Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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Playful storytelling in this split story. There's a homage to films in one story, feeling going nowhere is the other one, the mix is great! Lenny is a movie buff, working at the video shop. He watches twelve filmes a week and only talks about films. He watches them in a basment with some buddies once in a while, Leo is one of them.
Leo has a crap job, a shabby place and a pregnant girl that he is treating bad. He is fed with this world and is angry at everyone. It does not help that Louis is his girls brother and he is tight with the guys too. Some of them are rugged fellas. Guns and beatings, there some racisism here, making sure there are enemies everywhere.
Superb script, funny and on point. It's all well acted out by great Danish actors in the starts of their careers, it's cool to see a young Mikkelsen and a young Bodnia doing very nice acting jobs. It's also one of Refn's first efforts - great stuff indeed. Fresh quality.
Neat atmosphere, some underlaying suspence and gory and rugged when needed. The film has loads of style, it's not overdone but always gritty and sincere.
8 out of 10 VHSes.
Winding Refns usual suspects, exploring the underground once again, rooting from a full throttle videostore. Crazy people makes crazy action, no doubt.
There are two reasons I watched this movie. First being Mads Mikkelsen (Hannibal, The Hunt) and the second being Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive, Bronson). I'm very glad I watched it. It's a refreshment after spending the whole day yesterday catching up on American Horror Story Hotel. Anyways... Bleeder is a movie about a couple of men and women leading ordinary, boring lives with nothing particularly interesting happening to them. The movie portrays their lives very routine-like and with nothing special happening until about half way through the movie when Leo's wife gets pregnant and Leo gets stressed and angry with her and their life, which leads to some quite disturbing scenes. Without spoiling anything, I will say that the movie, at first, didn't seem all that interesting, it was almost boring, but as it went on it started to get more and more intense and equally disturbing. The ending is shocking, to say the least. The acting was fantastic and the characters are all well developed and there isn't a single flaw among the actors or their characters. The direction is great and the soundtrack is haunting! All in all, this is a damn good drama with some quite shocking plot points that tends to be a bit boring at first, but the second half will make it all worthwhile! I'd recommend this movie to Nicolas Winding Refn fans as the previous movies I've watched by him are mostly similar in terms of story telling and direction. So, if you're not into slow burning and gripping movies, move on.
Most of the cast from 'Pusher' are all present and correct here but this doesn't really hang together in the same successful way as that film. It's basically a film of ideas, some which work and some which really don't. It sometimes feels like a Danish Linklater slacker movie but then in the next breath we have miscarriages, murder and HIV syringes. All very uneven.
A must for Refn fans.
Bleeder is a tense, riveting drama with a great story, memorable cast and is an engrossing film from start to finish. Refn is a great filmmaker, and he proved that with Pusher, which was his debut feature, and he follows that up with this picture, which I would personally describe as a decent into madness. Brilliantly shot, Refn has a strong sense of style that makes his films unique, and with Bleeder, he delivers a picture that has a simple, yet effective storyline as less is more, and Refn, uses that approach to filmmaking quite well in order to make truly standout films. Some may find his work polarizing, and with good reason, but for fans of Pusher, this is a brilliant second feature that solidifies his talents as a filmmaker, and with a great cast at his disposal, he delivers an astounding picture that breaks new ground in terms of filmmaking. I thoroughly enjoy filmmakers that tend to use simple ideas, concept to tell a good story through their camera lens, and Nicolas Winding Refn is a filmmaker that uses that to an extent that makes his films truly standout. Bleeder, like I stated before is a fine follow up to Pusher, and he uses the bare miniu8m to tell a great story. What ends up on-screen is a highly captivating drama that is bold, atmospheric, tense, and exceptionally well acted and directed. Bleeder is a terrific film, a film that is thoroughly engaging, and it's a work of a director who can craft a stunning, compelling and ultimately memorable drama. Bleeder is not a perfect film, and it's Nicolas Winding Refn finest film either, but it definitely is a skillfully crafted picture from a wonderful filmmaker who can tell truly engaging and entertaining stories.
Gritty thriller that doesn't quite know what it wants to be half the time.
The two slightly odd friends Leo (Kim Bodnia) and Lenny (Mads Mikkelsen) lives in Nørrebro, a working-class neighborhood in Copenhagen. Leo lives in a rundown apartment with his girlfriend Louise (Rikke Louise Andersson) and he´s stuck in a dead end job. Lenny is a shy and quiet film expert who works with his and Leo's mutual friend Kitjo (Zlatko Buric) in a videostore. Lenny tries to get out of his self isolation, but struggles with social interactions and meeting the opposite sex. When Louise tells Leo she's pregnant, a spark is ignited and Leo begins to become cold and distant. One night Leo witnesses a shooting and a vicious beating at a nightclub where Louise´s brother Louis is a bouncer. Initially shaken by the violence, he becomes increasingly seduced by it. Eventually his anger and self-hatred finally erupt into violence against Louise...
The intense "Bleeder" was written, produced and directed by Nicolas Winding Refn. The film was a big hit in Denmark, much like Refn's previous film "Pusher" from 1996 which included several of the same actors as in "Bleeder". "Bleeder" carries connections to the classic "Falling Down" and the feeling of losing touch with oneself and not being able to handle life as it happens to you live and direct. The role of Leo is perfect for Kim Bodnia and he has maybe played that type of role a bit too many times since 1999, but then he was more or less upcoming and fresh. Zlatko Buric is always great to see and Mads Mikkelsen breathes life into Lenny. I love how Refn shows the escalation of Leos descent into his own private hell and his violent graphic demise. And the sudden bursts of violence is classic Refn today. But, I do think that Lenny´s efforts of breaking out of his isolated shell and trying to go on a date with Lea feels a bit off somehow, like it doesn´t fit into the script and thus erupts the flow of the movie. To find balance and happiness in life is important to be able to actually enjoy life. It´s so easy to become dragged down in a spiral of darkness. I know all to well. But, where there´s darkness, there´s light. And I reckon this is what Refn tries to communicate with "Bleeder".
"Nicolas Winding Refn" was on his way...and after the "Pusher" trilogy once again he proved himself....that something big is on the way....! But still i wouldn't rate this one better than his previous work.This time he worked with his experiments on female "psychic" and emotions and did a pretty good.He just proved himself once again !
It's time for Nicolas Winding Refn to make his big return to Cocainehagen, only this time, there's no cocaine, you know, because if "Pusher" wasn't boring enough, the exciting world of hard drugs are out of the picture, you know, after Winding Refn thought to make another one of these meditative art dramas about hardly anything. Meanwhile, in another seedy part of Copenhagen! Sorry, Bill Woodson, but this film about "friends", or rather, frenemies, is far from super, even though it is a fair bit better than "Pusher", yet if you're going to watch "Pusher" and this film back-to-back, then you just have to exclaim during the transition, because this film is too much like Winding Refn's first "thriller", only decent. Let me tell you, the cast comprising of many of the same performers from "Pusher" doesn't help, even if "Pusher" was so forgettable that the people in it slip my mind (With the exception of Mads Mikkelson, seeing as how he's awesome and whatnot), and you know what, this film's title even makes the separation more difficult. First it was "Pusher", and for his follow-up, Winding Refn presented "Bleeder", so don't tell me that Winding Refn's early art films weren't so meditative because they weren't creative enough to come up with material to follow, because not even his titles were all that creative. I mean, "Pusher" was actually about drug pushers, and the folks in this film certainly bleed and whatnot, but I don't know, I don't get what's gripping about this film's title, although I don't get what's gripping about "Pusher". This film, however, does a better job of holding my investment, and yet, with that said, it's got its share of problems.
The film really isn't all that conventional, and may even be a little more refreshing than "Pusher", - whose experimental structure was supposed to be more offbeat - yet there is still that occasional lapse into familiarity, which naturally calls your attention to the likely outcomes of the sizable array of story layers, as well as to the natural limitations to this subject matter. In spite of juggling a multitude of subplots and layers, the scope to this film is kind of minimalist, and the subject matter certainly has only so much meat on its dramatic bones, carrying a considerable sense of consequence, but only so much bite when you take out of account an even more attribute to the story concept: the experimental plot structuring. Now, the film's meditative, naturalist storytelling is not as intense as that of "Pusher", and that may very well be what saves the film, which is brought to the brink of mediocrity largely on the back of the intentionally meandering plotting, which soaks up too much filler as it makes an attempt to reinforce a sense of realism that just ends up distancing more than anything. The film gets to be unfocused, just like it wants to, and yet, even on its own questionable level, the pacing of this film gets to be a bit too limp at times, with way too much excess filler, and even a good deal of excess material, both of which further thin out what focus there is, often into repetition, maybe even monotony. The film drags itself a lot on paper, and in execution, the problems continue, because even though Nicolas Winding Refn, as director, is less reliant on the intense atmosphere that didn't have enough material to soak up in the non-thrilling thriller that was the generally near-tedious "Pusher", and is more thoughtful with his interpretation of a slice-of-life story concept, it's only a matter of time before all of the meditativeness loses its grip, resulting in dryness that really does dull things down. Dullness has ruined some of Winding Refn's more notable films, and it almost ruins this effort, for although there's enough inspiration to the final product to get it by, much of the same unfocused and unevenly paced storytelling that drove "Pusher" into mediocrity poses a serious threat to this follow-up's decency. Still, make no mistake, the decency that was lost on "Pusher" is, in fact, recovered with this film, which is also a mess, but one that remains controlled enough to hold your attention, or at least catch your eye.
It's difficult to get information regarding this film's budget, but I doubt the effort cost all that much, and that's reflected within the improvability of the camera quality, made all the more aggravating by some overly shaky moments to the realist shooting style, which, on the whole, is effective enough to compensate for many cinematographic shortcomings by drawing you into this environment, often with stylish camera tricks that augment the aesthetic engagement value of the final product, not unlike the score. While the film has many a quiet moment, its being more reliant on music actually plays a relatively sizable role in raising the final product well above the quiet and cold "Pusher", for although Peter Peter's score, backed by some tonally complimentary other soundtrack bits, gets to be kind of sentimental, its heart and atmosphere helps liven up a style that is more inviting than the harsher style of "Pusher", or at least seems to, seeing as how it's really sold by a decidedly more inviting directorial performance by Nicolas Winding Refn. Winding Refn has not abandoned meditative storytelling, which ruined "Pusher" and even threatens this film, with distancing dullness, but on the whole, there's more inspiration to the deliberate telling of this tale, which soaks up moments of tension, bridged by a dramatic heart that endears, and shines some light on the potential to this story concept. While this film's story concept is too minimalist for its own good, and is all too often interpreted in an unfocused manner, the layers are perhaps more organic than those of "Pusher", and the characters certainly feel more grounded in this exploration of a Danish working class environment which juggles elements of crime, evolving rocky relationships, budding relationships, and so on and so forth. The film is perhaps not as layered as I make it sound, but it does have more to say than your usual naturalist meditation, and Winding Refn sells much of the material, even as writer, offering clever dialogue, and even some sharp comic relief, all while providing well-rounded characterization that brings life to the characters who drive this drama, who are done more justice by their portrayals. Acting material is limited in this slice-of-life drama that is about as interested in people doing nothing as it is interested in intense challenges for its talented cast, but most everyone is charismatic, and bonded with his or her peers through sharp chemistry, until heavier material comes into play and allows the cast to stretch out dramatic layers that truly compel at times. There's not really a whole lot to praise here, and enough to complain about for the final product to fall to the brink of mediocrity, but that dreaded low is never reached, for there is ultimately enough inspiration on and off of the screen for the drama to keep you going, even if it can't consistently sustain your investment.
Once all of the blood has run dry, the final product is solidified at the brink of mediocrity, to which it is carried by some conventionalism and minimalism to its story concept, and a considerable deal of unevenness to pacing, made all the more glaring by atmospheric dry spells whose dullness really challenges your investment, but not enough to where decent cinematography and score work, highlights in the telling of an intriguing and layered story, and strong performances weren't enough to make Nicolas Winding Refn's "Bleeder" an endearing meditative drama, in spite of a good deal of shortcomings.
2.5/5 - Fair