Saturday, June 12, 2021

Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Bliss’ on Amazon Prime, Befuddling, Brain-Bending Sci-Fi Starring Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek

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Astım Tedavisinde Ailelerin Kortizon Korkusu

Baharın gelmesiyle birlikte parfüm kullanımında artış görülüyor. Ancak astım hastalarının dikkatli olmalarında fayda var; çünkü parfümlerin çoğu güvenli...

Alerjik Hastalıklara Kesin Çözüm

Kortizon deyince tedavisinden ziyade yan etkileri akla geliyor. Ancak alerjik bronşit ya da diğer adıyla astım ataklarının önlenmesinde...

Alerjik Hastalıklara Kesin Çözüm

Alerji; insanın savunma sisteminin genellikle zararsız maddelere karşı verdiği abartılı tepkidir ve genellikle çocukluk çağında başlayarak uzun yıllar, hatta...
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Bliss

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Salma Hayek

‘Bliss’ Ending Explained: What Is Owen Wilson’s Amazon Movie Really About?

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Welp, Amazon Prime’s Bliss is an early contender for 2021’s WTF crown, awarded to the movie that’s a head scratcher all the way down to the skull. The film is a product of writer-director Mike Cahill, high-conceptualizer of sci-fi brainbenders Another Earth and I Origins, and he’s come up with another I-think-I-smoked-too-much-weed premise that might work and might not but is at least… (PAUSES FOR DOTS OF ELLIPSIS) …interesting? Yeah … interesting.

BLISS: STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?

The Gist: Greg Wittle (Owen Wilson) sits in his office, obsessively sketching his “dream house.” One of the sketches features a woman on a terrace smoking a cigarette and looking pensively into the middle-distance.

It can ring into eternity for all he cares. He picks up when his daughter, Emily (Nesta Cooper), calls. She’s graduating. She wants him to have dinner with the rest of the family. He doesn’t want to. He “messed up” and doesn’t want his ex/her mother to feel uncomfortable. It feels like we’ve met this guy smack in the middle of a personal crisis that’s on its second whirlpooling spiral-flush downwards, and the third one might be the big one. He finally answers another call. His boss wants to see him. Sure seems like he’s gonna get fired. And yes, he gets fired, but not until he suddenly pushes his boss, who violently bangs his head on the desk and dies. Dies! Did we just hear another flush?

But Greg makes it out of there somehow, and heads across the street where he plops down at a dive bar and orders a whiskey, make it a double. A woman (Salma Hayek) in a nearby booth stares him down. Invites him over. Says her name is Isabel. Explains how the world isn’t real, but they are indeed real. Shows him how they can manipulate things via telekinesis if they swallow some little yellow crystals. She flicks her fingers and makes a server drop a tray of glasses. There’s an interesting development that happens next that I won’t reveal, but Greg just kind of goes with it, and then goes with Isabel, to a homeless camp where she lives.

They fall in love I guess. They go rollerskating for a cute date, and enjoy using the POWER of their MINDS to make obnoxious douchebags wipe out and crash over the boards.

Meanwhile, a concerned Emily searches for her father, who seems to be lost on a couple of different levels. Eventually, Greg starts asking for independent verification of Isabel’s wild-ass claims that this world is as fake as Howard Cosell’s rug. So she says OK fine, and gets some blue crystals and a thingy that allows them to ingest them through their noses and does shit get real or does shit get unreal? Sorry, this is a NO SPOILING ZONE, but I just can’t walk away from this summary without using the phrase “vat o’ brains.”

Photo: ©Amazon/Courtesy Everett Collection

What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: Bliss is kind of a significantly less fighty and shooty The Matrix tossed in a blender with a high-concept WTF boggler like Serenity (2019).

Performance Worth Watching: Hayek gives the kind of lively, almost-gonzo performance that makes you wish Cahill gave her a longer leash, because camp would be better than whatever he came up with here.

Memorable Dialogue: Hayek relishes a few bonkers line-readings:

“Let’s just say it’s kind of my fault this world exists.”

“C’mon baby, we have to exit this stupid simulation!”

“Three things… automation, synthetic biology and asteroid mining!”

Sex and Skin: A suggestive no-nudity bumpity-grind in a restroom stall.

Our Take: Another week, another movie where I’m squinting at the screen, looking in the corners of the frame for Easter eggs, pondering lighting effects for clues about the nature of reality, feeling exhausted by movies that make me feel dumb and/or gaslit for not being able to piece together their puzzle-plots on the fly, and generally wondering if it’s all worth the trouble.

It’s very much a logic-challenged what’s-fake-and-what’s-real is-it-live-or-is-it-Memorex life-is-but-a-dream there-is-no-happiness-without-suffering pseudo-profound mind-boggler. The details don’t really hang together, and the big answer to a big question — Why? — is so simplistic, it seems as if the film’s one big idea was jotted down on the back of a fortune-cookie fortune, beneath your lucky numbers. It’s not likely to demand a second viewing to suss out the nuance. So no, it’s not worth it.

see also

‘Bliss’ Ending Explained: What Is Owen Wilson’s Amazon Movie Really About?

Real or not real?

by Anna Menta (@annalikestweets)

If only, however. If only it was more unsettling, more kooky, more daring in its concept and execution. If only it was funnier, instead of making me wonder whether it’s taking itself seriously, or if I’m supposed to be laughing. If only it wasn’t miscast — Wilson looks lost here, although I’d wager Cahill asked him to tamp down any eccentricities in his performance for a more earnest tone, and the result is frustratingly blank. If only it wasn’t Eternal Sunshine of the Thoughtless Mind.

There’s a section of the movie where Wilson’s dialogue consists of declaratives pointing out all the plot holes, including an accusation that Isabel’s just making this all up as she goes along. WE KNOW HOW YOU FEEL, BUDDY. Maybe the story is some kind of strained allegory for mental illness. Maybe it’s about the individual’s place in society or life itself, a philosophical treatise gone awry. Maybe I’m being too generous in assuming it’s more than just muddled, quasi-poignant drivel, occasionally interesting, occasionally boring, but mostly confounding.

Our Call: SKIP IT. Bliss is 51% idiotic, 49% thinky-guy emoji.

John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Read more of his work at johnserbaatlarge.com or follow him on Twitter: @johnserba.

Stream Bliss on Amazon Prime

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Astım Tedavisinde Ailelerin Kortizon Korkusu

Baharın gelmesiyle birlikte parfüm kullanımında artış görülüyor. Ancak astım hastalarının dikkatli olmalarında fayda var; çünkü parfümlerin çoğu güvenli...

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