The Strongest and Most Silent Type Entry – Mute

Mute_poster

By now, some of the shine has worn off the novelty of Netflix Original movies. For me, this is largely due to the fact that there are so damned many of them, with everything from horror to comedy, both foreign and domestic. It’s far, far too much to keep up with and as a result, a lot of titles slip through my net unless something about them stands out – such as a director I really like (Duncan Jones!) a cast I really like (Paul Rudd! Justin Theroux! ALEXANDER SKARSGARD!), and an intriguing premise (Amish man searches a futuristic dystopia for his missing girlfriend). Thus we have Mute. 

Overall, Mute‘s appeal was also its biggest drawback – it had a rawness that a big studio would have no doubt filed and sanded down, which was what I appreciated about it. There were also so many characters and fascinating paths to follow that it was hard to stay focused on the main story. Although its parts seem sci-fi, the sum is actually a story with its roots in film noir. It finds Skarsgard playing Leo, who was silenced as a child in a boating accident and now works as a bartender in a club in Berlin. After his girlfriend disappears, he embarks on a journey through the city’s underworld, crossing paths with the likes of Rudd, Theroux, and even Dominic Monaghan in a bizarre and fun cameo.

I would recommend Mute to fans of cyberpunk and noir, with the proviso that it’s definitely got its own strange, bloody flavor. The world it posits is brutal and cruel, which makes Leo’s kindness and compassion stand out all the more. Skarsgard is eminently watchable doing anything and his Leo is fascinating and communicative. Paul Rudd makes an interesting diversion from his usual Likeable Snarky Guy to an edgy bastard. The real standout performance though is Theroux as Duck. From the very moment of his introduction Duck is difficult to pin down, seeming alternately warm, friendly, and predatory. He and Rudd’s character, Cactus Bill, are in a toxic relationship, and he ends almost every line of dialogue between them with a creepily murmured ‘Babe.’ Bill’s verbal and physical abuse wounds him openly, and Theroux does a great ‘hurt’ face, but after finding out what he’s been up to the very sight of him made my skin crawl.

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Captured during mid -“Uhhhnnnn, what’re you gonna do about it?” face

Mute is a familiar story made more engaging by its characters and their performances; we’ve seen this kind of grotesque dystopia before so seeing it again with a somewhat fresh take involving the Amish was definitely entertaining. I wish there had been more  female characters but we can’t have everything.

 

Film Review: Under the Shadow (2016)

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…and barely hanging on.

Longtime readers of my blog are familiar with my constant complaint that quality horror movies are few and far between. It probably makes me a snob, but the older I get the less interested I am in spending time watching something for the sake of supporting the genre. I just don’t have the patience for fountains of gore and crying teenagers in their underwear unless there is an intelligent twist on it, such as Cabin In the Woods or It Follows. 

Enter Under the Shadow. 

The UK’s entry for foreign language film for the Oscars, it was somehow not nominated. I’ve no idea why, and it’s a shame because this film isn’t just a great scare, it’s important. As I mentioned, intelligent horror films are few and far between, and one with such a riveting premise as Under the Shadow is doubly notable. It’s especially worthy of promotion as the world moves into a more xenophobic phase because it is about precisely that: superstitious thinking. 

Continue reading “Film Review: Under the Shadow (2016)”

Grumpy Old Men: I Am Not a Serial Killer and The Good Neighbor

Today I’d like to tell you about two movies I’ve watched recently, both starring actors in their twilight years, who put in a hell of a great performance at not being what they seem.

Lately, I’ve been keeping myself busy a lot. Keeping the ship of my mind from dashing on the rocks of despair and disgorging its precious cargo of sanity (and hotpants!) has become my full-time job, on top of my full-time job, and also writing, my other full-time job.

hotpants
Chief Wiggam knows a good deal when he sees one. 

Keeping busy can be a lot of things – reading, writing, working out, cooking, seeing friends, and of course, watching TV shows and movies.

Today I’d like to tell you about two movies  I’ve watched recently, both starring actors in their twilight years, who put in a hell of a great performance at not being what they seem. There will be NO spoilers today! 

Continue reading “Grumpy Old Men: I Am Not a Serial Killer and The Good Neighbor”

Happy Friday! Here’s the Luke Cage Trailer

Still writing that Eddie Murphy post, when I’m not working on my novel or writing smut about Frankenstein’s monster, like all normal people do.

 

HERE. 

FOR. 

THIS. 

Read the Words To find Out the Stuff the Words Tell You Stuff About. 

I love how Marvel/Netflix keeps consistently topping themselves, and tell such multivaried stories.

The Avengers save the universe. We wanted to tell stories about characters who save the streets. – Jeph Loeb

That’s all I got for today. Still writing that Eddie Murphy post, when I’m not working on my novel or writing smut about Frankenstein’s monster, like all normal people do. Also I am re-reading Shelley’s Frankenstein – it’s SO much better than I remember!

What are YOU up to today? Got any weekend plans?

Update!

The business of life has been more wearying than usual lately. I’m doing my best to keep productive and upbeat, but daily horrors on the news are making it an uphill slog.

Currently I’m working on a nice big post about Eddie Murphy and how I miss his creative output (yes, I know he’s still alive). Lots of fun rehashes of some of his best work, both old and … well, mostly old because I haven’t seen much of his work lately. But anyway, stay tuned for that! I’m also three episodes into Stranger Things, the Netflix series that basically has distilled American 80s film culture into a potent brew. I’m loving it so far! When I’m done I’ll do a write-up on that, too.

In the meantime, please enjoy this charming little song, The Unquiet Grave. It’s a folk song about a man in love with a ghost, and dates back to 14th century England. A version of it appeared on Penny Dreadful, sung first by Evelyn Poole and then refrained by her daughter, which is where I first heard of it. After a little digging I found the whole song, sung by a woman with a lovely plaintive voice in a slightly faster tempo than it appeared in the show. I’ll post the lyrics below, with some additional punctuation to make the speakers  more clear.

The Unquiet Grave

Cold blows the wind to my true love
and gently drops the rain
I only had but one true love
and in Greenwood she lies slain.

I’ll do as much for my true love
as any young girl may.
I’ll sit and mourn upon her grave
for twelve month and a day.

When the twelve months and one day had passed
her ghost began to speak,
“Why sittest thou all on my grave
and will not let me sleep?”

There is one thing that I want sweetheart,
there is one thing that I crave.
And that is a kiss from your lily white lips,
then I’ll go from your grave.

“My lips they are as cold as clay,
my breath smells earthy strong
And if you kiss my cold clay lips,
your days they won’t be long.

Go fetch me water from the desert
and blood from out of stone,
Go fetch me milk from a fair maid’s breast
that a young man never has known.”

T’was down in Cupid’s garden
where you and I would walk.
The finest flower that ever I saw
is withered to a stalk.

“The stalk is withered and dry sweetheart,
the flower will never return.”
And since I lost my one true love,
what can I do but mourn?

When shall we meet again, sweetheart,
when shall me meet again?
“When the old dead leaves that fall from the trees
are green and spring up again.”

When shall we meet again, sweetheart,
when shall me meet again?
“When the old dead leaves that fall from the trees
are green and spring up again.”

I hope your week is going well!