Get Out

Get out (2017)
ReviewerAutar Kaw
Grade: A
Genre: Comedy, Horror, Thriller, Mystery
Rating: R
Running Time: 103 minutes

If you have already gotten out, you have been treated to a modern classic. If not, get out this weekend to see “Get Out”.
 
What seems to be a “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” remake is a well-done horror movie with many doses of comic relief. Daniel Kaluya plays the black boyfriend of a white woman played by Allison Williams. They are both going to meet her parents for the weekend. But the turn for horror takes place soon after they reach her secluded home.

 
 
The beauty of the movie is how the scares are put in real and believable context, while you are simply thrust into rooting for the central good guy and other players start showing their bad side to the audience.
This is a gem of a debut from the director Jordan Peele and would like to see more from him. I hope he does not follow M. Night Shyamalan’s path, although I will publicly confess that I liked most of the movies MNS made after Sixth Sense.
 
Some believe that the movie had racial tones and references to recent incidents, but Peele has little intention of pointing out the obvious as he never gets sentimental, and instead lets the audience squirm in deciding what to do – snicker, laugh or contemplate.
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Girl with the Dragon Tatoo

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo  (2011)
ReviewerAutar Kaw
Grade: B
Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Rating: R
Running Time: 158 minutes

Well, I wish I could say better things about the English version of “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.   If you have seen the Swedish version like I have, I give the movie a C+, else it is a B.  The reason for the above conditional (if-then-else) grading is that there is no suspense left after you have seen the foreign version.

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Anders Linden/Columbia Pictures

The movie does not soften the Swedish version in any way, and that may be disturbing to the puritanical lives we portray to the outside world.  David Fincher’s uncompromising style is present throughout the film, although it gets drably in the middle of the almost 3-hour saga (160 minutes).    The sound quality and the fake accents with constant mumbling make you play annoyingly-close attention to the words – I am waiting for “Mission Impossible 4” where I will cover my ears.  I was hoping that somewhere I could push a button for subtitles. Or, do I need to get my ears checked because of my old age.  But the clear diction of Christopher Plummer and Joely Richardson convinced me otherwise.

Now the good stuff – the cinematography and the music are well done.   In that respect, I have not seen a wintery movie like this since Fargo (1996).  Rooney Mara is a transformed actress and she may be an Oscar contender.  She gives the character of Lisbeth credence in some ways Noomi Rapace could not or did not.  Mara’s portrayal of compartmentalization of life’s needs was even scarier than that of real-life Bill Clinton’s.  Pay close attention to her compartmentalized focus in the scene where she retrieves her stolen bag.  I am hoping that Mara does not follow Marisa Tomei where she has to get naked in every other movie to prove her acting chops or to pay her rent.

Daniel Craig is his expected usual self and I cannot wait for the next five Bond movies (the introductory credits in the movie seemed to be an homage to the Bond movies) he plans to make (but he will be forced to go on a diet/exercise regimen as they refused to show his paunch for more than a second in the film).

Bottom line – go see it if you have not seen the original; if you have seen the original, you can wait for the DVD; if you have Netflix, it may be time to see the Swedish version again.

Based on my review, my daughter made a comment – why did they have to do Swedish accents and base it in Sweden – they could have changed locations and had American accents like they did in the well-done English version of “Let the Right One In”.