Film Reviews: Body Body Body | crimes of the future | Both sides of the blade | Pinocchio | See how they work | Tad the Lost Explorer | Ride the wave

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Body Body Body

Body Body Body (15) ****

Future Crimes (18) ****

Both sides of the blade (15) ****

See how they work (12A) ***

Tad the Lost Explorer and Curse of the Mummy (U)**

Future Crimes PIC: Nikos Nikolopoulos

Named for a board game explained at the start of the film, Body Body Body puts a delightfully devious twist on slasher film conventions by using them to confuse the self-preserved claims of its narcissistic Gen-Z protagonists. The Hate U Give’s Amandla Stenberg and Maria Baklava (the rising star of Borat’s next film) take the ostensible lead as Sophie and Bee, a newly-love couple whose arrival at Sophie’s childhood best friend’s mansion , David (Pete Davidson) for a party disrupts the already debauched dynamic of a group of longtime friends as they prepare for a night of drunken, coked fun.

Against the backdrop of an impending hurricane, the film takes its time to introduce us to the assembled band, a stylistic choice that lets the performances breathe, especially that of Davidson, whose obnoxious turn as David leads the first part of the film. It also allows Dutch director Halina Reijn to provide details of Sophie’s backstory while expertly laying down red herrings that increase the film’s effectiveness when the titular game gets literal.

Once the power goes out and the bodies start piling up, Reijn uses the glow of the characters’ smart phones to shine a light on the fear, paranoia, and villainy that lurk beneath the characters’ perfectly presented exteriors as that they light up faster than a triggered Twitter mob. It’s no run-of-the-mill high horror, though. Its status as a social media metaphor is seamlessly integrated into a gory, funny, and devilishly clever plot with a boldly outrageous twist ending to boot.

Bodies, bodies, bodies are also very present in the mind of David Cronenberg in his last Future Crimes. His first film in eight years functions as a spiritual sequel to cult classics Videodrome and eXistenZ by positing an alternate reality in which technology and human flesh evolve as one, mutating the species in creepy, weird and sensual ways. Cronenberg regular Viggo Mortensen stars as Saul Tenser, something of a celebrity in the culturally prevalent world of performance art who dominates a new society where humans no longer feel pain, “surgery is the new sex” and pornography takes the form of live medical procedures gaped by well-to-do sick people who amuse themselves watching scalpels slicing through skin or removing new organs that some people (Saul among them) seem to be growing at an alarming rate.

Both sides of the blade

Whether or not these mutations are evolutionary responses to a toxic world is the big question facing the film, but Cronenberg buries the theme in a darkish subplot involving a murdered child with a bizarre ability to digest plastic. Almost more interesting, however, is his conjuration of a world in which our private lives have been so undermined and exploited for entertainment that the only currency we have left is literally what grows inside us – an idea he takes from pleasantly disgusting extremes. Léa Seydoux, Kristen Stewart and Scott Speedman co-star.

Following its Cronenbergian sci-fi release High Life, Claire Denis’ latest release offers sensuality without the transgressive sexual flourishes found in this film. In effect, Both sides of the blade feels more like a throwback to her wonderful 2002 feature Friday Night, only instead of exploring the beginning of a faded relationship, she looks at how one falls apart. Sara and Jean (Juliette Binoche and Vincent Lidon) are the couple in question, and while a wordless five-minute opening sequence captures the Edenic perfection of their lives as they enjoy a break from Paris, their relationship is doomed the moment they return home and Sara spots François (Grégoire Colin), an old flame and Jean’s former best friend. What follows is a tactile, layered drama fueled by an emotionally devastating Binoche as a woman unable to stop herself from slipping back into old patterns.

With Pinocchio, Disney offers another “live action” remake of one of its animation classics, with Tom Hanks as Geppetto and Hanks’ Forrest Gump/Polar Express director Robert Zemeckis pulling the strings. a CGI Pinocchio. The new film follows Disney’s original version fairly closely, but with a few extra songs and more amped up action. As with the first version, the growing nose remains a surprisingly small part of the story while the Pleasure Island sequence is as weird and confusing as the first time around. Elsewhere, it’s as sweet as you might expect, although Cynthia Erivo is fun as the Blue Fairy.

After the success of Poirot’s recent big-screen adaptations of Knives Out and Kenneth Branagh, the appetite for Agatha Christie’s thrillers shows no signs of abating. The last is See how they work, a sort of meta-adaptation of Christie’s long-running London West End hit The Mousetrap, set in its 100th performance, with the murder of a director (Adrien Brody) working on a film version making inevitably echo the events of the play. English-accented Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan star as the weary detective and bright-sparking police officer who reluctantly team up to investigate the crime; meanwhile, Harris Dickinson (as original cast member Dickie Attenborough) leads a supporting cast of real and fictional characters caught up in the investigation. Although the film errs in acknowledging the tropes of a genre to subvert them, it’s entertainingly performed and delivers the same hit of nostalgia that modern audiences get from The Mousetrap.

The animated adventure film produced in Spain Tad the Lost Explorer and Curse of the Mummy is the third film in this Indian Jones-inspired franchise and perhaps overstates its target audience’s familiarity with its own predecessors. More disheartening is that the series makes a hero out of a clumsy amateur archaeologist while demonizing any intelligent person. However, Tad’s mum’s clumsy kick elicits an odd smile.

“Big wave surfing is for macho assholes with a death wish,” scorned Lori Petty on Point Break. Not so according to moving new Scottish surf documentary Ride the wave. Following Tiree-based teenage surfing prodigy Ben Larg as he transitions from world under-18 surfing competitions to terrific breaks off the coast of Ireland, Martyn Robertson’s film is admirably testosterone-free, instead focusing on how this calm, thoughtful, relentlessly bullied child comes into its own on the water. It’s also a film about Ben’s parents, and Robertson does a good job of exploring the often heartbreaking decisions they had to make to support him. Which isn’t to say there aren’t harmful kills and Rocky-style workouts. But after following Ben and his loving family for four years, Robertson has a bigger story to tell, one that adds nuance and humanity to the archetype of the beloved driven underdog of film narratives. sportsmen.

Corps Corps Corps, Crimes of the future, see how they work, Tad the Lost Explorer and Curse of the Mummy and Ride the Wave are in theaters now; Both Sides of the Blade is on a select release and on Curzon Home Cinema; Pinocchio is streaming on Disney+

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