A thought-provoking horror, Steven Soderbergh’s trash-fest and John Travolta’s miserable attempt at reviving his career. Welcome to the weekly update by Cultural Hater.
The first week of July has been obviously marked with a blockbuster (couldn’t be a proper summer without a one), a glowing example of horror done well and few other things. Let’s get down to business then.
Hereditary (2018) – A Harrowing Experience
The debuting director Ari Aster has written & directed the best horror of the year and one of the most notable one in many years.
After the passing of Annie’s mother, the mother of two kids struggles to put her life back together. Soon, her mental state deteriorates further and the family begins to suffer from unprecedented occurrences, which jeopardize their safety.
“Hereditary” is a maverick example of a modern horror, which turns genre cliches into a fresh, horrifying experience. The film sustains a disturbing atmosphere the entire time by progressively blurring the line between what’s real and what’s not. It’s a truly haunting movie, which stays with you long after the screening.
Barry (2018) – Continues To Be Awesome
As I wrote in the first weekly update, comedy show “Barry” starring Bill Hader as a hitman-turned-actor has noted a solid pilot episode. The following two episodes didn’t let me down either.
The show balances the fascinating ability of Hader to grimace and an actual storyline. It begins to capture the spirit of Hollywood making dreams come true too. We’ll see where it goes from here.
Nicola Cruz and his Ecuadoran-influenced minimal downtempo
The Boiler Room’s sets are one of the finest electronic music pieces on YouTube. The vast range of artists invited to the project makes it a place, where everyone can find something to meet their expectations.
Nicola Cruz’s set has stolen my heart completely. It’s beautifully derived from the traditional music of Ecuador, with vocalizing in Spanish and flute themes in particular. The downtempo beats are extremely chill – the whole set flows like a calm river. It’s absolutely blazing and I can’t wait to hear more from Cruz and – obviously – see him perform live.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) – Let The Dinosaurs Rest In Peace
I like Chris Pratt, I really do. He’s the chillest dude in Hollywood.
I also liked the original Jurassic stories, back in the days when Spielberg was the indisputable king of Hollywood.
Alas what happened in the second installment of the new “Jurassic World” series is an abomination. The film brings absolutely nothing new to the table, uses garbage script to justify a ton of special effects and wastes the talent of Rafe Spall. There’s going to be more installments in the series and I’m trembling to see what’s planned.
Read here to see why you should avoid seeing “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”.
Unsane (2018) – A Shapeless Pulp
Steven Soderbergh behind the camera and raving reviews by Indiewire and Variety. What could go wrong? Frankly, almost everything.
Sawyer Valentini (Claire Foy) moves to a new city to escape from her traumatizing past. She was stalked by a man named David (Joshua Leonard). In an odd series of events, she is involuntarily committed to a mental institution. As she’s desperately trying to escape, she begins to believe that her tormentor is among the employees of the ward.
Steven Soderbergh is a skilled storyteller and a great observer – “Erin Brockovich” and “Traffic” were the most prominent of his works, where the sharp execution and acting were praiseworthy.
“Unsane”, however, is Soderbergh’s absolute worst. From the start, the film feels like a semi-amateurish effort of a film student, who lacks any kind of visual virtuosity. I get that “Unsane” is so “innovative”, because it’s shot on an iPhone. See “Tangerine” to get a hold of mobile filmmaking done right.
“Unsane” is rough on the edges, with the plot moving at a snail’s gallop. It’s stretched in the first half of the film, focusing on Sawyer’s paranoia build-up, eventually turning into a grotesque, rushed pulp in the end. Even if the premise of the film is relatively poignant, the execution is just trash.
Gotti (2018) – A Miserable Mobster Drama
It has been quite some time since the audiences were blessed with a conspicuous noir film. “Gotti” has only cemented this sad part of the reality.
John Travolta stars as John Gotti, an infamous mobster, who fit in the shoes of Al Capone and other like him. The film by Kevin Connolly aims at grasping Gotti’s reign of power, as well as show him on the more social background.
The problem with most of the so-called gangster dramas is the way they multiply the same storylines, with exchanging names and settings only. “Gotti” is an ill-inspired B-movie, which relies solely on Travolta’s sacrifice to rejuvenate his own career. He’s doing his best to carry the loose script, but it seems that “Gotti” has been destined to be a misfire.