Review: Mandy (2018)

5

“You are a vicious snowflake.”
– Red Miller

SYNOPSIS: The enchanted lives of a couple in a secluded forest are brutally shattered by a nightmarish hippie cult and their demon-biker henchmen, propelling a man into a spiralling, surreal rampage of vengeance. – via IMDB

Uhm. Okay. Yeah. This. Well. I expected so much more. I heard so many good things (Ryan especially enjoyed this) and I had hopes, so my husband and I decided to give this a shot and… it took a sharp left turn. My husband said it more like took a major u-turn to head back up into oncoming traffic. It just… no.

The movie is bizarre. It really is like a bad trip. Initially everything starts out just fine, what with Red and Mandy living their isolated little life, but it works just fine for them. Then that crazy cult gets involved and everything goes downhill. Like… I am all for revenge movies. I honestly, truly am, and I even like them when there is loads of humour involved, but this movie? It went from serious and heartbreaking to stupid ridiculous. Not the fun kind, just so cringy. I also read someone day it had like a David Lynch type vibe, which might also explain what I didn’t enjoy about it.

Mandy looks fantastic. The use of colours and neons is wonderful, and the score is also good. It is just a pity the content doesn’t keep up. It goes from a strange, dreamlike, trippy vibe movie to a complete… I don’t know what. Not to mention Nicolas Cage delivered a super goofy performance. The two halves just don’t really gel together, and the movie’s tone is all over the show. The villains and the story are not fleshed out at all, so it’s just this strange journey you are undertaking with Red, and you know he wants payback, but that is all really. There are some half-assed reasons for this cult and these bikers dudes but… no. Also, that dialogue :/

Mandy didn’t work for me. I didn’t have a good time, and this movie could have been serious and dramatic and hardcore revenge, or it could have been an entertaining revenge flick, and instead it starts off atmospheric and then gets embarrassing. Not a cool wtf like Evil Dead or great revenge like John Wick. No. I know a lot of people enjoyed this, but I did not. And it was excessively long. So while Mandy was stunning to look at, it just totally wasn’t my cup of tea.

Rapid Review: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

31

birdman poster

“Popularity is the slutty little cousin of prestige.”
– Mike Shiner

SYNOPSIS: A washed-up actor, who once played an iconic superhero, battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career and himself in the days leading up to the opening of his Broadway play. – via IMDB

birdman bang
GRADE 8There was hype around this movie, but it was something I had been waiting for and looking forward to see, then it released and got rave reviews. I had to know now if the cast was worth getting excited over the movie for. Let me tell you, it was. I loved the comedic aspect to Birdman, it was sharp and dark with a dash of quirk, and I liked it for the most part, though it certainly isn’t my favourite film or the next best thing I have seen in ages. Birdman was carried by a great cast. In all honesty, I wanted to see this specifically for Emma Stone and Edward Norton, both whom I absolutely love to watch. It all paid off. Michael Keaton delivers a powerhouse performance and just owned his role. I had a giggle to see Norton play an actor who is so difficult to work with, especially when he has a reputation of being so much like that in real life. Naturally, he was worth the watch every second he was on screen, and the interactions between him and Keaton’s Riggan were just fantastic. Emma Stone really sunk her teeth into the role of pissed off, drugged out, damaged daughter and she managed to rock that role, too. She’s just so good to watch, no matter what. My other half specifically commented on the camera work in this film, so now I will have to make mention of it. He loved the feeling it gave you and the way it made the whole movie look and feel different, and he was right. The incessant drum score worked, too, and it had all the potential to fail but never actually went there. I liked how, watching Birdman, it was aware of being a film but also brought in so many real life aspects (looking specifically here at Keaton’s career and choices and Batman as well as Norton and his reputation of being difficult to work with). It’s like… a film being real being film. I don’t know how to explain it properly, but those who have seen this will understand. Cara gave a wonderful explanation of this if you want to know a little more in her review of the film. I enjoyed Birdman and thought it was well worth looking into, though I can see how some people aren’t going to like it. As much as I liked this, though, I also feel that there is some extreme over-hyping going on over it. It is definitely going to lose out with some viewers who won’t appreciate everything, but overall it’s a nice watch.