You decide to go to Mars forever and you forget to tell your husband?
I’m open to all kinds of films. It doesn’t have to be a blockbuster with star actors. I love indies as well. And already several times I was lucky enough to see a gem of a movie. A film that’s not well-known to the general public. But to be honest, “Seat 25” is a film that has tested the limits of my stamina. Coincidentally I saw “The Martian” a few days ago on some television channel. “Seat 25” is about a young woman named Faye Banks (Madeleine Cooke) who has won a golden ticket. Just like Charlie in a very different movie. Not to immerse herself in a stream of chocolate in the factory of Willy Wonka, but to become a member of a team that booked a one-way trip to Mars.
It all looks boring. Or not?
So, are you looking forward to an exciting SF with the red planet as the central theme, then you can skip this one. Apart from some red-tinted images of a sandy, rocky landscape, there’s not much interplanetary to see. Sometimes it seems as if Faye is living on another planet. But don’t expect similar action sequences like Matt Damon did in “The Martian“. Or scenes with a large rocket. Or an overcrowded Control Center. The only thing that just kind of stuck with me is that it all seemed terribly boring and everything seemed so insignificant. Really everything radiates dullness. Faye is boring. Her family is boring. Her clothes look dull. Her work is boring. The colleagues are boring. Fay’s life in itself is boring. Mr. Popescu (Adnan Rashad) was dead tired of all the dullness in his life. The conversations are boring. The interior is boring (Yeak, those symmetrically placed pillows). You’d fly to Mars for less. Neighbor Peter (Stephen Lloyd) and his daughter Flossie are the only ones who breach this overall dullness.
She’s also a science person.
It’s not only the monotony of her life Faye wants to escape from. She also seems to have a degree in science. You can easily deduce this from the fact that her husband Jim (Nicholas Banks) persuades her to take a job at a certain moment, even though it has nothing to do with science (“I know it’s not in science, but it’s a job. We need the money “). That Jim-guy really is an intrusive and bossy fellow. And probably this trip to Mars is an unfulfilled wish of her. Seems quite obvious to me when you look at her box full of high-tech scientific material: a space helmet made of aluminum foil, a few pictures frames with space photographs and a pile of VHS tapes about planets from our galaxy. Probably these are remnants of demonstration material that she used for her thesis.
The Mars issue isn’t the most important thing.
Maybe it all sounds a bit sarcastic and it might be better to simply skip this film. It’s indeed all rather slow and boring. The whole story is infused with melancholy and sadness. So you won’t feel happy or excited about this movie. And yet it did fascinate me in one way or another. Forget about the science part. About a Mars trip. And you’ll discover an interesting story about how an individual is trapped in a daily routine. A life Faye isn’t really satisfied with. And maybe she expected more of life. Hence her candidacy for seat number 25.
When is she going to tell it?.
Madeleine Cooke isn’t only a fun and attractive appearance. She plays the role of the timid and introverted Faye in a perfect way. Even though it sometimes seems as if Faye is feeble-minded and spends more time looking at the sky. Or reads the discharge procedure for the umpteenth time in an apathetic way. Or has lunch on that bench in the park in an upright sitting posture while staring into space. And the whole time I was asking myself two things. Will she make the decision and leave everything behind to go on an adventure? And when is she going to tell she’s the chosen one?
There really is a trip to Mars?
No, “Seat 25” is not high-quality cinema. And no, it really isn’t SF. It’s rather melodramatic. Even though it sometimes comes across as humorous (but that has more to do with English correctness and stiffness). The film focuses more on the relations between everyday people. Faye has the choice between going to Mars on her own or staying in her current family situation. For her, the first option will be more satisfactory. Now she leads an ignored, misunderstood and numb life. With a man who has more eye for his own career and therefore is punctual and precise in terms of work. It’s a man who decides on his own that it’s time for them to have children. And Faye’s sister lives in her own pretentious world. And finally, her parents treat her as a stranger. Not really a rosy life. There was only one thing I doubted at first. And that was whether the whole thing about flying to Mars wasn’t something that only existed in Faye’s imagination.
My rating 6/10
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Greyhound | Official Trailer – HD
During World War II, a US Navy skipper must lead an Allied convoy being stalked by Nazi U-boat wolf packs.
May 8, 2020
Tom Hanks, Elisabeth Shue, Stephen Graham, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Karl Glusman, Maximilian Osinski
Colewell: A Realistic Character Study, Without Frills
The thing about getting older is looking back,
it doesn’t matter how old you are,
life always feels the same length.
Like both forever and not very long.
You’ve just seen “Uncut Gems” and you feel the nerves raging through your body after watching this ultra-nervous film? Well, I recommend you to watch the film “Colewell“. Believe me. After watching this film, you’ll feel completely relaxed again. There are no situations full of agitated behavior. No feverish activity. Everything is calm and peaceful. This cozy and pleasant film progresses at a leisurely pace. Like the gently rippling water in a quiet stream. Just about the pace of someone in old age who performs the same ritual every day and eagerly awaits his well-deserved retirement. Only Nora (Karen Allen) was not yet ready for that well-deserved rest that is now being forced upon her.
The same routine every morning.
Nora is an older lady who runs a local post office in the small village of Colewell, somewhere in Pennsylvania. And trust me on this, when I say you can admire her morning routine several times. A morning where she will check the chicken coop for freshly laid eggs. And every time she checks the state of one of the laying hens because it’s upset because of newly added fellow hens and thus refuses to squeeze such a fragile object through her poopybutthole. Then it’s time for breakfast (with a firm omelet made with fresh eggs) and a getting dressed ritual before she opens the door of the post office (located at her place) to welcome the villagers. Everything is performed dutifully and meticulously. And I’m sure she did this from day one.
A changing world.
“Colewell” is about aging and the preservation of certain values of life. At the same time, it’s also about the fear of losing these certain values. And the rapidly changing world around us. When a decision is made to forget about certain post offices and integrate them into the larger whole, Nora sees those values disappearing like snow in the sun. The day after she’s being confronted with this terrible decision at the US Postal Service headquarters, she sinks into an emotional pit and consciously skips her daily rituals. As if it all no longer matters. The choices that were proposed to her are both not adequate solutions for her. Relocating to a larger city to work there at the post office. Or retire. Both are alternatives that Nora disregards.
The post office has a social function.
The post office in Colewell has an additional function. It’s the meeting place for the local population. There’s gossiping, stockings are knitted, food is exchanged and life stories shared. In short, it’s the heart of a community. And the members of this community are heartbroken when they are told that their beloved assembly point is about to disappear. Initiatives are being taken to turn the tide and efforts are being made to safeguard Nora’s workplace. But as soon as they realize that this is a futile effort, everyone accepts the situation and the social contacts move to other locations. To the dismay of Nora.
Do you want an action-rich movie? Skip this one.
“Colewell” is endearing, serene and melancholic at the same time. A subdued drama about how it feels to grow older and then suddenly realize that your functional role has been played out and two arrogant younger people say this without hesitation in your face. Or you’ll be flexible or you pack it up and make room for the future generation. A realistic character study, without frills. But not entirely. The moment Ella (Hannah Gross) shows up at Nora’s place, realism turns into vagueness. It’s not really clear whether this is Nora’s free-spirited daughter or a figment of Nora’s imagination representing the younger Nora. Anyway. Do you like action-rich movies that are nervewracking exciting? Well, I suggest skipping this one. The easy-going nature of the film may well get on your nerves.
My rating 5/10
The Perfection: It Never Gets Boring
All that time with Anton,
the pressure to be perfect.
Whenever I read newsflashes about films that make people suffer from migraine attacks and even make them sick, my curiosity is immediately awakened. The final verdict can go two ways. Or the film indeed has an ingeniously elaborated story and is provided with images the average stomach can’t bear. Or it’s the umpteenth overrated movie of which you ask yourself afterward “Who on earth made such statements?“. Are those people who’ve never seen a similar film as “The Perfection“? Are they film lovers who limit themselves to innocent rom-coms? Or supporters of superficial films such as “The Sound of Music“? No idea. In any case, I couldn’t find any nauseating fragments or rancid footage in this Netflix Original. But that doesn’t mean I thought it was a terrible movie. On the contrary. “The Perfection” contains a cleverly put together story, some successful acting, and a surprising denouement. So, highly recommended.
A bit suspense. A bit erotism.
I myself thought that “The Perfection” was nothing more than a psychological thriller with a bit of erotism and a few lurid events. Admittedly, the denouement will look pretty disturbing for some. But I assure you that this film will mislead you from the start. The goal that Charlotte (Allison “Get out” Williams) has in mind and the reasons for this are of a very different nature than you would expect. If you realize what a dark secret the Bachoff Institute is hiding, where Charlotte has taken lessons for years as a gifted cellist, it will give you more chills than the bus ride through rural China. The film fits in perfectly with our modern zeitgeist where there’s a “Me too” movement that explicitly tries to draw attention to sexual harassment and sexual assault. How the renowned academy Bachoff can be associated with this is something that you have to discover for yourself in this original film.
A mixed bag of different genres.
It’s quite clear that this film is difficult to catalog when it comes to the genre. It’s actually a mixed bag of different genres. It’s a light-erotic thriller with a dash of horror. For experienced horror enthusiasts, the horror part will be slightly disappointing. You could describe it as an ultra-light version of “I spit on your grave“. But without explicit visual material and a wide variety of horrifying revenge actions. And from the beginning of the film till roughly halfway, it’s a mild drama where you are introduced to the most important protagonists. Charlotte, a talented cellist who, after years of absence (taking care of her sick mother), seeks contact again with her former music teacher Anton (Steven Weber) and his wife Paloma (Alaina Huffman). But especially the meeting with the new star of the academy, cellist Lizzie (Logan Browning), is causing some stir. First of all, you can feel the competition between the two cellists whose finger-fastness and sensitive handling of the fiddlestick create magical sounds the moment they squeeze a cello between their knees. As these two, not bad-looking classical musicians spend more time together, the sexual tension between them increases. And before they know it, they make use of the skills they use while playing the cello, when they are all over each other when lying naked under the sheets.
It’s not perfect but still.
Once this introduction took place and the two lovebirds are sitting on a local bus on their way to some small town in China, the film goes in a higher gear. The frivolous atmosphere makes way for exciting situations and horror elements. It feels rather mysterious. Even the rewind moments won’t really clarify it. On the one hand, I thought this technique was kind of an original approach. On the other hand, it seemed rather pedantic. Let’s say something about acting. There’s actually nothing negative to announce. You can safely state that the two main characters almost reach perfection when it’s about that. The chemistry between the two girls is realistic. The different moods that they struggle through are convincing. Steven Weber and Alaina Huffman also fit perfectly into their role. An illustrious couple consisting of dark personalities. Perhaps it seems as if they have mixed a number of different genres and it feels as if they didn’t know which direction to go. But it never gets boring. No, “The Perfection” is certainly not perfect. But it wasn’t very far from perfection.
You can watch “The Perfection” on Netflix now.
My rating 7/10