Friday, December 29, 2017

"the shape of water" 2017 review

it is edited badly. sally hawkins is enchanting as the reverse end of a monster-human relationship. the score is cornball. Octavia Spencer is good, but a little cornball. Then we have the white guys- Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Shannon, and the indomitable Rich Jenkins. This movie is insane, it gives the three white guys SO much screen time, some of it is good like the Rich Jenkins relationship with a pie counter clerk but a lot of it seems intent, laser-focused-in on exploring a white supremacist’s background life, & this boring scientist guy, and even Rich Jenkins talking a lot reveals this movie has very little to say

Also it’s a whitewash with Elisa Esposito/Sally Hawkins

I think it’s ‘cause Guillmero thought he could bring out some of the sharp edge out of the white supremacist dude, like he did with that Spanish General in “Pan’s Labyrnith”, that we spend so much time with the antagonist’s home life, buying a car, the pressures of his job. But, thankfully, there’s just nothing there, the dude is a fascist and you can see the vein popping out of Michael Shannon’s forehead TRYING to bring some sort of a humanity to the position

when you think there’s something there but there’s nothign actually there

“Crimson Peak” was another less successful long-scale experiment in trying to convert golden age horror into, like, a soft-focus modern feminist drama with f/x, Crimson Peak was also _very boring_, it seems Guilmerro really loves and wants to take his time with the individual swimming details of the set and the ornamental character personalities. It’s like a Studio Ghibli film, like if it were all Spirited Away, with 90% less detail (more lke, 200% less) and less characters etc, and it’s slower because there’s -less stuff-

THAT BEING SAID that kind of joy that made the original Hellboy good rears its head a couple times like with the dream sequence near the end, but uh there’s still a lot of deliberation on “glassy green water” looks


movie does a VERY GOOD JOB of encapsulating a male sexuality as the target, something to be contained and fought over, with 1 (one) phallic object and a bunch of yonic objects in the mix, just the idea of a captured/vulnerable sexual monster that ppl fuck, as a male figure, it is definitely a male monster rescued (spoilers) by a female main character and they have empowering consensual sex

its badly edited tho but it makes it seem half-awkwardly like Elisa Esposito is like, from the start, zoomin in, super into this monster man. I’m being unfair, at the start its clearly curiosity, the film does a good job of revealing Elisa’s attraction to the monster-man in retrospect, like all along she was in it to win it... Which is kinda a thing, right? In the space in my little brain it doesn’t have enough room to process upfront that Elisa would be immediately attracted to The Thing From The Black Lagoon, but she totally is

it still has this sort of throwaway sexual harassment subplot which is brief but not brief enough and I think is simultaneously too much and doesn’t go far enough, not meaning “there isn’t enough sexual harassment” but rather I mean it ends up in easy movie characterization territory, vile

vis a vis Elisa’s status as a mute character: the film is pretty good at going the distance with this one, but it’s still an uncomfortably central dramatic theme, like the ability to talk/not to talk, its pretty bald at times

I mean I’d push for a movie with a mute main character where the preponderance of the film isn’t squarely on their muteness about 20-30% of the time

the white supremacist’s journey actually is a little interesting, he’s kinda swirling down the toilet bowl of materialism, pop psychology, he actually makes a break for it but gets reeled back in, it’s half-sympathetic, and at the end he realizes “ooh there’s actualy NO LIMITS” and he gets his throat cut

which, again, is Guilmerro Del Toro’s half-decent attempt to try to soft bush a villain but it comes off as too generous in my opinion, we have already been informed about what’s going on

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