Thursday, July 5, 2012

SAVAGES opens July 6


SAVAGES opens tomorrow. Right now there's no real consensus as to how good or bad it is.  There are not enough critic reviews to say that the current fairly rotten Rotten Tomatoes score will hold. It's 67% right now. On the other hand 87% want to see it,  I know there's a lot of interest out there from the sheer number of  people visiting my site looking for info. It's not clear whether they are fans of the book by Don Winslow or simply curious as to just how the violent drug wars and a menage a trois holds up as entertainment.
I would really, really like to know what you think of the film.
While the verdict is out, from what I gather, these truths appear to be self evident:
Blake Lively who plays O is a 0.
John Travolta is very watchable as a rotten DEA official.
Benicio Del Toro also rocks it as an over the top henchman.

Here's a small smattering of the reviews. 

OUCH!
twitchfilm.com
This is a film full of a bunch of rich, whiny, druggy idiots getting into trouble of their own doing. Not for a millisecond do we care about a single character, their motivations, or their eventual outcome.

Savages is so anti-audience that it proves to be a study in ignorant filmmaking, a sign of a director so callous to his audience, so oblivious to the craft that made his earlier works so enjoyable, that it stops being aggravating and instead devolves into pity for the lost vision.
NOT SO BAD AT ALL!
Entertainment Weekly
Stone presents some bravura set pieces, from a pulse-quickening encounter with a highway cop to an incendiary multivehicle heist to every scene with Benicio Del Toro as a very scary sociopath. As for Taylor Kitsch, he wipes away any lingering John Carter cobwebs with his explosive performance, and John Travolta is funny and desperate as a DEA agent up to his ears in slime. Exciting as it is, Savages does slide off the rails during the last half hour. The film goes from intense to indulgent, plausible to preposterous. But it's still a pleasure to see Stone settle into this dark groove. B+

Thank God for John Travolta
Chicago Tribune
Savages" is a silly and self-serious movie, but its juiciest turns (John Travolta activates his exposition-heavy dialogue nicely as a jumpy, double-dealing Drug Enforcement Administration officer) offer some distraction from the torpor generated by the script's central trio.
It's not as if Stone is above this sort of pulp. But as rejiggered for the movies, "Savages" has trouble making us care what happens to the beautiful people — the untouchables — at the center of the sun-baked fairy tale. As one commenter on imdb.com put it: "After seeing the trailer ... I'm already rooting for the cartels."


Oliver Stone: He's Baaaaack~!
Time Entertainment
And if you don’t like the plot or the performances, just watch the damn movie. Cinematographer Don Mindel obviously looked at the grand work of Robert Richardson on 11 early Stone pictures. Mindel will backlight a face framed in gaudy red flora, and supersaturates the desert landscapes with a sickly glow that make them seem like nuclear testing grounds after the big boom.The whole picture moves like that, nearly overcoming the flaws of conflicted rooting interest and whatever qualms a Ben-like viewer might have about closeups of executions. Savages isn’t great cinema, but it’s a very alive movie about people who probably ought to be dead.



 

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