Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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isn't really compelling one way or another, and not just because Farmer and Grünberg are pasty and uninteresting
More is about how drugs can turn beautiful youth, energy, love into something ugly and destructive. The female lead has an odd allure and self-awareness that makes her a mildly sympathetic character. Pink Floyd has little presence in the film and is not so much a soundtrack that drives the movie, as it is music playing in the background. On the other hand, the island on which More was filmed is harshly and naturally beautiful, it suits the film very well, and is a definite visual plus.
"In the midnight hour, she cried, 'more, more, more'", or, if you will, "You're more than life to me, more than eternity, and the more I know of you, all the more I love you." Good Glazer of the Tom persuasion, I am old, and now that I think about it, I know the perfect song reference: "Far, far, far away-way, people heard him say-say 'I will find a way-way, there will come a day-day, something will be done!" That's right, this film is so trippy that it's scored by Pink Floyd during their early, much more psychedelic days, and, yes, I am such a fan of Pink Floyd that I just made a reference to "Let There Be [u]More[/u] Light" (Get it now?). Oh, don't get too excited, people into forgotten music, because I don't much care for the song, or, well, for that matter, plenty of the early stuff by the guys who would go on to be about as good as any progressive rock band, but hey, early Pink Floyd could at least make a decent score, so much so that the film they scored would essentially never really be heard of were it not for its being scored by Pink Floyd. Yeah, on the whole, this is kind of just another film about heroin, except it takes place on Ibiza, which I reckon is a reasonably note-worthy distinction, because I'd imagine you can get some real good junk in a somewhat exotic island, so much so that, after a while, well, Pink Floyd starts composing the music in your head. Yeah, I know that I'm driving this whole Pink Floyd thing into the dirt, but seriously, do you expect me to talk about the long and successful careers of Klaus Grünberg and Mimsy Farmer, or Barbet Schroeder's many other highly recognizable films? Hey, Schroeder may not have had the most recognizable career, but he has apparently made some decent flicks, not including this one, which isn't really bad, but underwhelms in most departments, with the exception of, well, you know, the music department.
The film doesn't exactly boast the grooviest late-'60s soundtrack, or at least it doesn't appear to through all of this noisily dated sound design, but there are still plenty of neat, then-relevant mainstream tunes, and when it comes to the original score by Pink Floyd, it's not as killer as my fellow Pink Floyd fans might hope, what with this project's coming along before the band really tapped into the skill that broke them out from the status of being just another psychedelic rock group to the status of being worthy rock legends, but its distinctly early Pink Floyd style is often entertainingly trippy, as well as complimentary to the atmosphere of this mediation upon drug addiction. So yeah, this soundtrack isn't exactly "The Wall", but it's certainly better than Pink Floyd's follow-up, "Ummagumma" (They must have come up with the title after getting done listening to the album, which made them so dead-tired bored that all they could do was mumble), so if this film has nothing else going for it, it's musical style to compliments substance, something whose value can, in fact, be seen through all of the shortcomings. There's not too much meat to this story, and there's even less originality, even for the time, but at the end of the day, there's still something rather intriguing about this drug drama, at least in concept, something that the patient are bound to see reasonably well-explored on occasions. Barbet Schroeder's strongest moments are director are very rarely, if ever all that strong, but there are high marks in Schroeder's direction to replenish some degree of your investment, which would be completely shaken if it wasn't some performances, and I emphasize, "some". There aren't too many people in this cast, and what notes on this roster there are are surprisingly pretty underwritten, but there is the occasional memorable performance, with Klaus Grünberg boasting some unexpectedly strong, if not humanly layered dramatic moments to break up a consistent reasonable bit of charm that proves strong enough to reinforce his chemistry with Mimsy Farmer, in spite of her wooden mediocrity. Wow, come to think of it, there's little to compliment here, and yet, the final product doesn't descend into all-out bad, and that's largely because of its being simply too bland to be bad, which isn't to say that some degree of charm within ambition can't recieve some credit for netting this film into a downfall into contempt. Still, in spite of its charming desperation and handful of genuine strengths, this film falls flat as pretty mediocre, failing to take on all that much meat, even in the exposition departments.
The film opens up slapping you right in the middle of our leads' lives, with no immediate development to earn your investment at all, thus, you're left expecting the film to make up for early exposition issues during its body, but no, because although the film is certainly not completely hollow of character development, little that's more than superficial is said about our leads, who come off as too undercooked to feel layered or genuine, with leaves their flaws to expand to the point of rendering our leads not really all that likable. You know little about the people this film focuses upon, and after a while, you find yourself not really wanting to know them, as they are pretty unappealing, which isn't to say that issues in Barbet Schroeder's and Paul Gégauff's script end there, as the film is also tainted by dialogue that ranges from bland to be pretty fall-flat weak, as well as by, of course, conventions. By 1969, we were still getting used to a film industry that was audacious enough to get this gritty with its portrayal of drug addiction, so a film of this type was still rather refreshing at the time, but this effort has since dated tremendously in its uniqueness, which was still pretty limited at the time, as storytelling blandly bumbles one trope after another, until, before too long, going limp as predictable. I'd imagine that even the people of the '60s had little trouble figuring out where this film was going, if it was going anywhere that is, and that would be fine and all if the film didn't give you more than enough time to meditate upon its being so generic by packing on the pounds around the edges with excess material, if not all-out filler, that, before too long, sparks repetition, which continues to descend before slipping into meanderings, then downright aimlessness. When the film finds a path, it limps its way along until making a shift, of which there are only so many within this plot that is structured as an aimless wanderer through the lives of disengaging characters, and if that sounds bland enough, Schroeder's directorial atmosphere hardly helps. As if it's not enough that he, alongside Gégauff, has to structure plotting blandly on paper, Schroeder all too often dries up atmosphere into a crusty state that is mighty bland, but only initially, before slowly, but surely devolving into dullness that bores, disengages and would have helped in ruining the film as bad if it didn't ironically do such a good job of saving the film as merely mediocre by making the final product to bland to hate. That being said, the point is that this film is really bland, gradually slipping in quality under the immense weight of underdeveloped and unlikable characters, genericisms and disengagingly aimelss storytelling, whose crushing blows to the final product are softened enough by what strengths there are, as well as the aforementioned inoffensive blandness, but still stand as firm enough to drive Schroeder's somewhat ambitious misfire into unmemorable mediocrity.
When the trip ends and you're left with no more to spare, you're left limping away from a film that is partially saved by a decent soundtrack, - highlighted by nifty original efforts by Pink Floyd - intriguing areas in story concept, - sometimes emphasized by somewhat effective occasions in direction - decent acting, - at least by Klaus Grünberg - and a bit of charm within ambition, but there is still too much thinness in exposition, unlikability for our leads, genericism, and aimless dragging - made all the worse by a generally dull atmosphere - for the final product to evade mediocrity that may escape contempt on the wings of blandness that is too considerable to infuriate, but still plays no small part of making Barbet Schroeder's "More" a forgettable misfire.
2/5 - Weak
"More" starts in the rain in Germany with Stefan(Klaus Grunberg), a recent college graduate, hitchhiking to Paris. It is there that he falls in with Charlie(Michel Chanderli), a petty thief who warns him to stay away from Estelle(Mimsy Farmer), a striking American. It is no use, as Stefan returns the money Charlie stole from her with interest for a breaking and entering job. Their coupling delays her departure to Ibiza for a day where Stefan promises to join her in a week.
"More" is a sensual movie with mediocre acting that tells a by now too familiar tale of escape, away from the familiar towards something new, be that in new locations, people, or controlled substances like absinthe, pot, funky blue pills and beyond as the one thing more addictive than any drug is the attraction to another human being. But even as Stefan tries to escape himself, he cannot get away from his native country as he runs into Dr. Wolf(Heinz Engelman).
Heroin is bad. Hippies are stupid. Girls are evil. I think that covered all the bases of this movie.
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