Uncut Gems - Sandler Gambles on the Safdie Brothers

Terrific movie with a tight cinematrography and sound design. Performances were great all around - which is especially neat given that some of the actors involved have few or none prior acting credits.

I thought the way they went about Kevin Garnett’s part was a clever choice. Usually, famous sportsmen are either a brief cameo with some awkward acting or it’s a comedy that riffs on the public persona of someone, i.e. someone with a family-friendly image turning out to be a foul-mouthed asshole or vice versa. Kevin Garnett being a version of himself that has personality and an agenda worked out nicely while also adding a strange layer of realism.

Sandler was mesmerizing to watch indeed, but I’d give the second big nod to Eric Bogosian whose character was decently layered - and he had the acting chops to pull it off. Loved every single scene he was in.

I know this got some awards, but it certainly got snubbed when it comes to some big ones.

I guess this is a good film and I hated it. So loud, so obnoxious to watch, with people who are just all so shitty it is annoying to watch them. The ending was nice and deserved but it didn’t make me think wasting over 2 hours of my life on this were worthwhile.

At least there was that Gigi Agostino blast from the past during credits.

This was terrific, and agonizing to watch. I thought I was through the worst of it when the auction feel through, but nope!

A couple stand-out things:

  1. Eric Bogosian. Holy crap. Late in the movie he was in the background with this expression that was so tortured and astonished at what was going on. I wasn’t 100% clear on his relationship–I know he has family… was he Howie’s brother in law?

  2. The soundtrack. What a ballsy choice for this movie. I don’t know why they thought this skeezy NYC tragedy needed a Vangelis-alike (but with a choir sometimes?) score, but it was magic.

  3. The ending. Rough, but fitting. I just did not expect that last gamble, or it to play out how it did. Crazy.

Guess I have to watch Good Time now?


Oh yes! lt is as good as Uncut Gems. Feels like a ride on a roller coaster as well.

Also, regarding the blurred question in your message, the answer is yes.

Thanks, Buckaroo.

I just watched the trailer for Good Time, and I can’t believe that everything that seems to be happening in there actually fits in a 1h 40m movie!

In somewhat related news:

The movie actually left me the same impression. lt’s a sprint of 100 min. Not much time to breath. Although it is a vastly different movie, l had a similar sensation watching Victoria. Both movies are kind of suffocating to watch, and both describe chains of events l can relate to, things l know happen in real life. And even though Good Times hasn’t been shot in a single take at all, retrospectively, that’s somehow the way l remember it.

On a side note, a friend told me afterwards that Robert Pattinson was famous for having been in some popular teen movie, which l didn’t know. His film choices make a lot of sense to me now; he seems to be deliberately choosing his roles carefully to break his image. Probably following the Leo blueprint there. l saw him in three or four movies, and l think he’s just great in all of them! Good times being the best so far.

That’s such a perfect comparison, Buckaroo. I adore the intensity of that film and its brilliant central performance! :)

I know it’s veering off the mark but I tried to watch Victoria last night … hadn’t heard of it before and thought it might be worth a watch. Unfortunately I couldn’t take more than 45 minutes or so of it. I understand it’s a slow burn about the journey of someone whose thousand little decisions end up careening out of control but after 45 minutes I just couldn’t convince myself the payoff would be worth it. Not much dialog, not much character progression, not much plot… ack!

I am going to watch Uncut Gems and I’ve also seen Good Time recommended a couple of times by a video reviewer on Youtube so I suspect I’ll watch that.

We tried to watch this last night and just gave up at the point where they drive to Philly. It is just bad on many levels. Are we supposed to feel sympathy for this guy. He is an asshole and a loser. No sympathetic characters in the film. Whole thing filmed in shaky-cam. Music is awful. Plot is stupid. Character behaviors are stupid. We turned it off.

We watched it last night.

I see what it got praise for, Sandler depicts this manic self destructive idiot with aplomb.

But it really was a very well made film about a bad person self destructing for two hours.

I didn’t ultimately care for it.

Also The movie has a very limited vocabulary, mostly variants of ‘fuck’. I mention this because it was actually detracting from the movie just how pervasive it was.

My wife and I watched this a couple of months ago. I started off strongly disliking it and suggested we try something else, but my wife wanted to stick with it, and I’m glad we did because it turned out to be great. It’s definitely in-your-face from the off with characters that are not easy to like, but it was fascinating getting to the bottom of what made this guy who he was. It was ultimately quite affecting.

Oh I don’t deny that as a piece on Sandlers character it is well made. It just was not a movie I found enjoyable to watch

It’s not really supposed to be enjoyable. It’s supposed to be tense and exhausting.

Finally watched it. Damn that was dark. It didn’t take me too long to figure out how this was going to end. He literally fucked over everyone in his orbit so it was inevitable that someone would eventually get tired of his shit and take him out. Of course it happened when he finally hits his long shot but that was done just to make sure you got the message. Shit on everyone and someone gonna fuck you up, even if you get your big break. Exhausting is a good word for it. I didn’t really enjoy the movie, although I am not saying it was a bad film, it was actually a very good film. Not all movies are meant to be enjoyed, some are made to leave you disturbed and thoughtful. This is one of those. But it is certainly not a film I will ever watch again.

Watched this over the last couple of days. I agree with exhausting. I had to stop a few times and take a breather. Really interesting filming techniques.There are multiple scenes with characters talking over each other in busy spaces actually worked really well. There are so many amazing details that reveal just how tawdry Howie’s little world is. Interesting to build a whole narrative out of a malfunctioning security vestibule.

I have to say that I found the whole ending sequence a little far-fetched, but you can indeed book a Blade helicopter ride for a couple of thousand bucks. And Wayne Diamond is apparently just like that in real life. (I thought he was Michael Douglas in a wig and ridiculous getup.) Although the idea that Arno’s thugs would be so dumb really is beyond belief. They are 100% sure to get fingered for double murder and I thought that whole thing undermined the carefully-established credibility of the milieu that the Safdie brothers were creating.

People commit dumber murders on the regular. Criminals aren’t, as a class, usually smooth, calculating operators and thugs used to violence whose tempers are already high…

This and The Joker.

2019: the year of unenjoyable films everyone should watch?

(I have not watched them.)