Branden William's Profile - Rotten Tomatoes

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Rating History

Pickpocket
Pickpocket (1959)
5 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

The art of picking pockets. A story about luck, confidence, and becoming "professional" in one's occupation, whatever that may be. Upon working the subways as a small-time pocket picker, the protagonist meets his mentor and soon studies the tricks of the trade. This is an extraordinary film, depicting the criminal as an art form; an ordinary man with the same hopes and dreams as anyone else. The camerawork is masterfully shot, as various close-up shots of pocket watches, hands, and the pickpocketer's marks creates a documentary-like collage pertaining to the art of pick pocketing. The viewer is placed in the middle of the scene as though one is riding the crowded train along with the gang of thieves. The pickpocketing scenes are so perverse they are almost sexual. In a Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment-like fashion, the protagonist commits crimes in order to fill a spiritual void, and to hopefully realize his dreams-- those dreams which are momentarily devoid of any morality whatsoever, as the protagonist goes through a transformation,
from the material to spiritual.

Belle de Jour
Belle de Jour (1968)
5 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Luis Buñuel, the greatest voice in surrealist cinema, has a unique style and technique as a filmmaker: the always-revelatory interrogation of dreams, the magisterial triumph of mad love, and as in all of his films, the 'systematic derangement of the senses' professed by Rimbaud. In the world of Buñuel, dreams rule one's thoughts; they send one plumbing the depths of consciousness, in pursuit of the unknown. In Belle de Jour, Séverine lives in an almost fictional reality, attending the brothel as work during the afternoons, and living a bourgeois conventional life at night. She is soon torn between both realities, as waking life and dreamless sleep begin to merge and confuse one another, to the point of madness. Marcel is one of Buñuel's most unforgettable characters, colorful and poetic in appearance. His gangster suave, flamboyant dress, and ruthless personality are packaged so perfectly well by actor Pierre Clémenti, that it truly makes him one of the most interesting characters in cinematic history. Before there were gold grillz and rappers with platinum caps, there was Marcel. My golden cap is proudly inspired by this film and the character of Marcel as well. 'Belle de Jour' is one of Buñuel's greatest and most accomplished works: true Art in the highest sense of imagination. Ranked within at least my top ten favorite films of all-time.

Cold in July
Cold in July (2014)
22 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

An outstanding piece of Southern pulp fiction. An independent B-Western revenge flick unlike any other in the genre. A tale of home-invasion, exploitation, and the Dixie Mafia make for the most unpredictable mystery.

Kill the Messenger
22 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes

A dream film for conspiracy-history advocates, we are told the story of drug lords Oscar Danilo Blandón and Norwin Meneses Cantarer and how they setup Freeway Rick Ross while on the CIA payroll. Or in other words: how the crack epidemic began in Los Angeles. Based on the book, this film tries to relay the facts in a timely manner, however most of these films are better off as documentaries. We all know the story. This is its fictional account.

The Gambler
The Gambler (2014)
22 months ago via Rotten Tomatoes
½

Despite negative reviews, I found The Gambler to be a phenomenal modern take on Dostoyevsky's novel. I just think that most people don't understand where the protagonist comes from, hence the negative reviews. The gambler receives a sense of escape, a sense of exaltation from being both less than and greater than the ordinary man. At the same time, he is both scum and he's a genius. And it's not so much that he wants to lose and place himself in greater danger, but he wants to place himself in a state beyond his own control. In the hands of the universe. I find myself doing this all of the time, so I really related to Mark Wahlberg's character in this film. I'm not a Wahlberg fan, but this was the best film I've seen him in by far. Fantastic stuff.