If you’re in Jakarta and you’re looking for something to watch this weekend, and have no idea which movie to choose from, I might be able to help you with that.
First week back to work in the post-Eid holiday, I went to three media screenings. Tuesday was Into The Storm. Wednesday I had Cinemax’s The Knick. Thursday was all about TMNT. (I also finally went ahead and saw Step Up: All In.) Today, Friday, my friends and I went to see Babadook.
Of all these, the first one I would recommend to you would actually be The Knick (see above picture). It’s a TV series, actually, but it was aired in a small cinema so we got to see it in a large screen (which is divine). It’s airing in Indonesia this Saturday, at 9 PM, on Cinemax within 24 hours after its US debut. Despite coming with warnings for triggering issues such as racism and the maximum level of gore, the pilot has great music, is rich in period details and features a wonderful performance by the cast led by Clive Owen and directed by Steven Soderbergh. It is perfect for the stay-at-home-can’t-be-bothered-to-join-the-masses-in-malls type. Television Renaissance, I tell you…
The second best thing I saw at a cinema this week that I would recommend to people would be Into The Storm.
Everything I said in this reaction post is reason enough to pick this over the rest of this weekend’s releases. Some people are comparing it with Twister (and say that it doesn’t match that old classic – probably because there weren’t enough flying cows in this Steven Quale film) but, well. Twister is not playing in cinemas right now, is it? Disaster films can also be triggering and I imagine people who live in areas in the US that are at risk from such an occurrence might not feel that this is the film for them but the movie itself is relatable, evenly paced and easy to digest.
Here’s also where I confess to something: I almost interviewed Richard Armitage for my article but didn’t.
I ended up getting a generic interview file and worked that out for my piece instead. But I’m still holding out hope that I would get to interview him in person one day. Call me a hopeless optimist but I’ve already interviewed Sarah Wayne Callies (Mr. Armitage’s co-star in Storm) and Andrew Lincoln (his co-star in Strike Back and her co-star in The Walking Dead), so one day I will. ONE DAY.
On the meantime, I’ll just watch him in the screens.
For the next recommendation, have a bit of horror. (Or a lot.)
Australian film Babadook is a story about a single mother and his son with a difficult relationship with each other and people in the outside world. The son is rude and violent, the mother is depressed and borderline abusive. Little do people know that the reason for their hardship is a mysterious book called ‘Babadook’ that seems to be the sinister source of a spiritual thing that haunts them.
The film is very difficult to watch, not just because it’s terrifying as a horror film but also due to the disturbing relationship of mother and child. Both are very unsympathetic characters that don’t invite us to like them at all. The film is hyped up after great reception at the festival circuit but I find it doesn’t quite meet my expectations. It tries a bit too hard to be clever and the conclusion is unsatisfactory.
Good effort, though. The sound design makes for creepy atmosphere that leaves very little room to breathe and several scenes in the beginning really do freak you out. In any case, better this than the next movie on my list…
TMNT is not recommended.
I just put the picture here because both Will Arnett and Megan Fox are hot and I like seeing them together. Other than that, you’re not missing much if you don’t like giant turtles who talk like obnoxious teenagers.
Finally, strictly for dance movie fans only, I am happy to report that the fifth installment in the franchise, Step Up: All In, is a definite step up from its two predecessors.
Ryan Guzman has finally learned to act and he does it much better than he did in Step Up: Revolution (4th movie, with the flash mob thing, set in Miami – just in case you forgot). Also, it’s quite neat to see two main characters from previous Step Up movies having a tangible interaction outside the dance floor where their characters take center stage. Briana Evigan is one of the more likable Step Up leads so it’s great to see her again.
People who don’t like dance movies, though, will not enjoy this.
I wouldn’t say that this has been a great week in movies; it’s merely passable. The nation is still waiting to have their turn at exploring the galaxy with Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy. (But I won’t elaborate. Thinking about this movie just makes me want to sob because how is it possible that we’re getting this film so late in the month?! 20 August! WHY!)
I will end this week-in-review by giving you an anecdote about my friend’s boyfriend who lives in San Francisco. He emailed me the other day, asking me if it was true that Babadook was already playing in Indonesia. He had seen on Twitter (ah, the wonders of social media) that Indonesian film buffs were talking about this film. He had even found out that there was a film community screening (no media screening, though) on Thursday. He said how amazing, but also baffling, it was that Babadook (and also Snowpiercer) played earlier in Indonesia than it did in the US of A. “US film distributors are f*cking idiots when it comes to foreign films,” he wrote to me. “So your distributors are awesome.”
Here’s my public response: thank you for saying that. We are kind of awesome when it comes to foreign films. But when you get movies like Guardians Of The Galaxy, Chef and Lucy a lot earlier than we do, you have absolutely no right to complain.
(He doesn’t read this blog. So I’m safe.)
Which movie will you be watching this weekend?