Haley (Kaya Scodelario of Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights) is a student swimmer who stupidly drives into a hurricane evac zone to find her stupid father Barry Pepper, who is trapped in the crawlspace of his house because the storm flooding brought alligators. It’s a fight for survival and escape, and you assume the body count will be low, but we get looters then cops then rescuers, all of whom become gator chow. Not impressed by the characters or dialogue, but the storm looked cool and the lighting was excellent.
From the two writers of Carpenter’s The Ward. I haven’t caught up with Aja in a while – after Haute Tension and The Hills Have Eyes Remake came Kiefer Sutherland horror Mirrors, horror-comedy Piranha Remake, Last Ten Minutes entry Horns, then a psychological thriller nobody saw.
Rescuers: Down Under
The entire basement-dwelling Kim family gets jobs under fake names working for the rich Park family. At first it’s easy – the son is given an introduction from the Park daughter’s outgoing tutor – but they have to get increasingly deceitful to gain each position, and getting the longtime housekeeper (Jeong-eun Lee of The Wailing) fired so momma Kim (Hye-jin Jang of Secret Sunshine) can take her job causes unanticipated consequences, since the former housekeeper’s husband is living in a hidden dungeon beneath the house. In the end, one member of each family is stabbed to death, along with the displaced housekeeper and husband, and daddy Kim hides out in the basement, possibly forever.
The last two Korean movies I saw in theaters end with the poor male lead murdering the rich male lead – something’s going on in Korea. The son wielded a baseball bat in zombie thriller Train to Busan… the dad stars in The Host and Memories of Murder (and Chan-wook Park’s little-remembered vampire movie Thirst)… rich dad is in a pile of Hong Sang-soo movies! I knew his deep voice sounded familiar. I noticed in the credits that the son’s friend (who gets him the tutoring job & gives him the rock) had a special cameo appearance credit separate from the rest of the cast list… but he doesn’t seem like anyone special.
“Bong majored in sociology before he pursued filmmaking” – the Cinema Scope writeup from Cannes is good, but this long Slate article/interview is the one everyone’s talking about.
Parasite‘s Cannes competition included the Tarantino, The Lighthouse, that Portrait of a Lady on Fire I keep seeing trailers for even tho it doesn’t open until February, the upcoming Terrence Malick war movie, the Almodóvar, the Takashi Miike I missed at the Landmark a few weeks ago, and the upcoming (hopefully?) Zombi Child and Bacurau.
Mostly wanted to watch this so I’d stop getting it confused with Human Flow, but also it has an interesting description, a killer poster, and four-star reviews from some Respected Critics. Maybe re-reading the writeups before watching would’ve helped, since I didn’t enjoy this at all. Smeared handheld shaky cam indifferently follows people around, then follows someone else – three aimless boys with shitty jobs (at least one has been fired) in three different countries. No lighting either, and I’m wondering why this is even a movie, then something amazing finally happens an hour in, when the camera follows a kid peeing and unexpectedly goes inside an anthill, providing a smooth transition to a new segment along with a memorable visual metaphor.
Won a top prize at Locarno (same section as The Challenge, Destruction Babies, Donald Cried). On letterboxd, Autumn responded to the “fascinating visual scheme,” which I looked for but did not detect, Felipe calls “the image texture a true aesthetic weapon,” which I don’t guess I’m a fan of. Vadim raves about the movie’s originality in Filmmaker, Cinema Scope voted it a film of the year, and after reading Leo Goldsmith’s article, I can finally wrap my stupid head around the reasons for everyone’s formal interest. Glenn Kenny in the Times has a more mixed reaction:
A scene of teenage boys engaging in tentative sex play with one another for a webcam show is presented with sufficient flatness of affect to make a viewer suspect that Mr. Williams is also interested in blurring the lines between verisimilitude and tedium. Just when you think you’ve got the movie pegged, it pulls a daring switch of perspective. While the thrill of that little coup is short-lived, it suggests that Mr. Williams may come up with something more substantial with his next feature.
I thought I heard that this was the kid-friendliest of the post-Mononoke Ghibli movies, and maybe so, but it’s also one of the most unexpectedly bizarre. A magic fish-princess flees her underwater bubble-hatted environmentalist mad-scientist Liam Neeson-sounding dad and befriends a five-year-old boy, turning herself human to stay with him on land during a major flood.
After the flood, octopi and trilobites and eels and jellyfish waste no time moving in:
Most of Neeson’s activities are never explained:
Ponyo running on watery waves of blue fishes is some magical animation:
Human boy Sosuke and his mom meet Ponyo’s ocean-goddess mom: