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Author Topic: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper  (Read 10702 times)

jdc

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #240 on: November 05, 2020, 05:02:26 PM »
An Alien review  :)
I always enjoy reading people's views of Bad Boy Bubby, you could call The Court Jester a palate cleanser afterwards

Some catching up on this thread.. but I always thought Bad Boy Bubby like an enjoyable version of Being There
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“The direct use of physical force is so poor a solution to the problem of limited resources that it is commonly employed only by small children and great nations” - David Friedman

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #241 on: February 23, 2021, 04:31:06 AM »
Sorcerer

This was a blind viewing. I knew it was a Friedkin film, but outside of that I didn't know anything about it. This made the first 51 minutes of the film a bit of a wonder. We're in Vera Cruz. Okay now we're in Jerusalem, now we're in Paris, and New Jersey... and eventually we arrive in some jungle where some of the characters we've been introduced to earlier seem to have ended up. Why here I wonder? I never really understood that part. Why this particular miserable spot? These men are all on the run, but surely they could have found a more comfortable spot to hide out. What makes a formerly wealthy crooked French banker end up here of all places? How does he even know it exists?

In any case, they seem to all be piss broke and living in a perpetual state of sweat and filth, eating terrible food and generally just having nothing positive in their lives, and seemingly no way to escape their situation. At one point one of the guys talks about trying to get a plane out of there but after a year he's only saved about 5% of what it would cost to do that. Again it makes me wonder, why would he have landed himself in this particular place to begin with. As we see at the very end of the film it's not as though it was effective in keeping their pursuers from finding them.

So I found it all a bit shaky in the beginning, interest and logic wise. And the cinematography/editing I found it bland. Stiff wide shots of people moving about a space, sound design that always had too much echo and ambient rustling... I don't watch a lot of film from this particular decade so I don't know if it's typical. Day of the Jackal comes to mind. Occasionally it goes handheld but I just found that a mess. There were several abrupt transitions. I think the pacing is not building the kind of tension in me the film wanted it to.

When the journey finally begins there is a welcome sense of purpose introduced to the film. A goal. But like the roads they are forced to travel, I thought the experience was a bumpy one. This nitroglycerin which that are transporting... I really felt that the film would have been aided by inventing a more definitive means of depicting how close the substance was to detonating. Much like Speed is constantly cutting to the speedometer to show how close they are to exploding, I wanted a more clear idea of what it would take to blow these trucks up. The bump that does one of the trucks in doesn't seem any more severe than bumps they taken previously. While the idea of not knowing what it would take to blow the trucks up could be a source of great tension, I found that tension quickly evaporated since the drive is immediately quite rough and nothing happens. When it does blow it felt arbitrary, serving to maximize impact to the story, but not following any sort of physical logic.

Personally I found the cool soundtrack was used too sparingly. The best moments in the film were always the parts where the scoring kicked in and drowned out the environmental noise (the same is true in Friedkin's To Live and Die In L.A., imo).

I did appreciate that some aspects of the character introductions carried forward into the later action. The Jerusalem bomber character is later the one to come up the the rig to denotate some of the nitro and clear the road of a fallen tree (the best explosion of the film, of which there were many). The hit-man character later takes out three would be car-jackers. Roy Scheider is a good wheelman (in theory, though he did roll a car and kill 3 friends in his introduction...). I don't really know what to make of the banker. I wasn't able to see his utility play out in the story.

Overall I found it watchable but not quite the film to grab me. Friedkin can be extremely powerful but here I found the good moments too few. This is a very personal reaction though, and I imagine that the presentation here really hits the sweet spot for many. (I had no knowledge of Wages of Fear prior to watching this, or that it's plot is similar to this one... I only learned about it reading other reviews on this film). I don't have so much interest in this story, so I don't think I would ever seek it out.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 04:37:37 AM by smirnoff »

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #242 on: February 23, 2021, 06:13:01 AM »
Both Sorcerer and The Wages of Fear are based on the same book (The Wages of Fear). It is hard to find good in a film that does not connect to you and the first part clearly made that difficult for you to do. For me I saw this at the cinema and it just grabbed me and bounced me along for its tension filled ride. The earlier film The Wages of Fear did not connect with me as much. It has been a long time since I have watched it so I am having trouble commenting on the specifics of your issues regarding the editing and shots. It was the knowing the nitro could blow at any moment for an unknown reason that made it so tense for me. Seeing the nitro would not change that as it is not like a speedo with a clear breaking point, it is essentially random. The bridge crossing had me sweating.

In terms of how the men ended up where they were my assumption is they just headed to as remote a place as they could find. Then they got trapped there, a place easy to slide into, but hard to scramble out of there. Was it more mistakes, I don't know and in the end the reason is not needed for the plot. In some ways it a jungle version of Wake in Fright, where a bad decision traps someone in a hellish place (obviously in this case several someones)

Thanks for the review it had some great reasons for it not being a great film.

Thank you for watching the film.

smirnoff

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Re: Top 100 Club: Dave the Necrobumper
« Reply #243 on: February 23, 2021, 06:36:31 AM »
Both Sorcerer and The Wages of Fear are based on the same book (The Wages of Fear). It is hard to find good in a film that does not connect to you and the first part clearly made that difficult for you to do. For me I saw this at the cinema and it just grabbed me and bounced me along for its tension filled ride. The earlier film The Wages of Fear did not connect with me as much. It has been a long time since I have watched it so I am having trouble commenting on the specifics of your issues regarding the editing and shots. It was the knowing the nitro could blow at any moment for an unknown reason that made it so tense for me. Seeing the nitro would not change that as it is not like a speedo with a clear breaking point, it is essentially random. The bridge crossing had me sweating.

It is neat how genuine all that stuff looked. I guess they really did it. Even the less riskier parts of their journey with the road falling away, or wheels hanging over the cliff edge, it was good and gritty. I definitely can't fault the film for feeling like a genuine jungle odyssey.

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In terms of how the men ended up where they were my assumption is they just headed to as remote a place as they could find. Then they got trapped there, a place easy to slide into, but hard to scramble out of there. Was it more mistakes, I don't know and in the end the reason is not needed for the plot. In some ways it a jungle version of Wake in Fright, where a bad decision traps someone in a hellish place (obviously in this case several someones)

That's a good way to think of it.

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Thanks for the review it had some great reasons for it not being a great film.

Thank you for watching the film.

I'm sure it will stay with me. Cheers :)