John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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The Russos couldn't have subverted our expectations in a better way. Simply, because they didn't give a hoot about our expectations. Instead, they gave us a a continuation of Infinity War with a most unexpected conflict. In other words, they went for the head; all we cared about are the stones.
They also proved that they understand every character in this universe better than anyone. They delved into their minds and hearts in a way fans ever hoped and fancied. They truly fleshed out our beloved avengers by showing them as more humans exactly as we felt about them at every important moment in every movie in the MCU. They convinced us that these characters really experienced these moments, and thus cared about them as much as we do. The incredible cast, who are at the top of their game, couldn't have complemented what the Russos did for their characters more perfectly.
Whilst the unique storytelling of Infinity War never feels "cinematic", I absolutely loved it with its epic quality and how I felt that I was flipping pages of a graphic novel instead of watching a movie. The Russos used once again the same exceptional style of narration here, except that, to my surprise, it feels as "cinematic" as it gets! I have absolutely no clue how they have managed to do such a thing, but what I know is that this made me realize that Infinity War is flawed, especially in this aspect, way more than I thought. Everything here works twice as good as it did in Infinity War ï¿ 1/2 1/2ï¿ 1/2 1/2ï¿ 1/2 1/2ï¿ 1/2 1/2 comedy and drama. Also, this made the fast pacing don't come at the expense of the cohesiveness of the story.
The movie did make it a bit easy for itself sometimes (and we can see that in certain decisions that some character took, and a couple of things that are quite perfunctory that they could have gone deeper with), but the movie also took three thousand risks that entangled itself in what could have an endless loop of nonsensical chaos only to serve the franchise's fans, and it did as good as it gets.
Few comedy films can be as tender and heart-warming as they are dark and cynical; fewer manage to shockingly wholly reveal their darkness and melodramatic core while still offering belly laughs. The Apartment wouldn't have the right to be dubbed a Comedy, if it weren't for Wilder's shrewdly light touch.
While I.A.L. Diamond's screenplay (co-written with director Billy Wilder) couldn't have dealt with its extremely heavy underlying themes (infidelity, melancholy, exploitation, oppression, loss of self-respect and indignity, etc.) in a both more subtle and brilliantly sophisticated way, it's Billy Wilder's astute and meticulous direction that made this film a very unique dark comedy that feels as if it was released today.
Any actor could have easily fallen victim to the dark and sad core of the story that deftly prevailed at some point, exactly as C.C. Baxter have been crestfallen when he realized that he lives in an oppressive world where everybody pursues his/her own self-interest. But Jack Lemmon, only through his eyes, injected pathos into the role when the movie took its very dark turn.
I have been always impressed by how Williams captures the heartbreak and emotional devastation in the climactic scenes of her movies. I bet that Michelle Williams has learned that from Shirley MacLaine! For MacLaine here delivered an astonishingly remarkable and complex performance as the likable Fran Kubelik, who has a lot underneath her cheerful demeanor. I won't give any details about her character, but it goes without saying that she is one of the most complex cinematic characters that can give you an impactful insight into depression. it's no surprise that Kubelik has influenced many iconic female movie characters.
A timeless comedy classic like no other, The Apartment is one of the absolute finest Best Picture winners that's pretty much perfect in every respect ï¿ 1/2" directing-wise, script-wise, acting-wise. I just hoped if it ends on a bit sadder note.
If it wasn't for Faye Wong's sub-plot, including the anime-esque Sci-fi sequences, I would haven't liked 2046. But it's the second half in general that changed my mind completely about the entire film. There are two main reasons I found the first half so underwhelming...
First, I felt that the character of Chow Mo-wan, played as usual by the great Tony Chiu-Wai Leung, is here nothing but a misogynistic scumbag. I was shocked that I found myself loathing this character even more than the purposely detestable character, Yuddy, from Days of Being Wild.
Secondly, and most importantly, is that the film simply didn't seem to be a Wong Kar-wai film to me. His poetic depiction of the themes of love and affection is totally absent here, and replaced with lust that's used as an object; not as a subject. And even the cinematography is so classy and filled with garish over-stylized visuals and colours. Nevertheless, the way Wong Kar-wai uses music to set the mood in his stories of lovers suffering from loneliness is still brilliantly evocative and poignant throughout the film's entire runtime, and as good as it was in all of Wong Kar-wai's film I've seen.
One of the of the highlights of the first half is the character of Bai Ling. Besides the fact that Ziyi Zhang delivered one of the finest performances here, I really found her character to be quite interesting character. And as much as the excessive sex scenes offended me; I liked the how intoxicating her relationships are, since they developed the character pretty well, and made it well-rounded.
The second half is otherwise a pure Wong Kar-wai magic! I was immensely worried that 2046 would be the second Wong Kar-wai film to leave me cold after Fallen Angels (which I like maybe even more than this), I finally found Wong Kar-wai's unique atmospheric mood at its most poetic. The overall theme of the film became completely clear, and I was really impressed by Wong Kar-wai's brilliant script, and how it managed to compensate for the uneven fake and sybaritic first half that I completely failed to be connected with on an emotional level.
The only thing that the second half didn't fix is that the lines, and some of the themes, Wong Kar-wai recycled from his other two films in his unofficial trilogy felt forced, and annoyed me with their lack of authenticity.
I liked its "mockumentary" style at first, its vivid and bold direction, the acting in general, and a couple of moments and few scenes scattered throughout the movie. Other than that, I think that Spike Lee's directorial debut isn't half as good as it's important and interesting. It's approach to the story is blatantly heavy-handed, it has tons of dull, repetitive and self-indulgent moments, a lot of pacing issues, a predictable ending, and the three main male characters are quite perfunctory and skin-deep.