Movies of the Week #20 (2018)

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  • The Cured (2018): Here’s a slightly fresh take for the zombie inside all of us – a post-apocalyptic world with cured ‘infected’, who fail to reintegrate into society. A very timely allegory to whatever we’ve been living through these last few years. Unfortunately, the movie features an unconvincing antagonist, even if he is well suited to represent the kind of populist, vindictive attitudes that plague us. Moreso than the antagonist being unsuited, it’s his initial shift that felt unconvincing. Everything afterwards was too predictable for its own good, making the movie feel like a bit of drag. Add to that the fact that I just can’t see Ellen Page playing a mother with a seven year old son (I know, how petty of me) and you have a mixed bag to deal with. 6/10

In a world with no sense of humor

  • The Clapper (2017): Poor Ed Helms playing alongside poor Amanda Seyfried in this emotionally stunted drama/comedy was one of the saddest sights I’ve seen in movies this year. Not that either Helms or Seyfried are acting powerhouses, but they’re likable enough to make you feel for them – well, not in this one. The Clapper takes a vaguely interesting idea and takes it nowhere: a guy who earns his living by being an audience member for infomercials hits trouble when he gets ‘found’ by a regional, low-frills talk-show that ruins his claim for anonymity.  The story goes from interesting to lame in the blink of an eye, because director/writer Dito Montiel is satisfied with a lazy, lazy script and some digs at the sensationalism of low-frills TV. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. So yeah, do yourselves a favor and avoid it. 3/10

Art. Artist. A(r)therosclerosis.

  • Final Portrait (2017): Can mere mortals say where the line is between artistic process and artistic whimsy? Stanley Tucci’s movie about  Alberto Giacometti makes a big wager on ‘no’. It feels almost like a caricature, rooted in the artist’s  insatiability for the irreconcilable: he is happy only when he is truly anguished, he is most doubtful when he is most successful and, naturally, he is incapable of ever truly finishing an artistic ‘gesture’. While derivative at times, there are glimpses of affectionate irony in Giacometti’s portrayal, a found cause looking to be lost, that concludes with a very suitable send-off. Sure, it’s not the most exciting piece of film-making ever made, but it has personality, which is always a good stand-in, especially in the acting hands of Geoffrey Rush. 8/10


  • Zoom (2015): Just one of those movies that have been on my watch-list for a million years (i.e. maximum three), Pedro Morelli’s Zoom is a visually creative, narratively ambitious and thematically underwhelming experience that does enough to be recommended – especially for the geek brigade. Half live-action feature, half animation, this story within a story tackles prejudices and expectations stemming from body issues. It juggles one character/layer too many to be a truly solid movie with enough time to say something pertinent about life. This hints at the limited experience of director Morelli and screenwriter Hansen, but there’s promise to them nonetheless.