Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

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tehthomas
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#26 Post by tehthomas » Tue Sep 24, 2019 3:40 pm

This seems like it could be loosely based on Jacob the Jeweler.. awesome.

quim_font
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#27 Post by quim_font » Tue Sep 24, 2019 3:43 pm

This is getting quite the buzz, have to think the Safdies can move fully into big-budget filmmaking now. The proposed remake of 48 Hours makes perfect sense.

The casting in this does have a bit of marketing gimmick feel to it, but, hell, if it works, more power to them.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#28 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:16 pm

I think the casting does work really well — even beyond Sandler, who has already demonstrated that he can be successful in more demanding roles. Garnett in particular is perfect in his limited screen time, and the Safdies’ typically excellent casting of non-professional actors and unfamiliar striking faces is as stellar as you’d expect. This movie is going to be very divisive, but it won’t be because of the performances.

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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#29 Post by quim_font » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:31 pm

Yea it’s the casting of Mike Francesca that strikes me as the most contrived, The Weeknd is playing himself at least.

Happy this film grants everyone the requisite “Sandler is actually a good actor!” remark as if that’s a controversial opinion. Seems like we do this every five years or so.

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The Elegant Dandy Fop
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#30 Post by The Elegant Dandy Fop » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:44 pm

I was a Safdie fan from the moment I rented The Pleasure of Being Robbed back in 2010 off that old IFC Films DVD when they were still mumblecore adjacent. It's funny to see them get to the point where they're making a film with big stars and still being allowed to do personal films about the world they've been near while doing carnivalesque casting choices (Mike Francesa??). I loved Good Time, which was a big contested film among many people in my life as a lot were either tired of seeing another film about New York or found it to fetishize poverty. But I found it to be an interesting experimenting in genre conventions and refracting them through the glass of post-mumblecore American cinema where characters are often insecure and sloppy. This looks like a major leap for them and working with a DP like Darius Khondji was the right choice to advance their films.

Small anecdote, but I saw the Josh Safdie and Robert Pattinson get yelled at during a screening of Electra Glide in Blue when Safdie attempted to take a picture of the film's long final shot.

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Persona
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#31 Post by Persona » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:04 pm

As something of a Safdies fan, I have been really looking forward to this and if I had never seen Good Time that trailer might have me pretty amped, but as it is I just find myself thinking that it looks a lot like Good Time but not as... well, good.

I certainly hope I'm wrong. The trailer sells me a film that might have that same energy and perhaps more humor, but missing that very potent streak of melancholy that ran through Good Time from beginning to end--that was the counterbalance to the kinetic energy, that was what made that film not obnoxious but instead something powerful. That element feels like it is missing from what I am seeing in this trailer.

And I'm not really seeing a leap in the filmmaking, either... sure, it looks a bit more polished in some ways, but it feels very much of the same fabric as Good Time yet not as inspired or maybe it's simply that I've seen this exact aesthetic mold from them before.

I mean, it's just a trailer, and the word of some of the people who have actually seen the film is encouraging, but the first trailer for Good Time gave me legit chills and here I just find myself thinking, "Hmm, looks like Safdies and seems like Sandler and Garnett will be good."

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mfunk9786
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#32 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:19 pm

Persona wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:04 pm
as it is I just find myself thinking that it looks a lot like Good Time but not as... well, good.
Image

Peter-H
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#33 Post by Peter-H » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:47 pm

This movie will be screened at NYFF on October 3rd .

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whaleallright
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#34 Post by whaleallright » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:49 am

Persona wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:04 pm
I mean, it's just a trailer
You could have saved a lot of typing and left it at this.

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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#35 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:11 am

I have watched it several times this week, so suffice it to say I am hyped for this. I have not seen the Safdie's other work so I may well rectify that in the mean time. I remember when Sandler was attached to the Jamie Foxx role in Collateral and was fascinated at the idea of him changing gears of him doing an urban thriller after Punch Drunk Love. This is seemingly a fulfillment of that to a degree though through an entirely different character.

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Persona
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#36 Post by Persona » Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:12 pm

whaleallright wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 2:49 am
Persona wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 6:04 pm
I mean, it's just a trailer
You could have saved a lot of typing and left it at this.
People react to trailers on here.

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Cronenfly
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#37 Post by Cronenfly » Sat Sep 28, 2019 5:31 pm

Sandler is great in this. I think I still like Good Time better (it’s rawer and more compressed), but by any other standards this is a very fine movie. Now that I’m over my initially way too high expectations I look forward to seeing it again. Bogosian is most welcome, and the guy who plays his main henchman (it’s his first role I believe) is phenomenal. The Safdies do such a good job casting their films, and this one is no exception. I should have seen the ending coming but it is still shocking, I rarely get jolted like this by a movie so I think that’s a sign of something special. The trailer gives a pretty good indication of the breakneck pace; I don’t know if it is quite as relentless as Good Time but pretty close I think. Also continues that movie’s critique of white male privilege in a more upscale register, which is most welcome.

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Black Hat
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#38 Post by Black Hat » Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:47 am

Not sure if I wrote about it here or not, but I didn't like Good Time at all. Admittedly this was partly do my bias in reference to how the film was marketed, it's not a New York movie. It's about the provinces and eastern territories. That said there were lots of good stuff to appreciate, the pacing and editing especially which kept the tension high at all times.

Uncut Gems on the other hand I'm inclined to say is a near masterpiece. At first you're not really sure what the fuck is going on and it almost gets to the point of frustration, which you later come to realize had to be that way. It's rare for a film to build up with every snooze moment of the first two acts coming back to explode unexpectedly in the third with the deft execution of a samurai sword. You could see why it took them 10 years to make this thing and production wise went in an entirely different direction than their other movies. Sandler's in almost every scene, maybe he is? He buzzes around with the energy of a fly trying to escape a swatter with the level of disorientation explored to its max by the number of angles the shoot him from. KG is in this a lot more than you'd think and is shockingly good, the film doesn't work without him. Mike Francesa pops up, it's more than a cameo, but it may be the only part of the film where you wish you had more. The female lead, first time on screen, is very good and compliments Sandler well. She has a bit of a Rosie Perez type charisma, if she was Irish and from the Bronx.

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DarkImbecile
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#39 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:04 pm


ianungstad
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#40 Post by ianungstad » Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:14 am

Is this not getting a theatrical release outside of the US? It looks like here in Canada and the UK it's going straight to Netflix in January. :(

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whaleallright
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#41 Post by whaleallright » Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:00 pm

I seem to recall that b/c Sandler is contracted to Netflix, the deal set up for this picture gave Netflix foreign distribution rights, hence the "premiere" on that service outside the US...

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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#42 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:26 am

Makes a lot of sense, especially since A24's stuff goes to Amazon (in the US).

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#43 Post by therewillbeblus » Wed Dec 25, 2019 3:18 am

Well this was Gambling Addiction: The Movie, and I don’t mean that in a reductive or pejorative way. Everything from the mannerisms to the plotting are oozing with tension, anxiety, and questionable decisions based on priorities that hinge on an idiosyncratic internal logic that defies any logic present in a peripheral scope. Even aspects that seem to have nothing to do with addiction really do if one extends the foundational symptoms of the personality out to the waves of destruction Sandler commits against himself and others with resilient manipulation and chaotic force as he can’t prevent his own instinctively impulsive continuous movement from countless point As to Bs, while his executive functioning resides in a space of planning, scheming, and obsessing about The Big Scores way off in the distance of Xs, Ys, and Zs. Like California Split, which might be the best movie about addiction primarily because of the sobering implications revealed in the anti-catharsis at the end, this film understands that (and how) the addict lives on the endorphins of the chase and not actually for the achievement of any endpoints in goals or dreams, which are only mirages of fulfillment. I think I liked Good Time a little better minute-for-minute, but this was another mostly nonstop frenetic joyride of adrenaline through a more fleshed-out world foreign to me, and one that I want to keep that way. After two phenomenal dramatic performances, Sandler will finally get his Oscar nom, and it’ll be well-deserved.

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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#44 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 11:08 am

This is a phenomenal picture, and the thing that propels it above tentpoles of this milieu like The Gambler (my personal favorite representation of gambling addiction on screen) or Hard Eight is the propulsive approach to the filmmaking, which immediately manages to put the Safdies in the short list of the most exciting filmmakers alive - something I didn't expect this quickly if ever. Good Time was a good film that never quite lived up to the level of tension it could have delivered, so I expected that this could be similarly deliberate (the middle of that film, with Pattinson laying low, and the penultimate sequence in the apartment, are just a bit too inert for what they could have been had the plot packed on a few more surprises).

So imagine my thrill when it turned out that Uncut Gems feels a bit like being waterboarded, the level of second-hand stress sometimes seeming capable of making a sphygmomanometer explode. What the Safdies do so well outside of stellar NYC casting choices is create both small and large moving pieces early on that later pop up like whack-a-moles - "did Howard pawn X to Y? Who's that guy, and why does he need that back? Oh MAN, I remember... oh no!" - all of this has a cumulative effect that takes the viewer way down into the shit, and when the final artistic flourish occurs it feels like that "when you nut and she keeps sucking" meme (sorry, it isn't the most highbrow thing I've ever committed to this forum, but it does), and I left the theater vibrating like a tuning fork. A film I cannot wait to rewatch 100 times between now and the time my life becomes unprofitable. Who knew this decade was going to save one of its best for last?

Speaking of phenomenal pictures,

Image

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therewillbeblus
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#45 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Dec 26, 2019 1:02 pm

One pitch-perfect writing choice by the Safdies regarding addiction that I’ve been thinking about since my viewing is
SpoilerShow
Sandler’s preoccupation with his health juxtaposed with his self-destructive addictive behavior. It’s no coincidence that we see his age as 48 during the colonoscopy that opens his introduction, two years before the age when most people undergo that procedure. He’s proactive about colon cancer, thinking ahead to the future and motivated to live. And yet his behaviors in the throws of addiction act against every ounce of self-preservation a person can have. At the end, Sandler opens back up the door, which even under the best of circumstances is going to be consequential. You can’t expect to fuck over gangsters that hard and get away with it. But Sander is blind to this, he’s unable to think about the future, living only for the present high, and pays the price for that lack of self-preservation skills as a symptom of his addiction. The choice to present such cognitive dissonance is genius, precisely because it reflects most addicts’ profiles: the abandonment of skills and values subconsciously through the overpowering mechanisms of addiction.
Also, no film has ever presented the experience of watching a sports bet (specifically basketball) so well. It’s the most anxious sport to bet on, in my experience, because of the constant back-and-forth, and produces the most ‘highs’ and ‘lows,’ an addict’s dream. The final ten-fifteen minutes watching the game was as authentic as it gets and showcases a similar set of skills from the tension of Good Time applied to new territory, on the opposite side of the spectrum of ‘control’ (that film was about holding onto it in a milieu that stripped Pattinson of all control, while this is about a man taking control for the very purpose to relinquish it as he so chooses and giving up all opportunities for safety while the former’s quest is to achieve such a precious state). This isn’t their first rodeo with addiction (Heaven Knows What is another accurate depiction) but the Safdies have different aims woven through their last three pictures, and deserve credit for their versatility even if on the surface some may incorrectly assume they’re making the same movie based on their “gritty” style and flair for relentless momentum. I loved this when I saw it the other night but it’s only growing in my esteem and may be their best film. If not, it’s so close it might as well be a tie, but Howard would probably give a 500-word impassioned sermon on why such a diffusion of competition is not only irrational but sacrilege to the meaning of life, so I may as well declare this their current masterpiece and look forward to their next film with even more anticipation than this, which itself feels impossible.

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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#46 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 1:15 pm

SpoilerShow
Ultimately, I think it's his riding his adrenaline too high that is his undoing - were he to have buzzed those guys to the outside instead of inside his shop, surely cooler heads (along with some extra money for their trouble) could have kept him alive. Instead, he decides he'd rather take one more risk by embracing the opportunity to gloat to people who are probably going to, at worst (he thinks), beat the shit out of him for keeping them locked up in a hot vestibule for three hours. By winning the bet, he's solved all of his problems, so unless he creates a new one that's as heightened as possible, that high is going to give way to (god forbid, to those addicted to gambling) a feeling of status quo very quickly. The thrill of gambling on this level is the feeling of not knowing what is going to happen, or worse, knowing that you've just lost and have to scrape your way back to survival. To the Safdies' credit though, the film could have just ended with Howard bailing himself out of the situation and that would've been just fine - though a bit of a betrayal of the reality of what makes someone like Howard tick.

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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#47 Post by therewillbeblus » Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:24 pm

SpoilerShow
Yeah that’s what I mean about extending this addiction out to gambling with every element of one’s life, up to and including that life. There is no finality to this lifestyle but a need to be keyed up to 11 always. That’s why the ending to California Split is my favorite, because after the biggest win ever there’s only numbness in apathy and this ‘highest’ point for the gambler becomes the addict’s “bottom” as Segal sobers to the absurdity of his addiction in this ironic emptiness he feels in the superficial success. Howard doesn’t have a moment of clarity and has his problems up close and personal behind a glass door so a chance to create more is within arm’s reach, an opportunity which he fatefully embraces on instinct as his disease, personality, and existential pull of will power, or the absence of such power, demands.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#48 Post by mfunk9786 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:25 pm

Sounds like I have to watch California Split

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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#49 Post by swo17 » Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:36 pm

Yes, you do

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domino harvey
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Re: Uncut Gems (Josh and Benny Safdie, 2019)

#50 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 26, 2019 3:02 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Thu Dec 26, 2019 2:25 pm
Sounds like I have to watch California Split
I mean, only if you like movies

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