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Knives Out

WorldForgot · 12 · 768

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WorldForgot

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on: November 29, 2019, 01:42:51 PM


When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc is mysteriously enlisted to investigate.

A great script and the cast knows it. Real cozy movie, and a PG-13 that gets away with two smarmy "fucks."
More Brothers Bloom than Brick, if that means anything to ya ~

Is it too in love with genre movez to be emotionally effective, or am I jealous that he gets to focus so much on genre, my focus stuck watching all the technical bits? Baby Driver is its most apt comparison, I feel like, because I appreciate every inch of its production, yet don't feel emotionally moved when I watch. While, in Knife + Heart or Parasite I can see the same threading of trope-playground without having that obscure my emotional investment.


samsong

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Reply #1 on: December 01, 2019, 06:40:14 PM
i joked to my wife that this was get out: white guilt whodunit edition as we left the theater.  enjoyed this considerably more than peele’s blunt political statement as genre exercise, but this isn’t great either.  adequately fun time at the movies with strong performances. 


WorldForgot

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Reply #2 on: December 12, 2019, 02:52:48 PM
Per the shoutbox today I thought about the dialogue + text of this film a bit --

Spoiler: ShowHide
If Marta had found a way to expose the Thromby family's manipulation of Harlan's wealth or extortion in some way, the themes and circumstances from Act I could have been tilled for a Howdunnit with actual social weight behind it...

Coming out the same year as Parasite and Last Black Man in San Francisco, it just feels hollow. And this is why QT is all the smarter for avoiding the racial/social matters in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood that Boots Riley laments aren't there. That wasn't what the movie was (and arguably, only Jackie Brown or Django deign to go there, and hardly) and didn't try to make it part of the text at all.

RJ unfortunately used the social matters and host of side characters as decor, it feels.


Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #3 on: December 25, 2019, 11:55:40 PM
Guys, this is a perfect movie. I love it so much. One of the most brilliantly written films I've ever seen. Beyond being a tight murder mystery, it's very funny and surprisingly emotional.

Spoiler: ShowHide
I almost have the opposite take, WorldForgot. This gives us a soulful POV of our protagonist. How she is regarded by the family is absolutely central to the whole thing and is their downfall.

It's so brilliant how the focus is really on her agency in the end. The only way she evades guilt is by making difficult choices through her own moral strength.
"Hunger is the purest sin"


Drenk

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Reply #4 on: December 26, 2019, 09:59:09 AM
I'm with WorldForgot on that one, I even found it quite embarrassing at times. I was wondering why Johnson was still active on Twitter despite being virtually harrassed every day, and it turns out that he has a true Twitter mind.

That was entertaining and well done. The scene of the mix-up was my favorite, but the movie lost me after that sequence.
Ascension.


Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #5 on: December 26, 2019, 11:41:37 AM
Spoiler: ShowHide
I really don't think the political scene was Rian preaching to the audience. (He does that more organically with stuff that comes later.) "Quite embarrassing" is the intended feeling. The cringe of the political stuff is a feature, not a bug. I've definitely had that exact feeling at a family gathering. It's not the cringe of Twitter, it's the cringe of watching family members regurgitate half-remembered things they've read.

Plus it allows Daniel Craig to say "the Nazi child."
"Hunger is the purest sin"


WorldForgot

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Reply #6 on: December 26, 2019, 02:43:26 PM
My favorite bit of Knives Out is that the movie is as fun as Brothers Bloom or Wright's Baby Driver, but allows itself thematic nuance (unlike, imo, Baby Driver).

Marta is wonderful. Hopefully with a few years distance I'll be able to cherish its dialogue and Thromby family more.


WorldForgot

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Reply #7 on: January 03, 2020, 02:35:46 PM
DGA conversation on Knives Out with Rian Johnson and Denis Villeneuve

"Whodunnit Adjacent" films, Agatha Christie's political bend (and as Johnson's inspiration), Ricky Jay, and more ~


Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #8 on: January 03, 2020, 04:55:17 PM
Knives Out and Midsommar spoilers

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Knives Out and Midsommar are both purge fables.

In Midsommar's fable, Dani purges all the toxic people from her life, one by one. All the while, she achieves greater and greater acceptance from her new family. I believe Dani has agency in the purging, and a desire to purge all of them; the cult and their rituals only provide structure and accelerant.

In Knives Out, the patriarch plans to protect his life's work and legacy by purging his toxic family members from it. This purge is meant to be done gradually, perhaps, as each one is politely asked to stop leeching. But the murder greatly accelerates the process. The will reading plays out like a ritualized purge. And it's the big shock moment for the antagonists, like the cliff jump was the big shock for the antagonists in Midsommar.

Marta is also essentially a Jedi. She's Rey before ROS. She is a chosen one, but not because of any bloodline. She was chosen by the Force because she was worthy and would bring balance. She stepped forward and pulled the sword from the stone. Marta was chosen by Harlan because she was worthy. Then, after being tested again and proving her virtue beyond all doubt, she was chosen by fate.
"Hunger is the purest sin"


WorldForgot

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Reply #9 on: January 03, 2020, 05:12:38 PM
Dig that reading of both films, JB.

Either you've read Britt Hayes' piece already, or you should check out the simultaneous wavelength

KNIVES OUT and RISE OF SKYWALKER: ShowHide
Quote
On a deeper level, the fundamental message of Knives Out feels like a critique of the thinking that led Abrams and screenwriter Chris Terrio down the Palpatine family tree. Harlan recognizes the power his privilege affords, and decides to give Marta – a woman of little means and no relation – an opportunity. There is a full spectrum of privilege afforded to men – and white men in particular – and unless men acknowledge the controlling stake they have in that power and the responsibility that comes with it, they will continue to have a monopoly on, well, everything. Harlan takes a step that is necessary in achieving gender (and race) parity: he opens the door for someone who doesn’t have access. It’s up to the people in these positions of power (mostly men, mostly white) to help those without. Harlan, seeing the myopic entitlement his wealth has wrought among his would-be heirs, recognizes Marta as a worthy beneficiary of his privilege – someone whose essential goodness makes her qualified for the job (in this case the job is “having money”).


Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #10 on: January 03, 2020, 05:18:29 PM
Whoa, I have NOT read that. Crazy...
"Hunger is the purest sin"


Jeremy Blackman

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Reply #11 on: January 03, 2020, 05:30:09 PM
What's funny, though, is that I did crib the "worthy" language from Britt's BFF, Lindsey Romain, who I quoted here. The quote:

Quote
There’s a beautiful message to make of something like that . . . That you can come from nowhere and still be important. That the Force chooses the most worthy, not the person with the most genetic relevancy.

Lots of interesting stuff in 2019 movies.
"Hunger is the purest sin"