“We don’t write anything. All we do is translate.”
A confident, profound and dark modern comedy with slick, sometimes uncomfortable ideas and an absolutely stellar performance from Ashton Kutcher.
My VHS cover pull-quote: “Novak doesn’t try to both sides too many glaring issues along political lines, instead focusing on stuff like how good chili in a bag of Fritos is, which is objectively true.”
Surgery is the new sex in Cronenberg’s fleshy, analog future. Viggo Mortensen dresses as a ninja and Gollums his way through a noir setting while getting his organs removed for art. The true answer to our species’ waste problems are laid bare and autopsied.
My VHS cover pull-quote: “Cronenberg should have popped up during one of the jaw dropping surgery scenes and quoted John Wick, saying ‘People keep asking me if I’m back. Oh yeah, I’m thinking I’m back.'”
A dark parable that casts viewers as adjudicator and soothsayer, signalling the ending and waiting for the main character to catch up to his destiny. The supernatural elements Del Toro is most famous for are relegated here to set dressing and production value, building the world and genre encroaching upon the troubled soul we follow, from carnival trappings to brutalist art deco noir and back again.
My VHS cover pull-quote: “Why is the call of the carnival still so strong even though they’re barely a thing anymore? Every time I’m overwhelmed, I hear Willem Dafoe’s voice ushering me towards a field somewhere. That’s normal, right?”
A super stylish and composed neo-noir comedy that has a lot of fun with the tropes of the genre and a killer French pop soundtrack. So high-tone.
My VHS cover pull-quote: “I know, above all else, that life is better and filled with more intrigue when there’s a French pop soundtrack behind it. It’s a shame, then, that I’ve had ‘Kiss From a Rose’ by Seal from Batman Forever on repeat since 1997.”