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.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

All Time Popular

WWW.CULTFILMFREAKS.COM

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

IN THEATERS OR STREAMING

FOR TELEVISION REVIEWS

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

TOTAL HITS

Popular Trending

WRITTEN BY JAMES M. TATE

WRITTEN BY JAMES M. TATE
email: cultfilmfreak@jamesmtate.com

WEBSITE INFORMATION

WEBSITE INFORMATION
Random Quote: "I'm not funny because I can't take myself seriously anymore." Gena Rowlands to Ben Gazarra, Opening Night

Blog Archive

ETERNAL ART OF FILM NOIR

RARITIES & EXPLOITATION

FAVORITES SHORTLIST

MOVIES 1)THE FEARMAKERS 2)JAWS 3)THE CROWDED SKY 4)HOT CARS 5)THE MAN FROM LARAMIE 6)THE SERGEANT 7)RAIDERS FROM BENEATH THE SEA 8)HARDCORE 9)OPENING NIGHT 10)WICHITA 11)AIR PATROL 12)CANYON PASSAGE 13)AL CAPONE 14)JOURNEY INTO FEAR 15)CRACK IN THE WORLD

ACTORS 1)DANA ANDREWS 2)JAMES CAGNEY 3)MARLON BRANDO 4)ORSON WELLES 5)JACK NICHOLSON 6)PETER O'TOOLE 7)TOM COURTENAY 8)ROD STEIGER 9CHARLES BRONSON 10)GENE HACKMAN 1)SUE LYON 2)GENE TIERNEY 3)MERRY ANDERS 4)FAYE DUNAWAY 5)DEBORAH WINTERS

DIRECTORS 1)JACQUES TOURNEAR 2)RICHARD FLEISCHER 3)STANLEY KUBRICK 4)ORSON WELLES 5)OTTO PREMINGER 6)JOHN LANDIS 7)MAURY DEXTER 8)JOHN GUILLERMIN 9)MICHAEL WINNER 10)SAM PECKINPAH COMPOSERS 1)TANGERINE DREAM 2)JERRY GOLDSMITH 3)JOHN WILLIAMS 4)JOHN CARPENTER 5)PHILIAN BISHOP

SCIENCE-FICTION STUFF

Popular This Month

OUR OWN CORNERSTONE

OUR OWN CORNERSTONE
Journey Into the Cinema of DANA ANDREWS

Blogs of Interest

BLASTING TO THE SIXTIES

SHOOT FOR THE SEVENTIES

KICKING BACK THE EIGHTIES

TALES AND REFLECTIONS

TALES AND REFLECTIONS
Mike Damone to Huggy Bear to Nurse Ratched

RETURN TO THE HOMEPAGE