Sweet Girl (2021) Written by Philip Eisner & Gregg Hurwitz Directed by Brian Andrew Mendoza
Netflix original movies/shows can be hit or miss. There are times when their movies feel like the thing you settled for when you rent something. You’re left with the subpar version of what you wanted. You stare at the title, think you’ve seen the trailer, but everything is a blur as things melt one into the other. All titles are similar, the colors, nothing bright or new.
If Cryptozoo feels like an indie comic book, you wouldn’t be wrong. The creator Dean Shaw is a comic book writer/artist. The work looks like a crude outsider art piece with hints of inspiration from other obscure animated works. I personally saw a lot of Fantastic Planet in the character movement and the themes of the narrative. The story is ambitious but ultimately fails to come together, in my opinion. There’s something here, but I don’t think all the ingredients mixed well. We have an animated film that wants to build a vast world and talk about the environment & humanity.
Just sort of resigned to give up on America and Americans at this point. I have noticed social media sentiments from people who always hovered in that centrist space, just wholly giving in to apathy. American media & power relies on the people losing their ability to imagine a different, better world, and they have certainly accomplished that. They’ve convinced people that a real revolution (not a Proud Boy hog LARP) is possible and that a thousand deaths a day from COVID and pediatric ICUs filling up is just the norm. So with our house being sold and waiting for the closing and everything else, I just have decided to withdraw myself from my usual social media spots. The weekly wonderings will be pretty much the only place I share my personal thoughts and ideas. Facebook is a worthless platform, so I suppose Twitter & Instagram will just be me promoting the blog until the world ends.
Annette (2021) Written by Ron Mael, Russell Mael, and Leos Carax Directed by Leos Carax
Annette is a movie whose fans won’t simply like this picture, but they will adore it. The film is the brainchild of eccentric musicians Sparks (brothers Ron & Russell Mael), who have been itching to get into cinema for decades. In the 1970s, they were on the verge of collaborating with French comedic filmmaker Jacques Tati until he took ill. Now they have produced a film that most certainly their own, full of strange musings on death & love, all suffused with a wry sense of dark humor. I can’t say I loved this movie, but I certainly appreciated what a unique production it was; it’s genuinely unlike anything else coming out right now.
Censor (2021) Written by Prano Bailey-Bond & Anthony Fletcher Directed by Prano Bailey-Bond
As the home video market grew in the late 1970s and into the 1980s/90s, the United Kingdom clamped down on horror and pornography films they deemed harmful to society. This came as a result of significant film distributors keeping away from that market out of privacy fears. The gap was filled by an avalanche of low-budget content. The British Board of Film Censors employed people to watch these movies and determine a rating, and also, if they were so beyond the pale, they should have prosecution brought against them. These films would garner the nickname “video nasties.” It’s against this moral panic over movies that the film Censor takes place.
Gunpowder Milkshake (2021) Written by Navot Papushado & Ehud Lavski Directed by Navot Papushado
Seth and I don’t always agree on things, as shocking as that might seem. When I first saw Gunpowder Milkshake’s trailer, I could feel the intrigue bubbling within my system, almost dashed to bits and pieces as my husband went, “Ew, no.” (Ed. note: I have literally zero memory of ever seeing this trailer)
Let’s not fault the man; he did not grow up watching martial arts/action movies. Unlike my husband, raised in a Christain household, my single mom tended to let us rent movies at will. If those movies didn’t even up being the regular popular picks, they managed to be action movies many times.
Pig (2021) Written by Michael Sarnoski & Vanessa Block Directed by Michael Sarnoski
If you have seen the trailer for this new Nicolas Cage vehicle, you will still not really understand what you will see. There are shades of a John Wick-style revenge film hinted at in this picture, yet it is absolutely nothing like those movies at all. They share a slight similarity in the inciting incident, but when it comes to themes and characters, Pig could not be more different. This is also not a movie that leans into the meme-ifcation of Cage that has become popular over the last 15 years. In reality, this is a quiet, meditative film about working through grief.