Watched a few films lately:
This really didn’t work for me. Consequently I felt it did little and didn’t go anywhere. Great performance from Keaton but couldn’t see what it was for.
The Death of Stalin
First, this is not a comedy - it’s something else and whatever that is, it’s much, much sharper. Second, it’s utterly brilliant in conjuring the mad, bad, utterly paranoid and psychopathic world Stalin created - which collapses after his death. It’s the little details - Khrushchev;s wife noting the evening, of which joke Stalin laughed at; how they get the conductor as there’s numerous arrests and casual executions going on; that Stalin wants a record of the concerto but they didn’t record it, so they play it again, with a drafted audience as they might all get killed if they don’t.
The cast is utterly superb, but Simon Russell Beale and Steve Buscemi stand out for me as Beria and Khrushchev. The latter was indeed perceived as a no threat, country bumpkin. Beria? Knew he was a psychopathic bastard but not how much. Seeing his plans fail and his power collapse was immensely satisfying, as was seeing the realisation finally hit Svtelana Stalin what her father’s death really meant for her. It’s not much of a surprise to find Stalin’s kids were a pain in the arse like their father.
This is a really smart film that doesn’t pull its punches on the nature of totalitarian dictatorships. In that respect, it’s a very needed film too. Utterly superb.
Finally got around to seeing this and liked it a lot. At its core, it’s a disaster movie - everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. But it’s all in space and that’s where it’s biggest success lies. It succeeds utterly in conveying just what an alien environment it is - no gravity, no start or stop, no up or down, no consistent frame of reference - it shows better than any other story, including The Expanse series, how ill-suited we are for this environment.
It’s also a remarkably minimal film that focuses on just two characters, which is Bullock and Clooney - both of which work well with the material they get.
I can well see why it got the rewards it did and agree with that decision - even when you know a little of how the effects magic works, it still looks amazing, even on the small screen.