Bird Box (2018): Drama / Horror / Sci-Fi

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In a post-apocalyptic present, a mother with two kids run for their lives as a menacing presence of unknown origin, when seen, forces people to take their own lives.

Here’s the film’s obvious pitch: “The Happening” (2008) meets “A Quiet Place” (2018). Let me put it this way… It doesn’t meet either. Both of them raise important questions but provide, to a certain level, some answers leaving the viewer speculating about the cause and effect based on the clues they provided.

“Bird Box” raises questions and doesn’t bother at all with answers. No one with the basic level of intelligence will stare at the ceiling as the end credits roll down contemplating what potentially could these entities (?) be. Not revealing them is absolutely fine in my books. The unseen yet sensed ominous presence can be terrifying indeed. Not revealing their origins, their purpose, their powers, nothing whatsoever, makes them as unrelatable as the characters themselves. So, yeah, there is that too.

Susanne Bier has done a terrific job behind the camera. “Bird Box” is a well-shot, well edited, and well-produced film. So, I will quote (again) Howard Hawks: “You can’t fix a bad script after you start shooting. The problems on the page only get bigger as they move to the big screen”. Months before, Netflix also produced “How it Ends” (2018) with the reviews being as embarrassing as they come – especially on how it ends! I guess history teaches us that we are not taught from history after all…

Sandra Bullock is still an amazing actress and still keeps nailing the parts she gets. Even in this one. So, I really hope that we see her in films she deserves to be in and not films like “Ocean’s Eight” (2018). Actually, I hope we never have to see again any film like “Ocean’s Eight” (2018). Not even blindfolded…

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Crash (2004): Crime / Drama / Thriller

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People from every walk of life, dealing with loss, racism, and life itself, collide with each other in the city of Angels.

Find the one you hate the most. You’ll like them later on. Find the one you relate with the most. You’ll hate them in the end. Welcome to a world where all East Asians are Chinese. All South Americans are Mexicans. All Middle Easterners are “Osama”. All blacks are criminals. And all whites are rednecks.

Racism, bigotry, misanthropy… passed on from one to the next, by white to brown, to black to yellow, to another shade of skin colour and back to where it started, in an endless spiral of hatred that has no beginning but hopefully one day an end. Wait, there is more! Colour is not enough. Where do you stand in this world? Are you educated? What is your financial and societal status? You work for the government or against the government? Either way, you are criminal. You have principles? How much?

“Crash” includes an amazing ensemble cast and explores in depth all the aforementioned, yet its message focuses on how to overcome the notion that everyone is a victim, whoever is different is the enemy, and it is always someone else’s fault. People’s interconnectedness extends to their feelings too; loss, love, pride, shame, isolation, belonging, loneliness, redemption and regret… all blend into one making it easier to accuse everyone we don’t know for ostensibly having everything we always longed-for. Until we realised we want more…

Change will not happen miraculously. A legend said it once best: “I’m starting with the man in the mirror…”

Ocean’s 8 (2018): Action / Comedy / Crime

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The feminist version that no one asked for. Nothing funny. Nothing new. Multicultural cast just to attract diverse audience – which was not attracted anyway. No twists. More plot holes than a Swiss cheese. I could go on and on… The adjectives to characterize this film reside only in Pandora’s box.

I was running errands throughout the whole film and I didn’t miss a thing. But then, on the other hand, I knew what was going to happen before I even started watching. The disappointing part is not the film. It is not even the A-list cast signing on. It is Steven Soderbergh wearing the producer’s hat behind it.