Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Elle

Image result for elle 2016 movie isabelle humpertDamn fellas, Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct, Starship Troopers) has still got it.  This creepy sexy thriller about a woman (Isabelle Huppert (Heaven’s Gate)) who launches a solo investigation to find the identity of the man who raped her one afternoon is prime Verhoeven material (and even has some stink of Joe Eszterhas (Jade, Showgirls) but he wasn’t involved at all).

Huppert is so strong in the lead as a confident successful owner of a video game company.  She refuses to let this agonizing incident ruin her life by attempting to carry on as normal.  But her attacker keeps sending her dirty messages, masturbating in her house while she’s not there and even goes for another rape.  She has to figure out who this monster is and stop him.

Image result for elle 2016 movie isabelle humpertWhat adds to the strange atmosphere of the film is that we find out our protagonist’s father was a murderer who killed many children in their neighborhood.  He’s been locked away in prison for a long time but the past is frequently dragged back to the surface with people giving Huppert dirty looks and throwing garbage on her.  So she doesn’t know if the rape is part of this national hatred towards her family or if it’s completely unrelated.

There’s a lot of weird ass psychological shit to dig into as per usual with Verhoeven.  And of course he knows how to build suspense and create nervous knee tension.  You’re still the fuckin’ man Paul.  Keep on keepin’ on.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

A Ghost Story

Image result for a ghost storyA Ghost Story would like you all to slow down and smell the roses for a moment.  Take in a deep breath, examine your surroundings, go to a place in your mind where you can meditate.  You know, like ponder life and the universe ‘n shit.  What does it all mean to you?

I know that sounds insufferable but I’ll give the movie some credit for exploring the headiest of heady ideas in not the most pretentious way (still kinda pretentious though).  Casey Affleck (Triple 9) walking around as a ghost trapped in his former house watching many different people live there over the years, including his windowed wife (Rooney Mara (Song to Song)), does make you think beyond yourself.  It does help to give perspective to your own existence and how meaningful or meaningless that may make you feel.  If you step outside yourself does your life and everything in it seem more precious or less precious?  These are all good notions to grapple with and the movie mostly doesn’t shove it in your face that this is what you should be thinking about, or ask: why haven’t you thought about this you selfish asshole?

Image result for a ghost storyHowever, I do have an issue with the scene in the middle of the picture where a guy at a house party spouts his own theory of the universe and tries to sway the audience.  I think if this were done as a conversation between two or more individuals with some back and forth it might’ve worked better.  Instead this guy basically delivers a monologue making him look more smug than smart.  Really I would’ve preferred if this scene were cut entirely and people were left to come up with their own philosophy of what the film presents to you.

Aside from the message/themes there are a bunch of pretty visuals throughout, especially the old fashioned sheet with two eye holes cut out ghost look.  It’s a touch creepy but sad too because the holes droop a bit and you know that a human soul is stuck under there that can’t do much of anything.  The filmmakers were successful in making the sheeted ghost sympathetic and real but also distanced from humanity.

You need to have patience with these ghosts and their stories.  They’ve got nothing but time on their hands so they’re in no hurry to lay something on you.  But if you’re willing to turn off the outside world for a moment and let the movie wash over you it can be rewarding.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Brawl in Cell Block 99

Image result for brawl in cell block 99Pretty incredible action thriller about a drug runner named Bradley Thomas (Vince Vaughn (Domestic Disturbance)).  He gets busted, goes to jail and is then blackmailed by a mob dude to kill some asshole or they’re gonna mutilate his unborn baby. 

In order to reach the target Bradley needs to get transferred out of medium security prison into maximum security prison.  He immediately fucks up a bunch of guards which does the trick rather efficiently.  Now that he’s in the new joint he needs to get to the very scary cell block 99 that’s reserved for the absolute worst of the worst.  It’s a prison within a prison as warden Don Johnson (Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man)) calls it.  If Bradley wants to prevent the bad guys from severing his fetus daughter’s limbs then he’s gotta get in there.

One of the smartest things writer/director S. Craig Zahler (Bone Tomahawk) does is take the time to build up Bradley’s backstory.  The movie starts with him getting fired from his tow truck driving gig and then coming home to discover that his wife (Jennifer Carpenter (Seeking Justice)) has been cheating on him.  He’s had enough and can’t play by the rules anymore so he goes to work for his cousin as a drug courier.  Eighteen months later he’s making a shitload of money and he and his wife are expecting a baby and seem truly happy.  So going through the ups and downs with Bradley makes his ultimate downfall fucking heartbreaking.

Image result for brawl in cell block 99This one plays like a Greek tragedy.  The story feels big yet intimate at the same time.  Bradley must journey into hell like a valiant warrior to free his family from the clutches of evil.  At each turn he has to battle crazier and more difficult foes who attempt to thwart his mission.  And the deeper he ventures, figuratively and literally, into the catacombs of the prison he gets farther from reality and who he used to be.  It’s horrific how bad the conditions get with shit clogged toilets, glass shards covering the dirt floor and a belt he’s forced to wear that induces crippling electric shocks at the push of a button.  It’s also outrageous how violent Bradley gets with the folks that cross his path.  Let’s just say that a lot of heads get, uh, sorta smashed.

You gotta check this out.  It’s very Refn-esque with the level of viciousness, the fantastic characters and an elevation of the material through excellent storytelling that only a few can pull off.  If you’re a fan of badass cinema get yourself to the brawl.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Any Given Sunday

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Oliver Stone’s (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps) tale of hard knocks football is something I want to love very badly.  It’s a great story about how fucked up the game is for so many people, there are great characters like the cocky yet loveable “Steamin’” Willie Beamen (Jamie Foxx (Law Abiding Citizen)), there’s great attitude with an unflattering take on the sport while simultaneously glorifying it, but all of this is unfortunately destroyed by extraordinarily shitty editing.

There’s also some miscasting that’s distracting.  Al Pacino (The Panic in Needle Park) comes off more like a cranky dad armchair quarterbacking than an actual head coach for a major football team.  With his tiny size you know he never played the game when he was younger and because he delivers his lines in kind of a theatrical showy way you don’t believe for a second that he’s really knowledgeable about the topic.

The other miscast actor is Denis Quaid (The Big Easy) as the Miami Sharks’ star quarterback.  He was 45 in real life at the time which is a little too old for the role.  Most quarterbacks are retired by the time they’re 40.  And I know that Quaid’s character is supposed to be at the end of his career but he just physically looks too old.

Image result for any given sundayNow I could overlook a couple of questionable casting decisions but what I can’t get past is how Oliver Stone and four fucking editors (Stuart Levy (Foxcatcher), Thomas J. Nordberg (U Turn), Keith Salmon (Lightning in a Bottle), Stuart Waks (Days of Thunder)) chopped this sonuvabitch up.  There are so many cuts that it’s hard to focus on what’s happening.  But then there’s really on the nose shit too like when Pacino and Foxx are arguing with each other about Foxx’s career there are shots intercut of the sky clouding up quickly building towards a storm.  Get it?  Their relationship is hitting a rough patch you dolts.  Or when Foxx gets put in as quarterback for the first time he gets so nervous that he throws up on the field and the film cuts to a sped-up aerial shot of the stadium with the camera shaking all over the place, plus fifteen other various things.  Whoa this is some crazy shiiiiit!  You think the picture can’t possibly keep up this frantic pace for two and a half hours but fuck me, it somehow does.  I mean each individual shot is good and actually nicely setup and everything but when they’re strung together like someone dumped all the footage into a meat grinder it becomes a chaotic viewing experience (in a bad way).

Add in the fact that the NFL didn’t want to have anything to do with this movie so the filmmakers had to use fake team names and that makes the whole piece feel illegitimate and grimier.  Plus several characters get shortchanged and could’ve even had their own film like linebacker Luther Lavay (Lawrence Taylor (Shaft (2000))) who’s one injury away from paralysis but keeps on playing because how the hell else is he gonna support his family?  This isn’t LL Cool J’s best work either (he did the more fun, although equally outrageous, giant killer shark movie Deep Blue Sea the same year).  You put all this together and you definitely start to have more problems than you want.

Image result for any given sunday dennis quaidBut the weird thing is this could be the most realistic football film ever made.  All the shit about the doctors not being forthcoming with medical results because of pressure from the team owner, players putting their lives on the line because they desperately want to reach a quota so they can earn their bonus, coaches dealing with cocky albeit talented players, drug and alcohol abuse, painkiller dependence, immense stress to perform and win, objections over the future direction of the team and etc.  The picture covers a lot of ground which is impressive.  It just does it in the messiest way possible.

I dunno guys.  Any Given Sunday is flashy and certainly entertaining all the way through.  There aren’t lulls that the picture gets caught in, it simply doesn’t have time with so many storylines.  All the shit off the field is definitely better than any of the real football playing, but all the best composed and prettiest shots are of the dudes out on the gridiron doin’ their thang.

This is a tough one.  I do love it but it’s kinda fuckin’ annoying too.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Handmaiden

Image result for the handmaidenChan-wook Park’s (Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance) newest joint is about four fucked up people in 1930’s Korea.  Sook-Hee (Tae-ri Kim) and Count Fujiwara (Jung-woo Ha) are in cahoots to scam Lady Hideko (Min-he Kim), rich heiress to a gold mine, out of her fortune.  Sook-Hee poses as Hideko’s handmaiden (personal servant) while nudging her towards the Count by leaving the two alone together and saying shit like “since the Count arrived your cheeks have grown flushed”.  So once the happy couple elope and the cash is in hand they’ll throw Miss Moneybags in a mental hospital to get her out of the picture indefinitely.  And things go according to plan at first but suddenly there are some major twists that throw everything you thought you knew out the window.  (Incidentally, the fourth fucked up person is Hideko’s “Uncle” (Jin-woong Jo) who bought her when she was a couple of years old and kept her confined to the huge mansion they live in.  More on him later.)

Of course this story is way better if you don’t know anything so I strongly encourage you to not read up on spoilers and tell people to back off when they start to babble about it.  But have no fear because this will be a spoiler-free Talkin’.  Unfortunately that makes this nigh impossible to thoroughly dig into.  Shit, I guess I should’ve thought this out beforehand.

Image result for the handmaidenWell one thing I know I can safely point out is someone made a really awesome sexy thriller in modern times.  In fact as sexy thrillers go I’d say this is one of the best ever.  You have a seemingly simple setup with well developed characters but as the movie progresses shit gets complicated and they all eventually reveal how far they will go to achieve happiness, which is the central message?  Don’t know but these folks sure do some crazy ass scheming to get what they want.

So the thrills are bountiful.  Sook-Hee and the Count are playing a dangerous game because if they get found out by the Uncle he’ll hunt them down and kill them.  He’s not the most understanding guy.  On one hand he appears to keep to himself mostly and may come across somewhat sophisticated with his lavish manor that includes a library containing thousands of books and scrolls.  However if you look a little closer all these texts exhibit a certain characteristic but it’s best if you don’t know just what that is yet.  Anyway, he’s trained Hideko for years on how to read properly so he can show off his collection to a privileged few and have these rich assholes bid on the literature.  He sees Hideko as a prop, an instrument to tell his stories more than anything else.  See?  I told you he was fucked up.

Also, Sook-Hee was raised on the streets to be a pickpocket and a thief so she knows how to fuckin’ play people.  This is some nice background because it gives a reason why the Count would recruit Sook-Hee for this operation.  So you better believe she uses her skills throughout the film to her advantage.

Image result for the handmaidenAnd as cool as these thrills are they only comprise like a third of the picture.  There’s so much more that happens that you’re gonna flip over, I promise.

But what about the sexy shit?  Oh man, they deliver on that too.  The Count is all pretend hot for Hideko so he’s got his hands all over her even though she’s ambivalent about the situation.  Then there’s the Uncle who is obviously attracted to Hideko and would love to bone her but as far as we know he’s never acted on his urges.  These are both fine features in the story but there are two elements that make for interesting developments.

First of all Sook-Hee and the Count are not into each other.  They have a strictly business relationship which was good to see for a change.  Normally they would fall in love with each other and there would be the classic triangle between Sook-Hee, Hideko and the Count but thankfully not here.  You see Sook-Hee goes along with the Count’s plan because she’s promised a cut of Hideko’s fortune when it’s all over.  Her interest is purely monetary.

The second item though is Hideko and Sook-Hee start to have feelings for each other (ok fine this is sort of a spoiler, but a minor one compared to all the rest).  The lesbian angle is something you rarely see in movies so this is much appreciated.  They give each other looks, mostly Sook-Hee, and there’s so much damn sexual tension between them you can’t believe they’re restraining themselves.

Image result for the handmaidenIn addition to all the sex and thrills the performances, cinematography, set and costume design are outstanding.  The world this takes place in is lush with lots of beautiful dresses, scenery, large elaborate sets, elegant camerawork and spot on editing.  Really excellently put together.

So there you…sort of…have it.  I can’t recommend this one enough.  Like I said before, what I discussed here isn’t even half the fuckin’ film.  It’s so rare to get a big budget sexy thriller these days and goddamn, this is actually good too! 

You know what?  I’m so moved that I’m gonna bring out the ol’ sex sum up thingy I used to do with those couple of spotlight runs of erotic thrillers from years ago.  Let’s give it a try.

Sex Scenes: Two and a half, and a half.  The first half is for a masturbation scene (with a fucking knife!) and the second half is for a sex scene that starts but cuts away before going full on.

There’s also an attempted rape scene but I definitely do not count that shit in any way.  That’s fucking despicable.

After Sex Scenes: Half.  We see the aftermath of a previous night’s session and it ain’t pretty.

Strange Cameos: Everyone in this are Korean actors I’m unfamiliar with so I got nothin’, sorry.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Point Blank

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Shit, don’t cross Walker (Lee Marvin (The Dirty Dozen)).  If you happen to rip him off after a routine robbery on abandoned Alcatraz Island and shoot him and leave him for dead he will come after you for sure.  He wants what’s his.  He wants $93K.  So promise me you won’t ever do that, ok?  Good.  Thanks.

But there were a couple of stupid bastards who didn’t do such a thing.  Friend Mal (John Vernon (Ernest Goes to Camp)) and wife Lynne (Sharon Acker (Happy Birthday to Me)) think they’ve gotten away with an easy score.  Mal needs the money to settle a debt with some sort of organized crime outfit so he takes Walker’s share.  Lynne doesn’t love Walker anymore and decides to go along with the double cross.  When Walker recuperates he focuses like a laser beam on looking for these two so he can claim his money and be on his way.

The beauty of this story is the simplicity.  It truly is only about the money.  Walker never expresses a desire for revenge.  If he gets some pleasure out of beating up and bullying the scumbags he comes across we’re never clued in.  It’s weird to imagine but I suppose if Mal gave him the $93,000 immediately the movie would be over in like fifteens mins.  Of course it’s not that easy.  In fact it seems impossible.

Walker has to go up against not only Mal but the entire syndicate that’s backing him.  He works his way up the chain to get to the heads and shows them the same level of insolence and impatience he would to any low level asshole.  He slaps them around, shoves a gun in their face and plainly states in the first ten seconds upon meeting them that if he doesn’t get his money he’ll kill them.  He doesn’t take shit from nobody.

Image result for point blank 1967This is such a badass character but the thing is he’s not terribly interesting.  The combination of knowing so little about Walker and his robotic single minded approach makes him seem inhuman.  He even uses his sister-in-law as bait to get at Mal with little regard for her safety or feelings.  Afterwards she tells him “you died at Alcatraz alright, goodbye Walker” and he barely gets out a hurried “yeah, goodbye” before coolly moving on to his next target.  Walker’s driven but that’s pretty much all he is which is a shame.  They could’ve given him a touch more personality and it only would’ve helped.

With that said Lee Marvin is fantastic in the role.  He was born for this one.  His hulking build and weathered face are perfect for someone as humorless as Walker.  Marvin’s searing stare and stoic performance are really what make the character fun to watch.  You can’t wait to see him shoot a mean ass look to the next guy he encounters and watch that sucker squirm.

However I do have to say I’m not totally into the arty way this picture is sometimes edited.  Director John Boorman (Deliverance, Exorcist II: The Heretic) may have felt he had to make up for the incredibly straightforward plot by using lamenting voice over, characters staring off into space or aimlessly drifting around a room and cutting in different, and sometimes alternate, shots of other scenes at various points like Walker’s dreaming.  And maybe that was the intent, like this is Walker’s dream of revenge as he lays dying.  I prefer not to believe that though because the it-was-all-a-dream stunt is such bullshit in movies.  It’s a cop out.  Stand by your vision filmmakers.  It isn’t explicitly stated either way in Point Blank but still, the editing gives a fantasy hallucinatory tilt to the whole thing and I don’t think it needed that.  What’s even more frustrating is this technique isn’t used consistently either with heavy employment during the first and last thirds and leaving the middle of the film relatively normal.

Image result for point blank 1967So what should be one of the best most grizzled action thrillers ever made and a slam dunk recommendation becomes muddied by stylistic choices and perhaps an attempt to elevate the material.  But look I’ll give it to ya point blank, I definitely think you guys will enjoy it because the plethora of badass shit is undeniable and inescapable.  Actually, it’s a must see.


As an aside this is based off a book called The Hunter by Donald E. Westlake which was the first in a series featuring the protagonist Parker.  Payback starring Mel Gibson (What Women Want) was the second film adaptation.  I re-watched that to see how it holds up and to compare to Point Blank.  It’s not great but not too terrible either.  They go for a surprising amount of jokes that aren’t very funny and the villains are even bigger slimy assholes than in Point Blank.  Although they did give Porter (this version’s Walker/Parker) some emotional background and made him less of a Neanderthal at times.

Image result for payback mel or lucy 1999Brian Helgeland (42, writer: L.A. Confidential) wrote and directed but had the project taken away from him during editing.  He put together his own cut called Payback: Straight Up which is better than the theatrically released version.  The pace is tighter, a lot of the jokes are cut out and the entire third act plays out differently including a simpler and more satisfying ending.  If you haven’t seen Payback you aren’t missing anything but if you’re curious then try to seek out the Straight Up version.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Mish Mash 14 (Boomerang, Wind River, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Killing Zoe)

Boomerang

Image result for boomerang 1992What a funny and touching forgotten gem in Eddie Murphy’s repertoire.  It’s about a player who gets played.  Murphy does whatever deceitful action he feels necessary to get a sexy woman into bed and then tosses them aside like a pair of socks.  So naturally when he falls in love with the lady who takes over his position as head of marketing for a cosmetics company she (Robin Givens (Blankman)) turns out to be just as cruel as he is when playing with people’s emotions.

There’s real good drama with Murphy’s job dilemma where he faces possible termination.  He also gets pressured by the figurehead of the new company, who’s a much older woman (Eartha Kitt (Ernest Scared Stupid)), to sleep with her if he wants to keep his job.  And there’s some…dare I say it?…cute romance stuff like the brief fling David Alan Grier (Freeway 2: Confessions of a Trickbaby) and Halle Berry (The Last Boy Scout) have.

The highlight though might be the incredible cast of wacky side characters.  Tisha Campbell (Martin) plays Murphy’s neighbor who’s so apoplectic over his deplorable behavior that she hopes he gets a disease where his dick falls off, Chris Rock (New Jack City) in an early role delivers the mail in the building where Murphy works and steals the show every brief moment he’s on camera, John Witherspoon (Friday) is Grier’s embarrassing father who shows up to Thanksgiving in a mushroom patterned suit and I already mentioned the unsubtle seductress Eartha Kitt.

Image result for boomerang 1992Martin Lawrence (Bad Boyses) and David Allan Grier play Murphy’s best buds and their dynamic is great together.  While Murphy is the suave one, Grier is the awkward shy one and Lawrence is the brash extrovert that sees racism in everything.  And while this is meant to be funny as he even thinks the game of pool is racist with the white ball dominating all the other balls, especially the black 8 ball (this theory is fascinating actually), his outlook is justified when they’re all confronted with an asshole white dude in a high end clothing store who thinks they’re gonna steal shit.

Image result for boomerang grace jonesBut definitely the funniest part of the whole thing is Grace Jones (Vamp) as the French fashion icon StrangĂ© (pronounced Strohn-jay).  She’s in your face, crass (to use one of the movie’s favorite words) and committed to bringing cosmetology to its knees.  At a pitch meeting she throws out names for her new perfume like “Steel Vagina” and “Love Puss”.  Her TV ad for the perfume is her in a crazy ass enormous wood weaved dress stomping the ground with her bare feet while giving birth to the new fragrance bottle in some apocalyptic caveman setting (!?).  The character is one for the ages and Jones plays her perfectly.  She has a natural mystique about her that fits so well with this tacky yet brilliant giant in fashion.

So if you want a nice romantic comedy that has a touch of outrageousness to it this should fit the bill.


Wind River

Image result for wind riverThis thriller about a hunter/tracker (Jeremy Renner (Arrival)) and FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen (Avengers: Age of Ultron)) that team up to find out who killed a teenage girl is pretty ok at best.  There’s nothing here you haven’t seen before and what’s there isn’t done exceptionally.  This is a bit frustrating because modern day stories about crimes on Native American reservations, particularly those of rape and murder, are something that really need to be told.  The laws are apparently so convoluted in terms of jurisdiction and authority that the crimes become very difficult to investigate properly and litigate thoroughly.

Image result for wind river 2017I applaud the film for taking up this topic full on and for shining a light on something that I’m sure most people have never thought about, including myself.  But unfortunately this isn’t a great film.  It’s too much of a by-the-numbers predictable mystery picture.  Taylor Sheridan wrote this (he also directed) and it’s not as good as either Sicario or Hell or High Water.  I guess it should come as no surprise that those aren’t the best either.  I’ll still keep giving Sheridan shots though.  Hopefully he’ll get better.  I mean hey, at least someone’s out there writing thrillers which we could certainly use more of.

But what I would really like to see is a movie (any kind of movie) involving Native Americans without a white lead or the intervention of white characters.  Those have to exist out there, right?  I goddamn hope they do.  Can anyone point me to a good one?


Spider-Man: Homecoming

Image result for spiderman homecomingI got so burned out on superhero movies a long time ago but the reviews for this Spidey were very encouraging so I wanted to see it.  Plus besides Batman Spider-Man is the only other superhero I really dig.

And man this was fun.  Just a lot of damn fun.  Surprisingly they went for pretty much a straight up comedy with some fairly well done superhero action thrown in.  From what I gather this is supposed to be the most faithful representation of Spider-Man done to date and even though I’ve only read maybe one comic book of his in my life this seemed accurate.  Somehow on a gut level it just felt like “oh yea right, this is how the character’s supposed to be”.

Image result for spider man homecoming michael keatonEveryone was cast well, especially Tom Holland (In the Heart of the Sea) in the lead, and the mix of comedy and huge spectacular action with characters flying around doing impossible shit was well balanced.  But most importantly this one has heart.  It didn’t feel like they’re simply churning out yet another Marvel movie because they have a quota to meet.  They really did a nice job.  Give this one a shot even if you think you can’t stomach another comic book picture.  You’re in for a treat.


Killing Zoe

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Seedy underbelly urban crime thriller, fuckin’…a-alright?  Ok, that’s a bit harsh.  The thing is this one had been brewing in my mind almost since it came out in 1994 and I’m just getting to it now.  The bar was set high with Roger Avary, Quentin Tarantino’s old buddy who co-wrote Pulp Fiction and True Romance, writing and directing his first feature.  It doesn’t have quite the finesse I was expecting.  Instead it feels like what it is, a movie frantically written in two weeks because Avary lied about having a script concerning a bank robbery when he didn’t.

The scenes are a little too disjointed where Avary seems to keep running into a brick wall and has to insert a new element into the story to get himself over the obstacle.  He probably didn’t map out the entire plot before starting to see how things would fit together and it shows.  Although it’s remarkable the film works as well as it does which is a testament to how talented Avary is as a filmmaker.

Image result for killing zoePutting the uneven storytelling aside there’s plenty of cool shit in here to sink your teeth into.  The idea of two pals who haven’t seen each other in a long time doing a boatload of drugs and robbing a bank is fantastic.  Eric Stoltz (Anaconda) does a nice job as the smooth calm safecracker new to Paris.  He looks very comfortable in the role and that confidence is impressive.  Jean-Hugues Anglade (Maximum Risk) as the mastermind behind the robbery is the star of the show though.  He doesn’t give a fuck about anything or anyone including himself.  Like he’ll impulsively pull Stoltz’s prostitute (Julie Delpy (The Three Musketeers (1993)) out of the shower and toss her out of the hotel room buck naked and then later shoot heroin in the middle of a club.  And of course he has no qualms about killing folks that get in his way.  A total maniac if there ever was one.

Image result for killing zoeNow there’s the typical pop culture references and quirks you would expect like Captain America, Nosferatu, Billie Holiday and our motley crew having a penchant for Dixieland jazz, but it’s not overabundant like in a Tarantino picture.  There’s enough to give some personality but not so much that it becomes a defining trait.

So overall it’s a good first effort.  It would’ve been interesting to see what Avary would’ve come up with if he had continued directing more.  Anyway, you’ll probably like it.