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Posts Tagged ‘David Mamet’

Edmond

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

When we lost the great Stuart Gordon recently, I realized there were a few of his films I still hadn’t seen. It’s kind of nice, actually, to still have something left to discover. There’s a particular one that happens in space that involves truckers that I honestly have wanted to see since before it even came out, and somehow never have. It’ll be a few weeks before I can finally change that, because I decided to order a UK Blu-Ray instead of pay Amazon to stream it in standard def. But I wanted to watch this one first anyway – the one based on the David Mamet play.

Gordon and Mamet, if you don’t know, go way back. Long before RE-ANIMATOR, Gordon was doing envelope-pushing theater work in Chicago. He directed, at his Organic Theater Company, the production of Sexual Perversity in Chicago credited with establishing Mamet as a playwright, although there was an earlier one starring William H. Macy, who also stars in this movie.

Here he plays Edmond Burke, a dude who works for some kind of financial firm called Stearns & Harrington. He’s apparently had a bad day (his meeting on Monday got pushed back to 1:15 – WHAT IN THE LIVING GOD DAMN FUCK!?) when he heads home and, on a whim, stops to get a tarot reading. She tells him “You don’t belong here.” (read the rest of this shit…)

“The Unit” episodes 2.23 and 3.6 featuring Randy Couture

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

tn_couturecountdownlogoPart of the reason for my Countdown to The Expendables was to expand my action movie horizons. I didn’t want to just revisit movies I’d seen before, so I gave myself some rules: for each major EXPENDABLES cast member I wanted to review a movie I’d never seen before. Not just one I hadn’t reviewed or hadn’t seen in a long time, but one I had no experience with at all.

But with Randy Couture this is a problem, because he doesn’t have 50 movies to his name like Gary Daniels. (read the rest of this shit…)

Redbelt

Monday, May 19th, 2008

If you’ve seen anything by David Mamet then you know it’s kind of surprising (and awesome) that his new movie is about Brazilian jiu-jitsu. I even heard rumors that it was a straight ahead kickboxing movie like BLOODSPORT, and when the opening credits had Japanese drums like Christopher Lambert’s THE HUNTED I was about ready for the rebirth of action cinema. But this is really not an action movie. Anyone who goes in looking for that might be disappointed like the guy who wanted his money back when I saw GHOST DOG. Maybe not quite as much – there’s not alot of poetic shots of birds flying or long scenes of dudes driving around quietly contemplating. But this is not BEST OF THE BEST 2008, it’s definitely a David Mamet movie. Slowly unfolding plot that could go in any direction, narrative that respects the audience enough not to spell everything out for them, an intricate con, macho dialogue, magic tricks, Ricky Jay, Joe Mantegna, Mamet’s wife, songs by Mamet’s wife. I was hoping William H. Macey would show up as some retired kickboxing legend, but maybe next time.

The best thing about the movie is Chewetel Ejiofor. He plays Mike Terry, the instructor at a small, struggling jiu-jitsu academy, and a total fucking badass. He has some ties to bigshots in competitive mixed martial arts (or “karate potpouri” I believe they prefer to call it) but he doesn’t consider competition fights to be honorable, so he won’t do that even when he needs the money badly. It’s best to just let the plot fall into place, it’s not exactly high concept. But I will say that it involves some coincidence, a broken window, some lies, and some sleeper holds. (read the rest of this shit…)

Spartan

Friday, August 24th, 2007

SPARTAN is named after some quote from Leonidas, so yes it sort of has something to do with 300. Or maybe David Mamet is really into John Spartan, Stallone’s character from DEMOLITION MAN. Either way, this is a gritty thriller where Val Kilmer plays a badass special ops agent from a nameless government organization who investigates the disappearance of a high ranking politician’s daughter. (It seems like it’s the first daughter, but I think they leave it ambiguous.)

The movie feels much less Hollywood and more realistic than any other of its type, but at the same time you have to accept some pretty crazy shit. I’ll just say it: “the girl,” as the agents all call her, is mad at her dad so she whores herself out at a brothel one night and then, coincidentally it seems like, she gets shipped off to a white slavery ring in Dubai. I say coincidentally because they don’t know she’s anybody’s daughter. They just like her because she’s blond. (read the rest of this shit…)

House of Games

Monday, January 1st, 2001

Well this is one of those pictures you would call a hitchcockian type thriller, and yes that is named after Alfred Hitchcock. But one difference is that this is NOT directed by Hitchcock, it is the director debut of Mr. David Mamet.

In the opening scenes the acting is kind of stiff and everything is kind of dull and I was thinking of watching something else. But as soon as the story kicks in you see that that is to illustrate that this lady psychologist who is the main character, her life has grown banal and she is in need of adventure. Her everyday job scenes are almost draining they are so dull while the rest of the movie is full of suspense. One of her patients tells her what does she know, she hasn’t experienced anything. And through his gambling problem she goes and decides to thrust herself into some real experiences. She goes to a small bar called “house of games” (get it, that is also the title of the movie, house of games) where she meets a gambler named Joe Montegna. I mean that is the actor’s name anyway. (read the rest of this shit…)