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Men (Alex Garland)

  • 09-02-2022 4:50pm
    Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,203 CMod ✭✭✭✭

    Garland's latest has a first trailer, which can be easily categorised as "enigmatic". Stars the currently in demand Jesse Buckley. Not much to go on really, but with Ex Machina and Annihilation among his other writing credits, I'm definitely keyed in for now.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 28,974 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    I’m hot/cold on Garland, but Jessie Buckley is good enough that I’d basically watch whatever she shows up in.

  • Registered Users Posts: 30,102 ✭✭✭✭~Rebel~

    Have loved every script he's written, and the few he's directed too, so am very hyped for this!

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,501 ✭✭✭✭Slydice

    I freakin jumped with those .. breath? transitions!

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,517 ✭✭✭Mr Crispy

    Buckley is brilliant in the couple of things I've seen her in. Looking forward to this.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,203 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    A full trailer has appeared; this looks like eery, thrilling stuff. Is it my imagination, or is Rory Kinnear playing all the male characters? Though I think Buckley's accent wavers a little throughout the promotion.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,517 ✭✭✭Mr Crispy

    Re: Kinnear, yep, all apart from the airborne hubby.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,501 ✭✭✭✭Slydice

    Hrmmm.. doesn't have the mysterious feel to it anymore that the teaser had. Still though..

  • Registered Users Posts: 31,644 ✭✭✭✭gmisk

    A24 has really been smashing it lately

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,197 ✭✭✭✭Arghus

    Looks extremely creepy, I'm interested.

  • Subscribers Posts: 40,566 ✭✭✭✭sydthebeat

    I'm more interested after seeing the trailer than the first snippet. it looks like a more conventional "haunted by unresolved past experience" thriller now

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,203 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    Initial reviews for this are suggesting it to be hugely divisive, with many so far comparing it to Mother! in terms of reactions - people either loving or loathing it with little in the way of apathy. Actual scores all over the map as a result.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,400 ✭✭✭flasher0030

    Was looking forward to this, based on the comments above. But if it anywhere in the same universe as Mother, I'm out. Biggest pile of dung shlt I have ever seen. I enjoy most films but I am bitter against the "film" for wasting 2 hours of my life that I will never get back.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,433 ✭✭✭brevity

    So I watched this tonight and I enjoyed quite a lot of it. Not so sure about the 3rd act...wasn't expecting that.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I'll give this a chance because Garland has a relatively interesting track record and in the the hope that it's not a ham-fisted brick-to-the-face clumsily-messaged pile-of-shite the likes of which Jordan Peele has been producing in the last few years.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,957 ✭✭✭ThePott

    To me this felt like a film that thought it had something profound to say but it felt rather trite. I also don't think the themes or ideas are enough to sustain the runtime. I do think it's going to be one of those films that people will dig in to looking for deeper meaning but I don't know how much there is to be find, it seemed pretty clear what direction this was going from the title and trailers at the very least.

    Some interesting visuals and cool moments but ultimately wasn't very satisfying. Jessie Buckley did great and Rory Kinnear was excellent. I liked the score at times and enjoyed how the film was shot but it felt long and rather aimless. Totally lost me in the last act and it felt like it wanted to hammer home it's point even more and did so in a very clumsy, graphic and disturbing way. It's a strange contradiction of a movie that manages to be subtle abut also incredibly blunt.

    The horror elements didn't scare me, the dramatic moments didn't grab me, on the whole it just wasn't great. Not sure who I'd recomment this to.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,341 ✭✭✭apache

    Saw this earlier. Bizarre but liked it. Will probably have nightmares.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Computer Games Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 28,974 CMod ✭✭✭✭johnny_ultimate

    A pretty terrible film alas. A mess of lazy analogies, cheap shocks, and some awful special effects (the teenager… christ, I hope that was meant to be that unconvincing). I tend to have a good tolerance for so-called ‘elevated horror’, but I was totally tuned out by the time the third act collapsed into empty surrealism and grotesqueries.

    Jessie Buckley is often the best thing about good films, and here she’s the best thing about a bad film. Rory Kinnear is clearly having fun hamming it up. But they’re stuck on a road to nowhere.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,315 ✭✭✭✭Snake Plisken

    First of all I'm a big Garland's work up to this point and was really looking forward to this. But this was a real disappointment. Great performances from Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear and the first 2 acts of the movie was beautifully shot and attention but the last act body horror stuff didn't make any sense and no explanation at the end. I will rate this 4/10

    Btw I haven't seen Mother but it sounds like it is very much like this so I doubt i ever will.

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators, Regional Abroad Moderators Posts: 10,990 Mod ✭✭✭✭Fysh

    I feel like I'm going a bit against the grain in saying that I liked this, but for me it worked (on a first watch, at least) as a Mother!-like experience. I'd say it was good rather than great, and relies a lot on Jessie Buckley's performance, though the cinematography and score are a pleasure as well. The themes are kind of gestured at rather than explored in any depth, which is a bit disappointing given Garland's earlier work. I will be interested to find out what I make of a second viewing.

    A lesser film than Ex Machina or Annihilation, but to be fair I really liked those.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,076 ✭✭✭✭How Soon Is Now

    Watched this last night didn't love it didn't hate it to be honest I don't really know what to take away from the whole thing!

    Ended up watching one or two explanation videos on YouTube afterwards and to be honest I don't think that helped how I feel about the film seeing as a lot of people seem to be coming to the conclusion the film and its themes are built around the whole toxic masculinity thing!

    I haven't seen anything officially confirm this but either way its an odd film especially the ending!

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,203 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    Started the thread so feel duty bound to add some comment, having finally got a chance to see this. I have been a fan of Garland's work in the past but at first blush that was by far his weakest work - and then some.

    More than that, it was a plainly awful film. Often handsomely shot and scored to be fair, but the meat of the thing was an adolescent, shallow attempt at profundity and pretension towards some notion of toxic masculinity. Subtle as a hammer to the teeth but lacking anything resembling an actual point or idea behind it all. Except just bad men are bad. Garland tripping over himself to be an ally without the apparent smarts to have something useful to say.

    And then the last act swerve into grotesque body horror seemed like a shock entirely for its own sake. Seemed like the FX department got to have some fun, so good for them they had a chance for some practical, squishy props.

    Possibly the most professionally made ham-fisted undergraduate polemic masquerading as art, I've seen in years.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Wow, will give this a skip I think then.

    Sounds like it's up there with Candyman 2021 in terms of clumsiness of finger-pointing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,298 ✭✭✭Homelander

    So just watched this and honestly I don't know what to make of it.

    It's very well made, except for an absolutely god-awful CGI scene which in hindsight I'm coming around to thinking was deliberate to hammer home the fact that the protagonist saw all "men" as the same, even what should be a child.

    Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear are both very good to be fair and make the film as watchable as it is, compelling even for the first two acts. The last act is seriously off-the-rails, though the effects work is very commendable......and rather disgusting.

    But I find it difficult to exactly extract what the film is trying to say. I get it to a degree, the trauma, grief, seeing all men and their behaviors as "the same", and overcoming those traumas, etc.

    But is the movie really about a physical manifestation of trauma into something otherworldly though? The very last scene implies it is, as her friend sees the carnage and trail of blood leading into the lodge, and Jessie Buckley looks wildly relieved to be free of the metaphorical and physical burden.

    Did she will "it" into being in the tunnel of echoes? We'd seen Geoffrey at that point but no other Rory Kinnears. What was real and what wasn't? Who did she kill at the end, if it wasn't a literal manifestation of her trauma?

    A strange film overall. I honestly didn't know what to think, what it was definitively trying to say, and still really don't. It's all so incredibly vague and uncertain, and absolutely not in a sort of positive, reflective way, which is somewhat maddening.

    I don't want to say it's a bad film but it's not a good film. I really enjoyed Jessie Buckley and Rory Kinnear's performances.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Entertainment Moderators Posts: 35,203 CMod ✭✭✭✭pixelburp

    I read it as something as simple as Alex Garland trying his best to pull a Good Ally script together in examining toxic masculinity - but hadn't the smarts or nuance to say anything except "bad men bad", and that the female character had to have some foundation of trauma or abuse. It just all felt really ... undergraduate to me, if you know what I mean?

    I have actually liked Garland's work, but it is a bit funny how his films have had women as either inscrutable objects (Deus Ex Machina), crazy (Annihilation), or here traumatised and abused. They have had very little agency as such. Read a certain way, of course; I loved Annihilation but as a dystopian bit of ecological SciFi, the actual characterisation was ... weird.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,298 ✭✭✭Homelander

    I want to give Alex Garland the benefit of the doubt that it's more than that but honestly I just don't know. I wouldn't be half as disappointed if I wasn't such a big fan of Annihilation and Ex Machinia.

    His next movie is described as a companion piece to Men, and after seeing it I'm not all too convinced it's something to look forward to.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Entertainment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 22,666 CMod ✭✭✭✭Sad Professor

    I think this would be a solid folk horror film if not for the title and the decision to have Kinnear play everyone. The latter really doesn't make sense anyway given that Buckley still recognises them as different characters. So like the title it just comes across as a heavy-handed attempt to say something profound. Garland explored gender relations far better in Ex Machina without being so annoying.

  • Registered Users Posts: 859 ✭✭✭El Duda

    Men – 8/10

    "We're just normal men... just innocent men"

    Alex Garland is the new flag bearer for unsettling, dystopian sci-fi. I’d seen a lot of mixed reviews for this, and I can see why. General audiences will find it too weird, especially in the final act when it all goes fully off the rails (in the best possible way). 

    Having Rory Kinnear play (almost) every man is a clever touch, but it does end up feeling a little bit ‘Inside No. 9’, though that may have been intentional in fairness. 

    In the end, it doesn't all quite come together all that coherently, but I more than admired the effort.