Garcia is impressive as the sharpshooting Stone, but this is Connery’s film. It’s an exceptional performance filled with guile, wisdom and what is apparent from the get-go, anger. He would win an Academy Award for this film and few could argue against it.

Its an incredibly neat and tidy film, it never outstays its welcome or gets too bogged down in courtroom showdowns. It’s gritty and powerful and a reminder of just how good an actor and phenomenal screen presence Connery was. It doesn’t get much better than this.

This review is dedicated to the memory of Sir Sean Connery 25/8/1930 – 31/10/2020 – A true screen icon

Continue Reading

Comedy

On the Rocks (2020)

Published

on

You know what’s great about her?
She doesn’t talk. She just listens.
That sounds perfect for you.

 

Life is full of unexpected turns. As an 18-year-old, I rented the adult cartoon “Tarzoon: Shame of the Jungle” just for fun. Probably because of the titillating vamp on the cover, lying naked on a huge platter and carried by figures that looked like penises. No one could suspect that a voice actor in this cartoon would become one of my most popular actors. If there’s one comedian who manages to make me chuckle without any problem, it’s Bill Murray. Like in “Stripes” and “Ghostbusters”. Or the incomparable film “Groundhog Day”. However small his role may be in a feature film, he always manages to create an unforgettable scene, such as in “Zombieland” for example. Put Murray in a horror, and his typical way of acting makes it a completely different experience. Just watch “The dead don’t die” and you’ll know what I mean. In short, a versatile actor who takes a film to a higher level with his contribution.

 

 

Lost in Translation.

This year I came to the conclusion that I had never seen the movie “Lost in translation”. A film directed by Sofia Coppola (daughter of) with Bill Murray and the very young Scarlett Johansson in the leading roles. Even though there was something slightly comical lurking beneath the surface of this film, the subject matter was far from comical. A film about two individuals who are right in the middle of an identity crisis. A film about love and loneliness. Loneliness not only because of the life situation they both find themselves in, but also because of the fact that they are in a country where they don’t understand the language, culture, and general way of life. Two lost souls who discover, sense, and encourage each other. I admit, I was moved after seeing this masterful film. Finally, after a long time a film that rocked my socks off. A thought-provoking film that’ll resonate for a pretty long time. Yes, some movies do that to me.

 

 

A wild search for the truth.

And then 17 years after the release of this magisterial film, we get a renewed collaboration between Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray. “On the Rocks” is not as magical as “Lost in Translation“. But somewhere deeply hidden it does have points of contact with the latter. Here, too, Laura (Rashida Jones) is in the middle of a crisis. Both in terms of her marriage and her writing career. The suspicion that her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) just pretends to have lots of work since starting his own company, just to cover up an affair, grows stronger. And writing a new book isn’t easy either. The day she tells her father Felix (Bill Murray), a charismatic wealthy art dealer with an untameable flirtation habit, about her suspicions, he throws himself wholeheartedly into the case with full dedication. Before Laura realizes it, she is embroiled in a wild search for the truth.

 

 

Murray nails it.

On the rocks” isn’t such a depressing and melancholic story as “Lost in translation“. There’s more humor in it. How another mother at school tells Laura every morning about her love life. The interesting facts about human behavior and the evolution of relationships between men and women Felix tells about every time unexpectedly. The wild chase in a “not so suspicious-looking” red, noisy convertible through the streets of New York. Perhaps it’s rather light, uncomplicated humor. Still, it’s subtle at the same time. The chemistry between Laura and her father feels unforced and authentic. And this won’t come as a surprise: Bill Murray nailed it once more. He demands full attention every time he comes into the picture. His characteristic acting and the way in which he can charm random people with his smooth talk is simply superb. And it’s not just the female population that falls for his smooth-talking. The way he manages to turn a police officer’s mood from being reprimanding to being helpful is just sublime.

 

One more time.

“On the rocks” is about marital troubles, a complicated father-daughter relationship, and also about how people get lost in the turbulent and chaotic society in which they live. It’s not another masterpiece of Coppola, but surely it’s another successful cooperation between Coppola and Murray. I quietly hope that they will work together again in the future.

My rating 7/10
Links: IMDB

Continue Reading

Drama

The Craft: Legacy | Official Trailer – Sony Pictures

An eclectic foursome of aspiring teenage witches get more than they bargained for as they lean into their newfound powers.

Published

on

By

Genre:

Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Release Date:

October 27, 2020

Director:

Zoe Lister-Jones

Cast:

Michelle Monaghan, Cailee Spaeny, David Duchovny, Gideon Aldon, Lovie Simone, Hannah Gordon, Nicholas Galitzine

Plot Summary:

An eclectic foursome of aspiring teenage witches get more than they bargained for as they lean into their newfound powers.

Continue Reading

Trending