Many favorites, as well as a small handful of films that I don't care for... in no particular order (1960-2014).
First they send in their drone... Then they find their queen.
A lonely waitress with a tragic past, Agnes rooms in a run-down motel, living in fear of her abusive, recently paroled ex-husband. But when Agnes begins a tentative romance with Peter, an eccentric, nervous drifter, she starts to feel hopeful again - until the first bugs arrive...
I seriously can't believe it. After my wife subjected her poor mid 70's parents to Killer Joe last night, she somehow convinced them, by some sly Ashley Judd trickery, to watch Bug tonight. I suspect they aren't going to visit anymore.
Me, I was smiling all the way through. Not from observing my in-laws uncomfortable, but well timed, reactions, ( well, maybe a little ) but rather that on a short re-watch this film didn't lose a speck of it's brilliant luster.
After being completely gob-smacked by Friedkin’s Killer Joe last year, I was eagerly anticipating seeing his previous collaboration with playwright Tracy Letts. I was expecting good things, but not the incredible ride I was taken on.
Right from the opening scene, Friedkin conveys so much with such masterful economy, it’s staggering. We start with a distant point of light, as we move in closer and closer you feel the isolation and loneliness, and you feel that something is arriving. The simple use of the harsh ringing of a telephone elicits a sense of menace and dread.
Perhaps we’re seeing a visual metaphor of Peter’s elliptical approach to Agnes. He sees her tiny point of light, and is drawn to her…
Infestation is everywhere in Bug attacking the pores of the skin, slowly taking over the mind, large pests leaving prison to invade lives, secret organisations on the hunt looking to exterminate their prey. It's a cacophony of disease surrounding two people holed up inside their own lonely lives, barricaded into a motel room, seeking refuge in the corners of their disappearing sanity.
This intense psychodrama quietly lays its seed early on then draws you in slowly, almost deceptively, to a climax that will leave you wide-eyed at two actors totally off the leash. Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon turn in performances of the like you rarely get to see, or which a director rarely inspires. An actor on their game…
Agnes White (Ashley Judd) lives in a run-down motel. Her son has gone missing years ago. Her violent ex-husband has recently been released from prison. She receives silent phone calls that worry her. She meets Peter Evans (Michael Shannon) through a friend. He is acting very strange and seems to be a dangerous person but Agnes allows him to stay with her for awhile. As they begin to know each other, she finds out from him that he was used by the military in different experiments, ran away and now is followed by secret agencies.
This movie is insane. Most of it takes place in the motel room which creates a claustrophobic atmosphere rarely achieved in other movies. Ashley Judd…
Bug had me from the very first scene.
Black screen with credits. An old rotary phone rings.
It is answered by a woman. Hello? (pause). Hello?
An aerial view of the middle of nowhere with what looks to be 5 buildings surrounded by nothing but empty fields and a highway.
It's eerie and ominous already. Someone somewhere down below is getting calls. Wherever she is we know she is isolated. Alone.
The camera keeps moving forward. She is in one of these buildings.
Who is calling her? How long has this been going on?
The camera begins to settle on a decrepit motel. Motel. Is she hiding from someone? Has he found her?
We are now just above the motel…
I have no idea what the hell I just saw, but this was pretty fucked up and awesome at the same time !
Damn, am I the only one feeling really itchy ?????
Ligeramente decepcionado: esperaba ver una película angustiosa y agobiante y solo he visto un poco de eso en su primera mitad, antes de convertirse en un desfile de excesos y excentricidades que no han conectado para nada conmigo.
Quite dull for an hour then gets a hectic scene out of nowhere, then dull again and then goes crazy.
I don't know, I mean the leads give everything, but what's the point? I always feel detached when things are just crazy for crazy sake without any reason to it within the story. It just felt like watching drama school improv or worse German Theater.
That Michael Shannon guy had a lot of interesting theories though *makes notes, starts scratching*.
Good performances and direction, but the "story" never really clicks for me. Really, though, Michael Shannon is a pro at acting insane.
Ashley Judd and Michael Shannon's increasing skittishness may aggravate some viewers but you still have to applaud the actors and Friedkin for creating so much paranoia and frenzy out of such little to work with.
Friedkin and Letts is the perfect director-writer combo. Killer Joe may technically be their best film, but Bug continues to drag me in time and time again due to its ugly raw energy and powerhouse performances. In addition to that - Letts' script is wonderfully dark and Friedkin taps into the modern state of film in the best possible way, resurrecting his career in the process.
Bug could easily be awful viewing, it is a hideous film with ugliness packed into almost every frame. The first half keeps the viewer intrigued by its air of uncertainty - the early quietness of Shannon and Judd drag you in, revealing their problems slowly and filling your urge to find out more. Once…
Those who have seen Bug will know damn well why I start this review with that exclamation. After all, where the hell did they get that much tinfoil from?!
I jest of course, it's because Bug is mad. When I say that I don't mean in the usual way you might describe something as such, but because the content is mad. Portraying paranoid delusion and escalating psychosis is something that cinema has often struggled to do convincingly and even truly great films have grappled with the subject but not really managed to do so all that successfully.
On this front, films often go wrong on one of two levels - acting performances or pacing. I would imagine it…
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
- Under the Skin
- Tropical Malady
- Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
- Inland Empire
- Whistle and I'll Come to You
- The Woman in Black
- The House of the Laughing Windows
- Who Can Kill a Child?
We're about half way through the Underrated Series and have finally reached one of the big genres. I'm expecting lots…
- Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Lilya 4-Ever
- Life Is Beautiful
- Dancer in the Dark
- Christiane F.
My six hundred favorite films (1940-2014); 615-636 are not ordered yet.