When Drive first came out it was the most divisive film of the year. Like most great films, upon reflection, the argument that Drive is too slow or pretentious is totally unfounded. That there was ever any doubt of Drive's status as a landmark film is ridiculous. Ryan Gosling's driver easily fits alongside the likes of Clint Eastwood's blondie, Alain Delon's Costello, and Toshiro Mifune's Sanjuro.
This is such a great concept! Oh my god, this is such a great concept. Take two established comedic actors, play them against each other as a seemingly happily married couple, then watch them break apart in the most public and absurd of spaces: the shopping mall at Christmastime. Unfortunately, Scenes from a Mall may be one of the most excellent examples of wasted potential I've seen in film.
Had Scenes from a Mall come out today it would allow…
This is the Woody Allen litmus test. Everyone can agree that Annie Hall and Manhattan are great films, but Stardust Memories, a film that handily equals its predecessors, has had something of a cold reception. To some extent, Stardust's critical reception actually enhances the film because it actually reinforces the central theme. Sure, most critics picked up on Stardust's autobiographical nature and everyone sees the comparisons to 8 1/2, but that's window-dressing, not content. The film opens with a scene…
Seijun Suzuki is some kind of mad genius. This is only the second movie of his I've seen, the first being Tokyo Drifter. I think on the whole, Tokyo Drifter is a better movie but Branded to Kill is way weirder. Whereas Tokyo Drifter used absurdism to comment on genre tropes, Branded to Kill uses that same idea but more as an excuse for some severe weirdness. This is a movie where the lead character has an addiction to sniffing…