Movie review: “Atomic Blonde” (2017)

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“I chose this life, and some day it’s going to get me killed…but not today.”

The subtle tension between two recurring, prevailing images provides the brutal spy thriller Atomic Blonde with both its spine and sense of purpose. Long range tracking shots trace the cool, confident, runway-ready stride of statuesque stunner Lorraine Broughton through the mad, pulsating streets of 1989 Berlin. Wrapped in a sleek trenchcoat, armored by sunglasses and a slight, possibly wry, otherwise impenetrable smile, hands buried in deep front pockets, her focus willful and unbroken, the gorgeous MI6 agent walks with easy purpose through a riot of humanity toward a destination that is only ever clear to her. In her most private moments, when the armor finally comes off, Broughton’s bare skin is far from the tantalizing perfection that might be expected, not cliched delicate porcelain so much as cracked china, shocking in its physical compromises and worn from overuse. Continue reading “Movie review: “Atomic Blonde” (2017)”

Movie review: “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)

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“If I’m gonna die, I’m gonna die historic on a fury road!”

I am a man who loves his adjectives, and, as a film and concertgoer (and general pop culture participant/enthusiast/reviewer/critic), someone who also, I think, chooses, deploys, and wields them with not a little facility. After thirty years of semi-serious or better moviegoing, I feel, on some level, that I’ve seen it all before, and lately it feels I’ve described a good deal of it to boot. Standard, shopworn superlatives shrink in the face of an uncompromised, uncompromising, full-tilt action odyssey like Mad Max: Fury Road, however. They feel laughably inadequate, and frustratingly incomplete. They burst into the same sort of flames director/writer/creator George Miller uses so often as visual punctuation, or else shrivel and blow away harmlessly into his vast desert setting, a merciless wasteland that, even in a film absolutely teeming with desperate, violent, flamboyant life, is still Fury Road’s most important and, at times, unforgettable character. Continue reading “Movie review: “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)”