Quick Review: Under The Silver Lake ($0.99 Rental, iTunes 1080p)



Audioholic Intern
last night i decided to settle in with a budget rental. 99 cents is a good deal for 48 hours and i suppose i was feeling open-minded after reading the movie description:

Sam (Andrew Garfield) is a disenchanted 33-year-old who discovers a mysterious woman, Sarah (Riley Keough), swimming in his apartment complex's pool. When she vanishes, Sam embarks on a spiraling investigation across Los Angeles to decode the secret behind her disappearance, leading him into the murkiest depths of mystery, scandal, and conspiracy in the City of Angels. From writer-director David Robert Mitchell (It Follows) comes a sprawling and unexpected detective thriller about the Dream Factory and its denizens — dog killers, aspiring actors, memorabilia hoarders, nightlife personalities, wealthy socialites, and the shadowy billionaires floating above (and underneath) it all.

my setup is a 1080p projector displayed at 135" diagonal.
seating position is about 12ft to 13ft
2.1 audio for now: AVR X2600H & RSL CG3 with Speedwoofer 10s

a few things to note from the outset:
  • the genre is listed as thriller, but this movie is clearly a dark comedy. that's important because of its whimsy. the headspace is more alice in wonderland than silence of the lambs. many other reviewers fail to recognize this and i'm surprised by that.
  • if you watch good morning america, or the network news on a regular basis, and have never questioned anything that the mainstream consensus force-feeds to you, this movie is not for you. if, on the other hand, you are somewhat well versed in today's popular backchannels then you will fit right in.
i am always pleased when the photography in a movie is on point. this is something that was noticed immediately in Under The Silver Lake. in the cinema format (e.g. large screen) i could just sink into my oversized costco beanbag/pouff and enjoy the eyecandy. and speaking of that, there is plenty of T&A throughout the film.

There are several themes that jumped out at me, and these solidified my overall enjoyment:
  1. sam maintains his relationship with his mother, pretty much no matter the shape he's in. compare this with the state of every other character. it is significant.
  2. topher grace's subtle and small "drops"
  3. exploring the purpose of mass media beyond what is currently assumed
  4. codes, coincidences, and symbology associated with the occult
  5. the movie peaks with "the songwriter" scene. seriously, i was digging it. especially if you've ever read about the theodor adorno conspiracy
i can't really go into more without steering too much and giving away too much.

bottom line: recommended.

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