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Archive for July 28th, 2019

by Sam Juliano

Right now I can’t help but reference this song from Steel Pulse featured in Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing:

Otherwise, it is business as usual under the air conditioned interiors as we approach the dogs days of August and the lead in (can you believe it?) to another September and school year.  I will turn 65 in four weeks, and like all others in my predicament I can only ponder where the time has gone.  But heck, why even consider pouting, we must enjoy the time we do have and the things left to negotiate.  This past week Jim Clark posted a stunning essay on Claire Denis’ 35 Shots of Rum and J.D. Lafrance waxed lyrical on the 1996 blockbuster Mission Impossible.  

***SPOILERS***) All the pre-viewing signs were there. Glowing advance reports, Oscar hyperbole, universal acclaim at Metacritic with a 54 favorable, 4 mixed and 0 negative consensus including nearly ten 100 grades, one of which was posted by the ever-discerning SLANT magazine. Yet this nearly 3 hour opus was seemingly sure to disturb many with its mise en scene set in and around the locale of the depraved Manson family murders of 1969. As an insecure fading film star Leonardo DiCaprio is dynamic as is Brad Pitt as his buddy-buddy stunt double. The two men establish a winning camaraderie during the hippie era, chain-smoking regular and acid cigarettes, driving around the era’s cars which glide by neon signs at a time when counter-culture was moving in. The film is nearly three hours long but you can’t feel it, and Tarantino provides a visceral intensity to a bloody finale that far eclipses what Scorsese gave us in “Taxi Driver.” Historical revisionism has never been so satisfying when the director gives the middle finger to the cretinous Manson followers and extreme violence has never taken on such hilarity in execution and dialogue. The flame thrower is a particular gas. The supporting cast is exemplary in this black comedy extraordinaire.  Tarantino’s stamp was all over this film in every way, shape and form. (more…)

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