Flash Movie Review: Triangle of Sadness
I THOUGHT THEY WERE “WELL OFF” based on what their house looked like. It was not a mansion by any means, but I think the term is “well appointed.” They always had the latest kitchen appliances and electronic gizmos. The front and back of their house had a variety of flowers and greenery, though I never saw anyone from their household working or maintaining it. I only became aware of their financial status when they threw a huge celebration party for one of their children. The event was held in a grand ballroom in a luxurious hotel in the heart of the city. The room had been decorated to look like a forest/jungle, with bushes in various sizes lining the walls along with intricate, lush green vines coming down the walls. Every dinner table had a different centerpiece, each looking like a piece of art. Some of them looked like statuaries in various materials such as metal, glass and ceramic; other tables had floral arrangements with ice, water or candles as part of the display. I did not know where to look first. Scattered through the ballroom were various food carts with servants at attention ready to assist the guests. My table was just off to the side of the dance floor that was created with colored glass blocks. I could only imagine what else would be in store for the evening. WITH SO MUCH ACTIVITY TAKING PLACE at the start of the meal, I excused myself so I could go to the bar and get a soft drink. While standing there, I saw my friend’s mother was at the head of the line, intently talking to the bartender. I could not hear every word she was saying, but I could tell she was not happy about something. After I finally got my drink, I was walking back and crossed paths with the mother again; she was talking to a waiter and from what I was hearing, she was unhappy. To me it sounded like she was talking down to the waiter, who by the way had a look of fear on his face. I kept walking and bumped into the father of my friend, who was demanding something from what I figured was a manager of the establishment. Again, I overheard the conversation and wound up feeling bad for the worker because of the way the father was speaking to him. Granted, I was not privy to the details; but, I could not imagine something so egregious took place that warranted speaking in such a tone. It made me wonder if having money made a person talk in that type of fashion; I thought I might get an answer while watching this Oscar nominated comedic drama. WHEN A COUPLE OF FASHION MODELS find themselves on an intimate boat cruise with a group of wealthy individuals, they expected to have a peaceful luxurious ride. Instead, they found themselves fighting for survival. With Harris Dickinson (Beach Rats, Where the Crawdads Sing) as Carl, Charlbi Dean (Don’t Sleep, Spud franchise) as Yaya, Dolly de Leon (Verdict, Cuddle Weather) as Abigail, Zlatko Buric (Pusher franchise, 2012) as Dimitey and Iris Berben (Eddie the Eagle, Crossroads) as Therese; this movie had a good point to make. However, it took so long to make it that I lost interest halfway through the film. There were some funny scenes that made me laugh out loud, however, there also was a predictability to several scenes. Things started to get better in the last half of this picture; but by that time, I did not care. Also, I still am perplexed on how this picture was nominated for the best picture category. Sure, there was a good dose of satire and humor; but it felt safe to me. I thought a thorough rewrite would have created a tighter script and more focused deep dive to mine a fuller story with more outrageous characters.
2 ½ stars
Flash Movie Review: Parasite
ON A RECOMMENDATION, I LOOKED UP a couple of the resorts suggested to me. She was right, they were nothing short of spectacular. One of the resorts had several rooms that had a live tree as the bed’s headboard. From the bedroom one could walk through the adjoining sitting room, with its plush low-backed chairs, then pass through two sliding glass doors out onto a veranda, where one could dine on a specially prepared meal. What was there not to like, I ask you. I scrolled down through photos of the resort’s grounds until I reached the page that listed the prices. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. The pricing started in the low four figures and that was per day. I had to wonder if the person who recommended the resort thought I was rich. Obviously, they were in a different class than me and had enough funds to bankroll several trips to the resorts that they suggested to me. All I could do was just laugh about it. I continued by looking at a couple more of the suggested resorts; they all had similar price ranges. At least I got to see some gorgeous places where the rich hang out, evidently. I HAVE NEVER BEEN THE TYPE to get jealous or envious of another person’s wealth. As long as they acquired their wealth by honest means, it does not matter to me if a person is considered lower, middle or upper class. In my mind everyone is still human. Wealth is not something I list as an attribute when I am “judging” a person. Kind, generous, loving and sweet are some of the things that are important to me. I know not everyone thinks like me because I have encountered individuals who form a dislike towards a person just because they have more money. There was one person I remember who felt because someone was richer than him, they should always offer to pick up the check at a restaurant when they dined out together. I am sorry, but I found that logic ridiculous. What if the two of them went shopping for clothing? Would the person of less wealth expect the other to pay for his purchases? One of my newspaper subscriptions once a week lists houses for sale that exceed one million dollars. Seeing the opulence of these properties is fun for me, since I never will have such a place. That is as far as my interest goes which is something, I cannot say for one of the families in this comedic, crime drama. STRUGGLING TO MAKE ENDS MEET, THE Kim family finds good fortune when their son Kim Ki-woo, played by Woo-sik Choi (Set Me Free, Train to Busan) becomes the tutor to a wealthy family’s daughter. His position would present opportunities for the Kim family to benefit. With Kang-ho Song (The Host, Snowpiercer) as Kim Ki-taek, Sun-kyun Lee (A Hard Day, The King’s Case Note) as Park Dong-ik, Yeo-jeong Jo (The Servant, Obsessed) as Park Yeon-kyo and So-dam Park (The Priests, The Silenced) as Kim ki-jung; this film festival winner out of South Korea was a wicked satire, filled with memorable moments. I thought the directing and filming of the story was top-notch. Everyone in the cast did a wonderful job of acting; I never once thought the characters were anything but themselves. Because it is a culture I have not had much exposure to, I was fascinated with the outdoor scenes. I never once felt the reading of the subtitles interfered with my fascination or viewing of this film; this truly was a wonderful and enjoyable viewing experience and that is something one cannot put a price on. Korean dialog was spoken with English subtitles.
Flash Movie Review: Generation Wealth
DOES THE FLAME FROM AN EXPENSIVE stove cook your food better than a flame from a cheap one? I have been wondering this since I had the opportunity to cook on a high-tech cooktop range. The knob lights up red when you turn a burner on, after emitting 3-4 clicks; I know it is a safety type of feature, but I am not sure what is clicking. This range and double ovens are something I have seen in real estate listings of high-end properties. I don’t know how, but I get a weekly email of places up for sale in the metropolitan area. Most of them are super luxurious; properties I have only seen in a movie or on the news. As I look through the photo gallery of rooms I am always struck by the amount of money it must have cost to furnish each room. Floors made of exotic woods, countertops of a vibrant mineral, light fixtures that dazzle the eyes; the places look like modern palaces. Some homes have so many rooms, I swear a person could easily get lost in them. And do you know what my biggest question is about these properties? Why does a person need so much? PERSONAL WEALTH HAS BECOME SUCH A status symbol for society. When a person is rich, most people consider that individual successful. I do not feel that way. Just because a person makes a large amount of money doesn’t mean they are rich with kindness, compassion or love for example. Being a people watcher, I am always surprised when I see how children and adults treat their personal items. Kids abusing expensive electronic devices by throwing them on the floor or spilling stuff on them; I would not give them to a child until they were responsible enough to use it. There seems to be this obsession of acquiring the latest and greatest things, besides making ourselves look younger and more beautiful. I look at people who have had plastic surgery to make themselves appear younger and all I see is a face vacuum sealed onto a skull; they can barely move their lips and forget about being able to show emotion on their faces. Why does someone think lips plumped out to look like two pieces of sushi on their face is desirable? I think part of it is due to what is being marketed and advertised these days. This documentary delves into this obsession with wealth that seems prevalent throughout society. WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY LAUREN GREENFIELD (The Queen of Versailles, Thin), this film festival nominee had an ambitious goal of showing us a multitude of examples regarding the theme of this movie. I have enjoyed Lauren’s previous works. She shows things to viewers; allowing them to make up their own minds, without being preachy. There were some startling scenes throughout this film that kept me engaged with the story line, but I found the message did not resonate as much. Using her own life as part of the story bogged down the flow of ideas; yet, I felt the topic was totally spot on as Lauren tackled wealth, status and fame. These three led into categories of plastic surgery and porn. Maybe if she would have cut back a bit to focus more on one of them, this picture would have been more direct. Though I never lost interest in this documentary, there was a part of me that felt nonplussed. Maybe because I am not monetarily wealthy or care about status and fame made me feel this way; but I will say, there was enough in this picture worth viewing.
2 ¼ stars — DVD