Marilyn Monroe, the Hollywood actress known as the “Blonde Bombshell, passed away 60 years ago, but her star power endures. A new film on Netflix called BLONDE is one of more than a dozen films that deal with her life. The main reason to see BLONDE is the astonishingly good performance of Ana de Armas as Marilyn. The Cuban actress truly inhabits Monroe’s character and in this film looks so much like her that you can barely tell them apart. BLONDE is a brilliant but disturbing blend of fact and fiction, a creatively photographed nightmare that portrays her tragic life so vividly that it’s sometimes hard to watch. Not everything in the film works, and it’s too long at two hours and forty seven minutes. But since it’s on Netflix, you can watch in more than one sitting. And if the tragic story becomes too much, you can always just turn it off. But if you have Netflix, do give BLONDE a try.
THE MENU is advertised as both a comedy and a horror film. It cleverly satirizes pretentious fine dining chefs and their snobbish, wealthy customers. But as its story gradually unfolds, the movie turns into a disturbing horror film.
The ensemble acting is top notch, the directing is crisp, and the script is skillfully written. But because I’m not a fan of horror films, I enjoyed the film’s humor but didn’t appreciate its shocking violence. (only in theaters)
Big budget blockbusters including superhero movies attract big audiences. Their domination at the box office means that creative, original dramas get limited showings in Hawaii and almost no publicity. On Oahu if you want to see compelling original dramas, check the online listings for Consolidated’s Kahala and Koko Marina theaters. No other theaters show these kinds of films consistently. And you have to be quick about it, because many of them are gone after just one or two weeks. I can’t tell you how often a movie I’ve been writing about disappears before my little review can air. That was the case this week for a powerful drama called ARMGAMEDDON TIME, starring Anthony Hopkins, Ann Hathaway, Jeremy Strong and young Banks Repeta. Another strikingly original movie called THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN is still playing at Koko Marina, but it will end this coming Tuesday. It’s an intense comedy/drama, staring Colin Farrell as Padraic a lonely farmer whose best friend, Colm played by Brenden Gleeson, suddenly wants nothing to do with him for no obvious reason. The two are reunited for the first time since 2008’s IN BRUGES. Writer-director Martin McDonagh directed both films as well as THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. (Koko Marina only)