Movies I’ve Recently Seen: The Wild Goose Lake, Fantastic Fungi & American Psycho

Here are three films I’ve streamed recently – in order of best to worst. But to be frank, none of them were all that good.

B- The Wild Goose Lake (2019), helping the Roxie

Early in this Chinese crime thriller, a top criminal gives something like a masterclass on stealing motorcycles. It all seems very well organized. Hands go up, answers are questions, until it breaks into a very violent free-for-all. Violence is always near amongst these crooks. But the plot, about a likeable thief with a bounty on his head, and a young woman who gets involved with what’s going on, is very hard to follow. Writer/director Yi’nan Diao provides some very exciting and original action scenes, and Jingsong Dong’s photography is often stunning. The title refers to the dangerous neighborhood where much of the film is set.

C+ Fantastic Fungi (2019), helping the Rafael

If a documentary’s claims are too good to be true, they’re probably false. Keep that in mind while considering what would probably be a great movie to watch on ‘shrooms. The bright colors, the time-lapse photography, and the wild use of digital effects make a psychedelic experience. But I saw it sober, and while it was still visually appealing, I often found it difficult to believe. While containing actual information about fungi’s importance to our ecosystem, the film makes claims that are hard to believe. For instance, one of the interview subjects tells us that mycelium are intelligent (director Louie Schwartzberg didn’t bring in anyone to refute that hypothesis). Even less likely is the claim that eating psilocybin magic mushrooms made our pre-human ancestors’ brains grow. That’s not how evolution works.

D American Psycho (2000), Vudu

The movie starts as a parody of extreme wealth, like something of a sign of the Trump era to come. Christian Bale plays a very rich young man, a vice president of a big investment banking corporation, completely concerned with nothing but his own image. His life is all about wealth, image, and getting laid. Then he starts killing people. The surprise ending was truly a surprise, but not a satisfying one.