Friday, August 11, 2017

Cinema of Cool

Baby Driver (2017,  Edgar Wright)

Black Shades. Music. Fast cars. Heist. Cool gangsters. Smooth talkers. Attitude. More music. Extremely intelligent sounding dialogues. Money. A girl, always a girl. For a change, some coffee.

xXx: Return of Xander Cage (2017, D.J. Caruso)

Neymar. Cool stunt, all for a soccer game. Extremely intelligent sounding dialogues. More cool stunts. Money. Lots of weapons. Exotic locales. For a change, an international cast, featuring Deepika Padukone, Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa. Of course, the father of coolness, Mr. Samuel L. Jackson is there as well.

The Fate of the Furious (2017,  F. Gary Gray)

Bigger cast, increasing with each film. Of course, fast cars. Exotic locales. Weapons. Loud explosions. Women and Men with attitude. Like last few films, all about a family.

John Wick 2 (2017,  Chad Stahelski)

Quality suits. Tailored expensive fabric. Cool lighting. Atmosphere. Weapons. Bullets, lot of bullets. Blood. Attitude. Money. Expensive tastes. Characters made to appear extremely intelligent. For extreme coolness, the presence of Morpheus to exchange some witty dialogue with Neo. For a change, it is Neo who offers the choice to Morpheus.

Four completely different movies yet all united by their ability to claim ample room in a multiplex. Of course, these four have to pounce on whatever space remains after the Super hero movies have come and gone.

All four vary in their quality. Baby Driver is the most refined of this group and has the acclaim of many critics while John Wick has its fans. The Fast and Furious movies have their admirers as well.

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is also a refined film, albeit a video game/war movie hybrid.

All these films drip with style yet are hollow in their core. Once the layers of style are removed, there isn't any substance.

This is cinema now. It sure ain’t dead but these movies are certainly trying very hard to kill it.

The rich strange doctor

Doctor Strange (2016,  Scott Derrickson)
An arrogant rich man lives selfishly and feels he is invincible. One day, his reckless driving causes him to get into an accident. This accident does not cause him to do any soul-searching. Instead, he blames everyone else around him for not helping him. He has enough money to pay for his treatment but when his money runs out, he blames the health system. Then, he learns that he can be cured by Asian medicine. So he travels to exotic Nepal. There, he finds others like him. He never associates with the locals, nor eats with them. He is cured and in turn he learns how to travel around the world for free. He learns how to travel without going through airport security or sitting in an airplane. He also learns how to steal books from libraries.

He is given a gift for being selfish. Then, he is given a chance at redemption, to erase his entire selfish life by one act of goodness. He saves the world and is made an instant hero.

How does he repay the world? Does he help the poor and needy? Does he start a company to offer health services to those who need it?

Of course not! He opens a private service to help rich privileged super heroes like himself. His first job is to act as a mediator in a family despite between Thor and his brother.