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Monday, April 17, 2017

EXTRATERRESTRE / EXTRATERRESTRIAL (2011)

From the decidedly warped mind of Nacho Vigalondo, currently confounding indie audiences with COLOSSAL/’16 (not seen here, but apparently a remix of his debut pic TIMECRIMES/’07, see below), comes a comic variation on Denis Villeneuve’s excruciatingly lofty ARRIVAL/’16, played out as if the cast of FRIENDS or SEINFELD lived a block or two down the street from the alien space ships. (And five years before its progenitor! Must be a sign.) In truth, Vigalondo’s goof is a hit-and-miss affair, but also mucho fun. It opens the morning after, after a hook-up, that is, as an attractive, hungover 30-something couple react thru yawns to the huge UFO in the sky. Neighborhood? Largely deserted. Utilities? Off-and on. Plump needy/nerdy/next-door pest? Knocking on the door. Girl’s trusting, longtime boyfriend? Coming up the walk, gullible as ever. Turns out there’s plenty of comic opportunities working out these relationships while trying to open a giant, indestructible jar of peaches and wondering if the person you’re speaking to has turned into a humanoid alien presence. And plain silliness when Vigalondo needs to shake things up. (Or runs out of good ideas.) The talent is obvious, so even when he falls flat on his face the camera's in just the right spot.

DOUBLE-BILL: Probably best to start with Vigalondo’s TIMECRIMES. It’s also on the messy side, but with more meat on its bones.

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