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Knives Out review

Posted : 11 months, 1 week ago on 9 June 2020 02:57

I enjoyed this movie quite a bit, probably more than most people. I enjoyed Daniel Craig producing a somewhere between pretty good and humorously bad Southern accent.
The story was crisp. The cast of characters was the best part. I have never really liked the work of Christopher Plummer or Don Johnson. But both were perfect for their roles and played them extremely well. The main characters (Jamie Lee Curtis), the side kicks (Noah Segan, Trooper Wagner), everyone all contributed to the production.
I heard the movie was like an Agatha Christie mystery, but it was much better than that. Christie mysteries were always too arcane, too convoluted or needed a clue that was impossible to guess / know. This mystery was quite good, it was not simplistic, it was not too unfathomable.
The one I did like the most is Daniel Craig's Southern accent. It was incongruous. But mysteries are supposed to have an incongruous component. This movie had two, the mystery and why the heck does Daniel Craig have a Southern accent?


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Knives Out

Posted : 1 year, 2 months ago on 24 February 2020 10:29

Wouldn’t it be great if Agatha Christie had a sense of humor and individual characterization? Well, here’s Rian Johnson to take Christie’s infamous template – cramped location, a dozen suspects, an eccentric outsider to take the case – and distorts them through a parodic point-of-view that makes this more Clue than Murder on the Orient Express. It’s a brilliant little whodunnit that sublimates that genre by answering the question quickly and revealing a class consciousness that powers through the rest of the narrative.

 

The morning after a big birthday party for family patriarch (Christopher Plummer) finds him dead of an apparent suicide. The warped world of wealth and privilege has distorted the minds and morality of the various members of the family that a private investigator (Daniel Craig) finds himself moving through. On the periphery, yet entirely central to the narrative, is the nurse (Ana de Armas) who quakes with repressed secrets and struggles with ever complicating situation she has found herself thrust in.

 

Knives Out is an expertly scripted detective story that gives us a wide range of fully realized characters in short order. From Jamie Lee Curtis’ cutthroat heir to the throne, Michael Shannon’s nervous son that refers to his father’s legacy as “ours,” Don Johnson’s smarmy in-law, and Toni Collete’s Marianne Williamson devotee, who practically steals the movie by going for broke with her crackpot reading of the character. That’s a lot of personality without even mentioning Chris Evans’ wayward child or Jaeden Lieberher’s alt-right troll.

 

Craig’s Benoit Blanc is an obtuse creation – a Foghorn Leghorn accented private detective whose bonkers accent masks a keen intelligence. If this isn’t one of the greatest creations in both Rian Johnson’s and Craig’s respective careers, then I don’t know how it wouldn’t qualify. This Kentucky fried Sherlock Holmes is a hoot and I hope we get to experience another hilariously morbid story with him as our guide.

 

While Ana de Armas gets the toughest role in the entire film. If everyone else is essentially playing a cartoon, and they are, then de Armas must be the straight (wo)man to their insanity. She walks a fine line between anxieties over being an immigrant and keeping her head above water. It requires a fine-tuned actor to find the right calibration to keep it all working and she pulls it off. Props for also finding new ways to vomit every time she tells a lie.

 

It is important to note how central de Armas is to the narrative as Knives Out slowly pulls its focus away from who did it to commentary on the corrosive powers of inherited wealth and power. Craig getting the various family members accounts of the party reveal a group that centralize themselves above all else and cannot see far past their nose. The threat of losing what they assume is rightfully theirs, something that they somehow worked hard for instead of being pompous trust-fund babes in middle-age. The second half is a series of explosions over the family’s entitlement revealing itself and impotent rage at a system they thought would protect them. It’s a mini dissertation in class politics that manages to be a blast from start to finish.



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Knives Out review

Posted : 1 year, 4 months ago on 20 December 2019 04:57

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Knives Out review

Posted : 1 year, 4 months ago on 20 December 2019 04:36

The artificiality of the whodunit is well mocked, but there's is a plot to follow as light and artificlkal of the one that has to be mocked. Craig is amusing


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