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Alien: Covenant (2017)
Unbelievably stupid people
Like others I question what has happened to Ridley Scott? I think there is one clue. He currently has 17 movies and 5 TV series either being released or in pre-production in 2017. There is no way someone can pay enough attention to all those projects to do justice to any of them. I am starting to dread "Blade Runner 2049".
As for "Alien: Covenant" the only good thing is the storyline around David/Walter, not just in the performance by Fassbender but in the writing itself. Every other character was a carbon copy of a 'type' frequently seen in disaster/horror films. The primary difference was the dumbing down of these characters to grade school level. Within the plot of the the movie someone spent a lot of money to build a spaceship and send it on its way to a distant planet. You would think they would train and send along crew members capable of actually making smart decisions to get the ship to its destination.
I'll give it 3/10 for David/Walter and for the production design.
Marie Heurtin (2014)
Haven't I seen this before?
Of course, "The Miracle Worker". There is the same disease, same physical struggle with a stubborn teen to force her to learn, but in French not English.
I appreciated the photography and the location but I continually had to resist the temptation to check my watch. It might be just over 90 minutes but at times it seemed like hours. It would drag and drag and then suddenly leap forward after she learns the sign for one object. The next thing we know is she is showing off how she can spell her name and understanding abstract concepts like 'patience'. There was also the monologue at the end which seemed especially message-y.
I liked the acting by Isabelle Carré and Brigitte Catillon but Ariana Rivoire as the deaf/blind girl didn't impress. Possibly it was just because she had so little to work with.
To sum up, see "The Miracle Worker" instead.
Don't believe the hype
The sign language is a gimmick and doesn't make up for the weak plot and (mostly) bad acting.
To begin with the school administrators and all but one teacher disappeared after the first 10 minutes never to be seen again. The kids seem to be running the school. The movie seems to be playing with the 'shocking' realization that the deaf can be as bad as anyone else. I'm not that shocked, being deaf doesn't decrease typical human behavior, except that the filmmaker piled on the bad behavior to a comical level. The only thing they missed was I.V. drug abuse although they seemed to be checking for needle tracks on the new kid just before they test him in a fight with the rest of the gang. Speaking of that, the fight scenes were very poorly choreographed, and the sex scenes were only slightly better though that may have been purposeful; young love and all that. I don't mind looking at good looking naked people but it seems somewhat desperate having the kids pull their clothes off quite so often.
The hand-held tracking shots were impressive at times, especially the one following the lead actor down a snowy and slippery appearing hillside, but there were so many of them (up and down endless hallways and stairs) they became distracting. They may have been used to try to build tension but it doesn't work if it's overused.
Back to the 'gimmick': I wonder if the reason no subtitles were included was that someone realized the dialog was as bad as the rest of the script.
Too little reality
In a thriller there has to be a certain basis in reality for the viewer to be able to suspend disbelief.
First, the guy who loaned him the $400 mil... Why not just demand, or get offered, more return on the loan?
Next, there was trouble believing the relationship with the mistress. I kept asking what exactly was the attraction. Then they killed her off in one of the most bogus auto crashes I've seen on film.
Then he gets visited by the cop in his office. I'm doubting any detective could get in to see a billionaire without an appointment unless he had an arrest warrant.
What put it over the top was the lack of any semblance of reality in the legal proceedings. There is no way this all could have happened in the time stated. They had Jimmy in front of a Grand Jury in, what, 3 days after the incident?
The plot delivered one false point of conflict after another to artificially raise the tension level. It was just too unbelievable to carry the suspense.