Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (24)
| Top Critics (7)
| Fresh (19)
| Rotten (5)
| DVD (3)
When Cassavetes is really cooking, even the moments that are awkward and forced can become electric.
John Cassavetes, who made much of his money performing in action films, put that experience to work as the director of this hard, brooding crime drama
There's no cinematography credit, which suggests Cassavetes either added that hat to his writer-director wardrobe, or the real culprit left town ahead of the posse.
It's rather like a shaggy dog story operating inside a chase movie. Chinese Bookie is the more insouciant, involuted and unfathomable of the two; the curdled charm of Gazzara's lopsided grin has never been more to the point.
Watching the film is like listening to someone use a lot of impressive words, the meanings of which are just wrong enough to keep you in a state of total confusion, but occasionally right enough to hold your attention. What is he trying to say?
Gazzara plays a strip-club owner committed to staging sad, unsexy, decidedly personal semi-nude musical revues.
In Mr. Sophistication, Meade Roberts, a screenwriter Cassavetes tapped to act, created an unforgettable figure.
This was [John] Cassavetes' gift. As challenging as his films can be, he found humanity in gangsters and villains as well as in regular guys.
This was Cassavetes' attempt to make a film with more commercial elements, but the melding of a conventional narrative with his own abstract musings doesn't completely work.
With a heavily improvised script Cassavetes gets the most from his actors, each giving emotive performances.
This is my favorite John Cassavetes movie, perhaps because it's the most appealingly sleazy.
Cassavetes' films can be annoying and enigmatic, but they are usually creative and interesting. Not so with this one.
An offbeat but unique take on the noir genre keys that might seem to go nowhere most of the time and yet brings some freshness and bravado.
Gazzara is amazing. But the real star is Cassavete's direction. The way this film slowly transforms is amazing.
Cosmo Vitelli is the owner of a strip club on the sunset strip in Los Angeles, and his business is slow. He's an ex-New Yorker who's re-located to L.A. and is trying to be a big shot, only he doesn't seem to get much respect, but boy, there sure is an air of impending doom surrounding the guy. He goes to the casino of a fellow club owner and tries to be a bigshot in front of his girls, but winds up with a $23,000 debt to what is clearly a mob family. In order to forgive his debt, they want him to kill a chinese bookie they claim owes them money. All is not as it seems to be though, neither with the set-up nor Cosmo Vitelli himself. The film itself isn't directed in a very accessible way, there's lots of random close-ups and off camera dialogue, but it is engrossing (it seems to slightly imitate the Scorsese style, and not just because of the gangster element). Anyway, since when does art always have to be assessible? The soundtrack is near barren, almost the only time music is heard is when the characters on the screen are hearing it. All Cosmo wants to do is run his nightclub and it seems he'll do anything to keep things normal. Perhaps even something crazy as he may be crazier than he let's on. There's more to this low budget crime drama than suspected at first as well.
Gazzara in a tuxedo the whole time, I'll watch that any day of the fucking week.
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