The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part
The Walking Dead
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All Critics (11)
| Top Critics (4)
| Fresh (8)
| Rotten (3)
Like so many recent Romanian films, Stuff and Dough is tremendously well made on almost no budget, and blends the rhythms of ordinary life with a subtly ominous atmosphere and elements of thriller.
New York is beginning to look like Bucharest on the Hudson.
Making the minutiae of life hold continuous interest is no easy task, as demonstrated by [Cristi] Puiu's fledgling first feature, 2001's Stuff And Dough.
Though it is suspenseful, unnerving and agile in its techniques, Stuff and Dough has more than speed and danger on its mind.
Its austerity masks a finely tuned script about the difficulties of navigating between corruption and survival when individual aspiration is put above all else.
Ultimately, like Lazarescu, Ovidiu becomes a mere cog in a social and economic system that would chew him up without a moment's consideration, and it's Puiu's goal to elevate this and other such stories above their banality and into the realm of myth.
Anyone prone to carsickness should bypass Stuff and Dough, unless they have an unquenchable desire to understand Romanian society or a keen interest in the career development of one of its best filmmakers.
Simultaneously lean and distracted.
Puiu's film is a day-in-the-life look at a group of young people living in a country still recovering from years of misrule and international neglect.
The American title doesn't do it justice, but Stuff and Dough is a small triumph.
Like Puiu's later The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, Stuff and Dough suggests that time, like procedure, is of the essence in Romania, though it lacks Lazarescu's gravitas and poignancy.
[font=Century Gothic]In "Stuff and Dough," Ovidiu(Alexandru Papadopol) is sleeping, dreaming of owning his own food stall, when he is interrupted by Marcel(Razvan Vasilescu), an older businessman. Marcel wants him to drive to Budapest by 2:00 pm and drop off a package, for which he will be handsomely compensated. Only he cannot tell anybody what is in the package and must go alone. That having been said, Ovidiu calls his buddy, Vali(Dragos Bucur), who calls his girlfriend, Betty(Ioana Flora). The ride goes well for the trio until they encounter a red van...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"Stuff and Dough" is an entertaining movie that goes on about ten to fifteen minutes too long in an attempt to make its point in huge letters. In fact, the movie gives little depth to its characters(even worse, Betty is 100% cipher). And the only thing of substance that is said about modern day Romania is the need for wider and better roads, not to mention more polite drivers.[/font]
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