Movies in 2022

The Lost Boys

Joel Schumacher, 1987

The Lost Boys

This is one of the classics of the 80s. Never watched it before but I heard about its cult status. Apparently a favorite among women. Not surprising given that it features a bunch of male hotties, as well as Kiefer Sutherland and Alex Winter.

Also, the aforementioned boys are a gang of bad boys who are also murderous vampires. On the female character side we basically get Jami Gertz, of Solarbabies fame.

Billed as a sort of horror comedy, it doesn't hit either the horror nor the comedy part. Maybe it was scarier in the 80s, but I would find it hard to believe that it was funnier.

I don't want to be too harsh on the movie because it's undeniable that it has some pretty cool visuals and production design. The premise strains credibility (a happy beach town that simultaneously features an impressively high number of homicides) but it's fun, and well directed. Joel Schumacher ain't a bad craftsman after all.

Two sequels were made, which look hilariously bad. And Corey Haim, somewhat pathetically features in all of them. And, apparently, a remake and a TV pilot also exist? Could be an interesting watch for bad movie night.

The Matrix Resurrections

Lana Wachowski, 2021

The Matrix Resurrections

Well, here we are. The sequel nobody expected and no one asked for.

In all honestly, considering the current cultural climate, and especially how the anti-authoritarian culture that the original Matrix represented has been subsumed into the authoritarian apparatus of the Successor Ideology, I was expecting much, much worse from this movie.

Instead, all we got is a shoddy script that banks on the nostalgia of 1999, a few shoehorned action setpieces, some limp wristed maybe-criticism of pro-intellectual Gen Xers and a tiny bit of the veneer of thought-provoking SF themes and philosophies that showed up in the original movies.

Ultimately, this fourth Matrix has to be taken as a franchise movie —not really that different from Reloaded and Revolutions—. Good for "the lore", if you are into that sort of thing. A decent villain, some half-assed commentary, and maybe a couple of cool concepts here and there.

World on a Wire (Welt am Draht)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973

World on a Wire

OK, so this is cheating a bit since World on a Wire is not a feature film, but a 2-part miniseries, but it's closer to a movie than it is to a TV show, so it's still worth including here.

I think I first learned of its notoriety for being one inspiration for the Matrix movies, more than two decades before it. Of course, it's nothing new that a lot of the ideas in Matrix are reinterpretations and remixes of ideas from earlier works.

World however, features great unconventional cinematography and awesome retro-futuristic aesthetics.

Unfortunately, saying that it's a inspiration to Matrix sort of spoils the entire first part of the plot, which revolves around a scientific laboratory creating a fully simulated virtual world, complete with simulated human consciousness.

It can be a bit slow at times, but ultimately has some pretty inspiring visuals, and cool SF ideas around identity and personhood.

The Thief and the Cobbler

Richard Williams, 1993

The Thief and the Cobbler

The infamous unfinished animated movie, with a production that stretched across almost 30 years.

After such a long development hell, it ended up as two official releases, The Princess and the Cobbler, and Arabian Knight, which were botched and meddled with just to get them out the door. I have seen neither of these, instead opting for The Recobbled Cut, available on archive.org.

While Richard Williams' vision never fully materialized, this is perhaps the closest version we have for it. A fan restoration project that uses production storyboards, unfinished drafts and workprints to fill in the missing scenes.

The animation is gorgeous. The expense of animating "on ones", that is, at a full smooth 24 frames per second was part of its undoing but boy does it produce some spectacle. The art direction is incredibly inspired, especially for its time. This movie is credited as the precursor to Disney's Aladdin and it just takes one look at the design of the vizier to realize why. But one has to keep in mind that this film started preproduction in the 1960s!

However, despite the visual splendor, it fails as a movie. It's barely more than a fairy tale, and the storytelling choices are questionable. It's hard to even call the thief a character, as his behaviour for most of the film is exclusively "steal shiny", making him seem less like a person than a mindless automaton (thus, the only time his maxim of stealing valuables at any cost is broken, it comes across as baffling and inconsistent). The plot drags in the middle. The characters represented as good aren't particularly likable. The somewhat likable thief is represented as a stinky weirdo, while the cobbler is an old school lucky bumbling hero. Its outdated sensibilities put me off a little bit.

Still, absolutely worth watching if you are into animation and artistic design.

The Computer wore Tennis Shoes

Robert Butler, 1969

The Computer wore Tennis Shoes

Before the Internet was a thing, we used to see a lot of reruns on TV of these old timey Disney comedies. Movies like The Parent Trap that they aired time and time again.

This is another one of these in the same vein. With Kurt Russell in the role of the main character Dexter. It's a rather conventional "dumb guy becomes smart" story. This time due to a lightning storm fusing the capabilities of a state of the art computer with Dexter's brain.

Soon, his private school starts exploiting Dexter's new ability in various ways. Hilarity ensues, and so on.

It's a fairly inoffensive, wholesome comedy for the entire family. Nothing particularly remarkable. Although it must have been popular enough, as this was just the first of a trilogy of adventures with Dexter and friends.

The Mangler

Tobe Hooper, 1995

The Mangler

As I get into situations where I watch more and more traditional horror movies, I'm developing this working theory that the horror genre is just fantasy without heroics. Or without a happy ending, or hope. Fairy tales with more blood.

The pattern seems to match with The Mangler, too. A Stephen King story about a laundry folding machine that's possessed by a demon, and gets a taste for human blood.

Now, an industrial laundry machine doesn't sound like a particularly menacing villain, sure, but I goshdarn love its absurdity at face value. The demon trapped in the machine does more than just… mangle and kill. It also brings business success to the owner of the laundry, putting it firmly into sessile god territory. A theme that doesn't get much central exposition in movies.

Anyway, researching this entry I found out that it has a Metascore of 8, which seems crazy to me. I enjoyed it for what it was, but apparently critics in 1995 blasted it into oblivion.

The direction is really inspired, too. It has these otherworldly coloured lights around the town and in the different interior locations, giving it a characteristic look and atmosphere.

The acting is good, the production values are decent, the pacing has no problems… I'm a bit surprised it was so hated. I don't know if it's just a circumstance of its time or it is a "for fans of horror" thing. As you may know I'm not a horror guy and yet I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

They also made two sequels, but from what I could see, The Mangler 3 takes the awful decision of turning the demon machine back into a dude, essentially reverting it back into a serial killer story which makes it immediately 1000% less interesting.

Space Cop

Jay Bauman & Mike Stoklasa, 2016

Space Cop

I got fairly late into the output from Red Letter Media. I wrote them off because the start of their videos and skits are grating and cringe-worthy, and always made them look like yet another idiot humour show. Turns out, if you get can past the first minute it's revealed they can talk like normal people!

Since then, I've been a fan. I particularly like their Best of the Worst series which I must have watched nearly in its entirety by now. After watching and analyzing dozens of "bad movies", they decided to film a bad movie themselves. That's Space Cop.

And it works! They put their money where their mouth is. Their encyclopedic knowledge of what separates a fun and enjoyable bad movie from a simply dull one is put to the test here, and they pass with flying colors. Of course, the plot is shallow nonsense, the production values are abysmal and the acting is atrocious, but that's what you sign up for, isn't it? Plus, there are lots of references to their shows and even cameos, if you care to spot them. Fun stuff.

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV (キングスグレイブ ファイナルファンタジーXV)

Takeshi Nozue, 2016

Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV

I didn't see this when it came out. I actually played, and beat the game years ago before starting this movie.

Technically, the two stories start more or less in parallel. There is a weird gap of exposition in the game where you are never exactly told what happens after a major event. This movie covers that.

The story itself isn't particularly great or interesting, but the CG is spectacular and really well made. I'm not exactly a fan of the swish-swish floaty style of fighting depicted in the movie and the game, but despite that I found it entertaining. Visual Works (now called Square Enix Image Studio Division) have really come a long way since Pac-Man —I mean, FF7—. Recommended especially if you like to see the state of the art in fully CGI animated movies, and what that may mean for the future of videogames.

Wild Orchid

Zalman King, 1989

Wild Orchid

Weird one to watch nowadays. It's some sort of erotic fantasy story following a young lawyer in Rio (Otis) who starts a sort of affair with a successful businessman (Rourke).

I have no idea how it was received at the time of its premiere, but for today's standards it is fairly tame.

The character of James Wheeler, played by Mickey Rourke is extremely weird, too. Not sure what the male ideals of beauty were in the 80s. It was a strange time. Wheeler here is simultaneously a bad biker boy and a successful businessman. He simultaneously has a reputation for being a womanizing playboy and yet he behaves in the most sexually nonthreatening way it's humanly possible to be while still having that haircut.

Damn odd movie. Feels like the hacky, early "literally me" erotic fantasy of a self-important author (that would be writer/director Zalman King) and it doesn't generate any sort of cohesive atmosphere or believably grounded characters. It's just a group of scenes with some people in them, that we hope go somewhere at some point. Looking at its measly metascore of 19, I don't think it went too well with audiences at the time, though.

Time to die

Cary Joji Fukunaga, 2021

Time to die

When they said this would be the last Daniel Craig Bond film, I didn't expect that they meant it so definitely. Self-contained indeed.

In any case, the latest installment of the Bond franchise continues to offer the same gorgeous locales, great photography and production design, pretty cool action setpieces and all of that stuff we've come to expect.

It also touches on some philosophical themes although they are very much in the background, drowned by the waves of melodrama.

Oh, and they gave the audience a black 007. That was a funny detail.

Ultimately, it's a good thing that the Craig sub-series ended here because it was starting to get too heavy with lore. 007 isn't suited to long term continuity, and works better as episodic pulp adventures, like originally envisioned. I don't think the writers know how to handle the accumulating cruft of piling up lore in the continuity.

Lady Terminator (Pembalasan Ratu Pantai Selatan)

H. Tjut Djalil, 1989

Lady Terminator

Fun trash movie that rips off the classic Terminator. It actually starts in a fairly original way, with a cute anthropologist arriving at a library in search of the artifacts of the South Seas Queen. A ruthless evil queen from Indonesian folklore.

And, well, she finds and is possessed by the Queen's spirit. Despite her insistence that she's not a lady, but an anthropologist, our antagonist becomes… Lady Terminator!

Also, let's take a moment to give shout outs to whoever came up with the amazing tagline: "She Mates… Then She Terminates"

Because, yeah, from this point on this becomes a weird mix of a modern day South Seas Queen story (who killed her "husbands" after having sex with them) and James Cameron's Terminator, going as far as swiping entire shots and performance cues from the popular 80's flick.

It's not a good movie, but it's very entertaining. Watch with friends for a good laugh. Enjoy the kills, and the inconsistent damage model of this world's reality.

Nobody

Ilya Naishuller, 2021

Nobody

One of the representatives of the recent-ish "dadcore" phenomenon in action movies where a middle aged, mild-mannered guy gets to kick all sorts of ass.

It starts pretty well. Nice ideas, and —power fantasy elements aside— pretty grounded in its internal coherence. Casting Bob Odenkirk as the protagonist, Hutch Mansell is a pretty inspired choice.

As the movie gets going, the stakes get progressively higher, and the action more and more over the top and ridiculous —this is by choice, by the way, as one of the most absurd action moments gets lampshaded in the epilogue—.

That escalation kinda broke my suspension of disbelief a bit (just a bit) and, while I would probably have enjoyed a movie that didn't give up on its own stability in the third act, I admit this is more interesting and I respect it as a commentary on the action genre.

It remains a fun watch the whole way through.

The Pagemaster

Joe Johnston, 1994

The Pagemaster

Before, I only had a passing knowledge of The Pagemaster from its connection to the SNES game (also available on Mega Drive, Game Boy and… Windows!). One of those platformers back from that era when it was trendy to hire Disney-level animators to create sprites for your game. In fact, coming out only a year after Disney's Aladdin and the same year as The Lion King.

The movie, though. I never watched before. The plot is pretty classic isekai fashion. A hypochondriac, over-protected child played by Macaulay Culkin has to find shelter from the storm in a library, where he meets the quirky head librarian (Christopher Lloyd). Later, he gets hit in the head and gets transported to the wonderful cartoon world of books.

And there, the movie turns into animation, with Culkin's character going on adventures with some talking books, through some genre-themed worlds. Fantasy, Adventure and Horror, and learns the importance of losing your fear and taking on risks. Therefore he goes from overly cautious kid, to doing sick jumps with his bike in the span of 80 minutes.

Yes, 80 minutes is the run-time for this movie. Despite taking 3 years to make, there isn't enough to fill an hour and a half of animation. Even taking into account that the movie is bookended by the live-action story too.

As far as the movie goes, it's pretty alright. Rather bland even for children's movie standards. I'm not really surprised it never got quite popular. The voice talents of Whoopi Goldberg and Patrick Stewart are nice, and they try to elevate the script but, ultimately this is pretty forgettable as anything else than a historical curiosity.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Lasse Hallström, 2018

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

The only reason I watched this is because I was intrigued by the production design. I don't recall where I saw a clip or still shot of the movie, and when identified, I put it on my list.

I don't really regret watching it but there isn't much more than nice sets and costumes here. Presented as a sort of sequel to The Nutcracker ballet, we follow Clara, the daughter of the original Nutcracker's girl, who gets isekai'd to the Four Realms and has to face the crisis befalling the lands.

I didn't realize this beforehand, but the director is the same one responsible for What's Eating Gilbert Grape and Chocolat. This, however, is just an alimentary movie that isn't anywhere near his previous works.

The Charter Trip (Sällskapsresan - eller Finns det svenskt kaffe på grisfesten?)

Lasse Åberg, 1980

The Charter Trip

So, I've been told by my Swedish colleagues that there is a series of comedy movies that's a mainstay in the memetic tapestry of Swedish culture, particularly for boomers and gen x-ers. That's the Sällskapsresan series.

I can confirm it's a typical theme for office parties, at least, and after having attended one summer conference, and now one Christmas party themed after these movies, I felt I had to sit down and watch at least the movie that started it all.

And I was pleasantly surprised! I watched it in the original Swedish, with subtitles, which was also a good exercise to practice the language. I was met with an inoffensive, wholesome comedy of manners about a disparate group of Swedes vacationing in the Canary Islands in Spain.

I admit I was a bit apprehensive at first about how I'd receive the movie. The output of Spanish comedy around this era had me primed for something a lot more vulgar and raunchy. I'm grateful that 1980s swedes don't seem to share that same taste.

10000 Years Later

Li Yi, 2015

10000 Years Later

Claims to be the first CGI animated movie entirely produced by a Chinese studio.

It's a bizarre mishmash of digital puppet animation, plasticky renders and a lot of what seems like clip art assets.

The story is some reinterpretation of a Tibetan fable about the evils of technology, which becomes an epic war and adventure movie. At least that's the intention. Among its influences, they cite The Lord of the Rings, Avengers and World War Z. One of these is not like the others, I know.

It's a pretty crappy tale, but the weird factor is off the charts, especially in the beginning. As the plot develops, it sadly peters out and gets boring quickly.

Eternals

Chloé Zhao, 2021

Eternals

I was prepared to relax my expectations for this one since it at least tried something a bit different than the typical commercial MCU fare. I was still disappointed.

From the typical, insulting "ancient humans are dumb" trope to some deeply unlikable characters, failure to explore some of its most pertinent themes, and a veneer of what I call "high concept bullshit" —You know, tends to happen with every writer who thinks he's writing a bad ass universe and cosmogony, while in fact just going with by-the-numbers juvenile nonsense— the whole package ends up being uninteresting at best, actively offensive at worst.

No idea yet why they felt the need to hire Academy award winning director Chloé Zhao for this one. There isn't any auteur style that comes through. This movie could have been shot and edited by an MTV intern.

My Dinner with Andre

Louis Malle, 1981

My Dinner with Andre

I get that this film is sort of a common joke around film buff circles, probably second only to Citizen Kane. It even featured in The Simpsons.

And, to be fair, besides pop-cultural osmosis I didn't know much about this movie before going into it. Basically, you have only two characters and one location. Andre Gregory and my boy Wallace Shawn meet at a restaurant for dinner and a conversation. That's it.

If I was a corny magazine I could say that this movie is "Storytelling in its purest sense". Because in many ways it's an anti-movie. I don't want to reveal too much. I think ultimately whether you find its writing fascinating and gripping or pointless and boring will depend solely on you and your own wisdom.

Personally, I loved it, but that doesn't mean that the movie exploits the strengths of its medium. I don't think it needs to. It's essentially a conversation between friends, between perspectives and philosophies, and states in life, presented in the form of a film.

I'm torn between making comments that date these impressions or just letting the film speak for itself but I'll mention that the fact that the big events that transpired during 2019-2021 make My Dinner with Andre feel still relevant speaks to its depth.

Monster Hunter

Paul W.S. Anderson, 2020

Monster Hunter

This feels exactly like a classic US film adaptation of a Japanese videogame. And I mean that in a bad way since, you know, no good videogame film blockbuster exists yet.

Paul W.S. is still doing the same shit as with the first Resident Evil, which is the same formula as Street Fighter, Super Mario Bros. and so on —OK, Mario was a bit more interesting, but still not quite there in terms of adaptation—

You have your fantasy world, but also your group of soldiers from the real world who get transported to said fantasy world, in order to anchor the plot somewhat for normies.

Then come the terrible pacing and obvious attempts at concealing how the movie doesn't really have the budget to truly realize the vision in Capcom's videogame. Discounting the initial setup and premise, Monster Hunter dedicates the entire first hour to a single encounter with a monster. An encounter that takes place in a featureless desert. And with just two characters that barely have any dialogue (they don't speak the same language).

Then, the remaining 40 minutes rush through the following: Travel and survival after getting rid of the monster, an ambush, 4 or 5 barely-introduced new characters (of which only Ron Perlman's gets a decent amount of screen time), setting a goal for the final confrontation, the final confrontation itself, the climax, the epilogue, and the post-epilogue.

Saying it's not exactly well balanced is an understatement. It obviously had production problems. We don't even get to know the new characters of the Monhun world, so we are barely given a reason to care when they perish against the final boss, and yet the movie still acts as if those moments had emotional stakes built in. Not even fun to watch, visually or through the characters. They don't have time to shine or any characterization beyond the bare minimum. Pretty terrible.

The Northman

Robert Eggers, 2022

The Northman

New Bobby Eggers movie dropped. I was pretty hype about it. I saw it described as an epic, and maybe that made me expect more horses… Fell victim to my own expectations and ended up a bit disappointed when I got out of the cinema.

Only a bit, though, and entirely my fault for internally hyping myself too much. What we got, more than a capital E Epic, is a chronicle. A story of vengeance and violence following a Norse prince. A fugitive and warrior.

The structure ends up being quite traditional. And the Nordic mysticism themes and visuals add a bit of spice, but they're nothing genre-shattering. Nor they need to be. The Northman is a perfectly good pulp/adventure movie with a more serious veneer. Pretty great setpieces and its heart in the right place.

Uncharted

Ruben Fleischer, 2022

Uncharted

Another bad videogame movie, except this one is bad in an unusual way. It barely registers as a videogame movie. Most of the characters don't look at all like their videogame counterparts.

I had to keep reminding myself: "Oh, that's right. This is supposed to be an Uncharted movie!" because it essentially looks like a generic adventure film with the thinnest, slimmest coat of Uncharted varnish.

However, while there are far better adventure movies out there, this one is at least passable as one. Never mind the ridiculous premises, absurd and unnecessary subterfuge, and baffling location design, it still touches on the basics of an entertaining movie.

What's with the incredibly aggressive bokeh blur on the exterior scenes in Barcelona, though? Why did they feel the need to hide the background so much? One would think a production of this budget would have the right film permits and set crew to make it look nice...

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Scott Derrickson, 2008

The Day the Earth Stood Still

I didn't see this one back when it premiered. I think almost every SF fan has at least a passing familiarity with klaatu barada nikto, even if your entry point is Star Wars, so you probably roughly know what The Day the Earth Stood Still has to offer.

This is, of course, a remake of the 1951 original SF story. There are some modernizations and surface level changes (the aliens land in Manhattan, as opposed to Washington D.C.) but the idea is more or less the same, down to keeping the same design cues for Gort, the iconic alien on the cover.

What you get is a fairly entertaining "cozy catastrophe" apocalyptic film, where all the suffering, riots and famine occur off-screen, only glimpsed at through TV news reports. Meanwhile, our main characters still have time to enjoy safe trips to the remote forest villa of a Nobel Prize physicist in the middle of Earth-shattering turmoil.

But you know what? Sometimes I'm OK with that. Sometimes I'm in the mood for a story where the world crumbles around you, and rather than inconveniencing you, it becomes the starting point for an exciting adventure.

The framework for the plot is a sort of hamfisted environmentalist message. Humans are so bad, yadda yadda. They destroyed the planet. It's too late to save, so the best thing to do is obviously to obliterate everything built on it, etc. But wait! Humans can be good and worth saving!

You know the drill. The movie has its problems, but it is well made. Didn't make any unforgivable mistakes, has a bit of interesting SF thematics, and is entertaining. Decent watch.

Koyaanisqatsi

Godfrey Reggio, 1982

Koyaanisqatsi

The famous documentary. That word does have a different connotation nowadays that perhaps doesn't evoke expectations that match what this movie is.

A collection of shots with no narration or dialogue, set to an original score by Philip Glass comprises the entirety of the film.

There are some incredible shots here (the moon time lapse used for one of the covers is a great example).

By and large they depict the incredible progress and ingenuity of the human species. All our achievements. High speed communication, readily available, convenient, tasty and calorie-dense food, fast international transportation, previously unthinkable artforms and entertainment…

Except, of course that's not the tone the film wants to adopt. Koyaanisqatsi means "life out of balance" in the Hopi language of northeastern Arizona, and these frenetic time lapses are meant to illustrate how sick and degenerate our lives have become.

There is, of course, some truth in that. It's not my place to question the intent of the film. Ultimately, the images speak for themselves, and from that perspective the film is a success. Even if it may cause fatigue in the viewer at some points (or, perhaps, I was too tired when I watched it).

I would say that it lives up to its status, and has made me curious to watch the two follow ups that were produced in later years: Powaqatsi and Naqoyqatsi.

Vivarium

Lorcan Finnegan, 2019

Vivarium

Strange concept horror film that banks on imagery like "The Backrooms" and other memes in the category of so-called "liminal spaces". In this case, a young couple looking to buy their first home get taken to a stereotypical suburb, which turns out to be an infinite suburb of identical houses of which there is no escape.

Soon after, unseen forces deliver a baby to their door and they're told to take care of it and they will be let free.

This is where the movie sorta loses its edge. It's like they don't know what to do with the plot from then on. And I don't get if there's supposed to be another message under the fantasy premise.

Is it a poorly-thought out anti-natalist allegory? Is it a cautionary tale about how parenthood removes your agency and leaves you no personal time? Hard to tell. All those interpretations come off as too inept if the intention was there.

I think I'm not the only one baffled by it because, despite having a fairly high profile cast, the movie flopped financially.

Two-lane Blacktop

Monte Hellman, 1971

Two-lane Blacktop

Cult road movie that was on my list and, unbeknownst to me at the time, is part of the Criterion collection.

Rather than having a traditional plot, Two-Lane Blacktop feels more like a slice of life film following two laconic hot-rodders —the driver and the mechanic— who travel across the US, paying their way through by winning drag races.

In the course of their travels, they attract the attention of an older drifter who goes by G.T.O. —named after the flashy car he drives— who challenges them to a race. But even this pretext is dropped soon as nobody seems that interested in actually winning. This gives way to scenes of camaraderie on the road, and the interaction between these groups of characters, adding a hitchhiker girl to the mix who just goes where her heart tells her.

Paraphrasing the words of Soulja Boy: "There ain't no point to the film", but it's still a beautiful slice of life piece. It's just from a life that's far away from static work-family milieus.

The director died last year at 91 years of age and while Blacktop is his cult film, his movie career mostly consists of making westerns. I think it shows here too, although it's somewhat subverted by the counter cultural undertones of the time and place the movie is set in.

Personal Shopper

Olivier Assayas, 2016

Personal Shopper

The impression I got from this movie is that it's furiously millennial. Which is good because it turns out the writer/director is an older dude so, you know, yay for cross-generational art. The problem is that, ultimately, the movie isn't good.

I've seen this film classified as horror, which is crazy to me. Sure, it has some horror-adjacent ingredients, but the genre elements are just not there.

Instead, it touches on some pretty spot-on generational pillars of European middle class millennials: alienation, YouTube videos, asynchronous communication, traveling the world, long distance relationships, job dissatisfaction…

It is interesting enough in ideas, exploring themes of grief from a new angle, but the execution is kind of poor. It has oddly incompetent editing. The middle part is almost entirely conveyed through text messages which, although could be taken as ballsy and as building an intimate, isolating atmosphere, is considered "movie poison" for a reason. It really breaks "show, don't tell" and doesn't take long to cause fatigue.

In any case, although I don't tend to pay much attention to these things, it seems the movie wasn't that well received, getting scores in the 50-60% range from audience and 80% from critics.

I would recommend a watch if you are up for something a bit out of the mainstream and in the mood for a slower, more intimate movie.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Tom Gormican, 2022

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

From the moment I saw the trailer I knew this was going to be a bit of dumb fun. Nicolas Cage, plays his alter ego, actor/movie star "Nick Cage" who is falling on hard times and must accept a 1 million dollar offer to show up at a wealthy fan's birthday party in Spain.

Soon after landing, he's recruited by the CIA, who are looking to apprehend said fan for drug dealing.

It's pretty ridiculous and it knows it. The movie doesn't take itself seriously but at the same time doesn't leave good craftsmanship by the wayside (I would say that's a given with stars of the caliber of Nicolas Cage but, have you seen the kind of crap Cage has been doing lately?)

The movie's uniqueness banks mostly on a bunch of self referential nods to Cage's career and personal life, and that's where a lot of the humour comes from.

I should give it shoutouts for hiring actual Spanish actors for some of the Spanish roles, although the birthday boy himself is played by Chilean actor Pedro Pascal, who acts a bit out of place as a Spaniard (there is a scene where he's speaking Spanish with his cousin and he uses Latin American expressions that we don't say in the Peninsula). That said, it's just a minor detail that surely most of the audience won't even notice.

© 2015-2022 Iago Mosquerasite version: 1.0.1issue nº 220809.1457