Spling reviews C’mon, C’mon, Silverton Siege and Bubble as broadcast on Talking Movies, Fine Music Radio. Listen to podcast.
Good morning – welcome to Talking Movies, I’m Spling…
This week, we’re talking about a coming-of-age drama, a heist thriller and an animated sci-fi adventure.
Starting off with a film now on Labia Home Screen…
When his sister asks him to look after her son, a radio journalist embarks on a cross-country trip with his energetic nephew.
Writer-Director: Mike Mills
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffmann and Woody Norman
– A24 has developed a strong reputation when it comes to releasing films of substance and merit, spectacular in terms of cinematography, the kind of films that typically get attention come awards season.
– Their latest offering continues this trend, crafting a tender and intimate story about a radio journalist who is entrusted with his sister’s son on a multi-city journey in order to interview American youth about their expectations of the future.
– Shot in black-and-white, it’s a refreshing choice, adding extra texture to the visuals and giving it a timeless feel, downplaying the immediate appeal to give a greater balance to the writing and performances.
– The writing has a natural flow, adding further spontaneity and realism to the production, which is composed of biographical moments from Mills’s life.
– Steeped in mood, emotion and facilitating an organic outpouring of self-realisation for its characters, this is a slow-moving yet thoughtful film of great tenderness.
– The breezy chemistry between Phoenix and Norman keeps things ambling along while the artful choices around visuals and sound give it a docudrama sincerity.
– While the city names change, the relationship’s steady development is rather sluggish and repetitive, choosing to offer glimpses of life without necessarily worrying about getting to any particular destination.
– It did just enough to get…
A solid 7 on the splingometer!
Moving on to a movie now on Netflix…
Three young freedom fighters take a bank and its customers hostage in exchange for the release of Nelson Mandela.
Director: Mandla Dube
Stars: Arnold Vosloo, Thabo Rametsi and Elani Dekker
– This local heist movie centres on the actual events surrounding the Silverton hostage crisis in 1980, which ultimately spurred the worldwide ‘Free Mandela’ campaign.
– While the film uses the shell and basic details of this hostage situation, the rest is a fictionalised account of what happened, loosely drawing inspiration from history.
– Silverton Siege starts with aplomb, throwing audiences in the deep end as a quick history lesson sets the scene before the freedom fighters find themselves on the lam, culminating at a frozen-in-time Volkskas bank building.
– Reminiscent of Stockholm, the period piece detail, curiosity of the dramatisation and some of the intricacies of disarming a deadlock situation became the main thrust.
– Silverton Siege has a professional swagger about it, stoking various political agendas to ramp up the story but finding most of its power in style rather than substance.
– The movie leans on many cliches within the subgenre of a bank hostage situation, yet remains fresh by virtue of its South African slant.
– Unfortunately, while it looks and sounds the part with some emphatic performances from Rametsi and Vosloo, it gets lost in the drama.
– Failing to make an emotional connection with the characters, it operates at an arm’s length with the events taking precedence.
– While visually striking and even impassioned at times, the fictionalised scenario lacks impetus, simmers in the futility of a stalemate and begins to run out of inspiration.
– Hitting the ground running and getting bogged down too soon, Silverton Siege runs out of steam and doesn’t tease out the full potential of its subplots with the same vigour of its opening scenes.
– While promising, it’s largely undermined by its derivative screenplay, thin characterisation and scattershot focus.
A flat 5 on the splingometer!
And finally a film on Netflix…
Tokyo becomes a playground for a group of young people after they’re cut off from the outside world.
Director: Tetsurô Araki
Features the voice talents of: Zach Aguilar, Robbie Daymond and Emi Lo
– This anime sci-fi romance adventure is visually captivating, reaching the same lofty heights as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse when it comes to visual psychedelia.
– Loosely based on The Little Mermaid, Bubble essentially turns Tokyo into the playground for this land-based reinvention that blends a post-apocalyptic scenario, parkour and anime fantasy.
– Featuring typical anime characters, a fresh take on parkour across a fallen city, Bubble uses the sport to create some stylish action set pieces as teams compete in capture the flag battles.
– Using eye-popping visuals, a spellbinding story and upbeat music this surreal adventure is an audiovisual escape.
– Embracing some trademark character and story elements of the genre, many of which serve as strengths and weaknesses, the film’s exuberant, joyful style is explosive but doesn’t have much depth beyond its philosophical daydreaming, ironically coming to represent its title a bit too accurately.
– Bubble may not have the majesty, depth or spirituality of Studio Ghibli’s classics, but it’s still entertaining, enjoyable and even touching enough to satisfy anime fans, serving up a nostalgic and enchanting visual extravaganza for those new to this format.
A solid 7 on the splingometer!
So just to wrap up…
C’MON C’MON… sweet chemistry, beautiful photography and organic dialogue endear in this gentle yet slow-moving slice-of-life drama… A solid 7!
SILVERTON SIEGE… sleek visuals, sharp leads and a monumental historical turning point propel a scattershot, thin, uninspired and unfocussed screenplay… A flat 5!
BUBBLE… dazzling animation, lush sound design, crowd-pleasing characters and a driving soundtrack elevate familiar and emotive post-apocalyptic sci-fi… A solid 7!
For more movie reviews and previous Talking Movies podcasts visit splingmovies.com.
And remember, Don’t WING it, SPL!NG it!