Troy reviews the following today: The Quake, Marquise, Neighbors, Beyond Atlantis, Tyrel
Marquise is another one of those broader foreign films that Film Movement is releasing this year. Marquise is a real figure who began life as a street dancer. Eventually, she adopts the name Mademoiselle Du Parc and joins Moliere’s theater troupe.
Marquise bewitches King Louis XIV and then finds herself in bed with the playwright Racine. While she becomes a great actress, those she stepped on her way to the top get angry. While it’s quite a lovely movie, it suffers from the same biopic trappings of every similar film like this.
Still, I find Sophie Marceau to be one of those talents that never quite got their due in the 1990s.
The Quake is about how Norway can make a franchise out of natural disasters. People fear that the Quake will destroy Oslo like the one from 1904. Americans end up going to Wikipedia to see if that is true. Rest assured, it is.
What about the rest of the movie? If you like foreigners screaming and random lands being destroyed, then this is for you. While I didn’t enjoy it as much as The Wave, the film did do something for me.
Due to the film being PG-13, it gave me a foreign movie to help get some of the slowpokes onto the side of Foreign Cinema. Not everything is Bergman and Kurosawa. The rest of the world likes schlock just like America. Let’s give them a shot at making more popcorn cinema.
Neighbors is one of the forgotten bombs of the 1980s. What’s weird is that it was quite the black-eye for Belushi and Aykroyd in the 1990s. Yet, everyone now automatically thinks of the Zac Efron movie now.
Neighbors was meant to subvert the public image of Belushi and Aykroyd. By giving such frontal focus to the actors instead of the plot, the film was set up to fail. Yet, so many modern movies keep falling into this personality trap.
People ultimately don’t pay for anything other than story and spectacle. By neutering Belushi and making him into a passive douchebag, you take away the power of having Belushi. He’s an animal that can barely play it straight, while Aykroyd was the American straight man persona before Phil Hartman inherited the label.
It’s cutesy and doesn’t work. I’m just glad I waited for the Mill Creek release instead of buying the Disc on Demand that SONY was shilling on Amazon for ages.
Beyond Atlantis is way too campy. Normally, that’s not a complaint you will hear come from me. However, it started to hurt my enjoyment of the movie. The film is about a group of Islanders trying to increase tourism so they can mate together. If that wasn’t enough, the outsiders want to take some pearls.
Patrick Wayne stars as the man with a pulse. Other than that, it’s pretty forgettable. The disc is a VCI release with some slightly new special features. Cult fans should check it out.
Tyrel is what I love about modern horror. While so many of you are giving Jordan Peele way too much credit, there are far better movies being slipped in on the periphery of your attention. Tyrel hit theaters last December and quickly disappeared. A lot of that is on the indie reach of Magnolia.
A lot more of that is on how the film approached race relations. Almost taking a cue from low-budget 1970s horror, Tyrel places its African American hero in the roughest of situations.
The lead is the sole minority having been taken to a remote location to party with a bunch of drunken white guys. As the booze starts to flow and aggression runs high, Tyler takes stock of whom he actually knows at this weekend remote birthday party.
There’s a difference between making hard science fiction and actually diving into horrific terror. Jordan Peele wants to mine the same material as Rod Serling, but staying even more on the nose. Writer/Director Sebastian Silva does so much more with less.
It’s far scarier to focus on what good people do in unsavory situations. Focus on the real and let the terror of people unchecked create the horror. Frightening stuff all around and that’s before Michael Cera shows up.