Wednesday 25 August 2021

Rob's Movie Night Roundup - P (Panic Room)

At the beginning of the year, my wife and I decided that we'd like to watch more movies. There are 52 weeks in a year, 2 of us, and 26 letters in the alphabet. What better way to choose some movies than to go alphabetically? The only rule: Where possible, it should be a movie that one or more of us had never seen before. Oh, and ideally it should be part of one of the copious online streaming services we're already subscribed to, because why bother paying for a rental when we're not short of options?

Incidentally, if anyone from the big online streaming service providers is reading this (your Notfluxes or your Prims, for example), please make it easier to search for/sort movies alphabetically. Thanks.

Also, fair warning: There may well be movies that appear on this list that you'll find hard to believe I haven't seen before. It happens.

Previous letters are here: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O


Director: David Fincher
Stars: Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Forest Whitaker

Synopsis via IMDB: A divorced woman and her diabetic daughter take refuge in their newly-purchased house's safe room, when three men break-in, searching for a missing fortune.

I love David Fincher movies. He's directed so many great films that I look forward to seeing his name in the credits. I also love Jodie Foster. She's a great actress and I get the feeling she's probably really nice in real life as well. I'm not sure why.

Kristen Stewart has never been a massive favourite of mine, but that's not to say that I think she's bad at acting. I've just not seen anything I've particularly liked that she's been in, but it's never because of her. Unless she had any hand in the decision making for Breaking Dawn Part 2 which I think is legitimately one of the least enjoyable movie experiences I've ever had. I have never read or seen any of the Twilight series aside from that film though, so make of that what you will I guess.

Jared Leto is even in this movie! I had no idea that this was the case, but was pleasantly surprised. I don't have a huge degree of exposure to his work, but he's alright. This is, of course, to say nothing about Forest Whitaker's appearance as well! It's Saw Gerrera! Obviously he doesn't play that part. Sorry...spoilers? I'm so unclear on what the rules are, now.

One thing I really like about this film is how the entire thing is restricted to a single location, and kept very tight on that location. Everything is done in the context of the house, of which the panic room forms part. Characters come and go, but the house is always the focal point of the story. Given the plot, this is a great choice. The way the film is shot, too, is excellent. The angles are great, the color palette is sparse and it all just looks lovely.

Everyone performs their parts very well, with highlights being Foster and Stewart as the mother/daughter duo occupying the house around which the plot hinges. Whitaker's character takes what might be a slightly trope-y turn nowadays, but in 2002 probably wasn't all that played out. It's a small cast, but an effective one.

I don't really know what else to say about it. I really enjoyed it.

As the world opens up, I had a feeling there would be a few letters that might have to constitute fewer movies. I've already had thoughts on how I might approach this endeavour differently were I to attempt it again, but more on that perhaps later. With all that said, Panic Room was well worth the price of admission (my Netflix subscription price, in this case) and I'm glad I've seen it now.

Did you enjoy the roundup? Let me know! If you have thoughts on the movies chosen and their respective writeups above, you know where to find me. Maybe you don't, but there are buttons everywhere to make that happen. Comments, Twitter, you name it. Moreover, if you want to make use of this movie night format, bearing in mind you're a few weeks in and might have to double up to get up to speed, feel free to do the same - I'd love to know what you chose too!

Rob Wade

Rob Wade blogs about stuff he likes. Whether it's video games or geek media for Emotionally14 or writing about speculative theories for future films on Talk Star Wars, the focus has always been on the stuff that brings the most pleasure to his life within media.

Rob is the editor of Emotionally14, and showrunner of the E14 podcasts "The Crazy Train", "The E14 Gamecast" and "Talk Star Wars", as well as the host and guest of a number of pieces on E14's Youtube channel over the years.

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