Uncut Gems

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  • Uncut Gems

    Everything about this movie is a blast, in every sense of the word. The Safide Brothers direct with an assurance and authoritative voice that occasionally slides into arrogance. Adam Sandler inhabits the main character, a degenerate gambler and Manhattan diamond merchant, with such intensity that you are immediately sucked into his trainwreck of a life. The last half hour is so edge-of-your-seat gripping that you don't even have to imagine what it's like to be a gambling addict. The highest highs and the lowest lows.

  • #2
    Re: Uncut Gems

    How was Kevin Garnett's acting?


    There are like 12 holiday movies I have to catch up on.

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    • #3
      Re: Uncut Gems

      Originally posted by Friday View Post
      How was Kevin Garnett's acting?
      KG's great. He's playing himself so it doesn't really ask him to do much, acting wise. But definitely not the usual wooden readings you sometimes get with athletes onscreen

      The way the script writes him and the real conference finals between Celtics and Sixers into the story is really well done.

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      • #4
        Re: Uncut Gems

        Originally posted by JoeBanks View Post
        KG's great. He's playing himself so it doesn't really ask him to do much, acting wise. But definitely not the usual wooden readings you sometimes get with athletes onscreen

        The way the script writes him and the real conference finals between Celtics and Sixers into the story is really well done.

        Normally, I hate watching real life celebrities play themselves because they are so bad at it that it distracts from the story. But, nice to hear that KG acts great. Like you said, you would think that people could look natural playing themselves, but acting is such a specific skill.

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        • #5
          Re: Uncut Gems

          Enjoyed this movie. Sandler was marvelous.
          "I ask every producer I meet if they need TV specs they say yeah. They all want a 40 inch display that's 1080p and 120Hz. So, I quit my job at the West Hollywood Best Buy."
          - Screenwriting Friend

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          • #6
            Re: Uncut Gems

            Finally got to see this. I give it very high marks for its frenetic pacing and intensity from start to finish, and Sandler deserves every bit of the praise he's received for his performance.

            However I can't say I totally loved it because Sandler's anti-hero character for me lacked any relatability, any nobility at all that would allow me to actually get behind him and genuinely root for him to succeed, which I believe even in the case of an anti-hero is essential.

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            • #7
              Re: Uncut Gems

              Originally posted by muckraker View Post
              However I can't say I totally loved it because Sandler's anti-hero character for me lacked any relatability, any nobility at all that would allow me to actually get behind him and genuinely root for him to succeed, which I believe even in the case of an anti-hero is essential.
              he's a tragic figure. the whole point is that he is doomed to never change or overcome his tragic flaw. i can relate to that, even if my own flaws are not so destructive

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              • #8
                Re: Uncut Gems

                I dunno. Maybe so, but IMO tragedy implies a sense of pity or sorrow or what "might have been," but for me I felt nothing. His character is not only (self) destructive, but also I would argue a pretty terrible person with zero regard for others who doesn't even contemplate change.

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                • #9
                  Re: Uncut Gems

                  The standout here was Julia Fox. Almost every other character is playing a dirtbag. Her offbeat personality was a nice contrast and she was the only sympathetic character. I cared what happened to her. It's a good movie, but I admit there was a 40 minute stretch where it was irritating to watch. Every scene, guys are yelling at each other. There was no room to breathe. And these are not smart dirtbags. They are dumb and unreasonable for no reason. In the Godfather, you were riveted by how smart the bad guys were.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Uncut Gems

                    As much as I love the Godfather movies as drama, my own experience with New Yorkers over the past 30 years tells me Uncut Gems is far closer to the reality of how they act (and probably acted even back in the 40s and 50s). Degenerate gamblers and their bookies, collectors, etc. don't really stand on social formalities and conventions. The reason most crooks -- especially the mob -- get caught is just that they're not very smart or good at committing their crimes.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Uncut Gems

                      I've known a bunch of degenerate gamblers. I've never heard of their bookies actively stopping them from making money to pay back their loan. And I am not sure you can even stop a bet once it's been made. Also, what is the point of constantly beating up Sandler just as he's about to get you your money. (spoilers) or giving up a ton of money (a piece of millions) for some jewelry you have to fence. Also, what jeweler in the diamond district is working with nickel and dimes of $25,000. To operate that shop, you have to have millions. Kevin Garnett is not going to some cheap dealer. The bookie also seemed to be sweating some really small amount. Everything seemed to be for the sake of the plot conflict. Unless, they're the idiot 80s unruly Philly gang that can't shoot straight, all of this is not true to how bookies operate.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Uncut Gems

                        Saw it last week. Really enjoyed it. The 52% fresh score from viewers on Rotten Tomatoes is a bit puzzling. I feel like it delivered on the premise. Not sure what the audience was expecting that they didn't get. Maybe Sandler's presence led people to believe they were in for some light-hearted laughs. What they got instead was a two hour anxiety attack. It's like the helicopters sequence in Goodfellas, except that's the whole movie.

                        I agree with the other comment about it being a classic tragedy. Howard had every opportunity to walk away with a "W", but he had to make another play. That's when he sealed his doom. You're not supposed to love this man. You're supposed to take his example as "what not to do", like MacBeth. It's a cautionary tale. You walk out of that theater feeling like you need to take a shower.

                        It's tentatively in my top 5 for the year, and it has lingered with me more than most of the other flicks in there. I think Sandler has a real shot at an Oscar nom.

                        As for the realism, I don't know the jewelry world or the intricacies of sports betting, so for me, it was realistic enough to be credible and to serve the narrative. In a vacuum, narrative potency is a lot more important to me than accuracy. Like the author says in The Things They Carried, sometimes the "truest" story isn't, strictly speaking, true.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Uncut Gems

                          I liked this. Good job by Sandler and the ending was a lot happier than I was expecting. Really the best way Howard could've gone out if you think about it.

                          Kind of unrelated but I wonder what the Weekend and his reps thought about how he portrayed himself doing blow in the bathroom and having the girl grab his junk. Not sure if that helps or hurts his brand but either way I appreciate authenticity.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Uncut Gems

                            Originally posted by muckraker View Post
                            I dunno. Maybe so, but IMO tragedy implies a sense of pity or sorrow or what "might have been," but for me I felt nothing. His character is not only (self) destructive, but also I would argue a pretty terrible person with zero regard for others who doesn't even contemplate change.
                            Each to their own but this perspective puzzles me. You have to 'like' someone to enjoy their journey, to enjoy the film? And you can only 'like' people you find virtuous in some way? I don't mean any offence but that's a very child-like outlook, to me. It's as though one is scared of themselves - that they are in some way a bad person for enjoying films about sleazebags or liking slashers that stalk teenagers.

                            As for the film, I applaud Sandler's acting and wish he did more edgy stuff rather than his usual routine of a) man-child or b) successful middle-class Everyman with the hot wife, 2 kids, and suburban lifestyle. I also applaud Julia Fox - stunning woman and owned every scene she was in.

                            However I fail to see the point of the film. Howard had no arc, the villains weren't fleshed out, simply out to collect a a vague bet of an indeterminate amount, and the whole movie (plot and character) was stasis. As for the .............**SPOILER**................ finale of the goon killing Howard and then his boss - why??? Why tolerate his BS for weeks, maybe longer, including being insulted and attacked, when he never had the money to pay up only to then kill him at the end when he finally has the goods? If you're tempted by the riches of the ship why wait so long before raiding it? If you can't stand Howard, have a hot tempter, are tempted by the jewellery in his shop, why not grab some items on any number of previous visits where he pushes your buttons and pisses you off? If you're so hot tempered, unfazed about killing and interested in riches then why be a heavy for someone else? And if you won't take any **** from anyone, why be an underling? It didn't make sense to me.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Uncut Gems

                              Irony alert.

                              SundownInRetreat demeans my criticism that Howard's character doesn't undergo any change in the film.

                              Moments later, being critical of the film: "Howard had no arc."

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