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Slumberland (2022)

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60/10: Nemo" (Marlow Barkley) has one of those lifestyles I would love! She lives in a lighthouse. When a storm visits one night, a tragedy ensues and she must relocate into the city to live with her estranged uncle "Philip" (Chris O'Dowd). He is a shy man who designs door handles - successfully - for a living. Struggling to come to terms with her new environment, she finds her dreams become more and more bizarre as she encounters "Flip" (Jason Momoa). Now this is a character that her father had regaled her with exciting adventures stories about, and now it seems he is looking for a map that will track down some pearls that might enable him (and her) to get what they most desire. This is no ordinary map, though. It is one of dreams, and the pair now have some lively escapades at they gate-crash the nocturnal visions of others. Of course, these transgressions aren't allowed and they are both pursued by the relentless and cunning "Agent Green" (Weruche Opia) from the Bureau charged with preventing such activities, as well as by the nightmares of the young girl which threaten to consume all in their path. To be fair, Momoa does enter into the spirit of the story, but his characterisation is just too hammy and over-cooked. I kept wondering if Antonio Banderas might have been better, or Geoffrey Rush? Barkley is enthusiastic and quite engaging, though, and the visual effects are creative, imaginative and vividly expressed as we progress. The nature of the narrative is a bit repetitive, which doesn't always help, and the story is the simplest of fairy tales-style efforts that does have a certain charm to it - especially her stuffed pig - but is really rather too thin to pad out an overlong two hours of screen time. It's clearly Netflix' attempt to enter the Christmas family market, but somehow I can't imagine many kids sitting through it all, particularly the long, drawn out, denouement
Friday, November 18, 2022

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