Posts Tagged ‘obsession’

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Rush (2013)

Posted: February 1, 2014 in Joe Giambrone
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This is the trueish remarkable story of two grand prix race drivers.  John Hunt and Niki Lauda were entwined in an epic rivalry to win the 1976 world championships.

The story concerns competition, the good, the bad, the obsessive compulsive, the irrational.  Hunt and Lauda push each other further and further to succeed despite the risks.  In this case the risks factor in when driving conditions are poor due to rain.  The competition to win means they’ll need to risk their lives in conditions that maybe should be considered unacceptable.

Chris Hemsworth, without the shiny armor and hammer, retains his charismatic persona.  His playboy recklessness brings many laughs to keep the story light.  The two joust verbally throughout the film.

One problem that intrudes is that tendency to throw in all sorts of expository dialogue.  They keep explaining what would be unnecessary for the characters to hear, and it’s obvious.  It’s also pretty much expected these days, as in Josh Olson’s rant about Drive.

Still, the recreation of 1970s grand prix formula one racing is impressive and beautifully shot.  The stakes are high and nuanced.  There are plenty of worse choices out there.

4/5

 

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This contained mind-mash pits an opportunist against nature, as celebrity obsession enters the realm of disease collecting.  Meaning: fans buy diseases so that they can better imitate and commune with their celebrity idols.  By willingly infecting themselves in order to better worship their idols, fandom has created a new commodity to exploit.  Beyond simple exploitation, the competition to obtain celebrity viruses and to sell them on the black market is fierce and criminal.

Such is Brandon Cronenberg’s directorial debut, a small noirish thriller of blood, disease and the underworld.  People who are inclined to appreciate David Cronenberg’s films will probably respond well to the movie.  The story’s Cosmopolis vibe addresses capitalist ruthlessness and the depravity associated with marketing the world to the highest bidders.  With cultural criticism (assault?) rivaling films like Idiocracy and God Bless America, here we have a very subtle, tempered version of business as usual in an unusual racket.

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The market for satire, criticism and any kind of thought whatsoever is pretty small.  DVD reviews of Antiviral made clear that a lot of people didn’t get the movie, or care to.   I thought the film was well done and thought provoking, a lot more so than Contagion anyway.  Caleb Landry Jones is a fantastic actor, and he pushes it to the edge here.  The film carried a dark, creepy sensibility even in glaringly sterile white rooms.

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The arts are a strange affair, and one of my all-time favorite films, To Die For, is by the same director as my absolute least favorite film (Gerry).  I’ve complained previously about the latter, and Damon still owes me for my wasted time.  But Gus Van Sant was a living legend in 1995, when he pulled off the most gut curdling satire of media whoredom I had ever seen.

Spoilers

 

 

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