one life or the other: a mind

If you’re not a woman between the ages of 25 and 50, the chances of One Life or the Other (Look Both Ways; Netflix) liking you are pretty much nil.

In this film by Kenyan Wanuri Kahiu, Lili Reinhart (Betty in the series Riverdale), one of the stars of Netflix, plays Nathalie, an arts graduate at a University of Texas who dreams of a career in animation cinema.

Diligent, serious and determined, Nathalie blunders one evening and spends the night with her best friend, Gabe (Danny Ramirez). Sick in the days that followed, she decided to undergo a pregnancy test

The film then follows two timelines: a first in which the test is positive and another which leads Nathalie to Los Angeles where, not being pregnant, she is trying to launch her career.

Oh how bored I was listening to Une vie ou l’autre… Regulars of this column know that I hate romantic comedies devoid of imagination. In this case, we are entitled to two films of the genre for the price of one (one for each timeline) and each is an insipid collection of clichés.

The story where Nathalie is pregnant is a bleached and very dazed version of Juno (2007). The one where the ambitious young woman tries to find her place at work is reminiscent of The Devil Wears Prada (2006) – without the incisive words, the sweet naivety of Anne Hathaway and the sublime Meryl Streep.

In all honesty, Kahiu – making his commercial film debut here – gives us absolutely no reason to see his film. The story of the perfect little girl who tries to land her dream job at 22 and who meets her prince charming on her first outing has been told 1000 times. Just like that of the young single woman who becomes pregnant against her will. After 15 minutes, we already know how it will all end.

And, yes, you guessed it, like in a Harlequin novel, the two timelines end in joy and glee, like a very simplistic contemporary fairy tale that only serves to inflame the audience’s fantasies. target.

There is probably a reflection on destiny in Une vie ou l’autre, but I would be hard pressed to tell you what the deep message is. And if this one is that all you have to do is trust life for happiness to strike, well, forgive my cynicism, but that’s not what Hollywood should be telling young women…

Reinhart will not win an acting award for her role. I admit, however, that she does her best to breathe life into dull dialogue and raise the level of a work devoid of rhythm and of any artistic quality.

The supreme irony appears two-thirds of the way through when Nathalie’s boss claims that her work seems to be the result of an algorithm because it lacks personality and isn’t daring enough. I don’t think I could have found a better way to describe One Life or Another, a film whose sole reason for existing seems to be to showcase Reinhart.

To do with the expectations at the floor, and only if you feel a deep and assumed love for cinema as light as helium.

(One and a half stars out of five)

Day-Shift

Despite some original ideas and a solid effort from Jamie Foxx and Dave Franco, Day Shift (Netflix) doesn’t rise very high in the increasingly congested hierarchy of vampire movies.

In Day Shift, the always excellent Foxx (Ray, Django Unchained) plays Bud Jablonski, a divorced father from Los Angeles who washes swimming pools by day and stalks vampires by night. Why does he play Bram Stocker? Because in his world, vampire fangs are worth a small fortune.

When his cash-strapped ex broaches the idea of ​​moving to his mother’s house in Florida with his daughter, Bud has a week to find the thousands of dollars the lady needs. This involves killing a lot of vampires, which is obviously very dangerous.

Things don’t work out for Bud when he’s forced by his union (!) to team up with an inexperienced little paper pusher (Franco). And that he will (obviously) have to face an extremely powerful vampire who has (obviously) kidnapped his daughter and her ex.

Day Shift is the first feature film by JJ Perry, a former stuntman who has worked in various functions in no less than 150 films or television series. He offers us some beautifully choreographed fights (including the first and the jubilant one featuring the Nazarian brothers).

Likely to mimic the warm California light, Perry used an orange filter on his cameras. This results in images that scratch the eye a little.

The special effects are more uneven, some being much better than others. This is also the case with the scenario. Several elements of the film’s first half are very original (like the fang trade and the spider-vampires). It spoils enormously afterwards as Day Shift becomes very predictable and turns into a pastiche of Zombieland (without the refined humor) and Blade (without the presence of Wesley Snipes).

If Foxx is very good in the role of the macho that nothing scares, Dave Franco is even better (Neighbors, Now You See Me 2). His cowardly, talkative character is absolutely hilarious. Hats off also to rapper Snoop Dog in the role of a very original cowboy/hunter.

Day Shift is still a typical Netflix action-comedy in the sense that the bulk of the budget necessarily went to pay for Foxx, Franco, and the special effects. Everything else is a bit wobbly and lacks refinement, even if we smile several times at the audacity and bravado of the work.

(Three out of five stars)

Five days at Memorial Hospital

The passage of Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 on New Orleans caused nearly 2000 victims. Inspired by real life, the miniseries Five Days at Memorial (Apple TV+) tells us the stories of some of the victims, as well as those who bravely fought for try to save them.

With its winds of 175 km/h, Hurricane Katrina is one of the most powerful in history. It made landfall on August 29, 2005 in Louisiana.

The already considerable damage was amplified by the fact that levees located upstream from the most populous city in the state, New Orleans, gave way under the weight of the accumulated water. The Cajun capital then found itself under about fifteen feet of water, trapping the unfortunates who had not evacuated before the arrival of the storm.

This was the case for 2,000 employees (including LeBlancs, Landrys and Robichaux), patients and refugees gathered at Memorial Hospital, in the heart of the city.

Five Days at the Memorial Hospital kicks off as 13 days after the hurricane hit, government employees inspect the then-vacant building. In the chapel of the hospital, they discover 45 corpses.

So what happened at Memorial Hospital? That’s what directors Carlton Cuse (Lost) and John Ridley (screenwriter of 12 Years A Slave) tell us in the eight episodes of the series (four are available; the others will be one every Friday) .

One feels an immense feeling of helplessness and frustration when listening to Memorial. Helplessness because one can only be moved by scenes worthy of countries at war. And frustration because it is totally incomprehensible that the management of a hospital located BELOW sea level never thought of developing an emergency plan for evacuation in the event of a flood…

In a formidable gradation, the tension mounts minute by minute, the staff being as worried and lost as the patients. At the heart of the chaos, the exceptional actress Cherry Jones, who must improvise to keep 2,000 people alive, without outside help.

A great series, of which the most tragic, I am convinced, is yet to come.

(Four out of five stars)

To monitor

The dragon house
(House of the Dragon)
(On Crave Sunday)
Based on the novel Fire and Blood by George RR Martin, this fantasy series takes place 300 years with the events told in Game of Thrones, during a time when the Targaryens rule over Westeros with the help of dragons. With Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke and Paddy Considine.

underfire
(On Netflix Wednesday)
The United States has Chicago Fire since 2012, the Europeans have Under Fire. This Belgian and Dutch co-production tells the personal and professional tribulations of a tightly knit group of firefighters.

Me Time
(On Netflix Friday)
In this film, Kevin Hart (Ride Along) plays a stay-at-home dad who, for the first time in years, gets some time off when his wife and kids are away. Enter an old friend (Mark Wahlberg) who will give him a weekend he is not ready to forget…

Samaritan
(On Prime Video Friday)
Sylvester Stallone plays a superhero who has been living in seclusion for two decades. When a boy discovers his identity, he encourages him to take the necklace back.

The invitation
(The Invitation)
(In theaters Friday)
In this horror film whose premise recalls Ready or Not (2019) and Get Out (2017), a young American woman who has taken a DNA test discovers that she has family in England. Once there, she realizes that she is at the heart of a vast Gothic conspiracy.

one life or the other: a mind-numbing contemporary fairy tale