articles by Connor Behrens
With the release of these two films, it’s apparent that Hollywood isn’t too lazy and incapable of creating original content. Amid the “Spider-Man” and “Transformers” franchises and the high-budget ridiculousness of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” this week has offered up a tasty alternative and a brief answer to those worried that cinema’s future will consist of nothing but mindless reboots.
“Baby Driver” tells the story of Baby, a young getaway driver who is grudgingly forced to aid criminal heists for an old-timer criminal mastermind in the promise that he will have an improved life.
Using terms such as “slick” or “stylish” could explain the crazed contents of Wright’s gem that runs at a taut one hour and 53 minutes, but that wouldn’t even begin to describe the eclectic, ultra-violent film that fires on all cylinders.
With an all-star cast consisting of Kevin Spacey and Jamie Foxx, “Baby Driver” features a smart screenplay that mixes noir with heart – a combination not seen very often in cinema. But thanks to the tenacity of the scenes and the energy that Wright jolts via the editing and soundtrack, the film is an ultimate winner.
As the credits play and the darkness slowly dissipates as the lights turn on in the theater, you will sit in your chair and think to yourself, “This film is going to be known as a cult classic in 10 years.”
That is “Baby Driver.”
On the opposite side on Netflix, “Okja” provides the next film from the director who created the spellbinding and bizarre “Snowpiercer.”
For a decade, young Mija has been the warden and friend to Okja – a massive pig – in the faraway mountains of South Korea. All of that changes when the Mirando Corporation takes back Okja for themselves and ships her to New York, where a vain and outlandish CEO has ideas for Mija’s pet. With all other options quickly fading, Mija decides to go after and resue Okja, taking her on a wild and dangerous journey.
While not as entrancing as “Snowpiercer” but just as wacky, “Okja” provides a fierce commentary on capitalism and consumerism. While its muddling pace admittedly brings the film down from reaching true greatness, the heartwarming main star (a giant pig you are bound to fall in love with) and supporting cast make this another winner for director Joon-ho. “Okja” also gives hope to Netflix’s promise that they will create more original content and offers a viable way for original films to rein supreme outside the blockbusters and big-budget films.
While this summer has proven blockbusters can be original and still provide a mainstream delight (“Wonder Woman”), it’s refreshing to see a barrage of original films come out in a season where the sphere is almost always dominated by superheroes and giant robots. It’s a healthy mix for general audiences to choose from. And when is that ever a bad thing?