Full of low-key interesting choreographic touches on Edwards’s end. Dave Kehr called the movie “raucous,” and that’s about right, but the movie is also, somehow, tedious. It overplays the bit. The improvisation is fun, but the overall energy is somehow still dim. Nothing ricochets; it all keeps flaming out and dragging on. The fake war segment is fun.
Wish this blu-ray had dropped earlier in our ASIB/Vox Lux watercooler discourse, so that none of us would have had an excuse not to shut the fuck up. And the rape scene is still one of the most jarring and uncanny of its kind known to cinema, in my book—a real rebuke to the childish, boarish impolitesse, or otherwise to the completely toothless correctives therein, of so much else being made then as now. Terrifying, destabilizing, with the most rigorous intentions.
I like this movie quite a bit, but why do people keep lying about it?
It’s clear that the problem with this movie is that Bradley Cooper—lead actor, director, co-writer, co-producer—has pushed himself so far into its center that he doesn’t seem to realize he’s not actually supposed to be its star. Buddy, you’re pretty much here to be a tragedy—not even a heroic fuckup, really, but a painful liability. And so many of the film’s other perceived flaws—anti-popness, especially—proceed…
Some of the critiques of this movie have prompted me to give some thought to why we accept and dutifully seek out nuance in Eastwood and Spielberg's aesthetic and ideological conservatism but consistently dock women and POC filmmakers for not living up to some radical ideal we dreamed up to reject our classical forefathers.
Yes, it is a movie mired in and pitched to a distinctly conservative attitude — just like the nation the movie is about, and undoubtedly for…