Archives for posts with tag: Bill Murray

You remember the Bill Murray movie that Julia Louis-Dreyfus did where she’s the control freak mom/professional on a family ski trip to Austria when a controlled avalanche triggers an emotional earthquake? Unfortunately, Murray is not in the offbeat “Downhill” (2020). Will Ferrell is in it, playing the aloof husband mourning the loss of his own father while losing the grip on his remaining family bonds. The chemistry between Louis-Dreyfus and Ferrell is so authentically bad it’s hard to want them to be together. Murray and another actress (Julianne Moore?) could have rescued this pointedly depressing script – maybe – but why bother?

The “Scary Movie” franchise does such an effective job of mocking horror movie conventions, it’s hard to watch “The Dead Don’t Die” (2019) and feel like you haven’t heard these jokes before, because in some cases, you have. Adam Driver and Bill Murray are small-town cops confronted with a slow-motion zombie apocalypse. That’s because zombies walk slow (which is the kind of gag you might see in this movie) but also because the story kind of drags, like a corpse’s partially severed limb. It’s very close to being hilarious (especially Tilda Swinton’s scenes), but ends up too clever by half.

As I watched “Isle of Dogs” (2018), I was reminded how much I used to enjoy “Samurai Jack.” There’s a zen-like inner calmness at the center of these two pieces of Japanese-flavored animation that I savored. This film is loaded with metaphors for all kinds of stuff I didn’t have time to try to discern (it’s a dark story about the potential for a doggie holocaust, and there’s heavy – perhaps too heavy – political symbolism). I was too busy either trying to make out the tiny writing on my normal-human-sized television or I was simply enjoying the calm, deliberate, confident storytelling.