AND 'BLOW-UP', 'CONVERSATION' -- ALSO: MOVIE GEEKS' CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON 'BLOW OUT'
Indiewire's Emma Bernstein begins her review of first-time director Alex Kurtzman's People Like Us by setting up the lineage from Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up, to Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation, to Brian De Palma's Blow Out. Bernstein writes about how each film used cinematography to get into its main character's mind, adding, "The three films were alike in their genre and premise as well, each a crime thriller centered on a character’s discovery of something hidden within the materials associated with his line of work. Alex Kurtzman’s new film, People Like Us," she continues, "shares the technical prowess of these films, employing supreme sound and visual techniques to create subjectivity. However, an increasingly rote storyline and adherence to syrupy sweet romantic comedy tropes leaves a murky aftertaste: a schmaltzy tearjerker masquerading as a psychological thriller." Bernstein never goes into detail about a possible link with the new film regarding any kind of recordings, photos, or films that the main character might use to try and figure out a puzzle, but perhaps the image above from People Like Us involves a similar sort of link. We may have to wait and find out when the film is released this Friday (June 29).
In her closing paragraph, Bernstein states, "The films from Antonioni, Coppola, and De Palma were groundbreaking both because they were able to build their stories and their characters via technical means as well as written words, and because the techniques used were radical in and of themselves. While People Like Us honors the visual and aural achievements of its predecessors well, it never manages to align its script with its images and sounds as successfully, leaving an audience with pleased eyes but discontented minds." Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy states, "As overcranked as it is -- the film is directed as if it were an action drama, with two or three times more cuts than necessary -- People Like Us has a persuasive emotional pull at its heart that's hard to deny."
TONY MACKLIN'S CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON 'BLOW OUT' & 'THE VERDICT'
Yesterday's edition of the Movie Geeks United podcast featured host Jamey DuVall and critic Tony Macklin discussing Sidney Lumet's The Verdict (including a nice lengthy discussion of screenwriter David Mamet) and De Palma's Blow Out. They discuss, among other things, De Palma's nods to American history in Blow Out's imagery, the contrast between appearance and reality that permeates the film, and the devastatingly ironic ending.