Unlike a lot of summer monstrosities that label themselves as being nothing more than “dumb fun” but forget to treat the audience with respect, Fast & Furious 6 remembers that people who do in fact watch this might actually have brain. While the movie itself is pretty stupid, it doesn’t treat viewers as being so themselves, understanding and respecting the audience in a way big budget enterprises of similar ilk rarely do.
It’s ebullient and joyous but still laced without the proper amount of pain and pathos, everything working in incandescent tandem with its various pieces in order to make the movie come alive to its own free-flowing beat. Make no mistake, Frances Ha is a stunning achievement, an exercise in pure cinema that’s as rare as it is spectacular.
Problem is, after so much build up, after a great introduction to the possibilities of doing something fresh and original with characters many of us might think have done it all, the movie doesn’t just drop the ball it pops it with a bobby pin leaving its shriveled and lifeless husk out on the playing field like bits of discarded garbage. The last third of the movie is an insult, having characters do things, not because they need to, but more because having them do it just calls more attention to the fact the filmmakers are repeating in their own mirror-world way what has already happened before.
His version of the story might not be perfect, might not know at all times exactly what it is it wants to say, but it understands the source material in an intimately intoxicating way other adaptions have sadly lacked. This movie feels like it needed to be made now, maybe even in this very way, this new take on The Great Gatsby a saga of artifice and excess worthy of deeper explorations.
Kiss of the Damned shows that Cassavetes is worth keeping an eye on, her gorily sexual debut a vampiric fairy tale the more I think about it the more in rapture of the film I slowly become.
While composed with a meticulous eye for detail, there is still the constant omnipresent sensation that anything can happen at any moment, these characters free to shape themselves as they naturalistically would if Something in the Air was actually taking place for real and not a vibrant figment of the director’s vividly alive imagination.
It’s great, filled with superb set pieces and moments, not the least of which is a dynamic attack on the Stark mansion that had the majority of the preview audience sitting on the edge of their seats holding their breath, and I can’t say I was ever bored by anything that was going on. At the same time, there is an almost television-like efficiency that can grow stale, nothing ever popping out or calling attention to itself in a way I could ever say was entirely memorable.
Watching this movie was a beguiling joy that brought a smile to my face and filled my heart with the kind of rapture that lingered there for hours afterwards. Renoir drips with insight and meaning, its depiction of two famed artists both justly celebrated today as game-changing trendsetters one all involved can be justifiably proud of.
The bottom line is that the director has a lot on his mind and a ton he wants to say, the majority of which I firmly believe deserves to be stated as loudly and as exuberantly as possible. But as good the cast is and as great as many individual moments are none of them are detailed or are as explored as fully as I felt like they needed to be, making [At Any Price] an intriguing oddity difficult to embrace even if in some ways it’s still relatively easy to recommend.