A 2021 Film Journey: Day 88

Another day, and while I didn’t need to go to the ER today, my back feels just as bad. So while I was in bed for most of the day, pain killers kept my movie viewing to a minimum. In between hydrocodone naps, I managed to sneak in another Oscar nominated film. Looking at timing moving forward, I believe I should be able to finish my Oscar viewing by the time SIFF starts late next week, so look forward to that in the upcoming days.

Love and Monsters (2020, Dir. Michael Matthews)

Love and Monsters (2020) - IMDb

I’m just going to get this out of the up front, Love and Monsters is almost exactly Zombieland (2009, Dir. Ruben Fleischer). Dylan O’Brien play Joel the Jesse Eisenberg equivalent, a bit of a bumbling naïve protagonist. This archetype works perfectly for an apocalyptic comedy as it is primed for easy character growth and allows for a mentor figure to heavily influence the scope of the film. This gives the film a pulpy quality following a well-trodden formula.

The film’s Oscar nomination confuses me some as well. Zombieland was never in any serious consideration for an Oscar, but most of that I’m willing to chock up to Covid shrinking the pool. What really confuses me is that the visual effects themselves are somewhat lackluster. I thought the designs of the monsters themselves were noisy making it difficult to know what exactly was going on, and the CGI falls into the standard trappings of looking like CG. The actors never appear to share the screen with the monsters they are fighting. All of this adds up to a fine action comedy streaming offering, but not a film I’d peg for Oscar consideration.

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