‘Oh what a tale I have to tell
of those who went to heaven
and those who went to hell’
If you want to see how innovative, experimental, impressive and immersive camerawork may be you should see the films of Gaspar Noe. And if you want to see how plodding, disjointed, padded. uncomfortable self-indulgent and uninteresting film can be … see the films of Gaspar Noe.
Both of his films, currently available on Netflix required liberal use of the fast forward button to get me through them.
However, I do believe that the pyrotechnic visuals of Noe, tempered by a real story/script and a director with an actual viewpoint, could one day make a great movie rather than just these masturbatory visuals in service to violent fragmented moments of fragmented damaged lives.
When that day comes I for one would not bet against Gaspar Noe; but until that day, Noe’s films are curiosities at best, and at worst you come out of them feeling… the whole thing was a tedious waste of two perfectly good hours of your life.
I will say this… I prefer the trippy, lost indulgence of ENTER THE VOID to the violence strewn IRREVERSIBLE. The first 15 minutes of IRREVERSIBLE, the descent into hades, is some virtuoso, ‘you are there’ film-making, but past that point and the film has nothing to offer but bile and tedium.
Though both films I feel, would have been twice as good if they were half as long. That is to say a judicious use of editing was very much needed.
Grade: C-/D. Have the Fast Forward button handy.
A far more intriguing and compelling and absolutely bonkers but mesmerizing alternative to either of those Gaspar Noe films is a film by Yorgos Lanthimos called DOGTOOTH. Streaming on Netflix only for two more days, so watch it now.
I wouldn’t agree with the quote on the above poster by an overly excited VILLAGE VOICE reviewer, this is more an intense case study/drama… rather than a white knuckled thrill ride; however it is an extremely tight and engaging case study/drama.
Plumbing the actions of a particular robber, the film never tries to explain those actions, but is satisfied in the unfolding of them, and in that way the main character of Johann Rettenberger (played almost wordlessly, and very impressively by Andreas Lust) remains an enigma and his actions inexplicable… to the end.
Director Benjamin Heisenberg, has crafted a fascinating and easily re-watchable puzzle of a film. The puzzle being the vagaries of the human heart. Strongly Recommended. B+.
You can view on streaming here (while it lasts), and when ready to own the movie you can get the Bluray here:
Now Playing: Recommended NetFlix Streaming Movie of the Day… DIRTY MARY, CRAZY LARRY!!
Directed by John Hough this 70s road thriller and petrol fueled powerhouse is a sleek, adrenaline inducing, justifiably acclaimed masterpiece of the genre. It is to car and road movies, what JAWS is to shark movies; the standard by which all others will be judged.
Wonderfully performed by Peter Fonda, Vic Morrow, Susan George, but particularly Adam Roarke as the taciturn mechanic, this film in a word is… Awesome! Great direction and editing, phenomenal stunts that even in the age of CGI or especially because of the age of CGI remain… jaw dropping; and a wonderful script that is an evocation of the times, and a loving homage to the road movies that came before.
You can currently watch it for free on streaming, but once seen you are going to want to own this movie. It is too good to leave it up to the vagaries of streaming licensing deals, your ability to see this baby whenever you want.
Get it on Blu-Ray here, while you can: Dirty Mary Crazy Larry / Race With The Devil (Double Feature) Blu-Ray
THE SHIELD- Shawn Ryan’s THE SHIELD is a show glorifying a racist bunch of dirty cops, and the un-redeeming stereotypes they beat on. It’s a dire, depressing, largely detestable show, that is not dissimilar to a slog through the sewers.
I watched a couple episodes in season #1 and then an episode in season #7, and there is absolutely no growth in the show, what a waste. Three episodes more than enough of this show. A classic example of Black faces, White messages. It’s a modern day minstrel show.
How it made it seven seasons, says something about the acceptance of great doses of bigotry. Not my thing. Pass on this and see either HOMICIDE or NYPD BLUE Season 1 instead.
NYPD BLUE- I’ve never been a fan of police procedurals, but the first season of NYPD BLUE was something else, a game changer in terms of dramatic intensity for television, and a clinic in style and the acting prowess of David Caruso. He was effectively the show. Which left later seasons… uninteresting. Get season 1, forget the rest.
JUSTIFIED- I found this modern cowboy drama incredibly uninteresting in the first season with largely unlikeable characters. Pass on this and see LONGMIRE or DEADWOOD instead.
LIFE- Both seasons are fantastic. Transcends a simple police procedural, by its protagonists quirky pursuit of Zen and Justice.
COPPER- Police work late 19th century style. Not really interested.
LUTHER- First few episodes are magnificent, though it loses its way toward the end, but still season 1 is a recommended view. Season 2 however is utter garbage.
HOMICIDE- Clearly the best police procedural ever, and largely because it is not about the procedure. A rich, ethnically strong cast of powerhouse actors, especially Andre Braugher in a star making performance, creates that rarest of television shows… a smart one. Highest recommendation.
Eugenio Mira’s GRAND PIANO is a tight, compact and visually stunning thriller, starring Elijah Wood in a stellar role as a concert pianist and his most memorable night. Laced with rousing score and sound design throughout, it’s a film that would have made Hitchcock proud. Ignore the naysayers, a highly enjoyable 90 minutes!
See where you can view it… here:
and when you’ve determined it is worth owning purchase the DVD (complete with special features) here:Grand Piano DVD