Ruben Brandt, Collector

The feature debut of Hungarian animator Milorad Krstic, unfortunately, has the feel of an animated short. And it would’ve worked well as a short, but at an hour and a half, it wears thin.

The computer-generated and hand-drawn backgrounds are from Monet, Manet, and Picasso paintings. There are lots of modern art references, too. I’m not sure how amusing it is to catch all the stuff fly by. I felt the same way with Ready Player One. They tried so hard to just throw in a million pop culture references, and it was a bit much. In this, you’ll see some Andy Warhol stuff, Hopper’s diner, Powell’s Peeping Tom, and the postman from Van Gogh (which was so much more interesting in the fully painted animated movie Loving Vincent last year). Krstic thinks if they can just mash-up all this stuff, the artsy crowd will eat it up, and they probably will.

The story, if you can call it that, has psychiatrist Ruben Brandt (get that clever name?), voiced by Ivan Kamaras, working with a number of criminal patients. He has four of them stealing 13 masterpieces that haunt his dreams. He figures owning these works will end the nightmares. Hey…if I owned just one of them, it would certainly end all my money problems, but…I digress.

There’s a private investigator (Csaba Marton) that knows Mimi (Gabriella Hamori) and her history.

There are other things that pop up that make little sense to the narrative. But, I don’t think Krstic cared about making a movie that made sense. He wants to create visuals, and it is beautiful imagery.

The characters in this are all flat and the heist has interruptions that stop the action oddly.

I’m not sure I even get the spy-game subplot that’s going on, or why two old dudes that hang out at the Cold War Bar sit around talking about experiments.

Sometimes it’s interesting when a detective type story is done in a different narrative form. For example, Brick (Rian Johnson film with Joseph Gordon-Levitt) had a noir vibe done with high school kids, including the old school detective narration by a teen.

Last year the filmmakers behind The Happy Time Murders (Melissa McCarthy) did it a lot less successfully with muppets.

This is now the version with animation, which is gorgeous to look at; and a soundtrack with some groovy tunes.

2 stars out of 5.

 

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