Movie Review: The Menu

The new movie “The Menu” succeeds in one very big area. It is far different than any movie most of us will ever see. But trying to be so different will never make any film great or even good. This movie goes from one new strange and weird idea to the next strange and weird scene, then on to the next one. Then finally some insane ending, considering all that came before, makes very little sense.

A group of very rich couples all congregate on some isolated Island, somewhere in the world, to experience a dinner given by one of the most highly respected chefs in the world. Everything is going fine as far as the impressive food until one of the workers commits suicide by shooting himself. Then they all find out that they will be dying at the end of the dinner. Then all the men in the congregation have to run out onto the island, at night, and the workers in the restaurant try to find and capture them. Surprisingly, nothing really comes out of this idea – continuing the strange “trying to fool the audience” theme of this movie.

Ultimately, this movie is far too weird and strange – across the board – to ever recommend. The high rotten Tomatoes rating of 89% makes absolutely no sense. The only upside is the long list of named actors who agreed to make this mostly bad and weird movie, including Ralph Fiennes, Judith Light, John Leguizamo, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Janet McTeer. It is even harder to believe that all of these named actors would agree to make this movie after reading the script.

I cannot recommend a movie that is all about being so different, rather than actually being good and entertaining. I rate The Menu a solid pass.

Movie Review: The Forgiven

The new movie “The Forgiven” once again answers the questions as to why it is so hard to write a screenplay. One reason is that the story has to make sense, hold the viewers attention and the actions of the main characters have to, for the most part, be consistent with what a person would really do within a crucial situation.

In this story a couple, Jo and David Henninger are vacationing in Morocco near the Sahara Desert. David is an alcoholic and their marriage is not going well. They get into a accident and hit a young boy at night. What follows are a series of mostly boring scenes that seem to do nothing more than fill in the two hours. The main part of the story involves local Arabic ritual with the boy’s father that no American or any foreigner would ever do. This is a big reason why this story fails in a big way because in order for a story to work, we all have to relate to and ultimately believe what the characters are doing.

This movie stars Ralph Fiennes as David and Jessica Chastain as Jo and I wondered why these two major actors agreed to make this below average movie considering the script is bad and they would have to be shooting on location for months, in the middle of nowhere – not to mention the extreme heat and bad conditions.

The ratings for this film are a low 60% range on both IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes and I agree with these ratings and do not recommend this movie.