Queen & Slim
Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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George had pushed himself in the previous chapter. This seems like overstretching things. Now, does that pay off? Come on, that's subjective. But, no.
Day Of The Dead
I, or anyone for that matter, would be and should be austere towards the writer and director George Romero's beloved zombie-defining trend-setting horror franchise. It comes with a lot of expectations. It should deliver considering the hype and momentum it carries. Now, unlike others I tend to not lean on the subject that is shown but rather the way it is shown. So for a satirical psychological horror thriller franchise as such, I will take the most remote-est storyline of this world. And I mean, break the genre, bend the rules, change the formula and isolate yourself as far as you can from the gold mine that I, we, George knows, should be a safer ground. In fact, make it everything listed before. This hotchpotch of ingredients should be the recipe. And though, George does not and may never combine these many risky factors, he is, I think, in his own way, breaking the established ground. What made these "dead" so infamously ruthless and grossly scary, he has tried to lop off that very subject matter. "He could be domesticated!" George, talking about one of the ghouls, pleads to his audience through a character and their slips the glass out of his hand. What made his formula so unique, is bashed with a hammer. The aim is good. He practised hard. But on that. Just that stroke. Another issue, is of course, the way the rest of the blank is filled, the time is spent. It is the same blood dripping, spraying all over, organs pouring out imageries that gets better as an achievement in technical procedure on how it works. Not in storytelling. That part is the same. Overcooked.
Noah has me choked up for the entire runtime of his thundering masterpiece. This profound experience is so rare, that it has happened to me only once. In Marriage Story.
The writer and director, Noah Baumbach is spewing love. Not the usual way of expressing. But then, miscommunication is a major factor in this film. He is sugar-coating or bitter-coating a love story, by deconstructing, reverse-engineering a love story. Although that is what it seems at first. The film, above all, wonder me the most, is when it balances both sides of the coin. Every now and then, I think about what happened, why we are here, just as those characters do. It all makes sense and nothing fits despite the description, the definition. And still you don't feel cheated. And Noah dodged that bullet so effortlessly that you- at certain points in the film, even when there is no particularly emotional hurdle to cross- melt with a cathartic smile and tears, in its simple wittiness. The film deliberately follows Adam Driver's perspective. Now, that is a perfect choice, considering he "is walking on" something that he doesn't fully understand, just like us, the audience. Hence, he comes off warm and even pitiful at times, more than he actually might be or should. For following Scarlett Johanson would have come off calculative rather than spontaneous. Not something that the film wants to put out. It is vulnerable phenomena to be in. And to experience it, you should be out of control. Desperation is what drives the greed. And greed, something you keep it off the table from Day 1, is what it will come to. Not materialistic but philosophical. You'd want to be how you think of yourself to be. And in these scenarios where you are highly conscious of your decisions and acts. Legacy (Henry, in their case) is what you hold on to or at least fight for, now that you are sober.
As far as the scares are concerned, I am not scared. Lucky for George, he has plenty of other colors to paint this wall with something else.
Dawn Of The Dead
If Night Of The Living Dead is confined, specific, Dawn Of The Dead is all over the place. Showcasing all the repercussions and boasting all the showcased scenarios. For the second one, the writer and director, George Romero is pushing himself along with the storyline. The social satire, just like and unlike the previous chapter, has aged well. Though the previous chapter didn't value what is currently prioritised, it surely on the other hand whips what we shouldn't value. That analysis or theory of the film is represented visually and is stated with an isolated personality which is personified as a part of a branch of a structure. If not character driven, these scenarios in its world wouldn't hold any place. But this is where George takes his time. He enjoys these moments. And this idea is scary. Something that translates to the filmmaker itself. If there is no joy, you are not emotionally attached, you are not tapping to their beat and not bobbing your head to their plans, you will never survive. And to survive is to be gifted in this film. The very thought of an escape is celebrated. And just like the franchise always does, the humans are the troubled bodies bouncing inside these walls. Them taking things for granted, overconfidence in their capabilities and exploitation of the gifts of nature. You see even after we are dead, we are a slave to that cycle. It keeps spinning and is eating us alive or even dead in this case. There are similar patterns in their behaviour, heavily armoured or numbingly defensive, it's eventually the same thing.
The arrogance, the miscommunication is horrifying. There is no deal, nothing on the table, no table at all. Everything is up for grabs and burns.
Night Of The Living Dead
Among many filmmakers achieving their own various milestones in their first project, this one could be the ideal example, the milestone of that sub genre list- if there is any! The co-writer and director, George A. Romero has a poetic speech. Even rhyming, I would persist. Leaving all the evolutions of ghouls or zombies or whatnot aside, I would like to focus on the structure of the script. It is better if you understand the intentional poem behind all the scenarios in order to truly enjoy this could-arguably-be called popcorn flick. But there is much more than entertainment. Yes, you will get the occasional scare, the hair pulling annoyance to not be able to control and a classic game of pitting one chip against another. But this is one page poem. Written with a mirroring symmetry. It has a start and a finish. Something you won't be able to differentiate. And all the elements in the script is brimming with this ingredient. The dialogues, the intentions, the faulty logistics, worn out philosophises and now even the political incorrectness, some might point out. If someone doesn't get along they would start their equation through that very formula. And even end on it. Their salvation relies upon each other's theories and so does damnation, but then there is arrogance in the air. This eye-for-actually-nothing world hungrily feeds on upright abusive nature. The drapes are off and the humility, sociality comes off shamelessly. The living is scarier than dead ever will be. For in this Night Of The Living Dead, your companions are not only dumb, cold, rancid species (just as you are) but also has a motif. Greedy motives. There always is. It is human to be. Not zombies.
Jillian Bell works hard. Both as a character and for the character. And by hard, I mean, they mean, watch her go through this pound by pound.
Brittany Runs A Marathon
For Paul Downs Colaizzo, the writer and director, this is an incredible achievement. Almost as if participating and winning the marathon. This is something he has done the first time and he is hitting all the right notes. And I am even going to call this one, a crowd pleaser. Now, not only doesn't it just uses a concept that is common and often lightly taken. But even his take has a particular new spin, a new angle- even the cinematography helps a lot when it shoots those new ideas on screen and you see a completely odd frame suggesting the birth of that notion- that is meticulously charged. The camera work focuses, crops and sharpens those details, enhancing this familiar tale into a bright New York morning of social media world. It specifically focuses on a definite crowd and yet comes off for everyone. Now, that is definitely not for the diplomatic approach of it; for there are a couple of scenes that might suggest it. But it is the tendency of that graph to always, and mind you always, land on something you'd expect. From the montage sequences that rises up to the unnerving meltdowns that we all are looking forward to. Aforementioned, within these 100 minutes, the film touches all those sweet notes delicately on the floor. And by the time, Brittany Runs A Marathon, that floor, the track has been more of a habit, than a home. Not a habit you cannot push yourself away from but the ones you create consciously. Among many, many supporting characters, my favourite is her, Bell's roommate, showcasing one of the most common and least represented groups of people in the movies, that we actually survive daily.