A jewelry store owner and dealer to rich and famous clients places a series of high-stakes bets in the hopes of securing a huge windfall. But His lavish spending habits on gambling, and family issues cause him to become behind on his debts. So he devises a clever way to pay off his bookies and finally come out ahead all while protecting his family and business.
I would like to give a full store review, but let's stick to this purchase for now. It was nice to see some fresh titles on actual shelves. The packaging looks great and I was glad to finally add it to my collection. Hoping to add more in the future. Thanks!
Well...this is a challenging and interesting movie to review.
First, technically, the Blu Ray encode is nice with solid picture (no banding) and good ambient sound, especially when outside on the streets of NYC. Also, the soundtrack is used to an innovative and effective means here. More on that in a second.
As a piece of entertainment...I can't recommend this film. It isn't fun to watch and it doesn't even really follow the tenets of quality storytelling. It is really more like a reality show or a slice of life.
As a piece of art, I HIGHLY recommend this film (in case you were wondering about the five stars). This movie immerses its viewer in a life. Life doesn't come in three acts with character development and artistically designed shots that are magically lit. Entertaining movies are, but this isn't that.
This is how the visual storytelling medium can transfer our attention and our soul into the life of a despicable character - sex, drugs, swindling, swearing...yeah, it's all there so keep the kids and those with gentle sensibilities away.
But if you want to experience the power of film and how it can transfer our very being to another place and another life, there hasn't been anything like Uncut Gems in a long time, if ever.
Part of that is the soundtrack. The soundtrack is used to GREAT effect to convey information about the experience...in essence, the character lives life in a panic attack and the aggressive, loud sounds that accompany the film put US in the same, agitated state. You won't be comfortable or even calm by the time the film has ended, but this film will stay with you because it took you somewhere many of us have never been.
The other strong element of this film is...hold your breath...Adam Sandler. Mr. Sandler challenged himself to act outside his comfort zone and he disappears in the part. This isn't Adam Sandler as we have known him and his commitment to the art and bringing his A game to this project is commendable. He makes this movie.
Oh yeah...and IF you care about these things (heh heh and you know you do) it's got an amazing slipcover. A black matte finish with silver foil letters. Simple but so effective.
So if you are an adult that can handle extensive swearing, non stop swindling and graphic sex AND you want to experience a movie that will make you feel things like most other movies won't even dare to try and achieve, this film is for you. If you want to experience some art (as opposed to Disney or WB blockbusters, and not that there's anything wrong with those...) than this is a strong recommendation.
Adam Sandler is great in lead. Script is excellent. Movie is above average in all respects more so; buzzes with energy. I'd expect this film will draw attention for many years to come. It is a very rewarding film that has already been re-released in blu-ray by Criterion. Thanks to Best Buy for stocking and shipping nice Slipcover Edition of this from the first Studio to pick it up and release it on Blu-ray - Lionsgate.
I was not a huge Adam Sandler fan. I am now. This was a superior acting effort. Was actually heartbreaking seeing his character on a life path to self destruction. It is a masterful performance. I look forward to hopefully seeing Mr. Sandler in meaningful roles such as this one. He's got the gift!!
Such a unique way of exploring addiction to risk and the variety of types of gambling one can do to/with their life. Sandler's performance is one of his three serious, dramatic, award-deserving roles (the others being "Punch Drunk Love" and "Reign Over Me") — not that his absurd, immature comedic roles don't often deserve award attention! This is a solid film transfer of a beautiful and tense piece of cinema.
Uncut Gems is a proper follow up to the Safdie brothers previous film "Good Time," which I highly recommend, with its grimy world, heavily flawed leads, showcasing actors in a new light, and overall abrasive tone...even the film's sound mix is intentionally grating, with you feeling like a fly on the wall in NYC with people yelling over one another.
The pacing of Uncut Gems isn't as swift as Good Time, if anything sometimes it feels like it isn't moving forward, while it isn't necessarily a bad thing, it does lower the enjoyment in comparison.
Sandler delivers an amazing performance of a man who has nearly completely succumb to all his vices, an addict, which does make him harder to sympathize with when compared to Pattinson in "Good Time" whose character did more despicable actions, but where it seemed that it was all done for a good cause, but here our lead lies, steals, gets caught, lies again, risks his family's well being, all because he needs to place a bet. You essentially want to hate him, and do, but the brilliance comes from casting Sandler (depending if you even like him) because you want him to be a better person because you think he can be and is somewhere.