Swiss Army Man and all the images you see in this review are owned by A24
Directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert
From the guys who brought us Dogboarding and the Turn Down for What music video, we now have the feature film debut of the duo simply known as DANIELS (Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert). A lot of great filmmakers started out with shorts and music videos before becoming household names, just look at Spike Jones, David Fincher, and Michel Gondry. True, that list also includes Michael Bay, but you can’t peg a winner EVERY time, and it’s not like he’s never made ANY good movies! Can these green filmmakers prove themselves to be the next big thing with their movie about a farting Daniel Radcliffe corpse? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with Hank (Paul Dano) who’s been stuck on a very small island for some time and is ready to kill himself when something washes up on the shore. It’s not Wilson from Castaway, but instead is a dead body (Daniel Radcliffe) who seems to have the uncanny ability to fart continuously and forcefully enough for Hank to ride his ass back to civilization! Well sort of. He hops aboard the Daniel Radcliffe express and washes up on a new shore, but there’s a forest between him and presumably other people, so he starts hiking his ass through the woods carrying the dead body with him in case he needs anything else from it. At one point though, it’s clear that this is more than a magical farting corpse, but is instead a LIVING magical farting corpse who actually has all sorts of wacky powers that are discovered along the way. Hank gives him the name Manny and they quickly become friends because… well there isn’t anyone else around, now is there? Manny by the way has a whole lot of questions about what it’s like to be human and about life itself, so Hank has to keep answering these annoying and probing inquires while he uses the body to get whatever he needs to survive. Is the body actually alive which would mean Hank isn’t as crazy as he thinks he is? What is the story behind Manny in the first place and are there memories to be uncovered? Were the filmmakers dared to see how many fart jokes they can put in a movie and STILL get it to be an indie darling?
“Fart you magnificent bastard! Fart us all the way to FREEDOM!!”
10 Cloverfield Lane and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures
Directed by Dan Trachtenberg
Look, I barely remember the original Cloverfield, so I’m not gonna have a clue if this has any connection to it other than if the monster itself shows up for a cameo. That seems to be working in my favor though because the movie is not being sold as a direct sequel (some are calling it a “blood relative” of the original) and it also means I won’t be distracted by looking for connections or hidden Easter Eggs while watching it. Besides, who needs ANY of that giant monster stuff when the real monster is… man? Yeah, it seems to be one of those movies (aggressively small cast in a claustrophobic environment) which can be REALLY compelling if all the pieces come together correctly; leaving very little room for error considering how sparse the resources they have to work with are. Is this going to be an amazingly taut thriller for the modern day, or will this be a simple cash grab for a studio that didn’t have faith in a bottle film making enough money without attaching it to a completely unrelated movie? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) leaving her husband for unknown reasons and eventually getting into a car crash on her way to… somewhere. That’s not too important though as she wakes up to find herself in a small cell; shackled to the wall like a prisoner of some kind. It doesn’t take long for her captor to reveal himself (Howard played by John Goodman) and inform her that the world has more or less ended while she was unconscious, and that he’s taken her to his fallout shelter to ride out the apocalypse. In the bunker as well is Emmett (John Gallagher Jr) who doesn’t seem to be thrilled sharing a space with Howard, but somehow finagled his way in as a way to survive whatever it is that’s going on outside. Without any real information to go on, Michelle eventually capitulates into staying with Howard and Emmett for the time being, but also seems cautious of Howard who is clearly a psychological mess, and extremely dangerous. Can the three of them survive whatever is going on outside by staying in this bunker together, or will they all kill each other in the process? What exactly IS lurking out there that they need to be protected from? Will Howard at any point take a chill pill!?
“So Howard. You know any good knock knock jokes?” “Shut the fuck up Emmett.” “I’m sensing a lot of hostility right now.” “Yeah, I’ve got your hostility right here. Keep at it bucko.”