I decided to blow off the work for the night and go to the movies. But now that the local theater coop has put in a second screen I’ve had to make decisions every time I go. Two choices! Oh boy!
The first option was The Eternals, the latest Marvel franchise entry. It’s another mob of superheroes, with immortality added on top of the ability to fly, to punch really hard, to shoot lasers out of their eyes*. That did not appeal. I did not go. I will predict that the ending of that movie is going to be another CGI slam-fest. Plus it’s another example of dredging the bottom of the IP barrel to come up with an obscure comic book that they can pump up into a big blockbuster. I hope it bombs.
The alternative was Lamb. Yes! That looked weird and surreal, and it was.
The story: Ingvar and Maria are an Icelandic couple (the whole movie is in Icelandic, with subtitles) who run a remote sheep farm. It’s beautiful, even though much of it is shot in a gray fog and mist, with the Icelandic scenery peeking through. It’s lambing time! They deliver several normal lambs, and then one brings them up short — we don’t see the lamb for quite some time, but for some reason Ingvar and Maria are enchanted by her, naming her Ada and bringing her into the house to raise her as their child. A good part of the surreal nature of this movie is how the couple are perfectly comfortable with, and even loving as their own child, a baby who has the head of a sheep and the body of a human child, as is eventually revealed. There’s something about Ada that makes people fall in love with her. I’ll say no more, except that the movie culminates in a bloody revelation.
I entirely enjoyed it. No punching. One semi-magical mystery. Good acting. People who were human and interesting in an extraordinarily unusual situation. Also, less than two hours long, while The Eternals goes on for 2½ hours, and another prediction: I bet it ends with a teaser to persuade you to watch the next movie in the franchise.
Go see it. Send a message that we want more unique movies, rather than more of the same ol’ same ol’. I think most people would enjoy it.
*No. Just no. Eyes don’t work that way. I hate it, it’s one of the worst conventions** of these kinds of movies.
**The worst is how “mutations” are handled. Somehow, single point mutations, or maybe insertions/deletions, are powerful enough to induce metaphysical powers that break all the laws of thermodynamics? I can’t accept it. Flies, mice, and cockroaches have comparable physiology and genetics to ours, so why aren’t there one-in-a-billion Drosophila variants buzzing around zapping everything with laser beams? Why aren’t there mice levitating? Why no rare cockroaches punching through walls with their super-strength? It’s all nonsense***.
***Nonsense is OK in the movies. The problem is when it overwhelms the human story. I enjoy Spider-Man or Captain America**** because of the themes of responsibility and sacrifice that I can relate to.
****But not Batman or Iron Man. They’re just rich assholes.