|12.09.20||Internet||This Screening is part of event: DVRfest 2020|
Huh. Well, I liked it more than I thought I would, but I still kind of feel how I thought I would about it. First off, the criticisms are totally valid about this being a music video with dialogue in the background. I watched in a quiet house with headphones on and still couldn't hear some of the dialogue. The music is mixed so goddamn loud that I had to twiddle the volume knob for half the movie. While wearing headphones! If this was a different kind of movie I wouldn't say it was such a big deal, but as a viewer i needed to hear and understand every goddamn word spoken to keep up with what the hell was happening and still there were moments where I had to stop trying to figure out what was going on and just go with it. So making it hard to hear what little explanations were there felt like watching this movie on hard mode. There has to reach a point where, if the entire audience says a thing then they are not wrong. The battle of winterfell was too dark. The dialogue in this movie is mixed too low. These are no longer subjective feelings on the part of the individual.
My fear going into this was that this is Christopher Nolan unhinged. He's had one too many hits and is feeling like he can do no wrong and his opinions about what film is and how it should be made have become more than just tenets for himself as an artist but an agenda to be enforced. And since he's the savior of cinema or whatever, Warner Brothers gave him a blank check. That was my fear.
I do find some of that to be true, like why was this shot in IMAX? The sweeping grandeur of some of his previous work is largely missing here and the one big sequence where I thought it would pay off was mostly cut too quickly to take in any fine detail of the frame. But while I did find the story very complicated and difficult to follow in some parts, I don't think it's like a "Lady in the Water" level of self-indulgence. This story certain fits in the same cannon as Inception, Interstellar, and Memento. While I wasn't blown away with it like I was Dunkirk, it's still certainly an interesting and engaging take on an action film along the lines of Miami Vice with a sci-fi premise. I don't think it's a bad movie by any means.
I thought I saw John David Washington backwards-running a little bit but either most of it was seamlessly done or I wish it was more showcased. The fight scene in the hallway was interesting if not quite perfectly executed like a similar hallway fight in Inception, but still pretty dang cool. But I do think I saw the tower that explodes at the end wobble, betraying its miniature status. I think a lot of these effects, as hard as they were to shoot practically because Nolan didn't want to use visual effects, would probably be more effective and cheaper with some digital help.
And of course, the message at the end. Gotta have that message. It's never enough to leave some mystery unless it's perfectly packaged like the spinning top. We gotta hear about WHY. ugh.
So... in the end, I liked it. It's not my favorite Nolan, but neither is it my least favorite (Am i unfairly shitting all over the Insomnia re-make in my mind? Do i need to watch that again?).
Lastly, I do have to state my one major point of confusion for the record, so... spoilers for this paragraph. The end fight sequence, with the red team and the blue team. The blue team was inverted, right? So why was stuff happening backward for the red team? And who were they fighting exactly? I'm not sure who either team was shooting at, but were there inverted enemy troops as well? I just don't understand that whole sequence very well at all. I was with it up till then, but I didn't even know what the tall russian guy was trying to do. Bury the algorithm? So the future could find it? So they needed to get it but still let the bomb go off... so the future would think it's there? But the future obviously wouldn't find it there so...
OK spoiler alert for this paragraph too. I guess I'm also confused about Kenneth Branagh's timeline. If he was going to commit suicide on that boat... isn't that like ten days before he meets the protagonist? Did he invert himself to go back to the yacht? why would he do that? Why wouldn't time be going forward once he got all 9 pieces? I dunno...
Alright. So it's already 2am. I'm definitely not gonna get all five films today, but that's ok. Hopefully I can slip an extra one in on another day. Instead, it looks like it's going to be a Robert Pattinson double feature because I refuse to let this next one slip through the cracks of another DVRfest.