Quick Reviews: No Man’s Land, Psycho Goreman and The White Tiger!
Two of these have something that’s uncommon in movies… and it’s not Psycho Goreman. Weird.
Hey, how’s it going everybody? Saying that made me feel like a really generic YouTuber, but we will power through it. Three movies came out recently that stuck out to me and instead of giving them all full-length reviews I opted for something shorter, more concise.
Why did I do that? Truthfully, it’s a time thing mostly, but I also understand that some people dig shorter reviews because life is busy and sometimes fluff is irritating. There’s a certain time and place–a utility–to the mini-review format because a lot of people just want to swiftly determine if something is worth their time or not. The irony of me saying that is that these two paragraphs are basically fluff. Hey, I’m a writer, okay? Let’s get on with the party.
No Man’s Land
No Man’s Land tries to tell a gripping and emotional tale of a man on the run after he kills an immigrant Mexican boy in an altercation one night. It doesn’t quite get to that level despite all the elements being perfect for the creation of something stimulating and evocative.
It’s not that it’s bad. In fact, as the credits rolled I thought I was really into this because the ending is powerful and I remembered some other particular scenes fondly. There is some real impact scattered throughout here even if the way the plot unfolds is rather predictable. On top of that the acting is solid all around and if you love glory shots of the wilderness or have a passion for the Western then both are exemplified here.
The main issue–and the reason that I ended up dropping my score considerably–is that as I pondered it I also came to the conclusion that the strength of the truly good scenes made me forget the fact that I felt that the movie meanders way too much. I wasn’t able to ignore the tedium as I watched it, but the ending in particular made me look back at it more positively than I was as I was enduring it.
The White Tiger
For a lot of its duration The White Tiger maintains a consistent level of quality that neither impressed nor upset me. It’s the textbook definition of good, where it’s hardly memorable but the pieces are all assembled in a satisfactory way.
You’ll want to watch The White Tiger if you’re interested in India because that’s where it shines. The social commentary is tantalizing, providing a fairly deep exploration of the country, specifically in regards to class and tradition. It’s enjoyable to an outsider like me because I’m not from there.
Adarsh Gourav stars as Balram. This was his first performance and in ways it shows. There is some more difficult material for him to handle (which he mostly does) but there’s also a flatness to some of his delivery and his mannerisms. With that said, he still put in some pretty good work and I’ll look forward to seeing where he goes from here.
While a two hour runtime is not astronomically huge, Ramin Bahrani’s adaption can’t justify it. I was a little disappointed because it’s not nearly as exciting as the plot summary lead me to believe. It takes an exorbitant amount of time building the Balram character and his interactions with his family of “masters,” but it’s surprisingly shallow relative to the time given to doing it. There is much that could have been cut that would have made the pacing more snappy and engaging. Once we get to the point that we’ve been waiting for it breezes by, although I did appreciate the final shot because it wonderfully depicts some of its central messaging visually.
If you would have told me that a flick titled Psycho Goreman would be the movie to beat so far in 2021 I would have… well I might have believed it because that’s an awesome name. I don’t know where it falls as the year comes to an end because my eyes will witness much (I’ve seen some things, man), but I would consider this great with some flaws.
The plus side is that it undeniably shows the creativity that a good B-Movie should. The character Psycho Goreman–or PG for short–has a heckin’ good design that reminded me a lot of Gwar, which I’m okay with. The script is clever and plays with tropes, especially at the end (which I love). It’s incredibly dark but also quite admirable black comedy. The effects are usually splendid, considering it’s low-budget. It’s a thrill ride and that’s all I wanted.
It does have some trappings of being low-budget, which prevents it from escalating itself to the point where it’s a shoo-in for my top twenty by the end of the year. Look at me talking about movie awards already–how cute.
There aren’t many action sequences but of the few that exist, only one isn’t a bore. The others are more substantial and meaningful to the plot but the choreography and lack of funds to really pump into getting it right hurt it. The inventiveness of the script and art design isn’t evident here, and if you were to turn it on during these you would think that the film was a lot more terrible than it really is.
I would have liked to see some of the characters show a little more growth than they do, and some of the jokes are reaching too hard for the laugh, but these are more minor problems behind the atrocious fight scenes. That’s really all I take issue with here because the people behind it succeeded in delivering a really fun, gross, hilarious and relatively subversive horror comedy that everybody should seek out.
He is the white (and black) bunny.