Friday, 8 June 2018
Anon is set in a near future that looks a lot like the past: very impersonal, very gray, very bleak, with only a few cars moving about and them being all seventies gas guzzling police cars.
The catch in this world is that everyone has a recorder on their eyes that takes down everything they see and makes it available to authorities. Not that this recorder doesn’t offer the layperson any benefits: it also tells them the name of any person they meet, and allows them to view past scenes of their lives. To the police, however, it enables complete supervision over everyone’s life, with all the implications this has on finding the criminals responsible to every crime.
The plot revolves mostly around a police detective (Clive Owen) who tries to catch a sexy woman we only know as Anon (Amanda Seyfried). Anon’s special ability is to be able to, somehow, delete scenes from people’s past lives; society cannot allow for that, can it? Especially the police. Hence Anon become a target. She’s an even bigger target through her clients seeming to be shot dead by her hands after the business transaction is over, though.
Thus we have ourselves a murder mystery detective story with the mandatory fam fatale that is set in a dystopian world where there is no such thing as privacy: Film noir if ever there was one.
Anon the movie is, essentially, a platform for Andrew Nicole with which to ask us viewers questions on the merits of privacy. He is basically asking why we are willing to give it away so easily in return for nothing, arguing very correctly (through the characters of Seyfried and Owen) that this dichotomy we live by whereas we sacrifice privacy for security did not give us any security improvements. Mostly, though, Anon is a case against that most commonly used argument of “nothing to fear, nothing to hide”: if you have nothing to hide from the authorities then you have nothing to fear from them either, hence you do not lose anything when you hand them your most intimate information. Anon simply argues that while this may be true, perhaps there are things we don’t want to share, thank you very much?
Bleakness aside, Anon’s message is delivered quite explicitly. By explicitly I mean just that: there are scenes that will be commonly referred to as “strong sex scenes” (as in, scenes where sex is depicted more explicitly than we are used to in mainstream movies). Similarly, there are scenes of drug use. I guess it goes with the turf: sex, in particular, would be the number one thing most people would prefer not to share with authorities, the public, or anyone for that matter.
Overall: An excellent idea for a movie that is quite hampered by the rather heavy handed bleakness which, in turn, creates a movie that is a bit too hard to digest and get into. 3 out of 5 crabs.
Tuesday, 5 June 2018
Will it work or will all hell break loose? The correct answer is C, of course: all of the above.
Despite what sounds like a plausible story, Office Christmas Party is implausible throughout. To make things worse, its conclusion relies on an even more implausible plot twist in order to sort us with the obligatory happy ending. I guess it could all be forgiven if the movie was funny - after all, we are putting a crazy comedy under the microscope here - but Office Christmas Party isn’t that funny. It rather feels like something coming out of a production line desperate to make a Christmas movie.
Overall: A weak 2 out of 5 crabs for this party affair.
Friday, 1 June 2018
What follows is a very good comedy of the exact type one has grown to associate with Jason Bateman. Bateman’s highly successful brother (Kyle Chandler) is back in town, and here to shake up the last of our hero’s confidence as the less successful of the two has to look up to his older brother again. And that old brother is organising a special game night, one where one of the participants is getting kidnapped and the rest have to find them to win a special reward: the car of [Bateman character’s] dreams. Only that reality knocks in, and instead of a fake kidnaping one of our characters gets kidnapped for real. With the catch being, everybody else is sure it’s a game.
The beauty of Game Night is in the comedy that develops as our movie developers. Our characters, busy as they are playing a game, and not realising the higher stakes at hand, spend quite a lot of their time discussing their life problems as they try to win their game / diffuse the kidnapping that actually took place. It is in those moments of high action that relationship problems are tackled (because, naturally, no one dares talks about these things under otherwise normal circumstances). Thus Game Night becomes a movie most people would be able to identify with (and not only board gamers like yours truly).
Throw in some good cameos (such as a Miami forensic serial killer), and Game Night should turn one particular night of your life into a particularly entertaining one. Just as long as you don’t try to make sense of the plot.
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 crabs, and as seemingly silly comedies go - a pretty good one!