Annihilation (2018): NOT Now In Theaters Everywhere. Will I See/Review It?

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Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! Before we go any further with this current post, I made a promise to someone recently. Her name is Genevieve. If you have followed my blog or know me in real life, you’d know that I’m a tremendous fan of “King of the Nerds.” I don’t watch much reality TV, but that show shaped my life. Genevieve was on that show as a contestant, and she even worked on it after she appeared on camera. Since she was a part of something that altered my life for the better, I’ll return the favor by… well… letting you know about her own life. Genevieve and her husband, Paul, are having a baby. The journey to get there, provided a level of irritation that you probably couldn’t imagine unless you were in their position… is all explained… in “What the IVF?.”

As mentioned, “What the IVF?” focuses on the recently stated couple, Genevieve and Paul, who make a two year journey through Painsylvania just to have a baby. This will be a series on YouTube where the couple document their way through various struggles, such as sex, tests, math (can’t wait to see what formulas there are when it comes to having a baby), costs, and ahh! The needles! Get them away! For those of you who are actually reading this post not long after it got published and want to know how you can watch it, I’ve got some news, you can’t. I’m sorry, there is positively no way you’re allowed to watch this, there’s no absolute way you can even hack the system to allow yourself to view this content. I’m sorry, this promotion is completely pointless, and I shouldn’t have done it.

*VOICE IN BACKGROUD*

Wait, what’s that?

*VOICE CONTINUES*

It’s not even out yet? What a revelation!

*VOICE SPEAKS*

Oops! I mean, what a thing that I previously knew that also happens to be a revelation!

“What the IVF?,” or if you’re a mega acronym enthusiast, “WTIVF?,” is gonna have its first episode uploaded on March 5th, be sure to stay tuned, so you can enjoy the unfortunate hardships and the wonderful successes between Paul and Genevieve. If you want to watch the trailer for this, the video’s located up above. Also be sure to click the links to their website, their YouTube, their Facebook, their Twitter, their Instagram, all those links are down below, make the couple happy, and if you want, tell em I sent ya over!

WTIVF? WEBSITE: http://www.whattheivf.com/

WTIVF? YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCILXSidkzWgwrQ5Oa1py78w/featured?disable_polymer=1

WTIVF? TWITTER: https://twitter.com/WTivF

WTIVF? INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/wtivf/

WTIVF? FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/What-The-IVF-288868031634125/

If you have followed this blog recently, chances are that one of my recent posts may have caught your eye. That post goes by the name “Why I Won’t Review “The Cloverfield Paradox (2018).”” In that post I explain that I have seen “Cloverfield” and “10 Cloverfield Lane.” I enjoyed both movies and I even reviewed “10 Cloverfield Lane” since it was 2016 and I figured I’d talk about a recently released title (by that I mean a title released in what was then the current year). But the one thing holding “The Cloverfield Paradox” back for me, despite its clever marketing, the fact that it’s a another “Cloverfield” movie, and it being a film that looked good from the spots I saw on TV, is where it was placed. Specifically, Netflix. I said I refused to review the movie simply because of where it was placed. With some exceptions (mainly “Sharknado” films), I only review movies released in theaters. Not to mention, I despise Netflix mainly because of what they’re doing to video rental stores like Blockbuster, what they’re doing to physical media, and what they’re doing to movie theaters. Netflix is a streaming service, and while I do happen to use Amazon Video and Crackle from time to time, I much prefer watching movies on physical media. Also, for a company that’s known for making effective content that doesn’t belong on a time slot a “straight to TV” film could take, why aren’t they putting their movies in theaters? And apparently people aren’t even caring, because the movie’s right there in front of them. They don’t have to get off the couch and head to the theater. Heck, they might not even be watching the film on a TV, maybe a phone!

Weeks later, another movie comes out, named “Annihilation.” This has nothing to do with “Cloverfield.” If you watch this movie and think to yourself, “Wow! That was a good “Cloverfield” movie,” just do the world a favor. Either seek some help, or if you SOMEHOW manage to have a movie buff card, turn it in. This movie has recently been released all over the world and people are loving it, calling it a masterpiece, a tour de force, a movie that’s not a sibling to something such as “Batman & Robin.” How is it to me? I don’t know, I didn’t see it. My first memory of hearing about “Annihilation” was when I went to see “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” on opening night. One of the trailers that played was for “Annihilation” and I was pretty freaking stoked simply because of one guy. And that guy… is Alex Garland.

If you don’t know who Alex Garland is, he’s the director of a film that despite how I have praise for it, I don’t really think I have as much praise for it as other people do, but I still think it’s amazing nonetheless. That film by the way is “Ex Machina,” a beautiful looking film about a guy (Domnhall Gleeson) who is flown into this man’s (Oscar Isaac) house. While he is there, he is observing the owner’s work, specifically his AI. From there, it’s a well written, well directed, visually appealing film. From seeing promotional material for “Annihilation,” I didn’t exactly know entirely what to expect, although I thought the movie was gonna be sick, and much like “Ex Machina,” it would be like walking through an art museum at times. Although once I found out something that shocked me harder than electricity, I questioned whether or not this movie was really worth seeing. That something, involved Netflix.

I can’t recall exactly when the first instance happened to be when I saw the name Netflix somewhere in association with “Annihilation,” but still, it doesn’t leave out the fact that a part of me panicked. I wondered whether or not I would need to rethink my decision to go see “Annihilation.” My thoughts on going to see “Annihilation” could have been, well, you know, annihilated. I even told everyone on this blog in the past that I had an “Annihilation” review planned sometime in the future so this would end up being a broken promise depending on the decision I had to make. And that decision was, should I watch the movie? Let me tell you the whole story.

This movie was being released by Paramount Pictures, and it still is, but a deal was struck with Netflix on December 7, 2017. Why? There was a test screening for “Annihilation” and a Paramount financier who goes by the name David Ellison, wanted changes made to the film because he was concerned that it was “too intellectual” and “too complicated.” Garland didn’t approve of any sort of alteration, and a Paramount producer known as Scott Rudin sided with him. The two clashed and this eventually resulted in what exactly cannot be called a total loss in distribution rights, but it’s more of a partial removal than anything else. While Paramount was still set to release the film theatrically in the US and China, those were to be the only two areas they were going to release the movie in that fashion. Netflix would handle the rest of the distribution in other areas and it would go out on their streaming service seventeen days after the film’s theatrical release by Paramount. Alex Garland represented his personal disappointment about this, as shown below.

“We made the film for cinema. I’ve got no problem with the small screen at all. The best genre piece I’ve seen in a long time was “The Handmaid’s Tale”, so I think there’s incredible potential within that context, but if you’re doing that – you make it for that and you think of it in those terms. Look… it is what it is. The film is getting a theatrical release in the States, which I’m really pleased about. One of the big pluses of Netflix is that it goes out to a lot of people and you don’t have that strange opening weekend thing where you’re wondering if anyone is going to turn up and then if they don’t, it vanishes from cinema screens in two weeks. So it’s got pluses and minuses, but from my point of view and the collective of the people who made it – [it was made] to be seen on a big screen.”

Personally, I side with Garland for a number of reasons.

As someone who is such an advocate for movie theaters, I know, sounds political, I don’t care, it rolls off the tongue. I can totally see this as a film that can come off as a success in the theater. I know various films based on books and other material have been released in mediums that aren’t theatrical. Although my view is this, if you want more money, release your film in the theater. Sure, I sound like a greedy moron, but in reality I’m just stating the truth. You’re paying a good amount of money for what perhaps could be an exhilarating experience. In some places, it’s cheaper than others, but it’s usually pricey. If you actually want to watch your movie on your phone instead of in the theater, you’re either a millennial or you don’t know what you’re missing. Also, if it adds anything, I’m a millennial.

Also, what I don’t understand is the request to change the movie to be simpler. Yes, I don’t mind simple movies. Anything, even Emojis, can make a great movie, no matter how simple or complex it is. It depends on how it’s written, directed, etc. With that being said, it’s obvious that Alex Garland had a vision of how this would turn out. Maybe it’s not just Garland, but since this movie’s based on a book written by Jeff VanderMeer, maybe he had a vision too. If the book was complex for a lot of people, I can’t say it is or isn’t, I never read it, I don’t know. It has occurred to me recently how much I appreciate it when studios don’t interfere with films. I mean, look what happened to “Risky Business!” While it’s a near-perfect film, if they kept the original ending, I would have given the film a minor boost in terms of likability. But no, Warner Brothers just had to get in the way! Also, another thing, experience has taught many people that movies that have complex layers, make people think, or take their time at telling a story are artistically well done pieces of work that turned out to be absolute masterpieces. Why do you think people are still talking about movies like “Inception” to this day?

While I didn’t fully form my opinion for “Annihilation” due to my lack of seeing the movie, I know a guy wo did. That guy, is freaking Jeff VanderMeer, who as mentioned, is the author of the book this movie’s based on! According to Collider, after VanderMeer witnessed “Annihilation,” around nine months prior to the film’s release, he said it was “extremely horrific” and “mind-blowing.” Here’s an actual quote from the author.

“It’s actually more surreal than the novel. There are a couple places where I was like, ‘I might need an anchor here.’ The ending is so mind-blowing and in some ways different from the book that it seems to be the kind of ending that, like “2001” or something like that, people will be talking about around the watercooler for years… Visually, it’s amazing. I must say that and that’s all I probably should say.”

Let me just say, I can understand a director getting mad or disappointed over having to change something that they might perhaps be proud of due to studio interference, but this is actually extremely horrific, and not the kind VanderMeer thought of. When the author of a book sees their own story on screen done by somebody else, praises it to the tenth degree, and even calls it better in various aspects, you better respect that author! Yes, it’s Alex Garland’s movie, but you got to remember, this was also Jeff VanderMeer’s book! Let the two have their way!

Although then again, Stephen King hated the movie adaptation of “The Shining” and there’s evidence of Rohld Dahl disapproving of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and yet those are considered absolute classics so what do I know really? It all comes down to personal taste, but when there is LITERAL CONCRETE EVIDENCE of an original storyteller adoring a piece of work which happens to be an adaptation of their story, other people BETTER KEEP THEIR STINKING PAWS OFF! You know, kind of like how I said Netflix should have kept their paws off “God Partic– err I mean “The Cloverfield Paradox.”

I said in “Why I Won’t Review The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)” that my reason behind what the title suggests has to do with Netflix and my personal disconnect with the company. I can’t imagine myself reviewing a Netflix movie. I can’t imagine myself passionately looking at trailers for Netflix movies. I can’t even imagine myself watching a Netflix movie. But here’s the thing about “Annihilation…”

I ALSO said in “Why I Won’t Review The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)” that Netflix doesn’t release movies in theaters. I might not be serious about this, but I said I’d probably get rid of my Netflix boycott if they start putting films in theaters And while Netflix is keeping this like their other films and keeping it away from theaters, Paramount isn’t. And as far as my country (USA) is concerned, we’re getting it theatrically released here. So, to answer the question, will I see the movie? Yes I will!

Well… Maybe… If I get the opportunity.

I’m really looking forward to “Annihilation.” I never read the book it’s based on, I don’t know if I will, but this movie looks like a great sci-fi film! I said before, I loved Alex Garland’s work on “Ex Machina,” and who knows? Maybe this movie will be even better. Yes, from what I heard from a racial perspective, the characters apparently aren’t accurately presented, but that’s a topic I might touch on a little more if I a post a review for this movie. So yes, “Annihilation,” you’re not on my enemy list. Thanks for reading this post, pretty soon I’ll hopefully have a review up for “Annihilation” as mentioned before, but I also might go see “Game Night” in the near future, and who knows, maybe I’ll go see “Red Sparrow” if the opportunity comes up.

Also I want to make an announcement, I’m not exactly sure when I’ll start this, but I can tell you it is happening at some point, I’ll be doing a series of “Mission: Impossible” reviews. I don’t have exact dates planned out for each one, because I’m not exactly what you call a schedule follower, I can tell you my plans are to do one “Mission: Impossible” film per month and these are going to be all the Tom Cruise installments. In March I’m gonna be doing “Mission: Impossible” from 1996. In April I’m gonna be doing “Mission: Impossible II.” I’m gonna follow up from that in May with “Mission: Impossible III.” I’ll then continue on in June with “Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol.” And I’ll conclude the series in July with “Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation.” This is all being done in preparation for “Mission: Impossible: Fallout,” which is due to come out in theaters July 27 of this year. Stay tuned for those reviews, should you choose to accept them. Also, stay tuned for other great content as well! I want to know, what are your thoughts on this Paramount/Netflix deal? Do you think it’s a good idea? Also, since it’s still somewhat relevant, what are your thoughts on “The Cloverfield Paradox?” Did you see it? I know some people weren’t exactly satisfied with it, but I want to know if you’re in that territory or somewhere else! Let me know down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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