Friday, February 3, 2017

Jason goes to Noir City--Closing Night

The last 2 movies of our multi-decade overview of heist films, and they were pretty awesome.

BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD (2007): So this one I'd actually seen before, and actually blogged before. Normally when that happens, I like to go back, copy-paste my review from before, and take a look at whether I still feel the same about the movie. And then I read what I wrote...

Ugh. Who is that despicable person who glossed over this fantastic movie to talk about Marisa Tomei's tits (and to insult Philip Seymour Hoffman's body?) I am ashamed I wrote that.

But now, with the benefit of another decade of cinephilia inside me, I can notice the great acting. I can see the flashback structure and the influence of Kubrick's THE KILLING. I can see how a large part of the movie is dedicated to dumping on the Hank character (Ethan Hawke.) As an aside, my favorite line of the film is when Gina (Tomei) admits to Andy (Hoffman) that she's been having an affair with his brother Hank, and he says "Really, Hank?" and she just says "Yeah,...Hank" in this really resigned way like 'I know he's a loser and a cry-baby, but still....'

Oh, and the brutal family dynamic, punctuated with literally shattering flashbacks. This movie is brilliant. So much so that Marisa Tomei's tits are nearly the least interesting things in the movie. They are nice tits, though.

VICTORIA (2015): And finally, we end with a movie that could only be filmed digitally. The film is a single, 138 minute take, in real-time with no edits. Victoria (Laia Costa) is a Spaniard in Berlin, about to have a wild and terrifying night. She starts out partying in the clubs, and is about to head home early for a good night's sleep before opening the cafĂ© in the morning. But she meets an odd group of strange and lovable guys. They seem nice enough, they like to party and have a good time, and one of them is celebrating his birthday. So she stays up a little longer with them. And then a little longer. They drink, they smoke a little pot. The birthday boy goes a little overboard and passes out.... Which is a problem, because now they have no driver for the heist they're about to pull, at the behest of a pretty damn ruthless gangster. Yeah, this night is going to take a pretty dark turn, and the morning isn't going to be much better.

With real-time movies it's always hard not to have some slow moments, and the story takes a little while to get going. But the cast is great and the technical achievement is amazing. It certainly pushes the boundaries of what can be done in cinema.

Total Running Time: 255
My Total Minutes: 415,802


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