Mary Poppins Returns
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (7)
| Fresh (2)
| Rotten (5)
| DVD (1)
Suspense tropes that Demme would tweak to much greater effect in Silence of the Lambs just don't come off here, and the leads never generate romantic sparks.
Demme puts nothing of himself into these paranoid shenanigans -- the movie is all too transparently his attempt to do something bankable.
Belabored imitation Hitchcock
Last Embrace is directed by Jonathan Demme and it packs a real wallop of suspense.
"Last Embrace" is an incompetently executed, wildly incoherent and overly melodramatic neo-noir thriller that's one of the dullest, most tepidly inspired pieces of cinema I've ever watched. Aside from Roy Scheider, whose performance is so over-the-top that it's almost admirable, the acting is laughably poor from the entire cast, and everything from the pacing to the direction to the lighting is painfully inept. How Jonathan Demme, Tak Fujimoto, Barry Malkin and Miklós Rózsa could get together and make sure a godawful hunk of soap opera-ish garbage is beyond me. It's an experience I hope never to endure again.
This is a splendid little Hitchcockian thriller from Jonathan Demme. Roy Scheider plays Harry Hannan, a government agent recovering from a nervous breakdown after losing his wife in a botched attempt on his life. Fearful of further assassination attempts after being labelled a dangerous liability by his boss, Harry's nerves are shredded even further when he receives a mysterious death threat in Biblical Hebrew. Although certain characters (guilt-ridden, delicate hero - Vertigo), situations (shower scene - Psycho) and settings (bell tower - Vertigo again) are unmistakably Hitchcockian - and the movie even finds time to reference first generation Hitchcock clones like Henry Hathaway's Niagara - Demme's film is always a cut above mere pastiche because he makes little or no attempt to imitate the master's style. In place of Hitch's elegant backdrops and rigidly storyboarded perfectionism, Demme substitutes gritty locations, handheld camerawork and spontaneity. Scheider is superb as the haunted hero and Miklos Rozsa's score is simply beautiful.
A tackily directed 70s forerunner to the likes of Basic Instinct, this overly melodramatic tale of a burnt out secret agent who recieves a calling card from a serial killer is often unconvincing, and often just plain silly.
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