Posts Tagged ‘Rene Russo

23
Apr
19

Velvet Buzzsaw

When I saw the cast list for this movie, I figured it was going to be special. With the likes of Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Toni Collette, John Malkovich, and more, the cast of this movie is totally stacked. How does a movie manage to land A-list talent like this unless it’s good? Well, that’s a great fucking question, because Velvet Buzzsaw is terrible. It’s about a group of art dealers who stumble across the collected works on a recently-deceased, unknown artist. There’s a bit of sales maneuvering, power plays, and political backstabbing in the first half of the film, which leads one to think this movie will be a drama/thriller of sorts.
It’s an interesting setup for sure. But the second half of the movie doesn’t know what to do with the setup, and just goes balls-to-the-wall stupid. The art dealers are killed one at a time…by the art. Yes, that’s right, art is a serial killer in Velvet Buzzsaw. No matter where the characters go, if they profited from the unknown artist’s works, they will die, murdered by paintings. And it doesn’t even have to be those specific art pieces they sold. Literally any art will murder them, like graffiti or performance art. The cast does their absolute best to work with the material, but it’s hard to be convincing when they are being murdered by CGI paintings.
The movie has a mocking tone, trying to stick it to the art world, but it’s hard to find that angle appealing when 99% of the populace has no interaction with art dealers, and therefore no point of reference for this. It’s a hokey film, but at least it moves at a brisk pace. The ending is dumb, and it’s hard to get invested in a horror movie that doesn’t even have a villain. It’s hard to believe that this piece of crap was written and directed by Dan Gilroy, the same guy who wrote and directed the incredible Nightcrawler. This one isn’t worth your time.
Verdict: Shitty
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17
Sep
16

The Expendables 3, Nightcrawler

The Expendables 3

In many ways, The Expendables 3 is the best and worst entry in this tired franchise. Sylvester Stallone stuffs even more of his buddies in this film than the previous two. It’s mind-boggling to think about how many washed-up actors signed on. There are way too many people, and nobody has any time for character development. That, of course, is something Stallone isn’t interested in. All he wants to do is flash as many old-school action stars on the screen in as short a time as possible, and blow up tons of shit in the process.

This film is the best of the franchise because it tries to have an actual plot. It also tries to give Stallone’s character a backstory. That is far more plot work than the other two films combined. Unfortunately, the backstory is paper thin, and the plot is tired. The only other thing that works for this movie is Mel Gibson as the villain. He’s by far the best actor in this piece of crap, and you can see his trademark charisma on screen. It’s too bad he had to have such a racist meltdown, because he really is a good actor.

This film is the worst of the franchise because of the aforementioned glut of characters and lack of development. Also, the movie is subtly racist. In the beginning of the film, they rescue Wesley Snipes. But then Terry Crews gets shot by Gibson and sits out the rest of the film in the hospital. Apparently, the Expendables team is only allowed to have one black character at a time. What a bunch of horseshit. Finally, there is some atrocious CGI, and Stallone outruns a collapsing building. It’s worse than you can imagine.

Verdict: Shitty

Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal is racking up a rather diverse filmography. After his weirdo performance in Prisoners, he turned in a giant creeper role in Nightcrawler. This movie has a brilliant concept, one of those things that you wish you thought of so you could have written the film and become a millionaire. The premise is that TV news stations regularly feature footage recorded by freelancers who go to crime scenes or accident sites. They buy the best footage for use on the air.

Gyllenhaal plays a nightcrawler, trolling the seedy L.A. world for crimes or accidents (mostly blood and guts) that he can sell to the highest bidder. At first, he’s low-level, but he has a knack for the work, and quickly does rather well for himself. He manages to get some crazy exclusives, coming upon a murder in progress before the police even know about it. This story thread continues to the end, with Gyllenhaal beginning to manipulate real world events so he can continue to have news stories to sell.

Gyllenhaal plays a fantastic sociopath in this film. He doesn’t care about others, only himself. He manipulates the TV station, he trounces his competition, and he is completely devoid of emotion. His acting was rather amazing, and you completely believe he is this detestable character.

Nightcrawler showcases a world you never knew existed. From now on, whenever you see a news report, you’ll wonder if it was gathered from a real reporter or a freelancer. Gyllenhaal turns in a memorable performance, and the direction is pitch-perfect.

Verdict: Good




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