INFINITY BABY (USA 2017)

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Infinity Baby Poster
A comedy about babies that don’t age.

Director:

Bob Byington

Writer:

Onur Tukel

 

The execution of the movie is as queer as its conception of the infinity baby.  INFINITY BABY, shot in black and white is a absurdist social comedy that almost becomes a viable satire.

THE INFINITY BABY is so called because this baby does not age (hence being a baby forever).  By giving the baby a fixed medication, the baby only needs to eat once a week and have its diaper changed once a week.  The baby never cries but coos as cute as any cooing baby can be.  The whole package comes at a cost of $20,000.  The film follows one such baby that had her medication changed, died and ended growing up.  How all this happens with all its absurdist hilarity makes up Byington’s occasionally very funny movie.

It is not this baby person that is the subject of the movie.  The subjects are the employees involved with the infinity baby enterprise.  These are imperfect people with imperfect lives which the film milks for all its hilarity.  The inventor of the infinity baby is Neo (Nick Offerman) rich and powerful, and in his own works gives advice that people actually listen to. In his employ is Ben (Kieran Culkin, brother of the HOME ALONE Culkin) who wants a woman but is afraid to commit to a relationship.  When things get too sticky, he brings the girlfriend to her mother who will ream her out and therefore break up the relationship with no guilt accosted to Ben.  It is later learned that this woman is not really his mother, but a woman he pays to impersonate his mother to break up his various relationships.  These scenes have to be seen to be believed.  Ben is nothing more than an overgrown child, wonderfully portrayed by Culkin.

More outrageous are the two baby delivery guys, Larry (Steve Corrigan) and Malcolm (Starr).  They are a gay couple who end up stealing a baby and keeping the $20,000 in order to boost their relationship.  But they are lazy and increase the medication doses of the baby so that they do not have to clean and feed the infant so often.  The bay dies. All hell breaks loose.

Director Byington claims that the film is inspired by Woody Allen’s BANANAS.  The relationship part of the Wood Allen film is similar – the one where the character played by Allen’s then wife, breaks up with him.  Byington’s film, based on the script by Onur Tukel (CATFIGHT) is made up of a series of comedic set-ups that are related by the theme of the infinity baby but mostly unconnected in flow.  The film feels disjointed not aided by a non conclusive ending. 

One would hardly expect a proper closed ending from a film with an absurdist plot.  Still INFINITY BABY is highly amusing for its inventiveness, weirdness and very funny humour.   The film was selected for the SXSW Film Festival and also won the CENTER Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1h5QtQ-_ZI

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Film Review: THE FOUNDER (USA 2016) ***

the_founder_movie_poster.jpgDirector: John Lee Hancock
Writer: Robert D. Siegel
Stars: Linda Cardellini, Nick Offerman, Michael Keaton

 THE FOUNDER an American biographical drama that tells the story of of Ray Kroc, the self-claimed founder of McDonald’s. Whether he is the true founder or not, it is up to the audience to decide, but the film written by Robert Siegel and directed by John Lee Hanccock tries to reveal the real story, warts and all.

Just as THE FOUNDER could serve as an educational film on business success strategies, it could also be a classroom model for ethical practices.

The film follows the trail of Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a salesman for milkshake mixers to restaurants – indeed a hard sell. After receiving word that a small diner is ordering an unusually large number of milkshake makers from his company, Ray decides to go visit the enterprise in question. What he finds is a highly popular diner by the name of McDonald’s. Ray is immediately struck by the fast service, the high-quality food, the novelty of disposable packaging (versus cutlery) and the family-focused customers who regularly consume the food.

Ray meets with the two brothers who own and operate the diner. Maurice “Mac” McDonald (John Carroll Lynch) is elder and more simple-minded but extremely hard-working. Richard “Dick” McDonald (Nick Offerman) is younger and known for being an ideas man. Ray is given a tour of the kitchens and immediately is struck by the strong work ethic displayed by From them, Kroc acquires the fast food chain, growing it to a full state business to much more. His marriage to Ethel Fleming (Laura Dern) eventually lands in divorce with him marrying one of his franchise owners.

The film takes its time to get the audience on the side of Ray Kroc. Ray is depicted as a hard-working salesman with initially good honest practices with solid family values like caring for his loving wife. As greed gains control over Ray with the McDonalds empire expanding, Ray resorts to unethical tactics to take control over the two brothers. His marriage ends as well though the details are not shown on screen. He learns more about the dirt in the business and in his own words, he would drown a competitor by sticking a hose up his mouth. So, director Hancock slowly shifts sides as Ray’s good side eventually erodes when he finally cheats the brothers out of their agreed 1% stake in the business.

Michael delivers another outstanding performance as Ray Kroc, a man that the audience can both admire and despise. Patrick Wilson is largely wasted in a small role as the husband of the girl Ray stole to be his second wife. Offerman and Lynch play the brothers perfectly.

If Ray was depicted totally as a scheming unethical cheat, the film would turn away both its audience and McDonald’s customers. McDonald’s has become an American icon and Hancock is smart enough to treat the material as well as the character of Ray Kroc with respect. Besides Kroc has also demonstrated that the American dream can be achieved from pure persistence.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AX2uz2XYkbo

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Happy Birthday: Nick Offerman

nickofferman.jpgHappy Birthday actor Nick Offerman

Born: June 26, 1970 in Joliet, Illinois, USA

Married to: Megan Mullally (20 September 2003 – present)

 

 

 

 

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