Movies of the Week #20 (2023)

Introducing, Selma Blair (2021): It’s hard to not feel for Selma Blair (and by extension people suffering of all sorts of debilitating illnesses) as we are familiarized with her battle against multiple sclerosis. We follow her efforts in receiving stem cell therapy, while doing her best as a mother and (involuntarily) redefining herself as an inspiration for those who need it. The close access makes for a very worthwhile documentary, often intimate, sometimes a bit theatrical, but overall an impactful experience, especially if you’ve grown up watching Selma in the late 90s and early 00s. 8

La nuit du 12 (2022): Dominik Moll was somewhere in the back of my mind, ever since Lemming (2005) opened the Cannes film festival. Alas, I had seen none of his work before this movie, which turned out to be an old-school, captivating detective story. After a young girl is murdered in a small French town, the police struggle to identify even one solid lead, as they come to the grim conclusion that, really, any one of the men they interviewed could have done it. That’s kind of the point the movie tries to bring across, that there is an intrinsic (?) disfunction in the relationship between men and women. I’m not sure in does this convincingly, but there’s still a grip to it that swayed a lot of people at the Cesar awards, where it swept most of the major categories. 7

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023): The latest Guardians is an ok ride, mostly because it consists of two movies: an emotional, engaging backstory on Rocket and the usual Marvel smack-around for the rest of the crew. As this will probably be the last movie for a bunch of the cast, emotions were expected, and it’s good to see that Guardians remains on brand and lowkey the best franchise going on in this cinematic universe. Still rocking its classic 80s soundtrack and managing to avoid the frivolous path that Thor took, I’ll call GoG V3 a worthy cinema outing. 7

Blood Red Sky (2021): I won’t spoil what this is about (don’t watch the trailer either), because the best part of the movie happens while the mystery remains veiled. Plot goes something along the lines of: sick mother travels with child to the US of A, but plane gets hijacked and things go south really quickly. So for the first half of BRS, there are things to enjoy, as everything builds up to reveal its unusual premise; afterwards, the movie turns into a soulless hack-fest, with some violence and gore, but little in terms of satisfaction, as it treads towards a foreshadowed (and tired) finale. A shame. 5

Hypnotic (2023): Just watching the trailer to Hypnotic told me all I needed to know – this heavily discounted Inception could easily be given a miss. But circumstances conspired against me and I found myself in the cinema, watching this jumbaloo full of exposition and twists, as Ben Affleck sleepwalks through it. The good thing is it’s short and not completely unbearable thanks to a decent final act, but given the talent involved in making it, the end result can only be described as disappointing. 5

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