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Blue Miracle | It’s A Story We’ve All Seen Before

Blue Miracle succeeds at proposing a unique visual style to distance itself from other formulaic biopics, but can’t get past its predictable script.



Dennis Quaid and Jimmy Gonzales in "Blue Miracle" (2021, Netflix)

Julio Quintana’s Blue Miracle opens with a lonely Omar (Jimmy Gonzales), sitting in a boat in the middle of a never-ending sea, reliving a traumatic event in his childhood that caused his father’s death. The match-cut of the seawater enveloping the screen, which transitions from Omar’s spiritual world to the real-world as he wakes up from his nightmare, sets the stage for a visually refined biopic that’ll try to rise above the formulaic structures that previous “based on a true story” against-all-odds family pictures have already preestablished. Blue Miracle standardly chronicles the against-all-odds story of Casa Hogar, who, to avoid foreclosure by the bank and pay off their debts, participate in Bisbee’s Black & Blue Fishing Tournament with two-time winner Wade Malloy (Dennis Quaid), a washed-up fisherman stuck in the past. With the Casa Hogar children, he’ll learn to grow to be a more welcoming individual and go back to his family after dismissing them for so long. It’s a story we’ve all seen before, done in more impactful films. Still, Blue Miracle rises above its formulaic structure by offering a polished visual style and gripping performances from its two leads.

It’s been a while since a “based on a true story” biopic has tried this hard to veer off the preestablished three-act formula through its visual style, and Blue Miracle very much succeeds in that regard. The film’s ethereal dream sequences are immaculately shot and composed, with a lush pink sky acting as a visual metaphor to Omar’s hopes and dreams, even though his life has been nothing but hardships and despair—losing his father, living alone in a violent city and having to help orphan children who were told they wouldn’t have a promising future. He must be the voice of hope for the children of Casa Hogar, even if he himself doesn’t believe to be one. It’s a particularly heartbreaking performance Jimmy Gonzales gives, knowing that if the fishing tournament doesn’t work, every single kid who lives at Casa Hogar will end up on the streets. It becomes his engine once they catch the winning Marlin, and Omar is forced to reel it in from the water, in the film’s most suspenseful sequence, even if we know the outcome.

Netflix Drops New Trailer for 'Blue Miracle' - PureWow

The tournament lasts three days, and, obviously, Casa Hogar will catch the winning fish on the 3rd day. The movie’s called Blue Miracle, after all—it must be an against-all-odds/life-or-death situation. Even if we know exactly how the film will end, Quintana still manages to make Omar’s reel in of the Marlin incredibly suspenseful by cutting back and forth to his dark past and his eyes widening at the prospect of being able to provide for every child who lives with him. His aggressive movements on the fishing rod perfectly showcases his determination and willingness to support his children and give them hope for a better life. All of this works incredibly well when paired with Dennis Quaid’s Wade Malloy, who, at first, does not want any of the children on his boat but slowly grows fond of them, which will hopefully help him rekindle with his family, who he desperately wanted to impress by winning the third tournament. He (predictably) realizes that it’s not about the trophies that’ll make him a better man, but the way he acts towards his son and wife, that’ll dictate if he’s a good parent or not. All of this has been (over) exploited in better movies, but Quaid’s performance adds greater emotional levity to the film’s quasi-manipulative core.

Blue Miracle (2021) - IMDb

I can’t help but respect and admire a movie that tries to do something different, even if it can’t really escape the clichés of the “true story” pictures—the characters that were reticent and/or distant at first with Casa Hogar will, obviously, cherish them at the end and, by some “miracle,” they will win and pay off all of their debts and not have to worry about seeing more kids in the street, just like Omar lived part of his life in. Quintana doesn’t need to present the violence of Cabo San Lucas, he only (briefly) does it once, and everything else becomes self-explanatory afterwards. He tries so hard to avoid the clichés of the against-all-odds biopic by offering a brand-new and unique visual style to the movie and immaculate match-cuts that act as some of the most original transitions I’ve seen since Darren Lynn Bousman dared to do something different in Saw IV. Yet, the clichés are found in its script and naturally insert themselves in its story, preventing Blue Miracle from truly reeling in the audience as it should be.

Still, I wasn’t expecting anything grand from this movie—the trailer made it look like a “dumped on a Thursday Netflix biopic that everyone forgets in three days.” And, for the most part, it fills the category but rapidly elevates itself with its luscious visual style and unique editing techniques that seem to be rarely found today. And that’s the sole reason why it succeeds: it tries to be different. It doesn’t necessarily demand much from its viewers, but it tries to give them something that differentiates itself from other “true story”-related biopics. Give it a chance; you might enjoy it.

Blue Miracle is now streaming on Netflix

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Chloe Domont’s ‘Fair Play’ Is A Spellbinding Debut That Challenges Gender Dynamics



Alden Ehrenreich as Luke and Phoebe Dynevor as Emily in 'Fair Play'. (Netflix)

Chloe Domont’s debut film, Fair Play, opens with a captivating scene that foreshadows the thrilling and thought-provoking journey ahead. A deeply in love couple, caught up in the excitement of a wedding, find themselves in a bathroom, passionately kissing. As their intimacy escalates, there is a surprising twist—blood stains their clothes. They share a giggle amidst the exhilaration, and their eyes land on a ring on the floor. With blood on their hands and a murder yet to be revealed, they go down on their knees once more, this time for a proposal. The scene sets the stage for a story that combines elements of romance, finance, and psychological intrigue.

Domont skillfully ventures beyond the trappings of a typical workplace affair and delves into the dark world of financial thrillers through a mesmerizing psychological puzzle. By taking a subtle narrative twist, she explores the fragility of gender dynamics. In a perfect love story, had Luke been promoted, everything would have been idyllic. However, Emily’s success and her private chamber disrupt their relationship, unveiling its underlying fractures. Overwhelmed with guilt, Emily immediately apologizes to Luke for achieving professional success. This familiar dynamic unfolds, highlighting society’s conditioning of women to downplay their achievements.

Alden Ehrenreich as Luke and Phoebe Dynevor as Emily in ‘Fair Play’. (Netflix)

Unlike traditional didactic tales, Fair Play abstains from presenting a clear moral center. Luke is not portrayed as a monster. Initially, he expresses pride in Emily’s success. However, something within him snaps as he faces the corrosive atmosphere of men assuming that Emily slept her way to the top. Emily, too, is drawn into the boys’ locker room conversations, refusing to concede her hard-earned accomplishments.

With astute storytelling and a refusal to pause for respite, Domont takes Fair Play on an unexpected trajectory. The film’s pacing mirrors the emotional claustrophobia of a chamber drama, intensifying the toxic power dynamics that shift nauseatingly fast. The narrative highlights how even well-intentioned condescension can overshadow narratives of men advocating for their female partners. It underscores the reality that equality in love, within heteronormative relationships, relies on unequal gender politics.

Phoebe Dynevor as Emily in ‘Fair Play’. (Netflix)

Cinematographer Menno Mans contributes to the film’s tension through tight close-up shots of the characters. This visual approach accelerates the emotional intensity woven into their relationship. The exceptional performances of the film’s two lead actors further complicate a linear reading of the story, lending an additional layer of ambivalence. The bathroom scene at the beginning recurs in a darker context near the film’s climax, showcasing the dramatic shift in the actors’ body language. Dynevor expertly weaponizes the fragility of her frame, while Ehrenreich masterfully adapts to his character’s evolving mentality. The film progressively transforms Luke from a genuinely loving and lucky man into a familiar representation of a man that resonates with the experiences of many women.

The return of blood on the floor symbolizes an undisclosed satisfaction, leaving the audience captivated by the film’s powerful exploration of gender dynamics and the human psyche.

Alden Ehrenreich as Luke and Phoebe Dynevor as Emily in Fair Play. (Netflix)

To be honest, FAIR PLAY is not what I expected and I enjoyed it very much. A captivating thriller that explores how power, gender roles, and workplace relationships interact.

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Prime Video

Gen V Season 1 is Bloody and Disgusting, Yet Utterly Compelling



Ever since The Boys premiered on Prime Video in 2019, it has consistently dropped jaws and blown people’s minds with its weirdly whacky, bloody and horny storytelling about corrupt superheroes. Hollywood had never seen anything quite like this. It is developed by Eric Kripke and creative forces such as Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg were also involved. Three incredible seasons have made it into one of the biggest shows right now. It was no surprise that Prime Video would expand such a beloved universe and greenlight a spinoff series titled Gen V which is finally coming to Prime Video.


Gen V is focused around teen supes studying at Godolkin University, who strive to make their careers in crime fighting and potentially join the seven one day. This 8-episode series is set after the events of The Boys Season 3. This series is developed by Eric Kripke, Craig Rosenberg, and Evan Goldberg. It stars Jaz Sinclair, Chance Perdomo, Maddie Phillips, Lizzie Broadway, and Patrick Schwarzenegger among others.


If anyone was worried that this series would not be as wild and horny as The Boys just because it is set around teens, let me put those worries to bed because this series stays true to every aspect of its predecessor and maintains the unfiltered storytelling throughout. The tone is as outlandish as always and keeps up all the horniness in the characters, including the obsession with penises. It is very much a hard R-rated show, so it might be safe to think about who you recommend it to.

Chance Perdomo (Andre Anderson)

The performances here are excellent, by everyone. Jaz Sinclair who plays Marie Moreau, and Chance Perdomo who plays Andre Anderson are particularly great. They have an emotional vulnerability that makes them totally convincing and makes the viewer sympathize with them. Shelley Conn is mysterious and shrewd as Dean Shetty. Maddie Phillips and Lizzie Broadway are good too. But there isn’t a powerhouse performance such as Antony Starr as Homelander.

The story still revolves around supes, though this time a younger generation of them, and the overall world-building of this franchise but it is surprisingly deeper and more mature than most would expect. At its core, there is a meaningful coming-of-age story about dealing with loss, power and the pressure of high expectations. Every character has interesting arcs and the character development is very smooth. The writers also managed to juggle so many subplots at the same time and managed to keep most of them intriguing. The pacing is also very consistent and rarely slows down.

Several people just find The Boys too disgusting and can’t stand the extreme and explicit nature of the narrative. Gen V also runs on a very similar track in terms of storytelling. So those who did not enjoy The Boys, will most probably not enjoy the new spin-off either. But this show will definitely delight the die-hard fans of this iconic franchise. Gen V does take a lot of shortcuts in its narrative and I wish they let the relationships between characters marinate for a little while longer. The plot may also seem overstuffed at times and there is arguably a lack of action so far.

Gen V embraces the outrageousness of The Boys while delivering an engaging coming-of-age story and manages to stand out on its own. It is as bloody, horny, crudely funny and dramatic as you would expect. The series finds new energy and carries the legacy of its predecessor. The first six episodes are thoroughly engaging and get you invested in the characters and their motivations. Expect to have a blast and see a lot of cameos.

Episodes Viewed – 6 out of 8.

Gen V episodes 1-3 will stream on Prime on September 29 with the finale on November 3.

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The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar Is Wes Anderson’s Delightful Take On Roald Dahl’s Sweet Story



Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar in Roald Dahl's 'The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar' (Netflix)

Roald Dahl and Wes Anderson have both left an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of generations. Dahl’s timeless stories have enchanted readers for decades, while Anderson’s groundbreaking films have pushed the boundaries of cinematic storytelling. Their unique talents and shared appreciation for the power of literature have now converged in Anderson’s latest masterpiece, the modern short film adaptation of Dahl’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar.

Anderson, known for his extraordinary attention to detail and distinctive visual style, brings Dahl’s adult-friendly tale to life in a truly captivating way. With a star-studded cast that includes Ralph Fiennes, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dev Patel, and Ben Kingsley, the film stays true to the author’s original text, with the actors delivering their lines directly from the page. This dedication to the literary essence of the story sets the stage for Anderson’s exceptional storytelling.

Dev Patel as Dr. Chatterjee, Sir Ben Kingsley as Imdad Khan and Richard Ayoade as Dr. Marshall in Roald Dahl’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Cr. Netflix ©2023

Following his previous successful adaptation of Dahl’s work with the Oscar-nominated The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Anderson is poised to once again captivate audiences with The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. In a mere 37 minutes, this short film manages to deliver a delightful and heartwarming experience that can beat any full-length feature film. The commitment and power of the A-list cast shine throughout, ensuring a resounding success on multiple levels.

From the very beginning, Fiennes embodies Dahl himself, narrating the tale as he seamlessly transitions between the comfort of his home and the picturesque outdoors.  By applying freeze-frame techniques and cleverly staged tableaus, Fiennes and his fellow actors walk through different sets that are magically transformed by on-screen “stagehands” right before our eyes. This dynamic interplay between reality and cunningness is a testament to Anderson’s growing fascination with the theatrical aspects of filmmaking.

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar not only captures the imaginative essence found in Dahl’s works but also showcases the filmmaker’s mastery of visual storytelling. Each scene is meticulously crafted, with Anderson’s staging drawing heavily on theatrical influences. Costume changes happen seamlessly on camera, resulting in Ben Kingsley’s Khan humorously questioning the whereabouts of his mustache. Furthermore, practical effects, including a delightful box trick, add to the mesmerizing experience of witnessing the film’s creation unfold before our eyes.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar and Ralph Fiennes as the policeman in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Cr. Netflix ©2023

Anderson’s choice to create a short film rather than a feature-length production proves to be a stroke of genius. The pacing remains consistently engaging, ensuring that viewers remain captivated from start to finish. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is a visual feast, an entertaining experience, and, above all, a whole lot of fun.

When it comes to acting, it’s so hard to pick a standout because whenever an actor comes on the screen, he or she gives a performance that stays with you. Benedict Cumberbatch is magnetic in his portrayal of Henry Sugar and mesmerises you with a performance that shows his acting prowess. Ben Kingsley shows us why he is one of the greatest actors of all time. His monologues are truly special. Meanwhile, Dev Patel and Richard Ayoade are the magical new entrants in Anderson’s world of magical stories. Both of them are brilliant in their respective roles.

On the other hand, Ralph Fiennes showcases his versatility by embodying Roald Dahl in the most fantastic way possible.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar in The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. Cr. Netflix ©2023

Roald Dahl’s rich storytelling finds new life through Wes Anderson’s innovative cinematic techniques. Their creative collaboration results in a short film that is visually pleasing, emotionally compelling, and brimming with the charm and magic that have made both artists legends in their respective fields. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar is not to be missed, as it brings together the best of Dahl and Anderson, leaving audiences enraptured by its undeniable allure. Experience this enchanting journey, and let yourself be swept away by the power of imagination.

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