By: Henry J. Fromage –
Yeah, this wasn’t the most productive week from a movie-watching perspective, but was plenty of work to keep me busy. That’s… good?
Some say that going into this uniquely Darren Aronofsky-produced mindfuck of a mindfuck blind is the way to go, but I’m not sure I agree. Watching the dumbstruck looks on the faces of many in the audience while they filed out makes me think that they thought they were walking into some sort of Hollywood released horror or thriller, much like It Comes at Night, and much like that film, what they really bought a ticket to is one filmmaker’s extremely nihilistic equation for life, the universe, and everything. Unlike that film, this one has Darren Aronofsky and Jennifer Lawrence (whose current relationship will take on several more fucked up shades of meaning in your mind after watching this), and both exquisitely demonstrate their talents to the extent of their capabilities. This is capital ‘A’ Art, clearly not for everybody and arguably not for most anybody, which makes it all the more remarkable that a major Hollywood studio bankrolled it and released it wide. One more piece of advice- take none of this at face value- this is pure religious, political, but really seriously religious metaphor, and sussing out what each of the elements represents to Aronofsky is a unique fascination.
196. The Mummy
On the other end of the spectrum is this Hollywood wide release that contains nor wishes to contain any subtext whatsoever. Instead, this is just another failed attempt to recreate that Marvel Universe magic, almost tragically desperate in its transparency, and only worth recommending spending some not entirely engaged time on for Tom Cruise, who clearly saw this as another upper-mid-range franchise to put his stamp on. There just aren’t many like him in the Hollywood game anymore, and we’re going to miss him when he’s gone (too old to literally throw himself down the stairs for our entertainment). Outside of Cruise, though… yeah, this is by committee blockbuster filmmaking at its most inessential and ineffective- not nearly bad enough to be a curio like Fantastic Four, but not good enough for even the Chinese market to give it false hope.