I Kill Giants
Runtime: 1h 46m
Rated: Not Rated
Director: Anders Walter
Writers: Joe Kelly, Ken Niimura
Stars: Madison Wolfe, Imogen Poots, Sydney Wade, Rory Jackson, Zoe Saldana
Initial: From my random draw TBW list.
Production Notes: Set in the US, but filmed in Belgium and Ireland
What Did I Think: (possible spoilers ahead)
Going in, I saw that this movie can go one of two ways: giants are real or giants are a metaphor. So, a big part of this film’s success relies on how it executes these possibilities. Unfortunately, there is never any true ambiguity between the real and the magical. It’s a little frustrating that the magical realism doesn’t quite seep into reality because the effects are nicely done. But I do appreciate that I Kill Giants doesn’t do any cheesy cheating.
On the plus side, there is some mystery to what is behind our giant-killer’s predicament. The end reveal, while more of a wrinkle than a twist, does reframe many earlier events and that is deftly done. It’s a lovely film and sad. You might want a Kleenex on hand.
Bill & Ted Face the Music
Runtime: 1h 31m
Director: Dean Parisot
Writers: Chris Matheson, Ed Solomon
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine
Initial: Hey, look! Another movie everyone else watched a year ago!
Production Notes: There’s a nearly 30 year gap between Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991, which I saw in the theater with my sister) and this sequel.
What Did I Think:
Bill & Ted Face the Music has a few basic things going for it for me. First, I have a soft spot for naive, enthusiastic optimism. A song can unite the world or save reality? With how wearing the real world is, I’m there for that sort of nonsense. Second, I’m in favor of the subversion of nostalgia projects: “You know those characters that you identified with when you were young? Yeah, they’re old now too…” (See also Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017).) And third, I just sort of like the goofy, not-quite-parody-of-Doctor-Who* that is the Bill & Ted franchise. It’s an amalgamation of things that don’t quite work, but still exceed the sum of their parts. And, when I moved to Arizona, I was so stoked that there was a Circle K on the corner.
Face the Music is maybe not as clever, maybe not at well-put-together as the first movie, but it’s fun. Thea and Billie (the daughters) tread much of the same ground as the first two movies in the franchise, while Bill and Ted end up meeting future versions of themselves, which is probably the best shtick of movie. This was 90 minutes that flew by.
* George Carlin (Rufus in the earlier movies) would have made a great Doctor. Plus, a phone booth time-travel device that isn’t bigger on the inside is so much funnier.