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Film Marathon: Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022), The Menu (2022) and The Pale Blue Eye (2022)

genre: animation, action, adventure, comedy

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022)

Puss in Boots is a favourite character of mine. Largely because of Antonio Bandera. It's like he revived Zorro again and actually gives life to this immensely colourful character. Naturally, I was very happy to revisit his world and the adventures he is experiencing.

But honestly, I was very surprised about the title, since I don't recall any press or news concerning this film. It felt like it came out of nowhere. Perhaps this was never intended as a big release. Although it does look like one. On top of that, the animated film has adopted a new style, like it's one big painting and everything displayed is like a brush stroke. Very artistic and effective. Story wise, though, it's very predictable. If you weren't convinced of the cuteness factor in previous films where Puss in Boots has appeared, you certainly will now as a new character, Perrito, is introduced who might even be cutter than Puss. Kitty Softpaws also returns but to be honest, even when I usually adore Salma Hayek, it becomes clear that her acting abilities aren't that good. She can be good, but only in certain roles. Here, it's just very obvious she lacks the abilities to do more with her dialogue. Antonio, for example, knows exactly when to exaggerate certain expressions and when to tone down. He plays around with the words because he understands he needs to be theatrical. For some reason, Salma can't pull this off. I don't quite understand why the director hasn't made this clear to her. Unless they have tried and tried and given up on her.

Overall, the film starts out fun and ends in a fun way. You do have to contend with a weak and slow middle, but compared to the other films I am discussing, this could be considered a masterpiece.

Also check:
Review Puss in Boots (2011)

The Menu (2022)

A lot of hype and praise for this film, and usually I can see where that is coming from. In this case, though, it's a bunch of baloney. Pun intended!

This film marketed as black comedy and horror barely scratches the surface. Sure, if you dig deep enough there are elements present who would fall into those categories, but the outcome is a weird and bizarre film where a lot is asked for from you.  Only it never rewards you for it. I got that this film is about obsession by making fun of elitism in the restaurant business, but you easily can take it broader. However, it never really gives you the meat (yes, another pun) to sink your teeth into it. Most of the characters are flat and are pretty unlikeable from the start. You are supposed to root for the lead, Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy) but there is very little there to make you care for her. 

I guess this would appeal to the people who very desperately want to be included. Understandable, of course, it's a very basic desire. But it's one that makes you overlook what really matters. Often when you are within reach of the unattainable, it will come at a prize. It will never be worth it, since there will always be something else you want after. Ambition is only good when it enriches you with knowledge and wisdom. 

Overall, had the viewing experience be rewarding then maybe I would have it enjoyed it more, but for the most part it's boring. You really have to give me something to chew on (final pun)!

The Pale Blue Eye (2022)

The Pale Blue Eye should have saved the night. Unfortunately, it failed to meet my expectations. And to be honest, at this point, they were very low.

This murder mystery featuring Edgar Allen Poe should have been full of tension and dread. Instead, it focuses on atmosphere and good performances. Poe, played by Harry Melling (most famous for his role Dudley Dursley in the Harry Potter films) is a revelation. If it weren't for him and Christian Bale, I would have been bored out of my mind. What is a murder mystery without the mystery? I mean, it's like the film skips the part that matters the most in favour of the hunt, without actually giving you the hunt. And yes, often the hunt or investigation is what could be the most compelling. Here, you don't really care. 

The twist does come out of nowhere, but is one I felt very little connection to. Because, like with The Menu, there is very little depth to the characters. 

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