Day 70 & Day 71 – The Lobster & Being John Malkovich / Pop Chart Lab Scratch #4

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Movie Title: The Lobster

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. and 59 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Stephie

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

The Lobster stars Colin Farrel as David. Aside from David no other characters in the movie are named. He has been romantically snake bitten lately and has been sent out of The City that he inhabits. David lives in a reality where being part of a couple is not only important, but required by law to retain your freedom. While traveling in The City you need to be able to produce a relationship pass if requested and if not able to provide one you will be jailed and sent to The Hotel. David is very familiar with the process as his brother has already been turned into a dog that he takes to The Hotel with him.

At The Hotel you have forty-five days to find a relationship. You can earn more by hunting a group called The Loners who live in The Forest, but most residents are not particularly successful. Failure to secure a relationship will result in being turned into the animal of your choice. David has chosen to become a lobster. The hotel walks its guests through a series of ridiculous scenarios to show why being in a couple is essential. In one such example handcuffs are used to attach one hand to a person’s own belt for their first day at The Hotel. In another a woman walking alone is raped, but when a man is with her she is left alone. Relationships are also expected to be built on some kind of shared commonality that can be as inconsequential as having a limp or having regular nosebleeds.

The third phase of the story takes place in The Forest where David hunts The Loners. While there he realizes that he is running short on time and must make some incredibly difficult and consequential decisions. Life in The Forest is not easy. Love and sex are forbidden and punished seriously. However, his main love interest is intense to say the least.

There are several acts of brutal animal cruelty featured in the movie, but don’t worry, no animals were harmed during the making of the film. The scenes are still depraved and not for the squeamish. John C. Reilly has a small role that is interesting and Rachel Weisz does a nice job in a dual role. The ending also carries the threat of awful violence and incredible sweetness. It will leave you on a cliffhanger to wonder what happened.

Verdict:

It is a strange, slow, dark comedy, but very well done. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Being John Malkovich (1999)

 

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Movie Title: Being John Malkovich

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. and 52 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Being John Malkovich opens with an examination of the career of Craig Schwartz. Schwartz (John Cusack) has not exactly been successful. While he has mastered the art of puppetry, there is not exactly a market for it. He works on street corners performing erotic puppetry among other exploits. His wife Lotte (Cameron Diaz) works with animals and has amassed quite a few including a chimpanzee that requires psychotherapy. Home is crazy and keeping track of all the things living in it very time consuming. Times are hard, so Craig goes to look for a job. He finds a want ad for a filing clerk with particularly speedy hands.

Craig rides an elevator up to the 7 1/2 floor over the Merton Building where a young Octavia Spencer shows him how to access the floor. The ceiling is a little low and during the orientation he runs into Maxine (Catherine Keener) with who he is instantly smitten. There is a secretary that can’t hear and she has convinced other people that they have speech impediments and can’t talk. There is a 105 year old boss who is convinced his longevity is attributable to vegetable colonics. During his filing exploits and attempts to cheat on his wife, Craig discovers a tiny door hidden behind a filing cabinet. This tiny door gives a fifteen minute window into the brain of John Malkovich and then drops you outside of the city on the New Jersey Turnpike.

They get the idea to sell tickets for two hundred dollars a pop for the Malkovich experience. Then things get kinky. This movie features the most bizarre sexual tryst that I have ever seen and goes to some truly strange places. As the plot progresses it becomes even more strange and unexpected. The editing is incredible and there are also a couple of great cameos by Charlie Sheen and Sean Penn.

Verdict:

Being John Malkovich is a classic surrealist story that likely can not be recreated. See it.

Pop Chart Lab: Fourth Scratch

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Before and after.

I really like the Being John Malkovich and The Sixth Sense designs, but I preferred The Matrix before the scratch. I get it. He becomes one with the Matrix, but it doesn’t make for a particularly great design. I haven’t seen the next four movies on the poster, so they will be individual scratches. The next one will be Wes Anderson’s Rushmore.

Tomorrow’s Movie: A Ghost Story (2017)

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