Soderbergh has bounced about from genre to genre since his Palme d’Or-winning breakthrough picture, Sex, Lies, and Videotape, in 1989. The outstanding volume to quality ratio that Soderbergh has maintained throughout his career is inspiring. In the three years since Unsane, Steven Soderbergh has released five films. These five films have all had their world premieres on streaming sites. Let’s compare and contrast Soderbergh’s five streaming initiatives.
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1. KIMI (2022)
Cast- Zoe Kravitz, Erika Christensen, Rita Wilson
An agoraphobic computer worker discovers evidence of a horrific crime. While monitoring a data stream during the COVID-19 pandemic in Seattle. She gets confront with opposition and bureaucracy when she tries to report it to her firm. To participate, she understands she must confront her worst fear by leaving her flat and entering the city streets. Which are crowded with protestors after the municipal council approves a legislation restricting the homeless population’s activities.
Apart from the thrills, Kimi has a lot to say on the benefits and drawbacks of our over-reliance on technology, women in the workplace, and life during COVID.
2. High Flying Bird (2019)
Cast- Melvin Gregg, Bill Duke, Kyle McLachlan
Ray Burke is a sports agent who finds himself caught in the middle of a pro basketball lockout between the league and the players. Ray’s career is on the line, but the stakes are higher for him. He outmanoeuvres all the major players while uncovering a loophole. It might change the game forever with only 72 hours to pull off a bold plan. The result raises the question of who owns the game, and who should.
High Flying Bird, written by Moonlight playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and shot on an iPhone 8. Is a brilliant magic trick on you, as the film’s caper nature only comes to you near the conclusion. High Flying Bird is one of those films that would never be made if it were released in theatres, as it would only gross $36, but it is well worth your time.
3. Let Them All Talk (2020)
Cast- Meryl Streep, Dianne West, Gem Chan
Alice is persuaded to attend an award ceremony in the United Kingdom. Because she is unable to fly, she is offered a cruise from New York to Southampton with two old college friends and her nephew. The journey offers a chance for the four to discuss and reconcile their past disputes. There’s a fifth person hiding in plain sight. However, the ending reshuffles a predetermined path.
Streep plays a sick writer who takes the Queen Mary II ship from the United States to the United Kingdom because she is unable to travel due to her health. Her nephew, her agency, and two old acquaintances she hasn’t spoken to in a long time accompany her on the trip.The movie is a low-key, primarily improvised comedy about regrets, ageing, and the hope for second chances.
4. The Laundromat (2019)
Cast- Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas
When Ellen Martin’s lovely vacation takes an unexpected turn, she investigates a phoney insurance policy, only to fall into a rabbit hole of dubious activities related to a Panama City legal firm with a vested interest in assisting the world’s wealthiest inhabitants build larger fortunes. Jürgen Mossack and Ramón Fonseca, the firm’s founding partners, are masters in the enticing ways shell firms and offshore accounts enable the wealthy and powerful grow. They’re about to show us that Ellen’s predicament is just a sliver of the tax evasion, bribery, and other heinous acts that the world’s super-rich engage in to prop up the world’s crooked financial system.
5. No Sudden Move (2021)
Cast- Julia Fox, Brenden Fraser, Noah Jupe
What starts out as a simple job for Don Cheadle’s Curt and Benicio del Toro’s Ronald in 1954 Detroit turns into a story full of twists and turns, double crosses and double crosses, and it all ends up being a diatribe about car companies deliberately suppressing information about the catastrophic effects pollution has on the environment.
Much of the film is shot with ultra-wide lenses that border on fish eye, giving every scene a slightly nauseous effect. It combines having a good time while viewing a crime film with some very serious messages regarding corporate malfeasance.