Don’t Look Up (*BP22)

Remember the great Is the Dress Blue or Gold? debate that swept the internet in 2015? People spent hours discussing this topic and trying to decide what it meant if you were Team Gold or Team Blue. It was fun and kind of silly. That was seven years ago—we were so young and innocent then!

Another similar online argument happened just a few months ago when the movie Don’t Look Up premiered on Netflix. This was director Adam McCay’s latest work, and it created a brand-new hot topic of discussion that swept the internet for a few weeks. The film was a heavy-handed metaphor about climate change and government incompetence, and people either thought it was the greatest satire since Dr. Strangelove or a smug, condescending piece of crap populated by Hollywood A-listers who should have known better. Can you guess which side I was on?

I’m not sure who McCay thought the audience was supposed to be for this film. People who already believe that climate change is the greatest crisis we are facing right now don’t really need to be convinced that it is happening; and if you honestly think the whole idea of global warming is a hoax, you are never going to watch a preachy movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio. And yet Don’t Look Up was the third most viewed film in Netflix’s history; so whether or not people agreed with it, they still watched it. Not all of us made it all the way through to the end, though, and if it wins an Oscar for Best Picture, I am going to have to write a strongly worded letter to the Academy. Spider-man didn’t even get nominated!

The Popcorn Kernels of Truth give this film Zero Kernels. I have rarely hated a movie as much as I hated this one; not only does it not get a single, unpopped piece of corn, but the original  popcorn bucket is still upside down on the sticky floor of a theater with a greasy coating of fake butter topping, where rats will find it and lick up the yellow, viscous goo and it will get stuck to the roof of their mouths and they will never get rid of the taste. 

Side note: The dress was blue.

Categories: FlicksYouShouldNotPick

CODA (*BP22)

CODA came out on AppleTV+ in August of 2021, so it is amazing that the film has such proven staying power after six months; movies that hope to be nominated for Academy Awards are usually released as close to the end of the year as possible to make the eligibility deadline. For example, Don’t Look Up premiered on Netflix on December 24, 2021 (and what a Christmas gift that was—review to come).

CODA (Child of Deaf Adults) has a fairly standard Lifetime-ish family drama plot: high school girl wants to do something different with her life than what her parents expect her to do. As the only hearing member of her family, Ruby is relied upon to translate interactions with others that impact the family fishing business. If she pursues music as she hopes to, the business may not survive without her. Her parents and brother are all played by deaf actors, and their performances give the film an air of authenticity. 

The movie is charming and occasionally heartbreaking, and the expected happy ending was a relief. Watching this movie was like sinking into a good book, and I really needed everything to work out for this quirky family. I think the pandemic has made us all a bit more sentimental (at least this hard-hearted bitch seems to weep at everything these days).

The Popcorn Kernels of Truth give this film Three Kernels. A heartwarming tearjerker that will have you crying like you were watching a Hallmark Christmas movie, only with American Sign Language.

Categories: FlicksThatYouShouldPick