The most scathing sports film out there; certainly the only one bold enough to depict self-sabotaging a potential career in the major leagues in a completely positive light. Has zero interest in being a crowdpleaser, instead opting for utmost truthfulness. Not only has maximum empathy for Miguel (phenomenally acted by Algenis Perez Soto), but also has pure bitterness towards the American capitalistic systems wanting to exploit him and then spit him out. The American Dream is nothing but a fucking…
A subtly devastating film about an anxious (and autistic-coded) individual struggling with mommy issues and sexual repression, Ari Aster’s third feature is a delightfully eccentric odyssey that is simultaneously one of the most anxiety-inducing and hysterical films I’ve seen in at least the past several years, taking influence from filmmakers including Charlie Kaufman, David Lynch, Todd Solondz, and even a bit Paul Thomas Anderson. Unsurprisingly so given both the flashes of it in his first two features and…
[Hong Kong Theatrical Cut]
I totally get why John Woo is not proud of this—Brandon Bentley revealed in an exclusive extra included with the (very good) 88 Films Blu-Ray that Golden Harvest had certain scenes added in or reshot to make the film more comedic and therefore be closer to what Woo had been making before that point than what he was aiming for here and would make since, even showing side-by-side comparisons—but there's something satisfying about watching an action master known for his sublime balletic gunplay trade that in for just pure, mean-spirited carnage. Very clearly a compromised vision, but still a banger regardless.
Rules to be able to experience this on a decent (unauthorized) HD transfer—as opposed to a shitty, poorly compressed YouTube dl—and actually appreciate the camera and editing choices and how they add to the set-pieces while heightening the tension. The opening shootout alone is a textbook example, as the frequent cutting adds to the chaos as opposed to rendering the scene unwatchable. Though I still slightly prefer THE KILLER, watching John Woo repeatedly hit the bullseye of the target in a balance between balletic grace and pure visual mayhem is utterly exhilarating in every sense of those words.
Remember when movie musicals used to be made by directors who knew how to shoot and stage them? (EDIT: All hail the GOAT Steven Spielberg for showing us there’s still hope for movie musicals; they just need to be directed by real filmmakers like himself more often.)
Looks and feels far too artificial for it to work, as it is so easy to tell what was shot on location and what was shot on soundstage. It doesn’t help that the…
A satire on the filmmaking process and how misguided the film industry is, touching upon tentpole films and pointless remakes, female sexualization/male gaze, and the idea that many filmmakers make films out of their own selfish desires instead of making them for people to resonate with, to be challenged, or for artists to truly express themselves.
That said, it never once feels condescending and instead comes purely from a place of love and passion for cinema, and it’s all further elevated by wonderful work from Maggie Cheung (playing herself) and Olivier Assayas’s direction.
A must see for any film lover.