Film Review: SWISS ARMY MAN (2016) “Gems you may have missed!”

SWISS ARMY MANA hopeless man stranded on a deserted island befriends a dead body and together they go on a surreal journey to get home.

Directors: Dan Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
Writers: Daniel Scheinert, Dan Kwan
Stars: Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead

by Kierston Drier

This issue of Gems You May Have Missed is all about unlikely heroes, psychological breakdowns and dead bodies with magical boners. Yes. I said that.

SWISS ARMY MAN is a rare beast of a film. Written and directed by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, and released in early July 2016, this piece requires commitment to your distension of disbelief. But if you can jump that hurdle, the film pays off big in the realm of emotional dividends and offbeat humor. Really offbeat.

Hank (Paul Dano), a nondescript everyman with a healthy dose of melancholia acts as our unlikely hero, when we find him at the opening of the film, stranded and starving on a desert island. He is about to hang himself when Manny (Daniel Radcliff) washes up on shore. Desperate for human contact of any kind, Hank forms an emotional and slightly creepy attachment to our dead friend. Believing that the appearance of Manny must be a sign, Hank drags the corpse off the beach and begins the long trek to seeks help and a way home.

The film starts on a dark note but quickly spirals through dark comedy and into a strange, but loveable hybrid of genre all its own, when Radcliff’s character Manny begins to talk. Not only talk, but also perform life saving tricks for Hank- like gush fresh water from his mouth, use his erection as a north-pointing compass, and, wait for it, fart so powerfully that he can work as a human motor boat. Hank and Manny form a bizarre bond of friendship, compassion and an utterly fresh take on instrumental friendship, as they must work together to get back to civilization.

It is hard to explain what makes SWISS ARMY MAN such an incredible cinematic experience. It boasts gorgeous, lush cinematic visuals, beautiful art direction and breathtaking cinematography. It is also largely a two-hander which means huge applause must go out to both Dano and Radcliff for engaging and grabbing performances. While both actors do a fantastic job in their roles, a special nod must be given to Radcliff who, has the added challenge of conveying a depth of character while still managing to pull of character that is, well, dead. The script is quirky, emotional and vibrantly original. But what makes SWISS ARMY MAN a real gem, is how startling unique it is. There is simply no film quite like it.

A viewer can watch this movie and feel a vast array of feelings- confusion, absurdity, hilarity, sorrow, compassion, concern and disbelief all within an hour and half. We never really know if we are watching a metaphor, one man’s delusion, or a strange world where anything-can-happen. But we feel something. The feeling may be complex and confusing but it is undeniably authentic. You may need to let go of logic and reason and strap yourself in for this roller-coaster of a film, but it is worth every minute of the ride.

Advertisements

Happy Birthday: Daniel Radcliffe

danielradcliffe.jpgDaniel Radcliffe

Born: July 23, 1989 in Fulham, London, England, UK

 

 

 

 

 

THE WOMAN IN BLACK
dir. James Watkins
Stars:
Daniel Radcliffe
Janet McTeer
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
2001
dir. Chris Columbus
Starring
Richard Harris
Harry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
2002
dir. Chris Columbus
starring
Daniel Radcliffe
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
2004
dir. Alfonso Cuaron
Starring
Gary Oldman
HARRY POTTER 4Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
2005
dir. Mike Newell
starring
Alan Rickman
Ralph Fiennes
HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIXHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
2007
dir. David Yates
Starring
Daniel Radcliffe
Harry Melling
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF BLOOD PRINCEHarry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
2009
dir. David Yates
Starring
Daniel Radcliffe
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWSHARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS
dir. David Yates
Stars:
Daniel Radcliffe
Emma Watson
MOVIE POSTERHARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOW PART 2
dir. David Yates
MOVIE POSTERWHAT IF
2014
dir. Michael Dowse
Stars:
Daniel Radcliffe
Zoe Kazan

TOP DANIEL RADCLIFFE PHOTOS2011 – See the best of his pictures.

ABS – See the best of his pictures.

BANGS – See the best of his pictures.

BEACH – See the best of his pictures.

BLACK AND WHITE – See the best of his pictures.

BEFORE AND AFTER – See the best of his pictures.

BOB – See the best of his pictures.

BODY – See the best of his pictures.

BOOTS – See the best of his pictures.

BUTT – See the best of his pictures.

BEARD – See the best of his pictures.

COAT – See the best of his pictures.

CLOSE UP – See the best of his pictures.

CASUAL – See the best of his pictures.

EARS – See the best of his pictures.

EYES – See the best of his pictures.

FACE – See the best of his pictures.

FASHION – See the best of his pictures.

FEET – See the best of his pictures.

FACIAL HAIR – See the best of his pictures.

GORGEOUS – See the best of his pictures.

GIRLFRIEND – See the best of his pictures.

HANDSOME – See the best of his pictures.

HAIR – See the best of his pictures.

HAIRSTYLE – See the best of his pictures.

HOT – See the best of his pictures.

JEANS – See the best of his pictures.

LIPS – See the best of his pictures.

LONG HAIR – See the best of his pictures.

MEASUREMENTS – See the best of his pictures.

MODEL – See the best of his pictures.

MUSCLES – See the best of his pictures.

MAKEUP ON – See the best of his pictures.

NOSE – See the best of his pictures.

ON THE STREET – See the best of his pictures.

PHOTO SHOOT – See the best of his pictures.

POSE – See the best of his pictures.

PROFILE – See the best of his pictures.

PANTS – See the best of his pictures.

RED CARPET – See the best of his pictures.

SEXY – See the best of his pictures.

SHORT HAIR – See the best of his pictures.

SUIT – See the best of his pictures.

SHOES – See the best of his pictures.

SHORTS – See the best of his pictures.

SKINNY – See the best of his pictures.

STYLE – See the best of his pictures.

SUNGLASSES – See the best of his pictures.

SWIMSUIT – See the best of his pictures.

SHIRT OFF – See the best of his pictures.

SMILE – See the best of his pictures.

TUXEDO – See the best of his pictures.

TEETH – See the best of his pictures.

TATTOO – See the best of his pictures.

UNDERWEAR – See the best of his pictures.

WALLPAPER – See the best of his pictures.

YOUNG – See the best of his pictures.

ON SET – See the best of his pictures.

AND EMMA WATSON – See the best of his pictures.

SIDEBURNS – See the best of his pictures.

AND RUPERT GRINT – See the best of his pictures.

WET – See the best of his pictures.

AND RALPH FIENNES – See the best of his pictures.

AND KATIE LEUNG – See the best of his pictures.

GLASSES – See the best of his pictures.

LEATHER – See the best of his pictures.

AND ROSIE HEMINGWAY – See the best of his pictures.

AUTOGRAPH – See the best of his pictures.

AND TOM FELTON – See the best of his pictures.

AND BONNIE WRIGHT – See the best of his pictures.

AND ROBERT PATTINSON – See the best of his pictures.

CUTE – See the best of his pictures.

CHEST – See the best of his pictures.

CIGARETTE – See the best of his pictures.

ESQUIRE – See the best of his pictures.

DETAILS – See the best of his pictures.

EMPIRE – See the best of his pictures.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – See the best of his pictures.

DRAWING – See the best of his pictures.

GAY KISS – See the best of his pictures.

POSTER – See the best of his pictures.

CALENDAR – See the best of his pictures.

DANCING – See the best of his pictures. 

Movie Review: NOW YOU SEE ME 2

now_you_see_me_2NOW YOU SEE ME 2 (USA 2016) ***
Directed by Jon M. Chu

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Lizzy Caplan, Dave Franco, Daniel Radcliffe, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman

Review by Gilbert Seah

NOW YOU SEE ME 2, the sequel to the unexpected hit NOW YOU SEE ME has the same 4 horsemen return for another round of magic trickery to astound audiences, whether they love magic or not.

Except for Lizzy Caplan taking over the female role from Isla Fisher, most of the original cast returns. Jesse Eisenberg plays the main role of Daniel “Danny” Atlas, the group leader followed by Woody Harrelson as Chase, Dave Franco as Jack Wilder, Caplan as Lula and Mark Ruffalo as the FBI mole. There are two sets of bad guys here. One is the FBI – a favourite target organization hated by (most) Americans and non-Americas alike. The other is Walter Mabry (Daniel Radcliffe) an unethical magnate that the Horsemen want to expose for unethical tactics, together with his father, Arthur Tresslr (Michael Caine).

Performances are key to a movie like this. It is not surprising for the filmmakers to assemble such an an impressive cast, all of whom inject sufficient seriousness and energy into the venture. But Radcliffe (HARRY POTTER) looks ill at ease at playing a bad guy as does Michael Caine.

The magic tricks performed in the film are especially outlandish. The are also performed really quickly with the solutions provided ever quicker. When the horsemen first appear again in public, they chose the most famous venues in London such as Trafalgar Square. The tricks include making rain disappear and people transported by plane. But the trickery is explained with the solution often so simple. The disappearing rain is accomplished through rain machines and strobe lights.

The best trick on display involves the horsemen forced to flee from their enemy. They leap off a rooftop through a chute and land up in China. If this act appears impossible, the revelation of how this occurs illustrates the power of imagination in a script that writer Ed Solomon constantly impresses. Though the film runs more than 2 hours, it is too long even though one hardly feels it.

Just as magic often uses doubles, the script cleverly adds a component of Merritt’s evil twin brother, again played by Harrelson, hamming it out the best he can in two different roles.

The business aspect of the film? NOW YOU SEE ME 2 hopes to pull in some big bucks for the flailing Lionsgate, the studio responsible for HUNGER GAMES and the TWILIGHT films, now in dire need of a big hit after the shares took a plunge last earnings session after a drop in quarterly revenue. But the bottom line is that this film provides just more of the same tricks – nothing more, nothing less. The first film was a surprise hit taking the box-office by storm. Lionsgate has lumped a larger amount of $90 million into the sequel, a sort of ‘we need a hit regardless of expense’. The film is up against stiff competition with WARCRAFT and CONJURING 2 both opening this same weekend. Looks like Lionsgate needs some magic on its own.