Zlatko Buric

Zlatko Buric

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Pusher Review


Grim

This film may look sleek and urgent, but it never feels like anything more than a run-of-the-mill London drugs thriller. The cast is good, and the imagery is striking, but it never adds anything new to the genre. And it certainly doesn't have the bracing impact of the original 1996 film, which introduced the world to Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive).

It centres on the young drug dealer Frank (Coyle), who with his friend Tony (Webb) is trying to bring a huge stash of drugs from Amsterdam to London. The cops are brutally trying to force Frank into turning in evidence against his supplier Milo (Buric), which puts him in a very bad position. With Milo's henchman (Ferda) breathing down his neck, Frank tries to call in his debts and raise enough cash so he and his stripper girlfriend Flo (Deyn) can get away. But all of his plans seem to go awry, which strains his relationship with Flo because he doesn't want to tell her the truth.

This is one of those movies in which events squeeze in on the central character from every side, forcing him to increasingly desperate actions. And Spanish director Prieto has a lurid visual style that jolts the screen with energy, even if it leaves everything feeling rather superficial. Coyle finds Frank's intriguing edges, playing him as a cocky nice guy whose confidence is beaten out of him. As he becomes a shell of himself, we have quite a bit of sympathy with him. So it's a shame that we never really feel much chemistry between Frank and Flo.

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2012 Review


Excellent
Gleefully over-the-top, this film takes the disaster movie pretty much as far as it can go, drawing on the Mayan prophecy that he world will end on 21 December 2012. Emmerich deploys all the genre elements (solid cast, detailed back-stories, gigantic set pieces) to give us a raucously enjoyable ride.

While on a camping trip in Yellowstone, novelist-turned-chauffer Jackson (Cusack) stumbles across a secret military operation and a raving nutcase (Harrelson) who claims the end of the world is nigh. Sure enough, top government scientist Adrian (Ejiofor) is advising the President (Glover) and his Chief of Staff (Platt) about preparations for impending natural catastrophes. By the time Jackson gets home to Los Angeles, the pandemonium has begun, and he barely gets his kids, his ex (Peet) and her new husband (McCarthy) out. But where do they go now?

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Pusher Review


Weak
Fate did not want me to see Pusher. To wit, here's what my Netflix queue looks like:

Original Shipment (Reported damaged on 05/30/05.)Replacement Shipment (Reported damaged on 06/01/05.)Replacement Shipment (Reported damaged on 06/06/05.)Replacement Shipment (Reported damaged on 06/11/05.) Replacement Shipment (Reported damaged on 06/16/05.) Replacement Shipment (Reported damaged on 06/24/05.)Replacement Shipment (Reported damaged on 07/25/05.)Replacement Shipment (Reported damaged on 07/30/05.)Replacement Shipment

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Dirty Pretty Things Review


Good
The title of Stephen Frears' new film Dirty Pretty Things revels in contradiction. The same might be said of the film itself, which is part melodrama, part social critique, and part black comedy all rolled into one delectably grimy treat. It's a thriller that only nominally wants to thrill, and a critique of modern society's disregard for the illegal immigrant class that only sporadically bothers to drum up the audience's indignation over its characters' plight. Willfully unwilling to be pigeonholed, the film embraces its various temperaments with a poise imparted by a director whose steady hand never allows the unconventional material to falter. That the lurching tone of the film coalesces into a satisfyingly original narrative at all speaks to Frears' keen sense of the delicate balance between sentimentality and somberness.

Okwe (newcomer Chiwetel Ejiofor) works as a cab driver by day and a hotel desk clerk by night, regularly chewing addictive plant leaves to keep himself from dozing off. An illegal immigrant and former doctor who's arrived in London to flee political forces who sought his arrest in Nigeria, Okwe now resides on the couch of fellow hotel employee Senay (Amelie's Audrey Tautou), a Turkish maid whose legal immigrant status, in a puzzling twist that's never fully explained, prohibits her from being employed. The two social outcasts keep their friendship hidden from their fellow coworkers, each interested in blending into the environment like a chameleon changing spots to elude predators. In a city that eagerly makes use of immigrant labor, Okwe and Senay are the tattered fringe of society, forced to endure humiliation and unable to fight back for fear that their presence might be detected by the immigration police who constantly scour the city's underbelly. What's not mentioned, however, is that since Okwe is an illegal immigrant, he doesn't have any right being in London, and this near-sighted portrayal of his situation - one can assume that his life in London, no matter how difficult and unpleasant, is better than the life in Nigeria that he fled, although the film glosses over this fact - saps some of our sympathy for him.

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