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Adventure

The Shape of Water (2017)

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The Shape of WaterAt a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.

Genre : Fantasy/Adventure
Country : USA

Cast :
Sally Hawkins: Elisa Esposito
Michael Shannon : Richard Strickland
Octavia Spencer: Zelda Fuller

Director :
Guillermo del Toro

My opinion on “The Shape of Water”

“The natives in the Amazon worshipped it.
Like a god.
We need to take it apart, learn how it works.”

I’ve watched this movie the night before the Oscar ceremony, because I could feel it in my bones this film would possibly win that coveted statuette. Initially, I didn’t want to post my opinion about this winner. But as I had partially written down my opinion, I thought I would smooth off the rough edges and post it anyway. To be honest, I’m not part of the great crowd of admirers of “The shape of water“. Even though I was looking forward to it with great expectations and knew it was a creation made by Guillermo del Toro (I appreciated his previous films) I was only moderately enthusiastic about it. In the end I stayed behind with a “that’s it ?” feeling. Why the jurors of the academy massively fell in love with this film, still is a mystery to me. I didn’t think it was so earth-shattering, breathtaking or groundbreaking.

The Shape of Water

Free Willy for adults.

In retrospect, you could compare this film with “Free Willy“. Only the amphibious creature that needs to be rescued rather looks like the monster of “Creature from the Black Lagoon“. And as in “Free Willy“, where Jesse wanted to free his best friend, it’s Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins) who got the job of freeing the imprisoned creature. Only the friendship between Jesse and Willy wasn’t as passionate and they didn’t get caught while doing sensual stuff. Elisa and her scaly friend soon figured out how to get things going. Or rather, Elisa soon knew where her sweet sprat was hiding his stinger. So you can expect some wet scenes. And the facility where the government locked away the feared cretature (under military supervision) so they can experiment with it, was probably designed by an interior architect who’s influenced by the interior style that you could admire in the Nautilus.

The Shape of Water

It’s hard to be different.

The shape of water” is of course more than just a rescue mission that has been set up by a cleaning lady without sound. A cleaning lady whose compassion causes her to start smuggling hard boiled eggs inside and draw up a plan (bigger than that in “The Great Escape“) to save the poor merman. “The shape of water” is also more than just a romantic concoction in which a scrumptious cleaning lady throws herself into the fins of a wondrous creature and loses herself completely after looking deep into those bulging fish eyes. Guillermo Del Torro denounces indifference and prejudice and makes it the central theme. A theme that also applies in our contemporary society. Being different as an individual and the excluding and exploiting by those who see themselves as normal, is symbolized here in many ways. A cleaning lady who is voiceless. And her colleague (Octavia Spencer) who has a different skin color. A somewhat older, homosexual neighbor (Richard Jenkins) whose flirtation was not appreciated by the owner of an ice-cream shop. And last but not least the miraculous seahorse. First a riddle and afterwards a threat.

The Shape of Water

The acting is sublime.

Just like in “Crimson Peak“, again Del Torro delivers a visually overwhelming spectacle. The used images are at times magical and atmospheric. Elisa’s residence and the colorful advertising posters made by the neighbor. The cinema complex and the ice cream bar that exhale the atmosphere of the 1960s. The military complex that looks sterile and metallic, full of obscure secrets and where less attractive experiments are carried out. It all looks perfect and breathtaking. And such quality needs of course high quality acting. This sublime acting is taken care of by renowned actors. Sally Hawkins is as enchanting as her salted new friend. And even though there is no sound coming out of her mouth, she knows how to grasp you by using her highly expressive facial expressions. Michael Shannon was also briliant as the dominant and cruel government agent who (with apparent pleasure) tests his taser on our fishy guy. He’s a pervert whose sexual urges go into overdrive when the partner stays silent during the act. No wonder his hormones go haywire after seeing (and not hearing) Elisa. Finally, kudos for Richard Jenkins and Octavia Spencer.

The Shape of Water

To be awarded or not. That’s the question.

Without a doubt, Guillermo del Toro is a master in visualizing and a kind of visionary. He creates a unique atmosphere in his films that you hardly be able to take it all in. I’m never really overwhelmed by the content of his films though. Perhaps the message is sophisticated enough. But every time I have that feeling it’s incomplete somehow. I suppose that the simmering topic in this film is in line with the values that were spread out this year during the awards. The equality of genders. Not tolerating cross-border behavior. And the fact that the Academy Awards are a more white-tinted business. I guess it’s all about striking the right chords.

My rating 6/10
Links : IMDB

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Adventure

Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest

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Cannon Arm and the Arcade Quest is a deadly serious comedy film about friendship and arcade games that’ll surely put a smile on your face and tug at your heartstrings. Set at Bip Bip Bar, it tells the story of a group of unlikely heroes aka friends who help Kim Cannon Arm attempts to be the first in the world to play Gyruss an arcade machine from the early 80s for 100 consecutive hours. The film showcases these heroic outsiders with dreams about becoming legendary world record holders. 

Watching Kim and his friends embark on this quest was certainly like preparing for a marathon as Kim’s friends make him get an annual physical checkup from the doctor, It was easy to get swept up and share their excitement. Director Mads Hedegaard introduces these bunch of endearing misfits who truly make up a kind and supportive community. We learn several details about each of Kim’s friends including careers, favourite games, bands, family life and plenty more. Each are unique and the Documentary made me feel like I’d known this group my whole life. 

The film is also able to capture the gaming atmosphere as it blasts through the 80s with synths and neon lights, which created a stylised, exhilarating journey into Kim’s brain and the world of Gyruss. Montages and Iron maiden tracks also feature and “I Need a Hero” by Bonnie Tyler features, which to me represented each member and the story which was ultimately made for pure entertainment. 

Themes of achieving success is a presence in this documentary as it has scenes filled with pure joy, sentimental bliss and deep philosophical moments of the loss of a friend and acceptance. As we watch Kim make his way through hours and hours of his challenge we see his friends are always with him for comfort and to help keep track. They play Iron maiden music to boost his moral but its clear to me that with friends like this, Kim has already won. 

https://youtu.be/d-AidtIZF64

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Action

HBO Max | House of the Dragon

The story of the Targaryen civil war that took place about 300 years before events portrayed in “Game of Thrones.”



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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Drama

Release Date:

January 1, 2022

Director:

Miguel Sapochnik

Cast:

Milly Alcock, Eve Best, Emily Carey

Plot Summary:

The story of the House Targaryen set 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones (2011).

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Action

Spider-Man: No Way Home | Official Teaser Trailer

Spider-Man: No Way Home is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing.



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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Sci-fi

Release Date:

December 17, 2021

Director:

Jon Watts

Cast:

Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jamie Foxx, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alfred Molina, Jacob Batalon, J.K. Simmons

Plot Summary:

Spider-Man: No Way Home is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, co-produced by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing.

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