Movies: Memorial Day Movie Viewing -a Couple of Films at the Opposite Ends of the Spectrum


The Lobster

I’m not going to lie; this is a very weird movie. It won the Jury prize at Cannes in 2015 as well as numerous other awards so it is not without critical acclaim. This movie is not for everyone but there are things to like in this social satire of a futuristic world with bizarre rules. Colin Farrell plays David, a rather boring architect whose wife leaves him. He is moved to a hotel where he has 45 days to find someone who has a like characteristic  (his is near-sightedness) to couple up with. If he doesn’t, he is transformed into an animal of his choice, which, in his case, is a Lobster. Dave brings his brother Bob along with him who was transformed into a border collie after failing to find a mate.

Things don’t go well for David and as he approaches the 45th day, he escapes to the woods and joins up with a group of “Loners” who have also escaped the “couples” rules that define their world. As part of their rebellion, the Loners are not allowed to have any romantic relationships with each other. In addition, the guests at the Hotel are sent out each week to shoot them with tranquilizer guns in return for extra days. If they are shot, they are brought back to the Hotel to be transformed.  In a predictable plot line,  David finds his true love played by Rachel Weiss and tragedy follows (although there has certainly been some up to this point as David tried to find a mate in the hotel).

I thought the acting was great in this slightly too long movie that is bound to polarize audiences. Both Farrell and Weiss gave wonderful and nuanced performances and Olivia Coleman is suburb as the hotel manager. There are two halves to this movie – the first half being more light and comedic and the 2nd half being much darker and disturbing and it is that part of the movie that will likely cause many viewers to have difficulty with the film.

The Lobster is unlike any movie you will probably see and it is a very absorbing movie for much of the two hours. The dystopian world in which it takes place is a parody on the modern world of dating and mating, which is played out expertly by the actors. The premise shouldn’t work at all but it does and it will be the weirdest Rom Com you will ever see.   If you watch this movie, be forewarned that animals do not do well in this environment and it is hard to believe that none were injured in the filming.

Captain America: Civil War

Marvel movies aren’t for everyone but this one is pretty good if you are so inclined to watch a film in that genre. If you are, you’ll find that this “Civil War” between super heroes was much better than the recent Batman v. Superman. The premise is that some of the Avengers are willing to be managed by a UN panel due to the collateral damage that they have been creating while defending the world. This group, led by Iron Man,includes Black Widow, Spiderman and War Machine. Captain America doesn’t agree with this oversight and he has Scarlet Witch, Hawkeye, and Falcon. There are more on each side.

The villain is a guy out for revenge for something – I didn’t think this was the strongest part of the movie at all – and lots of fighting ensues. The movie is light (probably because they aren’t really saving the world from any big menace) with many comedic moments and it is a pleasure to sit back and watch Robert Downy Jr. and the others banter back and forth. The over arching storyline  even bears some relationship to an on-going political debate in real life – the issue of collateral damage and how much are we willing to accept in innocent civilian death to kill the bad guys.

The acting was fine, particularly by the women (Scarlett Johannson and Elizabeth Olsen) and Tom Holland, the young man who is now going to carry the Spiderman series on his shoulders. You may remember him from “The Impossible” where he played Naomi Watt’s son. So if you like the Avenger movies, you’ll certainly enjoy this one, which is clocking in at 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. If this is not your thing, there is no compelling reason to go see it.


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