Bad Boys for Life
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Adam Sandler's performance as a sleazy New York Jewish jewelry hustler is a tour de force and a drastic change of pace from his comedies. The story is incredibly fast paced, with an almost stream of conscientiousness effect. A con man , Howard Ratner(Sandler) fends off, people he has cheated or bookies who want their payoffs. Ratner is constantly on the run , on the edge of being killed. He is Jewish family man, who's wife is divorcing him , because Howard has a call girl on the side. The call girl falls in love with Howard, in strange but powerful way. Soon, Howard is caught up in so many schemes, including one that includes basketball star Kevin Garnett, who is excellent in the part of playing himself. Without spoiling the film's ending, I will tell you that Howard's life becomes ever more complex with gangsters out to get their money from him. The one flaw in the film is Sandler's one note acting, which after a while, becomes grating. He plays Howard as an ever moving, non stop liar, continuing the con at any cost, and screaming, f*ck you, every few seconds. Sandler never showed any other side to Howard. There were scenes with his children,when he could have lowered his tone, and showed some kind of real remorse or softer side. There were moments when he needed to slow done his delivery, to contrast his single emotion of rage or fright, which never stopped, and change it up with some self reflection. Because without really showing any true compassionate human qualities, it was hard to like Howard, or even to root for him. Otherwise it is simply a story of a sociopath who swindles his way through life and pays his dues. I find nothing satisfying about that in a film.
For those of you who love Marvel superheroes, this film is like overeating at a feast.The challenge then is to somehow tell a credible story , and not spread the charcater driven parts too thin. A large part of the the Marvel manifesto is it's one liner humor between characters, as the dire action is moving forward. In Infinity Wars the writers have taken the hunore and the byplay to a new and frenetic level.. Yet, the jokes seem to be a better propellant than the somewhat mundane and mediocre plot movement. That movement seems to fool the viewer into thinking that the plot is moving forward, when in reality , there's a lot of fury without, forward motion. There seems to be an endless amount of lengthy, and at times unnecessary, physical conflict and violence, almost gratuitous at times. That's because the producers decided more duplication in the form of continued redundant fighting is better to fill the time. After two hours of watching the continual giant fists, pounding people intot he dust it almost becomes tedious. That brings me to another point. The CGI makes this film a computerized cartoon with live action figures inside of it. The actors int he film must have had great motivational moments expressing them selves in front of a green screen. That any of the actors had even a modicum of excitement in doing these roles is extraordinary.. In the final analysis, the film is like Lord of the Rings on steroids. on a roller coaster. And like a roller coaster when you get off you might need to lay down for a while.
For those of you who remember seeing Ridley Scott's masterpiece, "Alien", you came away feeling awestruck by the character driven story, the enigmatic cinematography, and the gut wrenching alien fight scenes. In Alien covenant, there is no character development. Simply a bunch of people aboard a ship careening through space, who , throughtout the film, scream continuously, while blood gushes everywhere. The beauty of Alien was it's lack of actual blood. It's mysterious silhouettes of the alien creature, and the tension it created. This film simply CGI effects non-stop and continual screaming terror. After an hour or so I needed ear plugs. This film is simply a horror film like Halloween, and nothing more. Ridley Scott seems to have lost his vision about what the original Alien film was all about, and replaced that vision with Hollywood glitz and special effects.
This novel within a film or vice versa is very stylistic, but haunting film about practical decisions we make in life, sometimes out of fear, that come back to haunt us. And Amy Adams character is haunted by all of the self centered, and fearful parts of her. She is wealthy, married to an exquisitely handsome
philanderer . The sets are cold and white like some bergman film. They are sterile, like her life. Soon, she is sent a novel that her former husband, Jake
Gyllenhaal has written. She reads it, and suddenly realizes that this
a parable of her relationship to Jake, wherein, she decides she's too afraid to live a life uncertainty with a writer, and leaves him flat for money, and good looks. As she reads the story of horror about a family that is attacked by a bunch of wild , murderous men, who kill the wife and daughter, and then leave him for dead, as analogous to her betrayals of values, and of love itself. Through the novel she begins to realize her flaws, and in her mind this novel will be a bestseller, a success. She texts he ex-husband, and tells him the novel is fabulous, and wants to meet him for a drink. He agrees. Then never
shows up. She realizes what has happened, and becomes numb in the realization that her own selfishness has destroyed her real dream.