Double Feature: Colossal (2016) & Flatliners (2017)

Time for a little non-Valentine’s Day double feature. Its been a little bit of an overloaded day. But I’m falling behind and really want to catch up. We can all take a little break from the marathon and on lovey-dovey films for a while. Plus, Colossal and Flatliners have been sitting for a week or two in my queue and I really wanted to get it out of the way. I am slowly also catching up with 2017 movies whenever they are available. Colossal is on Netflix so let’s check these two out!

Colossal (2016)

colossal

Director (and writer): Nacho Vigalondo

Cast: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Dan Stevens, Austin Stowell, Tim Blake Nelson

Gloria is an out-of-work party girl forced to leave her life in New York City and move back home. When reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, she gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this phenomenon. – IMDB

I heard so many great things about Colossal before I sat down to watch it and still didn’t really know what it was all about. However, I’m a fan of Anne Hathaway and it looked pretty fun so here we are. Nacho Vigalondo is an odd director to say the least. He writes these scripts that go in one direction and then take a sudden change in direction, particularly in tone, super fast. I felt that way about Open Windows (review) and I feel that way about Colossal. However, Colossal is an pretty incredible movie. As I think about it more, the more I feel that this movie was done so well. In the beginning, Anne Hathaway’s Gloria is somewhat of a wreck and she meets Oscar, played by Jason Sudeikis back in her hometown and they become friends along with a few of his buddies. Everything is fine and dandy as they get her settled in as she tries to rekindle her romance with Tim (Dan Stevens) to prove that she’s taking control of her own life. At the same time, they soon realize that there is a monster terrorizing Seoul and its one that has returned after many years before which she soon learns is linked to her.

Colossal relies a lot on surprising its audience with the unknown factors and taking it those twists it shows. As crazy as the ideas here are, it works really well together. The tone shift works to the advantage of the film. The main cast is truly focused on Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis and boy, do they deliver in spades. That is probably the best part of the film as we watch these two characters develop as the story unfolds. Its truly quite awesome! The uniqueness of the story and the elements it puts together is just pure fun.

Flatliners (2017)

flatliners

Director: Niels Arden Oplev

Cast: Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev, James Norton, Kiersey Clemons, Kiefer Sutherland

Five medical students, obsessed by what lies beyond the confines of life, embark on a daring experiment: by stopping their hearts for short periods, each triggers a near-death experience – giving them a firsthand account of the afterlife. – IMDB

Before I start, I guess its good to note that I haven’t seen the original yet therefore I have no comparison to how this remake or reboot or whatever you call it, is. With that said, Flatliners is one of those movies that makes you feel a little let down. On one hand, I’m pretty happy with the cast themselves. Ellen Page and Diego Luna should be a seller already. Add in some TV stardom from Nina Dobrev who is slowly moving into more films in 2017 with XXX: The Return of Xander Cage early in the year and some other films here and there before that, she just seems to need the right movie to show off that she’s more than Elena from The Vampire Diaries. The idea and concept behind Flatliners is a really neat idea. The idea of encountering death and facing something that shouldn’t be crossed as they treaded darker and darker into some kind of limbo as they tested the boundaries. It was all very clever in the beginning. And that is exactly the problem here, the plot dies out so fast. It just starts going downhill because the movie loses its objective and its momentum and seems to fall flat as the cycle of them reviving each other was pushing further to the boundaries but the cycle was always the same over and over again.

Flatliners seems to forget which genre it wants to embrace. On one hand, it has moments of thriller/horror elements but those never last long enough other than jump scares to make it feel very effective. The dark limbo world they go to worked for a while until it was very predictable to see what was going to happen next. The characters also didn’t have much development. Sure, there was a slight understanding of their personal dark secrets but its all very on the surface because the rest of the time when they were dying or reviving each other, they were drowning in their liberated mind drinking and partying with less and less clothes on. If thats what an added knowledge means, then maybe this experimental revelation might be a little wasted on this group of medical students.

I really wanted to like Flatliners and it started out pretty strong. I only wished it had managed to keep that momentum and develop their characters more. In general , it all dials down to their execution. This was quite the disappointing movie unfortunately.

We’re The Millers (2013)

Back to the 2013 movies today! My beautiful tablet offered me free rental of We’re the Millers.  I never really was totally intrigued by this but hey, why not, right? I love free stuff. Always makes me happy. Lets check it out!

we're the millers posterDirector: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Ed Helms, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Molly C. Quinn, Tomer Sisley

David (Jason Sudeikis) is a professional (?) drug dealer.  He’s been doing it since college and he still works for the same guy, Brad (Ed Helms). When he helps out his 18 year old neighbor Kenny (Will Poulter) save a runaway girl Casey (Emma Roberts) from some thugs and reveals who he is, it causes David to be robbed.  Unable to pay for the drugs he lost, Brad gives him a job to go to Mexico and smuggle marijuana back within a certain time frame.  Because of this, he comes up with a plan to disguise as a family with an RV to lower the possibilities of them being suspicious and asks for not only Kenny and Casey to help disguise as his kids but also his neighbor who is also a stripper, Rose (Jennifer Aniston) to disguise as his wife.

5E0A4468.DNG

I wasn’t exactly interested in We’re the Millers to begin with so I never paid a lot of attention to the reviews going up during the summer but in all honesty, I had a lot of fun with this one.  Sure, there were moments that the humor was lingering in stupid territory but for the most part, I had a good laugh with it.  The story wasn’t super complicated and for this sort of thing, its exactly what it needs. For me, I felt it worked fine: predictable but still entertaining.

we're the millers rose david

The best part had to be its characters that made the movie enjoyable.  I totally loved Jennifer Aniston’s Rose because she was absolutely hilarious and then her chemistry with Jason Sudeikis was just awesome. They complemented each other really well.  As a group with Will Poulter’s Kenny and Emma Roberts’s Casey, they played off each other very nicely in this peculiar way.  Together, there was a lot of laugh out loud moments.

L14A8947.dng

Overall, We’re the Millers took me by surprise.  I didn’t expect to be so entertained and I loved the cast to bits.  The story may not be all that original but they chemistry between the cast gave it a good vibe and turned into feel-good movie.  Its nothing to run out to buy or rent but its definitely a good time if you’re into this sort of humor 🙂

What did you think of We’re the Millers?