THE DESCENT - Neil Marshall - UK - 2005
This movie is heavyweight professional grade horror built with plenty of money and plenty of talent and no pathetic CGI. It is very much in the 28 DAYS LATER postal code. In terms of pin-your-ears-back content, it impinges on ALIEN real estate. No, of course it does not have the artistic value of ALIEN. Nothing does. But it works hard, it works fast, and it closes solid. This go round was my 4th viewing (estimated). I do not pick it up and lose interest. When it starts, it finishes. For whatever it might be worth, I have never gotten close to finishing THE SHINING. Not being in awe of Kubrick has something to do with that. Is Neil Marshall better than Stanley Kubrick? Of course not. Not even close. What Mr. Marshall has ably demonstrated is how to helm a movie and stay within yourself. There are identifiable ways in which Mr. Kubrick never
learned that lesson. Netflix pigeon holes THE DESCENT as "Cult Movie, Cult Horror Movie" and its rating is given as 2 1/2 out of 5 stars. Bushwa. Perhaps Netflix assumes that the movie's target demographic overlaps nicely with the readership of TIGER BEAT. No, Netflix, bad dog. This is serious, adult horror. In the world of unalloyed horror films, it is top drawer. At 85%
, rottentomatoes strikes well within the gold.
Return View (again)
This movie is a medicine for melancholy.
BLEEDER - Nicolas Winding Refn - Denmark -1999
I have long thought that the PUSHER films, especially the first, were Refn's best work. BLEEDER is better. BLEEDER is 10 times the movie THE NEON DEMON is. This is because BLEEDER is so strong and THE NEON DEMON is so weak. Refn should have stayed with what he knew, urban grunge. He knows this world inside and out. PUSHER 1996, BLEEDER 1999, PUSHER II 2004, and PUSHER III 2005 are a more worthy body of work than all the rest of his later films combined. Camera work in BLEEDER is gorgeous. BLEEDER stands above its PUSHER brethren in my estimation because of a narrative centered around people closer to the mainstream of society, less the pariahs and predators of the PUSHER world (and the temptation of the director to poeticize their motives and responses). There are characters in this 1999 movie that I believe. I do not doubt that there do exist persons such as those in the PUSHER series, but they are the kind of people who do not watch movies. Kim Bodnia is excellent as ever. Mads Mikkelsen is so much more effective than the Tonny character of PUSHER because of the narrative and structural authority given his character. Mads does fine, fine work here. The cast draws heavily on the PUSHER cast, but utilizes these actors to define different, more complete, characters and situations. Right now, if someone asked me which Refn film was his best, I would not hesitate. I do not anticipate that this evaluation will change.23 photo BLEEDER screenshot FLICKR album - Lo Res / Not Consecutive