‘Coming out’ stories can be particularly difficult to do well because they’re often a study in contrasts and conflicting sensibilities that don’t benefit from leaning too hard in any particularly direction.
Which isn’t to say that there aren’t movies out there that do just that. Urbania (2001-Dir. Jon Shear) and Parallel Sons (1995-Dir. John G. Young) are two particularly effective stories that manage to end up more than the sum of their parts.
The same thing applies to stereotypes and stereotypical behaviors. And while it’s worth mentioning that stereotypes are typically based on a reality, more often than not it’s a skewed, distorted one.
Off the top of my head, three great examples of the genre (more accurately a sub-genre) are Head On (1998–Dir.Ana Kikkinos), The Way He Looks (2014–Dir.Daniel Ribeiro) and 4th Man Out (2015–Dir.Andrew Nackman).
All the movies in the prior paragraph are available on Netflix, by the way.,
Love, Simon (directed by Greg Berlanti, an openly gay man) has a pretty good trailer, but one can easily see where the potential to fall into pathos and cliche lie.
Let’s hope it doesn’t.
Having watched The OA on Netflix a few weeks ago–check it out, it’s really intriguing and pretty clever at times–I’ve come to notice that Jason Issacs in the latter part of his career seems to be specializing in criminally-inclined medical professionals.
And I think it was his turn as a trauma surgeon in 1997’s Event Horizon that sent him over the edge.
So, in The OA he’s a doctor who’s seeking the secrets only those that have had near death experiences can reveal, while in the upcoming A Cure For Wellness he apparently has not only continued experimenting with people against their will, but is potentially connected to a much larger conspiracy.
Some people have mentioned that the trailer plays a lot like Shutter Island, and while there are similarities, it seems so much more similar to John Carpenter’s In The Mouth of Madness–with a dash of The Wicker Man–that another lawsuit might be in order though if I recall, Madness was written by Michael De Luca, not John Carpenter.
I published a video earlier this week on YouTube reviewing Netflix’s The OA, which I thought was a pretty remarkable bit of television.
I figure that I’d expand on what I said in the video, without spoiling the experience for people who haven’t seen it yet (besides, spoilers suck).
Brit Marling wrote most of eight episodes with Zal Batmanglij, (the latter having directed them all as well) and also played ‘OA,’ a woman who when she apparently dropped off the face of the Earth seven or so years ago was blind, yet could now somehow see.
How she regained her vision is one of the lesser mysteries in a series filled with them as OA accounts for the missing time.
We also come to learn that OA’s given name was Prairie (given by whom and why being another one of those minor mysteries central to her story).
What’s perhaps most interesting is OA/Prarie’s status as a narrator, which is to say that as the series goes on what she believes and the truth are not always the same things.
It’s this tension between whether or not OA/Prairie’s version of events is an accurate one is at the heart of the story.
With Netlix enabling subscribers the ability to download content it brings to mind more questions than answers.
For instance, I assume downloaded content must ‘expire’ after a certain period of time.
Using iTunes as an example, if I were to download a movie I would only have two or three days to watch it if I had started playing it. Otherwise I might keep it for months, despite that being an exercise in silliness (never mind a waste of valuable hard drive real estate).
Then there are the rights issues that accompany everything that appears on the streaming service. To get the aforementioned rights to television shows or movies Nextlix makes deals with content creators for millions of dollars, so does the ability to download their content cost Netflix more than they are currently paying (and this question is crucial, because if it does the likelihood is high that those costs would be passed down to consumers in the form of higher membership fees).
And while there has been no mention of any such increases–especially since the last time there was talk of a price increase it literally cost them millions of subscribers–nevermind the dubious ‘Quickster’ episode–we won’t know till we know.
For fans of Marvel Television and their work with Netflix, ComicCon 2016 is as close to nirvana as you’re likely to get because that’s where they premiered the teaser trailer for The Defenders, a street-level super team in the vein of the Avengers.
They will consist of Daredevil (which has been renewed for a third season), Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist.
The trailer is less interesting for what it shows–which is next to nothing–than what it says about what the new show will be like tonally, which is very gritty and realistic.
When you take into account the two seasons of Daredevil and the single season of Jessica Jones already released, it should fit in quite nicely.
Don’t Breathe is an interesting trailer that comes off as the anti-Hush, if you will.
Hush, currently on Netflix, revolves a woman who–if I recall–loses her voice to a bout of meningitis at some point in her past.
She ends up terrorized by a killer and she’s unable to call for help because the aforementioned infection robbed her of her voice.
The point being, Don’t Breathe takes a similar approach, though makes the bad guy–if the trailer is any indicator–blind.
What’s pretty clever is that in one instance the blind man has his prey in a dark room, putting everyone on even ground, which I am not sure that I buy because being unable to see doesn’t mean that your remaining senses are any sharper; so a blind person in a unfamiliar dark room would be no better off than a sighted person in a room too dark to see in.
Though if the blind person were in a familiar location…the equation changes demonstrably.
While I’m cobbling together a review for Captain America: Civil War–which won’t probably be ready before Saturday–I figured that I might as well write up something for Zoombies, which turned recently up on Netflix.
Despite the title they’re no zombies present–of either the human or animal variety (though you probably noticed the extra ‘o’ in the title, which isn’t a misspelling. That’s what you get when you combine the word ‘zoo’ with ‘zombies’) in the entire movie.
Instead what we get is a movie in the vein of Outbreak and Contagion, combined with the premise of Jurassic Park.
And seeing that we’re talking about The Asylum, it goes without saying that it’s going to be almost painfully bad.
The CGI–which is used for virtually every animal in the movie–is initially decent, but gets progressively worse pretty fast. The acting is on a continuum from decent to terrible, and like the CGI, trends toward the latter.
Though what’s worse is that it could have been at least decent if they’d abandoned the Jurassic Park parody, minimize the often horrid CGI (which would mean that while there would be less of it, that which remained would be of better quality) and send the script though a few more rewrites then you might have something that is at least interesting and people would watch for more reason than to see how bad it was going to be.