Saturday, November 3, 2018


I know; I'm late; I'm late; I'm later than normal even by my standards. (Sigh) I wish I had much of an excuse; believe me, I didn't plan for my post to be so spread apart like this, but I've been busy with life lately and it's way of annoyingly getting more and more in the way than normal. I wish I can say that this lately delay is an aberration, but honestly it's become the norm. And honestly, I think I'm gonna just embrace it at this point, at least for the near future. I'm already way behind on my Top Ten Films of 2017 and I don't know when I'll finally be doing it. And I'm probably also gonna delay the One-Year-Later Awards too. It's just not something I currently have the time or the effort to make to catch up the way I'd like to and most of that's not even laziness, it's ability lately.

Honestly, it's starting to get old anyway, I've been more inspired lately in other fields of work, and I'm interested in exploring that more lately. As much as I love this blog, it's time-consuming and can be tedious at times and frankly I want to follow some other inspirations and at the moment I'm more capable of doing that than simply posting blogs.

Oh well, I did get to a lot of films; I'm going over the most recently-made ones as I normally do. The only one I won't be discussing is that "I Am Heath Ledger" documentary, because I saw it basic cable television, although I definitely enjoyed that one as well. Can't believe it's been so long since he passed away. I'll try not to take so long being Review posts next time, or at least find the time to post something else in the meantime between them, but I can't be certain of that, and I'm not certain as of yet about how or when I'll be able to get to some of the other things I wanted to do.

Alright, let's get to it, I'm made some of you wait long enough. Here's this latest edition of our Movie Reviews, starting with the Oscar-winning feature, "A Fantastic Woman"!

A FANTASTIC WOMAN (2017) Director: Sebastian Leilo


I've had some time to mull over "A Fantastic Woman" for a while now, I wish I had recorded more of my thoughts as I watched the film, but for some reason I was lucky to even just find a copy of the movie, through unscrupulous means at that. A movie which won the Oscar this past year for Best Foreign Language feature, the first time a Chilean film won. That's a country, a little bit under the radar, but there has been a lot of good cinema coming out of that country in recent years, and Director Sebastian Leilo has produced a good deal of it. His previous film, "Gloria" about an older woman who begins having a romance with a Naval officer is actually not all that different from this film, at least in approach. He finds a fascinating character, usually a woman, usually it's about relationships,- at least two movies into filmography that appears to be his motif, maybe I have to look through his other films soon,- but he's found something that's worked and given him his most worldwide acclaim yet. 

The titular woman in Marina (Daniela Vega) although I suspect this movie is as much about the actress as it is the character. Like Marina, Vega is a trans woman and primarily a singer-, this is only her second notable acting credit of anything and she is fantastic and fascinating, even though things seem to happen more around and to her. Her older boyfriend Orlando (Francisco Reyes) has a heart attack and dies after being in bed with her and the movie is essentially just her going through the greiving process. Of course Orland's family mostly hates her to varying degrees, while some are arguing whether she should be allowed at the funeral or the wake, some are trying to kidnap and humiliate her. 

Meanwhile, she's also still suffering her own grief. There's one magical sequence at a nightclub that seems like a normal night out, but eventually evolves into an old-fashioned dance number. She is a nightclub singer and the opening scene of the movie is seeing her performing at the moment she first met Orlando. This is contrasted with a more interesting sing where she's taking singing lessons. While she is a nightclub singer, that's a bit misleading as we learn that she's actually capable of opera. 

"A Fantastic Woman" is a a fantastic movie about an interesting woman who despite everything, we want to learn more about. I think that's the ultimate trick of hte movie. It's a profile of an intriguing character, one we feel for, one we want to give a hug to when she's down, but one who is still at arms reach for us. One who leaves us curious. Ironically the movie that "A Fantastic Woman" most reminds me of is Kieslowski's "Blue" the first film of the Three Colors Trilogy that was also about a musician struggling with grief after the lost of loved ones. Danielle Vega's Marina is just as intriguing as Juliette Binoche's Julie, but unlike Julie where we struggled to understand if she even was feeling any emotion she was so locked out to us that sometimes the screen itself would go black, Marina spends most of her life seemingly holding in all of the emotions and pains she feels from day-to-day life, even without the hell of her lover's passing getting in the way. She wants to open up, but the cost for her to do so, could be too great, and therein lies the greatest sadness of the film.

No wonder she wants to sing opera. 

WONDER (2017) Director: Stephen Chbowsky


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A few minutes into "Wonder", the movie that I had been keeping as a DVD for over two months holding up my Netflix queue due to anomalies in my viewing pattern and life getting in the general way of everything I was trying to do for the last few months, I was getting that irksome, nauseous feeling that I was gonna watch something that's just gonna piss me off. Here's the sympathetic kid we have to care about, and the whole movie was just gonna be manipulative tug-at-your-heartstrings cliched movie crap that I'm just so sick of. When the bully came onscreen, I literally think, "If this movie doesn't end with Wonder beating and killing this Eddie Haskill piece of shit, then I'm gonna be pissed the hell off."  Spoilers, it doesn't; not entirely anyway, although that last sentence would also make a far better ending for "Leave It to Beaver", by-the-way. 

Then the movie, did something I wasn't expecting. It switched perspectives on us. Instead of just being a manipulative Award-bait tearjerker about how sorry we're supposed to feel for-, Auggie (Jacob Tremblay; I was being obnoxious before, there is no character named Wonder.)  but instead, the movie divulges from this first person perspective about a ten-year-old with a rough and unfortunate facial deformity that's paralyzed his ability to reach out to the outside world, including being home-schooled until now, to, the perspective of his long-suffering older sister, Olivia (Izabela Vidovic). It's not the only time the film shifts focus, partly for exposition, but also because, well, we need it. I mean, sure it's emotional that Auggie, this smart little kid had to suffer through years of surgery just to get his deformity to something as presentable as it is, which still means he prefers to wear his astronaut helmet outside, but the older sister who's had to put most of her life and center of attention from her parents Nate and Isabel (Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts), because, well, his brother needed more attention. 

It's not the only perspective, we get many others, including her best friend Miranda (Danielle Rose Russell) who's suddenly and unexpectedly given Isabel the silent treatment after returning from camp. There's also Jack Will (Noah Jupe) one of the few friends that Auggie makes in the beginning after the school Principal Mr. Tushman (Mandy Patinkin) requests that Jack and two other students help befriend Auggie when he enters middle school, (Which curiously is 5th Grade in this film [I'm used to thinking about 6th Grade as start of Middle School) and the one that most takes to Auggie and recognizes him as a friend. We thankfully don't see Julian's (Bryce Gheiser) personal perspective, and frankly I don't want to. He's the Eddie Haskell piece of shit I mentioned earlier in this film, and after meeting his parents eventually, you can kinda see why, but-eh, I wouldn't empathize with the piece of shit. 

I know, I'm kinda describing parts as oppose to a narrative, and I think that's part of the appeal. The movie and most characters do have some kind of major arc, but the movie is a very loose narrative that explores the character's personal emotions and turmoils moreso than a traditional emotional narrative. I suspect there's a lot more that's missing as the film was based on a popular novel. The movie was also directed by STephen Chbowsky who wrote the book and directed the adaptation of "The Perks of Being a Wallflower", one of the most emotionally empathetic and powerful books and movies of this genre from the last 25 years. No wonder-, no pun intended, the movie, despite not seeming much on the face of it-, again, no pun intended, the movie feels and comes off and far more profoundly deeper than it should, despite the strange ending that seems to be struggling to contradict itself, at least in the editing. 

There's also some strong acting all around, especially from the kid actors. Tremblay we recall from "Room", but most of the rest of the cast is fairly unknown and the adults do a decent job of supporting them. Still I wouldn't mind finding out more about some of the discarded plot threads, like Miranda's journey from camp to theater class or Julia Roberts's arc about her long-delayed thesis and eventual work as a children's book writer/illustrator. (And come to think of it, there's not much to Owen Wilson's character at all.) I feel like there's much more to the story and the movie sorta ended in a rush, but that's a minor criticism. "Wonder" is one of those movies that goes into the So-much-better-than-it-should've-been category. Which is the kind of movies I tend to like the most. It doesn't probably hurt that as somebody who is an older sibling to a brother who needs way more attention and focus than I do from my family, I can't say that I don't empathize, but I can also spot it when a movie is more bullshit than others. I don't get that with "Wonder"; instead I get a full look into a family a situation and real characters acting, more-or-less how you'd expect, or at least hope they'd react in a similar tough situation. It's about learning to empathize and live with those that are different; so, dealing with life. 

It's nice to see a movie that recognizes that, and where most of the characters are better than others at dealing with it. It's hopeful, if nothing else.  

JOAN DIDION: THE CENTER WILL NOT HOLD (2017) Director: Griffin Dunne


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I have to confess that I really didn't know all that much about Joan Didion before going into this documentary by her nephew Griffin Dunne. I certainly recognized the name, and that was about it. She's actually in the news rather recently in the film world as she's listed among one of the several writers listed on the latest remake on "A Star is Born", she's one of the ones responsible for the 1978 one with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. I don't even think that film script of her was discussed in this film and if it was, it was quite minor. She is an accomplished screenwriter, but she's mostly known, I suspect as a journalist and novelist. (Two of her books are being adapted into films set to be released next year.) There's always been an autobiographical slant to her work, although in recent years, after sudden and quick succession of the deaths of both her husband, John Gregory Dunne, himself a legendary modern American author, and the death of her daughter Quintana, about a year later. 

If I knew one thing about the Dunne family is that they're a family that's suffered from a lot of personal tragedy.  I can't say that I learned that much about her work; there's occasional snippets of it starting from her early work at Vogue and several other newspapers and magazines over the decades, and by the end of the book it starts to dive more into the personal suffering of greif and pain as she transition more into autobiographical work in her writings, even expanding into new genres like playwrighting. I don't think the movie is meant to; it feels too personal frankly. I think it does document the mood and tone of Ms. Didion, and it certainly does a lot to document her. There's interviews with others, lots of personal and stock footage; mostly it feels like just a love letter from a nephew to his beloved aunt, which is what it is. 

I can't really knock the movie for not being what I would probably prefer it to be, and as a touching love letter, I can appreciate it; and I can certainly see why she is so honored and beloved in most circles. I feel like I have to investigate a little more thoroughly before I'm totally sure what to make of her work, but she seems to have had a great life and remains utterly fascinating and witty, even at her old age, still working well into her 80s and her work is still as relevant as ever; maybe moreso as she seems to get more progressive with the times. (Her takedown of Dick Chaney is monumentally epic.) I like her, I just wish the movie had gone more into her work and it's greatness than it did, but that might be because I came in a little under-educated about her. (Shrugs) 

THE DEPARTURE (2017) Director: Lana Wilson


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I'm not gonna claim to be an expertise on this subject, but I do that in recent years, suicide has become a major societal problem in Japan. I've heard it's gotten better in recent years, but that there's still basically an epidemic of suicide out there in Japan. "The Departure" takes an interesting look at this phenomenon by capturing the work of Ittsetu Nemoto. He's a former rock star who became both a priest and a Buddhist monk who now hold exercise classes that are basically meditations in attempts to approximate the feelings of death, mostly for those who have strong suicidal thoughts or have attempted it in the past. 

He's become a suicide counselor, and he's busy with the job. Nemoto himself is quiet and solemn; there's naturally a Buddhist like simplicity to both his approach in both the counseling and also in the movie. The film doesn't push or force the issue, Director Lana Wilson's approach is basically to just stay around and quietly observe and listen. We hear his clients discuss their feelings and tortures. We also observe Nemoto's own home life and we occasionally hear about some of his demons as well. I guess it's like how drug addicts are always the ones who become drug addiction counselors, people who know about being suicidal consult the suicidal. I'm happy the movie doesn't dive into all the causes of the epidemic, frankly while that might make an interesting essay, it would make a messy movie. 

I suspect the film has a limited audience appeal, personally I suspect "The Departure" would've probably worked a little better as a short subject as oppose to a feature. That said, I certainly enjoyed "The Departure" enough to recommend it. It's a minor glimpse into a surprising major problem that most of us in America, I suspect only hear about at the corners of the news cycle at best, and frankly is too culturally obtuse for most of us to fully contemplate anyway. 

IP MAN 3 (2016) Director: Wilson Yip


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Have I talked about these films yet? I don't think so. (Depressed sigh)

Okay, so I'm not much of a martial arts film guy. I don't think there's anything really horrible or wrong about the genre, and I can't think of any movie in the genre I've outright hated-, well, I better take that back; I saw a couple of those "The Monkey King" movies recently. What the fuck was those? (Sigh) Anyway, I haven't studied the genre, especially Hong Kong action movies, and it's-, it's just not my thing. I can see why people like it and I do like a lot of things with martial arts in them. I grew up on "Power Rangers" like most everyone else my age, although I preferred "WMAC Masters", but whatever. That said, I like some, I'm bored by others; it's not a genre I seek out, and in general, I think the genre is limiting. The movies are often just,- I mean, I won't say that once you've seen one, you've seen them all, but I do think that if you're not somebody who outright loves martial arts, then the genre is gonna only have very limited appeal to you. 

That said however, I think I need to discuss this trend in the genre lately, 'cause it's- starting to annoy me. So, the martial arts that we think of with regard to Bruce Lee is Kung Fu, but it's actually called Wing Chun or Wushu sometimes, it's a very specific style of kung fu, made popular in Southern China. And the guy who made this style the most famous, other than Bruce Lee, is his trainer Master Yip. Within the last decade, Hong Kong has been making a lot of movies about him.

A lot, of movies, about Master Yip. This is "Ip Man 3", the third in a series, that now is up to four movies, all starring Donnie Yen; the great Hong Kong martial artist and actor. He's the worst perpetrator, but he's far from alone. There's been a second unrelated series of movies called "Ip Man", that has nothing to do with these movies and on top of that, there's even "The Grandmaster" the one, really, really good movie I recommend everybody watch about Master Yip, that was directed by the great Wong Kar-Wai. All, within a ten-year period. 

And it's confusing and annoying. Essentially, all these movies, are basically the same story told over and over again, in somewhat different ways, and now my complaints and criticisms of the genre, really seem, full in-my-face here. This is literally, the third time in this franchise that I'm watching, basically the same story. I'm told that some relatives of Master Yip were on set for some of these for authenticity, but at this point, this is just-, I feel like they ran out of every other martial arts narrative and now they're just taking the Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee narratives and now replacing them with Master Yip narrative, at least that's what it feels like to me, and that's especially so with these movies. 

I've seen the first three of them in a very short time period, just within the last four months or so; I honestly couldn't tell you the difference between them. They're all okay, they're all average; they're all the same origin story, 'cause Master Yip's story, is only story so they're retelling it over and over again.... This one has Mike Tyson in it. 

(Shrugs) I-, eh, I mean, that makes complete sense, actually and he's actually decent in the movie. He's not exactly at that non-actor abuse-of-SAG Card status that people like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Larry King have, and speaking of Kareem, he showed up in a Bruce Lee once, why not Mike Tyson, who also has spoken about his affection for the martial arts genre in the past, and he actually sorta fits into the film's world, because he's a boxer and- I think it's the second movie how Master Yip competes in a contest where he's banned from using his legs in a match, and here's a guy known for his fists.... It works, it works. 


I'm trying to build myself up to appreciate the genre, and I guess I liked this one better than some of the others, I'm giving it three stars; there's nothing so bad in it that I'd have to pan "Ip Man 3", but I'm sorta befuddled by this trend and phenomenon in the genre lately. Martial arts movies can be unique and creative and different and these movies, they have some special effects and martial arts, but narrative-wise, conceptually even, I'm at a lost honestly. Like, why would you or anybody, keep at it with the same biographical story and retell it so much. I mean, I barely understand why we keep retelling Batman or Superman's narrative origin, but at least there's several other stories of those characters out there to tell? 

I don't know, if you like the film's before, you'll like this one, I guess. (Shrugs) For me, it's, just not enough to keep me entertained. 

THE FINEST HOURS (2016) Director: Craig Gillespie


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I'm honestly kinda struggling to find some angle or starting off point to begin talking about "The Finest Hours", Disney latest forgettable 3-D inspirational story-, something or another. Well, at this point, "Latest" is stretching it. This is one of those Based on a True Story films that you're going to forget you saw in a week whether you liked it or not. There's some decent performances. (Shrugs) It's one of those movies that sound good on paper, like if I told you the story of what happened, or if you read about the event, you would probably say something to the effect of, "Boy, that would make a really good movie," or "Wow, I wish they made a movie out of that!" but in practice, it's okay. I mean, I think it's easy to throw the blame on Disney, but I'm not sure how great this film would've been in the hands of the best of directors. 

That said, it is an interesting story. It's 1952, off the coast of Cape Cod and there's a dangerous nor-eastern that's flooded the coast and taken out a couple of oil tankards already. There's a crew of the SS Pendleton, which is barely able to keep their sub afloat, is caught in the middle and everybody else was sent out to save the others at sea first. They were lucky to somehow get their radio recognized by the Guard and for them to send out a skeletal crew to, somehow brave the death-storm and bring them home. 

I get some sense that Director Craig Gillespie is going for an "Apollo 13"-type narrative as point-by-point they explain how dangerous every single part of the mission is to save the crew, but it doesn't have the wonder of the seas that "Apollo 13" had with space travel and it's so cold and dark-looking that I can barely tell which ship is which through most of the film. Alonso Duralde's review mentioned how everything in the film is explained to be impossible until it happens, and he hit it right on the head. Of course, that's not an issue if we care and the film is about how they get saved, even with an all-star cast of great character actors all throughout the film, I just didn't have a reason to give a shit. 

The film tries, in fact, the most interesting thing about the movie is Bernie (Chris Pine), the Captain of the ship that seeks out the Pendleton and his girlfriend, Miriam (Holliday Grainger) who's arguing with his P.O. Daniel (Eric Bana) fearing, correctly so, that he's sending Bernie out on a suicide mission essentially. Actually, to be honest, I didn't go into this movie knowing much about what it was about, and the way the film is structured, I essentially thought the film was about Bernie and Miriam's relationship. I mean, it's the main focus for the first ten minutes or so, beginning with their first face-to-face meeting on a blind date and a whole subplot about getting permission to get married that's beyond stupid when you think about it. I'm not saying it would've been  a good movie if the focus shifted more towards the relationship that seems to be suddenly interrupted by a historic sea rescue, but at least it would've given me something to care about. I mean, I tried to pretend that this was important, but again, to compare to "Apollo 13" again, this is not as well-written or well-thoughtout as say, Kathleen Quinlan's role in that film. That subplot had some hokey elements as well, maybe it helps that she was playing a scared adult mother who's husband might not be coming back, as opposed to a lovesick young girl who's future fiance might not be coming back. I mean, we're told at the end that they got married and were together until Bernie's passing at the end, but the way it feels is that, we just got introduced to this couple a few seconds ago and they've barely started their relationship, and not much else. I was trying to root for them, 'cause I was trying to root for something, but there was nothing there to cling to. 

The movie got released in theaters with 3-D screenings; I can't tell although I can't imagine that that would've helped much. I'm sure I'd be able to feel the horror of being out to sea better, but I felt that in "Life of Pi" and frankly that movie had the decent sense to be a little more brighter and visually interesting. Craig Gillespie's filmography is really peculiar so far. He's an Aussie director who back-and-forth but intriguing indy-like artistic project and more commercial fair; his previous two theatrical features include the horror remake of "Fright Night", which was okay although I didn't love the original to begin with of that, and the Disney sports drama "Million Dollar Arm." He's also done "Lars and the Real Girl", one of the strnagest romance films this century and one that divides critics to this day. (I'm on the negative side of that one too.) and most recently the Tonya Harding biopic "I, Tonya". The thing that I'm suddenly finding curious about his filmography, other than the fact that he's an Australian who's two sports movies were about baseball and figure skating; two sports that I don't think have ever really taken much hold in the land down under, but also, he's never written any screenplays. At all, he doesn't have any writing credits on any of his films. You don't have to have written of course, to be a great director; David Fincher's never penned more than ideas for shorts and Kubrick's writing generally made his film's worst, but nowadays, I usually expect a director to have at least tried writing something at least, but Gillespie is a rare modern-day Director/Producer and not much else it seems. Which is weird considering how unmemorable most of him films have been, at least from a visual standpoint. 

"The Finest Hours" is by far the worst thing I've seen of his yet. Maybe he was handcuffed by Disney and he'll turn it around at some point later in the future, but the visuals could've saved this movie and frankly they killed it for me, and the more time I do spend thinking about the movie, the worst it gets to me. I'm planning on finally getting around to "I, Tonya" soon; I hope from what I've heard, it's far more visually interesting and better than this film was.

TUMBLEDOWN (2016) Director: Sean Mewshaw


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There's a strange narrative that indy film seems to like way more than I do; it's this idea of the forgottem musical genius. Usually it's rock'n'roll, and the story is usually the same. Some unknown rock star had an album or two found legendary cult status and suddenly he's gone. Usually he disappears, to live a normal life or some bullshit like that, although "Tumbledown" is automatically better by making it sure that the guy died, but now some, journalist, novelist, etc., tries to go out and find him. 

I'm not saying, this is an impossible story; I mean just a few years ago there was a great documentary about Rodriguez called "Searching for Sugar Man". which was actually kind of a real-life version of this story, and sure, there's quite a few legendary artists with a similar background; Nick Drake, Tim Buckley, Jeff Buckley, Bradley Nowell, Daniel Johnston, there's a few others, but I don't know; this always seems like a particular odd narrative, and the fact that I see, fairly often, kinda confuses me. And I don't think I've seen it done particularly well over the years much, outside of occasionally a documentary. 

I haven't seen it done horribly either, and "Tumbledown" this latest one, has some advantages. It's actually more interested in dealing with grief. Hannah's (Rebecca Hall) rock star husband die after falling off a mountain in the middle of the night, although some like a Hofstra pop culture professor, Andrew (Jason Sudeikis) have tried to mythologize his death, she's making her way as a part-time writer for a local rag that Upton (Griffin Dunne) runs, and he also helps guide her as she begins writing her husband's biography, sorta. She also has a fuck buddy in Curtis (Joe Manganiello) an old high school friend that comes every night between fixing the town's electricity when it goes down. Oh, I should mention, location-wise, this film is interesting for taking place in a small mountain town in Maine. (Shrugs) It's an interesting choice and the contrast with the bigger city is fairly clear. 

I guess there's also this interesting sense that the movie, is somewhat aware of how odd and twisted worshipping or idolizing some past celebrities or artists can be, particularly when they've idolized from afar and mostly mythologize from afar. That's the thing that holds the movie together sorta, the back-and-forth with Sudeikis and Hall. He convinces her to write about her husband in his new book on rock stars that died young and then became bigger. "He only recorded 12 songs" she says. She's not wrong. Sometimes that may be enough, but yeah, it really is an odd fascination when you think about it. I guess that's a good thing, since too many of these movies seem to not challenge this notion about how great an idea it is to, "Let's go find this rock star!" and, yeah, that's- that's weird honestly. 

Still though, I gotta pan this one too. There's some really interesting performances, and I do like the characters and the setting, but I think they took the easy way out with the script and turned it into a rom-com love story. I didn't think that was the chemistry they had and the ending seems particularly awkward. I can't hate on this one, it's a feature directorial debut by Sean Mewshaw, and he's got some interesting ideas and at least this was a twist on this narrative that I'm not particularly big on. I suspect he's got better films in him, I hope he focuses them on settings in the future, 'cause he did that really well.   

REALIVE (2016) Director: Mateo Gil


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It's pronounced, "Re-Alive", like, "Re-Animator", in more ways than one, and it's one of those movies with an intriguing premise and an-, um, interesting execution. I'm somewhat debating how I feel about this one, but, ugh...- 

Well, the main character is Marc Jarvis (Tom Hughes) a young man who's suffering from a terminal disease. Well, not suffering actually, he's not that ill yet, and that's gonna be important in a second, but he's purportedly got only about a year left to live, and he's decided that he's going to kill himself, in order to live. I think most people are familiar enough with cryonics or cryogenics by now, that I shouldn't have to explain it, but yeah, he's decided to have his body frozen in order to go on and live in the future. And it works, in fact, about eighty or so years into the future, it turns out that he becomes the first person to be cryogenically unfrozen. This is in part, because of the manner in which he killed himself and when, by still being relatively healthy and young, before any major effects of the disease overtook his body, they were able in the future to un-freeze and reanimate him first. 

So, this alone, is an interesting idea, and they actually take a more brutally realistic approach to cryonics and what some of the ramifications and difficulties of that. I mean, ever since, even "Frankenstein" was written, we've generally romanticized this notion of coming back from the dead to one degree or another, but actually going through the logistics of it, if you die with an illness and you're suddenly brought back to life, it's likely that you won't live long without severe treatment and you need treatment firstly, just to survive. Also, getting re-animated back to life itself, is a difficult condition itself, and Marc finds out that while in the future things are somewhat better overall, he's never gonna be fully recovered and back to normal. I forget what they call it, but basically he'll be spending much of his life on something similar to dialysis, even at his healthiest. 

So what went wrong here? Well, the movie is more, Terence Malick-y than you'd probably imagine. Not necessarily in a bad way at first. In the beginning of the film, I like the disjointed time frames and the first person narration and the examination of life and death and what that means, but then, it gets really, really, tiring. Especially so, after we learn in the future of this addiction device that records your thoughts and memories, sort of like a hand-free Facebook device that looks like Jordy's visor. Basically, it's a memory recaller, so even while he's alive, he's mostly recalling and eventually re-imagining memories of the past and his previous life essentially while his current like is as a Frankenstein's Monster under scientific observation. They do eventually come around to reviving his old girlfriend Naomi (Oona Chaplin) who also froze herself after his death, although she was not in as preserved a stasis at the time. Mostly however, the movie feels like a retread and re-examining of things done better in other films. 

In fact, I know that for a fact because Writer/Director Mateo Gil, has done this better, several times. Gil is a Spanish Writer/Director who's written some interesting films over the years, including the underrated "Agora"; some of his work is more historical base, but then there's this fascination he has with life and death and how humans consider and observe it. Probably his most famous work worldwide is writing the screenplay for "The Sea Inside", but the more relevant work, and his best screenplay is "Abre Los Ojos" aka "Open Your Eyes". You might be more familiar with Cameron Crowe's American remake, "Vanilla Sky" but either way, these were two of the best of the mindfuck twist puzzle movies during the late '90s and early 2000s, and both those movies, basically are about a lot of the same things that "Realive" is trying to be about and done in better and more entertaining ways. 

Compared to those movies, and some of his other dives into this subject matter, "Realive" comes off and feels like a complete retread of himself, just not done as well. Like a great rock star making what's technically an okay album later in his career but one that's clearly just leftovers of discarded forgotten pieces of some previous better album of there's that you'd rather be listening to. 

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