The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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No consensus yet.
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All Critics (22)
| Top Critics (8)
| Fresh (16)
| Rotten (6)
| DVD (1)
A fascinating if fragmented, dreamlike look at the downtown art-music-fashion scene of a yeasty, creative era.
A crudely poetic inventory of the people and places about to rock pop culture.
Performances by DNA and the Plastics alone are worth the price of admission.
Gives us a glimpse of the city as it was, suggesting that there was something revolutionary, even inspiring, about those days of not-so yore.
It captures the youthful excitement of a burgeoning creative movement.
It's as a documentary that Downtown 81 is most successful.
Although Basquiat is effortlessly charismatic, he isn't given much to do; the film leans heavily on narration, much of which crosses the line separating poetic from pretentious.
Invaluable because it catches the sights, sounds and moods of a city that are of a bygone era.
It's not a great film, but rather disjointed as nothing really makes sense. But considering this is the only glimpse one would ever see of Basquiat before he was discovered by Andy Warhol, this film is somewhat of a masterpiece.
It's like being present for the opening of a time capsule.
Director Edo Bertoglio and writer-producer Glenn O'Brien gave [Basquiat] little to do but walk around and look pretty.
a sweet, harmless vision that never quite overcomes the lack of story...
"Downtown 81" wants to be transcendent and wants to the cognoscenti on art and culture. I'm not sure if it achieves just that (it probably doesn't,) but it does manage to capture the small pockets of culture in Manhattan that revolves around music, visual arts, fashion, etc. If anything the film is a fascinating time capsule that looks like a documentary and has the ultra-left ideas and attitudes of the people in the place imbedded in the screenplay.
As the film progresses it gets more and more avant-garde, and like the hip drugged youth in the film whose ambitions only go as far as their ecstacy/ketamine/THC-suppressed drive for change, the film also feels as if it nearly loses sight of its original ambition and scope, especially in the 2nd and 3rd act. The film embraces its disjointedness and converts itself into, what might as well be, a compilation of electrifying, kinetic music videos, as inane and aimless they may be.
But, at the same time it is an impeccable showcase of the area's culture and the people whom it belongs to. Other than the premise, which is still somewhat interesting, most notably with the charming ending, some choices in editing and camera angles are questionable. At best the film, which is really just an embodiment of one idea after the other, is moderately interesting. Perhaps amusing or a pleasant distraction. Just don't expect it to be nearly as enriching as it pretends to be.
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