Happy SHOCKtober 2019!
From the first five minutes, this movie is too energetic and stylized to be a standard-ass survival/horror. Even the character setup scenes, video phone calls with her family, are visualized in a way I’ve never quite seen before. After that you’ve got your surfer, stranded on a tiny island trapped by an angry killer shark, and we remember Open Water but we’ve established that she’s organized and resourceful so this could go either way. Some dodgy CG when she escapes to a buoy and the enraged shark chomps the metal railings, otherwise a colorful, terrific-looking movie. The winning move, crowning this the queen of all shark-attack films, is introducing an injured seagull as Blake Lively’s only companion, naming it Steven Seagull, then feeding it crabs and letting it live to the end. Guess I’ll have to watch the rest of Collet-Serra’s movies now, to thank him for this seagull generosity (not including any superhero spinoffs and/or theme-park-ride adaptations he may have in the works).
I only know Lively from Age of Adaline. The writer followed up with a Coachella satanism flick and a couple TV movies, and is headed back out to sea this year with Gary Oldman. DP Flavio Labiano has also worked with Alex de la Iglesia and Snoop Dogg, and shot Timecrimes.
I tried to watch Violent Cop, but apparently if you rent a DVD, copy it to watch later, and then “later” lasts a decade, the disc won’t read anymore. Bummer, that. Didn’t think this would pair as well with Outrage, but I put it in anyway.
Shigeru (Kurodo Maki, later the computer-hacking straight man in Miike’s Detective Story) is a young, deaf, space-cadet garbage man who picks up a surfboard from the side of the road, repairs it and tries it out. A neighbor girl with big ears follows and watches. Two soccer kids first mock then copy him, while the regular surf bum kids watch him slowly improve and he gets the attention of the owner of a surf shop. He’s not some kind of surf hero though, just a quiet kid with a hobby, who gets reasonably good before he disappears into the waves one day, leaving the big-eared girl to send his surfboard out with the tide like a burial at sea.
Kitano’s third movie as writer/director, defying expectations after a couple of gangster flicks. IMDB’s claims that he got his painterly sense of composition and started caring about asthetics after his accident in ’94 is clearly bogus. This has got some slightly rough editing, and is more visually minimalist than Dolls or Fireworks, but the same artistic sensibility is clearly there. Ends with a real nice montage of outtakes and extra shots.