Written by / 2/12/2018 / No comments / , , , , , , ,

MAKING A 'SPLASH' OUT OF 'THE SHAPE OF WATER'

Year of Release: 2017 Wide Release/Reviewed: 2018
There's a burden lifted after searching Google following THE SHAPE OF WATER and typing in the film's title followed by 'is like SPLASH'... Right off the bat, an article's subject compares the similar aquatic-based fables of each film —  only with the genders switched...

WATER starts out in a dark, icky-green-lit military compound where an aquatic humanoid creature is trapped and tormented — and then befriends a young girl/employee, and that's exactly the kind of place SPLASH winds up... and ends pretty quickly thereafter while WATER remains stagnant until she's... or rather... he is rescued by, like SPLASH, an odd, flawed yet lovable group of endearing underdogs, who outsmart the tight-security military bad guys... or in this case... bad guy, singular...

Compare The End to the poster above
Michael Shannon, with the signature tough-chiseled mug of a 1930's Gangster Film Mob Boss's Chief Henchman, is, like most cinematic villains today, not judged solely on what his character says or does, but who he is. Taking place during the 1960's, he's a military white man, lives in the suburbs, is extremely racist, considers himself 'decent' and quotes from the Bible... All malevolent ingredients included!

While THE SHAPE OF WATER is promoted as a body-count creature feature, it's actually a loaded time-capsule romance teaching the new generation (or reminding the old one) that the 1960's were full of either racists, homophobes or their open-minded, non-judgmental victims. Meanwhile, THE HELP actress Octavia Spencer plays the kind of "funny black sidekick" that 90's throwback Jackée was once scoffed at for being a typecast female Stepin Fetchit, and not even as good...

ShapeScore: **
Even Michael Shannon refers to Spencer and mute leading lady ingenue Sally Hawkins as "the help." Plus there are a few more nostalgic inspirations herein: If FRANKENSTEIN had morphed THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON and SWAMP THING into E.T. THE EXTRA "Messianic Healing" TERRESTRIAL, that would be the primal SHAPE here. But again, this WATER is practically a note-for-note (albeit only two notes) SPLASH reboot — there's even a Russian spy thrown in for good measure (much like the SPLASH Eugene Levy crooked-turned-nice guy) to add some Cold War "intrigue" into the mix — but there's little to no suspense, or reality. How quick and easily a female janitor can spend so much unsupervised time alone with the Top Secret mysteriously formidable yet much-too-quickly passive "alien" in the first place — who is, as usual, being used for nefariously political reasons...

Art Poster
And for the character-acting chops there's the usually dependable Richard Jenkins (our fun-loving SPLASH comic relief John Candy spot) as a cliché homosexual who watches old movies, mostly musicals, and... get this... In one extremely awkward scene, he makes a play for a young, energetic and attractive male pie-diner employee who he'd had his creepy old eyes on earlier... not what feminist superior Gloria Allred would rationalize as a "clumsy pass," but , grabbing the dude's hand and telling his intentions outright, the kid, shocked, pulls away and backs up (which should be understandable given the present-time climate where women don't like being treated the same way by aggressive straight males). But then, half a second later, the hit-on young man victim viciously throws a black family out of the restaurant!

Because of these kind of heavy-handed, overly-obvious political agendas there is rarely a story to carry out the plot or theme, which should offer, not force, a message — the tail no longer wags the dog, it is the dog. And for those who just want a "strange, different kind of love story," rewatch the original KING KONG. It's far more romantic, the "couple" has better chemistry, and it actually has a beginning, middle, and end.
Share This Post :
Tags : , , , , , , ,

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Featured Post

PAUL NEWMAN DEFECTS ALFRED HITCHOCK'S 'TORN CURTAIN'

Paul Newman battling Wolfgang Kieling Year: 1966 Rating: *** Alfred Hitchcock's Cold War Thriller TORN CURTAIN brings back the auteu...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Most Popular Last Year

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM
Movie Reviews, Interviews, Articles and Pop Culture from White Heat to Blue City

FOR TELEVISION REVIEWS

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE

FOUNDED BY JAMES M. TATE
RANDOM QUOTE: "Most of us are more afraid of getting hurt than getting killed." Joe Turkel in Stanley Kubrick's Paths of Glory

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

1)THE FEARMAKERS 2)JAWS 3)THE CROWDED SKY 4)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 5)ANATOMY OF A MURDER 6)ASH WEDNESDAY 7)SHARKS' TREASURE 8)CANYON PASSAGE 9)THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 10)HOT CARS 11)CURSE OF THE DEMON 12)HARDCORE 13)VIOLENT SATURDAY 14)ROYAL FLASH 15)DUEL IN THE JUNGLE 16)SWEENEY TWO 17)THE PARTY 18)THE ROARING TWENTIES 19)AIR PATROL 20)THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN 21)THE SERGEANT 22)OTLEY 23)AL CAPONE 24)WILLIAM CONRAD'S BRAINSTORM 25)FALLEN ANGEL 26)THE DEFECTOR 27)COMPULSION 28)MY BLOOD RUNS COLD 29)EASY LIVING 30)WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS 31)ATLANTIC CITY 32)JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBERG 33)CANYON RIVER 34)MADISON AVENUE 35)THE SHARKFIGHTERS 36)DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS 37)QUANTRILL'S RAIDERS 38)KILLER FISH 39)THUNDER ISLAND 40)THE DAY THEY ROBBED THE BANK OF ENGLAND

ACTORS 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)MARLON BRANDO 4)JACK NICHOLSON 5)ORSON WELLES 6)PETER O'TOOLE 7)TOM COURTENAY 8)CHARLES BRONSON 9)GENE HACKMAN 10)VICTOR MATURE ACTRESSES 1)VIRGINIA MAYO 2)SUE LYON 3)GENE TIERNEY 4)MERRY ANDERS 5)FAYE DUNAWAY DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEUR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN CARPENTER 7)MAURY DEXTER 8)JOHN LANDIS 9)MICHAEL WINNER 10)SAM PECKINPAH

RARITIES & EXPLOITATION

Popular This Month

CINEMA OF DANA ANDREWS

TRIP THROUGH THE SIXTIES

WESTERN GENRE REVIEWS

All Time Popular

TARGETING THE SEVENTIES

KICKING IN THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE