The most fulfilling Coppola film since Dracula. The charming small-scale cheese only adds to the very odd but enjoyable goofball energy of the film, which is not to sell short its exceptional mise en scene and very personal feeling emotional center, that of a lost artist. One of 2012's best films.
A critical moment in Fincher's cinema (it should be noted that every film he's made from Zodiac on counts as such). A romance, process becomes romance. Fincher's most intimate film yet, building off the tumultuous relationship at Social Network's center. Process, as Fincher-montage, breaths a fresh life into American cinema, as our protagonists relentlessly hunt down a void, a mystery. When the investigation eventually results in physical confrontation, its bone chilling in its sudden mortal threat. The work of a master.
Comes at a moment in cinema history, a moment in American history, a moment that could only be the 21st century, that is the 21st century. The romantic metaphysical romance of Deja Vu makes it the perfect catnip for the vulgar auteurism-inclined cinephile, but this is the dark horse for title of Tony Scott's masterpiece. A post-9/11 romance, a song of a city, but also a great source of pain, whether it be the pain of the American people, the 21st century, or of individual tragedy. Travolta's only nominally the villain, Washington only nominally the hero. At this point, Scott was only making films of people. "Your my goddamn hero."
Many of 2012's films have shifted in my mind, to both positive and negative effects, This film has not. Dredd is exceptional genre, it's exacting genre, the most straight-up American film in some time. It dares you not to call it great, it shrugs you off when you approach it with the word "masterpiece". It's a purity, a purity in essence. It's moral vision is crystal clear, it's formal drive is front and center. One of 2012's most remarkable films.
Pure Hitchcock, pure formal expression, in framing, in edits, color. The hysteria of the actors, the extremity of the psychosis, it must truly be labeled as what it is: an experimental film. Unlike anything else ever made in the studio system. Also deserving of mention are the truly, absolutely brilliant performances of Tippi Hedren and Sean Connery.
"War and Peace is a meditation on the wonders of happiness, sadness, love and war, freedom, destiny, mind and matter, and much else. We cycle through emotions; through summer, winter, spring and fall; and, not least, through sensibilities: young persons, old persons, a demonic Napoleon, equally demonic lovers, each alternately subject and object, actor and toy, as their emotions take control of them and they search for solutions. One scene we are Natasha looking at Andrei; the next scene we are Andrei gazing at Natasha. (Solely in terms of the technical skill with which Vidor constantly insinuates us into one mind and out of another, War and Peace is fascinating.) We meditate on a face, on colours, on geometries of movement. Not only does each of the characters endure one painful or ecstatic peregrination after the next, but all the while they rhapsodise over what is happening to them (“Who am I now?”). Always there is the duality: the distance of a novelesque character, the immediacy of the actress; the exalted spirituality of experience, the incredible carnality of its expression. To watch Natasha run from the stairs to the parlour (to Andrei who declares his love) is to recall the similar way Jean Renoir’s adolescent girls dance toward life in The River (1950), but is also to glimpse a fashion of deportment as exotic as Japanese No theatre. The moments, at the ball, of Natasha’s transition from inner monologue wishing Andrei were there (“Prince Andrei”, she always says) to her realization that he is standing in front of her, and the strange poise with which she then extends her hand, capture a mode of being rare in the world of today." -Tag Gallagher
It opens with a great, ambitious longshot, but alas it isn't emblematic of the film as a whole. Average, for the most part, among Van Damme's filmography, but Hyams Sr. still has tricks up his sleave along the way.
You're right, this is not a standout for Van Damme, but I've always liked the very physical and messy nature of the fight scenes in this movie. Specifically the ones in the kitchen and locker room. It's an improvement over some of his previous films, where JVCD would basically spin kick a guy in a wide open room and call it a day.
Surprises with expressive wideshots. It's an incommonly moody film for early 90s action, defined by odd color choices and random spurts of arty choices in cinematic form. The plot is largely inane, but the director puts effort into the work, making an above average work of Van Damme cinema.
An efficient fight film, but one wishes the Van Damme in the Foreign Legion section was expanded on. This is a barely defined film, but, as stated before, the fights are worthwhile.
Pyun has visual intelligence. That cannot be denied. His editing is, on occasion, arty. Van Damme is believably melancholic. The invocations of religious imagery are effectice. Alas, this is a malformed film. A collection of fantastic genre ideas that never coheres as true cinema. Still worth watching I'd say
An extremely powerful and sober film, easily Zemeckis' best. What is, essentially, a cliched addiction tale finds strength and truth in its cliches. Unlike many neutered depictions of substance abuse in Hollywood, this film relentlessly shrugs off easy closure or a classically likeable protagonist. The patience of the filmmaking (clear edits, shots that can breath) follows its themes through to the end. A hiccup or two along the way, but something this clear headed should be praised. Also, Denzel's best performance.
I feel I may be underrating it, and I absolutely feel it needs a rewatch. Like A.I. back in 2001, this feels like an absolutely new incarnation of Spielberg, still marked by his core beliefs, but a possible new direction. There are a handful moments that feel misjudged in the way only Spielberg can misjudge, but there are also many moments that are poetic in the way only Spielberg can be poetic. Definitely stands apart from his other history films in maturity and depth.
I wish I could find a better quality version of this, and apparently it was altered significantly by the studio, but regardless, this is a Great film. Milius embarrasses most other "going native" films with his muscular filmmaking and keen sensitivity, while simultaneously making one of the more compelling war films I've seen.
One of the Great Directors of Drinking
I wouldn't, perhaps, call it my favorite film, but perhaps I would. The opening, an exuberant, suave, musical note that bests all 60s New Wave films at their game. The whimsy of the romantic introductions. Simon Yam's laid back yet emotionally attuned genius. The balletic dance of the umbrellas. I do not know if it is my favorite film, but no film charms me as much.
Adam is correct. The way life and cinema bleed into each other, manipulate and form each other, is remarkable. This isn't a sentimental weepy. The dead husband used the film image to woo, the film director used life's images to shape a woman's feeling for him. This manipulation of the images of reality and cinema, the line between them so blurred as to be nonexistent, allow for one of the sharpest examinations of cinema in the 21st century.
There are stretches of this that are pure mastery, To's formalism and Wai's contraption driven screenplay coalescing in beautiful and rhythmic ways. If it ultimately comes up shorter than his two masterpieces of the decade so far (Life Without Principle, Romancing in Thin Air), it isn't necessarily do to a failure on To/Wai's parts; this is a slighter film, playing at it's own slightness. Ignatiy pointed out the non-choice at its core; that is both its strength and, for lack of a better word, "weakness". A great film regardless.
respectfully disagree with the masterpiece distinction; it seems slight because to and wai have elminated much of their tonal range to suit mainland tastes. of course they can direct circles around the competition, but let's give them the respect to recognize an impersonal film for what it is, and not confuse geometry for misce-en-scene.