Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
It's been a couple of weeks since I've seen this, and the thing that sticks in my mind after all that time is that it reminds me a little bit of a Quentin Tarantino film, though not as gleeful in its portrayal of violence. That by no means is a bad thing.
The film has a stylized feeling, it doesn't feel quite realistic, like a Tarantino film. For example in the way the main character spoke. I know that half the time he is trying to sound white, but even when he isn't pretending to be a white man, he had this annoying nasally white voice when he was being himself. Something about that struck me as not quite right.
It is a humorous film, but the humor seemed stylized - not quite natural. Again, it reminded me of Tarantino film in that way. Characters were archetypes. We have The dumb fat, but viscous racist who at first sight seems harmless. The smart, even more viscous racists who is very menacing. Then you have the white naive (or is he?) Klan leader, who plays the straight guy for all the gags. Very little goes into what makes these characters tick. Even the good guys' characters are not very well developed.
The film also kind of hits the viewer over the head with it's message, though it is an important one indeed. For the most part, police stations are integrated now. For the most part, people understand that the KKK are bad. Modern day race problems seem to be more intricate than those presented here. Even the closing, in which Lee ties in his move with current events, is kind of obvious. But it is beautifully done with a match cut that starts with a Klan rally and switches to the Alt-right rally in Virginia. it shows that maybe we shouldn't take those obvious problems I just mentioned above for granted.
I don't mind the stylized manner of this film and I even quite enjoyed it. This film is better than any Tarantino film, but I think the flaws I mention above keep the film from being a master piece. "Do the Right Thing" was a masterpiece.
A better film on race relations that is released about the same time as this one is "Blindspotting" - my favorite film of the summer so far. Be sure to check that one out, if you liked this.
Flamingo Road (1949)
Good Clean Fun!
Actually kind of racy for its day, Crawford's character acknowledges the fact of men's more dubious intentions in her interactions as a carny girl with her love interest - the wet behind the ears deputy Sheriff. And Sydney Greenstreet is pure evil as the Sheriff who uses his clout to get his candidates elected.
Crawford plays an outsider that we want to root for and she delivers. I like how one of the more slippery characters at first changes into one of the better, moral characters that Crawford eventually falls in love with. When he brings her into the jet set life of Flamingo Road, we feel she had it coming and that she deserves it considering her hard-boiled difficult past and her tough but honest demeanor.
Being 1949, the dialogue is a bit hokey and whirlwind romances happen in about 10 second flat, but isn't that how things were (sort of) in the day? Maybe, maybe not.
Solid Urban Film Making
It's hard to pick one thing about the film. Everything is done so well. Many of the same urban themes here are found in other films, but here it is done intelligently and with some pizazz. Well acted, charming and likeable characters. There are lots of layers here to make one sit back and think.
There are some scenes where the film does seem to stand out from the standard fare. Scenes in which the film makers put theor own personal touch and voice. There are some dream sequences and hallucinatory sequences in which the film makers get to show off some of their film making chops. So while mostly a gritty realistic film, it does have just a touch of expressionistic surrealism within it. I enjoyed it very much.
Adam's Rib (1949)
A bit dated, but great!
At times this film is surprisingly progressive for it's time. Other times, it pulls back the reins and is dated and trite.
For example, the two main characters (played by Spenser Tracy and Katherine Hepburn) are a married couple. Amanda and Adam Bonner, are having a heated discussion on equal rights and then she cuts someone off while she is driving, and gets yelled at by a truck driver. She just merrily waves him offas if to say, "weel what do you expect, I'm a woman." Certainly it is part of the point the film is making, but it seems to say, here is this equal and extremely intelligent woman (a lawyer who went to Yale) is still a woman because she is flighty and can't drive.
Another example is when the husband brings home a bonnet, (very ugly - how could people like that stye in those days?) she falls madly in love with it and gushes like a school girl.
On the other hand, some of the sexual innuendos seemed pretty racy for a film of that time and some of the feminist view points were apologetically and clearly stated.
The film and the humor do not date well despite its progressive leanings. It is possible for a classic film to date well, just as some popular music from the 70's works very well now, and some music from the 70's doesn't translate at all.
Leave No Trace (2018)
When I learned that this was by the same director, Debra Granik ,as Winter's Bones (one of my all time favorite films) I knew I had to see this. It doesn't disappoint. The relationship between the father and daughter is beautiful and sweet, and we pull for these characters to pull through. The daughter was played brilliantly in an understated performance by Thomasin McKenzie.
There is beautiful and stunning scenery in the Pacific Northwest and the story is sublime about family relationships, mental health and loyalty.
Films about alcoholism are not my favorite genre. They are either too depraved and sad or too preachy (the 12 steps). And to be sure, that was the case in this film. But the cast turns in a fine performance and the real treat was that about half way though the film, I realized who Callahan actually was.