Movies of the Week #36-37 (2022)

The Argument (2020): There’s usually something that gets me about quaint, little movie experiments. The Argument is one of them, an atypical take on a minor lover’s quarrel, that leads to (ridiculous) reenactments with the hope of apportioning blame. With an inspired cast (your favourite actors from various TV shows), the movie just about works, particularly thanks to a strong and unexpected closing act. It’s a shame that it doesn’t always click, which is presumably why it got roasted on IMDb – but, hey, it’s not always about the ratings, is it? So here’s a 6

Orphan (2009): I made the mistake of watching Orphan’s prequel before the original, so it’s my fault I completely spoiled the big twist. Aside from that though, the movies are quite different in feel – Orphan is a more traditional thriller, decently executed, but not all that inspired. The excellent cast ensures there’s life in it, especially the young Isabelle Fuhrman and Arayana Engineer. Problem is, Orphan commits one of the biggest possible sins in its genre – it’s neither scary, nor engaging. Maybe being taken by surprise would have made it more fun to watch, so that’s definitely on me, but it also something can’t be changed. 5

Orphan: First Kill (2022): The introduction to the Orphan cinematic universe (jk) felt like two movies into one – the first half, a stylistic continuation of what proved to be its original story, with the plot held together by a very thin thread. And just when you expect said thread to tear, OFK takes a twist and becomes a different movie, that’s actually fun to be a part of. It also proposes the interesting situation of Isabell Fuhrman reprising her role as Esther, meaning that at 25 she plays a younger version of the original character. The result, with visual trickeries, is eerie and works. So all in all, a surprisingly fresh movie to watch, even given its limitations. 6

Fall (2022): I am just astonished by the fact that someone had the audacity to almost literally pick up the plot of 47 Meters Down and redo the movie simply by moving it 647 meters up. Fall starts with some really clumsy set-up and B-grade dialogue, but it does pick up once we’re all out in the open fields of Nowhere, USA. If you haven’t seen 47, odds are this is just ever so slightly the better movie, because it’s easier on the eyes – which is not sexist at all, because I’m referring to the vistas. That being said, Fall also picks up the lesser qualities of the movie it was inspired by, with (the same) crazy plot twists and dubious decision-making by its characters. Add to that an unnecessary twenty minutes (again, I just don’t get why 90 minute movies have gone so out of fashion) and it’s a…5

My Sassy Girl (2008): A million years ago, I saw the Korean original of this, but I have no recollection of it – other than that it was enjoyable. This American remake is, as many of its counterparts, uninspired and severely lacking in charisma. Elisha Cuthbert and Jesse Bradford don’t make for a compelling romance, their characters bland if not unlikable. The very mushy writing doesn’t help MSG’s cause, with very few moments that tug at the heartstrings. Perhaps the last half hour is marginally better than the first hour, but there’s just not enough here to make for a worthwhile movie. 4