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COLOSSAL Post-Release

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

A dark comedy about alcoholism, male entitlement, and kaiju.

 

Gloria (Anne Hathaway) is a mess. She hasn't worked in a year. She's living in an alochol-and-hangover-induced haze, barely functional, lying her ass off to everyone - especially her boyfriend (a very plummy and condescending Dan Stevens). When he dumps her, she crawls back home to her parents' old house (which they still own but aren't living at) - ostensibly to get better, but really just to hide.

 

While walking home, she meets an old friend from childhood, Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), now a bar owner who clearly has long had feelings for Gloria. He gives her a job as a waitress, and she falls into a comfortably numb routine of working there in the evenings, and drinking the rest of nights away with him and his buddies (Tim Blake Nelson and Austin Stowell).

 

Except right then, a giant monster starts attacking Seoul. It materializes out of thin air, stomps through the city, and then vanishes, leaving destruction in its wake. And Gloria starts to notice things - it appears whenever she tromps through a particular park outside her old school, it doesn't seem to acknowledge the areas around it like it can even see them... and it mimics her exact gestures. Somehow, improbably, Gloria is causing this monster to manifest. And so her quest to clean up gains new urgency. But it won't be easy - and not everyone she's surrounded herself with will be an ally, and she's not the only one with monsters to deal with.

 

Nacho Vigolando's script is sharpest when it comes to its two main characters, imbuing them with genuine depth, pathos, and humor. The origin story it presents for how this is happening is a bit too literal, but otherwise the monster action as presented is very clever. Using the park as a stand-in for Seoul is particularly effective in a couple of later scenes.

 

Above all else, this is a triumph of performances. Sudeikis is a revelation - all entitled nice guy masculinity slowly seeping into possessiveness, jealousy, and misanthrophy. He takes a big leap to some dark places with this one, and he nails it - especially because, in a traditional rom-com, his character would obviously be the sweet "guy she left behind". Here, though, Sudeikis and Vigolando dig deep and find something much uglier under the skin. Stevens and Nelson play strong support, though Stowell is underdeveloped (especially given his role in igniting some of the plot turns). He's just a nice, dopey, hot young guy - which serves the plot enough, but maybe could've used some meat on the bones.

 

As for Hathaway, this is probably her best performances in, frankly, years. She has a real gift for finding the comedy and melancholy in her character's self-destructive tendencies, making Gloria sympathetic while not shying away from the fact that she's a completely irresponsible trainwreck. She gets at exactly how hard it is to be better, how much of a daily struggle it is (though there is a bit of a skipped beat at one point as she suddenly gets a lot more cleaned-up, but given what's come before that it's understandable that Gloria would very rapidly try to dry out).

 

Ultimately, it's a very fresh, funny and thoughtful take on monster movies and rom-coms. Definitely worth checking out.

post #2 of 35

looking forward to this

 

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Edited by mcnooj82 - 4/8/17 at 4:05am
post #3 of 35
I didn't find the trailer to be particularly funny, but the premise certainly piqued my interest and I really like Hathaway as a performer. I'm in for it.
post #4 of 35

It's great. And deserves to become a word of mouth cult hit as it expands its release this month:

http://sheiscolossal.com/screenings.html

 

But yeah, it gets daaark at times. Not exactly the cute sci-fi rom-com the trailer promises.

post #5 of 35
It's a frustrating near miss for me. It's a good movie, and gets points for its weird audacity. But the larger thematic, especially in making the monster attacks a workable metaphor for alcoholism, feel about 60% of the way there. And the premise kind of screams out to be a funnier film.

But I really liked Sudeikis and how that character was articulated. Hathaway is good too, though that I do think her arc is kind of robbed to serve Sudeikis, which is kind of ironic, really.
post #6 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arjen Rudd View Post

It's a frustrating near miss for me. It's a good movie, and gets points for its weird audacity. But the larger thematic, especially in making the monster attacks a workable metaphor for alcoholism, feel about 60% of the way there. And the premise kind of screams out to be a funnier film.

But I really liked Sudeikis and how that character was articulated. Hathaway is good too, though that I do think her arc is kind of robbed to serve Sudeikis, which is kind of ironic, really.


I could definitely see that. As I said, I do think the film skips a couple of beats when she starts to clean up about midway through the film. I mean, we don't need to see her pouring bottles of alcohol down the drain or whatever, but it did feel like she came to a decision offscreen that should've happened onscreen, whereas with Sudeikis' journey we're shown everything we need to see.

 

Performance-wise, though, I think Hathaway really brings it - really nailing that sweet spot of being the irresponsible drunken oblivious asshole who unintentionally drags down everyone around her, while still being someone you root for to get better.

post #7 of 35
I'm eager for more people to see this, because it's going to be a very interesting film to talk about. Despite a few flaws, it certainly deserves to be seen, and is very much contributing to the extraordinary film year we're enjoying so far.
post #8 of 35

Pouring bottles of alcohol into a drain wouldn't have the same impact as pouring a beer out directly in front of Oscar.

post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomas Mejor View Post
 

Pouring bottles of alcohol into a drain wouldn't have the same impact as pouring a beer out directly in front of Oscar.


I mean, that's why I said we don't need to see it (and the scene in question I found to be extremely effective). But it felt like the last time we saw Gloria before that scene, she had still been a mess, though I could be remembering wrong.

post #10 of 35

She started on water before that.

post #11 of 35

Poor writing on my part, but she was trying to teetotal before that moment.  I loved the film, btw.  Short Q&A with Nacho Vigalondo and Rian Johnson after was also aces.

post #12 of 35
This was really cool.

Sudekis was the big surprise for me. Hathaway was great, but I agree with Arjen on how he kinda takes over the movie to the point where the movie almost seems to forget what story it was telling before the monster/alcoholism metaphor starts to strain from getting too literal.

But I still thought it was pretty great! I didn't mind at all (and probably preferred) that it wasn't REALLY a comedy and more a weird, dark character drama. Glad I didn't see the trailers and only knew the basic hook.

Also, Dent... I don't really see the film as a rom-com itself. It certainly uses some story and character elements that could go that way in a different film and even works as commentary on that genre... but the film itself didn't strike me as part rom-com.

The Korean spoken at the beginning of the movie was bad.
Edited by mcnooj82 - 4/18/17 at 6:39pm
post #13 of 35
also the short film that played before the movie was fun
post #14 of 35
also...

despite repeated human-history-altering monster attacks, Korea seems to shrug it all off pretty quickly... until the next attack!

I don't think it'd be so easy to fly into Korea in such a state of emergency... eheheheh
post #15 of 35

This was an excellent film and I think it's the best film I've seen in the cinema this year. Even if I'd not liked it, or even hated it, I would have still admired it for trying to take all those disparate elements and make something more original than anything else I've seen for quite a while now. However, luckily I really liked it. Also, definitely a good way to do the trailers. It's unavoidable that you have to give away something to show how it's different from everything else out there (the hook, so to speak) but they did an excellent job hiding everything else that came later.

 

Definitely some great unexpected surprises there. You could pick the moment the tonal shift happened, and the whole "What's the most irresponsible thing I could do in this bar?" was great because I genuinely had no clue as to what was going to happen next. One of many welcome surprises in the narrative. Creative solution with the ending too, even if the more practical solution would have involved a baseball bat and a shovel for afterwards, what they came up with was better for storytelling purposes.

 

On the subject of storytelling, I guess in the interests of providing some context and background for my movie-going experience to see Colossal, it must have been all that garlic and chili I had with my lunch because the most colossal part of the experience was the huge dump I had to take in one of the cinema bathrooms. Now given it was cut-price Tuesday, no way was I waiting another week to see the film so I took my chances after this unexpected and unwelcome pit-stop and hoped I hadn't missed anything. Turns out I had but I did recognise from the promotional material it couldn't have been much which is why this came in handy. Turns out I'd only missed about 40 seconds. Technology once again saves the day.

 

post #16 of 35

oh right!  you missed the fun short film that played before the movie!

post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

oh right!  you missed the fun short film that played before the movie!

 

I don't think we get that stuff being not the US. I got in 15 minutes after the scheduled start time which my local cinema uses for advertisements and trailers because of ... circumstances.

 

However, I suspect, you're referring to this. I spent most of the time wondering what the hell was going on and whether this was a surreal art piece and then finally piecing it together near the end and thinking "Ha ha, this is great."

 

Hadn't realised this all was by the same director who made Timecrimes. Certainly explains a lot and why it's all so good.

 

post #18 of 35

nope!

 

it wasn't a Vigalondo short.

 

It was something NEON attached to showings.  A series of vignettes about the pratfalls of modern technology (addiction to smartphones).

 

But yeah, you might not get it there.

post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post
 

nope!

 

it wasn't a Vigalondo short.

 

It was something NEON attached to showings.  A series of vignettes about the pratfalls of modern technology (addiction to smartphones).

 

But yeah, you might not get it there.

 

We didn't get The Avengers shawarma scene either (and for the record, those things are fucking kebabs, none of this contorted linguistic bullshit).

post #20 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

This was really cool.

Sudekis was the big surprise for me. Hathaway was great, but I agree with Arjen on how he kinda takes over the movie to the point where the movie almost seems to forget what story it was telling before the monster/alcoholism metaphor starts to strain from getting too literal.

But I still thought it was pretty great! I didn't mind at all (and probably preferred) that it wasn't REALLY a comedy and more a weird, dark character drama. Glad I didn't see the trailers and only knew the basic hook.

Also, Dent... I don't really see the film as a rom-com itself. It certainly uses some story and character elements that could go that way in a different film and even works as commentary on that genre... but the film itself didn't strike me as part rom-com.

The Korean spoken at the beginning of the movie was bad.

Eh, I think this is a linguistic disagreement, because that's basically exactly what I meant. If this was a shitty Lifetime rom-com, Sudeikis and Hathaway's characters would end up overcoming alcoholism together and raising his kid (after her mother who left Sudeikis because she's a total bitch gets hit by a car) and they'd have the family business through her pluck bringing in new customers and so on. It uses the language of rom-com, particularly in the first act until the twist hits, but it ultimately takes a much more interesting direction.

post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent6084 View Post
 

Eh, I think this is a linguistic disagreement, because that's basically exactly what I meant. If this was a shitty Lifetime rom-com, Sudeikis and Hathaway's characters would end up overcoming alcoholism together and raising his kid (after her mother who left Sudeikis because she's a total bitch gets hit by a car) and they'd have the family business through her pluck bringing in new customers and so on. It uses the language of rom-com, particularly in the first act until the twist hits, but it ultimately takes a much more interesting direction.

 

I totally wasn't expecting the appearance of you know what. Well played on also keep that almost completely hidden in the trailers too. You get one hint of something when Gloria strikes a fighting pose so I suspected something was on its way but I had no idea what. Another big plus point, you got just enough exposition (but no more than that) spread over the entire film.

 

You know, as opposed to:

 

"Mira, your body was damaged, we couldn't save it. Only your brain survived. We made you a new body. A synthetic shell. But your mind, you soul, your ghost. It's still in there."

 

post #22 of 35
NO DENT NO!!!

FIGHT ME!!!
post #23 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

also...

despite repeated human-history-altering monster attacks, Korea seems to shrug it all off pretty quickly... until the next attack!

I don't think it'd be so easy to fly into Korea in such a state of emergency... eheheheh
Perhaps she took The Train From Busan.
post #24 of 35

It's a bit of artistic licence. I mean, also there wouldn't have been any people staying in the area being devastated after the first time. I have no doubt that the South Koreans have had well planned evacuation drills in place for decades because of the threat to the north and that after the first bout of destruction, the entire affected area would have actually been evacuated while experts studied Pulgasari in order to work out whether it was a new and unexpected North Korean super-weapon or not.

post #25 of 35
That's the kind of thing, that artistic license, that holds this back a bit for me. The end of this film is emotionally correct, and it's bracing and potent and memorable, but the logistics of it all are pretty much unconsidered. Beyond the improbable international travel aspect, you just have to allow that she knows exactly what to do, invisible space be damned, and he doesn't just leave the second it becomes obvious that he should, but rather hangs out as long as he needs to. Compared to Get Out, which is similarly tricky, but earns every inch of its conclusion. You could argue it has some kind of fairy tale logic, but I don't really think it does. It feels much closer to a Duplass brothers film in the (very effective) human interactions.
post #26 of 35

With Arjen 100%.  It's a good movie, and a very strange one, but the weirdest thing is that thi s premise isn't funnier.  Sudeikis is the goods.

post #27 of 35

So I just say this today......I loved it. Setting up a romcom and then turning it into a dark character drama? Yes please. 

post #28 of 35

That final five seconds might be one of my top handful of favorite closing moments from a movie. The quick 'Yeah! I want a drink, goodie goodie, oh, but I shouldn't because I'm quitting, oh, huh, yeah because of everything that just happened . . . but, oh hell yes, I do want a drink! But, I'm not gonna?!? . . . Fuck!' that passed across her face was perfect.  


Edited by Turingmachine75 - 8/12/17 at 10:24pm
post #29 of 35
My favourite shot from this movie is when Gloria collapses on the futon that Oscar gave her the poles on the arm rest look like prison bars.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turingmachine75 View Post

That final five seconds might be one of my top handful of favorite closing moments from a movie. The quick 'Yeah! I want a drink, goodie goodie, oh, but I shouldn't because I'm quitting, oh, huh, yeah because of everything that just happened . . . but, oh hell yes, I do want a drink! But, I'm not gonna?!? . . . Fuck!' that passed across her face was perfect.  


 



I loved how it shows that it's going to be a day by day effort, while still being funny and true to the character.
post #31 of 35

  I watched this last night and I thought it was great. I thought it was going to be a quirky comedy, but I'm glad it was a fairly dark movie character study. Of course Hathaway was good, but I was surprised how good Sudeikis was. I only knew him from his Romney and Biden impressions on SNL. I was impressed by how far his went with his character. I was shocked when he started stomping on Seoul, but it was in character.  Oscar is clearly a jealous asshole who feels that life owes him, and a hoarder to boot, but there still was a humanity to him. He felt like a real person; a terrible person, but a real one. I thought there was a chance he would learn the error of his ways. The he called Gloria a bitch and I was glad she threw him a few miles.

 

  Like a said I thought this was going to be a quirky take of monster movies, but I liked all the character interaction. The monster stuff was fun, but the movie slowly revealing just how screwed up Oscar was is what sucked me in.

 

  The monster kneeing the robot in the balls going viral was fun.

post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaz View Post

 

He felt like a real person; a terrible person, but a real one. I thought there was a chance he would learn the error of his ways. Then he called Gloria a bitch and I was glad she threw him a few miles.

Although she wouldn't know that. They played the moment like she was reacting to it but she couldn't actually hear what he said.

post #33 of 35

 I guess a better way to put it is that the scene was edited so the viewer had no doubt that Oscar was getting his competence.

post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaz View Post
 

 I guess a better way to put it is that the scene was edited so the viewer had no doubt that Oscar was getting his competence.

I loved the movie but I really didn't love that moment. I mean we saw him ready to murder people and he punched her in the fucking face. Him calling her a bitch just felt like a limp fake fist pump moment that honestly wasn't needed.

 

Did anyone else think the girl at the end in the bar was going to be the girl with the barbie doll?

post #35 of 35

There was a BMD article about this some time back. Apparently, Hathaway and Vigalondo disagreed about the ending - she didn't want to kill Oscar, but Vigalondo insisted. Him calling her bitch was a compromise. And I would agree, it's a bit too on the nose. It might make emotional sense in the moment for an audience, but it changes absolutely nothing about how you should feel about anyone, and I think I'd prefer not being told exactly what's up.

 

On the other hand, this remains an indelible ending, one of the year's best, and I can't quibble with it too much. Oscar calling her a bitch is definitely a moment where the final cog falls into place.

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