Seen in… October
Four movies seen on a plane. A Netflix series which I pretty much Net-blitzed. One movie seen in a theatre. This is what my free time was reduced to. Please don't let my Netflix viewing activity history become my epitaph. Here is, for the public record what I saw in October.
Imagine a world where living single was illegal and if at some point you hadn’t found a partner, you were sent somewhere with an ultimatum: pair up successfully or be changed into the animal of your choosing. Now imagine there was also a resistance who fought for people to live single - but were equally against anyone pairing up. What would you do? What would you do if the person you found that you wanted to be with was in the resistance. Our protagonist, played with curious affectation by Colin Farrell, finds himself exactly in that situation in this weirdly quirky and slightly dark comedy. The title comes from the animal of choice Farrell’s character makes about which animal he’d like to be. As to why a lobster, he responds that he’s always loved the sea and that lobsters can have very long life spans. Yet the question remains, would you want to live a long solitary existence in the cold, dark sea? Consider the Lobster.
Two friends, one in a stable but staid relationship, one damaged after a hard break-up, begin an adventure to retrieve one of the cutest tabby cats you’ve ever seen from a stereotypically scary drug dealer and gang leader. It’s a ridiculous and very funny film from two very funny and ridiculous comedians, Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele, formerly of the hit sketch comedy show Key & Peele. If you were a fan of their show, you’ll be a fan of this movie.
The Hateful Eight
This Quentin Tarantino Western is a strange, long, protracted “Mexican Standoff”. At times funny, tense, and of course, very very gory. The Ennio Morricone score is amazing. The look of the film isn’t half bad either. No matter what you think of the whole film, Tarantino is always able to create iconic cinematic moments. Whether it’s watching a figure disappear into a blizzard or an exploding head, the director shows how deftly he understands film history. There were even times when I felt this movie, which takes place mostly within a single room of a remote lodge, reminded me of the stagey and intense Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe? Unfortunately, that may also be its undoing. For me there is a kind of pointlessness that makes me feel like I wasted almost three hours. It’s not that I object to long, violent films and I’m aware how when nothing happens for a long time in a story, a certain kind of heat and tension can build to the point where it is excruciating but that didn’t happen here and it ended up being a long walk to nowhere.
The Nice Guys
I’m not sure why, but this story is set in 1970s Los Angeles and revolves around a pair of private investigators who are working two sides of the same case until they join forces to create a classic mismatched buddy-cop-movie. The pair in question are Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling and their shared case is the story of missing porn actress whose last film blows the lid on an industry cover-up. Or something. The whole plot is a more of a ploy to throw two popular actors through a series of comedic misadventures. On the whole it works but there also a handful of cringe worthy cliché scenes. Gosling plays the funny moments a little better than Crowe but both obviously enjoyed themselves. One odd thing that stood out for me was that both actors seemed to be employing a kind of traceless stock American tough guy accent. Were they both of the characters transplanted New Yorkers who had spent time in Australia? Then again, I saw this on a plane so I may have misheard half the of movie.
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