At this point, everyone who has been a breathing part of society has heard of Baby Driver and how amazing it is. Such lofty praise is sure to breed skepticism, particularly with me because I'm a cynical bastard like that, so I entered the theater with moderate hopes and an objective mindset. I will not be swayed by word-of-mouth as I nearly was with La La Land. Now there is some widely undeserved praise that rises well above lofty and into pretentious adulation. Anyway. Baby Driver. This film certainly delivered in regards to how amazing it was because it was amazing. In the following post, there will be some spoilers. Each individual scene exhibits master filmmaking, so I have to describe what exactly is so fantastic beyond just saying it was fantastic. Catch my drift? Each screenshot from Baby Driver is an upbringing of unique cinema from the innovative mind of Edgar Wright, and each shot is assembled into one coherent and, most importantly, breathtaking piece. That's the perfect word to describe this film: breathtaking. In the sense that it can be suspenseful and literally take your breath away for a few tense moments. In the sense that the music of the film is its own entity, one that can lift the film into a lively crescendo and take your breath away from how impressive this feat truly is. In the sense that the entire production works and flows in such balanced harmony. Isn't harmony always balanced? Isn't that the meaning of the word? Each aspect of the movie meshes perfectly that you find yourself in the presence of outstanding filmmaking that is, dare I say it, breathtaking. That whole bit sounded a little like slam poetry and for that I extend my sincerest apologies. This also feels like the ideal way to end this post rather than start it...but what's done is done. What's that? I could just move that chunk to the end and find an alternate way to write an intro? W-well y-you know what, I'm not going to do that. Moving on.
What a sad last paragraph that was. How hopeful, how naive I once was. Believe me, I did not expect Baby Driver to get a Best Picture or Best Director nod, I merely hoped with all hope that the Academy would recognize a masterful piece of cinema since, ya know, that's what the Oscars are supposed to do. No, instead let's nominate a film that is not only overhyped but wildly mediocre in quality. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Get Out.
Get Out - One of the most extolled films of the year is undoubtedly Jordon Peele's directorial debut, Get Out. With the massive yet surprising amount of hype for what is essentially a horror film, I entered the theater (that is, my home theater) with skepticism. With my newfound love for the horror genre, I embraced the opportunity to add another horror film, especially one so universally appreciated, to my list of great horror films. I don't have an actual list like that written anywhere, it's all up here. I pointed to my head. Anyway, Get Out started as any horror movie does, with trepidation and false-hope that this is actually a sweet Meet the Parents-esque comedy. Of course, there is a twist that almost guarantees this movie won't be as light-hearted as Ben Stiller milking cats. Daniel Kaluuya drifts rather emotionlessly throughout the film as Chris Washington, the black man in the equation, while Alison Williams plays his white girlfriend Rose Armitage. I said twist earlier but this interracial couple isn't the twist of the film. That so-called twist comes later and I say so-called because of recycled material. I'll explain later. Writing all this out, I don't want to do a synopsis because (1) you've probably seen Get Out and you probably loved it, and (2) synopses are boring and readily available on more reputable sources than my blog. Daniel Kaluuya's performance in the film is average at best. It's certainly not terrible and he portrays a very likable protagonist, one you root for without question. Though this can be credited to the dexterity of the film's villains; in fact, most cases I've seen in my movie-watching experience demonstrates the villain as a superior actor. In Get Out, since we're being specific, I give the most credit to Alison Williams's performance because--spoiler alert--she was in on her family's sick, generational game all along. Now we approach the twist, after skipping past the minor details of the plot. Why I used the term "recycled material" is because the twist in Get Out is remarkably similar to the memorable twist in Skeleton Key. That's right, the twists are nearly identical. In Skeleton Key, the spirits of Cecile and Justify, two black servants, conduct a "transference of souls" whenever their white host bodies start getting old. I would watch the entire movie to get a better idea of what I'm trying to say--even though I essentially just spoiled it for you--because the film itself is a wonderful gothic mystery that is absolutely without question superior to Get Out. Enter Jordon Peele's social commentary that sneaks past viewers as a rendition/remake of Skeleton Key. I'm not chastising Peele for copying the 2005 horror film per say, I just don't see how audiences and critics alike are calling this film innovative. Please.
UPDATE: After some lazy research, I discovered that a version of this ending was Jordon Peele's original intention. Here's a soundbite: “The idea here is… the house and all the evidence has burned down, and this is a system that values the rich white people and takes their side,” he says. “So my feeling is what would happen in this movie is Chris would end up in jail, just because of how it looks. [But] by the time I was shooting this, it was clear the world had shifted.” Are you kidding me? Horror movies generally have not-so-cheerful, depressing endings! For Peele to censor his initial creative vision due to the political climate is outrageous. In fact, that better ending would have contributed to the "conversation" even more, showing how law enforcement is biased against black people. Down right aggravating. Back to the show.Some kudos I will give this movie is for Alison Williams, who is by far the most interesting character in a film that is otherwise lackluster. She was the creepiest character in the movie and we barely got any insight into her psychotic side, as we were exposed to the innocent girlfriend throughout the film. I believe Cinemasins expressed interest in a spin-off prequel that shows Rose's origins. Now that sounds like a genuine horror. Here is a snippet of a review published in Variety: "Blending race-savvy satire with horror to especially potent effect, this bombshell social critique from first-time director Jordan Peele proves positively fearless — which is not at all the same thing as scareless." I haven't felt such cringe from pretentious, lofty writing since I read the praise for Birdman. Speaking of that god-awful film that previously snagged the Best Picture title, I would say Get Out is not as infuriating, but damn near close. Get Out was definitely a better film though that isn't saying much. Have you heard just how much I hate Birdman lately? What is frustrating about Get Out is the universal praise that goes beyond admiration and into labelling the thing as a modern-day classic. No, Baby Driver is the modern-day classic of 2017, goddamn it. I really liked Baby Driver.
That is all I really had to say about the Oscar nominations, for the time being anyway. I intend on watching as many nominees as I can before the ceremony so I can watch the Academy Awards with as little angry subjectivity as I can. Then again, watching these potentially pretentious and/or horrible films may worsen my bitter perspective. Movies I absolutely plan on watching include Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Lady Bird; I, Tonya; and The Florida Project. Maybes include The Shape of Water, The Post, Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour. I'm just listing off the nominees, it seems like. Anywho, I thank you for getting through this incredibly hostile and hateful post. You know how anger and a sense of wrongful doing are more powerful motivators than, say, happiness. I never write when I'm happy, to tell the truth, which sounds awfully depressing. On the bright side, I rarely ever write on this blog so I must be positively giddy all the time. Enter sarcasm because I have been writing quite a bit lately, just on my more personal channels (i.e. Tumblr, yes I've gone to the dark side). Acrimony aside, let's have a riotous, jolly good time with the remainder of awards season. My money's on Get Out for the win because fuck the Oscars. Cheers everybody.
P.S. Here's a clip from The Room that I absolutely had to include in this post.