Da 5 Bloods
On the Record
I May Destroy You
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Really, really stupid plot and 2 hours I'll never get back. The first 19 minutes are one long, interminable, really, car chase. More wrecks than the Blues Brothers. Nothing succeeds like excess, eh? Not here. It gets boring.
I was sad to see Ryan Reynolds squandered on such a turkey. I give it 2 1/2, but really the stunt folks should get 4 or 5 out of 5. They did a stellar job.
I don't understand the low numbers for this one. A bit predictable plot, sure, but the casting is great. All the characters come through. Star of the show, to me, is Kristen Schaal who is a comedic genius in my book; part Carol Burnett, part Bernadette Peters. Loved her in Flight of the Concords and loved her in this one.
The writing is pretty good and they manage to make a fire-plug stud of a leading actor (name eludes me) pretty good. If they had these good writers 30 years ago Arnie would have been much better.
Where do I start? 2 1/2 stars is unfair: I'd give about 4 for the cinematogrraphy; beautifully shot and really, really beautiful horses. I'd give about 2/5 for the writing. It starts with faux Shakespeare and then kind of forgets that and wanders into cliche. And the plot. OMG, the plot - put High Noon, Jane Got A Gun, and The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (mostly the latter 2) and Paladin (a TV show - look it up) into a blender and VOILA! you've got this movie. So cliched in its plot that I wondered why they didn't tie a damsel down on the railway tracks.
And the historical context: a black senator? In the late 19th century? War crimes? There was no such concept until about 1945.
BUT: it was shot in letter-slot format and I really respect that. And most of all - what's not to like about Miro Sorvino, Wes Studi and...most of all...Bruce Dern? Damn, I'd take 1 1/2 hours of dreck for 5 minutes of Dern. And that pretty much balances the karmic scale on this one.
So: if you like good actors trying to make something of a terrible script and western cliches, this is definitely for you.
I think 2 stars is a bit brutal. I thought the background plot (evil billionaire Bill Murray trying to launch a weaponized satellite in cahoots with the U.S. military) too simplistic and obvious) but the triangular-ish love story was interesting and, at times, nuanced. The final scenes with a) Cooper playing off Krasinski and b) Cooper watching McAdams' daughter dancing were really quite well done. I always feel a few good scenes can almost redeem a movie.
And, hey, who can hate ANY movie shot in Hawaii?
Shoots for noir, comes up gris. Simply doesn't make the grade and comes very close to becoming a satire or send-up of the whole noir genre. If you want that period for noir, watch L.A. Confidential. Far, far better.
I know Scarlett Johannsen is sooo much better an actor that I have to assume the buck stops with Di Palma, the director. Josh Hartnett comes off ok (just ok, I guess) but the voice over, again trying to be noir, is stilted and stagey. Hard to even know where Aaron Eckhart comes from in all of this; you don't know until the last 2 or 3 minutes. It's like an NBA game, as they say; don't bother with the first 46 minutes of regulation play; just watch the last 2 minutes.
No, seriously: watch L.A. Confidential instead.