First Run
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First Run

The A-Listers Talk About Nope (2022)

From the couple who see a lot of movies because they have AMC A-List.

Universal

There are major spoilers in the following review.

Patrick: Before we begin, I would be remiss not to acknowledge the fact that we are The A-Listers…and seeing a movie at AMC totally sucks. Tonight alone: the lights didn’t dim until ten minutes in, people around us were talking and sipping on their covert liquor, and when it was over, someone stood up and said, “Where the fuck is the rest of the movie? That shit ass!” for everyone to hear.

Taylor: Where is Nicole Kidman when you need her the most? Sigh.

Patrick: I also think you liked the movie a lot more than I did.

Taylor: That’s probably true. Based on the reaction of the theater, I would venture to say maybe I liked it a lot more than most people. But it’s important to know that at my core, I am a UFO girlie. When kids spent their holidays sneaking beers and playing manhunt, I used to spend my holidays staring up at the sky (because UFOs are most active during holidays because people aren’t looking up, obviously…) and submitting MUFON reports of my sightings- which, to be clear, I still believe in 110% to this very day. So yeah, you could say this film struck a niche cord with me.

Patrick: Remember that time you made me drive towards UFO lights and it just turned out to be a furniture store’s midnight madness sale spotlight?

Taylor: No comment… Actually, I will comment to say that every great UFO hunter is led astray at some point in their career. Every other time it’s been totally legitimate, and I will die on that hill. Oh god, people are probably already clicking off of this review.

Patrick: I have mixed feelings about UFOs, which might be part of the reason that I have mixed feelings about this movie. There are things I really liked about it (Daniel Kaluuya, always), things I didn’t like (the last 45 minutes), and a number of things I felt were squeezed in (sitcom chimpanzees). It all kinda just felt messy. Jordan Peele will always have to live with the bizarre repercussions of making an excellent debut feature (the M. Night Shyamalan comparisons are real) and for that reason, I feel bad for saying this, but I just thought he wrote tighter scripts than this? He’s been given the proverbial blank check and maybe someone should just give him some notes.

Taylor: I hear you, and I wouldn’t say my thoughts are too far off, but I do think the script was tight. I think the concept, maybe less so. The chimp comes to mind for me as well. I’ll be honest — I was pretty enthralled in this. There were times when it had me in a legitimate chokehold (something only Jordan Peele can seem to do for me). My qualms are that it’s just not at all what I expected and that is always jarring as a viewer. First of all, it’s not a horror film. Is it gripping and thrilling at some points? Absolutely. But it is not a horror film. It’s more along the lines of an indie-feeling sci-fi action flick. I like those kinds of movies, which is why I think I enjoyed this, but it’s not what I expected in the slightest. It’s a tough one for sure. You can’t help but have certain expectations after two films like Get Out and Us. I think it’s possible he just straight up wanted to make another type of film, and he did that successfully. He shouldn’t have to put a disclaimer for that, but it definitely messes with people’s expectations consciously or subconsciously.

Patrick: The concept is iffy, yes. But I have to disagree that it’s not a little sloppy. This was the first time (yes, I’m comparing it to his other movies!) that he had to straight up explain the metaphor to the audience. Does he not trust us? Is he tired of the US (2019) EXPLAINED! videos on Youtube that get it all wrong and decided to just tell us what he wanted to say this time? That’s what bad screenwriters do, they tell and don’t show.

Taylor: Maybe I’m an idiot, but I didn’t even find the metaphor(s) to be very clear. I think that’s because there were just a lot of somewhat unexplored individual pieces going on. Or it’s because I was distracted by noisy neighbors and UFO excitement. The world may never know.

Patrick: Maybe it’s me (it’s probably me). I mean, I’m sitting here saying that the metaphor was obvious, and it feels that way in my head, but I can’t articulate it. But is that because the movie can’t quite articulate it either and instead just gives us half-formed nuggets of explanation? Yeah, it’s probably me.

Taylor: I feel like there has been a lot of criticism online lately of people who dive “too deep” into pieces of film and tv. I saw it a ton with Euphoria. “Kat could sh*t for 58 minutes and y’all would say it’s a social commentary on blah blah blah.” But that hyper-analyzation has been Jordan Peele’s bread and butter. It’s the thing that has continued to make people watch his films over and over and over again. People will do the same with this but… should they? Where is the line between “He’s an auteur for hiding so many things in plain sight” and “We shouldn’t have to dig this deep for shit that might not be there anyway.” Didn’t he say himself at one point that people were pulling out metaphors and symbols in Get Out that straight up were not intentional? Just something to think about with this, I think.

Patrick: Yes, but he’s done it to himself. Maybe he just wanted to tell us straight up that Hollywood blows (I could’ve guessed) and the aliens, animals, and natural elements are just a vehicle for the metaphor instead of the actual metaphor. I’m just used to him dropping clues and leading us along carefully, while this just felt so obvious that I almost couldn’t believe it was that obvious.

Taylor: It feels like we watched two different movies. I feel like our experiences and takeaways are so different — which is something that usually doesn’t happen with us. We are pretty notoriously on the same page on just about every opinion (even constantly giving things the same rating on Letterboxd separately), so this is new for us. All I have to say is… Did the cloud leave or what?

Patrick: Even better question — fmk: Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun.

Taylor: I suddenly identify as polyamorous. Although let’s be real… Daniel could get it any. day. of. the. week. What would you do for a Klondike Bar? No. What would you do to have Daniel just look at you in the eyes for 5 seconds? Many things. Many questionable things.

Patrick: At least I got my Minions Snack Pack…

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