It just might be possible that the weekend of July 21st through July 23rd will go down in history as the most peaceful weekend ever. Okay..maybe not. Either way, it was the weekend that both Barbie and Oppenheimer were released. Instead of fighting about which was going to make more money or who was going to see what, audiences everywhere put their differences aside and many just decided to see both. Thus, Barbenheimer was born. As a massive movie fan, it was definitely a great weekend for movies.
The first thing I want to say is that I do not feel that I was the target audience that this movie was made for. I arrived at the theatre in a random horror movie t-shirt out of the one hundred that I own and I noticed a sea of pink. People (mostly women) wearing pink shirts and shoes and skirts. As a movie fan, I couldn’t help but smile and feel happy that so many people were already embracing this film.
As I sat in the packed theatre watching the movie, I laughed, I felt moved, I ate some nachos. It was during one particular scene when I noticed sniffles and people wiping their eyes with napkins that I really started to wonder: Were people crying? Why wasn’t I crying? This is the moment when I realized how important this movie was. There are messages throughout that I could appreciate even if they were not meant for me. Having said that, there is definitely one thing or another that everyone can take away from this movie.
Barbie, who is played perfectly by Margot Robbie, lives in Barbieland. A place where all the Barbies and Kens live and everything is perfect. When suddenly things start to not be so perfect, Barbie and Ken set out to the real world to try to figure out what is going on.
On the surface, this is a fish-out-of-water story but with writers Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, there is so much more to this. The story does a good job of showing the popularity of Barbie but also the damage that a “perfect” doll can have on a young girl’s mind. Are they all supposed to look like this? Are they all supposed to be like this? The movie does a good job of not shying away from certain issues as Barbie realizes that the real world is not fair.
The acting in this movie is good. As I said, Margot Robbie is perfect but Ryan Gosling is Ken. He is so funny in this role and I really forgot that he can do just about anything. The comedic timing is great, the dancing is great, the singing is great. He steals just about every scene he is in. You might be worried that his character is pretty one-note but he also brings some depth to the role as he struggles with his own issues.
There is a big cast and I guess my only real complaint about it is many people did feel underused. Simu Liu, Issa Rae, and many others play versions of Barbie and Ken. They do well with what they are given but it doesn’t seem enough for what I know they could do based on other works.
People are Mad?
There are certain people who are complaining and saying that Barbie is a man-hating movie. That Barbie is anti-men. I do not get this complaint at all and wonder if we even saw the same movie. A lot of these same people say that Barbie paints men as stupid and shallow and selfish. This film, while being funny and meaningful is also satirical. Women have been painted in cinema as bimbos for years. It’s time for more himbos.
There are messages here that empower women and there is nothing wrong with that. Barbie and Ken are far from perfect characters They can be mean to each other at times. The message is that it’s okay to not be perfect as long as we respect each other and ourselves. The movie in my opinion paints both problems for women and men very well. I sat in the theatre and didn’t feel attacked. Without giving much away, the scene that spoke to me had to do with Ken. There are many times when as a man, I have felt I wasn’t “Kenough” to be myself. I needed to compete with other men because society told me I can’t be left behind and if I expressed these feelings, I was weak.
So once again, a movie that spreads the message of equality is anti-man? I don’t get it.
Barbie is a good time. The sets are amazing and colorful. The soundtrack is really catchy. Some characters are definitely underused and the movie does have a tone problem at times. It feels extra silly and parody-like in one moment and a second later it wants to pull on your heartstrings. This can work but for me, it was a little jarring at times. Overall though, this is a well-made, important movie. This is a movie that I feel speaks to how women have been treated and viewed over time. This is a good mother-and-daughter movie. I do not feel I was the target audience but Barbie still spoke to me on some level and there is a little something for everyone. It wasn’t my favorite movie of the year but I do understand why it will be for a lot of people. It felt nice looking around that theatre at people laughing, crying, and all reacting differently. The power of a good movie will do that to you.
Just going to come out and say it: Christopher Nolan does it again because Oppenheimer is excellent.
The movie tells the story of the creation of the atomic bomb that was created by J. Robert Oppenheimer. We were promised a spectacle from the trailers that should be seen on the biggest screen possible. A visual masterpiece that would take our breath away. Oppenheimer is this but we get so much more out of it.
What this truly is, is a character study of Oppenheimer and everything he went through during this time. We see him at different stages of life dealing with the repercussions of building something that could create a chain that would eventually destroy the world.
I have heard some people say they wished this movie had more action and that the movie was very talky. There is a lot of dialogue for sure in this movie and it is stretched out in certain scenes for sure, but all of it serves a purpose and means something.
The tension throughout this movie is through the roof. We watch as different characters work in solving a way to build a bomb before the Germans do but we also see characters dealing with the hunt for communists and the effects after the bomb is dropped.
The acting is phenomenal. I am so sure that this movie will have numerous Oscar nominations. Cillian Murphy is good as our titular character. He is flawed from the very beginning and even though he developed this monstrous weapon, you can’t help but feel bad for him when the country turned its back on its hero.
Robert Downey Jr also should be nominated. Many will always see him as Tony Stark but he gets lost in the character of Lewis Strauss. He has different ranges of emotion throughout and it is great to be reminded of the excellent actor he is.
This cast is full of big names and some of them show up for no more than five minutes. With a big cast, you think that maybe there won’t be a chance for everyone to shine. With the superb writing though, every single character on screen leaves an impact. Emily Blunt is amazing as Oppenheimer’s wife. Josh Hartnett is great in this. Florence Pugh is great in this. Gary Oldman is in this movie for about three minutes and he is amazing.
The most important character in this movie is the sound. My god, the sound and score are incredible. It adds to the tension throughout and left me feeling nervous in some moments and mesmerized in other moments.
A Haunting Experience.
The movie is three hours long. The first half is about building the bomb and the complicated relationships that Oppenheimer had. It is intriguing for sure but I truly loved the second half of the movie. It deals with the aftermath of the bomb and the people who tried to destroy Oppenheimer’s name and image.
We see how Oppenheimer deals with what he has done and the imagery is haunting and unforgettable. There is a scene where Robert is speaking to a crowd and they are cheering for America winning the war. Instead of seeing happy people, Oppenheimer is haunted by visuals of death and decay. It is a horrific but beautifully shot scene. The whole movie is wonderfully shot. Little things that might not make sense at first always come back around later. There were times I had questions but all were eventually answered.
Tenet was kind of a disappointing outing for Nolan. Oppenheimer is easily one of his best films and one of the best movies of the year. Three hours long and I would definitely watch it again. The acting is amazing. The camera shots are perfect and the script is so smart and clever. It is very dialogue-heavy and that won’t work for everyone. If you want an action-filled film this is not it. It isn’t all the time when just about every component of a film works and compliments itself but Oppemhimer does just that and more. A true achievement for the film.
This was truly a great weekend for movies. I am not sure if we will ever see a cultural experience like Barbenheimer again. I do know the new Paw Patrol movie is supposed to be released the same day as the new Saw movie. Paw X? Saw Patrol? It’s a work in progress.