Mother!  An exploitation film pretending to be art is still an exploitation film.

In Uncategorized on May 10, 2019 at 15:01
mother!, oh brother!


“mother!” is a film that is trying to shock us but it craps out into ridiculousness. Trying to make their point leads to exploitation. I started yelling Get Out! inside my head near the end of the first act when mother! was having a bad time. She just didn’t leave. Neither did I when the signs of a disaster of a film appeared.

Their house, the house of mother! and man, is in the middle of nowhere. And I don’t care. Earth is also in the middle of nowhere astronomically, if you know what I mean, and do you think inhabitants of other worlds care? I don’t think so.

Yes, “mother!” is a multi-allegory story. It looks good, but it lacks story craft and subtlety. It smacks us relentlessly in the face with drama and terrible human behavior. Or is it terrible? The behavior was obviously out of the norm. And we are supposed to accept it because it’s an allegory about the world and god. Woo hoo! It’s just stupid and obvious and not compelling at all.

Rating: I want my money back. An exploitation film pretending to be art is still an exploitation film.

Tex Shelters


Jordan Peele’s “Us”-a good horror film

In Uncategorized on April 1, 2019 at 21:25

3 Us
is decent, for a horror film. I break down the three acts:

Act 1: too slow, not enough foreshadowing or poorly done foreshadowing.
Act 2: Action, action, action. Elisabeth Moss shines!
Act 3: WTF! in a good way. 

The cast was good, but Winston Duke who played Jordan…I mean Gabe Wilson the father, was the weakest. He has the comedy down, but not the drama. His “other” was the least scary of the family, though he is the biggest of them by far. Lupita Nyong’o was excellent as was their son played by Evan Alex. The daughter’s scary other is fantastically creepy, but her regular self missed the mark at times. Only Nyong’o could carry both roles well. 

The precipitating events to the horror could have been better played. More motivation for the event would have help like a mysterious noise that only the girl heard, a flashing light, a rabbit that runs on to the beach that the girl follows, would have made the events scarier and not just an unmotivated fancy of the character. Perhaps a director’s cut could put that in. 

Props to Mr. Peele for not making up a convenient fake science reason for the events in the film. There was a weird monologue by Nyong’o’s other, but that was it. Not much of an explanation was required. The filming was good, but nothing stood out was fabulous. The choice of music was at time humorous, at times, just filler.

Rating: Matinee. In the end, it’s a horror film, not a social phenomenon like Get Out. Still, if you like the horror genre, or Nyong’o, see it. 

Tex Shelters

“Everybody Knows”, and some of us aren’t happy about it: a film review 

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2019 at 19:19

To the Tune of Everybody Knows by Leonard Cohen:

Everybody knows, the film is too long.
Everybody knows, what would happen next
Everybody knows that Spain is lovely,
and Everybody Knows the plot is dreck
Everybody knows about over acting, Penelope Cruz she does it best
as bad films go, Everybody Knows

Everybody knowsFrom https://www.slashfilm.com

Okay, that’s tired, but I made my point. ‘Everybody Knows’ is too long, and even the surprises are predictable. It’s a stylish mess. 

The big scene in the opening of the film is a wedding with guests arriving as a way of introducing us to the main characters. But unlike the wedding scene in the Godfather, it’s tedious and way too long. I never thought I would say this, but some Spaniards are boring. 

There is no foreshadowing in the film, no interesting characters, nothing ominous about it. It’s the most boring kidnapping film I have ever seen, and I hate kidnapping films. Okay, there are exceptions, like ‘The Crying Game.’ But in that film, the stakes were high and while you understood the IRA position and reason for the kidnapping, you empathized the kidnapped limey bastard soldier’s plight. And in ‘The Crying Game’, the acting is superb. 

Yes, the kidnapping in ‘Everybody Knows’ is supposed to be tragic and dramatic, but with the dialogue, plot elements, predictability, and Cruz’s overacting, the only tragedy is how poorly it plays. Yes, the kidnapped teenager is cute, likes to dance, and gets into trouble. How is that unlike lots of teenagers? A big problem is she didn’t get enough air time to care about her. And I didn’t.

You can read other critics who will say this film is full of tension. My need to urinate brought the most tension during the film. Actually, I would have enjoyed the reprieve of going to the bathroom. Alas, no urge to pee and no urge sit through this film came upon me. 

Did I say it was predictable? All the actors darken this film. I blame the writing and directing. It is a jumble of few ideas that don’t come to anything.

Rating: I want my money back.
I was about to leave The Loft, but I wanted to see how terrible the ending would be and give my review credibility. That’s 0 for Bardem’s last 2. Get with it and play another killer like in ‘Sky Fall’ and ‘No Country for Old Men.’ On bright spot: ‘Everybody Knows’ wasn’t sexist like ‘Mother’ or nearly as terrible. 

Tex Shelters