Meewella | Critic

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Tag: Hilary Swank

QuickView: Logan Lucky (2017)

“You Logans must be as simple-minded as people say.”

Joe Bang

In this blue collar heist movie, Steven Soderbergh transfers the template of his Ocean’s trilogy from the glitz of Vegas to the Deep South in his return to feature filmmaking following a four-year hiatus after Side Effects. The Logan siblings are hoping to break their family’s “curse” of bad luck with a big score at a NASCAR track, cajoled by the newly unemployed Jimmy who is worried about losing his daughter. Rounding out the central pack is Daniel Craig, wielding a far less ostentatious southern accent than in Knives Out, as the explosives expert they need break out of jail. It is all colourfully ludicrous and the tone is more comedic than thriller. Vitally, the Southern setting is not a punchline in itself — there is plenty of ineptitude at play, but only specific side characters are portrayed as simple and we are generally laughing at the absurdity rather than the individuals. Their bumbling often undercuts Logan Lucky’s tension although it also leaves greater uncertainty as to the eventual outcome. With Soderbergh again handling directing, cinematography and editing, the visual storytelling is both familiar and effective, and the two hours fly at a rapid pace as soon as the plan starts to take shape. However, following a late twist, it is really the closing fifteen minutes that makes Logan Lucky stand out as a crime movie with a heart.


QuickView: I Am Mother (2019)

I Am Mother poster

“Mothers need time to learn.”


Low-budget cerebral science fiction is a fertile breeding ground for new directors and Grant Sputore demonstrates deft control and a strong (if derivative) vision in this tale of a young woman raised by an Artificial Intelligence within a closed facility designed to survive an extinction-level event. Mother’s design is much like a humanoid version of Portal‘s GLaDOS, and the use of a prosthetic suit rather than CGI gives her a weightier presence, particularly imposing in the scenes of her sprinting at full speed. It also aids the strangely disquieting imagery of familial intimacy between flesh and metal. There are strong tonal similarities with Moon, from the claustrophobic emptiness of an AI-controlled facility to Daughter’s increasing mistrust of Mother’s intentions and what she is being told about the outside world. The script isn’t quite as sharp and the package isn’t quite so sparingly formed, but it will be interesting to see whether Sputore can successfully navigate in the footsteps of Duncan Jones, Garreth Edwards and their ilk.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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