Running Time: 90 minutes
Directed By: Jon Jost
Written By: Jon Jost
Main Cast: Tom Blair, Wayne Crouse, Jessica St. John, Steve Voorheis
GOOD FILMS KEEP ON ROLLING
I put in "Ugetsu" and seventeen minutes in, my blu-ray player is moaning and I take out the disc to find that Netflix has sent me another cracked one. Therefore, I turned to the computer to take in another rarity in Jon Jost's "Last Chants for a Slow Dance", which I enjoyed...for some, sick reason.
There's not a whole lot in the way of plot going on, but rather the movie is a collection of about seven or eight scenes, all revealing a little piece of the character Tom Bates (Blair). We open on a road, a man jacking his jaw behind the wheel of a pickup truck. The man turns out to be our main character - the man is Tom Bates. He's talking to someone, a male, perhaps a hitchhiker - someone he's spilling his guts to: he has two kids he never really wanted, he has a wife who nags him although he loves her, he's unemployed. The passenger disagrees with him once and it's bye bye hitcher, as Tom kicks the boy out of the truck. In the following scene, Tom and Darlene (his wife) get into an argument - she wants him to be a better husband & father. He sits back and takes it, for the most part. Later, we see him pick up a woman, Mary, in a bar - the following scene has us peeping on them having sex, followed by Tom calling Darlene to continue the apartment, while still naked in the bed of his new found mistress. There's a few other scenes, but why sit here and let me read it to you word for word, when you can probably, easily track it down online and see it for yourself. In fact, I recommend you do.
Went into this one LITERALLY knowing nothing about it, other than the fact that THE BOOK clearly made another blunder and misspelled the word "chance". Well, I was clearly wrong about that assumption - I still don't really get the title though. Like I said in my review for "The Burmese Harp", at this point, I've unfairly given up hope of any of these last thirty or so movies impressing me. When I peruse the list of what's left, almost nothing has me excited, while the majority have me filled with dread. However, for the second time in a row, I've been pleasantly surprised, which is why my skepticism approach may be paying off. If I think the worst, then it can only get better from there, right?
Technically, this is one, big character study. However, I refuse to believe that this is MEANT to be anything deeper than Jon Jost wanting to spend the $2,000 he saved up and make a movie. With a sort of half-assed idea, he got a camera and began to sew together the handful of ideas he had, gluing them at the seams with whole country & western tunes. I can say, the music DID get annoying, at times. There were times when it felt like Jost was simply stretching his time, trying to hide the fact that his movie was without flow, but instead and like I said, a handful of vignettes which together, show the downfall of Tom Bates, as he spirals into lunacy. The film is ugly, don't get me wrong. Audiences will want to put as much distance between themselves and the memory of the Tom Bates character as they can. He's not a character you want to harp on, realizing that there are already too many Tom Bates' running loose in the world.
I will applaud the efforts of these clearly amateur actors. Tom Blair was terrific as the lead and even Jessica St. John delivers her, "am I gonna have to D-I-V-O-R-C-E you" speech like a real pro, delivering it with feeling and emotion. It's rare to find amateurs who aren't trying too hard and these amateurs were probably trying very hard, you just couldn't tell - which is the best type of trying hard. Clearly, as a fan of minimalist filmmaking and the works of Jim Jarmusch and such, I dug this. It was actually, kind of right up my alley - although, I'll admit the address of my alley has changed drastically since undertaking the BOOK project. This is something old Andrew would've adored and something new Andrew thinks is "just very good".
RATING: 7/10 Had there been a bit more meat and less country tunes (although those tunes really were all really good songs, which I can't track down anywhere - were they famous songs or home spun material?) I could've gone a lot higher. As it is, this was a fine way to spend ninety minutes and considering the $2K budget, it was astonishing.
MOVIES WATCHED: 973
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 28
October 8, 2013 10:34pm
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Running Time: 116 minutes
Directed By: Kon Ichikawa
Written By: Natto Wada, from novel by Michio Takeyama
Main Cast: Shoji Yasui, Rentaro Mikuni, Jun Hamamura, Taketoshi Naito Ko Nishimura
Click here to view the trailer
MAKING MUSIC, BREAKING HEARTS
Here I sit for the 972nd time, about to grace you with a perfectly mediocre review (at best), as I've dragged myself from the warm confines of my bed to my faux leather desk chair which has exactly zero warmth. And again, as has been the case for many reviews past, I have a raging cold. I feel like straight up poop, to be honest. But, it is my goal to wrap this journey up sooner, rather than later, so let's have at it.
The setting is World War II and the location is Burma. We focus on a brigade of Japanese soldiers, wandering the rough terrain of a foreign land, during the last days of the great war. This platoon of soldiers is a bit different, though. Not only are they brothers in arms, they are also brothers in song, as their captain has taught them to sing, to pass time on long foot hauls. In fact, one of the group, Mizushima (Yasui) can even play the harp and has even made up a couple of songs, titled "Danger" and "All Clear", so that he can go on ahead and signal the rest of the group with the appropriate tune. Anyway, the platoon is informed that the war is over, that they've lost and they prepare to return home to a war torn Japan. However, they hear tell of a group of Japanese who are refusing to surrender. Not wanting anyone to die an unnecessary death, they decide to send one of themselves to go and talk the rogue Japanese off of a mountain. Mizushima is chosen and he goes. Once there, he is told by the British that he has only thirty minutes to talk the Japanese platoon down, or they will open heavy fire. Mizushima scales the mountain, but cannot convince the platoon to give up, thus forcing the British to attack. Mizushima is caught in the crossfire and is thought dead. However, we quickly learn different. Despite the fact that the audience knows the truth, Mizushima's friends do not and spend the rest of the film chasing rumors of Mizushima being alive, that may or may not be true.
So was Mizushima an actual soldier or was he more like a mascot for the group? I don't mean to sound disrespectful here. I know back in the day, platoons of soldiers actually had musicians that traveled with them and played horns & such and that's how I viewed Mizushima. That is, until about the halfway mark when I realized he might actually be a soldier, as only a soldier would understand the plight of his fellow soldiers, the senseless deaths, the heartache of unhonored, unburied bodies lying on beaches. I think I need to quit saying, "I don't like films about history", as clearly it's hit or miss, just like any other movie. This is clearly a historical film, using World War II as a back drop and focusing on the Japan side, which we rarely get in movies or I've rarely seen, anyway.
Man, what a heartbreaking film this was. To be honest, I kind of went in not expecting much, probably because THE BOOK hasn't been giving me much as of late. Looking at the list of movies that are left, there really aren't many that I'm actually looking forward to, so blame it on me going into The Burmese Harp with low expectations and expecting to have a rotten time. However, I quickly took notice when the scope of Ichikawa's camera and the music of the choreographer grabbed hold of me and forced me to show some sort of emotion. No joke, this movie was very ahead of it's time and could easily be remade today with very little alterations. I still can't believe how powerful the music was, such somber, gripping notes that played on through the majority of the film. You also have to admire the dedication to friendship of these characters, the ones looking for Mizushima. Could this be one of the greatest movies about true friendship ever made?
We get down to having sixteen minutes left and the gang meets up with Mizushima and I'm wondering how this can be because we're not quite done and this should be the ending. Anyone who's read my reviews knows that I'm a sucker for a sad ending, but this was a rare case where I wished for happiness for these characters, who took on a life outside of the one they lead onscreen. However, the ending was still pretty gut wrenching and the letter read by the captain to the rest of the platoon is the final sad scene, in a series of sadness. I'm not saying it was the best thing I've seen all season or anything, but it was certainly a breath of fresh air compared to the lackluster offering I've sat through lately. I now have one film from the final twenty-nine to look forward to and that would be Ichikawa's final film, An Actor's Revenge.
RATING: 7/10 We'll go as high as that for now, with an option to up it in hindsight and upon further viewings. A definite candidate for, at least, the upcoming TEN WORTH MENTIONING list. Now where's my bed...
MOVIES WATCHED: 972
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 29
October 6, 2015 7:32pm
Monday, October 5, 2015
Running Time: 143 minutes
Directed By: Ritwik Ghatak
Written By: Ritwik Ghatak, from novel by Radheshyam Jhunjhunwala
Main Cast: Abhi Bhattacharya, Madhabi Mukhopadhyay, Bijon Bhattacharya, Satindra Bhattacharya, Indrani Chakraborty
Note: I just wanted to take some time and wish a happy 6oth birthday to my frequent commenter Ray! Actually, just calling him a "frequent commenter" doesn't really cut it anymore. By now, after all these years of talking cinematic shop with him, I think I can consider him a friend. So here's to you Ray! I hope you're 60th birthday was the best one yet. I look forward to plenty more years of agreeing and disagreeing with you (always respectfully, of course) about film. Thank you for all the time & effort you put into making well thought out and poignant comments. They will forever be appreciated!
AND THEN THERE WERE THIRTY...
At what point do I officially get "down to the nitty gritty"? I think considering the fact that we started with 1001, I feel like we're steeped in nitty and gritty by now. Anyway, I'm moving right along, trying to finish up before too much longer. Tonight I took in my first Ritwik Ghatak film, "Subarnarekha".
Okay, so I can't really do plot synopsis today because the copy that I watched had some faulty subtitles and unfortunately, the subs cut out at a few crucial moments. What I was able to gather, is that there was a father & daughter who were separated from their wife/mother, when the daughter was very young. The two are housed in a "colony", where they make the most of things in uncertain times. The father ends up adopting another young child, a boy named Abriham. When they grow up, Abriham and Sita (the biological daughter) fall in love. Of course, the father is totally against this. I feel like a lot of the events of the time period were totally lost on me, not only because of the faulty subs, but because they'd be lost on me anyway. I'm not very astute when it comes to historical elements, as we've learned, right?
Yeah, I didn't care for this at all. I didn't expect to either. In fact, for about a month now, I've been dreading this and The Cloud Capped Star like the plague, as they're both over two hours and 1950s Indian cinema, which for some reason I was mentally comparing to the Apu trilogy (which I also disliked). Although, I think if I'd had a working set of subtitles, I could've at least gotten into it a little better. As it is, I would kind of tune out for the minutes where I was unable to know what was being said and of course, that effected by viewing of the rest of the picture.
I just can't get into old, Indian cinema, be it this or the Satyajit Ray stuff (see The Music Room, in addition to "Apu"). This sort of resembled very early Bollywood cinema, as it even had traces of singing and featured the kind of plot I'd expect to see in a flashy Bollywood piece (girl falls in love with her half-brother, vice versa - that screams Bollywood, doesn't it?). I will say this too, the girl who played Sita as an adult - Madhabi Mukhopadhyay - was gorgeous and I wouldn't be opposed of seeing more of her.
RATING: 2/10 I'm probably being too harsh and perhaps even with working subs, I just wasn't in the mood. But let's be honest, this was never going to be on my favorites list.
MOVIES WATCHED: 971
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 30
October 5, 2015 11:20pm
Running Time: 91 minutes
Directed By: Anthony Mann
Written By: Sam Rolfe, Harold Jack Bloom
Main Cast: James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan, Ralph Meeker, Millard Mitchell
Click here to view the trailer
HUNTING FOR A GREAT WESTERN
FYI, the cast list that I've included above is actually the entire cast of the film, as the movie featured only five actors, which is something I normally am a sucker for. Read on to see if I was a sucker for it this time around...
Jimmy Stewart is Howard Kemp, a bounty hunter searching for Ben Vandergroat (Ryan). As the film gets underway, Kemp happens upon Jesse Tate (Mitchell), a gold prospector who claims to have seen a fresh campfire the night before. Kemp offers Tate $20 to lead him to where he spotted the evidence and Tate bites, thinking Kemp is a sheriff. The two quickly find Ben, who is taking cover on top of a mountain and causing rock slides whenever his captors get too close. As they're trying to figure out a way to get to the top of the mountain safely, the two men are happened upon by a third party, Roy Anderson (Meeker), a dishonorably discharged soldier, who offers his assistance. Anderson managed to climb up the opposite side of the mountain and take Ben by surprise, coming up behind him. This allows Kemp and Tate to come up the easy way (the path where Ben was causing the rock slides), however, before they can, a woman, Lina Patch (Leigh), takes Anderson by surprise. However, Kemp manages to get to the top and hold his gun on Patch, this incapacitating the fugitives. In turn, Ben blows Kemp's cover, letting the cat out of the bag that Kemp isn't an officer of the law and also lets them in on the fact that there's a $5000 reward for his capture. Kemp, who wanted to take Ben to justice alone, so that he could collect the five grand and buy back the farm he once owned, now may have to share his reward dollars with his two helpers. Dissension ensues...
This one was a - say it with me - TOUCH NUT TO CRACK! First of all, it starts out by leading us to believe that Stewart would end up being the bad guy, because foreshadowing led me to believe that Ryan's Ben Vandergroat would turn out to be innocent. So I go in assuming Ryan will end up a free man and live happily ever after with Janet Leigh and that I'd have to endure a movie where Jimmy Stewart plays the heel. Now, don't get me wrong, the idea of Stewart playing a villain sounds a bit enticing. However, I just wasn't buying it. I like my Jimmy Stewart to be a good guy, sorry. Anyway, screw all that, because I was wrong anyway. Over the course of the film, Janet Leigh's Lina Patch ends up falling for Kemp (and vice versa) and somehow by the end of the movie, they're in love and she's convincing him not to take Ben to justice...EVEN THOUGH BEN IS DEAD!
Now this was also a big problem for me, because Howard Kemp's motivation throughout the ENTIRE film is the $5000 reward, so that he can buy back his farm. He gets shot in the leg, he nearly falls off a cliff, he nearly kills himself, all so that he can get this money and get his farm. AND THEN, because Jamet Leigh says so, he decides not to use Ben for monetary gain - even though he's already been killed and even though Ben uses her as bait to try and lure Kemp into a trap, clearly turning out to be the bad guy that Kemp knew he was all along. Let's just all say it together - THE ENDING WAS F'N STUPID!
Otherwise, I suppose it was a fine western, I guess. Like I've stated many times before, I just don't think I'm a western type of guy - unless we're talking about omelets. Even the best westerns are merely mediocre in my eyes. If pressed to pick the best ones from THE BOOK, I'd say that Silver Lode and Hombre come to mind as being really entertaining. Two really obscure ones, I know, but two that I really dug. Oh and don't forget the Leone westerns which are two of the best movies I've seen from THE BOOK period - head & shoulders above all other BOOK westerns and probably all other westerns in general, as a matter of fact. As it pertains to the Mann westerns and more specifically his collaborations with Stewart, I'd have to call the entire trio a huge disappointment. I'd heard such amazing things about the Mann/Stewart westerns and while Winchester '73 did manage to garner a '7', upon my initial viewing, I have a feeling that it wouldn't hold up to that rating if I rewatched it today. They were all fine, don't get me wrong - but far from what I'd call "great".
RATING: 6.5/10 Call it "Winchester '73", "The Naked Spur" and "The Man from Laramie" in that order, from best to worst, when ranking the Mann/Stewart westerns.
MOVIES WATCHED: 970
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 31
October 5, 2015 4:23pm
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Running Time: 114 minutes
Directed By: Serif Goren, Yilmaz Guney
Written By: Yilmaz Guney
Main Cast: Tarik Akan, Serif Sezer, Halil Ergun, Meral Orhonsay, Necmettin Cobanoglu
WHAT A TURKEY!
Moving right along, baby! I'm pretty proud of myself for getting back on the horse and even staying on the horse after a couple of mildly disappointing pictures. However, if anything is going to knock me off the horse, it's Yol.
I can't get too detailed as far as plot synopsis goes, because to be honest, this is another one that I kind of crapped out on at about the forty five minute mark. The film opens in a Turkish prison, a handful of prisoners set to be released on furlough. They are to be released for a few days, at which time, they'll be expected to return to prison, or force being considered a fugitive from justice. The film follows five prisoners as they are given their temporary release and the truths they face on the outside world. On paper, it sounds like a brilliant film, but you know I'm not going to like it when THE BOOK refers to it as "deeply political". Call it a culture clash, if you will, but I just could NOT settle into this one.
Let's talk about a few memorable scenes though, shall we? How about those shots of the children smoking cigarettes. I didn't think I cared about the children of our future ("teach them well and let them lead the way"), but I'll be damned if that scene didn't disturb me a little bit. All of them giving a little cool smirk after each puff, even though most of them looked too young to even know what "cool" meant.
Oh and how about that scene where Seyit Ali's wife freezes to death in the snow? Such a heartbreaking scene among an otherwise boring film. The scenes in the snow are well photographed to boot and when Seyit begins to beat his presumably dead wife with a belt, trying to kid himself into believing she's only sleeping - yeah, super heartbreaking and a marvelous scene. It didn't help, however, that I didn't really give one hoot about the characters. Had I cared, that's the type of scene that would make a man cry. As it is, it was only good enough to break me out of my clock watching and pay attention for a few minutes, before going back to being bored out of my skull. Again, I say, it all looked great on paper - a faux prison movie that focuses on the release of five convicts, whom we then follow and watch how they spend their furlough and continue their life for a matter of hours, before going back to being convicts. Actually, a brilliant story idea, but the execution and the political ramifications made it hard for me to sit through. NEXT!
RATING: 2.5/10 I feel like that may be too harsh, but it's a quarter of a full blown '10' and putting it like that, it seems more than fair. With only thirty two films to go, something brilliant needs to come along real soon!
MOVIES WATCHED: 969
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 32
October 3, 2015 10:24pm
Running Time: 95 minutes
Directed By: Luis Bunuel
Written By: Hugo Butler and Luis Bunuel, from the story Travellin' Man by Peter Matthiessen
Main Cast: Key Meersman, Zachary Scott, Bernie Hamilton, Claudio Brook, Crahan Denton
THE EVER VERSATILE BUNUEL
The original plan was to set my alarm for eight a.m., get up and knock out a couple of movies while my wife was at work. Except my dog got an upset tummy in the night and kept both of us up all hours. Therefore, when the alarm went off this morning, I slept right through it. I still managed to get awake by ten and I've knocked out one movie already - The Young One.
The plot is pretty straight forward. The film takes place on an island, populated only by a game warden, Miller (Scott), a grandfather and his teenage granddaughter, Evvie (Meersman). When the film gets underway, the grandfather has just died, leaving only Evvie and the game warden, whom she looks upon as a father figure, despite his meanness toward her. One day, a black man rows ashore and despite a sign warning trespassers to flee, a boat without gas and the fact that he has no food, make him ignore it. He happens to come ashore during a time when the game warden has gone into the mainland to get supplies, meeting up only with Evvie, who reluctantly feeds him. The black man, Travers (Hamilton), takes a shotgun and a can of gas, leaves $20 for it and heads out. Except his troubles continue when he accidentally shoots a whole in his own boat. Meanwhile, Miller returns from the mainland to find a missing shotgun and missing gas, beating Evvie for giving it to Travers, whom she tells him of. Travers eventually returns to the cabin that Evvie and Miller occupy and is greeted by a very racist Miller. It should also be mentioned that Travers is on the run, as he's been accused of the rape of a white woman, adding even more fuel to the fire heading into the climax.
This film has made me realize just how versatile Luis Bunuel is. You've got the early period and films like "An Andalusian Dog" and "The Age of Gold", his middle period which showcases films like this one - which were quite normal by comparison. And, my favorite period, his late period which presents us with films like "Belle de Jour" and "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie". All very different films, by a seemingly different person and if one didn't know better, you'd be hard pressed to convince that person that all of these eras were from the same man. In fact, it's entirely possible for someone to both love and hate Luis Bunuel - in fact, I'm one of them. I admire his late mind benders like the ones I mentioned, as I believe they have qualities that make them rewatchable and memorable. However, films like "Los Olvidados" and "Land Without Bread" are nigh unwatchable and films I never hope to revisit.
I could probably write paragraph after paragraph about "The Young One" - talk about the racism aspects, the social class aspects and the pedophilia aspects, but I'd rather keep it simple and just give my quick and dirty thoughts. I liked it, I suppose. It certainly wasn't bad, by any means. But was it good? Not particularly. It was just sort of there and when it was over, I wasn't happy or sad for it to have ended. Sure, there were lots of issues that the film tackled, but I'm not necessarily in the business of dissecting social issues or even racial issues. As I sit here writing, it makes me wonder why filmmakers through the ages have tackled such issues? I mean, I'm not racist. I treat everyone equally - I'm proud to say there's not a racist bone in my body. However, if I was ambitious enough to make a film, I certainly wouldn't find it cathartic or even necessary to tackle a film about race. I guess some people are just deeper thinkers than I or are, perhaps, more bothered by bigotry than myself. I'm bothered by it, sure, but my approach is to ignore it, rather than to shine an even brighter spotlight on it. Okay, I'm rambling.
If you're looking for a top notch Bunuel, go with his later stuff. It's much easier to digest, despite being more confusing as far as plot goes. The confusion adds intrigue and makes you need to know exactly what's going on. The earlier stuff is just too out of this world for my tastes and if "The Young One" is any indication, his middle period is just bland.
RATING: 6/10 Not bad, not necessarily good, but I'll easily put it closer to the good side than the bad side.
MOVIES WATCHED: 968
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 33
October 3, 2015 12:44pm
Friday, October 2, 2015
Running Time: 135 minutes
Directed By: John Cassavetes
Written By: John Cassavetes
Main Cast: Ben Gazzara, Timothy Agoglia Carey, Seymour Cassel, Robert Phillips, Morgan Woodward
Click here to view the trailer
CASSAVETES WEEK: THE CONCLUSION
Hey there! It is really great to be back on the blog. As I mentioned before, I had intended to take a week or so away from the blog, as I was on vacation from work last week and was spending some quality time with my wife. I didn't want to have to interrupt our time together for writing reviews or watching movies that I HAD to watch, as opposed to movies that I was just watching for fun. I actually saw a couple REALLY good movies while I was away, but I'll save those for another time. Let's get back down to brass tacks and get this project wrapped up before 2015 comes to a close.
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie would be my last John Cassavetes movie, wrapping up a four film salute to the "father of independent cinema". The title of this one alone made it sound incredibly appealing and it starred a fantastic Ben Gazzara as Cosmo Vittelli. The film is a very slllloooooooooooooooow burn of a picture, telling the story of Cosmo - a mildly successful owner of a "joint" that hosts live nude girls nightly, all of whom Gazzaara's Cosmo is mildly to ecstatically in love with. When a stranger shows his face in the joint one night, singing Cosmo's praises, Cosmo starts chatting him up. It turns out that the man's name is Mort (Cassel) and he owns a joint of his own - a gambling joint. He invites Cosmo to check it out sometime, insisting that everything will be "on the house". When Cosmo finally does get around to checking the place out, he ends the night by racking up a $23,000 gambling debt, which he can't pay. Later, Mort and his associates propose a counter offer: since he can't pay, they suggest he kill someone who is "getting in their way" - the Chinese bookie of the title, of course.
The very first time I saw Taxi Driver, I hated it. I just didn't get it and I was probably too young to get a lot of the prostitution business and "adult type" themes that played out. I probably said a lot of the same things about Taxi Driver then, that I'm getting ready to say about The Killing of a Chinese Bookie now - which gives me hope that I'll someday rewatch "Chinese Bookie" and "get it". By "get it", I mean get the hype, not the plot. In fact, the plot is more than easy to follow and truthfully, plot wise, they could've wrapped this puppy up in jig time, probably even qualifying it for short film length. I mean, what's the plot. Guy owns a club, guy gambles too much, guy gets in debt, guy pays off debt by killing. End of story, no harm, no foul. In fact, as I just typed it out there and saw it on the page, I realize that Buffalo '66 is basically a remake of this, with the added plot twists of "guy goes to prison", "guy kidnaps girl" and "guy falls in love". Okay, so maybe it's not a remake at all, but I'd say it definitely inspired Vincent Gallo, hence his casting of Gazzara. Would you believe that we don't even HEAR tell of a "Chinese bookie" until over an hour into the film? It's true. We don't actually see the Chinese bookie until probably close to the ninety minute mark. Wouldn't a more apropos title have been, "The Killer of a Chinese Bookie", since the film works much better as a character study of Cosmo, than anything else.
For my tastes, the burn here was just way too slow. There were SO MANY scenes that could have easily been cut to save time and make the pace a bit more rapid, but were kept in for God knows why. In fact, did anyone else get the feeling that the film was actually directed by horny teenager who just needed to get that "one more shot of boob". I mean, were all the gratuitous tit shots really necessary? Even the scenes where the girls and guy sang on the stage were mildly entertaining at best and easily worthy of the ax.
However, I'll get it to at least the average marker for having an atmosphere that appealed to me and for showcasing the great Ben Gazzara. I actually think that I focused too much on plot here and realized a little too late that it wasn't about the plot, but rather a simple character study of Gazzara's Cosmo. Yes, I believe I watched the movie wrong! Actually, I think this film - and all of John Cassavetes movies actually - are just a little too indy. I feel like Cassavetes is trying way too hard to stand out and go against the grain, that ultimately my opinions on his films are suffering for it. Yes, A Woman Under the Influence was good and has a good shot at getting some sort of spot on the impending TOP 20. But the rest were all huge disappointments for me, clocking in at average, at best. I mean, for God's sake this is an independent crime drama - that has my name written all over it. It's something I'd normally take right to, but it moved along at a snail's pace and, at least on this day, I just didn't have the patience for it.
RATING: 5/10 Slice it right down the middle and call it average. Man, what a HUGE disappointment these movies were and if you were to make a list of the biggest films to disappoint me from THE BOOK, you'd have to call the films of John Cassavetes a four way tie for first place.
MOVIES WATCHED: 967
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 34
October 2, 2015 11:13pm