18 March 2006
Payback. I love this movie. Most people wouldn't even put it in a top 100, let alone top 20. But this film is just perfect to me. The art style, the tone, the characters. I can watch it over and over again. Mel Gibson is ruthless, the bad guys are slick and each has a great deal of character. If a Quentin Tarrantino script were directed by someone that understood how to make movies, his films would LOOK like this.
Instead, Quentin has the 'Pussy Wagon.'
But, it could be argued that without Resevoir Dogs, Payback can't get made. And there's certainly some truth there. But the difference between Tarrantino and all his copies (Boondock Saints, Suicide Kings, Be Cool, Showgirls) is something called an art director.
See. In movies, an art director gets to make sets, pick colors, help with design, costumes, and shots. In Matrix, for instance, all the little bullet shells and spots of blood and crumbling walls are all Geoff Darrow's handiwork. He's an amazing illustrator, so when he gets to work on a movie, he adds touches that the audience may not even CARE about, but certainly work on a subconscious level to evoke "freshness" for the viewer.
The movie has slick big black american cars, rotary phones, velvet paintings on the wall, silk robes, revolvers (instead of magazine fed pistols), big watches, $10,000 suits, and aligator-skin suitcases.
I think Mel is certainly the strongest actor in the movie and he plays the "I don't give a crap" character very well. Mario Bello is always great. She says a lot with her eyes. And Gregg Henry is luke warm as the villain you have to hate. Lucy Lui is fun in this film as a S&M expert and you can never go wrong with James Coburn or Kris Kristofferson.
But my favorite actor in this movie is David Paymer. David Paymer's performance is so good, it makes me wonder if it's the writing or his ability as an actor to do something fresh with the "weasel" character. Totally underrated actor, in my opinion.
You should agree.
And of course the movie has two dirty cops, a token shot of the Chrysler building in Chicago, and a tortue scene with Mel Gibson showing us one of twenty ways he knows how to scream. Make whatever South Park reference you want.
One last thing. Tarratino bad-asses talk a lot and don't show much (Kill Bill bucks this trend). But Payback shows a bad-ass that is all action... the style is an afterthought. "Stop it. I'm getting misty." is a perfectexample of how Mel spends very little time chatting you up and more time staring you down.
QUOTE 1: GSW. That's what the hospitals call it. Gunshot wound. Doctor has to report it to the police. That makes it hard for guys in my line to get what I call, quality health care
QUOTE 2: The problem with kicking a Chow's ass is an hour later you wanna do it again.
QUOTE 3: He doesn't want to talk. He just wants to get himself beat up, that's all.
13 March 2006
Old Boy. Without hyperbole one of the best movies I've ever seen and certainly the best in 10 years. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.
I need to buy a thesaurus, that's how great this film is.
Min-sik Choi stars as Dae-su Oh and Chan-wook Park directs. And I know these names mean nothing to you right now; but they are John Woo and Chow-yun Fat 10 years ago.
These guys are going to be huge.
The Koreans are doing things with films that no one else is doing; sets them YEARS ahead of everyone else.
Daring young directors. Imagery and stories we'd never conceive of.
There's a fight scene in this movie that you have never witnessed before.
I refuse to say anything else.
See it on my recommendation alone.