THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

THE GOAL FOR 2018: 200 MOVIES WATCHED BY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE!  (AFTER TOPPING OUT AT 194 in 2017)

CAN HE DO IT?

​​THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

THE CIRCLE (2017)

 
Wow, incredibly disappointing film that deservedly went nowhere at the box office and with the few humans who actually sat through this.  Emma Watson (as bland as I’ve ever seen her) is a struggling young woman looking to get her foot in the door and actually start a career.  She gets what seems to be a big break when her friend Annie (Karen Gillan) gets her an interview with a large Google/Apple-type company that wants to use technology to make sure there are no more secrets anymore a la Big Brother. The interview made me squirm with all of the psychological mumbo-jumbo questions used (of course she aces them) and before you know it, she’s working for customer service.  The culture of The Circle is overwhelming – employees (including Emma) are chided when they don’t participate in non-mandatory night and weekend activities, others never seem to stop working and there are even employee apartments (more like dorm rooms) for these unattached workers to stay in.  Tom Hanks has weekly chats (“Dream Fridays”) where he comes out like Steve Jobs and uses his warm, folksy persona to announce things like tiny cameras the size of a marble that can be placed anywhere globally and people can be observed at any time.  Watson, in a rather stupid maneuver, goes out on a kayak in the middle of the night to work out her stress and suddenly is flailing away in the water, in big trouble.  But a Coast Guard helicopter suddenly appears and saves her – because of one of those cameras nearby.  This makes her a proponent of the new privacy-invading tech, puts her on Hanks’ radar and suddenly she’s agreed to wear a camera everywhere and broadcast her life – sorta like the Truman Show or EdTV.  There are a lot of other contrived incidents that happen, which eventually turn her the other way and an ending that really isn’t much of an ending AT ALL!  The Circle is obvious, familiar and even a tad boring.  Hanks is good playing the head of The Circle, the closest he’s ever come to playing a bad guy, and his normal demeanor works well here.  Patton Oswalt is also great as his second in command.  Ever notice how comedic actors, when they play it straight and even a little menacing, how effective they can be?  Well, Oswalt has that gift and he’s solid, if lacking in screen time.  But overall this should be skipped if possible – what a misfire!

 

TLA one-word review: bland