Sunday, January 1 1995
Puke green bile, dark blood, convulsing pink. tissue. A close-up shot following a bullet's path into and through internal organs is a frankly terrible image. In most war movies, bullets do tend to fly. But you only see their external effects: blood spurts, faces contort, handheld cameras zig and zag, explosions-effects create aestheticized, often slo-mo, chaos. In David O. Russell's Three Kings, however, you see the insides: the bullet rushes forward, stops, lodging in mangled, throbbing flesh while fluids accumulate. It's visceral and immediate. It's surreal and nasty.
The characters remain oblivious through much of 'Thirt3en Ghosts', and for that, they might count themselves fortunate.
Consider the view of Kevin Williamson, presently king of all he surveys. As writer-thinker-upper of the first two Screams, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and the WB's hugely popular Dawson's Creek (and even given the failure of this past fall's network-offering, Wasteland), he has spread out before him a vast space of Yes.
Vestiges of the West are ever close to the surface in Bui's Saigon.
'The Tailor of Panama' [is] an international spy movie with a little more on its mind than the usual Bondian gizmos and girls -- yes, please note the cute nod, in Brosnan's casting as a chic and arrogant operative, to his most famous role, and it's not Remington Steele.
Handles uncomfortable material with bravery and tender force; it is utterly human and unrelenting in its challenges to assumptions.
Together with co-cinematographers Ko Chiu Lam and Herman Yau, Hark here develops a peculiar hybrid of corny romance, bad fx (the burning building effect is straight-up lame), and seriously dynamic action scenes, all enhanced by fashionably jaggedy editing, timelapse speediness, slow motion, and ridiculous (in the good way) camera angles.
The pleasure Gwen takes in all this chaos -- not to mention Bullock's signature sunniness -- makes this introductory sequence look like the opening to a broad Farrelly brothers-style comedy.
'Tigerland' turns that same step of acknowledging a responsibility greater than oneself into a personal defeat, the inevitable breaking of a rebel.
On first hearing this voice-over at the beginning of Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley, you might think you're going to see a film about regret or guilt, or perhaps a refined kind of melancholy. But it's not long before you realize that for the speaker, Tom Ripley, such emotion - any emotion - is a performance.
In Tumbleweeds, Gavin O'Connor (who, besides starring in and directing the film, also wrote and produced it) presents us with a variation on the road-trip-buddy movie. While it's true that, after the likes of Thelma and Louise and Boys on the Side, the woman's version of this once typically male-only genre is no longer novel, O'Connor attempts to switch things up a bit by making his best friend protagonists mother and daughter.
While it does fall into disease-of-the-week-ish triteness and bumble into a trumped-up climax, The Tic Code also manages to display a refreshingly complex relationship between mother and son.
If you've seen a movie based on a Terry McMillan novel, or gee, even a recent romantic comedy, you know exactly where 'Two Can Play That Game' is going.
As if a force unto themselves, beyond all legal, social, moral, or even political powers, drugs cross borders, produce wealth, cost lives. Drugs are a system, and they never stop moving.
In case you're still looking for an effective pro-gun control message, this is it, and from Mr. NRA President himself.
As Dex's juvenile philosophy alone amply demonstrates, where their dicks are involved, guys really aren't that smart.