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Only God Forgives (2013)
Maybe I wasn´t ready at the time for NWR (Review from 2013)
Oh my god he did it again!
After Nicolas Winding Refn disappointed me with "Drive", he now goes one step further with "Only God Forgives". No idea in which self-referential endless loop Monsieur got caught, or to what extent he wanted to pay tribute to the trash classics of the 80s ... what he delivers here is so dead serious that you want to cry and unfortunately only seems involuntarily funny, varnished and over-the-top. One would think that the contact with overseas was not exactly good for the quality of Refn´s work, just think of the times when the Pusher trilogy was pounded in front of us and you thought: "Wow, the director really has it! " At that time the whole thing still breathed the grandeur of European cinema, von Trier and the like peeked around the corner and Mr Refn showed us how modern, brutal cinema works that does not take itself too seriously. Those days seem to be over once and for all. And what I should think of Kristin Scott Thomas' performance has not yet revealed itself to me ... she probably wanted to be filmed really nasty after all the character studies of the last few years ... she should be forgiven. Ryan Gosling is in the same facial sleep mode as always, which is not particularly surprising, but still somehow sad ... I'm sure there would have been a lot to get out of his role, but ok ... At least a few scenes brought a smile on my face, albeit for unintended reasons. Since I was able to enjoy the visual presentation of the spectacle and liked the soundtrack a lot, I give this film 7/10 points. But next time, please again with characters one likes to watch doing their dirty work and less wallowing in the narcissistic and the style-over-substance.
Beyond Bedlam (1994)
a fine mess
Although this film is the most holey thing I've ever seen in terms of logic, it still has a certain appeal to me. It has some very interesting tracking shots, stylish pictures, great sound effects and of course Elizabeth Hurley. Viewed as a whole, this flick appears incomplete, as if it were piecemeal. It fails to tell a coherent story; whenever I had the feeling to comprehend what´s really going on, I was on the wrong boat again. It all boils down to the drug trip, on which nothing makes sense anyway (in this context, the mess of the film makes perfect sense). And so the actors run through the dream world of a madman, giving each other a shot from time to time in order to stay on his level and to be able to face him. "Beyond Bedlam" always wants to be more than it is but fails to accept that it ain´t.
No fun at all
Here a young director has taken over again after he made a really good debut with a friend as co-director at his side with "Grave Encounters". Apparently the godfather for "Extraterrestrial" was Robert Lieberman's "Fire in the Sky", which is also a tough and at times unbearably unimportant strip of alien terror, but can reconcile it with an extraordinarily well-made and shocking sequence after the kidnapping by the aliens. With "Extraterrestrial" you wait in vain for this rewarding moment, this soap opera is just annoying, right down the line. A mainstream bore which ingratiates itself with the young target audience, which bobs around in a reasonably entertaining manner, tries to cliché endlessly, in short, which is simply annoying and superfluous. What Emily Perkins has lost in this Schmonzette eludes me completely, well, actors also have to earn a living somehow, and it was great to see her in a movie again. All in all 4/10.
After the first two superstrong episodes this feels rather like a letdown. The slowness in these first ones was just perfect, paired with subliminal (and acted out) aggression it was a feast in every aspect. But in this episode there´s simply too much talking, the fever dream atmosphere is missing and the cop character´s development is unexpected in a weak way, how he seems to try to fit in with his new homicide job is laughable after one has witnessed what he is capable of. I´m looking forward to more glossy NWR hardcore scenes, to make this episode excusable for me.