Tuesday, March 03, 2020

What Did Jack Do? (2017)


I remember a professor once saying that you shouldn’t use a question in an advertisement.  You run the risk of prompting people to tune out.  “Do you need cash now?”  If the person doesn’t, they’re not going to listen to the rest of what you have to say.

I’ve found that this isn’t always the case with movie titles.  If used properly, they can make for a great hook.  Who is Jack?  What’s so bad that we need to know what he did?  Seeing the title ask what Jack did makes you want to look at the description.

Jack, if you’re wondering, is a capuchin monkey.  He’s being interviewed by a homicide detective, called simply Detective, in a train station.  Jack is able to talk with a human mouth superimposed over his face.  It’s just this side of obvious.  He’s also wearing a suit.

It might sound like a joke, but it’s played dramatically.  I would say almost satirically.  It plays on a lot of clich├ęs, like talking about the elephant in the room.  (At one point, the detective says, “You’ll not get a free lunch around here.”)  There is an absurd side to it.  I mean, it’s a 17-minute interview with a monkey.  And Jack is able to hold his own. 

I think this is one of those cases where you’ll have a good sense of what to expect.  My only job is to let you know it exists in case you missed it.  At 17 minutes, it’s easy enough to do.  I kind of wish Netflix had more David Lynch movies available streaming.  (As of this writing, it’s just this and Twin Peaks.)


 

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