Fantasia Festival 2018: Under the Silver Lake (2018)

Under the Silver Lake (2018)

Under the Silver Lake

Director (and writer): David Robert Mitchell

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Riki Lindhome, Grace Van Patten, Patrick Fischler, Jimmi Simpson, Callie Hernandez

Sam, intelligent but without purpose, finds a mysterious woman swimming in his apartment’s pool one night. The next morning, she disappears. Sam sets off across LA to find her, and along the way he uncovers a conspiracy far more bizarre. – IMDB

Following the success of indie horror It Follows, David Robert Mitchell takes his unique vision to this project Under the Silver Lake and casts Andrew Garfield as the main lead Sam. Under the Silver Lake is ambitious to say the least. There are a lot of pop culture references in there used incredibly cleverly. The filming is done very well choosing some great Los Angeles backdrops. There are injections of comic strip moments as it follows the works of an author who tells the story of “Under the Silver Lake” and other legends hidden in the city. It has some colorful and whimsical characters who cross paths with Sam and truly embrace the black comedy effectively. Finally, the most outstanding quality of this film goes to its embrace of classic Hollywood in both the way certain shots are filmed in terms of lighting and framed up to the outfits of some of the actresses.

Under the Silver Lake

With Classic Hollywood and pop culture scattered cleverly throughout this film, it is hard to not like it. Except it also is easy to get a little lost because as offbeat as the story is meant to be, it lingers on feeling almost disjointed. Sam goes on this journey that almost feels like a lazy unambitious young man falling into his own version of Alice in Wonderland. His journey takes him from one set piece to the next with parties, cemetery screenings, secret tunnels amd even secluded mansions with an old man who claims he created all the most popular tunes of the last few decades. Oddly in this journey, as much as Andrew Garfield delivers a decent performance, Sam is honestly pretty unamusing to watch. It is hard to be invested in a movie where the main character is a focal point that we spend all the time from his point of view on this surreal journey and there never feels like a sense of investment. Even the moments of danger, usually end in some form of black comedy resolution and it never feels like he is in peril. On top of that, the audience might be the only person that questions why he gets into all these fancy parties when he goes there all scruffy and in simple t-shirts and even pyjamas. It is hard to root for someone who we can’t even see the appeal that all these lovely ladies seem to just see some charm in. Except there are hints also that Sam isn’t a shallow character and at parts, there is a hint of the sense of failure he feels and even the mask he puts on as he hides away the truth about his unambitious life and the regrets.

Under the Silver Lake

At the end of the day, Under the Silver Lake is a slow-paced ambitious piece of cinema. Its unique and surrealistic dive into the whimsical underbelly of Los Angeles has its charm but it isn’t going to be for everyone. Especially when the story itself feels disjointed and most of all, the main character is pretty unamusing to watch and there is no reason to fight for his search because at certain points it feels like even the story makes him forgets what was the main goal in the first place. Perhaps if you squint between the lines, Under the Silver Lake embodies a tale about the society and the lack of sense of direction in life and ambition and it just takes one little thing to change it all around and find motivation and commitment. For this one, maybe its ambition affected its overall storytelling just a little bit.  

The review was also posted on That Moment In.

Tug of War: Marvel or DC?

I’ve been pretty busy this week so I haven’t dropped by to The Matticus Kingdom to check out your answers but I just did a quick skim and there’s been a lot of comments which is fantastic.  If you haven’t read THIS post, asking you join into The Offical  Matticus Kingdom Tug of War, well, you probably should head over HERE to check it out instead! This should spark a pretty interesting tug of war 🙂 If you are into the DC universe, well, go ahead and tug hard and well, if you want Marvel to win, pull back with all your might.

The question we are tugging for in this war is: Which universe of superheroes (and villains) is superior: Marvel or DC?

Now, the big question here is which side did I pick? I could’ve just answered in the comments but you know, I like to talk and ramble 😉 I’ll try to keep it short, ok?

Just in case you are unfamiliar, because I’m a mega beginner.  I only know about either of them because of movies.  Here’s a poster for each of them.


dc characters

So, which side am I going to pull with all my force, right?

Its really funny actually.  For all of today before I sat down to write this and search up those images, I was thinking I’d back DC comics because hey, there’s Batman, Catwoman, The Joker and some pretty impressive heros and villains.  I haven’t experienced the apparent awesomeness (from what I’e heard) of Arrow yet so it wouldn’t be fair to include that.

But, as much as it pains me to say this, lets get those apologies out there. I’m sorry, Batman, I had to let you go. I can’t defend DC Universe. If one of my really good friends read this, she will give me a lesson also, but still…

*sigh of relief* Now that thats out of the way. I’m joining all of you tugging for Marvel.

Now, hear me out, ok? I had to pick a side and not just a hero.  If it was a hero, Batman would win hands-down but I took a good hard look at DC Universe and what its had to offer (in terms of movies).  Other than Batman and Catwoman, Green Lantern was a disaster and not to mention a snoozefest. Watchmen was a mega weird one and still so boring (but apparenlty I’m the minority who thinks that), and well, I didn’t see Jonah Hex because Megan Fox was in it and I don’t really want to watch it. Call it a lack of exposure to other DC universe characters but they aren’t winning over my heart right this moment.

Isn't this concept art poster so cool?

Isn’t this concept art poster so cool?

With that said, Marvel has done a great job.  All the characters are fun.  Wolverine and X-men kicked some ass along with Cyclops and Rogue and the whole bunch.  Even the villains were pretty bad-ass.  I mean Xavier to Magneto, epic! 🙂 Then, just look at The Avengers. Would you want to mess with The Hulk? I wouldn’t.  I mean, thats one of the reasons, I would not choose DC either.  I mean, Joker is pretty nasty but some big-ass green dude can probably crush me.  Look over at the positives: Thor is just fantastic, I mean, he’s a demi-god. I think that says it all.  Ironman is not godly but he is quite torn and broken but pretty powerful in his own way.  And then, we have Hawkeye who is a great archer and Black Widow is a femme fatale right now.  A great team right there! Oh and how can I forget, Blade is in this mix also.  Who doesn’t love a vampires? I know I do!


What wins it for me has to be Spiderman though.  I mean, it was pretty much a battle between Spiderman and Batman in the first place.  I’m not very much Tobey Maguire Spiderman as opposed to Andrew Garfield but Spiderman is quite Amazing in itself.  There’s a god, a few superhumans and some pretty awesome fighting capabilities in this mesh and I’d say Marvel is the winner, for me at least 🙂

Do you agree? Maybe you disagree and you’re more of a DC Universe supporter? Head on over to the Matticus Kingdom HERE.  If you don’t want to do a post, then just leave a comment so that you can make sure that you give a bigger chance to your side.

Keep on tugging! Tomorrow is the last day to help out your side! 🙂

The Amazing Spider-man (2012)

After trying multiple times to go see a movie at the theaters, today I finally succeeded to go see The Amazing Spider-man.  It was a debate between 3 movies for me but due to various reasons, this was the final choice.  I wasn’t really sure what I expected from this movie but it was definitely one of the movies I did anticipate starting earlier this year when I had already seen its previews multiple times.  Other than the effects during the preview making this movie very appealing, I did have certain aspects that I wasn’t particularly sure how to feel about.

My biggest issue was Spiderman himself.  Right, right, I’m laughing as I write this.  Technically, if I’m not too sure about the main actor, perhaps it should be something I’d catch at home instead, but then thinking about it deeper, when the Spiderman trilogy started with Tobey Maguire, he was a newbie also.  The same was for Andrew Garfield.  At least I hadn’t seen anything he’s done (or not in a movie I’d recollect much of).  I took a quick research on what he’s done: The Social NetworkNever Let Me GoThe Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, etc.  Okay, I saw Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus but that movie didn’t really make much of a good impression on me, so most days I tend to forget what it was truly about.  I did come back and just finished watching Never Let Me Go (finally gave me the extra push to pick it off my shelf and watch it).  I am down for more of him as Spider-man.  I never read the comics to start with so I’m not sure what Peter Parker is supposed to resemble as the original character in the comics, but I do like this dorky, lost, slightly clumsy act he has but at the same time, learning and growing.  His character development was really done very well and I think that helps in the whole storyline and makes this movie good.

On the line of the cast, Emma Stone was great.  I love her as an actress already and she did this role very good as well.  I’m also a big fan of Sally Field so when I knew she was doing the role of Peter’s aunt, I was overjoyed.  As always, she did a stunning job.  What else can I say about the cast, I liked Martin Sheen as Peter’s uncle.  The last role I say of Rhys Ifans, The Lizard, it was in Pirate Radio/The Boat That Rocked and he did a fantastic job there.  I actually had to search up his filmography to be sure it was him.  I’m not exactly sure what The Lizard was supposed to be like but I saw some pictures online for it but I just find he is the most poorly CGI one in the movie but it wasn’t a big deal for me.  My boyfriend said that in a movie that relies so much on CGI, there’s a point that you can’t really complain so much where there’s just one aspect that didn’t work as well.  I agree with that.

Let me tell you one thing though: I loved the movie.  It was a fun movie that mixed in a bit of humor, wasn’t too serious and the cast was great.  The effects were amazing, and the 3D enhanced the experience quite a bit.  I was thoroughly impressed.   It kept me pretty focused through the whole movie.  There were scenes that had I had expected something to happen and still, despite expecting it, I was still buying into it completely and getting me to feel what I should for the characters.  The storyline was enhanced by decent character development.  Its definitely worth the visit at the theaters, just for the whole 3D experience even.   Just a sidenote, remember to stay for a bit into the credits, there is an ending in between.  Maybe its to work up to a second movie? I don’t know but at this point, I’m in for a second one if it happens.