Movies of the Week #48 (2016)

Being bored on a Sunday evening such as the one unfolding right now, I decided to aim higher on the vanity punching bag and jot down some remarks about the movies I saw this week. It probably won’t stick, because #lazy, but who knows?

Movie of the week:

Ah-ga-ssi/The Handmaiden (2016)



  • Child’s Play (1988): what better way to start the week than sit in front of your television and surf all the way to one of the movies that ruined your childhood?  Geeze. Well, the thing that surprised me most was to find out that Brad Dourif played the voice of Chucky! Beyond this, the execution stands up reasonably well and I can see where one might get scared, but it was impossible to take the whole thing seriously. For the sake of old times though, a round. 6/10


  • Ah-ga-ssi (2016): [surprisingly, not a movie about tennis] Tuesday was go to the cinema in the middle of the day-day. And what a pleasure to see Cinema City do their best to promote an exceptional film by plugging it at 1.20 pm, alongside its equivalent NC-17 tag. There’s such a dire need for an art-house cinema, it almost makes me want to weep. But alas, watching brilliant movies in conditions equaling the level of privacy only your living room might otherwise bestow upon thee is up there in the list of amazing things one can do in life. And about the movie, such a classic runaround steeped in Chan-wook Park’s distinctive style – lavish and intimate and personal and just delightful! Do yourselves a favour and watch the trailer, at least. I’ve made sure to look at it every time I opened youtube this week. 9/10


  • Shotgun Stories (2007)Catching up on my Jeff Nichols/Michael Shannon collaborations, I finally watched the Stories this week. It’s not up there with my favourite of theirs, Take Shelter (2011), but it’s a solid tale of petty squabbles and revenge, inflamed by the backdrop of social displacement and personal drama the protagonists bring to the table. 7/10


  • Barton Fink (1991): I can finally step into the light and claim to have seen all of the feature films directed by the Coen’s. Strangely, although fairly riveting and ripe with allegorical interpretations, while also boasting two in-form John’s (Turturro and Goodman), I did not love it. And I pretty much enjoyed Hail, Caesar! (2016), so…you know. Not quite sure what was missing. 7/10


  • Swiss Army Man (2016)By now, it has become apparent that this post is already too long for it to stay practical. And the weekend was just as prolific! Dan Radcliffe, playing a corpse for a lot of the time, and Paul Dano, doing his best attempt of looking like Leo Messi, carry this weird-ass movie about, essentially, mental illness? It’s one of those larger than life kind of situations, underpinned by more farts than usual, which ends up being more benign than initially expected. But it feels pretty honest and the leads work well together, to carry it (hah!) to its underwhelming conclusion. 7/10
  • Ghostbusters (2016): So much talk about such an average movie – sometimes the internet is crazy, who would have thought? The whole debacle about doing it with an all female cast is(n’t?) worth diddly squat, because that’s not the problem. The problem is the movie isn’t funny, its play against various tropes is dull (although I did appreciate a Hemsworth being used as an Ulla) and the only performance I enjoyed was Kate McKinnon’s. Shame. 5/10


  • Sully (2016): It’s amazing to see Clint Eastwood is still at it, and in reasonable form to boot! But then again, it’s hard to go wrong with Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart, two very reliable actors capable of a wide range of performances. What the movie lacks to make it really stand out is thematic heft, as it stays focused (and enthralling) in the tense moments, but the away-from-the-plane conflicts are weak dramatically. 7/10


  • War Dogs (2016): Clearly, I was low on ambition by the end of this week and just wanted to sign off with a light movie about mass murder, Todd Philips style, i.e. light and breezy. In all honesty, I have to confess enjoying Andrew Niccol’s  Lord of War (2005) which merely differs in nuances from War Dogs, while staying equally light and breezy. But, then again, not every movie has a Nicolas Cage and a Jared Leto. So yeah, I’m not quite sure about the casting of Miles Teller, while Jonah Hill’s character reminded me too much of his persona in the Wolf of Wall Street (2012). Heck, the whole movie reminded me of that, so it’s definitely got an identity problem. Ultimately, though, it’s still better than Ghostbusters, even if barely. 6/10