96 posts categorized "Romantic Drama"

October 20, 2023

DRIVE — SHOCKTOBER!

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ColeSmithey.comPlaying with a William Friedkin-like level of patient intensity, atmospheric style, and shocks of violence Dutch director Nicolas Winding Refn creates his own 21st century dialectic of cinema. Part love story, part black comedy, and part crime thriller "Drive" is a film-lover's dream. Hossein Amini's adaptation of James Sallis's pulp novel provides Ryan Gosling with the kind of cool-blooded character actors would kill to portray.

Known only as Driver, Gosling wears a trademark silver racing jacket with a big gold scorpion embroidered on the back. His curious fashion sense matches his singular motivation to drive...fast.

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Driver is a "five minute" man. For the right price he will navigate L.A.'s "100,000 streets" as a getaway driver. Whatever happens before or after his five minute work schedule begins or ends is up to the client. One thing is guaranteed; his escape will be clean. His clients' fates are less certain. During the day Driver works as a mechanic when he isn't performing driving stunts in Hollywood movies. When we see Driver dressed as a cop before filming a stunt, it's telling how convincing Driver is as an actor. The layers of Gosling's stoic Driver run thick and many.

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Driver's apartment neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan) snaps him out of his laconic loner routine. Irene has a boy named Benicio whose dad's release from prison is coming up. Such unnecessary exposition is mercifully kept out of the way of the mostly silent chemistry that passes between the would-be lovers. Careful and restrained, a romantic tension slowly builds. It crescendos with an elevator kiss in the presence of a hit-man. When Refn breaks the spell with a disgusting act of violence, every plotline and character line that has come before coalesces into a vortex of repulsed emotion. The lovers have a test. How much uncertainty can a new relationship withstand?

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To give anymore of the plot away would be a sin. Suffice it to say Driver is a man of secrets. He lives by a strict code that only becomes apparent through his actions. Driver isn't telegraphing anything. Still, he does have a temper.

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"Drive" is an impossibly glamorous and gritty film filled with nooks and crannies bursting with action goodness. Sam Peckinpah has clearly been a profound influence on Nicholas Wending Refn. Like Peckinpah — the genius filmmaker behind such classics as "The Wild Bunch" (1969) and "The Getaway" (1972)--Refn understands the menace of sensuality and the sexiness of machines. He knows how to exploit these cinematic elements for all they're worth. Hopefully, Refn will not be co-opted and degraded by Hollywood as so many gifted directors before him have been.

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The moody techno soundtrack by Cliff Martinez is the hippest thing around. Sexy, violent, and stylized like you can’t believe, “Drive” is a big-screen movie that oozes charisma and pops with brutality. Yum.

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Rated R. 100 mins.

4 Stars“ColeSmithey.com” SHOCKTOBER! KITTIESCozy Cole

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January 01, 2023

THE FABELMANS

COLE SMITHEY

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

Welcome!

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon





ColeSmithey.comNo one does populist pap like Steven Spielberg.

I say that in a good way.

"The Fabelmans" carries such rich generational, emotionally driven, '50s era touchstones to entertain and touch us.

Damn, this is a good movie.

Tearjerker.

This may well be Steven Spielberg's best film.

You couldn't ask for a finer swan song if that turns out to be the case.

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Michelle Williams is remarkable in her role as Mitzi Fabelman, a complex mother, wife, artist, musician, dancer, and free thinker.

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Seth Rogan has matured nicely, as displayed in his commanding performance in a thankless role that Rogan elevates to something important, inspiring, and real.

Cool man. Nice work.

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Which brings us to Gabriel LaBelle, the hotshot rookie actor showing off his stuff with serious feeling, timing, and physicality.

Impressive.ColeSmithey.com

Gabriel LaBelle is the new Dustin Hoffman.

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Gabriel LaBelle is Spielberg's not-so-secret asset to this very satisfying movie about movie-making toward different motivations and skills.

I would be remiss to leave out the always wonderful Paul Dano, handling a difficult role with perfect mastery.

Beautifully understated and profound is Dano's rendering.

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Steven Spielberg and his ensemble had a lot of fun making this exquisite movie, and it shows in every frame.

"The Fabelmans" is a memoir imagined. It is an important artistic achievement that wears its heart on its cotton sleeve.

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At least someone still knows how to tell a story on film.

Cheers to Steven Spielberg for this full-on masterpiece of the seventh art.

Rated PG-13. 151 mins.

5 Stars“ColeSmithey.com“

Cozy Cole

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March 23, 2022

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

ColeSmithey.comGroupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

Welcome!

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon



ColeSmithey.comPeople ain't no good.

Writer/director Emerald Fennell makes quite a splash with this steely black comedy.

Predatory guys and the people who protect them get the business end from Carey Mulligan's diabolical mistress of revenge.

Red kisses.

Get back cupid.

These arrows kill.

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Cassie (Mulligan) is a martyr through and through.

Fennell's pitch perfect dialogue stings as much as the clever plotting in this indy gem.

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You'll squirm, you'll laugh, and you'll feel messed up at the end.

Frat boy mentality goes straight to hell.

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Ice is the only thing in the world that is what it's cracked up to be.

Romance this.

Rated R. 113 mins. 

5 StarsModern Cole

Cozy Cole

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