TV Party Tonight! #84

TV Party Tonight! #84

Saturday, 04 April 2020

Knives Out

I haven’t breathed a sigh of relief quite like the one I did after seeing Knives Out. I’ve just been burned so often by movies. Either because the trailer misrepresented what it was about to see, or it spoiled too much of the movie, or because the hype (as always) was hyperbolic, or because a trusted filmmaker didn’t make something that resonated with me. When I saw the trailer for Knives Out, I thought it looked like a great movie, had an interesting plot, and was made by a promising writer/director. And don’t go blaming Rian Johnson for the Last Jedi. The source material is so dull and tapped out that it was an attempt in futility to start with. Check out Looper if you want to see what Johnson can really do.

Anyway, I walked out of Knives Out absolutely delighted because I got exactly what I was expecting: an undeniably fun movie. Everyone loves a good who-dunnit, and Knives Out is a beautifully polished iteration of that. I’m not going to go into the plot, because you can read up on it yourself. What I will say is that the mystery is more in the mechanics and the motivations than the crime itself. Like Johnson himself said, he took the Columbo approach where you find out in the beginning who committed the crime, and it’s the way it was committed and the reasons why that drive the story. It starts out simple enough (and I will admit I was proud to have figured out some of the twists), and soon snowballs into various schemes, plots, twists and surprises.  The entire world that Johnson creates in this wonderfully cast movie is full of bold original characters serving as a perfect fun backdrop for this kind of movie. The characters are numerous and yet stick out in their own way. Knives Out comes at you hard right out of the gate and manages to keep its momentum throughout. It’s suspenseful, satisfying, and beautiful. Oh, and did I mention “fun.”?

It’s nice to see that some movies are still loaded with special features, and a movie like this one surely benefits from it. The 4K/Blu-ray combo has two commentary tracks (although a little redundant in content), deleted scenes, a 2 hour making-of featurette, and a Q&A with the cast. It’s loaded with fun information and insights that will please fans and help them connect with the movie at a higher level.

Knives Out just takes the cake. It’s a well crafted and beautifully delivered movie that will be appreciated by the most casual and hard-core movie watcher. And surely it’s one of the best movies of 2019.

What we learn from the special features:

  • When director Rian Johnson saw a photo of the mention he knew that was going to be the location for the film. The mansion was right outside of Boston so that’s where they shot.
  • The characters are supposed to be easily recognizable by their attire, just like in Clue, but toned down to not seem too cartoonigh.
  • Chris Evans happens to be eating Biscoff cookies because Johnson thought that would be a random pretentious thing for him to eat.
  • The film is shot digitally but processed to make it look like film. The grain and lighting effects were added in digitally.
  • The extra blood in the gorier scenes had to be toned down so that the movie could get a PG-13 rating.
  • That’s an actual spider crawling over Edi Patterson’s face.

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