I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE proves why Netflix is tops, while KILL COMMAND almost proves the opposite…
by Coop Cooper
“I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” – Ruth (Melanie Lynskey) is a middle-class hospital orderly who can’t seem to shake the depressing feeling that the people she meets on a day-to-day basis are irredeemable jerks. When her house is burglarized and the police can’t seem to help, she decides to balance out the wrong that has been done to her. She enlists the aid of her weirdo loner neighbor, Tony (Elijah Wood), who has an interest in martial arts, ninja weapons and heavy metal. The pair unleash good-intentioned mayhem upon everyone they run across on their trail to recover Ruth’s belongings. Little do they know, the criminals responsible for the burglary are armed-and-dangerous killers.
This smart and very dark comedy won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival, a first for a film produced by Netflix. Directed by screenwriter and veteran actor Macon Blair (“Blue Ruin”, “Green Room”), this film has large amounts of charm, laughs and thrills, ending in an intense, yet hilarious bloodbath. The main characters are naive, passive fools whose decision to take action lead up to some laugh-out-loud moments which also have dire consequences. When the violence happens it comes quick and unexpected, almost to a frightening degree. When you come across a film where a mean old man gets dragon-kicked in the head or a character projectile vomits for a full thirty seconds after seeing someone’s fingers get blown off, you know you’re in for an unconventional, yet interesting ride.
For those who like their humor in the vein of “Pulp Fiction” and “Fargo”, I can’t recommend “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” enough.
This film is a fantastic example of how Netflix is changing the landscape of film as we know it. By producing strong scripts with great actors, the sky is the limit with this seemingly unbeatable TV/cinema streaming service.
Rating: 4 and ½ out of 5 stars
“Kill Command” – Set in a future where machines are poised to replace humans as soldiers in warfare, a squad of marines go on a training mission in the wilderness against a host of autonomous battle droids. Mills (Vanessa Kirby), a consultant for the tech company who builds the droids, is sent in with the squad to observe the operation but is distrusted by the marines who see her as less-than-human due to her partially computerized brain. When the droids begin to fire live ammo at the squad, they fight for their lives while Mills tries to figure out why the droids are attacking and why the menacing leader robot seems intent on dissecting their corpses.
The special effects behind this sci-fi Netflix exclusive are impressive, but the remedial story and script add nothing new to this genre snoozer. It borrows heavily from many staple sci-fi films such as “Aliens”, “Terminator” and the other usual suspects. Unfortunately, all of its predecessors surpass it in every way with the exception of the more modern computer-generated effects. It seems to borrow most of its plot from the short story “Second Variety” by Philip K. Dick which was adapted into the extremely underrated sci-fi film “Screamers” (1995) starring Peter Weller. The ‘screamer’ robots were so frightening and intimidating, the ones in “Kill Command” seem tame and clumsy by comparison. These robots also seem to have a difficult time hitting their targets, which is silly considering how advanced they are supposed to be.
The characters spend a lot of time walking around, stating the obvious and spouting cliches. The actor who plays the captain of the team can’t seem to lock down his noticeable Danish accent. None of the characters are worth caring for and the sub-par script doesn’t give the actors much to work with.
Due to the well-done effects, “Kill Command” is barely a notch above a made for Syfy Channel movie, but not much else. Its a passable time waster for those craving sci-fi action but Netflix’s own “Spectral” is far better by comparison. Netflix seems to understand their audience well and even though this film received a lower-than-average review here, I can see why it was produced as it does have at least some hollow entertainment value.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars