Hi folks and welcome to the The Friday Film Club where both myself and Kim will be highlighting a film which we feel is worth checking out. At the same time we would love to hear your own selections whether you’re choosing to just name them in the comments section or join us in arguing the case for your film on your blog, let us know and we will share it below.
Kim’s Pick – Ready or Not (2019)
Every wealthy family has their secrets and very much so for the Le Domas who run the Le Domas Family Games company who has their own wedding night ritual. When the youngest brother Alex (Mark O’Brien) gets married to a “normal girl” Grace (Samara Weaving), she ends up meeting his very odd family and introduced to their wedding ritual to honor their family business and that is to draw a card from their prized possession, Le Bail’s puzzle box which names a game they must play as initiation. Grace draws “Hide-and-Seek” which turns out to be the deadliest choice in the pile when she finds out that she is now being hunted by the entire family in their locked down mansion.
Ready Or Not might seem like an escape room sort of deal and some twisted family. While the Le Domas family is a bit odd, they definitely fit into the dark comedy element presented for the movie as it’s obvious that this draw is not frequent. Through the movie, it’s much more than that as Grace outsmarts each of the members of the family, it becomes clear that the Le Domas have no choice to do this and their own reasons as we learn who Le Bail is and what the puzzle box is all about. The story itself being deeper than what its presented at the beginning along with a fast-paced chase around the house with each of the characters having their own agenda and quirky personality all adds to this being both violent but comedic and striking a nice balance between the two.
Each of the members of Le Domas family as well as Grace is so colorful. The standout would of course go to Samara Weaving who has been landing these crazy roles in the indie film realm and yet again, pulls off a great role with Grace. The unknown factor is where each person feels about this Hide and Seek game on hand. The female characters actually play mostly the stronger roles just like the intense Aunt Helene (Nicky Guadagni) and Grace’s mother in law (Andie MacDowell) who has more of a calm and manipulative personality. However, Alex’s character also has its inner conflict much like his brother Daniel (Adam Brody) who ends up having quite a surprising turn of events in their choices.
Ready or Not is a fast-paced fun dark comedy thriller. It’s violent and intense at times yet at the same time, there are moments of dark comedy elements that relieve the tension a little. With some well-written characters and a unique twist to the story, it’s an absolute blast to watch.
Elwood’s Pick – Frank (2014)
Jon (Domhnall Gleeson) is a struggling songwriter who after witnessing the keyboardist for the experimental band the Soronprfbs trying to drown himself, Jon finds himself drafted into the band as his replacement while at the same time being transfixed by their lead singer Frank who constantly wears a papier-mache mask over his head as he embarks on a journey of musical experimentation and sheer randomness as the band head to a remote cabin to record their debut album which like much of their music seems to be more about organised chaos and Frank chasing band members with a shovel than any kind of traditional songwriting as they create the sort of experimental noise making reminiscent of The Pixies and which somehow manages to get into your head so that you likely find yourself humming a few bars of “I love Wall”.
Inspired by Frank Sidebottom the fringe comedy persona of Chris Sievey who I’m not actually sure anyone outside of the UK might have actually heard of despite him being a regular fixture on early 90’s kids TV and the Madchester scene were he essentially gigged with everyone even at one playing his own support act. Still while the film is co-written by his former bandmate Jon Ronson this is not a biopic but rather a film inspired by his persona with Sievey giving his backing to the film shortly before his death, while Ronson drew further inspiration from the likes of Daniel Johnston and Captain Beefheart.
As weird as things get on this journey though, there is always this feeling of inclusion than the feeling the film is trying to be weird for the sake of things, thanks largely to Jon whose confused and often baffled responses to the things happening around him help provide an anchor to the film while in many ways representing the audiences viewing experience while at the same time Frank despite his unique appearance is such a warm and friendly soul as he offers to describe his facial expressions like warm smile as he hides under his paper-mache mask his own insecurities and an illusive personal history as the film gets gradually darker during it’s second half as Jon is corrupted more by the allure of fame, giving us the kind of personality shift that Gleeson does so well.
While perhaps not a film I would work into my regular rotation its still an engaging and enjoyable watch and one which certainly I felt myself thinking about several days after I saw it, For fans of Frank Sidebottom it’s kind of a unique tribute to Chris Sievey’s comedy alter ego while fans wanting a look at his life can hunt down the documentary Being Frank: The Chris Sievey story for a better look at the man inside the mask.
So you’ve seen our picks for this week’s double feature but what are your movie watching plans this weekend?
Let us know in the comments section below.