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September 13th, 2017

Shimmer Lake

I'm a big fan of Benjamin Walker. Most of you are prolly going "Who?" He was the original Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson on Broadway, and among his scattered film roles he was Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter. And (possibly most important, or at least tied with BBAJ), he was Patrick Bateman in Broadway's short lived American Psycho musical. Love him.

Anyways, my main excitement on my commute every day is looking at the myriad of billboards along the way. This being LA, a good majority of them are for movies and tv shows. I like guessing which ones are gonna be switched out when and to what. Anyways, there's this one spot on my way home right by Sony Studios that's almost always for a Netflix movie. Imagine my excitement when I saw the poster on the billboard billed Walker first!

I was further intrigued when hearing that A) It was a dark comedy and B) the story played out in reverse. I'm such a sucker for a timeline gimmick like that. So back during Boston vacay (yeah I'm very late in writing this up), I ended up back at my friends' place pretty early one evening. What to do, what to do? Oh right, I have Netflix on my phone and wifi access. Good time to check out this movie, especially since there'd already been some talk about it on Stardust.

The story is about a bank heist, but again, it's told one day at a time in reverse order. At first I did kinda dismiss it as a gimmick, but it actually did make the story much more interesting. Telling it this way made it a mystery. Instead of being interested in what happened to everyone as a result if it had played out in order, it was about finding out what went down at the initial event. The downside is that the first (last?) day shown can be a little confusing since you don't have all the information yet, but I think the payoff was worth it. I especially appreciated this one running gag with the passenger seat in the cop car. Being vague so I don't give it away or explain it all, it was fun seeing how what first came off as an absurd overreaction build up.

The comedy element otherwise was more subtle. Not a laugh out loud dark comedy, but enough absurdity to unsettle you. The film also had a rather interesting cast besides my boy: Rainn Wilson, Rob Corddry, Ron Livingston. Ultimately I really enjoyed it, and I do think that Netflix was the proper venue for it. It seemed a little too small to have worked on the big screen, but for a cozy night in, it was perfect!
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