{Disarmed} Reminiscence : why the catastrophic box office of the neo-noir of the creator of Westworld is bad news for the more adult sci-fi

'Reminiscence': why the catastrophic box office of the neo-noir of the creator of 'Westworld' is bad news for the more adult sci-fi

Go ahead a truism that in principle would not be necessary to specify, but you never know: it is not a problem that science fiction exists for the family or for all audiences. Marvel movies or 'Star Wars' belong to a tradition that has given us great classics of the genre: within those same two franchises, in fact, there are a few examples of great films, and it is good that they are.

Nor is it a problem that, systematically, family science fiction cinema chains one success after another. It is designed for that. And although large franchises sometimes notice the springs of products generated in dispatches, by themselves they should not pose a threat to the genre. ' Doctor Who' is family science fiction, as are the LEGO movies, 'Honey, I've shrunk the kids',' ET the Alien ',' The Iron Giant 'and a bunch of Pixar movies like' Wall -E 'or' The Incredibles'. Classic and more classic.

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The problem is that there is a very fine line between the brute who gives you a joke shove and leaves you turulato in the schoolyard and the genuine bully who is going to make blood. The drama comes when that family-friendly sci-fi is so overwhelmingly successful that it devours the rest of the genre . Because nobody wants to see or produce anything else.

At the end of the day it makes sense from the point of view of the production companies: why would Disney want to make R movies -only for adults only- if by moderating the violence, the controversial content and filing the roughness of the scripts so that they like them to everyone , young and old, do you get much more success? From an industrial point of view, it makes sense. From a creative point of view, it has its problems.

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Great little sci-fi

There are always going to be independent productions that take risks. We will not miss films like ' Ex Machina ', 'Coherence', 'El infinito', the Spanish 'El hoyo ', 'Melanie. The Girl with All the Gifts', 'Vivarium' or ' The Vast of Night '. Medium to tiny size films that dare to go further in the daring of their proposals . Television is a great testing ground for riskier science fiction, sometimes even with very generous budgets, as we have seen in ' Westworld ', ' See ', ' Counterpart ' or the upcoming ' Foundation ', to name just one. small sample.

But mainstream cinema is somewhat more stagnant in the creative section of science fiction, overwhelmed by the concatenation of successive phases of Marvel and DC, sequels - failed or not - of 'Star Wars' and franchises such as the Monsterverse of Kong and Godzilla propping up narratives of a mammoth spectacle and for all audiences. It's a shame, because in this way only the older, less purely spectacle-oriented science fiction finds its place when it is backed by names of proven effectiveness at the box office, such as Christopher Nolan or Denis Villeneuve.

Reminiscence Trailer Hugh Jackman

In these circumstances comes 'Reminiscence', a film that also has a relatively well-known name behind it, that of Lisa Joy. It is her debut as a director and screenwriter in the cinema, but her fame comes from her role as producer, showrunner (and occasional director and screenwriter) of the series' Westworld ' , one of the most ambitious and prestigious products of the HBO post-' wave. Game of Thrones'.

Warner relied on her for this genre production that, like 'Westworld', has more reflection than action, but has had no luck at the box office . In fact, its debacle has been spectacular : it has become the worst premiere of all time for a film released in more than 3,000 theaters. In other words, in its opening weekend it grossed $ 2 million in 3,265 theaters, a meager $ 612 per movie theater. With a $ 68 million budget, the bills are far from over.

Reminiscence 1

Finding culprits is a tremendously complex task: the situation is still complicated in the United States, the premiere date in the middle of August is not the most attractive and, of course, there is Warner's policy that all its premieres go through theaters at the same time and HBO Max . A policy that is increasingly finding more detractors, both outside Warner ( Sony and the MPA were the last companies to take a critical position) and within (as both Denis Villeneuve and Patty Jenkins have recently stated). It is a strategy that is not yet clear that it will be positive for the box office.

An undeserved failure for a different science fiction

Lisa Joy's movie isn't perfect, and it's not even particularly original, but it didn't deserve the box office debacle. It proposes an approach to science fiction that was more common in the eighties and nineties , but that due to the dominance of science fiction spectacle that we related above, is placed closer to independent cinema than to the production of large studio that is actually.

Hugh jackman

In it we will meet Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman), who runs a memory recovery business. With his partner Watts (Thandiwe Newton) he investigates the memory of his clients and relives the moments of the past that they desire. Until a new client (Rebecca Ferguson) shows up to retrieve some lost keys and starts a complicated relationship with Bannister.

'Reminiscence' pressed several keys of the noir genre, and makes fiddling with topical outmoded and reformulates in this excellent scenario is the Miami of the future, flooded environment from climate change: the femme fatale of Rebecca Ferguson, the point starting from the lost object, the interactions with both the police and the underworld , the double and triple betrayals, the city itself as a setting with personality and which raises an interesting background of social commentary ...

BLADE Blade runner

It is obvious that 'Reminiscence' drinks from films like ' Blade Runner ', which have already imposed the cliché of mixing hard-boiled detective cinema , raincoat and crusty office included , with science fiction concepts and based on cult classics such as' Lemmy vs. Alphaville 'or' Soylent Green '. In genre literature, cyberpunk reinforced this idea with classic works such as ' Neuromancer ', and over a couple of decades, films such as 'Brazil', 'Dark City', ' Gattaca ' or 'Level 13' had an impact on it.

That setting alone justifies the trip to the world of 'Reminiscence'. Despite excesses that border on the involuntary caricature (to make Ferguson work as a jazz singer in a night club is to force the machinery a bit), the aforementioned city of Miami and the calm style of investigation that unfolds before the viewer has an anti-tone tone. -Spectacular very estimable. A perfect cast (especially them) does the rest.

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'Reminiscence' is far from perfect. In addition to neo-noir being a stimulating environment but leading the script too often to fool around with clichés, Lisa Joy's writing isn't always as sharp as it should be. The movie takes a long time to start, and absolutely all of the action is underlined by a leaden, over-explanatory voice-over from Hugh Jackman, leaving not a single theme of the movie untouched.

Still, it is a film that presents an alternative atmosphere and development to the Hollywood sausage factory , and it would have deserved better luck. Unfortunately, the late claim is not going to save its box office, but it would be a shame if its virtues were lost blurred between mammoth adaptations of classics, familiar space operas and superhero sagas that clone each other.

The news 'Reminiscence': why the catastrophic box office of the neo-noir of the creator of 'Westworld' is bad news for the more adult sci-fi was originally published in xiaomist.com by John Tones .

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