Usually when I see a movie at a theater I do a single review about that film. Usually I have a lot to say either good or bad. Well three movies come out this week and I don’t have much to say and didn’t particularly enjoy any of them. I’ll start with the biggest release.
Directed by George Clooney, written by the Coen Brothers (sort of) and starring Matt Damon, Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac, Suburbicon should be a slam-dunk must see. Well, it isn’t. To use a popular phrase from today, it’s a hot mess of a film. It feels like multiple movies throughout one movie and isn’t the film that you see in the trailer or even read in a synopsis.
Julianne Moore plays 2 characters, Matt Damon’s wife and sister-in-law. The wife character dies in a home invasion or that’s how it appears. Oscar Isaac plays an insurance investigator trying to figure out if Damon’s claim on his dead wife is legit. That seems easy enough to follow and should be what the film is about. Unfortunately Clooney shoe horns in a look at how crappy 1950s suburbia was to black folks.
Yep in the middle of this Damon/Moore/Isaac story is a substory about a black family moving in next door and the white neighborhood exploding in rage and riots. It pulls on your heartstrings, but means a grand total of nothing in the long run. It feels like a complete ploy by Clooney and the only thing it accomplishes is that it hides some gunshots and keeps the neighbors looking at the black family’s house instead of Damon’s for an hour or so.
The ending is a mess with so many characters doing different things I won’t spoil and it feels like so many people had hands in the script. The Coen Brothers get a credit on the script, but others do as well including Clooney. I’m thinking they did the killing/insurance/hitmen stuff and the “message” of the film was Clooney and others, but I have no idea. This is a huge swing and a miss for a group of usually talented people.
All I See is You stars Blake Lively and Jason Clarke as a husband and wife living in Thailand. Lively is blind from a car accident as a kid which also killed her parents. She has surgery which gives her vision in one eye and starts to see the world differently both literally and figuratively.
This is another mess of a movie. It starts out fine enough after she gets her vision back. She struggles a bit, but wants to see colors and the world around her. Then she realizes she doesn’t like her apartment, her clothes, and maybe even her husband. I can understand this for the most part, but then it sort of goes off the rails.
Clarke’s character starts to think his wife doesn’t find him attractive now that she can see him and wants her to be blind again. Lively becomes a pervert and is obsessed with sex and penises or something. She talks about them to him while having sex. She starts lying to him. He lies to her. I won’t spoil it, but she does something bad and also finds out he’s trying to make her blind again. He realizes the bad thing she did and the ending is just vague.
I did like some of the visuals and direction, but there are scenes I didn’t get at all. There’s a kaleidoscope of naked bodies and Lively spinning around in water that I guess symbolizes getting pregnant or something. I don’t know and I don’t care enough to try to figure it out. It probably isn’t playing near you anyways.
The Lobster was one of my favorite movies last year and I was looking forward to The Killing of a Sacred Deer as it reunited The Lobster’s director and its star Colin Farrell. Unfortunately it’s another disaster of a film I wish I didn’t see.
At its core the film makes sense. Farrell plays a surgeon with a wife (Nicole Kidman) and a son and daughter. One of his patients died so he befriends the teenaged son of that patient. He takes him to lunch, gives him gifts and tries to show the boy there is someone there for him. Barry Keoghan from Dunkirk plays the boy and I wish the rest of the movie was that easy to explain.
It is not. I’m going to slightly (or more) spoil the movie a bit for this to even make a bit of sense. Keoghan decides that since Farrell killed his dad in surgery, one of Farrell’s family members has to die. Somehow, I say somehow because there is literally no explanation how, Farrell’s son becomes paralyzed and ends up in the hospital. Then his daughter does as well. Keoghan tells Farrell there are three steps, paralysis, lack of eating, then their eyes will bleed and someone will die. Farrell can pick who dies and make it all stop, but someone in the end will have to die.
On top of none of it making sense or getting explained, there are outright awkward scenes to watch. Before the bad things to the family starts happening, Farrell and Kidman have sex. Two attractive people, sounds hot right? Wrong. Kidman lies in bed like a patient under anesthesia and that’s not even the most awkward part. The teenaged daughter takes her clothes off (not fully nude, down to bra and panties) and lies in her bed like her mother! as she offers herself to Keoghan. Oh I forgot, the film starts with open heart surgery.
The Lobster was dark comedy gold and I was hoping this would be as well. It’s not. I’d never have a need to watch it again. The ending was just ridiculous and nothing really comes of it. Like All I See is You, it probably isn’t playing near you anyways.