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Uncut Gems (2019)

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This was fantastic. It almost unfolds like a 135 minute anxiety attack that never lets the tension up, and I couldn't help but become completely immersed in this wild and unpredictable story set in the world of NYC's Diamond District. A lot of the film's strength comes Adam Sandler's performance: while this is far from his first attempt at serious acting, he's arguably never been better. His history of juvenile comedies allows us to sympathize with this unlikable character in a way that we wouldn't from an actor more familiar with these kinds of roles, as he completely disappears into the part under the direction of a pair of clearly talented filmmakers. I never saw the Safdie bros previous movie (Good Time) but this makes me want to check it out and also look forward to anything they make going forward. A-

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18 hours ago, filmlover said:

I never saw the Safdie bros previous movie (Good Time) but this makes me want to check it out and also look forward to anything they make going forward. A-

Definitely check out Good Time. I can't recommend that movie enough, maybe my favorite of 2017. Uncut Gems is great as well, such an intense movie. By the end during the Finals game my palms were sweaty and my heart was nearly pounding. I hope this catches on with audiences and does well. I feel like it's a pretty accessible movie but people might be turned off by Howard and find him too unlikable. Overall I preferred Good Time, that movie just blew me away, and as great as Adam Sandler is here I think Robert Pattinson is even better in that, I had no idea how talented that kid was. 

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This movie will piss people off. It’s a very strange film to follow in my opinion. I liked Sandler as a crook and Kevin Garnett’s performance was good. Following Sandler’s character is one of the bright spots of the film. Also the score is fantastic kinda reminded me of the score to the 1983 film Scarface.  Idina Menzel plays a bitch very well. And the ending was very shocking and tough to follow at first till I later on understood what happened. 

 

this review sounds like a cluster fuck. But in small terms, I liked Uncut Gems for the 1st viewing(May pick it up on home video) but it’s a film not for everybody.

grade: B

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Put as simply as possible, Uncut Gems is a wild ride. With a frenzied style that heightens the urgency of even seemingly mundane moments, the Safdie Brothers make virtually every scene feel trippy, unhinged, and tense, all finally culminating in a ballsy ending that tracks well with the narrative’s trajectory but will undoubtedly divide audiences. The narrative functions primarily as a character study driven by a career-best performance from Adam Sandler. I’ve always had a soft spot for Sandler and I was a big fan of his seriocomic work in Punch-Drunk Love and Funny People, but he’s on an even higher level here. As debt-crippled diamond dealer Howard, Sandler succeeds in crafting a volatile character whose impulsive decision-making constantly threatens to knock him off his already precarious place. Sandler buries himself in the part and channels the affability and comedic rage that have worked in his lowbrow comedies and fashions them into defining traits in an electrifying performance that commands the viewer’s attention throughout the entire running time. There’s also some solid work from Lakeith Stanfield as one of Sandler’s associates, Kevin Garnett in a self-deprecating turn as himself, and newcomer Julia Fox as Sandler’s much younger and also volatile mistress, but the film largely belongs to Sandler and he owns it with easily his most engrossing performance to date. The bleakness and prickly nature of Uncut Gems won’t be for everyone (and it might come as a shock to viewers expecting something more akin to Sandler’s typical fare), but for those who get caught up in what the Safdie Brothers and Adam Sandler deliver, it’s a delirious, arresting experience.

 

A-

 

Stray Thoughts:

- I'm damn glad I'm not an NBA fan and didn't know how that Boston/Philadelphia series ended beforehand. I was definitely anxious during that Game 7 sequence...

 

- Howard's murder drew gasps from my audience. Like, actual audible gasps. I know some viewers will complain that Howard's death shortly after his bet paying off renders the whole movie pointless, but... that's kinda the point? He's so delusional that he doesn't realize that shady guys who want their money right this second aren't going to be pleased with a go-for-broke bet and aren't going to trust him to deliver the money he owes even when he gets the massive payout. He's headed toward a bad end the entire time, but he keeps on believing that he can win big despite the odds stacked against him. Even though his optimism is ostensibly rewarded in the game, it's only through sheer dumb luck that has nothing to do with any of his own wit, and it could have completely blown up within the opening second of the game. At least he gets to die in a state of elation, which is a marked contrast with his frazzled state-of-mind through much of the rest of the film.

 

- I recognized Tilda Swinton's vocal cameo, but somehow not Natasha Lyonne's.

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8 hours ago, aabattery said:

what kind of maniac makes the opening tip part of their parlay jesus christ

I love how Howard just jokes so casually about how the whole thing could have fallen apart right then and there. :lol:

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Intense movie led by a great performance by Sandler. Plays a great scumbag who you somehow end up rooting for. Kept me engaged till the end even though I knew the result of the Celtics-Sixers game. (made me think they would edit it or something but glad they kept the real thing in). Kevin Garnett was surprisingly good in this as well and solid showings from the rest of the cast. 

 

Now I know why some of the general audience gave it such a low score. Has to be due to the ending but I thought it was fitting for his character. Howard wasn't going to change and would've ending up getting killed at some point anyways.

 

8.5/10 (A)

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Holy shit that movie was intense.

 

The Safdies already look like they have their own style of building unbearable tension. For the first 2/3 of the films I was almost lost in the moment through overlapping dialogue and Sandler's relentless character. It's just so stresfull to watch but at the same time you can't take your eyes off the screen. And the final stretch is just masterful edge of your seat stuff. The finale didn't surprise me, it looked like it was always heading there no matter the bet outcome, but it was devastating all the same. Sandler gives the performance of the year here, simple as that. 

 

I had no idea about the Safdies until Good Time, and despite loving that movie never went back to their old stuff. They look mumblecor-ish and mumblecore is really not my thing. After Uncut Gems I guess they worth at least a look because those guys are the real deal. They have a great career ahead of them.

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1 hour ago, Joel M said:

I had no idea about the Safdies until Good Time, and despite loving that movie never went back to their old stuff. They look mumblecor-ish and mumblecore is really not my thing. After Uncut Gems I guess they worth at least a look because those guys are the real deal. They have a great career ahead of them.

Heaven Knows What is worth your time. Not a crime movie so not thrilling in that way, but there's that immersive mix of rawness and stylization that Good Time and UG would grow out of. It has little in common with mumblecore. 

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Literally two hours of anxiety. Watched basketball all my life, I know the Celts were going to win, but I just kept thinking maybe they changed it. Haven't felt this tense during a movie since mad max. Incredible. The safdie bros do it again.

 

Also KG should have been nominated for an Oscar. And Julia Fox wow. This might be the startup of her career and being apart of that is awesome.

 

8.8/10 (A).

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