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I watched 65 on Netflix.

I’ve said this probably a dozen times, but I’m very concerned about this blog becoming a bunch of time bombs that could blow up my career.

So I will try to say what I feel—but also, in the same way I would tell the actual creators, if they asked me in a meeting.

The movie didn’t perform well, so it’s not like they’re unaware. On the other hand, there’s no reason to pile on.

Adam Driver is a fantastic star. I have been a fan of his since Girls, when he was just this unusual, obscure actor seemingly plucked from an actual Brooklyn apartment to play “the boyfriend.”

The production is spectacular. The VFX are killer. Everything is beautifully mounted and directed.

I think it comes down to these three things—but unfortunately, they’re pretty basic:

1) The concept is cool (it’s actually people from another planet fighting through earth 65 million years ago) but it’s not, shall we say, relatable. Personally, I think it’s way more interesting to visit the past 65 years ago, than 65 million years. Running around a bunch of woods and rocks isn’t all that interesting.

2) The dinosaur action is spectacular but because the good guys have all this future tech (albeit in the past), we’re never really sure of what the gadgets can do—so it’s hard to track how scared we should be of the dinosaurs. It’s sort of the Star Trek problem: because the actors are humans (as aliens), and their culture is so recognizably earth-like, is this fantasy or not? If it’s fantasy, it makes it hard to play it straight as an “experiential” survivor thriller—simple as that.

3) Finally, the emotional core—what the Scriptshadow review (which I generally agree with) obnoxiously calls the DKB (“dead kid backstory”)—it just doesn’t have enough friction. It’s inevitable that the astronaut (Driver) who has lost the kid would accept the new kid he has to keep safe. It’s not like Enemy Mine where enemies have to work together.

The score was quite evocative in its subtler moments. The action music, however, felt very much par for the course in today’s movies and not terribly interesting.

The score is credited to Chris Bacon but apparently Danny Elfman also worked on it? Here, the music credits ought to clear it up:

Yep, so that totally makes sense now!

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