Yay for Giant Hippo-Pig Trailers: Bong Joon-Ho’s “Okja”

Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho is not subtle when it comes to the themes of his films, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Snowpiercer isn’t so much an allegory for class warfare – it is class warfare, just set on the science fiction environment of an ever-moving train.  The Host is the venerable monster-movie warning that our careless destruction of the planet will come back to bite us – literally in this case.  And so, Okja continues in that same vein.  This Netflix exclusive will compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, and then will be available for streaming on June 28th.

Check out the trailer below:

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Strong Talent Can’t Elevate the Shoddy “Miss Sloane”

John Madden’s political thriller Miss Sloane is a contrived sledgehammer of a film.  It navigates a complex subject matter from the top of a soapbox, spouting ersatz-Sorkin dialogue at the top of its lungs.  Its near-infallible central character is always the smartest person in the room, except when she’s saved by the latest in a long line of plot conveniences.  And though the film is stocked with talented actors, they often struggle to elevate the mediocre writing above the superficiality of a PolySci 101 term paper on the second amendment.  Miss Sloane delights in its own cleverness and “message”, but seems to have considered making a film a secondary concern.

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“Weiner”, Or: How a Sexually Strange Man was Sacrificed to the Public Outrage Machine

Anthony Weiner is a former congressman from New York’s 9th congressional district.  In June 2011, Weiner resigned from Congress amid a sexting scandal that was cheekily referred to as “Weinergate”.   Two years later, a pair of documentarians named Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg were granted access to film Weiner’s campaign in the 2013 New York City mayoral race.  While initially I am sure the pair were interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the logistics of running a campaign, perhaps with a taste of the phoenix rising from the ashes, what they captured was infinitely more interesting.  During the campaign, with the cameras rolling, another sexting scandal involving Anthony Weiner broke.  Kriegman and Steinberg’s fascinating film Weiner documents the resulting media circus, and manages to offer insightful commentary on the bloodthirstiness of the media, the constitution of a politician, and the effect that a man’s failings can have on his family.

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