As time progresses, filmmakers and screenwriters have become more daring with blending different genres into their movies. Why? No one has ever said that a movie had to be confined to a single genre. Not only that, movies are far more interesting when different elements play into the development of the characters and the plot of the story.
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However, many filmmakers could get carried away with incorporating too many genres; the movie loses its identity and becomes senseless. But when done right, movies such as Everything Everywhere All at Once, Parasite, and The Lobster are masterpieces to be reckoned with.
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10/10 ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ (2022)
Everything Everywhere All at Once is divided into three parts; Everything, Everywhere, and All at Once. Waymond Wang (Ke Huy Quan) and Evelyn Quan Wang (Michelle Yeoh) are Chinese American immigrants who own a laundromat business and whose daughter, Joy Wang (Stephanie Hsu), begins to drift away from them as she reaches adulthood. Though the premise may sound simple and conventional, it is anything but that.
The Rotten Tomatoes consensus of “Led by an outstanding Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once lives up to its title with an expertly calibrated assault on the senses” rings exceptionally true to the film. The film is so much more than just an ordinary story about a family; it is about love, relationships, human emotions, wants, needs, life choices, possibilities, and more, with elements of romance, drama, comedy, science fiction, action, and adventure, all wrapped into one.
9/10 ‘Palm Springs’ (2020)
Nyles (Andy Samberg) is tired of his girlfriend, Misty (Meredith Hagner), cheating on him. On the evening of November 9, he attends a wedding where he meets the bride's sister, Sarah Wilder (Christin Milioti). As they find themselves attracted to each other, they soon decide to ditch the party. When Nyles undresses, he gets shot by an arrow. After realizing his injury, he crawls into a cave and tells Sarah not to follow him, but she goes against his advice. As she does this, she gets sucked into a vortex and wakes up to November 9 again.
Palm Springs is a modern and excellently reworked tale of Groundhog Day. An overused premise in Hollywood films doesn't necessarily scream smart or original, but screenwriter Andy Siara and director Max Barbakow give it a breath of fresh air.
8/10 ‘Parasite’ (2019)
Boon Jong Ho’s Parasite was the film of the year 2019: some might even say it was the film of the decade. The Kim family, father Kim Ki-taek (Song King-ho), mother Chung-sook (Jang Hye-jin), son Kim Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik), and daughter Kim Ki-jung (Park So-dam) live in a basement house in South Korea where they struggle to make their ends meet. When the Kim family suddenly crosses paths with the wealthy Park family, both families’ lives would change forever.
Shown through the symbiotic relationship between the Kim family and the Park family, Parasite showcases issues that have long persisted within our society, particularly highlighting the perpetual divide between the different social classes. Jong Ho’s ability to incorporate drama, comedy, and thriller into one seamless storyline makes Parasite one of the most memorable genre-bending films to date.
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7/10 ‘The Lobster’ (2015)
After David’s (Colin Farrell) wife leaves him for another man, he gets escorted to a hotel where the manager tells him that single people such as himself have 45 days to find a partner or be transformed into an animal of their choice. Should he fail, David chooses to become a lobster.
The hotel bans masturbation and forces its guests to attend dances and watch propaganda on the advantages of partnership. Soon, David realizes the hotel is not for him and escapes to join “the loners” in the woods. No romances are allowed, and if found out, the perpetrator is punished by mutilation. But as he meets a woman known as Short-Sighted Woman and the Narrator (Rachel Weisz), they attempt to escape the world that entraps them.
“An uproarious yet deadpan satire concerning societal constructs, dating mores, and power structures that also manages to be a surprisingly moving, gloriously weird love story.” - Olivia Lyttelton, The Playlist
6/10 ‘Inherent Vice’ (2014)
Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston) visits the beach house of her ex-boyfriend and hippie private investigator, Larry “Doc” Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix). She tells him of her new lover, a wealthy real estate developer named Michael Z. “Mickey” Wolfmann (Eric Roberts), and asks for his help to stop Wolfmann’s wife, Sloane Wolfmann (Serena Scott Thomas), from abducting Wolfmann and throwing him into an insane asylum.
Despite its complicated plot, Inherent Vice was met with positive reviews. Director Paul Thomas Anderson made sure his neo-noir mystery comedy film is something that had never been done before. Anderson’s narrative swank and attention to detail brought all the contrasting elements together.
“There's nothing certain – a surprisingly rewarding sensation that demands repeat viewings. There's so much, too much, to soak up, and all the laughter Anderson piles on top of the thematics means there's plenty to miss. Inherent Vice is a high grain strain: Provocative, hilarious, and its own breed of weird.” - Matt Patches, IGN
5/10 ‘Snowpiercer’ (2013)
After a failed attempt to save the world from global warming with the stratospheric aerosol injection method, it backfired and created a new ice age. The outside world was too cold to live in, and the remaining survivors were now living in a self-sustaining train run by creator Wilford (Ed Harris) called the Snowpiercer. Like the outside world, the train passengers are segregated by class: the privileged are sat at the front, while the poor are crammed into grubby compartments at the engine's end and watched by armed guards.
The stars of Snowpiercer include Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, Luke Pasqualino, and more. What makes Snowpiercer so unique despite its tale-old premise of planetary destruction and human extinction is it sucks you into its new-fashioned world so quickly and effortlessly.
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4/10 ‘Drive’ (2011)
A man, only referred to as the Driver (Ryan Gosling), is a highly skilled Hollywood stuntman by day and a getaway driver for criminals by night. When Irene (Carey Mulligan) and her son Benicio (Kaden Leos) move in next door and become his new neighbors, he quickly warms up to them despite his icy exterior. But things change as Irene’s husband, Standard Gabriel (Oscar Isaac), gets released from prison and hires the Driver to help him with a million-dollar heist. However, things go south, and the Driver must risk his life to protect Irene and Benicio from the criminal masterminds behind the robbery.
Drive is known for its moody and neo-noiresque lighting and cinematography. These elements helped amplify the feelings and characteristics of the Driver, a man of a few words who makes a living by helping criminals carry out their crimes. Drive is a Nicolas Winding Refn classic; extremely violent but also extremely stylish.
3/10 ‘Shaun of the Dead’ (2004)
Shaun (Simon Pegg) is a demotivated electronic salesman who has lost a sense of direction in his life. Not only is his work life unfulfilling, but he also gets treated disrespectfully by his colleagues. At home, he doesn’t get along well with his stepfather Philip (Bill Nighy), and his girlfriend Liz (Kate Ashfield) dumps him as he fails to impress her on celebrating their third anniversary. Shaun does what he does best: getting drunk with his flatmate Ed (Nick Frost) to drown his sorrows. But by the following day, Shaun’s once dull life completely changes when London is faced with a zombie apocalypse.
Not just another zombie movie, Shaun of the Dead left a hugely positive impression on critics and the audience. Many gravitated towards the unique approach of blending horror and comedy despite the juxtaposition of the two genres.
2/10 ‘Phantom of the Paradise’ (1974)
Phantom of the Paradise is a rock musical comedy horror movie that follows the story of a naïve singer-songwriter named Winslow Leach / The Phantom (William Finley). Winslow gets tricked by the legendary but deceiving music producer Swan (Paul Williams) to give up his life’s work—a rock opera.
In return, Winslow avenges by transforming into a whole new persona and terrorizes Swan’s new concert hall, The Paradise, while convincing his favorite singer, Phoenix (Jessica Harper), to perform his music in the concert hall.
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1/10 ‘The Court Jester’ (1955)
The film revolves around a carnival entertainer, Hubert Hawkins (Danny Kaye), who works with the Black Fox’s band of rebels (parodying Robin Hood and his Merry Men) to guard the infant king of Medieval England against an oppressor. But when Hawkins and Maid Jean (Glynis Johns) disguise themselves to take the infant king to safety, they encounter the king’s newly hired jester but secretly an assassin, Giacomo (John Carradine).
Not aware that Giacomo is secretly an assassin, Jean knocks him out, convinces Hawkins to steal his identity to gain access to the court, and plot against the evil ruler who overthrew their king. The Court Jester has been described as falling under the genres of comedy (slapstick and satire), adventure, drama, musical, costume drama, and action. It was undoubtedly progressive during its time and has stayed a cinema classic since then.
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