Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Meg

The Meg has many problems, but perhaps the most virulent, so seemingly anecdotal at the beginning and how terrible it ends up revealing, is that of the referents. Starting from a novel published in 1997 by Steve Alten whose adaptation to the cinema was postponed for years due to the coincidence in the calendar with Deep Blue Sea (1999), the film in question could have echoed precisely that joyous entertainment directed by Renny Harlin, or already put of any of the numerous by-products that would assail the fiction in the following years - the third installment of Shark Attack (2002), in fact, had another Megalodon in the title and it was just the movie that it should be-, but do not. Megalodon had to deposit the scavenging look on Steven Spielberg's Shark. Released in 1975, and considered by many as the first blockbuster worthy of that name.

The historical relevance of this film would be something hard to deal with on its own, but neither is there anyone foolish enough to ask director John Turteltaub - a substitute for Eli Roth once he left smelling the calico - to manufacture a tribute to the height. On the other hand, the most superficial features of the latter are finally replicated, just as The Skyscraper a few weeks ago was based on retaking the stage design and little more than The Glass Jungle (1988): yes, with much better fortune. There is a shark, there is a beach full of bather-bathers -all Chinese, as the distribution forecasts require-, and there is a short guy in words but willing to bask in the warmth of a family home as the only (and unlikely) hero able to face the monster. Of course, that Roy Scheider's boss Brody has mutated into the incombustible Jason Statham should be the motive of cinephile pleasure for all spectators with a minimum of decency, receiving with enthusiastic shouts the one liners of rigor and the timid beats of a heart that does not it fits in the sculptural chest, but it has ended up being that it is not enough, and that the corresponding update should have been carried out with the same intensity in many other aspects.

For starters, as he has internalized Syfy's half catalog - with the Sharknado saga as a tragic example of what The Meg could have been - Tito Steven's strategy of hiding the monster as long as possible to increase the suspense stops having sense in the same moment that you have introduced the CGI in your life. Changing a toy fish by an amalgam of pixels requires being committed to the exhibitionism under pain of looking cheaper than it actually is, and it is an absolute nonsense that the Megalodon of the film of the same name takes so long to leave. Something that is not especially serious because meanwhile Statham is still out there drinking beer nose, but reveals a relentless consequences when it finally does and when you should get biting you find that does little more than ... hit head. And eat other fish. And stalk an underwater cage with another poor human inside - Li Bingbing replacing Richard Dreyfuss - without the slightest suspense. How can there be, if the safest thing is that it does not come out or blood in case it ends up sinking the tooth of truth.

To say it in the lapidary language of our friend Jason, The Meg is unworthy of taking that name, too confused between wanting to be a family film à la Spielberg -and that the primordial Shark was not exactly allergic to gore- and the pimp product and unprejudiced that was screaming for an argument like his. There are hardly any annoying humans that we strongly desire that they end up devoured -something of that they want to sell us with the character of Rainn Wilson, but bah-, they barely eat people -and when the Megalodon does it persists in doing it in a clean and educated way- , and Jason Statham will not even let him punch someone, although the moments when the film struggles to become a kind of deranged Moby Dick bakala have their point. These moments, in combination to a sequence on the beach with several dozens of bathers dead (and a puppy), courageously try to get The Meg out of that hole as inconsequential as suffocating in which the usual cooperation of producers, advertisers and market analysts They have gotten, but still not enough. And to feel the authentic essence The Meg, the black leg and indomitable spirit, the best is still take refuge in the B series, whose latest genius is Sky Sharks, starring Nazi flying zombie sharks. Because sometimes life is not as complicated as Hollywood believes.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


More clinging to physical creation than previous films in which the characters of Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel have been treated, the one signed by Jacques Doillon is in danger of being framed in the cinema of reconstruction of time, the torment and little ecstasy of the artist and other similar niceties that sometimes obscure the critical vision. Doillon, for a reason that escapes me, has never been a saint of the devotion of critics, despite the fact that less than half of his productions have been released here. He will not have better with Rodin than he had before with The woman who cries, The pirate, The girl of fifteen years, Ponette or his previous work, The magnificent My scenes of struggle, which happened with more grief than glory while other movies Outdated French nights are longer in certain rooms than you would expect.

The skewed lyricism of Doillon does not quote, nor does it sell the intimate portraits he has made of young people, adolescents and girls. Now, with a film of regal and sober appearance on Rodin and his relationship with Camille Claudel, it seems to distance itself from the bulk of his work. But I do not think it's like that. If something stands out in Rodin is the filming of the physical act, be it in the size of the sculpture (the sculpture as flesh), in the search for new textures coming from the same nature (Rodin's scene palpating and caressing the tree bark) or in the interlacing of human bodies in the sexual act or in the sculptural representation.

Rodin is as physical and organic as My scenes of struggle, so vehement in complex sentimental relationships as Le pirate or La vengeance d'une femme. It is Doillon in its purest form, perhaps less radical than the Bruno Dumont by Camille Claudel, 1915, the film about the sculptor's last years, Rodin's lover and sister of the poet Paul Claudel, but always more direct and crude than Bruno Nuytten's The passion of Camille Claudel, the film in which the character became a tragic and romantic heroine in the service of Isabelle Adjani.

The reconstruction of an era that is not aesthetic but rather ultra-realistic due to composition, type of light and relationship between the characters, should not entail easy labeling. Through an artist of the nineteenth century obsessed with affective relationships almost as much as with his daring sculpture by Balzac (which closes the film in the present time, outside the moment in which it was conceived and realized, turned into an object emptied of its meaning Doillon continues talking about his world, the current world, perhaps more tense than before, darker and bitter but always full of doubts and uncertainties not so different from those that gripped Rodin at the privileged moment of his artistic and artistic creation. your love relationships.