Netflix launches a devastating satire of Hollywood blockbusters that leaves no puppet with a head

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Of all the possibilities that Netflix had to put ‘The Bubble’ on its feet, it has possibly chosen the least appropriate: Judd Appatow’s new film lasts two and a half hours when It could have been a small and intense eighty-minute production, or better yet, a fantastic sitcom with half hour episodes. But it seems that Appatow has been carried away by the gigantism that he himself criticizes in his footage.

However, and except for that small detail, which makes this comedy somewhat exhausting, ‘The Bubble’ is a very funny satire of Hollywood blockbusters. Appatow’s bad slime would already have a good number of targets to shoot at, but it also sets it in the early days of confinement, when there were no vaccines yet but industries that could not afford to stop, such as entertainment, tried to move on as it was

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To put satire on foot, Appatow proposes a roster of stars (in addition to countless cameos), which are undoubtedly the best of the set and possibly the reason the movie is so long: there are too many characters. Among them are Karen Gillan, Pedro Pascal, David Duchovny, Keegan-Michael Key, Fred Armisen, Kate McKinnon or John Cena, among many others.

Most play, with a viciousness possibly stemming from humiliating personal experiences, brainless actors and egomaniacal stars (from sex addict polydrug addict to tiktoker with a million followers and no interest in the film). But also ruthless producers (especially brutal is a Kate McKinnon on perpetual vacation while the world falls apart due to the pandemic) and directors who believe that they are going to win an Oscar with ‘Beasts of the cliffs 6’.

Horrible green screen movies

It is clear that after the much more solemn and acclaimed serious ‘King of the neighbourhood’Appatow wanted to make a goof again, in the style of his last film, the funny ‘And suddenly you’. For this look at a sector that he knows well and from which he can draw innumerable anecdotes, taking into account his long career and the stature of the proper names with which he has collaborated: in fact, more than one and more than two of the film’s gags feel chillingly authentic.

Although there will be those who enjoy the part in which Appatow builds delirious characters with petty and current motivations, I have found the reflections on the operation of the heartless machinery of industry to be especially acidic. The one that shoots adventure movies that can be made entirely with green screen, in a total dissociation from the real world that gives rise to sequences as hilarious as the climbing one and that sometimes reminds of another reflection (something more existential, yes) about cinema and its green screens: ‘something very fat‘ by Carlo Padial.

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Not everyone may find Appatow’s technique of leaving actors improvising and creating awkward moments amusing, but in the case of ‘The bubble’ it generates a sense of absurdity that fits perfectly with this pandemic shooting. And in addition, it gives it an extra bitterness when we can all see ourselves recognized in the perversion of personal relationships to which COVID has subjected us and whose throes we still suffer.

It is a pity that sometimes the film is as mammoth as a Beast of the Cliff and some conciseness would have been good for it, but it remains a very acidic proposal full of dialogues that, between the lines, talk about something as funny as it is chilling: the industry that entertains us is in the hands of idiots and monsters. It’s funny because it’s true.

Of all the possibilities that Netflix had to put ‘The Bubble’ on its feet, it has possibly chosen the least…

Of all the possibilities that Netflix had to put ‘The Bubble’ on its feet, it has possibly chosen the least…

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