The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Ant-Man and the Wasp
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All Critics (5)
| Top Critics (1)
| Fresh (3)
| Rotten (2)
...doors that won't open, enigmatic card games, long empty corridors and sex on an examination table make it all quite old fashioned, and the images are as formless as scrambled eggs.
Clinical, sinuous, jagged
... essential to Cronenberg fans, (a) dispassionate portraitsof fictional experiments in the mutation of mankind in the near future.
Though it gave me a few guarded chuckles it was hardly worth the effort sitting through such a tedious affair.
Difficult viewing, although there are some intriguing nuggets buried within
Cronenberg's first film should only please fans of his work, since it borders on pretentious (it is even hard to know weather it is meant to be taken serious or not) with poorly-edited, seemingly random images accompanied by a voice-over that is pure tedious psychobabble.
Call this one an interesting failure. "Stereo"'s minimalism is compelling -- the film is black and white, and entirely silent (not even music) except for intermittent narration by a variety of speakers. The story involves a scientific study which induces telepathic bonds between a small number of subjects. Sexuality (both hetero- and homo-) comes into play as an enhancement of the telepathy's potency, and eventually this has a side effect of physical violence for reasons which were not all that clear to me. The flat, academic narration becomes a chore to process after awhile, and its intense, deadpan concentration on "big words" hinders efforts to pluck out the central plot advancements (which the visuals can't communicate on their own) . Still, the cinematography is stylish and the emergence of Cronenberg's favored techno-sexual themes is notable.
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