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Only God Forgives

HeywoodRFloyd · 85 · 12122

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Reply #75 on: July 25, 2013, 11:28:01 AM
i thought it totally 'functioned on an entertainment level'. it was gorgeous, suspenseful, featured ridiculous scenes, characters and fight choreography, and a compelling sense of timing/movement in general. it adds up to a really neat little world. ultimately it wasn't really 'about' anything and felt unintentionally funny or gratuitous at times, but i had a fun time watching it. just don't expect drive 2 and you're good.


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Reply #76 on: July 26, 2013, 10:54:47 AM
I liked it pretty good. Probably other people have said that it feels like a dream/nightmare, but it does, and that's not an easy thing to do. It's not only due to the atmosphere, which I found really easy to sink into, due to the visuals, score, and pacing of the film, but also the way it follows dream logic. Or, perhaps, more like a delirious, jet-laggy, I've been up for 72 hours and can't fall asleep kind of logic.

Things happen but without a huge amount of weight. There's the suggestion that something terrible might happen, and then it happens, as if the thought of it happening was what caused it to happen, which is my experience of dreams. (If I see someone in a dream and think, "I hope he doesn't have a gun... oh god, he has a gun, doesn't he?" and then he pulls out his gun, and then I think, "I hope he doesn't shoot my mom," and then my mom shows up and he shoots her.) But then the next thing happens and there's the nasty feeling of the awful thing happening without the realistic consequences. I suppose what I'm talking about is dread, and that's what this movie's got.

This is also why Ryan Gosling not playing a character so much as a list of insecurities bundled in the shape of a man worked for me. And the occasional non-linear edits that briefly throw you off as to where in time/space/the story you are.

I also thought it was pretty funny. I guess one of the things that people have against this movie is that it's dumb (and it IS dumb), which is a problem for a lot of people, but I've never had anything against a movie being dumb because there's nothing about dumbness that contradicts my ideas about how cinema functions as an experience for me.


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Reply #77 on: July 26, 2013, 12:45:36 PM
matt. that was an amazing review, you actually changed the way i feel about the movie.


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Reply #78 on: August 03, 2013, 05:49:22 AM
You know what the problem is, films these days are downright labelled as pretentious etc. if it tries to change the form of storytelling. Imagine when Last Year At Marienbad came out, half the people gave it shit, half of them embraced it. 50 years on and now many embrace it. It's the expectation factor that plays a massive role during the release of a film, when it doesn't meet expectations we give it the thumbs down, but what is expectation anyway? If the story takes a turn that doesn't particularly fit your preconditioned mentality of what the film will be about, that is not the filmmaker's fault, it's ours. Sure I'm not saying people don't have the right to dislike it, it just seems everyone is writing it off asap. Like when the young boy in the film that has some kind of disability witnesses the murder, what is that saying about the film? I think to understand this film we have to understand Refn more, wasn't Refn dyslexic and colour blind? Didn't he watch a gargantuan amount of violent films as a child? Is Julian a cautionary tale for that child, aka any child? Born into a world witnessing violence. Didn't Refn try to kill his step-mother by pointing a gun at her but it wouldn't work? Is Refn saying that if he didn't have cinema as a medium to explore his tattered soul he'd probably be out there killing just like Julian? Is this Refn's most personal film? I don't know, these are half-ass conceived thoughts from one viewing. What I do know is that there is a plethora of elements that are being overlooked from this film by going in and expecting Drive 2. Anyway, justice will be served years down the line to these modern complex films that attempt at pushing the medium, just like Last Year At Marienbad. I for one will be revisiting this film to see what it's made of


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Reply #79 on: August 05, 2013, 10:33:58 AM
I liked it a lot more than Drive, but couldn't take Gosling seriously at all. He had this goofy grin on his face throughout the entire movie, I don't remember him being that distracting in Drive. But I liked the languid pacing of it, it never felt interminable at any point to me. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie is one of my favourite movies, it had a similar kind of pace to that. I feel I can really relax within slow films, like I'm really inhabiting their worlds. This felt like a world worth inhabiting to me.

Some of the violence did make me feel ill, though. I can't see myself wanting to watch it again for another 5 years at least. But certainly one of the best cinema experiences i've had in a long while.


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Reply #80 on: August 10, 2013, 09:35:38 AM
I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Had one or two gripes but it felt, looked and sounded like an awesome nightmare.


This doesn't really need to be said but I hope that Refn doesn't get scared away from making movies like this.

I hope his 'sex-thriller' with Mulligan is somewhat similar.

Also- there was something weird about the movie in regards to the violence. Some parts were incredibly intense, like very violent but at the same time it wasn't as grotesque as it could have been. You can't exactly say it was a tasteful useful use of violence but there was a decent amount of restraint at parts.


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Reply #81 on: August 11, 2013, 11:28:05 PM


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Reply #82 on: April 22, 2014, 06:26:37 AM

VFX breakdown. Very cool.


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Reply #83 on: April 22, 2014, 02:52:07 PM
so this was like a not fun version of The Raid 2?
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
- Buster Keaton


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Reply #84 on: April 24, 2014, 09:56:21 AM
Whaddya mean, it's totally fun if karmic retribution through brutal violence is your thing.