Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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Based on Jose Saramago's fascinating novella "The Double", Enemy asks two profound questions. First, what would we do if we saw our doppelganger, and second, if we chose to meet this individual, what ramifications would such a decision have on our life?
Jake Gyllenhaal plays both lead roles impeccably well, starring as Adam Bell, a Toronto area History Professor whose expertise in academia delves into the realm of government tyranny and the various methods governments use to control their subjects. Professor Bell leads a sombre life despite having a beautiful girlfriend. His sadness originates from an undisclosed source but increasingly one gets the notion it relates to his gut feeling that society is not what it appears. His mind cannot dispel the notion that he lives in a society controlled by some unseen powerful force with sinister motives. During several intense meetings the lives of the two doubles become intertwined.
Enemy has a surreal atmosphere, shot entirely with yellow filters, of a sprawling and dull suburban concrete landscape. This cinematography makes it feel like a puzzle, one that requires diligent solving by the viewer's imagination, akin to deciphering a series of polaroid shots taken years earlier.
Saramago's novella dealt with the theory that if a totalitarian government wanted to destroy one of their own citizens it neither had to kill him or imprison him. Far more effective would be to create an exact double of him, thereby eliminating his individuality. Enemy transposes this question to post-modern suburbia in a society fixated on escapism from its dreariness via sexual fantasy (one involving spiders).
While not a typical horror/terror film it has two of the most frightening scenes I've ever witnessed, including the ending which remained lodged in my brain for days.
Enemy is a well-paced convincing sci-fi thriller with a dominating performance from Jake Gyllenhaal in Director Denise Villeneuve's reminder that the most terrifying weapon we'll ever face in life is not a gun or a knife or the bulging bicep of a hulking brute, but rather an idea that buries deep into one's mind and cannot be easily eliminated.
A modern American bank heist film following two brothers who are robbing a specifc Texan bank's branches with Texas Rangers in hot pursuit.
I admire the director's reluctance to focus on car chases and shoot-outs, which must have been enticing in a heist film. Instead of the obvious he allows the actors to create their own tension by delving slowly deeper and deeper into the pressing question: Why on earth are they risking so much to rob this bank of small bills? Small, seemingly insignificant moments become monumental decisions. A brunch at a diner becomes a fork in the road when one of the brothers notices a branch of their despised bank across the road. Will they or won't they try to rob it in broad daylight?
The soundtrack, mostly country/rock ballads and guitar gems adds considerably to the experience. If you like this one check out Terrance Mallick's "Badlands".
The premise offers rich opportunities to comment on our current state of crony capitalism but this film fails to execute on its intentions deciding instead to choose the easy path and devolve into straight forward bloody mayhem. A nauseating experience unless you are into the mindless horror genre.
Late 70's suspense thriller about a young couple diving offshore wrecks in Bermuda in search of buried treasure. They find more than they bargain for. Really enjoyed Nick Nolte and Jacqueline Bisset in the leads. The premise sets the film up adequately and we see some pleasant scenery. The scuba diving scenes still hold up well after all these years. The second half of the film, however, disappoints with unconvincing plot development and a villain (Louis Gossett Jr.) who proves more threatening than resourceful.
Renowned for launching the Merchant-Ivory brand of cinematic productions. Magnificent scenery and settings serve as backdrop for the E.M. Forster story about a young woman trying to surpass the limits her Edwardian age society imposes on her. This film was all the rage upon its initial release. While it's effect on audiences may have dulled over the years due to the film's slow pace, there is always Helena Bonham Carter's radiant performance to admire. Cool and complicated, she creates a sophisticated character study of a woman born slightly before her time in the role that deservedly defined her career.
Daniel Day Lewis and Julian Sands complete the interesting love triangle that serves as the template for events. Those wanting action and adventure will likely be disappointed, but those with an open mind to travel to a unique place and time may be pleasantly surprised.