With the release of 'Predator' looming I've gone back through Shane Black's filmography to reacquaint myself with his style. 'Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang' was a small low risk film that made very small ripples in the lead up to it's release. It had Robert Downey jr about to reinvigorate his career and Val Kilmer in his indie phase (The Salton Sea, Spartan, Wonderland etc check them out, they're worth it) and a breakout Michelle Monaghan. The script is tight, interesting, smart and genuinely funny. There's enough inside jokes to keep even a causal fan interested. The humour is relient on it's delivery rather than "wacky" pratt falls or "zany" characters. For a casual fan there's enough snappy dialogue to keep you invested. But you can look further and catch inside jokes to the film industry and some nice nods to classic pulp novels of the '30's and '40's.
And the best part is Val Kilmer, Robert Downey Jr and Michelle Monaghan. The chemistry is pretty damn incredible. It's the kind of film you wish had a sequel but you also don't want to ruin the magic. I just wish I could hear those voices together one more time.
And if you're like me and try to devour every last piece of a film there's a pretty engaging director and cast commentary. Val Kilmer has a running joke about name dropping that I thought was pretty great. I kept laughing every time he worked one in.
It's definitely my favourite Shane Black film and in my top 5 Val Kilmer movies. If you haven't seen it give it a go, you'll be rewarded every time.
Yesterday I finally got around watching Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" from 2012, and wow. What an experience this was. It's hard to describe the viewing experience. It was like I was watching something that I had never seen before, in all different ways. I have seen movies with a subjective and unreliable narration like Shutter Island or Memento; I have seen movies with ambiguous plot points like No Country for Old Men; and I have seen some other (unconventional) Paul Thomas Anderson movies like There Will be Blood or Phantom Thread. But never have I seen all these elements combined in one movie.
Hands down, Joaquin Phoenix's performance is one of the greatest, if not the greatest actor performance I have ever seen. And the conversation scene is hands down one of the best movie scenes I have ever seen.
Still, I was left kind of confused. I know that there are movies that you have to watch many times to understand, but I still thought that something was kind of missing. I did not completely get the catharsis, and when the screen fades to black and "The Master" appears, I did not know how to feel.
What do you think about Paul Thomas Andersons The Master?
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