Saturday, March 24, 2018

Three Films Make A Post: Sometimes love is a strange and wicked game.

Atomic Blonde (2017): This action-heavy spy movie is a pretty big disappointment, managing to waste the enormous talents of a great cast (though the usually great Charlize Theron is about as British as Donald Trump, but then, her character never feels British in any way either), and a seldom used setting on a series of empty gestures that suggests the film wants to be a smart, POP! version of the spy genre but only ever reaches the smug and the arbitrary. The setting of Berlin just before the fall of the Wall is neither authentic nor inauthentic in interesting ways, instead a series of lame clichés presented with the same self-congratulatory gestures the film uses for everything. Unfortunately, there’s really no substance here, no point, no philosophy, no interesting character arcs; and when it comes to the style and surface values, director David Leitch is clearly trying but it doesn’t come much of it.

The Constant Gardener (2005): This John le Carré adaptation by Fernando Meirelles on the other hand has substance, style and actual British people and combines an angry anti-colonialist subtext with deep and complex characterisation, excellent acting not just by leads Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz, and the quiet desperation you often find in le Carré. It’s particularly admirable how elegantly Meirelles mixes two very different genres, the conspiracy thriller and the scenes of a marriage type drama in a way that suggests – but never actually states – commonality between private failings of trust and public corruption and lies that goes beyond the more simple game of betrayal.

Mausoleum (1983): If you’re making it through Michael Dugan’s very silly yet highly entertaining possession horror movie (made in a time when possession horror wasn’t necessarily about exorcisms and the possessed hanging out on the ceiling) you’ll become highly acquainted with the breasts of lead actress Bobbie Bresee, in their traditional state as well as dolled up with John Buechler devised demon mouth nipples (with teeth), you will believe that eyes glow green, as well as that cursed-based possession is best cured by elderly doctors putting a crown of thorns on the possessee’s head. You will also witness Marjoe Gortner’s hilarious death face, a bewildering twist ending, and all the latex and rubber Dugan could get out of Buechler. In between, there’s even more nudity, characters who all act as if they were in a porn movie, and some pretty damn funny 80s style deaths. Obviously, it’s not a good movie in a traditional sense (at least if you’re like me and expect mood, character or narrative of one) but it certainly never bores even for a second.

No comments: