Eden Lake, Baby Driver & Chronicle
This weekend was absolutely wonderful. I was able to do a few of my favorite things, one of which was to stay home. Yes these are the weekends I most cherish, the weekends where I’m not obligated to go anywhere and do anything. Of course, my usual routines of some cooking, some cleaning, some personal maintenance will never go away but there are no events to attend so I can do all in the comfort of my jammies and for me, there’s nothing I like better.
On Saturday after the sailor and I had breakfast with the kid (who is married now) best moments ever!!! And since we were up, decided to do all of our chores early, making the bed, vacuuming, straightening out the joint, dishes, giving the bathroom and kitchen a good once over, you know that sort of thing. Then I made a very delectable lunch/dinner – pecan, apple, chicken salad and we finally gots down to chillaxin' and our favorite past time – Movies!
We started with Baby Driver, starring Ansel Egort, John Hamm, Jamie Fox, Kevin Spacey and others, quite a stellar cast actually and written by Brit, Edgar Wright. Now Brits have a delectable variation of styles with regard to the world of movie making that differ from American writers/movie makers and Baby Driver encompasses them all and throws in one more delight – music.
Baby Driver uses music in the same way that Tron Legacy used it, to incorporate a singular mood and effect for which it does exceptionally well. Baby Driver is a fun, action packed ride that incorporates laughter, tears and the gambit of emotions in between and if you haven’t seen it, you really should. Spacey is a classic, Fox is terrifying, Hamm is unequivocally good at being bad and Egort draws us in and ties everything together with a neat, little bow that has quite an impressive engine! Sort of puts the U in SubarU, ya feel me? Rent it – Redbox carries it for the price of a regular coffee!
My sailor had to be up the next morning for work so we both retired early. I wasn’t tired (could it have been my 1.5 hour nap during the day) – ah could be but that’s a luxury I would be hard pressed to give up. After my sailor was happily snuggled beside me, I flicked channels and came across a movie called Chronicle. I asked my half asleep sailor his opinion on the movie and he replied it was “aight.” Not exactly raving reviews but we sometimes differ in opinion so I decided to give it a whirl. The first thing one will undoubtedly notice is the flick is shot in first person/documentary type. The narrator, (a maladjusted and abused high school teen boy) obtains a camera and decides to film his life. We are introduced immediately to his verbal and physical abuse, inflicted by his father Shortly thereafter we get a bird’s eye view of an onslaught of verbal and physical torment from other students in school. There is one silver lining in this kid's life, his cousin, a charming young man, who attempts to be more inclusive. You get it, this kid's life is anything but easy. Fast forward to boy meets boy; misunderstood pain connects and responds to charismatic, genuinely kind, Michael B. Jordan they become fast friends and the three end up traveling through the ground, (literally a hole in the ground) touch a glowy thingamajig resulting in three adolescents who obtain Superman like powers. What to do, what to do?
You get the feeling that the writer is none so subtly revealing the formula for creating a monster. Whether you agree with the theory or not, the film has merit nonetheless. It helps that the main characters are young, and engaging - their subsequent actions and consequences suck you right into the story. If this sounds like your cup of tea, you might want to give it a sip.
Last night when I was doing my nails, as per my usual I put a movie on my iPhone to watch either from Netflix or Amazon Prime. Now you might be thinking to yourself, a movie? Yes, when I do my nails, every other week or sometimes longer – maybe three weeks, I take my time, especially when it comes to the pedicure. I also cut and shape my sailor’s nails (when he allows it.) Trust and believe he won’t be scaring anyone with his toes, because they are on fleek!
What caught my attention about Eden Lake, aside from the fact that I’d never heard about it before and it was released in 2008, is that one of the star cast mates, is Kelly Reilly. Now if you don’t know who Kelly Reilly is child, you better ask somebody.
Kelly played the wife of our esteemed Jude Law, as John Watson. She was also the very sexy, highly educated, make a pencil skirt look like it should wife, Jordan Semyon opposite heavy hitter Vince Vaughn’s yet to be recognized, exceptionally talented role as Frank Semyon. Mary Reilly is a gingersnap of epic proportions and I think you better prepare yourself to see a lot more of her. You know who else is in this little ditty? Michael Fassbender! He ain’t no Magneto here though. The writer and director of Eden Lake is none other than James Watkins. Watkins’ style is unmistakable and when this film concluded I recognized it – from where? The Descent, part one and two. If you know anything about Watkins than you know this ain’t no happy ending fairy-tale.
There were so many things I loved about this film though I’ll be the first to admit that when it’s over, it disturbs and disrupts you on various levels, and I believe that’s JW’s goal. There are so many messages in this film, one of the most poignant being that children can be incredibly evil and it’s almost impossible for adults to accept that fact even as they are a witness to it.
Secondly it seems that violence and evil begets violence and evil. This is not at all surprising but the way that Watkins brings it about literally draws a definitive line from father to son, mother to daughter. It is a direct force that is invariably imminent. This film perturbed me to such a degree that I initiated a warning toned conversation with my sailor after it was over. I felt compelled to illustrate the mistake I felt the Fassbender character made early on, that led to the harrowing and deadly ordeal the couple had to face in the wake of his decision. I went on to emphasize how I believe women are incredibly astute at assessing danger well before it occurs and often plead with their unconvinced counterparts to withdraw from whatever is happening. Consequently some men categorize our assessments as overly cautious and dismiss them in turn. I needed him to understand that if I ever concluded we may be in peril, he needed to take me seriously. He needed to trust my assessment originated from intelligence not emotion.
I wanted to broach this with him because this movie, Eden Lake, chilled me to my core. It could easily become a reality and I was desperate to plant the seed now in order for him to take me seriously and remember my precognitive warning in the future (though God willing there will be no need of this.) The film explores the decision of one part of the couple forcing both to suffer extreme consequences. Another powerful theme of Watkins seems to be that evil cannot continuously thrive without cooperation from other sources.
In this movie, the parents, the very town itself seems to be in collusion with these deadly teens. They have the power to stop all of the madness but not only are they the original source of the destructive behavior pattern but they allow it to fester unchecked within their own children, giving the teens room to explore their darker, twisted nature. I wish Watkins would make another movie and show you the inevitable blow-back upon the parents, but that’s only the vengeful feeling that this flick leaves you with. This movie stretches your mind multi-directionally and charges you with proffering a decision and living out the consequences. Its terrifying and well worth the watch if you could stomach it.