Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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I didn't give this film enough attention when I first watched it. I tend to collect submarine films even though I'm not sure they are the best setting for a story. I re-watched it last night. I was impressed. It's a film that's not in any special hurry. Many of the cast get some focus. The crew is well-differentiated. Tension, atmosphere and shivers are created in a variety of ways. Underwater films are difficult to make and they can't be easy to make on the cheap. I thought the production values were fine.
A film that is trying, trying hard. I have seen a few earlier films that were somewhat similar. They're trying to get the same feel as the dollar films and perhaps up the ante. Film making belongs to a tradition. The best directors and the best films show their acknowledgment of what has gone before. Action, violance, martial art. The text book for this is cheaply made, quickly made Enter the Streetfighter, 88 minutes of how to do things right. This entertains for a while and then it starts to drag. I'd give most credit to Kevin McKidd until they make him unstylishly bloodthirsty in the second half. Many points for trying.
So many films are failing right now that we have to appreciate film makers who are trying. Sandy Collora as something of a reputation. He's done quite well with this. Maybe he should have conserved his characters better. Great desert photography, perhaps not enough sweat. The end mechanics about the death of worlds was not that palatable. This would have pleased the old sci-fi editor, John Campbell.
I'm not sure that film makers know what science fiction is. I was brought up on a sci-fi short stories so it's a strange experience to see what the studios make of it. This has a good cast, but are they used that well? It has good moments and some decisions that make you despair. Terence Stamp and Tom Sizemore are good choices to engage in a debate as to whether there is more to existence than scientific rigour, unfortunately the writers are not up to saying anything. There's a dull murder over next-to-nothing. How much thought went into that? Five minutes? The desperate situation of the stranded astronauts would have been plotted better by sci-fi writers of the 50s. Oh well, swings and roundabouts. I will always go for films like this just for the preamble and the first steps.