Monthly Archives: February 2018
My understanding is that Annihilation is only getting a theatrical release in the United States, or it is only getting a streaming release in Europe. Apparently, the studio does not think that there is a big audience for this movie and the poor showing at the box office so far seems to be proving them right. I saw the trailer for this movie many times during the course of 2017 and it didn’t exactly have me running to the theater. It is a shame though; there’s lots of cool stuff to look at in this movie and I’m glad I saw it on the big screen.
Anyway, I did see this movie today. You know what I thought? It was okay. Maybe I’d even go as far as to say it was pretty good. On the other hand, outside of the production design and a few story elements, I wouldn’t say this movie isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel. That’s the thing about the trailer for this movie: it promises a lot, but doesn’t offer much.
Okay, I’ll get off the trailers back. The movie itself has an interesting protagonist and I like very much what they’ve done here. Natalie Portman’s character is interesting, complex and the movie does a good job of combining character elements with the plot. I also enjoyed the tension, but on the other hand the slow burn pace only works some of the time. The movie isn’t too long, but I did catch myself checking my watch once.
I would say sci-fi and thriller fans would enjoy Annihilation. I can’t recommend it for general audiences though. It definitely doesn’t pass the Mom test. (Mom, if you’re reading this, don’t go see this movie. You will not like it.) I just checked this movie’s average score on Rotten Tomatoes, and it’s at 7.6, which I think is fair. It even be a little harsh. I think I’d give this movie an 8 out of 10. It’s a “Walk, Don’t Run” movie for fans of these genres only. In case it doesn’t go without saying, I wouldn’t take any children to Annihilation, but I would think adults with patience and a strong constitution will probably enjoy this movie.
Whenever I’m out of town and I have a few hours to kill, I go to the movies. In Jackie Brown, Max Cherry response when asked what movie he’s going to see, “Whatever start soon and looks good.” The thing is, those two choices seem to be mutually exclusive. In fact, I would go as far as to say that whatever start soon is almost never good.
Hence, I saw Winchester one fine afternoon.
And it was not good.
Now, this is hardly news. Let me explain: there’s a good chance that you never saw an ad for Winchester. Neither did I. I think the studio knew they had to turd on their hands and they decided to release this movie in February and not waste a bunch of money on marketing. So just the fact that this movie was opening and I never heard of it was not a good sign. Then, the trailers before the movie were also for mostly cheap-looking horror movies and a remake of Overboard. (I knew I was in trouble the second that woman brought that carpet cleaning machine onto that boat.)
But to be fair, Winchester is not entirely flawed. It has the basic parts of a movie, they’re just not all up to snuff. It’s the kind of movie that’s analogous to an cheap car repair: yeah my car runs, but the engine is noisy, only the left turn signal works, people have to do the breaking procedure from The Simpsons to get the car to stop. But technically, it’s still a car.
In case you’re not familiar with the subject, Winchester is about the house built by the heiress to the Winchester Repeating Arms Company and the 24-hour construction that constantly expanded the house in illogical ways: stair cases that went nowhere, doors that open to no rooms or did not open at all and so on. In the film, The rooms are built to help the spirits of the victims of Winchester rifles move on from this world to the next and the rooms are built as replicas of the rooms in which they died, because apparently there was a lot of indoor rifle fire in the 19th century.
Look, this movie is not great. A lot of the rules are underdeveloped, there’s some Yoda Lightning in it, the pace drags in a few places and the villain is less than flushed out. If you’re a big fan of the horror genre, you might like this movie and enjoy a few of the jump-scares, but Winchester is nothing special and I would say most people don’t need to see this movie.
Yoda Lightning – when a character in a movie does something that makes you yell at the screen, “If you can do that, why don’t you do it all the time? Why don’t you do it in this instance, and that instance and the many other ways that thing you can do could affect the plot, but you don’t! Why don’t you do it?!?”
The answer is usually, “Because it would make the movie 5 minutes long.”
This term traces its roots back to Star Wars The Last Jedi . In this film, (Force ghost) Yoda summons a lightning bolt to burn down a tree. This begs the question: if he can just appear somewhere and summon lightning, why doesn’t he do that all the time? It sure would save the Galaxy from a lot of horror and bloodshed.
I’m back on the What Does It Matter? podcast to talk about our favorite movies of 2017 as well as everything I saw last year! You can listen below or download by searching WDIM in your podcast app of choice! You can find WDIM on Facebook and Twitter, too! Drop some review love on Facebook and iTunes!https://ia601502.us.archive.org/25/items/Episode39OurFavoriteMoviesOf2017Mp3/Episode%2039%20Our%20Favorite%20Movies%20Of%202017%20mp3.mp3