Monday, July 4, 2022     Volume: 23, Issue: 18
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A QUIET PLACE PART II
ANOTHER ROUND
BINGEABLE: 100 FOOT WAVE (2021)
BINGEABLE: ABBOTT ELEMENTARY (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL (2022)
BINGEABLE: BARRY (2018-present)
BINGEABLE: CANDY (2022)
BINGEABLE: CASTLEVANIA (2017-2021)
BINGEABLE: CHEER (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG (2016-2019)
BINGEABLE: INVENTING ANNA (2022)
BINGEABLE: JOE PICKETT (2021)
BINGEABLE: KUNG FU (2021)
BINGEABLE: LIFE & BETH (2022)
BINGEABLE: LOVE ON THE SPECTRUM U.S. (2022)
BINGEABLE: MAID (2021)
BINGEABLE: MIDNIGHT MASS (2021)
BINGEABLE: MINX (2022)
BINGEABLE: OBI-WAN KENOBI (2022)
BINGEABLE: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (2021)
BINGEABLE: OUR FLAG MEANS DEATH (2022)
BINGEABLE: SLOW HORSES (2022)
BINGEABLE: SQUID GAME (2021)
BINGEABLE: STATION ELEVEN (2021)
BINGEABLE: SWEET TOOTH
BINGEABLE: TELL ME YOUR SECRETS (2021)
BINGEABLE: THE BABY (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE GREAT (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN (2022)
BINGEABLE: UNDERCURRENT: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF KIM WALL (2022)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COWBOY BEBOP (1998)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE CAT RETURNS (2002)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX (1999)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE SHOOTING (1966)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
C’MON C’MON
CRIMES OF THE FUTURE
DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE
GUILTY PLEASURES: GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE
GUILTY PLEASURES: JOLT
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM (1996)
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION
LICORICE PIZZA
LIGHTYEAR
MEN
NEW FLICKS: ANTLERS
NEW FLICKS: ARMY OF THIEVES
NEW FLICKS: CRUELLA
NEW FLICKS: DON’T LOOK UP
NEW FLICKS: ENCOUNTER
NEW FLICKS: FINCH
NEW FLICKS: FRESH
NEW FLICKS: GEORGE CARLIN’S AMERICAN DREAM (2022)
NEW FLICKS: HUSTLE
NEW FLICKS: I WANT YOU BACK
NEW FLICKS: KATE
NEW FLICKS: RED NOTICE
NEW FLICKS: THE NORTHMAN
NEW FLICKS: VIVARIUM
NEW FLICKS: WATERMAN (2021)
NINE DAYS
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS (2021)
PIG
SOUL
SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME
THE ADAM PROJECT
THE BATMAN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (2019)
THE LOST CITY
THE LOST DAUGHTER
THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS
THE NEW MUTANTS
THE PAPER TIGERS
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
THE TENDER BAR
THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH
THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT
TOP GUN: MAVERICK
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: EXTERMINATE ALL THE BRUTES (2021)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE
TV REVIEW: I MAY DESTROY YOU
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: MARE OF EASTTOWN
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TABOO (2017)
TV REVIEW: TED LASSO (2020-present)
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: THE KINGDOM (2007)

‘Men’ is weird, unsettling, and engaging

MEN

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF A24 AND DNA FILMS

MEN


Where is it playing?: Regal Edwards RPX Santa Maria, Regal Edwards Arroyo Grande

What's it rated?: R

What's it worth?: $Full price (Anna Starkey)

What's it worth?: $Full price (Glen Starkey)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Alex Garland (writer-director of Ex Machina and Annihilation and writer of 28 Days Later …) helms this psychological horror film about Harper (Jessie Buckley), who after a personal tragedy travels to a country estate to get away and process her loss. Once there, however, rather than healing, she encounters a series of men (all played by Rory Kinnear), who torment her further. (100 min.)  

Glen: What did my eyeballs just see? Holy moly, this is a weird, challenging, unique film about a woman processing grief and guilt. It’s also about misogyny and all the ways men manipulate, gaslight, and abuse women. When Harper arrives at the rented country house, she’s greeted by Geoffrey (Kinnear, in one of his many roles), who manages the rental. He notices she’s bitten into an apple from the tree in the yard. “Mustn’t do that,” he says. “Forbidden fruit.” It’s his idea of a joke and the beginning of a long series of disconnected interactions between Harper and the various men—and in one case a young boy with Kinnear’s CGI face—she encounters during her “vacation.” It’s a really unusual piece of filmmaking from a gifted director, and (warning!) it’s punctuated with some very disturbing and gory images and a deeply unsettling overall vibe. I’m glad I saw it, but it’s not going to be everybody’s cup of tea.

Anna: If the divide between the audience score and critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes is any indication, not everyone’s cup of tea is right. Personally, I was riveted by this film, but that certainly doesn’t mean it was a pleasant watch. Harper is haunted and also in urgent need to move on from the tragedy of her husband’s death, a death that came as she was desperately trying to leave the relationship. Her guilt around it all is crushing, and in many ways this movie seems to me to be a showcase of the monsters and beasts that trauma creates. Harper is there to heal, yet she can’t seem to be left alone. Around every corner is another man—whether it is the naked, boil-covered stalker in the garden of her rented home, the vicar who betrays her when she shares her vulnerability, or the boy who turns into a snarling ass when Harper refuses a game of hide-and-seek. I have to give props to Kinnear here. He took on a lot in this film, and he manages to evoke an unsettling terror as the face of all men in this country English village. Buckley is superb as Harper as well; you can feel her fear through the screen.

Glen: It’s worth mentioning that the gore notwithstanding, this is a truly beautiful looking film. Garland once again teamed with cinematographer Rob Hardy, who worked with him on Ex Machina and Annihilation. They’re currently filming Garland’s next film, Civil War. I wish I knew what it was going to be about, but the plot’s under wraps. I’ll definitely watch anything Garland does. Men is absolutely uncomfortable viewing, which may be driving its low Rotten Tomatoes audience score. Still, Hardy’s camerawork and the English countryside in which Men is set is breathtaking. There’s a dreamy, unreal, fantasy quality about the film, as if what we’re seeing isn’t real but instead we’re inside Harper’s head as she works through her trauma. If you have the courage, see it!

Anna: It is so beautiful! The juxtaposition of the gore alongside the beauty of the countryside and the house itself is really arresting. While I totally think this film is worth watching, it may be a tricky one to recommend to everyone. I think there are a lot of people who just aren’t going to like how visceral it gets, and there is a whole lot of “what is going on?” while the movie plays out. Admittedly, even days later I’m still working at laying all the puzzle pieces into place. I’m a big fan of Garland, so I’m with you on watching anything he puts out. He has a knack at creating unsettling universes in his films, and Men is no exception. This film took some really wild turns, especially at the end, and it’s one I won’t stop thinking about for a while.

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Glen compiles streaming listings. Comment at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










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