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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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Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore – New Teaser Trailer

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You are invited back into the Magic! as Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, audiences will be taken back into the familiar and immersive world of magic, fun and excitement, featuring even more compelling and unique magical beasts in an all-new story that truly expands the iconic Wizarding World in surprising and unexpected ways.

Synopsis

Professor Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Mads Mikkelsen) is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission, where they encounter old and new beasts and clash with Grindelwald’s growing legion of followers. But with the stakes so high, how long can Dumbledore remain on the sidelines?

Image via Warner Bros

Dive into the complex, high-stakes relationship between Grindelwald and Dumbledore and unlock the story of these two legendary wizards.And for the first time, audiences will get an inside look at the complicated and enigmatic Dumbledore.

The film is also the ultimate wizard heist as what follows in The Secrets of Dumbledore is an action-packed cat-and-mouse game of secretive plans, mysteries and fun twists and turns. Our unlikely heroes – Newt, Jacob, Kama, Lally, Bunty and Theseus are brought together by Dumbledore in an attempt to defeat Grindelwald.

From the teaser trailer it looks like this film will be magical on the big screen as it’s a richly realised expansion of the story fans have been craving, a transportive cinematic experience for all ages that features familiar connections to Harry Potter, whilst also keeping the classic Magical elements like the whimsy humour as well as the heartwarming moments and heart-stopping action.

The film features an ensemble cast led by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”), two-time Oscar nominee Jude Law (“Cold Mountain,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley”), Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams, Katherine Waterston, and Mads Mikkelsen.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” was directed by David Yates, from a screenplay by J.K. Rowling & Steve Kloves, based upon a screenplay by J.K. Rowling. The film was produced by David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves, Lionel Wigram and Tim Lewis. Neil Blair, Danny Cohen, Josh Berger, Courtenay Valenti and Michael Sharp served as executive producers.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” is the newest adventure in the Wizarding World™ created by J.K. Rowling.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore will be released in cinemas across the UK & Ireland on 8 April 2022 by Warner Bros. Pictures.

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Ghostbusters: Afterlife | Jason Reitman Has Truly Outdone Himself

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After more than a year of scheduling delays due to the pandemic, Ghostbusters: Afterlife has finally made it into some theatres across the world. The newest film in this iconic franchise is a direct sequel to the original 1984 Ghostbusters and 1989s Ghostbusters II, which was released more than thirty years ago. Director and co-writer Jason Reitman, is the son of Ivan Reitman, who directed both Ghostbuster films and his legacy to his Father’s Ghostbusting franchise was a nostalgic joyride that features the same heart and soul as the originals and truly took me back to when I first experienced the spiritualistic, scientific wonder. 

Ghostbusters: Afterlife follows Callie (Carrie Coon) and her children Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), and Phoebe (McKenna Grace), who after becoming broke and indebted are evicted from their home and are forced to move to a decayed farmhouse in Summerville, Oklahoma, left to them by the children’s late grandfather. A series of unexplained earthquakes are occurring despite not being situated on any fault lines or tetctonic plates. In addition Phoebe discovers strange and ominous ruins in an old mine that is rumoured to have once belonged to the alleged occultist Ivo Shandor.

Photo: Sony Pictures

The children also discover the history of their grandfather with the original Ghostbusters, who have since been largely forgotten by the world beyond their fan base. But when a supernatural phenomena relating to New York City’s Manhattan Crossrip of 1984 occur and threaten the world, the kids along with their family and friends, must solve the decades-old mystery of the relocation of their grandfather and use the equipment of the Ghostbusters and become their successors to save it. 

At the heart of the story is the youngest child of the family. Mckenna Grace who is perfect in the role as Phoebe and her character is certainly relatable, she’s a young person trying to find a way in a world where her mum sadly doesn’t encourage her scientific cleverness and she has few but very little friends. Bespectacled and introverted with a dry wit, Afterlife is her journey of discovering the importance of her heritage and embracing her true gifts and talents. 

Mckenna Grace personifies the person in this story with the intelligence to see through the paranormal of everything that’s happening, Much like Egon did and certainly would have, had he been part of this spectacle of a movie. she also gives subtle homages to Ramis’s comedic approach.  

Photo: Sony Pictures

Afterlife felt like it was built around paying homage to his absence, but he and Egon loom largely over the whole film especially with a touching dedication “For Harold” which truly had me tearing up and speechless, the tribute is just loving. Not only is the movie an energetic ghost-blasting joyride, its filled with beautiful emotion, which I wasn’t emotionally prepared for. 

Photo: Sony Pictures

Among the supporting cast Carrie Coon portrays Callie as she comes to grips with the loss of a father she never really knew. She’s a dedicated, yet struggling single mother and doing her best whilst childhood wounds heal. She is also not quite understanding of phoebe’s hobbies. Both her and Mr Grooberson played by Ant-Man and current People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive aka Paul Rudd have great chemistry and comedic moments together. 

Photo: Sony Pictures

Stranger things star Finn Wolfhard also seems to be in familiar territory with all the supernatural things going on. His character trevor seems to have a crush on Lucky, a classmate at High School and a forth-generation resident of Summerville. As for Logan Kim, he truly steals every scene he’s in as Podcast. He’s an intrepid kid obsessed with mystery and the supernatural, this mixes well with Phoebe’s science. The 10 year old podcaster also has some great sequences with all the iconic gadgets. 

The cast is just so good in this movie, they’re simply terrific and all serve the purpose of this story. The script and dialogue also are so cleaver and truly honours and acknowledges the nostalgia that longtime Ghostheads like myself feel for the original story. moments of fan service occur with iconic imagery scattered throughout the film as the camera pans and lingers on iconic props like the P.K.E. Meter, Twinkie, etc. 

The dirt farm is also a fantastic location that also serves as a character. It’s decaying state shows neglect but also that something isn’t quite right. Egon has suddenly left hundreds of tools and paraphernalia for the family to uncover. Reitman creates a film that truly honours the legacy of Ghostbuters, but he also creates a phenomenal new film to introduce to new generations. It’s an expansion of the universe in which these kids are finding where they fit into the world whilst it passes the torch onto the next generation of Ghostbusting heroes. 

Photo: Sony Pictures

If you’ve watched the trailers then you’ll be aware of Muncher, Mini-Pufts and the return of the terror dogs, every Ghostbusters fan will have a favourite. The Mini-Puts were absolutely hilarious and mischievous, they’re small humanoid marshmallow men that are somewhat the same shape as the mascot on the Stay Put Marshmallows packaging. And though they may look cute at first sight, they are quite a destructive bunch and tend to not think before acting, and don’t care about their or others of their kind’s well-being. 

Muncher surprisingly voiced by Josh Gad loves to chew down on anything metal it can get its hands on. He’s somewhat smart, but more of a pest than an actual threat. 

Photo: Sony Pictures

The action sequences are done brilliantly especially with ghosts flying about everywhere. And seeing the Ecto-1 drifting through a wheat field and then driving through Smallville chasing after Muncher with all the proton blasting was thrilling and energetic. 

Photo: Sony Pictures

The music and score by Rob Simonsen is phenomenal and truly nostalgic as he uses many of the late Elmer Bernstein’s iconic themes from the original film which truly gave me goosebumps.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife truly left me wanting more, especially with the new mythology and characters. It’s perfectly a story about a father’s forgiveness and a young girl on a journey to discover herself and her grandfather’s legacy. That relationship really resonated with me as my own grandfather introduced me to this franchise growing up on VHS, so I really wished he’d have been here to watch this, even though I felt his presence whilst watching the film. And whilst the film still honours the original in an emotionally incredible satisfying way, writer-director Jason Reitman and co-writer Gil Kenan have truly crafted a phenomenal, engaging and an emotional story about lineage. Jason Reitman has truly outdone himself and pays tribute to his father’s greatest work. 

So Who you gonna call? 

 

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The Book of Boba Fett | Disney + | Star Wars – Official Trailer

On the sands of Tatoonie, bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand navigate the Galaxy’s underworld and fight for Jabba the Hutt’s old territory.

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Sci-fi

Release Date:

December 29, 2021

Producers:

Jon Favreau; Dave Filoni; Robert Rodriguez; Kathleen Kennedy

Cast:

Tamuera Morrison, Ming-Na Wen

Plot Summary:

On the sands of Tatoonie, bounty hunter Boba Fett and mercenary Fennec Shand navigate the Galaxy’s underworld and fight for Jabba the Hutt’s old territory.

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